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a hybrid event

Austin film and comedy collide Saturday night at The Show

The Show is back June 9 with an all-star event at the State Theater. Whether a scenester or a novice, The Show will enlighten you on what Austin’s film and comedy scene has to offer.

But why film and comedy?

Screening local shorts and features was an easy decision for The Show producers Ben Synder and Freddy Qaqish. “Everyone I know is making something in this town,” Qaqish says. “There is not a lack of talent.”

Freddy knows about the frustration many filmmakers may have after making a short film and traveling around to festivals with it.

“Maybe you do well. Maybe you don’t. Then what?” Freddy laments. “That’s where we step in.” The Show’s goal is to simply provide another opportunity for filmmakers to get their work seen. They currently hold screening events at The State Theater, Violet Crown Cinema and the Alamo Drafthouse.

The two very quickly decided to add comedy to the event. “The comedy scene is just blowing up right now,” Ben gushes. “It was a no brainer.”

This week’s show is hosted by current Funniest Person in Austin winner Ramin Nazer who was also recently on Craig Ferguson. They’ll also have beloved sketch comedy group Spirit Desire from The New Movement.

Ben sites the combination comedy and film as being part of the success of The Show. They even provide the unique experience of getting to see actors from the film perform live. Comedian/actor Byron Brown performed improv with his troupe Bad Boys on the same show a short he acted in played. 

Ben found they had a ton of positive responses from that programming choice. “A lot of people from the audience told me they really liked to see him in two different formats.”

Independently producing your own show isn’t easy in Austin. The Show has worked hard to find the right format and venue. “We’ve had music, but that didn’t quite fit perfectly,” says Ben.

According to Freddy, you shouldn’t count your chickens before they hatch. “You can have a fantastic line up, but if there is another event going on in town it doesn’t matter.” The Show has steered away from having an event every month. Now they are currently focusing on doing four larger events at the State Theater throughout the year.

The Show also has expanded to screening features at the Violet Crown. You can catch events at the Alamo Drafthouse with the help of local group Tugg as well. “We wanted to take baby steps,” Freddy says. “The addition of features has been really successful for the most part.”

The June 9 show has a great selection of local short films. Ben believes this line-up is perfect “if you want to see what’s going on in Austin film.” Fresh from Cannes, Clowns Never Lie will be screening. The film was directed by Mario Troncoso and features a long list of Austin’s finest indie actors.

Coincidently, there will be a second short featuring clowns at the event. Bradley Jackson’s award winning The Man Who Never Cried screens as well. Ben and Freddy are both big fans of the writer/director who recently won the doorpost prize for this film. “He has a really good sense for dark comedy and an interesting imagination,” Ben praises. 

For all the clown hateres out there, there’s still another short for you. Multi festival selection “Benny” plays. The Texas short about an over-weight teenager visiting a friend from his past was just recently nominated for a Student Academy Award.

All films will have members of the cast and crew in attendance, which makes the event a perfect place to network if you want to get involved with the local scene. “Everyone is really friendly,” Freddy adds. “Buy them a beer, and they’re even more friendly.”

“We really want it to be more of a community event.” Ben adds.  “A cross between a meet up and an actual screening event. Come do a little bit of work, but also enjoy yourself and drink a beer.”

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You can drink a beer and watch comedy and film June 9th at 9 pm at the State Theater.  Buy tickets at the door or save five dollars by buying them in advance here.

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