Tom Suhler’s short film “Conflict in the Hood” has been selected as one of this year’s “Filming Austin Lives” winners. The 3-minute film shows that we live with conflict every day, usually without resorting to violence to reach resolution.

Is it mainly the people who live in his affluent "hood" that make life so serene? The film doesn't answer that question, but "I seriously doubt it," Suhler says.

“People are basically the same," Suhler went on, "and it is both the environment in which we are raised and where we live that determine how we deal with conflict. It works here for several reasons. First I live in a society that has a highly evolved justice system that usually looks out for a person’s civil liberties. Second, there are plenty of jobs where I live. It’s great to have the government protect your freedoms, but if you don’t have a job and can’t put food in your stomach, you will end up acting different. We don’t have to look at third world countries for this. Just look at New Orleans after Katrina. People there did not have the basic essentials, food, water, security. At that point it all comes down to survival and any of us would do what we have to, to survive.”

Conflict in the Hood

“Filming Austin Lives” is a joint project between the University of Texas Humanities Institute, public television station KLRU, the Austin History Center, and News 8 Television. The film project solicits 3-minute films dealing with issues about living in Suhler’s home town, Austin, Texas.

“Conflict resolution has always intrigued me," Suhler says. "I captured several images during a 2005 KKK rally and protest. This project seemed to be a place where I could combine these images and my interest in how people deal with conflicts on many different levels. Additionally I was able to develop a concept where I could combine video, stills, and 3-D animation. The 3-minute time constraint forced me to leave some interesting scenes on the cutting room floor, but they may still find a home in some future project.”

The film will be shown on Austin Cable channel 8 throughout the day on November 24, 2006 during the :38th segment of each hour. KLRU will also air the film during a special in December.