I AM TX is a movie about what it means to be immersed in a progressive, yet predominantly white, music scene – while still having to navigate the world as a person of color.
Written and directed by Ryan Darbonne, the film is about a Black hardcore punk band, comprised of members Charlie, Sonny, and Otis, on their last leg of tour. Told over the course of one day, we follow the group from the desert roads of El Paso, TX to a popular music venue in Austin. Throughout the film, each character is forced to contend with cops, insufferable fans and an ever persistent “woke” music blogger who all serve to reinforce the band’s position as outsiders in a mad, mad world.
an affinity for Blackstreet and Black metal
Over the past few years, there have been amazing developments in the rise of People of Color writers and directors finally getting their due. However, the black experience is multifaceted and Hollywood has a LONG way to go to even begin scratching the surface.
There aren’t a lot films exploring what it means to be Black and alternative; what it means to have an affinity for Blackstreet and Black metal; what it means to be the only person of color within your social circle and feel alienated because you’re always labeled the “cool Black kid”. And there can be only one.
the film is a brief glimpse into the lives of Afropunk musicians
Inspired by the cast and director’s own personal experiences, the film is a brief glimpse into the lives of Afropunk musicians showcasing the frustration, anxiety, and often humorous/painfully ignorant encounters that go along with being a “cultural Mulatto.”
The cast and crew of I AM TX features key figures in Austin’s music and film scene. The three leads are not only comprised of incredible, multi-talented performers but actual musicians. Jonathan Horstmann (BLXPLTN, Messages), Audrey Campbell (Pleasure Venom), and Greg Williams (Chief and thedoomsdaydevice) are all respected members of Austin’s punk community and strive to create music that tackle issues important to them. Their respective bands have been featured in The Huffington Post, Noisey, OVRLD and other online publications.
The creative team behind I AM TX has a collective experience in film production spanning 30 years. Darbonne has written and directed a number of music videos, sketches, and short films. Moreover, he served as the Film Department Director at Austin Film Festival and was co-founder and Executive Director of Cinema41 (a community arts organization dedicated to free film screenings).
Morgan Davis, the film’s producer, is a critic who runs the Austin-focused music media company Ovrld, which has been featured in The Guardian, NPR, Mashable, Fusion and more. He has also produced a number of podcasts, videos, and short documentaries including a mini-documentary on the 2017 Austin Music Award winners Magna Carda.
Mariana Gonzalez, the film’s Director of Photography, is a freelance cinematographer with an exhaustive knowledge of lighting and has shot a number of short films and music videos.
To support I AM TX is to support and nurture the ever-growing presence of filmmakers of color who are looking to tell good stories with a diverse cast.