Austin Film Festival prides itself on showing a number of local films -- there's even a category called Austin Screens, and other films with local connections often appear elsewhere in the lineup. Two locally shot documentaries stood out this year, showing audiences two very different perspectives on the city. One was a "marquee screening" of Frederick Wiseman's film 'Boxing Gym', shot at Richard Lord's Gym in north Austin; the other was 'Echotone,' a look at local musicians and how local condo/building development is affecting the music scene.
Don't expect a neatly plotted story arc in Frederick Wiseman's documentary 'Boxing Gym.' You won't find a "cast" of several selected documentary subjects working toward a specified goal, either. Instead, you'll spend 90 minutes or so inside a boxing gym, just as you might if you were sitting on a bench in a corner, watching and listening without anyone noticing. The members and visitors at Richard Lord's Gym in Austin appear to be entirely unaware of the camera as they train, spar or chat.