Entertainment industry moguls from all over the world will begin descending on Austin, Texas, Friday for 10 days of the South by Southwest Film, Music and Interactive Conferences.
Events begin with the 10th anniversary of the Film Festival, which runs to Saturday. The SXSW Film Festival will present the World Premiere of Ron Mann's "Go Further," starring Woody Harrelson and the North American Premiere of Scott Roberts' "The Hard Word," starring Guy Pearce.
To honor the 10th anniversary of the festival, SXSW Film will feature a retrospective of some of its most memorable films of the past decade including: Richard Linklater's "It's Impossible To Learn To Plow By Reading Books," George Huang's "Swimming With Sharks," Tim McCanlies' "Dancer, TX Pop. 81" and Aviva Kempner's "The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg."
In addition, the festival program will include the latest works from filmmaking newcomers as well as industry veterans with premieres, special screenings, and competition films in the categories of narrative, documentary, animation, experimental, and music video.
Other films scheduled for SXSW include: "Fulltime Killer," a Hong Kong action adventure film from Chris Blackwell's Palm Pictures; "Girlhood," two coming-of-age stories from the real America; "Security," a black comedy about two graveyard shift security guards who discover a smuggling operation at the candy company where they work; "Girl Wrestler," a documentary by Austin director Diane Zander that follows Tara Neal, a Texas teenager who challenges cultural expectations of what sport she should compete in and with whom she should wrestle; and, "The Dance," which chronicles the story of Louisiana native Billy Roth, who rose from an early life of alcoholism, abuse and neglect from his father to become a successful role model to thousands of Louisiana prison inmates who affectionately call him "Pops."
Several films have musical themes. "Jon E Edwards Is In Love" documents the life of Edwards, a nephew to the late, great Ella Fitzgerald. Edwards is an entertainer and iconoclast, equal parts Frank Sinatra and Johnny Rotten. While striving to be "International Soul Rocker No. 1" his family loyalty, strong sense of self belief, and struggle to find legitimacy come through this film with a raw honesty.
Next week the Music Festival takes center stage with the 21st annual Austin Music Awards at the Austin Music Hall on Wednesday, March 12. Confirmed acts include: The Improbable Return of Redneck Rock with Steve Fromholz, Rusty Wier, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Ray Benson and Friends, Ruthie Foster, Chip Taylor and Carrie Rodriguez, The Hole in the Wall Gang with Beaver Nelson, Troy Campbell, Scrappy Jud Newcomb, Jane Bond, Tony Scalzo, Miles Zuniga, Darin Murphy, Ted Roddy, Andrew Duplantis, Matt Hubbard, Paul Minor and more.
Saturday, March 15, Louisiana Red Hot Records, one of the Louisiana's leading independent labels, will present four acts from its roster -- Idletime, La Bande Feufollet, Joe Nadeau and the Bluerunners -- at Scholz Garten. Though various Louisiana artists have performed at the Austin conference over the years, never before has SXSW spotlighted a single Louisiana record label and its roster for such special recognition.
Jazzy New Orleans jam band Idletime, young Lafayette Cajun music traditionalists La Bande Feufollet, former Kenny Wayne Sheppard mentor and blues guitarist Joe Nadeau from Shreveport and Lafayette Cajun rockers the Bluerunners ("Album of the Year," 2001, Gambit Weekly) are certain to add their own brand of Louisiana spice to the musical smorgasbord at SXSW.
Burrito Deluxe, the band featuring music legends Sneaky Pete Kleinow (Flying Burrito Brothers), Garth Hudson (The Band), Tommy Spurlock and Carlton Moody, alongside newcomer Willie Watson, will make its U.S. live debut at SXSW March 15 at the Continental Club. The band released its debut album, "Georgia Peach" (Lamon Records, distributed by Redeye Distribution), in time for SXSW. Among the album's special guests are Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, former Flying Burrito Brother Gib Guilbeau and Barry Bales of Alison Krauss and Union Station.
Georgia Peach derives its name from another GP -- the late, legendary Gram Parsons, nicknamed the "Georgia Peach" -- with whom Sneaky Pete played in the Flying Burrito Brothers. Spurlock frequently accompanied the band on their Los Angeles dates. Burrito Deluxe culled its band name from the title of the Flying Burrito Brothers' second album.
The Americana Music Association once again will host a party and showcase at South by Southwest on Thursday, March 13 at Antones.
Performers at the Americana Music Association showcase will include Billy Joe Shaver, the Hackensaw Boys, Kathleen Edwards, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Rosie Flores and Sonny Landreth. The showcase will begin at 8 p.m. and run until 2 a.m. Just prior, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., the AMA will host a party at Antones featuring live music by Ramsay Midwood and the Hackensaw Boys.