Best Bets for the Badgeless

You, too, can sample SXSW's wares

If you're an Austinite without any kind of badge or film pass, you'll probably want to steer clear of smaller venues, and long lines await you for the big premieres (expect a queue around the block for opening night film The Cabin in the Woods). But there are still plenty of opportunities to sample South by Southwest's wares.

The good bet are the SXsatellite venues, the Alamo Village and Alamo Slaughter, chosen especially for their distance far from the madding crowds. (For the carless, don't try to walk: It would be more like a hike, 8 miles and 10 miles, respectively, from Downtown.) Bonus points: You can be one of the first to breathe in that new-car smell at the Alamo Slaughter location, which has its grand opening later this month.

The free series of SXSW Community Screenings provides another way to get your foot in the door. Programs include the AFS ShortCase 2012, featuring short films made by Austin Film Society members; an Austin School of Film showcase with films culled from the school's classes in avant-garde, Victorian Gothic animation, and experimental animation; the third annual Films for the Forest roster of competition-winning shorts; and a Paramount screening of the locally (and lovingly) crafted homage, Slacker 2011. The George Washington Carver Museum & Cultural Center will host a number of free events as well, including an Austin School of Film youth 3-D workshop (registration required; see www.austinfilmschool.org for details) and more SXSW Community Screenings, such as the annual Faces of Austin short film showcase.

The SXSW Interactive Conference has freebies, too, including the SXSW ScreenBurn Arcade and the PostSecret + Bluebrain Multimedia Event (see last week's issue for more info on both). And the new GE Garage, located at Guadalupe and Fourth streets, promises a hands-on experience. How hands-on? Well, the press release wonders if "you want to feel the power of a blow torch?" To which we reply: Did you even need to ask?


For times, places, all that good stuff, see sxsw.com/free.

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