Black Pumas front man stars in Austin-produced sci-fi short film


AUSTIN (KXAN) — Eric Burton, lead singer of the four-time Grammy-nominated group Black Pumas, is expanding his resume with a lead role in a locally-produced science fiction short film, “Devexity.”

“Devexity” explores themes of reality versus simulation and was crafted in collaboration with Burton’s friend and filmmaker Luke Lidell. Burton plays the lead role, “Jean,” in the short film.

“With this film, it excites me to implore people to think for themselves,” Burton said in a release. “I am able to create a safe space for them to do so regarding seemingly lofty questions. I hope people are inspired to tell their own stories as it pertains to life itself and in a way that doesn’t take the subject matter so seriously. Who says you shouldn’t be able to enjoy the observer’s chair?”

The film was shot over a four-day period in October 2020 and stars Burton alongside actresses Ali Pentecost, Dominique Pitts and Madison Murrah.

“I like to write stories that explore the possibilities of the unknown world,” director and writer Lidell said in the release. “I am a science lover, but there is still so much that science can’t explain. I like to entertain those kinds of scenarios, and the possibilities of what-ifs.”

The cast and crew hosted a private screening and Q&A session with members of the press at Native Hostel at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. “Devexity” will be submitted for consideration to upcoming film festivals and added to streaming platforms at a later date.

Ahead of Thursday night’s screening, Burton praised the support and creative camaraderie he’s felt in Austin.

“I feel like I’ve been giving love to Austin, Texas all day long,” he said. “It feels amazing to me for the fact that I came here with nothing in my hand or my pocket outside of my guitar, and this place has kind of curated and cultivated such a sandbox for me to develop myself.”

And Burton has plenty to celebrate alongside the private screening of “Devexity”. The screening coincided with his birthday, and Burton will join the rest of the Black Pumas for a performance at the Austin City Limits Music Festival this weekend.

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