The Basics of SXSW Film(The information contained here in some cases pertains specifically to SXSW 2013 but general questions remain relevant. SXSW.com 2014 will launch August 1.)
The SXSW Film Conference and Festival takes place in Austin, Texas each March. This year's Film Festival dates are March 8 - 16, 2013 with the Film Conference running Friday, March 8 - Tuesday, March 12. That's right, the Film Conference is the first 5 days of the 9 day Film Festival.
SXSW Film and Interactive Conferences run concurrently March 8-12. SXSW Music showcases begin on Tuesday, March 12 through Sunday, March 17, with the Music Conference March 13-16. The Film Festival runs for a full 9 days throughout the whole event March 8-16. The final Sunday of the festivals has softball & bbq tournament and the final day of music showcases.
SXSW® Film Conference & Festival champions the vitality, innovation and opportunity that drives the entertainment and media landscape, and boldly tackles the evolution of all aspects of today’s “film,” down to its very definition. Every March, creatives of all stripes gather in Austin to witness, share and inspire the visions that will galvanize the filmmakers and creative ideas of tomorrow. A nexus of discovery and collaborative energy, SXSW Film celebrates the art and business of the possible.
SXSW Film Conference sessions take place in Austin, Texas at the Austin Convention Center between Friday, March 8 - Tuesday, March 12, 2013 from 11:00am - 6:00pm.
SXSW Film Festival screenings take place daily from 11:00am through midnight, starting Friday, March 8 - Saturday, March 16, 2013 at the Austin Convention Center, Paramount & State Theatres, Alamo Ritz, Alamo South Lamar, Violet Crown Cinemas and other key downtown venues. Networking events and parties are held in a variety of venues in downtown Austin throughout the event.
SXSW Film launched in 1994, so this year will be our 20th Anniversary!!
SXSW Film Festival is a highly anticipated, prestigious-without-being-stuffy environment known equally for the high caliber of films we present, and our smart, enthusiastic audiences. Premiering here offers you the chance to show your work in the best possible environment, while tapping into key industry and buzz-making press, resulting in a one-of-a-kind opportunity that can truly be life changing.
At SXSW you will find filmmakers, distributors, national and international media, critics, academics, programmers, screenwriters, agents, film crews, actors, digital creatives, film fans and fanatics, and you! And that's just the Film Registrants! SXSW Film is joined at the hip with the truly diverse populations of SXSW Interactive and Music too, consisting of creatives, innovators and artists from all walks of life. SXSW represents a true melting pot of creativity and entrepreneurship providing an invaluable opportunity to increase your skills, know-how, contacts, and further your film horizons.
A SXSW Film Badge is an affordable way for industry professionals and fans alike to gain priority access to screenings, full access to the Film Conference including Convergence panels with Interactive, the SXSW Trade Show, and great opportunities for networking at a host of lively parties and social events. Without a Film, Gold or Platinum Badge, you may also purchase single admission tickets at the door before individual screenings, space permitting.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, call SXSW Film at 512.467.7979.
Attending the 2013 SXSW Film Festival
Most importantly, SXSW Film offers invaluable networking, creative and collaborative opportunities across: 9 Days of Film Festival Screenings and Premieres, 5 Days of Film Panels, Featured Conversations and Q&A Sessions, and 4 Days of The SXSW Trade Show. You will also receive a year's subscription to SXSWorld, as well as our custom designed "Big Bag", with a program book and access to SXSwag. And much more - head here to see what each badge provides.
Film, Gold & Platinum Badges are all equal when it comes to standing in Festival and Film Conference lines. However, Gold & Platinum Badges allow entry to additional events like the Interactive Conference & Parties (Gold), and Interactive events plus Music Showcases/Conference (Platinum).
12. I know I'm going to attend SXSW regardless of whether my film is accepted or not. Should I register for the conference now while it's cheaper, or wait until I hear whether my film has been chosen?
If your film or title sequence is selected to screen at SXSW Film, you will receive complimentary registrations to attend the festival. Feature films receive 5 badges & short films, music videos and title sequences receive 3 badges. You're welcome to buy as many more as you need at our lowest price, even though that price may not be available online.
If you submitted to the festival, but your film or title sequence is not accepted, you will be offered the lowest registration rate regardless of your notification date. However, it's important to note, that Registrations are needed before you can submit your hotel request. If your work isn't chosen, you'll be able to choose from all hotels available at that time. Historically all hotels in the downtown area have sold out well before the event. Registering for SXSW gives you the ability to request a room through the SXSW Housing Desk at special SXSW discount rates.
Film notifications will take place between early January and early February, 2013. There are blocks of Filmmaker rooms in all downtown hotels, but it's first come, first served. Hotels booked via SXSW Housing can be cancelled up to 21 days prior to arrival without penalty. SXSW does not grant registration refunds under any circumstances. You should weigh your choice carefully, whether to register sooner for more hotel choice or take your chances and wait.
Austin is a culturally-diverse community with a thriving film scene. Prominent film industry professionals working and/or living in Austin include Robert Rodriguez, Richard Linklater, Mike Judge, William Broyles, Lawrence Wright and Sandra Bullock. For more information about Austin, check out Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau. If you're attending SXSW for the first time check out our First-Timers Guide.
Although spring weather in Austin can be unpredictable, the weather is usually in the 70's during the day and in the 50's and 60's at night. Murphy's Law of Meteorological Events dictates that if you bring an umbrella, it probably won't rain, but it usually does at least one day during SXSW.
The SXSW Housing Desk can book the best selection of Austin hotels at the best available rates during SXSW. Badge Registration must be completed before you can access hotel reservations. We encourage you to book your housing as soon as you can. During SXSW 2012, hotels sold out completely, and we anticipate a similar situation for SXSW 2013. Please consult this page for more information on hotels.
All theaters are within walking distance or a short cab ride from each other. The largest venue is the Paramount Theatre on Congress & 7th. Next door is the State on Congress & 8th. The Ritz 1 & 2, beloved for its full bar and tasty menu is around the corner towards the Convention Center on Sixth Street. Inside the Austin Convention Center is another great venue. A short shuttle, cab or car ride away south of the river, are the three screens at the Alamo South Lamar. For detailed directions, see the map in your program book. SXSW is planning to add additional venues for 2013. Check back for updated information.
Yes. Each of our venues will have designated seating that is wheelchair accessible. For more information, please check the Alamo Drafthouse, Paramount & State Theatres, Violet Crown Cinema and Austin Convention Center websites.
Yes. These will go on sale about 15 minutes prior to screening time if there is still seating available. The single admission ticket price is $10 for all screenings. In 2012, single admission ticket buyers had great success attending films at our larger venues.
As SXSW Film has grown more popular, more and more screenings have sold out, and there is no absolute guarantee of admission. Seating will happen on a priority basis -
- SXSW Badge Holders with SXXpress (South by Express) Passes for the screening are allowed entry. Badge Holders can get 2 SXXpress passes daily at the Austin Convention Center. We allot 10% of each screening’s seats as SXXpress)
- The remaining Badge Holders are allowed entry.
- If seats are available after all Badges have entered, Film Pass Holders are allowed entry.
- Lastly, if any seats remain, single-admission tickets will be sold prior to showtime for $10.
Even though the lines may look long, chances are always good at the Paramount Theatre, with ACC Theater a close second. Lining up 30-45 minutes ahead should save you a place. The Alamo Ritz and Alamo South Lamar cinemas are highly desirable venues so your wait line will depend on the film and time. We try to seat the Alamo venues 45 minutes in advance of the screening time.
In 2013, SXSW Film will be utilizing line numbers again, or Queue Cards. Once you queue up, you'll receive a number noting your place in line for the screening. That should help on two counts:1) It'll prevent line cutters (no saving seats!)
2) You'll know when capacity is met so there's no reason to keep waiting in line.
In 2012, audiences had great success in getting into all films and venues throughout the festival.
All Film, Gold and Platinum Badge Holders can request up to two tickets per day (one ticket per film) for the current day’s screenings from the SXXpress Pass Box Office.
These tickets are FREE, and allow you to jump to the front of the Badge Holder line. Don’t be late to the screenings, though; you must still arrive at the theater 30 minutes prior to the screening to guarantee entry. SXXpress Passes MUST be used in combination with a registration badge.
On March 14, 15, and 16, SXSW hosts free shows at Auditorium Shores Stage on Lady Bird Lake. These shows often include popular artists playing in an outdoor festival setting. Check sxsw.com once the music lineup has been announced to find out who will be performing!
Location, location, location. The Alamo Ritz is located on 6th Street in the heart of Austin’s club district, only a few blocks away from the Austin Convention Center. The Alamo South Lamar, where we host three screens, is a few minutes in a vehicle, from downtown, easily accessible on our shuttle buses, city bus or cab at 1120 South Lamar Blvd. Both are fantastic venues, where you can eat and drink beer, milkshakes, and at the Ritz, even hard liquor is available!
It depends on the theater and yes, you have to plan extra time to deal with parking. There is free parking at the Alamo South Lamar. For the Alamo Ritz, Paramount, and Austin Convention Center theaters, there are several parking options. Since these venues are downtown, there are a number of paid garages and parking lots available to you. Be mindful of the strict towing and ticketing laws for certain parking spaces, including those curbside. If you live in Austin, consider leaving the car at home and taking public transportation, or take advantage of our Film Shuttles (free for Film,Gold & Platinum Badge holders) ! Check the website for more info on transportation nearer the event.
The easiest way is to get the concierge at your hotel to call you a cab. From the theaters, you can call American Yellow Checker cab at 512.452.9999. Fares are fairly inexpensive in Austin. A cab from the Convention Center to the Paramount Theater normally costs around $6. For a cab from the Convention Center to the Alamo South Lamar, the fare will be closer to $8, without heavy traffic.
Watch out for info on our Film Fest Flyer (for Film, Gold & Platinum Badge holders), or take advantage of the #3 Capital Metro bus, every 15 minutes from downtown Austin to the Alamo Drafthouse on South Lamar. Use the CapMetro Route planner to see all your Austin bus options.
Panels, Workshops & Mentor Sessions
SXSW Film Panels present topics from across the film spectrum with an emphasis on where the Film & Interactive worlds intersect. The panels at SXSW have been hailed as some of the most extensive, forward thinking, and educational forums found in a festival setting. Topics for 2013 will include featured conversations with key film industry and talent, hands on workshops, and increased availability to film mentor sessions and meetups. The one-on-one mentor sessions and workshops offer even greater insight and training for select topics. For more info, check out some of our recent highlighted speakers!
Registrants may sign up for ten-minute sessions with selected panelists, who represent a wide variety of professions within the film business. This is a great opportunity to meet one-on-one with established professionals. Stay tuned to the website for the Mentor Signup form, which will become available in the weeks leading up to the conference.
Screening at the 2013 SXSW Film Festival
Read all you need to know about submitting your film to SXSW in our Film Submission FAQ.
The SXSW Film Festival is a highly competitive program consisting of several different sections, curated in-house by SXSW Film Programmers. Submissions are accepted from August until mid November. For an idea of our programming sensibilities, take a look at our 2012 line-up.
SXSW will receive over five thousand submissions. Please include everything that is requested on the online submission form including a 250 character logline, 700 character synopsis, director's bio, cast and crew lists, and list of previous and planned screenings.
Don't underestimate the importance of reading and following the instructions. Please read the Submission FAQ thoroughly for more info.
More Information & Contacting SXSW Film
Please contact Sara Barney at email@example.com.
There's a great amount of information at sxsw.com covering all facets of SXSW. Start there.
SXSW provides a tremendously useful platform to launch or develop your filmmaking career. Network and converse with industry professionals, emerging and veteran filmmakers, commentators, critics, technicians, and most importantly, your potential audience. Learn how you can benefit from the creative intersection at the heart of the SXSW experience, in a city and environment that is as stimulating and inspiring as it is enjoyable.
Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, call SXSW Film at 512.467.7979.
We're sorry! You can find more information at the Info Desk in the Registration area at SXSW HQ starting March 8 or email us email@example.com.
You can find information on all of SXSW's accommodations for the disabled at sxsw.com/about/accessibility.