After taking a couple of years off, downtown’s Violet Crown Cinema was prepared for a busy week of South by Southwest. The independent cinema had dedicated all four of its salons to the film festival for the dates of March 13-19.
While the festival won’t officially be taking place, the Violet Crown committed to screening the Pepe the Frog documentary, "Feels Good Man," which made its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January. Producers Giorgio Angelini and Caryn Capotosto kept their Austin travel plans and will attend screenings Saturday at 7:10 p.m. and March 17 at 1:30 p.m. and participate in Q&A following the screenings.
The Violet Crown staff had to move quickly to fill the remainder of its weekly calendar, reaching out to distributors to see what could be done on short notice. They chose to hold over "Portrait of a Lady on Fire," "Parasite" and "Once Were Brothers," and added a week-long run of "Emma" and IFC Films’ "Swallows."
Tickets for the "Feels Good Man" screenings and the rest of the Violet Crown’s spate of films from March 13 to 19 are available online.
Violet Crown’s director of programming, David Gil, said that beyond the notice of cancellation, the theater had not had the chance to talk to SXSW representatives about what, if any, financial repercussions would come of the festival’s forced backing out of the theater rental.
"My heart goes out to them. To put in all of that work and have all these filmmakers ready to go, it’s devastating," Gil said. "Especially how it’s also affecting servers and industry staff. Luckily we are in a fortunate position to call some distributors, but what do the filmmakers do, what does the festival do?"
SXSW and Coronavirus: What’s canceled and what’s happening in Austin
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