I've started to notice some whining about SXSW on certain blogs (and amazingly ignorant Twitter feeds from folks who should just be grateful for the damn press badge), and it just boggles my mind. Here we have a film festival that strives to remedy just about everything that 'veterans' dislike about Sundance and Toronto ... and still people find a way to weep about A) the fact that press and ticket-buyers have to (gasp) share the same auditorium, B) the fact that "the movies mostly suck," and C) the press office is "a joke."

Now, maybe it's just because SXSW was the first film festival to truly WELCOME the online community, but as a five-year veteran of the event, I just had to address Mr. Anonymous' statements.

A. Wow. Elitism rules. I hope I never get so jaded about my job that I show such casual disdain for the "non-press" riff-raff. YOU'RE ALL THERE TO WATCH THE SAME MOVIE! But my colleagues address this gripe quite well (after the jump), and so I'll just move on to...

B. "The movies mostly suck" and / or "SXSW takes too many films from Sundance." OK, the second one is easy: Sundance is a great festival with a top-notch programming team. SXSW takes place only seven weeks after Sundance. DO THE MATH! And to address complaint number one, well, I was (seriously) going to post a list of 75 good / great films that I've seen at SXSW over the past five years, but that seemed like too much work for such a specious criticism. "The movies mostly suck" tells me all I need to know about the person who supplied those words. (But if you'd LIKE to see the last five years of SXSW film programming, no problem: Click here, here, here, here, and here.)