For over 25 years some of the most creative minds in music, film, and interactive media have gathered in Austin, Texas to showcase their talent, creativity, and innovation during a 10 day festival called South by Southwest (SXSW). This year the festival began on Friday, March 8 and will end on Sunday, March 17. With its’ distinct offerings of music and film showcases, as well as, workshops and panels, SXSW has become one of the most influential festivals in the industry.
SXSW is broken down into three major portions; the music festival which offers live performances, the interactive media festival that highlights ground-breaking technology, and the film festival. The Film Festival will mark its’ 20th anniversary this year. It provides a unique opportunity for fans to screen films in almost every category from animated movies to star studded features. The focus is placed on new directors, as well as independent, and often controversial films. During its’ 20 year history some of Hollywood’s most popular films have made their debut at SXSW including, the six time Academy Award winning film “The Hurt Locker,” and the 2012 blockbuster “ 21 Jump Street.” This year some of the films scheduled to premiere are “Mud” starring Matthew McConaughey, “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone” with Steve Carell, and “Spring Breakers” with James Franco.
The Film Festival is also the proud host of the Texas High School Film Competition. This competition offers a unique opportunity for high school students to submit feature shorts up to five minutes in length. The submissions are judged by both independent filmmakers, and industry leaders. Finalists will have their films shown at the SXSW festival during the Texas High School Shorts program. Proceeds from this event will benefit the next generation of talented Texas filmmakers.
SXSW is an economic powerhouse for the city of Austin. It brings in more than $100 million in revenue for the city, while providing exposure to original music, independent films, and cutting edge technology. It is a perfect opportunity for industry insiders, and fans from around the world, to come to Austin and be a part of an extraordinary series of events. SXSW takes three distinct industries and seamlessly blends them together into one of the most prestigious creative events in the world.