Journo Pokes At Film Fest Antics

   March 28 2011— Upmarket film festivals like South By Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, Texas have the image of venues where Important Films leap to the world stage and media innovations also pop up, but media writer Jon Friedman says he’s disillusioned in an amusing blog post.
  “I came to Austin — a charming city that lived up to its billing — in search of the New New Thing (thank you, Michael Lewis),” writes Friedman for finance news outfit MarketWatch. “I expected to find the next Steve Jobs and unearth the coming frontier of the digital revolution. Instead, I found out that SXSW is all about searching for celebrities, exchanging business cards, networking (with folks who hope someone more important is approaching), partying and striking poses. Hey, I can do all that any time at home in Manhattan.”
   Attendees became excited when a rumor circulated like wildfire that off-the-tracks Charlie Sheen would make a triumphant appearance, but that rumor proved not true. There were plenty of other celebrities, such as Jodie Foster, who was promoting her new movie The Beaver.
   “SXSW may be too popular for its own good,” writes Friedman. “Emily Farris, a writer and the communications manager of the Roasterie, a coffee roaster and cafe in Kansas City, Mo., drove 13 hours to Austin to attend the interactive portion of SXSW. ‘I love SXSW, it’s one of my favorite events of the year. But like many great events, it has gotten too big,’ Farris told me.”
   The mass throng makes festivals magnets for corporate sponsorships in categories like credit cards, automobiles, liquor and luxury goods, notes Marketing to Moviegoers: Second Edition.
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