When Sarah Ann Mockbee, a sixth-generation Mississippian, moved to New York City in 2001, she became accustomed to her father, the architect Samuel Mockbee, helping her make friends by introducing her to his former students. When he encouraged her to meet filmmaker Sam Douglas, she thought it was, you know, just another one of those things. But on their first date, over cabbage rolls and pancakes at a Russian coffee shop, they fell in love.
Douglas had already passed the parent test: he’d gotten to know Sarah Ann’s father while making a documentary about him, Citizen Architect: Samuel Mockbee and the Spirit of the Rural Studio. The couple transitioned to Austin in 2006, and immediately felt right at home, thanks to industry friends, six degrees of the South, and tacos round the clock.
March is a big month: Sarah Ann, the deputy director of the Austin Film Society since 2011, is working on the Texas Film Awards, a red carpet evening honoring Texas legends of cinema and television (it takes place at Austin Studios on Thursday, March 6). Sam is gearing up for SXSW, when his latest project, No No: A Dockumentary, a film he edited and co-produced, will have its Austin premiere on Saturday, March 8, at the Paramount Theatre. They’ll spend the rest of SXSW supporting other Texas filmmakers, and slipping into spectator mode for music week. As for April? That’s when they catch up on sleep.