SXSW is big. And it’s only getting bigger. Some say it’s too large (me). Others would argue it’s not large enough (crazy people). But one thing is for sure, searching through the program to find something you are interested in can be a bit daunting.
I’ve sifted through the 2017 program and hand-selected some of the most exciting things to come out of this year’s fest.
SONG TO SONG
Terrence Malik is opening the film festival with his star-studded and highly anticipated film SONG TO SONG, featuring Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara, Michael Fassbender, Natalie Portman and Cate Blanchett. Like many films at SXSW, SONG TO SONG will open theatrically a week later in New York and Los Angeles. You’ll just get bragging rights that you saw it first. Watch the trailer here or for more details check this out.
If you followed industry news out of Sundance, you heard about the heated bidding war over the comedy about a rapper from New Jersey from a first time filmmaker with no well known talent in its cast. Fox Searchlight picked up the film for 9.5 million and beat out other major players including Lionsgate, Amazon and the newly launched distribution company Neon. This will be a hot title for those who missed it in Park City. See more event details here.
Indie darling and SXSW regular Joe Swanberg is back to screen his newest film WIN IT ALL, co-written by Jake Johnson. For a deep dive into all things Swanberg ahead of the festival, I suggest binge watching HANNAH TAKES THE STAIRS, DRINKING BUDDIES and THE SACRAMENT. The later of which I still think about regularly. Or, you can revisit his keynote speech from last years SXSW. Watch his keynote speech from last year here or for more on his newest film win it all, check this out.
Dear White People
For the forth year in a row, SXSW will dive head first into the world of episodic television. There is no shortage of buzz surrounding Justin Simien’s “Dear White People”, based on the critically-acclaimed 2014 film by the same name. Set against the backdrop of a predominantly white Ivy League university where racial tensions bubble just below the surface, “Dear White People” is a send-up of the now post “post-racial” America that weaves together a universal story of finding one’s own identity and forging a wholly unique path. See more here.
Pantsuit Nation Meet Up
Pantsuit Nation is meeting up in Austin and I’m all in on spreading the lady love at another festival (the Women’s March was during Sundance). Join fellow #ImWithHer advocates at this meet up which provides a welcoming place for members to connect in person and share their stories. This event is BYOpaintsuit. For more event details, visit here.
Back for another year of late night debauchery is RVIP, the coolest traveling karaoke party that hits major festivals in a major way. You sing. You drink. You move. What else could you want? Maybe knowing where it is…
Cheryl Boone Isaacs Talk
#EnvelopeGate. Enough said. A Conversation with Cheryl Boone Isaacs, President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Check out more here.
Jive PR Digital
Shameless self-promo time! I am part of the SXSW mentor program this year so if you’re heading to Austin and interested in learning more about Jive, you can sign up to chat with me at the festival. My session is on Monday, March 13 from 11am – 12pm at the Stephen F Austin Hotel. I’d love to see you there, if not at The Driskill where I plan to hold court from March 9 – March 13.
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