The annual music, film and interactive conference and festival South by Southwest (SxSW) is in full swing in Austin, Texas.
Unmappable, a documentary by North Carolina-based filmmakers in the Documentary Filmmaking MFA program at Wake Forest University, was an official selection for SxSW.
The festival brings over 51,000 registrants to Austin every March. It's a prestigious honor to be selected, even for a film that won the 3rd annual RiverRun PitchFest competition, the programmer's artistic vision award at New Orlean's Film Festival and was featured in Wired magazine.
In Unmappable, filmmakers Diane Hodson and Jasmine Luoma chronicle the life and work of Denis Wood, a whimsical psychogeographer from Raleigh who is also a convicted sex offender.
Hodson and Luoma were first drawn to the work of Wood, whose fanciful maps of Boylan Heights, a Raleigh neighborhood, depict the seasonal jack-o-lanterns decorating neighborhood porches, homes with barking dogs, and even the light cast by street lamps.
Wood's work has been recognized by Ira Glass, host of This American Life, but Hodson and Luoma were not only interested in Wood's work; they were also intrigued by Denis—a man, who, after watching a rough portion of the film, said, “I'm not sure it portrays me strange enough.”
Luoma and Hodson wrestled with the contradictions this “unacceptable” man represented, an individual struck by the “poetics of cartography” while remaining unrepentant for his sex crime against a minor in 1996. He served time in prison and on probation.
Unmappable is screening three times at SxSW. The third and final showing will be on March, 21 at 6:30p.m. at the Alamo Lamar A.
The film is described by critics as “poetic, provocative and creepy as hell.”
Luoma and her co-director are thrilled to be showing their film at the festival.
“The list of doc shorts are really impressive...they're just beautiful films, so it's such an honor to be included in that line-up because it's people who've been doing it for awhile...and we're so excited."
This week, the filmmakers discovered that Unmappable will be playing in Germany at Cellu l'art Short Film Festival.
For more information on the film, check out unmappablefilm.com or the Unmappable Film Documentary Facebook page. Click here for more information about Denis Wood, or here for Ira Glass' interview of Denis Wood.