Highlights from SXSW Film & TV Festival from Austin, Texas: Awards, Italian Pavilion EXPO, and the BACARDÍ & Rolling Stone Future of Music Showcase

Highlights from SXSW Film & TV Festival from Austin, Texas: Awards, Italian Pavilion EXPO, and the BACARDÍ & Rolling Stone Future of Music Showcase
South by Southwest® (SXSW®) began on Friday March 8 and went to Saturday March 16. As usual, the program for the annual conference in Austin, Texas, appears comprehensive, omitting almost no topic of contemporary interest, especially in the areas of the arts and science or technology.

In the Opening Session, U.S. Poet Laureate Ada Limón and NASA scientist Lori Glaze hosted a fireside chat on the wonders of space. Who wouldn’t be up for that? Other appealing sessions have included Snack with Purpose and Could Dogs be Key to Unlocking Human Longevity? Of course, we’ve been enjoying the 31st edition of the SXSW® Film and TV Festival. Numerous films have been screened in world premieres, and 11 juries have given awards to feature films, documentaries, shorts, music videos, and more.

The Italian Night at South by Southwest: Music and Technology Enchant Austin:

Italian ingenuity in art and technology takes center stage in Austin, Texas, in the event organized by the Italian Trade Agency (ITA) during South by Southwest (SXSW) to complement the support activities for the 12 startups attending the Creative Industries Expo. An evening that showcased Italian creativity in its entirety, with three performances by some of the Italian artists present at SXSW accompanying the pitches of the innovators in front of more than 300 stakeholders, including journalists and professionals from the tech and entertainment industries.

Within the Creative Industries Expo, a “fair within the fair” organized during the central four days of SXSW and dedicated to technological innovation, startups had the opportunity to connect with key players in the global creative industry. The “Spritz, Tech & Sounds” evening event held at Parkside in Austin on Tuesday, March 12, provided another opportunity for Italian innovators to interact with numerous representatives from the tech industry in an informal setting.

The ITA Office in Los Angeles coordinates the SXSW mission with its specialized team in innovation and audiovisual-music sectors. Italian Trade Commissioner in Los Angeles Alessandra Rainaldi states, “This second participation in South by Southwest consolidates the Texas event in the path that the Italian Trade Agency traces in the United States to promote and support Italian innovation. According to data provided by the US Department of Commerce and processed by ITA New York, high-tech Made in Italy is a fast-growing sector in our interchange with the US, registering exports of 6.65 billion in 2023, up 38 percent from the previous year. Overall, the US is the second largest destination market for Made in Italy, with an interchange that exceeded $100 billion, including $72.9 billion in imports from Italy, up 5.3%. Data that places Italy in thirteenth place among trade partners and fifth among European ones.”

Many solutions were presented by the startups: from the “digital sentinel” that detects fires at their inception using AI to the app for private car-sharing, connecting those with underutilized vehicles to those in occasional need. There were also AI platforms for retail and industry, and, in the artistic-musical realm, a comprehensive operating system for audiophiles integrating all the functions for listening to digital music available across various platforms.

Following the pitches were performances by the three young Italian music talents: singer-songwriter Aurora D’Amico from Palermo, Roman Daniela Mariti, known as Danxgerous, and the Turin-based band Plastic Palms.

The SXSW Creative Industries Expo and the Italian Pavilion

The expo remained open during the central four days of South by Southwest (between March 10 and March 13, while the festival ran from March 8 to March 16), bringing together innovative companies from around the world to provide insight into how creativity, through technology, will shape society in the coming years. Italy returned to the Texan event after its debut participation last year with a pavilion that hosted 12 innovative startups.

ITA Los Angeles Office

The Innovation Desk supports the Italian startups and SMEs in their access to the US Market, through a soft landing platform of services, connections and programs designed for any fundraising, market validation and talent acquisition needs. The Audiovisual Team promotes Italy as a film making destination and synergy between Italian and American industry players, also through the dedicated platform italymeetshollywood.com. Below group photo from: Italy Creative Industries Expo “A Taste of Italian Creativity” :

Last night, the power of hip hop filled the room at the BACARDÍ and Rolling Stone “Future of Music” showcase at SXSW 2024. Some of today’s most exciting rising artists , including  Teezo Touchdown, Lola Brooke, Veeze, Karrahbooo, and Chase Shakur, set the stage ablaze on night one, igniting a lot of excitement! Guests enjoyed a host of BACARDI cocktails including a classic Mojito, Rum Old Fashioned, and the Coconut Colada during the event! In the below photo: Blackway, Behllah, Boi-1da, and Kyle Dion at Rolling Stone’s Future of Music Showcase, Sponsored by BACARDÍ:

Cole Sprouse, Sydney Sweeney spotted at Hotspot Cinema Center SXSW official premiere parties | DOIN’ IT, IMMACULATE AND DIANE WARREN: RELENTLESS: 

On day two of Cinema Center’s annual hospitality pop-up, a 4-event run of red-carpet premiere parties for some of the top films, casts, and VIPs were hosted by the popular film hot spot during the South by Southwest Film & TV Festival.

Actress Sydney Sweeney stole the spotlight last night at the premiere party for “Immaculate,” : while Actor Cole Sprouse was spotted at the premiere party for “Doin’ It” hosted by Cinema Center: Actress Lily Singh rocked her own “Doin’ It” after-party and took over the dance floor after passing Milagro Tequila shots to all her cast including Sabrina Jalees, Stephanie Beatriz, and guests, and showed off her Bollywood dance moves.

Songwriter Diane Warren was spotted at her premiere party for “Diane Warren: Relentless” also hosted by Cinema Center:

At the SXSW Film Festival Diane Warren premiered her amazing 91 minute documentary out about her multi Award winning songwriting musical career, with an all-star Cast: Diane Warren, Clive Davis, Common, Gloria Estefan, Jerry Bruckheimer, Jennifer Hudson, Cher, Randy Jackson, and Quincy Jones. It is an intimate, captivating and revealing underdog story, providing audiences with a rarely seen glimpse behind one of the most successful, prolific songwriters of all time: Diane Warren!  The Synopsis: Diane Warren, a prolific songwriter with an unparalleled track record of writing mega-hits for industry giants, emerges as a force to be reckoned with in Diane Warren: Relentless. Boasting 15 Academy Award nominations, an Honorary Oscar along with Grammy, Emmy, and Golden Globe Awards, Diane has etched her name on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame and is responsible for the soundtrack of our lives. In this intimate documentary, filled with Diane’s signature humor, audiences get a rarely seen glimpse into Diane’s life and underdog journey to where she is today. Marked by a distinctive songwriting approach, unconventional life choices, and an exceptional work ethic with a touch of irreverence, the narrative unfolds, delving into her most remarkable collaborations with first-hand commentary from Cher, Gloria Estefan, David Foster, Jennifer Hudson, Kesha and many more to showcase the creative genius that is Diane Warren!

Later that night, cast members Karan Soni, Jonathan Groff, and Sunita Mani were in attendance for the premiere party of “A Nice Indian Boy”.

Guests and VIPs enjoyed curated wine tastings featuring acclaimed producers including Halter Ranch and Gundlach Bundschu by official sponsor Sommsation. They also indulged in William Grant & Sons’s portfolio of luxury spirits brands featuring a curated cocktail menu by Hendrick’s Gin, as well as beer from Peroni USA. All events were conveniently held at a private venue takeover next to the prestigious Paramount Theater that serves as the main red-carpet theater of the festival in downtown Austin, TX.

SXSW Closing Night World Premiere of THE IDEA OF YOU SXSW presents 2024 Jury and Special Award winners of the 31st Film & TV Festival. Feature films receiving Jury Awards were selected from the Narrative Feature and Documentary Feature Competition categories, plus other juried sections, including Shorts, Independent TV Pilots, Music Videos, Design and XR Experience Awards. Special Awards announced included the SXSW Best of Texas Award, the Kickstarter NextGen Award, and the Janet Pierson Champion Award presented by Indiewire.

You can click the blue links to view some of the best films:



Jury Award Winner: Bob Trevino Likes It
Director/Screenwriter: Tracie Laymon, Producers: Tracie Laymon, Sean Mullin, Edgar Rosa, Felipe Dieppa
Special Jury Award for Performance: Maria Rodríguez Soto, Mamifera
Special Jury Award for Filmmaking: Josephine Stewart-Te Whiu, We Were Dangerous


Jury Award Winner: Grand Theft Hamlet
Directors/Screenwriters: Pinny Grylls, Sam Crane, Producers: Rebecca Wolff, Julia Ton
Special Jury Award for Bravery and Empathy: Carina Mia Wong and Alex Simmons, We Can Be Heroes


Presented by You42
Narrative Shorts Competition presented by You42 Jury
Jury Award Winner: Dissolution
Director/Screenwriter: Anthony Saxe, Producers: Thomas Lopez, Anthony Saxe
Special Jury Award: Sam Cutler-Kreutz and David Cutler-Kreutz, Trapped

Documentary Short Competition:

Jury Award Winner: Remember, Broken Crayons Colour Too
Directors/Screenwriters: Shannet Clemmings, Urša Kastelic, Producers: Filippo Bonacci, Gabriel Grosclaude
Special Jury Award Winner: David Gauvey Herbert, Frank
Midnight Shorts Competition
Jury Award Winner: Transylvanie
Director: Rodrigue Huart, Screenwriters: Rodrigue Huart, David Alexander Cassan, Axel Würsten, Producer: Lucie Vigier
Special Jury Award Winner: Eros V, Meat Puppet

Animated Shorts Competition:

Jury Award Winner: Wander to Wonder
Director: Nina Gantz, Screenwriters: Nina Gantz, Simon Cartwright, Daan Bakker, Stienette Bosklopper
Special Jury Award Winner: Phoebe Jane Hart, Bug Diner

Music Video Competition:

Jury Award Winner: Célen – ‘Mom told you so’
Director/Screenwriter: Cécile Cournelle
Special Jury Award for Technical Wizardry: Joe Nicolosi, The Burning Hell – ‘All I Need’

Texas Shorts Competition:

Jury Award Winner: Jedo’s Dead
Director/Screenwriter: Sara Nimeh, Producers: Michael Mittelstaedt, Jeff Walker, Ellyn Church
Special Jury Award: Fatima Wardy, Hair Care

Independent TV Pilot Competition:

Jury Award Winner: Marvin Is Sorry
Showrunners/Screenwriters: Brett Morrow, Alex Gehrlein, Jack Gacek, Director: Clint Pang
Special Jury Award: Zeke Nicholson, Halfrican American

Poster Design Competition:

Jury Award Winner: 7 Beats Per Minute
Designer: John Godfrey
Special Jury Award Winner: Designer: Andrei Captan, If I Die in America
XR Experience Competition
Jury Award Winner: The Golden Key
Directors: Marc Da Costa, Matthew Niederhauser
Special Jury Award: Soul Paint
Directors: Sarah Ticho, Niki Smit, Producer: Anna Firbank, Screenwriter: Sarah Ticho

SXSW Special Awards:

SXSW Best Of Texas Award: Preconceived
Directors: Sabrine Keane, Kate Dumke
Janet Pierson Champion Award: Kara Durrett, President of Pinky Promise Films
Kickstarter NextGen Award: Family
Director/Screenwriter: Benjamin Finkel

You can click the blue links to view some of the best films:

 i.      Arcadian” starring Nicholas Cage, Sadie Soverall (Saltburn), Jaeden Martin (it, Knives Out), Joe Dixon (The Mummy Returns).

ii.              “The Uninvited starring Pedro Pascal (The Mandalorian), Ruffus Sewell (Old, A Knights Tale), Walton Goggins (The Hateful Eight), and actress/influencer, Eva De Dominici (Cosmic Sin) 
iii.            Duplass Brothers Productions Indie Episodic Showcase starring Mark Duplass (The Morning Show) and Mel Eslyn.
iv.             Diane Warren: Relentless with Diane Warren (Grammy + Oscar winner) and Director, Bess Kargman.
iv.             A Nice Indian Boy” starring Karan Soni, Sunita Mani, Zarna Garg, Harish Patel, Peter S. Kim, and Sas Goldberg
v.              Doin’ It starring Lilly Singh (YouTuber, Bad Moms), Stephanie Beatriz (Encanto, Brooklyn Nine-Nine), and Jessica Clement (Dream Scenario).
vi.             Immaculate starring Sydney Sweeney (Madame Webb, Euphoria), Alvaro Morte (Money Heist, The Wheel of Time) Additional celebrity attendees included Jay Shetty and Cole   Sprouse.

We wanted to give a special thanks to our Entertainment Today Reporter: Nina Ameri for doing a fantastic job with covering The SXSW Film Festival and Special Events, for us in Austin, Texas!

There will be a lot more great news stories from Nina Ameri!

We hope to see you all soon! So stay tuned and thanks for watching Entertainment & Sports Today TV and Entertainment Today. Broadcast for over 30 years on Time Warner/ Spectrum. To watch other shows go to: EntertainmentandSportsToday.com


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