SXSW: It’s Hump Daaaaay!

By Laurie Coker

As always, the face of downtown changes as the music festival kicks off and throngs of fans and bands flood into the city. Parking prices sky rocket, lines grow, fashion changes significantly and film badge holders grow a tad grumpier. Still we plug on, hopefully of catching a gem in film, weary from late night and too much SXSW food. On day four, we sat in on a press conference with the cast of Cesar Chavez, a film directed by Diego Luna and starring Michael Pena and Rosario Dawson, about the life of advocate for farmers – Cesar Chavez, for whom Austin’s 1st Street is named. I’ve decide that press conferences are tough and not much fun either –too many people, too few questions and too much trouble getting good audio or video. But the cast proved gracious and passionate about their project.
At this point, I’ll confess to only seeing one film on Tuesday – Premature – for which I did cast interviews earlier this week. For its target audience, it has all the necessary elements, but for me, it didn’t resonate. Still, in fairness, a 13-17 year old male audience will find it fun and entertaining, I am sure.
We did wander the Tradeshow Block party, where we snacked, drank and mingled. We learn a great deal about upcoming apps and software products, everything from social apps to amazing technological breakthroughs in cameras, editing, programs for online (craigslist style) safe shopping and creativity apps. I hope to sit down, go through my flyers and cards and pull together a blurb on what I learned and saw. It is an impressive lot, from around the world that makes up the showcase of gadgets, software, clothing and more.
Today through Saturday, the non-badge holding public has a better chance of seeing films. Because many film goers avoid the music mayhem and head home, lines will be shorter and the weather should be kind enough. As for us, we are off to as many films as we can manage, hoping to make a midnight feature and offer more insight into SXSW. Check online, call in sick, or come after work and get a taste of SXSW.

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