A Conversation with Richard Linklater and Channing Godfrey Peoples
Part of the Beyond Film Program
Co-Presented by Black Public Media and Austin Film Society
Join us for a conversation between two Texas filmmakers: the 5-time Academy Award nominated writer/director Richard Linklater and writer/director Channing Godfrey Peoples, whose breakout debut feature Miss Juneteenth was recently nominated for two Gotham Awards, and was hailed as one of the top films of the year by Time magazine, The Washington Post, Vulture, Indiewire, Roger Ebert and Variety, among others. Richard Linklater’s name is evocative of independent filmmaking in Texas and regional auteurism. His generation of filmmakers also contributed to defining the image of the Sundance Film Festival, even after big changes in festivals and the industry changed the “Sundance experience” for filmmakers. Texas-based filmmaker Channing Godfrey Peoples premiered her debut feature, Miss Juneteenth at Sundance in January 2020. Her experience at Sundance and beyond reflects some contemporary trends for artists in the independent film industry, and is taking her on a very different journey than Linklater’s 30 years prior. Both Linklater and Channing have early works focused on specific communities in Texas, aiming to represent them cinematically and authentically. The filmmakers will sit down for a virtual conversation to explore the creative threads that connect them, and the journey of making independent films today.
This program is co-presented by Black Public Media and Austin Film Society.
Self-taught writer-director Richard Linklater is among the first and most successful talents to emerge during the American independent film renaissance of the 1990s. Typically setting each of his movies during one 24-hour period, Linklater’s work explores what he dubbed “the youth rebellion continuum,” focusing in fine detail on generational rites and mores with rare compassion and understanding while definitively capturing the 20-something culture of his era through a series of nuanced, illuminating ensemble pieces which introduced any number of talented young actors into the Hollywood firmament. Born in Houston, Texas, Linklater suspended his educational career at Sam Houston State University in 1982 to work on an offshore oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. He subsequently relocated to Austin, where he founded a film society and began to work on his debut film, It’s Impossible to Learn to Plow by Reading Books (1988). Three years later he released the sprawling Slacker (1990), an insightful, virtually plotless look at 1990s youth culture that became a favorite on the festival circuit prior to earning vast acclaim at Sundance in 1991. Upon its commercial release, the movie, made for less than $23,000, became the subject of considerable mainstream media attention, with the term “slacker” becoming a much overused catch-all tag employed to affix a name and identity of America’s disaffected youth culture.
Channing Godfrey Peoples
Channing Godfrey Peoples is a Writer/Director. She is a MFA graduate of the USC School of Cinematic Arts and one of Filmmaker Magazine “25 New Faces of Independent Film“ for 2018. As an African-American woman, her films are character-driven stories focusing on the resilience of the human spirit, often featuring black women at a turning point in their lives. She is a Sundance Fellow, Austin Film Society Fellow, SFFilm/Westridge Foundation Fellow, King Family Foundation Recipient and has served as a Time Warner Artist-in-Residence. Her short film, Red, is a DGA Student Jury Award Winner, among other honors. Channing wrote two episodes on Season 3 of Queen Sugar (OWN Network). She also wrote and directed a short film, Doretha’s Blues, that was made possible by the support of Refinery 29 and Level Forward in their Shatterbox Anthology series. Most recently, her feature film debut, Miss Juneteenth, premiered in the U.S. Dramatic Competition at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and won the Louis Black “Lone Star” Award at the 2020 SXSW Film Festival.