Mar 17


SXSW Recap

Author: elvis

South by Southwest, the Film, Music and Interactive festival of Austin, Texas, has grown every year since its inception in 1987. True to tradition this year’s festival, which took place March 7-16, was a huge success, featuring exceptional keynote speakers, films, performances, apps, games, and so much more. This year was also unfortunately host to more drama and destruction than in years past. Below you’ll find an overview of the festival’s most compelling moments.

The SXSW film festival spanned the course of nine days and premiered everything from the anticipated feature Veronica Mars, to world premiere and winner of the Documentary Feature Competition The Great Invisible. Below is a short list of some of the films that made a big splash in Austin this year.

  • Creating quite the buzz is narrative feature Grandy Jury Winner Fort Tilden two young Brooklyn women and their humorously endless journey to the beach.
  • Vessel, a film about a captain who provides abortions at sea, was the winner of both the Documentary Feature Competition Audience Award, as well as the Jury Award for Special Recognition for Political Courage.
  • This year SXSW introduced a new category of film: Episodic. The winner for this new category focused on the television screen was Silicon Valley. The anticipated new series will premiere on HBO April 6th.

  • Six full days of musical performances showcased over 2,200 “regional, national and international acts.” For a comprehensive list of performers click here. Here are some picks of the many notable artists featured at this year’s SXSW Music festival.

  • Although the SXSW music festival does not sponsor a competition aspect like the film and interactive portions do, SXSW does award the Grulke Prize in three categories in honor of late SXSW Creative Director, Brent Grulke. This year the award for Developing US Act wen to Future Islands and Developing Non-US Act to The Strypes. Damon Albarn, most known as the vocalist and songwriter of Gorillaz and the singer/keyboardist for British band the Blur, was awarded the Grulke prize for Career Act.
  • Other fantastic shows from SXSW include The Casket Girls, The Mowgli’s, Zorch, London Grammar, and Keaton Simons, among countless others both well known and just breaking into the public sphere.

  • Spanning the course of the first five days of SXSW is the Interactive festival which focuses on a wide range of technological creations and advancements including websites, vieo games, mobile apps and more with an emphasis in start-ups and emerging technology. After hundreds of panels and discussions and presentations here are some stand outs from SXSW Interactive 2014.

  • Check out WikiLeaks creator Julian Assange’s keynote speech from March 8th.
  • Splash is a website creation platform for the amateur and professional event planner that made bit waves at SXSW this year.
  • Adam Savage also delivered a keynote speech on the importance of art and science. Watch it here at
  • The Interactive People’s Choice award went to the largest online social network for artists, deviantART. It also took the prize for Interactive Classic.
  • A small but powerful logo won for best Social Media, Digital Campaign of the Year, and Best of Show. This logo is “The Little Red Logo that Transformed the Marriage Equality Narrative.
  • A spectacular ten day event, this year’s SXSW festival was struck with grave tragedy and a couple more hiccups. On March 12, Rashad Charjuan Owens drunkenly drove his car into a crowd of festival goers injuring 22 and killing three. Such an intrusive act had a strong affect on many festival goers, and surfaced the question as to whether SXSW has grown too large and uncontrollable. Owens is currently in jail awaiting a court date in which he will likely face the death penalty. Meanwhile SXSW has taken on the efforts of contributing to the recovery of all the injured parties. To donate to the cause, click here.

  • The following day, March 13, Tyler The Creator was arrested on the grounds of inciting a riot by aggressively encouraging fans to push past security guards to attend his sold-out performance at SXSW.

    At the end of the day SXSW was, once again, an immense success, and I can’t wait to see what it will showcase next year!