SXSW gets underway


by KVUE News

Posted on March 12, 2010 at 10:46 PM

Updated Friday, Mar 12 at 11:36 PM

The stars were out in Austin Friday night as the film portion of SXSW kicked off.

Red carpet screenings took center stage on opening night, including a new film called "Leaves of Grass", starring Academy Award nominee Edward Norton.  Norton attended the premiere at the Alamo Drafthouse on South Lamar.

Meanwhile, Eighth Street was overrun with people hoping to see the new comic book action movie, "Kick Ass" at the Paramount.  The movie is just one of 113 that will be presented during the festival.

Filmmaker Chris Sachs flew in early Friday morning from Los Angeles to showcase his movie, "Phillip The Fossil."
"It's a really great opportunity to showcase our work," said Sachs of the festival.

Meanwhile, the Austin Convention Center turned into "Interactive Central" for the interactive portion of the festival.  However, it's not the only corner of town where the newest in technology is being embraced.

Instead of technology coming to Doc's on South Congress, the popular South Austin haunt is now one of  60 local businesses welcoming a high-tech tool.  Michael Lapaglia is with a month-old business called Qponomics, a free application for most smart phones, including the I-phone, Blackberry, Palm and Android.  Instead of using paper coupons, smart phone users can find exclusive deals at their fingertips.

"What we've created is a place on your phone for you to keep all of your coupons in one place," said Lapaglia,  "(It's) organized by category where you can organize them and access them and save money."

A few blocks from Docs at the Phoenix on Colorado, high-tech takes on a whole new look with Ustream.  Livestreaming will bring a concert with gym class heroes to the rest of the world.

"Television was the only medium forlive media.  Now, with the way technology is, you can bring live video to the internet," said Jeff Varnell, with Ustream.

The interactive portion of SXSW showcases the latest in technology from around the globe.  It's the birthplace of Twitter and Foursquare.  It's also the place to network with technology industry leaders. 

 On South Congress, some are hoping the latest in technology will mean more business.

"For one thing, it helps generate business,"said Dion Washington, the manager of Doc's.  "You always have your local customers.  They know Doc's, they know the name, they know every restaurant they're going to.  You're hoping to hit on those people who have no idea what Doc's is."

The interactive portion of SXSW runs through Tuesday, March 16th, while the film portion runs through Saturday, March 20th.  The music festival starts on Wednesday and runs through Sunday, March 21.