Hordes of music fans will descend on Austin, Texas next week for the annual SXSW festival—and the Atlantic Culture Channel's Sam Machkovech will be there to listen and report back. While the event's music offerings get most of the attention, in the last decade the film component has emerged as a destination in its own right: over 260 films will be screened this year, with high-profile world premieres like Kick-Ass and panels featuring the likes of Quentin Tarantino, Michel Gondry, Jeffrey Tambor, and Robert Rodriguez.
It's also a festival that sets itself apart from the others by not taking itself too seriously. One of the world premieres at SXSW Film this year is MacGruber, yet another SNL skit taking a shot at the big screen, and the question on everyone's mind is: Will it be a Wayne's World or Ladies Man? The trailer, below, at least seems promising. There are also panels like "Floating Heads are Dead: Why Traditional Posters Suck" and "Five Fatal Fuckups—The Biggest Mistakes Every Indie Producer Makes."
SXSW Film also tries to be more democratic, both in its selection of films—for every big-buzz film there are half a dozen lesser known works—and in the composition of the audience itself. There are no special press screenings at SXSW Film, no celeb-only showings—you buy a pass, get in line early, and you get to see the same film, at the same time, as everyone else.