SX

NO, it’s not shorthand  for SEX–but for “South By.”

SXSW reads South by Southwest; insiders often shorten the name to “South By.”  It’s a big series of overlapping festivals in Austin, TX: Education, Interactive, Film, and Music. For almost 2 weeks these events roll through and overlap. With so many schools and colleges out for Spring Break, people pour into town. There are lots of satellite events, too, and free music all over town. I’ve heard that the population of Austin doubles during this time, so locals avoid downtown and the roads that feed into it.

For several years Maggie, a close friend of mine, has attended the SXSW Film Festival. She is especially fond of documentaries and tries to see as many as possible. This year I decided to join the crowd as part of study leave (so much to learn from movies!) and vacation. As a first timer, I’ve pored over the schedule and movie descriptions and locations and come up with a tentative plan. As the days go by and people start talking about their favs, my list will undoubtedly change.

Today’s lineup: Best of Vimeo Shorts; Girl Walk//All Day; and Wikileaks: Secrets and Lies.

Descriptions from the web site:

Best of Vimeo Shorts: “It’s hard to construct a program from the world’s most impressive collection of short-form media. With millions of incredible videos to choose from, it’s not a question of finding good stuff, it’s how does one ignore so much brilliance? The curators at Vimeo have taken on the task, though, and their existential pain is your gain.

“Vimeo Loves showcases the diversity and stunning quality of the Vimeo community’s work. From timelapse experiments that depict the Earth in new ways, to tours of new worlds never before visited, get ready for some of the most captivating videos on Vimeo.”

Girl Walk // All Day is a feature-length dance music video and tale of urban exploration that follow three dancers across New York City. They turn the city’s sidewalks, parks, and stadiums into an evolving stage as a story of rebellion, love, and discovery unfolds. Shot entirely in public spaces, and funded entirely by crowd-sourcing, Girl Walk // All Day is a statement about the power of community and public space. Set to the album All Day by mashup musician Girl Talk, it’s also an insanely fun love letter to New York.”

“Produced by Oxford Film and Television, Wikileaks: Secrets and Lies is Bafta winner Patrick Forbes’ seventy-six-minute documentary of the Wikileaks affair as told by the people involved: personal, moving and frequently hot tempered, it documents history in the making and establishes a new frontier for technology and journalism.

“A definitive factual account of the Wikileaks affair, the film features the first major television interview with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.”

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