Author: Steven Abrams

Steven Abrams is a writer living in Austin, Texas.

Articles Written by Steven Abrams:

10 Filmmakers to Watch: Fawzia Mirza

In a 2016 TEDx youth event, writer/actor Fawzia Mirza described how humor is her favorite tool for “defying the ordinary.” Mirza co-wrote, produced, and stars in the feature-length film Signature Move. The film defies the ordinary by portraying a romantic comedy about a Muslim lesbian navigating her identity, a new relationship, Lucha-style wrestling, and the… Read more »

SXSW 2016: Film Highlights

For 30 years, SXSW has put Austin, Texas in a global spotlight. That spotlight was never brighter than this year’s conference, when President Barack Obama delivered the 2016 SXSW Interactive Keynote, where he challenged the audience of tech innovators to come up with solutions to the big problems facing the nation, where “the most important office… Read more »

SXSW 2016: Female Filmmakers See Indie Film as Site for Change

In her 2016 SXSW Film Conference keynote, Ellen Page, in discussing her own personal journey as co-creator of the documentary series Gaycation, spoke to the power of inclusion and opportunity in media. “Let’s think [about what] limits people… who are not given opportunities to create work. We do a job that is about telling stories. Obviously,… Read more »

10 Filmmakers to Watch: Garrett Zevgetis

Garrett Zevgetis’ documentary, Best and Most Beautiful Things, is a portrait of a young woman’s journey to assert her identity and find her purpose outside of her disability. Shot over the course of 6 years, the film is an intimate view into a family’s struggles and reveals the obvious trust Zevgetis built with the film’s… Read more »

Director Katie Cokinos, Eden Brolin, and Danielle Brooks of I Dream Too Much at SXSW. Photo Courtesy of Steven Abrams.

Extra: An Interview with cast members from I Dream Too Much – Eden Brolin and Danielle Brooks

The Independent seeks out the collaborators, mentors, colleagues, and friends of our 10 to Watch filmmakers in order to hear more about how they inspire others working in independent film. Steven Abrams talks with Eden Brolin and Danielle Brooks about what they learned from working with 10 to Watch’s Katie Cokinos. Steven Abrams: Eden, your character Dora, lives so… Read more »

10 Filmmakers to Watch in 2015: Katie Cokinos

Katie Cokinos’ return to SXSW has been a long time coming. The filmmaker had her first film screen at SXSW in 2000. In the years since, she had a family, moved from Texas to the Hudson Valley in New York, and wrote screenplays. But coming back to Texas is a homecoming for Cokinos. Growing up… Read more »

Zachary Canepari photo, Flint woman boxing

SXSW 2015: This Year Women Bring the Substance

From its humble roots as a regional music festival, South by Southwest has grown over the years into one of the largest entertainment festivals and industry conferences in the world. Now equal parts Music, Interactive, and Film, in recent years the festival has added an education conference in SXSWedu that directly precedes the festival, as… Read more »

The DIY Distribution panel at SXSW 2015.

SXSW 2015: Film Conference Highlights

First-time attendees to SXSW are generally surprised to learn that there is no badge that allows you to skip lines or give you priority access over anyone else. In an industry that curries privilege, the lines to films and sessions at SXSW are populated with industry neophytes standing next to producers standing next to award-winning… Read more »

10 Filmmakers to Watch in 2013: Sarah Gertrude Shapiro

A reality TV dating show might be the last place you would think to explore the societal pressures women face, much less mine the depths of genuine emotional pathos. But then, you aren’t filmmaker Sarah Gertrude Shapiro, and you haven’t seen her narrative short, Sequin Raze. It’s what brought Shapiro to our attention for 10… Read more »

10 Filmmakers to Watch in 2013: Katie Graham and Andrew Matthews

For most filmmakers, the road to the director’s chair can be circuitous at best. At first glance, this might seem doubly true for first time directors Andrew Matthews and Katie Graham. Andrew, a classically trained actor, found that his acumen for computers led to work as a film editor, whereas Katie’s background was in cinematography… Read more »