Gettin' Busy

The South by Southwest Film Festival means everybody has a full plate

Gettin' Busy

It's been a hectic past few weeks here at the Chronicle offices, as we've been anxiously screening and assigning and drafting and editing to prepare this, the 2013 SXSW Film preview issue. There are 135 full-length films awaiting your exploration, and yet only 15 features in the following pages; obviously we had to winnow somehow. So we've been a bit busy.

But we're not the only ones who've been busy. As the attentive filmgoer will quickly realize, there are dozens of actors, writers, and directors who are proudly repping two, three, even seven separate projects at this year's Festival. Some have made linear jumps from acting gig to acting gig (see "You're Next, AJ Bowen"), while others have made appearances on both sides of the camera, dabbling in directing and screenwriting, as well as starring in multiple films. In fact, so many actors are double-dipping in multiple features this year that we've made it into a game: Play along with "Busy Actor Bingo."

More than a few of those are Austinites, which shouldn't be too surprising. Austin is a city of slashies – seems like everyone you meet is a writer/waiter, Ph.D. candidate/pedicabber, singer/songwriter/state employee. And indeed, more than a dozen of this year's offerings either hail directly from our fair town or have roots in Central Texas. Impressive, no?

Anyway, now it's your turn to get busy. If you need help getting started, check out "Keep Calm and Party On," our SXSW Film Guide for beginners, regulars in need of a refresher course, and badgeless locals curious about how to get in on the action. Otherwise, dive right in with some of these features, covering everything from punk rock and queer culture in the 1970s to Shakespeare and criminal justice. We bet you'll find one or two – or seven or more – you like.

Extra, Extra!

SXSW Film runs all the way through the week, March 8-16. Don't forget to pick up our daily issues March 14-16 with capsule reviews and supplemental features.

Meanwhile, stay tuned to all our continuing coverage – filmmaker interviews, panel recaps, photo galleries, and more – at

At a venue or a restaurant and want to know what the Chronicle thinks? Follow us on Foursquare for tips and speedy links to full restaurant reviews. Looking for a comprehensive snapshot of the buzziest stories in the Chronicle and other local media? Check out Spun's 3-D app for iPhone.

We know you have questions, and we like to think we're reasonably helpful when it comes to finding answers. So we've put together a comprehensive guide to all things SXSW Film – "Keep Calm and Party On" – at There, you can get the skinny on everything from tickets and venues to breakfast tacos and the grueling slate of parties.

For up-to-the-minute quips and quickies, follow along on Twitter: @ACScreens, @ChronSXSW, and @AustinChronicle.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

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