SXSW Film – A Beginner’s Guide

With a panel made up of a producer, an entertainment lawyer, a documentarian, and folks from the Austin Film Society and Slackerwood, those of new to SXSW heard some of the following advice:


  • SXSW is a transformative time every year to learn lots and meet great people.
  • Be social. SXSW is the most socially accessible film festival out there. Meet up with internationals and other filmmakers. Find who you want to meet in the program.
  • Sign up for mentor sessions online at


  • Go to any shows you can at Alamo Drafthouse. It is a great place to see a film.
  • Paramount and Vimeo are the biggest theaters. Paramount sells tickets to some shows for $10


  • Enjoy what you are doing. If you are enjoying something, stay there.
  • Figure out 2 or 3 options deep. Use the SXSW App. Be ready to drop your plans.
  • Take advantage of interactive and music events. Free music shows are at Auditorium Shores. Film badge holders get music wristbands. Get them at registration.


  • Give yourself sufficient travel time. Plan to arrive an hour before the film starts. The express pass gets you in front of line. Line up at the 4th floor of the Austin Convention Center by 9am to get one.
  • Bus #3 takes you from the Paramount Theater to the Violet Crown Theater and then from Violet Crown to the Alamo Drafthouse on South Lamar.
  • Catch a Chevy rides can be found at the Austin Convention Center & Alamo South Lamar


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