SXSW 2019:  Filmmaker Wendy Corn selected for 2019 Faces of Austin at SXSW Film

SXSW 2019: Filmmaker Wendy Corn selected for 2019 Faces of Austin at SXSW Film

Wendy Corn and Josh Blaine took a moment to enjoy the spotlight after the Faces of Austin presentation. Courtesy of Wendy Corn

By Tonyia Cone

After eight years as a crew chief and volunteer photographer with SXSW’s photo crew, filmmaker Wendy Corn stepped out from behind the scenes to see her work on the big screen at the 2019 Faces of Austin premiere at SXSW Film Festival.

Presented as a SXSW Film Festival Community Screening, Faces of Austin showcases short films reflecting the many diverse faces, voices and experiences of Austin.

Corn’s was programmed as one of 13 films screened at Faces of Austin.

“I look back and mine just fit right in. It was a good Austin story and all of them go together,” she said.

Corn’s film, “Finding our Voice,” follows Josh Blaine, a song leader seeking to build connection in a divided country.

“The film explores the zeitgeist of oral tradition community singing, a re-emerging movement that's deeply rooted in our humanity,” the Faces of Austin program described.

Corn said it was inspiring to have her film selected for Faces of Austin and having this recognition from the cit of Austin Cultural Arts Division.

“It was a great honor,” she said. “I feel like the fact that my film was programmed feels a nod from the universe that I should continue my passion, which is making films. The projects I tend to gravitate to are really love projects. Things that move, touch and inspire me, I feel like can move touch and inspire other people.”

Those in her film meet in the Texas Capitol Rotunda twice a month to sing.

“This was about song circles and the importance of creating community. Part of the message in the film is you don’t need to sing well. You don’t need to sound good. There is no judgement. It is just about being given permission to sing,” she explained. “Part of this is a reclaiming of our voice. The magic is when you are singing yourself, not drinking a beer and watching someone on a stage.”

Corn said that being culturally Jewish and putting Jewish values into her work is important, as it is part of who she is.

“The fact that my subject was Jewish and informed by that, held deeper interest for me because we share that background and faith,” she said.

While serving as Shalom Austin’s digital media specialist for the last 11 years, she has made many short films helping to educate people about the organization. In 2011, her mockumentary “Hamsa: The Pointed Question” was in the Austin Jewish Film Festival.

Corn is currently in production on what she hopes will be a feature documentary about legendary stuntman, stunt coordinator and director Bobby Sargent.

“I love uncovering and sharing stories that I find compelling,” she said. ■

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