Every year thousands of movie enthusiasts flock to the capital of Texas, Austin, for the film-festival portion of South by Southwest. It’s a vacation destination sure to hit the heart of any film buff during this time. The setting is only out shined by the captivating films debuting throughout the festival’s 10 days. From documentaries to indie creations, dramatic flicks to comedies, every genre can be enjoyed. SCP hit the red carpet to check in with the cast of “Morris From America”, a drama starting Craig Robinson, that was written and directed by Chad Hartigan.
While Austin is a rocking city throughout the year, it really ramps up and comes alive during SXSW. A longtime SXSW attendee, Hartigan really enjoys the atmosphere of the city during this time. His trips haven’t been just for film either, he’s enjoyed the music festival that caps off the conference as well.
“This is actually my sixth time coming to SXSW, first time with a movie though,” Hartigan stated. “I used to just come to hang out, watch stuff and go to the music festival. I love the vibe here. It’s been great.”
Capturing the awkward intricacies of a 13-year-old boy coming of age and discovering romance, hard enough as that is, the film dives into that life-changing period while abroad in Germany. Adding to the personal meaning behind the film, Hartigan’s career was especially inspired by SXSW itself, having sat in the audience in awe of previous year’s premiers.
“It’s really exciting. 10 years ago, in 2006, was the first time I came,” Hartigan explained. “It’s the first film festival I had ever been to and it kind of changed my life. From that moment it was a goal to have something play here. So, here it is!”
Continuing the love of Austin’s character, Robinson echoed Hartigan’s admiration, specifically touching on the people of the city. Their friendliness and up-beat aura has, at times, revitalized him when he’s performed in town.
“Austin is one of my favorite towns. The people, when I’ve performed here, I’ve [been] tired, it was crazy I was tired, and the people would not let you [be],” Robinson reminisced.
As soon as he hit the red carpet the whole dynamic changed. He owned it in a friendly, I’m not better than anybody way. Robinson joked with reporters, addressed each by name and one can tell his elation was at a fever pitch for the film. The debut at SXSW in Austin was something he was pointedly looking forward to. It was evident that he had a real connection with the city and the people, and was especially overjoyed to premier it in front of their eyes.
“They lift you up to take you to new heights. So, I love coming here. I love the food here,” said Robinson passionately. “I love the energy and I can’t wait to see how they react to the film.”
The movies relatable story line, comedic relief and cast really showed through — a surefire highlight of the festival. If traveling down to Austin isn’t exciting enough, accenting the trip with cinematic debuts is a guaranteed way to have a week of unforgettable memories.