Multi-award-winning comedy dares to touch delicate issues with candor and makes its Austin debut as part of the fest’s episodic pilot competition.
SAN FRANCISCO—This Isn’t Me, an audacious new comedy series directed by ONE TWENTY NINE FILMS director Adrian Rojas Elliot and written by Ben Kawaller about an earnest but inept gay man’s search for meaning and intimacy, is headed to SXSW 2020 as part of the fest’s Episodic Pilot Competition. The show, which won Best Comedy Pilot and Best Actor at Catalyst Content Festival and Best Episodic honors at New York’s Transparent Film Festival, screens March 16 and 18 in Austin.
Billed as “a new comedy unsuited for network television,” This Isn’t Me offers a skewed take on the absurdities and pathos of millennial life. Fred Knobler (Kawaller) is a struggling, gay thirtysomething who takes a job as a tutor for underachieving children while pursuing diminishing prospects for professional success. Whether it’s the havoc he unwittingly brings to the lives of his young charges, or the humiliations of his chaotic love life (such as disappointing an impatient fetishist), Fred is in a constant struggle to fix appalling messes of his own making. In the pilot, Fred bravely helps a defiant transgender 10-year-old confront her identity. As the season progresses, Fred fights an obsession with an app called Letzfuqq, deals with a case of HPV, counsels a child facing the possibility of cervical cancer, and neurotically confesses to a potential boyfriend that he may have given him chlamydia.
SXSW continues the show’s successful run on the festival circuit. In addition to its wins at Catalyst Content Festival and the Transparent Film Festival, This Isn’t Me has earned honors at the Bare Bones Film Festival, San Pedro International Film Festival, and the IndieFest Film Awards. It has been an official selection at more than a dozen other festivals, including Dances With Films, Monmouth Film Festival, CMG Short Film Festival, Interrebang Film Festival and NewFest: New York’s LGBTQ Film Festival.
With a background spanning writing, photography, and design, Elliot directs advertising and branded content through One Twenty Nine Films, San Francisco. His past narrative work includes the sketch comedy series Nice Tan and the short film Ditch, a winner for Best Narrative Short at the 2017 NYLA International Film Festival and an official selection at the HollyShorts Film Festival, Montréal World Film Festival, Hollywood Independent Filmmaker Awards & Festival and Topanga Film Festival.
“Our selection by SXSW is a validation of Ben’s concept for the show, which is risky and well outside mainstream comedy,” says Elliot. “We believe this show will resonate with people because it tackles real-world issues in a manner that is truthful, unflinching and drop-dead funny.”
“This Isn’t Me” SXSW Screenings:
1120 South Lamar Blvd.
Rollins Theatre at the Long Center
701 W. Riverside Dr.
About One Twenty Nine Films
One Twenty Nine Films is a production company with a curated roster of exceptional writing and directing talent based on both coasts, developing and directing original series and films, commercials, documentaries, experiential, music videos, animation, and branded online content.