Austin's South by Southwest Festival kicks off, featuring big movies and guests

By Alyssa Ladzinski,
Film festival brings the 'Veronica Mars' premiere and more

The South by Southwest Festival in Austin kicked off on Friday with big crowds and excited fans.

According to Kens5, the Austin economy will gain a significant boost over the next nine days - specifically over $218 million. The festival will include over 400 films, more than 2,000 bands and the latest and greatest technology.

The festival first began in 1987 with the help of Louis Black and the Austin Chronicle. What was once a small beginning festival is now an internationally known occurrence.

"We started getting it explained to us that SXSW was too big the third year, and have heard that every year since then. My son's now 23, and it's kind of like saying 'hasn't he gotten too big?' Ha!" Black said.

From March 7 until March 11, SXSW Interactive will include trade shows and involve speakers such as former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. The second portion, the music, will take place from March 11 to March 16, while the film section will last until March 15.

The film festival brings the highly anticipated premiere of the Veronica Mars film, as well as a new comedy starring Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, Lisa Kudrow and Rose Byrne, as reported by CBS News.

Although the festival has increased its popularity greatly, the man who created it all still refers to it as “uniquely Austin.”

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

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