Laura Dunn, Luke Meyer & Andrew Neel – SXSW Film Festival Alumni Stories

At SXSW 2018 we celebrated the 25th Edition of the SXSW Film Festival and had the pleasure of sharing stories, memories, and reflections from our distinguished alumni. We had a blast telling these tales and want to keep the party going! Today we spotlight Laura Dunn, Luke Meyer, and Andrew Neel.

Laura Dunn

From the years 1999–2016, Dunn brought four films to SXSW, starting with the short Pretty as a Picture (co-directed with Diane Zander). Her next films were all documentary features, Green (2001), The Unforeseen (2007), and Look & See: A Portrait of Wendell Berry (world premiered in 2016 as The Seer). The film won a Special Jury Recognition for Cinematography and recently aired on PBS earlier this year.

"Going to SXSW is like going home. You’ve journeyed afar, gotten lost and painfully found your way back to the place where you began. But now, you see it all so differently. When you left, like a kid going off to college, you imagined you were meant for bigger things. And when you return, humbled, happy to be home, liberated from yourself in a wonderful way, you realize this place is who you are. One of my favorite moments in my film trajectory happened at SXSW when my husband Jef and I went to the stage (most unexpectedly) to receive a Jury Prize. I had our sixth son, only a few months old, strapped to me in a carrier. I felt self-conscious, worried that I might lose my footing, stumble on words, but no one judged. In fact, several women directors later thanked me for making that duality of filmmaking/motherhood OK. That’s Austin for you and SXSW — an open field of resources where you can be who you need to be."

Luke Meyer and Andrew Neel

Meyer and Neel have world premiered three films at SXSW. Their directorial feature debut Darkon won the Audience Award for Documentary Feature Competition, and in 2016, the festival re-screened the film as a Special Event to celebrate the 10th anniversary. At SXSW 2009 the pair premiered their documentary about conspiracy theory titled New World Order, and in 2012, the festival world premiered the narrative feature King Kelly, with Neel as the director and Meyer as a producer.

"Darkon was the first feature for many of us who worked on it, and with that came a certain amount of anxiety before our premiere. I don’t think any of us will ever forgot what it was like - hours before the first screening - to see a team of fully-armored Darkonians in hard core foam-padded combat on the streets of Austin, and have Darkon’s fantasy world from the film merge with the festival."

Join Us For SXSW 2019

Register and book your hotel now to save! The Film Badge gets you primary access to all SXSW Film events including Film Keynotes and Featured Sessions, world premieres, round tables, workshops, parties, and more. Over the course of nine days, the SXSW Film Festival hosts over 450 screenings! Film registrants also have primary access to Convergence events, including the Comedy Festival and nine unique conference tracks, as well as secondary access to most Interactive and Music events.

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See you in March!

By Neha Aziz


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