Karina already discussed a good half-dozen films she plans to see during SXSW this year, including the big-name opening-night film A Prairie Home Companion. My favorite films at SXSW have always been the smaller ones, the movies you figure you had better catch now because who knows, you may not have an opportunity to see them again. I am particularly fond of low-budget documentary features, and I love the animated shorts. On the other hand, it's also exciting to see a preview of a wider-release film before all your friends do, and start spreading the buzz.
I've spent entirely too much time this week tinkering with my SXSW schedule to balance the small films with the big premieres. This is silly because after the first day or two, various forces of nature and filmmaking will probably cause me to change the schedule all over again. A huge "must-see" buzz will focus around some film I hadn't planned to screen, or I'll find that I may be too weak and wimpy to see three films a day for more than a couple of days in a row.