Alright, alright, alright. We’re here in Texas at SXSW and so is Matthew McConaughey. The film portion is now complete and we’re into a jam packed schedule of artists sessions, showcases, and concerts! Here’s a look back at the past few days in the South.
Getting to Texas
The flight path was about the same as it was to Louisiana last week. Smooth flight over to YVR via Sea Air and likely the funniest customs officer the USA has to offer! The guy was cracking jokes left, right, and centre and I truly wasn’t sure if I was allowed to laugh at him, or if he would detain me if I didn’t laugh at his jokes! We went through a lot of turbulence just before we landed in Austin.
The line up of speakers at this years festival, for both music and film, are incredible. And the line ups to get into events are incredible too. Incredibly long, and at times a bit chaotic. But its a great opportunity to chat with your neighbours!
It’s been tough to decide which sessions to attend and which sessions to pass up. First you have to decided which of the relevant events going on at any given time will be most valuable to you, and then you have to think about logistics. Will I make it from point A to point B with adequate time? How long will the lineup be? Sometimes, it seems, your best bet is to stay put for a session you weren’t necessarily intending to see to save yourself from another long line and no guarantee of getting back in.
Since arriving last week I have been blown away by the atmosphere. I think this is in part the city of Austin itself, in conjunction with everyone being so excited to be here and talk about something that is important to them. The speakers I’ve seen have all had something to take away, even in the sessions that you stick around for in advance of something else!
Some of my favourite speakers have been Olivia Wilde, Trevor Noah, Aidy Byant, Lance Bass and Bozoma Saint John.
Olivia said never give up, theres a place for everyone. She talked about her early career and her directorial debut in Booksmart. Which premiered here at SXSW, and luckily I was the last one let into the theater!
Trevor Noah compared the news in South Africa to the news in North America by saying in South Africa they report facts, and North America reports opinions. Kind of a dangerous game to play seeing as news outlets aren’t publicly owned.
Aidy Talked about what it feels like to be “othered” as a woman in film and television, and how that deeply impacted the trajectory of her career.
Lance talked about what it was like to play a character early in his career and the positive changes that publicly coming out brought to his life.
Boz, well, she just blew me away! I think the biggest take away from her session was about inclusion and diversity in all aspects of our life. She said “Look around at your inner circle. If all of your friends look like you, you’re part of the problem. Change that, speak up.” Think on that for a moment.
We have a lot going on this month. We have people on the ground on three different continents! As always, we’ll be sharing daily on our social channels to make sure you tag along for updates. We’ll see you here next Thursday with a recap of the music portion of SXSW.