SXSW 2013 Updates: Two Weeks and Counting

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SXSW 2012

SXSW Film Festival and Conference kicks off two weeks from TODAY, on March 8. I can hardly believe it myself. Here are a few reminders and bits of news you might have missed ... plus one panel I'm sure you won't want to miss. If I missed something critical, don't hesitate to mention it in the comments.

  • I'm happy to announce that once again, I'll be on the opening SXSW Film panel: "A Beginner's Guide to SXSW Film," moderated by Agnes Varnum. We have a lot of fun and also share valuable tips about having the best fest experience possible. Hope you'll join us on Friday, March 8 at 2 pm in Room 16AB of the Austin Convention Center. Other panelists include Kimberley Jones, the Screens editor at the Austin Chronicle; and filmmaker Yen Tan, whose feature Pit Stop is screening at SXSW.
  • Of course you'll probably want to attend more panels and watch a few movies. You can now get the full SXSW Film schedule online. Apps are available for iPhone and Android. I'd love to hear your tips about how to plan and keep track of a screening schedule now that we no longer have B-side or Festival Genius (sniff).
  • Looking at the full schedule, one thing I'm sorry to see is that the SXSatellite Venues won't be in use on the last two days of the festival. For locals, this is the time when we really want to go to Alamo Village and Slaughter to avoid dealing with traffic and parking downtown during SXSW Music. (Even Rollins is difficult with the Auditorium Shores concerts.) Our best bet will probably be the Topfer Theatre at Zach Scott. Anyone have some good advice on parking near Topfer? I'm going to have to take a little field trip over there this weekend to prepare for the Venue Guide (keep an eye out for it!).
  • Speaking of locals, SXSW Film Wristbands are now available; if you want one, buy it before they sell out, which they always do. You might remember these from previous years as the SXSW Film Pass. They're available at Waterloo, and at three Alamo Drafthouse locations: Ritz, Village and Slaughter. The wristband gives you second-tier access into all festival films, after the badgeholders have been seated. I'm updating our guide on tips and tricks for getting the most out of the wristbands -- feel free to share your own tips in the comments.
  • If you're not getting a badge or wristband, individual tickets for SXSW films at the Paramount are on sale now. Loads of good choices here including Austin-connected films The Bounceback, Rewind This, Prince Avalanche, Mud, When Angels Sing, Getting Back to Abnormal, Pit Stop and Before Midnight.
  • And if you're getting a badge, you now have a second option for badge pickup that hopefully will alleviate those long long lines at ACC: Palmer Events Center. You can even take the Film Shuttle there from a downtown venue. Very nice.
  • Charging/storage lockers for your portable devices will be available at SXSW this year, although $20/day seems high to me if you're a local. (What I want is a charging/storage locker for me to nap in for an hour.) 
  • Oh, and local nonprofit advocacy group BikeTexas is renting bikes for SXSW as a fundraiser for their group. The rental includes not only a bike but a lock and helmet. Faster than a shuttle and easier to park than a car ... definitely worth thinking about. (Also, you'd get your exercise.)

[Photo credit: "SXSW 2012" by J. Kernion, used under Creative Commons license.]