SXSW Leaping Online With 2021 Dates

Confirms conference, film fest, and Edu

SXSW is back. The cultural festival was the first high-profile cancellation as coronavirus swept across the U.S., but today it's confirmed dates for three core elements, all going online for 2021 - the conference, the film festival, and SXSW Edu, the education forum that serves as the warm-up for the big show.

That doesn't mean this is all that will be announced: the festival management are clear to note that this will "part of their 2021 offerings." This doesn't rule out the possibility of an in-person event, or of the music festival. In fact, the festival added that it "is working with the City of Austin and public health authorities on plans for a 2021 physical event," and will provide updates as they are confirmed.

However, what is for sure is that the organizers are planning SXSW EDU Online for March 9-11, while SXSW Film and the new SXSW Online (featuring virtual versions of the fest's traditional mix of keynotes, panels, and meetups) will run March 16-20. That's fewer dates than the traditional full film festival, which has run across the full 10 days of the fest over the last few years, but it's still a sign that SXSW will be a venue for next year's on-screen creativity and rising talents to get first exposure.

Explaining the next steps forward, CEO and cofounder Roland Swenson said, “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. We’re pleased to be working on SXSW Online as part of our program for 2021, and regardless of platform, we will continue to bring together the brightest minds from creative industries worldwide.”

Submissions open soon for panel submissions for both online and EDU Online, and for titles in the feature, shorts, music videos, XR, title sequences, episodic and Texas high school categories: submit before Oct. 14, and only pay the early bird fee. Here's the schedule:

• EDU Online and Online Panelpicker submissions open Oct. 6 and run through to Oct. 28. Details here.

• Film Submissions: Open Oct. 6, early deadlines Oct. 14, official deadline Oct. 28. Details here.

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