Festivals SXSW

SXSW 2018: Featured Session for “The Chi”

“The Chi” is a Showtime drama series that debuted in January of 2018 and has already been renewed for a second season by the network. It was created by writer/producter/actor Lena Waithe (“Master of None”) and includes rapper/actor Common among its producers. On Monday, March 12, these two will appear with members of the cast at the Austin Convention Center to discuss the show.

The show takes place on the South Side of Chicago, telling stories of the everyday lives of those who live in the neighborhood. Through a series of events, a group of residents in the area become connected in unexpected ways, adding a coming-of-age narrative to “The Chi” as well. While the show is focused on the personal stories of individuals, it’s reflective of a larger cultural story.

The SXSW 2018 featured session about this series features both Common and Lena Waithe, as well as two of the show’s actors, Jacob Latimore (Emmett) and Jason Mitchell (Brandon). TV Guide’s Jim Halterman will also be among the session’s speakers as an interviewer and moderator. “The Chi” is a beloved show that has themes relevant to today’s social, cultural and political climate; seeing the actors and producers speak on that is sure to be enlightening.

Lena Waithe and Common
Lena Waithe and Common

Common, who is a Chicago native, won a Grammy in 2008 for his track “Southside” featuring Kanye West (who is also from the city). He is outspoken about social issues in his work as well, with an Academy Award win in 2015 for “Glory,” his track with John Legend for the film “Selma,” and a nomination this year for his collaboration with Diane Warren on “Stand Up for Something” from the movie “Marshall.”

Lena Waithe is, of course, from Chicago too. Before creating “The Chi,” she was best known for her role as Denise in Netflix’s “Master of None.” In 2017, she won an Emmy for her writing on that series. With such a great track record, there’s no doubt we’ll be seeing a lot more of her and the content she’s created in the years to come.

To read more about the featured session for Showtime’s “The Chi,” visit the SXSW website here.

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