Telefilm Canada is pleased to announce its support of 12 Canadian companies attending the 2011 South by Southwest® (SXSW®) Film Conference and Festival and SXSW Interactive taking place in Austin, Texas from March 11th to 19th. With a total of 36,000 participants last year, SXSW conferences and festivals offer a convergence of original music, independent films, and emerging technologies that foster creative and professional growth alike.
This year Telefilm is piloting a multiplatform mission to SXSW that aims to enhance Canadian participants’ multiplatform production skills and competencies, and support international partnership opportunities for Canadian film and television producers and distributors, and interactive digital media producers.
Telefilm Canada will provide the 12 SXSW film and interactive newcomer participants with a $1,500 grant to be put toward their event registration, travel and accommodation costs. A series of orientation sessions hosted by SXSW veteran and two-time Emmy Award®-winning principal of Stitch Media, Evan Jones, have also been organized to provide participants with an experienced SXSW guide and mentor to help them get the most out of their time in Austin.
“Helping Canadian film and interactive producers attend and leverage the South by Southwest interactive and film conferences is part of Telefilm’s renewed focus on helping Canada’s content creators expand their knowledge and skill sets so they can continue developing groundbreaking products that appeal to audiences here and abroad,” said Florence Moureaux, Telefilm’s Interim Director, National and International Business Development. “This focus helps build a competitive industry in today’s rapidly evolving marketplace.”
Geoff Morrison, Director-Producer of Toronto-based FilmCAN NPP Films, added: “SXSW is possibly the best festival and conference in the world for bringing together artists and professionals who think, create and do business across multiple platforms. We’re thrilled to attend and take advantage of SXSW’s first-rate panels and networking opportunities – especially since we are also premiering the National Parks Project – our new film, music, television and interactive project – at the SXSW Film Festival. Telefilm’s SXSW pilot project will put us on excellent footing to seek increased sales and distribution for the NPP, and production partners for our next project.”
Ziad Touma, President-Producer of Montreal-based Couzin Films, further added: “I’ve wanted to attend SXSW ever since one of our project’s website was nominated for Best Extreme Entertainment Site at SXSW 2003. With Telefilm Canada’s support this year, I look forward to experiencing the festival and presenting Alone All Together – our latest Canada Media Fund-financed, detective-style, alternate reality game. Through its open-sourced exchanges on social networking and forward-thinking panels on digital storytelling, SXSW will inspire the creativity and marketability of our projects and be an integral part of our success.”
Canadian film and interactive producers attending SXSW 2011 with financial support from Telefilm:
- Telefilm pilot-project mentor Evan Jones of Halifax-based Stitch Media will be a speaker at SXSW Interactive. Evan pitched Stitch’s new online comedy series Moderation Town and won the 2011 nextMEDIA Digital Launch Pad event for most cutting-edge online content, web platforms and tech solutions available on the web at the annual NATPE/Content FirstMarket and Conference in Miami.
- Vancouver’s Smoking Gun Interactive is nominated in the SXSW Interactive Awards’ Experimental category for its 2009 alternate reality game X that Keith Stuart of the UK’s Guardian said “may just show the way to the future of videogame story telling.”
- Toronto’s FilmCan NPP Films will see some short films from its National Parks Project (NPP) featured in a live musical event where screenings are accompanied by live performances of pieces composed and recorded in the parks by many of the artists who participated in the project. The NPP is a ground-breaking collaborative film, music, television and new media project featuring contributions by more than 50 of Canada’s most acclaimed filmmakers and musicians, all celebrating the inspirational beauty of Canada’s national parks.