Recognized as a leader by people in the industry, Austin boasts the wildly successful South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival and Conference, and the equally prestigious Austin Film Festival, both of which originated in 1994. These festivals have won national acclaim, attracting directors, stars, producers, and film shoots to the Lone Star State. Within six years, the two festivals blossomed in prestige as well as attendance. Held each March as part of a series that includes a music festival, a conference, and an interactive festival, SXSW has grown into a national event.
Meanwhile, the Austin Film Festival, which focuses on screenwriters, is held every year in October. Past winners of the festival’s screenplay competition include Max D. Adams, whose screenplay Excess Baggage took the top prize in 1994 and was later made into a feature film. All this acclaim adds up to a new era in moviemaking—Austin-style.