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First Look Media at SXSW 2018

FIRST LOOK MEDIA’S THE INTERCEPT, FIELD OF VISION AND TOPIC AT SXSW 2018

First Look Media’s documentary film unit, Field of Vision, and their entertainment studio, Topic Studios, supported six projects accepted at SXSW 2018, including the world premiere of the documentary feature film “THE GOSPEL OF EUREKA” and short documentaries A NIGHT AT THE GARDEN,” “AN UNCERTAIN FUTURE” and “THE EARTH IS HUMMING.” Two digital series from Topic Studios: "EVERYTHING IS OKAY" and "SHE'S THE TICKET" were featured in the Indie Episodic section, both of which premiered on the digital storytelling platform, Topic.com.

In addition, speakers from The Intercept and Topic.com were featured at various panels at SXSW. Below are additional details.

FIELD OF VISION

The Gospel of Eureka (Directors: Michael Palmieri, Donal Mosher) - Love, faith and civil rights collide in a southern town as evangelical Christians and drag queens step into the spotlight to dismantle stereotypes. Taking a personal, and often comical look at negotiating differences between religion and belief through performance, political action, and partnership, gospel drag shows and passion plays set the stage for one hell of a show. Narrated by Mx Justin Vivian Bond.

A Night at the Garden (Director: Marshall Curry) - In 1939, New York's Madison Square Garden played host to an American Nazi rally, mere months before the start of World War II. Through the use of archival footage, director Marshall Curry captures the fervor and magnitude of the German American Bund, a pro-Nazi organization based in the US. In the wake of the tragic events in Charlottesville, Virginia, this film elucidates a decades-long presence of Nazism in America and its relevance to today's political climate.

An Uncertain Future (Directors: Iliana Sosa, Chelsea Hernandez) - For two expectant mothers in Austin, Texas, increased ICE raids and growing hostility towards immigrants cast a shadow over an otherwise happy occasion in their lives. Their children, due mere few weeks after Donald Trump's inauguration, will be among the first born during his presidency.

Ruth, who is undocumented, worries that she and her husband will be deported and separated from their newborn and three older children. Cristina, a US citizen, fears that her undocumented husband could be whisked away at a moment's notice. Meanwhile, an ongoing battle in the Texas legislature leaves the fate of the children of deported immigrants up in the air.

The Earth is Humming (Director: Garrett Bradley) - A short documentary film which explores the impending magnitude 7 earthquake predicted to hit Tokyo at any moment within the next 30 years. The film explores Japan’s unique relationship to disaster preparation and the unique ways in which it is implemented in daily life.

TOPIC STUDIOS

Everything is Okay: Robot (Director: Adam Sacks) - In this darkly comic new digital series, a young woman navigates her way around New York. It can be hard when you're looking at an Instagram that goes into the future, debating entering a portal into an alternate dimension, or battling your own roommates during an apocalypse.

She’s the Ticket: Meet the Candidates (Director: Nadia Hallgren) - It’s been over one year since the election of Donald Trump, and there’s a new wave of women running for political office. We follow five female candidates who are jumping into everything from gubernatorial showdowns to city-council races, getting inside the fascinating, difficult, and inspiring process of campaigning.

PANELS/READINGS

TEXAS BLOOD

The clamor for secure borders is a recurrent motif in American politics. Today, however, technological assets exist, or will soon exist, that are capable of transforming that nebulous objective into a regime of passive control and active surveillance that is historically unprecedented. In his book “Texas Blood,” Roger Hodge follows the signs of the new borderland economies of place and power, sovereignty and subordination, surveillance and resistance.

Speaker: Roger Hodge (Author & Deputy Editor, The Intercept)

CAN SMALL-DONOR PROGRESSIVES WIN LOCAL ELECTIONS?

Bernie Sanders showed that big money isn’t needed to run a presidential campaign, changing the national calculus. But can the same be done in Texas? Will 2018 be the year small dollars make the difference at the local level? Join us for a candid conversation between Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-Texas, who is running against Ted Cruz for Senate and Ryan Grim, The Intercept’s DC Bureau Chief.

Speakers: Ryan Grim (The Intercept) and Beto O’Rourke (U.S. House of Representatives)

BREAKING THRU A TWEET DRIVEN NEWS CYCLE & CULTURE

What’s missing from the current digital media landscape? The fast moving, tweet driven news cycle & a hyper-paced culture, driven by 140 characters & a steady stream of instantly shared pictures, discriminates against depth and ambiguity. But some journalists, visual artists and storytellers are finding ways to break through -- to inform the public, provide depth & context, and tell valuable stories that go beyond the surface -- because there is always more to the story.

Speakers: Anna Holmes (SVP Editorial, Topic.com); Betsy Reed (Editor-in-Chief, The Intercept); and Jenna Weiss-Berman (Co-Founder, Pineapple Street Media)

THE LOYALTY CARD: MEASURING IMPACT IN JOURNALISM

Page views are so five years ago. News organizations are pivoting to look at metrics that measure meaningful engagement. A loyal audience member can give you useful feedback and information, become an ambassador for your brand, help fund investigative journalism, and much more. The difficult part is determining how to set quantitative goals for qualitative interactions. It’s particularly challenging if you’re pulling together data from various platforms and types of content.

Speakers: Rubina Fillion (The Intercept); Julia B Chan (Mother Jones); and Sachin Kamdar (Parse.ly)