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SXSW Changes Name to SXSW Film & TV Festival to Reflect Entirety of Offering

A decade after making history with the debut of Lena Dunham's "Girls," the festival has announced an official name change to better speak to its wide range of programming.

"Atlanta"

“Atlanta”

Guy D'Alema

The South by Southwest (SXSW) festival has nailed down an official rebranding ahead of the 2023 festival. SXSW will now officially be called the SXSW Film & TV Festival going forward. Per an official press statement, the name change is issued to “reflect the event’s long standing and deep programming of episodics in the screening program, Film & TV tracks, and Keynote and Featured Speaker sessions in the Conference.”

SXSW made history as the first festival to program episodic showcases a decade ago with the premiere of Lena Dunham’s groundbreaking HBO series “Girls” in 2012. The festival launched an Episodic section in 2014 which has included the world premieres of series like “Silicon Valley,” “Mr. Robot,” “Barry,” “What We Do in the Shadows,” and “Search Party.”

“We are so proud of our rich history of showcasing both film and television, and wanted the festival name to reflect what we have been doing for a decade,” Janet Pierson, VP, Director of Film & TV, said in an official statement. “Whether in the screening program, the Conference or associated activations on our footprint, SXSW has long been at the epicenter of the best new TV, and in 2023 we will once again thrill our audiences with exciting new work from some of the most talented creators.”

In 2021, SXSW hosted six episodic world premieres ranging from “Cruel Summer” to “The Girlfriend Experience,” “Made for Love,” and “Them.” There were also six episodic pilot competition titles.

Last year, SXSW hosted 12 world premieres for the Episodics section, with the “Atlanta” Season 3 premiere as a featured event. The debuts for “61st Street,” “The Girl From Plainville,” “Halo,” “Shining Girls,” “The Last Movie Stars,” “Swimming with Sharks,” and “WeCrashed” additionally premiered. Overall, SXSW has hosted 68 other Episodic Premieres and 57 Episodic Pilots.

Over the years, film and TV conference highlights have included conversations between Bob Odenkirk and Fred Armisen; Elisabeth Moss and Brandi Carlile; and cast panels for “Veep,” “The Chi,” “Westworld,” and “The Boys” over the years.

The Film and TV activations features dozens of immersive installations each year, promoting work in the festival and conference as well as other SXSW-unique experiences. A recreation of “Westworld” and “Bates Motel” activations were among fan favorites. This year hosted Amazon’s “Superheroes & Superstars Experience” featuring “The Boys” and Lizzo’s “Watch Out for the Big Grrrls,” plus FX’s “Atlanta” Season 3 Amsterdam-style café pop-up fittingly called The Trip.

Looking ahead to 2023, the SXSW Film & TV badge is available at the lowest rate August 2 through September 15, 2022. Registration for the 2023 festival opens August 2 to get the best hotel rates and options. SXSW Film, TV, XR submissions open on August 23 through October 18, 2022.

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