History

South By Southwest (SXSW) Film Conference and Festival - For the Working Filmmaker, Industry Pro and Film Fan Alike.

    “The SXSW Film Festival is one of the best launching places around for indie films. It’s the type of festival where you may have never heard of the movies going in, but you could blindly pick a schedule every day and every single movie you wandered into would offer up something worthwhile. … there will always be a completely unknown gem that’s just waiting to explode after its world premiere…

    If you’ve never been to one, it’d be understandable to think that all film festivals are a stuffy, pretentious experience that take themselves way too seriously. And in some cases, you’d be right. When it comes to SXSW, though, you couldn’t be more wrong.

Movies.com, March 8, 2013

Film and Austin

In March of 1987, the SXSW Music Conference and Festival kicked off its first year in downtown Austin. While SXSW Film was officially launched seven years later in 1994 (as the “SXSW Film and Multimedia Conference”), the spirit behind it was born much earlier. The prolific and passionate Austin film community was a solid foundation for SXSW Film, and it continues to nourish the Festival and Conference today. Since its inception, SXSW has maintained a steady agenda: to provide a forum for new voices in filmmaking, a community where filmmakers can celebrate and support one another, and a source of discovery for the future of film. Having become the destination for the game-changing buzz every filmmaker dreams of, SXSW has hit its stride with a distinct identity that sets it apart from other film festivals.

    “In future years, the industry will look back at 2013 as a game-changer for SXSW. …This year’s lineup brought their strengths into focus, revealing picks … that were sincere, unpretentious and refreshingly populist. … The SXSW team would just as soon make you laugh. Or cry. Just so long as you feel something.”

Variety, March 14, 2013

The Film Conference & Festival

The Conference portion of SXSW Film has been described as a five-day crash course on guerrilla filmmaking and marketing for every level of filmmaker, from novice to veteran. Panels, workshops and interviews are peopled with knowledgeable experts and entertaining speakers, offering unique access to the best and the brightest in the industry. Specialized sessions such as hands-on workshops and one-on-one meetings in the Mentor Program distinguish the SXSW experience.

Simultaneously, the internationally acclaimed Film Festival program celebrates raw innovation and emerging talent, featuring provocative documentaries, comedies, genre standouts and more.

The prestigious Film Awards take place on the final night of the conference, and honor films selected by the Special Jury. Recent years have seen the introduction of the SXSW Film Design Awards, honoring Excellence in Poster and Title Design. On the final night of the Festival we announce the Audience awards, chosen by ballot, in each category (excluding Festival Headliners).

    “From Tiny Furniture to Weekend, low budget movies that have premiered at SXSW with little to no buzz often wind up among the more significant sleeper hits of the year (and a few grow even bigger than that). … With such distinctive characteristics fueling its program, SXSW guarantees exposure for a rich collection of movies largely made beyond the standards for mainstream sensibilities. The latest edition is poised to deliver an exciting combination of new talents and established names.”

Indiewire, March 6, 2013

It Doesn’t Stop There!

In addition to presenting the best in new independent films and providing informative panels, workshops, and mentor sessions, SXSW provides an industry trade show exhibition. This unique, four-day exhibition connects leaders in the Music, Film and Interactive industries with the companies and agencies crucial to success in modern media.

    There’s something about this fest that feels different than any other … Everyone’s invited, and … it’s a community of people who are constantly playing with the tools that have transformed filmmaking for the 21st century.”

HitFix, March 11, 2013