Louis Black

This article is about the co-founder of The Austin Chronicle and SXSW. For the comedian, see Lewis Black. For the jazz banjoist, see Lou Black.
Louis Black

Louis Black at the 69th Annual Peabody Awards

Louis Black is a co-founder of The Austin Chronicle, an alternative weekly newspaper published in Austin, Texas, and has been the newspaper's editor since its inception.[1] He has written over 600 articles in his column in that newspaper.[2] Black is also one of the co-founders of the South by Southwest Festival,[3] also located in Austin, although the festival operates separately from the Chronicle. He also is a founding partner in Toronto's North by Northeast music and film festival.

Black was born in Teaneck, New Jersey where he was childhood friends with film critic Leonard Maltin and singer Phoebe Snow.[4] Maltin and Black regularly prowled the rep cinemas of Manhattan as teens. He moved to Austin to study film at The University of Texas where he received a BFA in 1980,[5] and became knowledgeable about B-movies, including the work of Russ Meyer. Black helped run film nights at the university before starting the Chronicle with film friend Nick Barbaro.

Black was an original board member of the Austin Film Society and is a past president of that organization. In 2000, Texas Monthly Editor Evan Smith and Black working with AFS established the Texas Film Hall of Fame.[6]

He recently was executive producer of a documentary on Texan songwriter Townes Van Zandt.[7] He also appeared in the documentary film The Devil and Daniel Johnston as Black was an early supporter of the Texan singer.[8]


  1. Printing the Legend A brief history of Austin's improbable weekly, 28 years on
  2. "Austin News, Events, Restaurants, Music - The Austin Chronicle".
  3. Louis Black in Musicians Off the Record
  4. Menconi, David. "SxSW @ 25: Texas Ex Louis Black reflects on the little festival he almost didn't start", The Alcalde, March / April 2011, pp. 38-43. Accessed September 14, 2011. "Black's career is idiosyncratic and it should be inspirational to anyone who doesn't quite fit in. His early years in Teaneck, N.J., were distinguished mostly by dyslexia, attention-deficit issues, tone-deafness, poor math skills, and poorer handwriting.... Before long, Black and [Leonard] Maltin were skipping after-school studies to go watch movies. 'I wasn't going to do any better in school, and Leonard wasn't going to do any worse,' Black says."
  5. "Independent Lens . THE ORDER OF MYTHS . The Filmmakers - PBS".
  6. "Louis Black".
  7. Be Here to Love Me: A Film about Townes Van Zandt
  8. "The Devil and Daniel Johnston". 5 May 2006 via IMDb.
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