SXSW® 2013 gets underway in Austin, Texas this Friday. Who’s going? For 10 solid days you can converge with industry stars and startups; discover original music; delve into the craft of indie films and network with those imaginative minds creating tomorrow’s technologies.

This festival doesn’t stop- it gets bigger every year and bigger is better, right? We think so. We’ll be there. But, since the packed-full agenda fosters a creative environment, unimaginable parties and stimulates professional growth- where do you start? We’re here to help. Grab a pen (we’ll wait) and jot down these suggestions you’re not going to want to miss.

Film Headliners:

SXSW Film has a wide variety of terrific movies from Hollywood stars, Austin favorites and other big names from the indie movie scene. Audiences are looking forward to seeing:

  • The dark, Disney alum-riddled Spring Breakers
  • The remake of the cult classic Evil Dead
  • Rob Zombie’s newest nightmare, The Lords of Salem
  • Joss Whedon of Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Firefly/Cabin in the Woods fame is presenting his own adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing

Narrative Spotlight:

While it’s a nice treat to sit and view a few sought-after films, the real meat and potatoes of the SXSW Film Festival is learning from the industry’s most prevalent indie writers, directors and producers who have toiled long hours to make their visions a reality. Add these to your “must-see” list:

  • Writer/director Joe Swanberg’s film, Drinking Buddies, stars Olivia Wilde, Ron Livingston and Anna Kendrick- it is receiving tons of buzz for its personal style that depicts how friendships are affected by booze.
  • Jake Vaughan’s film Milo features a hilarious cast including Ken Marino, Gillian Jacobs and Stephen Root in a tale about one man’s upset stomach because there is an ever- growing demon baby living inside of him!
  • While 20-year-old Emily Hagins isn’t new to SXSW, her latest Kickstarter-funded film – Grow Up, Tony Phillips introduces you to a guy who refuses to give up Halloween. This film has high expectations and should move her filmmaking career one step further to stardom.
  • And, filmmaking couple Katie Graham and Andrew Matthews are receiving buzz for their comedy Zero Charisma, where we meet a Dungeons and Dragons fanatic who can’t handle a charming hipster who adds to his game.

Music:

How do you navigate the daytime sessions, learn all you can from top-of-the-tier industry professionals and have enough energy to dance and sing along with your favorite band, just to get up the next morning and repeat? It’s easy. You’ve been training to keep your stamina and endurance in check right? No? Well, that’s something to improve upon for next year.

In the meantime, you may want to attend some of our favorites:

Don’t forget to meet us! We’re hosting a music session: Using Social to Fill the House on Thursday, March 14 starting at 3:30 p.m. You’ll hear music industry experts and tech entrepreneurs discuss the best mediums to connect with fans and drive concert ticket sales.

SXSWi (i for Interactive)

NPR dubbed this section of the conference “Spring Break for Geeks” and while it may be true, technology creators have not forgotten the success of little social media outlets called Twitter (that blew up SXSW in 2007) and Foursquare (in 2009) – any one of these developers may be next.

  • What’s hot this year? Space. Space is back and it’s colder or hotter than ever.
  • Make sure you walk through the exhibits and check out tomorrow’s wearable electronics and the 3-D big-ticket items everyone’s buzzing about- from printers to weapons- hardware is cool again.
  • Who’s mingling with the common nerd? Angel investor, Esther Dyson, the extremely successful British computer engineer and computer scientist, Tim Berners-Lee and the one and only, Shaquille O’Neal.

Our Vice President of Business Development, Tim Breidigan, is looking forward to meeting our data licensee partners including FellowMe. Be there when this event-based social media outfit unveils their new app that gives its users — or “fellows” — a framework where they can interact and enhance their real life experiences at their favorite events. If you’re the one who interacts with the app the most during SXSWi, you’re granted the “Top-Fellow” award at the event.

We hope our quick guide of how to navigate one of the world’s most imaginative and innovative arenas helps you have one of the most awesome experiences of your lifetime. And, you’re always to welcome to write us on Facebook or the Eventful Blog and tell us how you survived the event. We’ll include your tips in our write up next year.

 

Cover Photo Courtesy of Alan Levine