It was a heartbreaking, but ultimately correct decision to prioritize civic health and, ultimately, human lives, over a celebration of art (and great parties), so while we were disappointed at the cancellation of SXSW 2020 one week ago today, we knew at the time that it was the right call, and recent developments have only confirmed that fact. 

But, it still sucks for the filmmakers whom the event was to honor! Indie filmmaking is a hard, often thankless endeavor, and one of the great rewards for filmmakers and their teams is to have that effort culminate with the kind of joyous showcase that SXSW provides. For shorts, which are usually underrepresented in festival coverage as is, it’s especially sad and denies them a massive platform to promote their work and careers.

In light of this, and in taking a cue from industry leaders such as Indiewire, S/W is choosing to cover the short film selections of the festival in an even bigger way than usual. Starting today and every day through March 21st, we will be beaming SXSW 2020 coverage right to your screens with a mix of film and editorial content. 

A rundown of our planned coverage:

Most of these films had reached out to us in advance of the cancellation in order to time their online release in conjunction with the festival. Given an opportunity to reschedule, the filmmakers instead chose to push forward, and we’re going to do our best to provide them access to audiences and opportunity via this site, our social media channels, and in partnership with other outlets. We encourage you to share these films using the hashtag #sxswshorts and invite other filmmakers from the program to jump in and share reviews, trailers, IG Stories, or full films as they see fit—we will do our best to signal boost. We are @shortoftheweek on most major platforms. 

And while this is a celebration of filmmakers dealt a tough hand, it is also meant as an ode to SXSW, a festival near and dear to us. I’ve consistently expressed my admiration for the programming of Janet Pierson, Jarod Neece, Claudette Godfrey, and their teams, especially in regards to short film, where their lineup is always my most highly anticipated of the year. The organization is going through a tough time right now, but we know they will bounce back, and we look forward to joining them again in Austin, TX come 2021!