The film, music and interactive tech festival, SXSW, takes place in Austin, Texas every year, and has increasingly become a premiere destination for ground-breaking art and technology. That includes LGBT-inclusive films and performances by out artists. Though the festival will be wrapping up this week, there are still screenings and performers worth catching appearing through March 16. Check out the full SXSW schedule here.
The Case Against 8, a documentary about the first federal marriage equality lawsuit to make it to the Supreme Court, won the U.S. Documentary Directing award when it premiered at Sundance and will air on HBO this June. SXSW is hosting multiple screenings throughout the festival.
George Takei will host "Oh Myyy! A Conversation with George Takei" on Tuesday at the Austin Convention Center. Following the Q&A, he will be signing copies of his books Lions and Tigers and Bears (The Internet Strikes Back) (Life, the Internet and Everything) and Oh Myyy!: There Goes The Internet. Starz Digital Media last week purchased his documentary To Be Takei which premiered earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival, the company plans for a theatrical release this year.
The documentary film Lady Valor: The Kristin Beck Story follows the former U.S. Navy Seal who came out as transgender in her book Warrior Princess last year. The documentary The Dog will also screen several times, in which John Wojtowicz himself talks about his 1972 attempted bank robbery, which he planned in order to finance his partner's transition, that became the basis for the film Dog Day Afternoon. The short films David Hockney IN THE NOW (in six minutes) and EASY will enjoy multiple showings as part of the shorts program. EASY is a character study of two brothers and David Hockney IN THE NOW (in six minutes) takes a quick look at the life of the iconic gay artist.
GLAAD Media Award nominee Big Freedia will perform two showcases this week; Thursday at The Main and Friday at Austin Ballroom. Out musician Mary Lambert ("Same Love," "She Keeps Me Warm") will also be playing two SXSW showcases, one Friday at the The Driskill and a Saturday show at the Austin Music Hall. Melissa Etheridge will be playing a set on Thursday night at the Paramount Theatre; including "Uprising of Love," an anthem for the Uprising of Love Coalition of entertainment industry figures who want to support the LGBT community in Russia. Etheridge will also be taking part in a panel on branded entertainment on Friday at the Austin Convention Center.
In addition to events like these, the festival also hosted several progressive, LGBT-focused panel discussions, including ones about how social media is assisting the movement for marriage equality, becoming a good LGBT ally, and reducing isolation in LGBT communities.