Thursday, March 10, 2011


BROOKLYN, N.Y.—By the time you all read this, I will most likely be on my way to Newark Liberty International Airport, heading to Austin, Texas, for this year's South by Southwest festival!

I'm covering the film-festival portion of South by Southwest for The House Next Door. I guess I'm supposed to be covering the interactive portion as well—I have a press badge that gives me access to both—but considering how many films I want to see, and how many I want to try to squeeze in a day...well, we'll see how much of the interactive part I actually get around to covering.

Last year, of course, I covered the New York Film Festival for The House. Sure, that's considered by many as an elite film festival. But South by Southwest promises to offer up a far different experience. I saw the majority of the films in last year's New York Film Festival at press screenings, all of them scheduled by the Film Society of Lincoln Center so that we'd take in two or three films in an average day. At South by Southwest, however, there are no press screenings; we in the press are, for the most part, getting into the same screenings as the rest of the public. Sure, we all have press badges, which might make it easier for us to get into a desired screening. But then, it's up to us to decide what we're going to see each day...and since there are so many screenings scheduled on a given day, choice—as I suggested in my last blog post—can be quite difficult! Even now, after I've worked up a tentative daily screening schedule, I have a feeling I will be departing from it...a lot. (Hey, I'd like to also have some fun there too, and not just feel like I'm working all the time.)

We'll see how all of this goes; this feels like a brand new experience to me, and I'm looking forward to the surprises and possible frustrations it might bring. In the meantime: If anyone has any suggestions about cool bars to hang out in, fun places to eat, and so on in Austin, by all means, let me know!

And, of course, watch this space for links to festival dispatches as they go up on The House Next Door, or as I find the time to post them up on this blog.

Wish me luck!

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