Trashwire’s Wil Chinchilla to cover SXSW 2008
An astounding nine regional premieres will be taking place at this year’s South by Southwest (SXSW) film festival in Austin, TX. All of these premieres are early screenings of new mainstream movies that will serve as a testing ground for how the films will be marketed and distributed to the rest of America. The only major difference from a regular trip to the movies is that, at these screenings, there is a major opportunity to see the cast of the films and chat with them about each production.
Nearly every great indie movie that will be coming out this year will be premiering at SXSW. The films are all battling for the coveted 9:00pm screening time, so the hardest decision for any attendee might be whether to go see Harold & Kumar: Escape from Guantanmo Bay or watch the very independently directed movie Explicit Ill’s.
The festival awards will be decided by a compilation of judges appointed by the SXSW film committee. The two nominated independent movies that have really grabbed my attention are Rainbow Around the Sun; a sadistic musical revolving around a songwriter that creates vivid carnival themed musical fantasies in order to avoid dealing with his alcoholism. The second movie is Here’s Johnny! is a British documentary that allows the viewer to experience the world of artist Johnny Hicklenton (who created drawings for Judge Dredd) and his battle against Multiple Sclerosis.
The sponsors of SXSW will not just be signing a checks but providing media rooms and their own creative material for distribution. One of the sponsors, VH1, will be premiering their rockDoc titled The Night James Brown Saved Boston. Dell, who is also sponsoring the event, created an interactive Dell Lounge where a Guitar Hero contest will be taking place. There will also be panels and conversation scheduled with Helen Hunt, an acting workshop with Jeffrey Tambour (Arrested Development), an a panel discussion with the whole cast of Harold and Kumar, even NPH himself (Neil Patrick Harris).
SXSW is one of the major cultural events to take place in Texas every year. If you don’t have money to spend $600 dollars on a gold or platinum pass, check out some of the other ways to enjoy the SXSW experience. Perez Hilton will be allowing people to RSVP for his music venue taking place on Saturday March 15th for more information and to RSVP go to perezhilton.com/austin.
The official kickoff of the SXSW festival in Austin is Friday March 7, 2008. The festival will begin with the film and interactive portion continuing with the music festival until March 18th.