Louis BlackCo-founder, The Austin Chronicle and Director SXSW
If anyone has put Austin, Texas on the map, it must be Louis Black. Black was a cofounder in 1981 of The Austin Chronicle, which he edits, and in 1987 helped launch South by Southwest Music, Interactive and Film Festivals and Conferences (SXSW), where he is a Director.
‘SXSW was just supposed to be a regional gathering,’ Black says, ‘but by the second year it was a national event and then before we knew it, the thing had become international.’ SXSW is a multiplier for Austin, he adds. ‘A lot of us met when we were students and spent all night watching movies and going to clubs. We’d try and get in like 2 to 3 movies before midnight, then go and listen to music until the places closed, then we’d go back to someone’s house and watch more movies or just talk about them into the early hours. SXSW is very much that multiplied by a thousand.’
Black received an MFA from the University of Texas in Austin with a concentration in Film in 1980 and is active in film production too. He has produced several documentaries including Margaret Brown’s ‘Be Here To Love Me: A Film About Townes Van Zandt,’ about the singer-songwriter who died in 1997; and ‘The Order Of Myths,’ about racial separations in Alabama, which premiered at Sundance in 2008 and won a Peabody Award.
Black is a founding board member of the Austin Film Society, helped initiate the Austin Film Society Grant program, and negotiated with the City to create Austin Studios. In March 2015, he launched a new company, Production For Use, a one-stop consulting shop for independent filmmakers.