We're well into August, and here in Austin it's hot and dry and the last thing most of us are thinking about is anything going on next March. But over at SXSW, they're ignoring the dog days of summer and preparing like crazy for next year's interactive, music, and (of course) film festival / conference. The 2009 South By Southwest Film Festival is scheduled for March 13-21, as you can see from the new site for next year's festivities, and you can start submitting your films now for consideration. You've got until December to get your short or feature film to the festival if you're dreaming of seeing your name in lights (or at least your film's title) at the Paramount next year.

A few films are already scheduled to be screened at the 2009 fest: the SXSWclick winners, which were recently announced. The Grand Jury award for the short-film contest went to Peter and Ben, by Pinny Grylls, which also won in the documentary shorts category. Little Pumpkin, directed by Tiffany Bartok, took home the Popularity Contest award. You can watch these films and the winning shorts from all categories on the SXSWclick site. In fact, you can watch all the finalists online if you like. So if you want to pretend it's March in Austin, crank up the air conditioning a bit, sit back in a comfy chair with a beer or milkshake (in tribute to Alamo Drafthouse, a favorite SXSW venue), and enjoy the SXSWclick shorts. Then hike a mile back to your car with Scott Weinberg or Will Goss next to you, scarfing down hot wings from a Sixth Street bar and speculating on how many screeners they can watch that night before they pass out from exhaustion. (Okay, maybe you do have to wait for March for that last experience.)