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SXSW aiming for hybrid event for ’21, reveals online plan

South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival will offer a digital experience as part of its 2021 event, to be held in March, as organizers work with the City of Austin ...
September 22, 2020

South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival will offer a digital experience as part of its 2021 event, to be held in March, as organizers work with the City of Austin and public health authorities on plans to bring festival-goers together in-person.

SXSW Online will feature conference keynotes and sessions, screenings, showings, networking and exhibitions.

The festival was among the first industry events axed last March amid escalating concerns over the spread of COVID-19. Organizers were directed by the city to shelve SXSW 2020 – the first time in 34 years that the event was canceled.

Not long after, in April, the festival partnered with Amazon Prime Video to launch an online film festival, which saw a number of films screen exclusively on the streamer for 10 days.

“The challenge of building a new future is one that we’re excited to tackle. This has been such a year of change and we, like the entire world, are reshaping our perspective on how we connect,” Roland Swenson, CEO and co-founder of SXSW, said in a statement. “Regardless of platform, we will continue to bring together the brightest minds from creative industries worldwide.”

SXSW EDU Online will be held March 9 to 11, and SXSW Online will take place March 16 to March 20.

Entries for the 2021 digital experience open Oct. 6 with PanelPicker proposals for SXSW and SXSW EDU, as well as film festival submissions.

Photo: SXSW/Aaron Rogosin

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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