Each year, ATX Gossip brings you previews of programming that’s taking center stage at SXSW Film. This year is no different.

First up is The Light of the Moon from writer, director and producer Jessica M. Thompson.

Making its world premiere in the Narrative Feature Competition, the film is about a successful New York City woman (played by Brooklyn Nine-Nine‘s Stephanie Beatriz) who is recovering from a trauma and trying to regain control and intimacy in her life.

Tired of seeing assault over-used in mainstream media as a mere plot device, the Australian filmmaker said she chose to approach the topic in an honest and real way.

“I decided to make this film because I wanted to create a raw and realistic portrayal of trauma and recovery, which is told solely from the victim’s perspective, ” she said. “Hopefully, this film will encourage a more open dialogue about an issue that affects more than one in five American women.”

As this is her first time at the fest, Thompson is looking forward to tucking into some awesome Tex-Mex, seeing some great live music and simply “keeping it weird!” She may even find herself in a tattoo parlor by week’s end.

Since she seems to know a little bit about what makes Texas tick, we sent five of our Totally Texan questions her way. As expected, she had no trouble answering them.

What is your favorite movie and/or TV show shot in Texas?

Wow, good question! It would have to be a tie between Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life and the Coen brothers’ No Country for Old Men – for very different reasons!

Who is your favorite Texas musician?

Gee, you ask tough questions. OK, because Piece of My Heart is one of my go-to karaoke songs, I’ll pick Janis Joplin.

What actor would you call Totally Texan?

Our lead actress, Stephanie Beatriz! We are so proud to be world premiering the film in her home state. It’s complete serendipity!

What Texas food are you most looking forward to eating in Austin?

Deep fried avocado tacos!

What advice do you have for Austinites looking to get into the biz? 

I always say to make it in this biz you need talent and persistence, and talent only accounts for 10% of it.


You can see The Light of the Moon at the following times during the fest:

Premiere Screening: Sunday, March 12, at 10:45am at Stateside Theatre.

Monday, March 13, at 1:30pm at Alamo Lamar.

Thursday, March 16, at 3:30pm at Alamo Lamar.


Learn more about the SXSW film Signature Move here.

Learn about the SXSW film Assholes here.

Learn about the SXSW film A Bad Idea Gone Wrong here.