While the world grapples with the difficult health crisis, the leaders at South by Southwest are trying hard to make the best of a challenging situation.

The annual gathering plays a big role in debuting and creating buzz for many films, especially ones without big movie house backing. Despite the current COVID-19 circumstances, the festival was able to proceed with awards for its competitions, with self-isolating jurors watching films on screening links and making selections by teleconference. Due to this innovation, SXSW was able to continue with their scheduled award conference.

“When we were canceled by the city, we were ready to go forward. We were going to put on our best,” said the event’s film director Janet Pierson, who supported the city’s decision. When asked whether she’s confident SXSW will be able to weather such a last-minute cancellation and return next year intact, she hesitated. “I’m not confident about anything right now.” Stay tuned for more regarding South by Southwest and their long-term goals.

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Photo: pat00139