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9 films we want to see at SXSW 2022

The film "Birds" follows Austin teens in the summertime. (Birds)

The wait is nearly over for SXSW’s Film Festival, which runs from March 11-20.

Filmmakers from all around the globe are coming to showcase their work and celebrate the film hub that the city is coming to be. There are numerous locals showcasing their films, so if you’re looking to see our state on the big screen, don’t forget to check out the Texas Shorts Program and Texas High School Shorts Program.

And without further ado, here are some SXSW 2022 films, from near and far, that we’ll be in the audience for.

​Apollo 10 ½: A Space Age Childhood | March 13, 8:00—9:30 p.m. at Paramount Theatre

Telling the story of the first moon landing in the summer of 1969, "Apollo 10 ½" explores the space age from two different perspectives: the astronaut and mission control vs. a young boy in Houston watching history take place. Directed by local filmmaker Richard Linklater, the mind behind “Dazed and Confused” and “Boyhood,” the animated feature film has a star-studded cast with Jack Black, Zachary Levi and Glen Powell. Linklater also tapped local artist Angry Cloud to do some of the animation.

The film will show again on March 19, 12:00—1:30 p.m. at Satellite Venue: AFS Cinema.

Birds | March 11, 8:00—9:48 p.m. during Texas Shorts Program at SXSW Film Theater

Brought to the screen by young filmmaker Katherine Propper, "Birds" captures moments in the lives of Austin teenagers as they escape the notorious summer heat. The 13-minute narrative short premiered last year at the New Orleans Film Festival, where it won the Student Pitch Competition.

"Birds" is also showing on March 15, 3:15—5:03 p.m. at the Rollins Theatre at The Long Center and online from March 12-21 from 9-10:48 a.m.

Brené Brown: Atlas of the Heart | March 11, 5:00—5:40 p.m. at SXSW Film Theater

Kicking off the fest, author and podcaster Brené Brown is coming to SXSW with her new HBO Max series that goes through emotions and experiences in pursuit of defining what it means to be human. With storytelling, pop culture references and researchers collaborating, Brown covers a range of emotions while laying the framework for meaningful connection.

The episode will also be available online from March 12-14, 9-9:40 a.m.

Dio Dreamers Never Die | March 17, 4—5:53 p.m.

Defying the typical rock-n-roll lifestyle of sex, drugs and partying, "Dio Dreamers Never Die" follows the ascent of heavy metal rocker Ronnie James Die. From his days as a “doo-wop crooner” in the ‘50s to playing in Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow to replacing Ozzy Osbourne’s vocals in Black Sabbath, this film is about perseverance and achieving your dreams.

This film will also be available online from March 18-20, 9—10:53 a.m. and requires an RSVP.

Gone | March 12, 2:45—4:15 p.m. at the Rollins Theatre at The Long Center

Development in Pflugerville, a suburb just north of Austin, is skyrocketing along with growth and as it inches closer and closer to farmland, local farmers are worried about their way of life. Directed by San Antonio-based Kyle Ward, this four-minute short looks at the sadness farmers feel when looking at their fields because once the land is built on, it is gone.

"Gone" is also showing on March 19, 12—1:30 p.m. during the Texas High School Shorts Program at Alamo Lamar A and online from March 13-21, from 9—10:30 a.m.

How We Found Our Sound | March 11, 8—9:48 p.m. during the Texas Shorts Program at SXSW Film Theater

After being rejected by Nashville’s music scene, cosmic cowboy Willie Nelson invited the band members of Asleep at the Wheel to move to Austin. Upon arrival in 1973, the Western swing band grew into an outlaw country sound. In 11 minutes, lead singer Ray Benson describes how the counterculture East coast natives helped break down the boundaries “between rednecks and hippies.”

"How We Found Our Sound" is also showing on March 15, 3:155:03 p.m. and online from March 12-21 from 9:00—10:48 a.m.

The Lost City | March 12, 6:30—8:30 p.m. at Paramount Theatre

With possibly the most A-list cast, “The Lost City,” follows romance-adventure novelist Loretta, played by Sandra Bullock, and her cover model muse Alan, played by Channing Tatum, who comes to life as “Dash” in her books. After Loretta is kidnapped by a billionaire, played by Daniel Radcliffe, Alan sets off to rescue her in a real-life jungle adventure to find an ancient treasure.

TikTok, Boom. | March 14, 12—1:40 p.m. at SXSW Film Theater

Looking at how TikTok has become one of the most influential platforms of the contemporary social media landscape, “TikTok, Boom.” examines all facets from algorithmic, socio-political, culture and economic impacts that have ensued. With a cast of Gen Z subjects, director Shalini Kantayya explores security issues, platform mechanics, racial biases and what it means to be a digital native

"TikTok, Boom." is also showing on March 15, 6:15—7:55 p.m. at Alamo Lamar D; March 19, 2:30—4:10 p.m. at Alamo Lamar A and online from March 15-17 at 9—10:40 a.m.

To Leslie | March 12, 8:30—10:29 p.m. at Stateside Theatre

"To Leslie" follows the story of Leslie, a single West Texas mother struggling to provide for her son, who wins the lottery and the chance of a lifetime. After drinking her money away over the course of a few years, Leslie returns home to confront the decisions she made, the pain she left and get a second chance with her son. Directed by Michael Morris, the feature-length film stars Andrea Riseborough, Allison Janney and Marc Maron.

"To Leslie" is also showing on March 15, 12:45—2:44 p.m. at Alamo Lamar E, March 18 9:45—11:44 p.m. at Alamo Lamar A, and online from March 13-15 from 9:00—10:59 a.m.


‘Like speed dating of cats’ at Purr-fecto Cat Lounge
Purr-fecto Cat Lounge

Lina Martinez with her newly adopted cat, Emmanuel, who she renamed Sullivan.

Timmy and Tommy are ready to play.

As the 2-month-old white-and-tabby brothers swat feather wands, chase toys and generally hold court inside Purr-fecto Cat Lounge, a half-dozen potential adoptive parents look on lovingly, trying to get their attention.

“This is kind of like the speed dating of cats,” said Lupita Foster, owner of Purr-fecto Cat Lounge. “I intentionally didn’t put in any tables. That’s why we call it a lounge instead of a cat café because we have these lounge areas where you can sit and relax and cuddle.”

Foster, who has owned a cleaning company, Enviromaids, for 18 years, was inspired to open Purr-fecto Cat Lounge after adopting her own cat, Romeo, from a local shelter.

“When you want to adopt a cat, you have to spend a lot of time with them to get their personality,” Foster said. “I wanted to do something to help the community and something that makes me feel good, that warms my heart. A business with a purpose. This was a perfect idea.”

Actually, a purr-fect idea.

Inspired in part by a cat lounge she visited in Los Angeles, Foster began laying the groundwork for the business in late 2021 and officially opened the doors of Purr-fecto Cat Lounge, located at 2300 S. Lamar Blvd., in July 2022. Since then, she’s worked with rescue organizations such as Fuzzy Texan Animal Rescue and Sunshine Fund Cat Rescue to facilitate nearly 100 cat adoptions.

At any given time, there are 10-15 cats living in the space, which features an ideal blend of calm, cool corners and adorably Instagrammable backdrops with phrases such as “I want to spend all my 9 lives with you.”

Lina Martinez, 32, learned about Purr-fecto Cat Lounge from a friend’s Instagram post and made an appointment to visit two days later.

“My first impression was, ‘AWW!’” Martinez said. “The kittens were to die for. I felt happy and at peace – just what I needed.”

Visitors to the cat lounge pay $15 for a 30-minute CATXperience session or $30 for a 70-minute session that is spent getting to know the personalities of each cat. Foster said the first thing she typically sees from visitors to the lounge is a smile.

“Everybody that enters the door is smiling,” she said. “And we’ve seen people who have cried because they can’t have kids and they decide to go and adopt a cat instead.”

Foster said she loves bringing in cats who might not have a chance to be adopted at traditional shelters. She told the story of one cat named Izzy, who was partially blind, who was adopted by a family that had a deaf cat at home.

“Izzy was not going to get adopted anywhere else, but she’s extremely beautiful,” she said. “If she was in a cage in a rescue and you tell people she’s blind, she was probably going to be overlooked. But visiting our space, she doesn’t seem like she’s blind. She knows her way around. She moves around perfectly.”

Although Martinez, who had been casually looking for a pet to adopt since moving to Austin nearly four years ago, was interested in a cat named Ruby that she had seen on Purr-fecto’s social media, at the lounge she instead found herself drawn to 5-month-old mixed breed Tuxedo cat.

“I thought he was a star,” she said. “He worked the room and introduced himself to everyone. When I laid down to pet Ruby, he ran from the other side of the room and cuddled with me. It was game over. He got me.”

And she, of course, got him, complete with a commemorative photo that read “My Furrever Family” the day she took him home. Although his original name was Emmanuel, she renamed him Sullivan after her favorite DJ.

“Purr-fecto is special because of the amount of effort and love they put into taking care of the cats,” Martinez said, “and finding them good homes and making possible adopters feel at home.”

Foster, who spent a recent Thursday hosting a group of teenagers in foster care at the lounge, several of whom expressed interest in working there, said the best part about her new endeavor is that her heart is always full.

“I just feel complete,” she said. “I always felt as an entrepreneur that I was missing something. I knew I accomplished a lot, but in my heart I was missing a little connection with the community. Now I’m creating connections between humans and pets and that’s amazing. I’m creating family bonds. It’s just about love, you know. And we need that.”

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We all have those cravings for an amazing butter chicken or some authentic dosas with coconut chutney, but when I was thinking about where I wanted to go to satisfy my taste buds I realized that my list of great Indian food around Austin was surprisingly short. After doing some research and asking around, here is your list of the best Indian restaurants around town.

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