South By Southwest Film Conference and Festival (SXSW)
Originally renowned for its pivotal music festival, SXSW has earned industry and audience plaudits in the last several years with its film festival and interactive conference. Many factors have come into play that have allowed the film festival to thrive. It has positioned itself as a logical destination for the post-Sundance crowd of films, including worthy titles that did not secure a place in the January event or were not ready, or certain Sundance titles that SXSW has decided are deserving of additional exposure. SXSW has also been at the epicenter of the mumblecore movement, with vet filmmakers like Joe Swanberg, the Duplass brothers, and others who've carved a niche remaining loyal to the festival and their spiritual home, Austin, TX.
Austin, the capital of the reddest of red states is itself a huge draw. The city's unofficial mantra, "Keep Austin Weird," typifies an independent Western U.S. spirit, but turns it on its head. Austin isn't afraid to go it alone as a blue city in a sea of red, and the arts community from all perspectives thrives in the warm, quirky, and very livable town. The food is great, there are endless venues for local concerts, and there is a high tempo joi de vivre that anyone will love. Film industry execs also like to attend the event, in part because they simply like going to Austin. This stilll has yet to translate in a plethora of sales, but it's a great way to meet film mover and shakers in a casual setting. The film festival has also distinguished itself in its panels. The festival's official title, the SXSW Film Conference and Festival, is a very apt name, as the event typically boasts a particularly rich offering of discussions with a broad array of film industry vets, actors, directors and more.