Beginners Guide to SXSW Film
How do I get around Austin? When should I arrive to get into my movie? Which panels are must-see? How can I be sure to hit the best parties? From navigating Austin to finding the best eats to networking and maximizing social media, rookies should come armed with their questions for veteran SXSW participants and locals who will share their tips and tricks to having the best experience while at The SXSW Film Festival and Conference.
Agnes Varnum is the Director of Marketing for the Austin Film Society. She came to Austin from the New York City-area where she served as a marketing associate for Icarus Films, a 30-year-old documentary distribution company. Prior to that, she worked as the associate director for the Center for Social Media at American University, managing research, producing events and building the growing organization. Other projects include contributing to a variety of publications such as Tribeca Film Insitute’s Resources blog, indieWIRE, Sundance Intitute's DocSource, Doc It Out and IDA's Documentary magazine. She has served on programming committees for SILVERDOCS, Newport International Film Festival, IFP's Spotlight on Documentaries, AOL True Stories (now Snag Films) and SXSW.
Jette is an Austin film critic and entertainment writer. She edits the Austin movie website Slackerwood and also contributes freelance reviews and features for other publications.
George M. Rush is an attorney who has practiced law since 2001. George received his JD
from University of California Hastings College of the Law (2000) and received his undergraduate degree in English from University of California at Berkeley (1996). He is dedicated to supporting independent filmmakers, stewarding them in the business and
legal issues to make films both commercial and artistic successes. His clients include
producers, directors, screen-writers and investors in development, production and
distribution phases of filmmaking. George has served on the board of the Film Arts
Foundation and is an active member of the San Francisco Film Society. He also lectures frequently on legal issues for filmmakers and writes a monthly column on legal issues in
film for SF360.org. George provides both transactional and litigation services for films, as well as distribution advisory services on a case by case basis.
Heller is an award-winning producer, writer, editor and consultant. His past projects range from theatrically released films to non-fiction books and interactive websites. Producing credits include the documentary feature WINNEBAGO MAN, the first cybercast of The Primetime Emmy Awards, and Random House's MUST-SEE MOVIES video renter's guide.
Basil Tsiokos is a consultant for filmmakers and film festivals and a Documentary Programming Associate for the Sundance Film Festival. He is a regular contributor to Indiewire, often covering film festivals, and also serves as the publication's curator for Hulu's Documentaries page. As a visiting professor at Pratt, Basil teaches a course on film festivals and oversees students as they organize the Wallabout student short film festival. He co-produced the feature documentary THE CANAL STREET MADAM (World Premiere, SXSW Competition 2010). Between 1996-2008, Basil was the Artistic & Executive Director of NewFest: The NY LGBT Film Festival. Basil has served on numerous film festival juries and panels, including the Atlanta Film Festival, Atlantic Film Festival, Berlinale, Cleveland International Film Festival, Dallas International Film Festival, DOC NYC, Fantasia Film Festival, Full Frame, IDFA, International Film Festival Summit, LaCinemaFe, Lone Star International Film Festival, IFP, New York Film Festival, Outfest, Side-by-Side International Film Festival, Silverdocs, SXSW, and Starz Denver Film Festival. He can be found on Twitter as @1basil1 and on his blog http://WhatNotToDoc.com offering advice and information to filmmakers. Basil holds a Masters degree from New York University in Cinema Studies and two undergraduate degrees from Stanford University.