STV at SXSW 2011: music, film and online worlds combine

With more of our culture and arts happening online, the benefits of conferences, festivals and meeting "in real life" are becoming even more vital. It's human nature to not only be proud of your work, but to want to show it to your peers, to learn from them, and find out what the latest hot thing is.

That's why the musical, film and online worlds are descending on Austin, Texas, for the next week at the South by Southwest (SXSW) conference.

With close to 2000 bands, 170 films to see, and countless Internet companies, entrepreneurs and start-ups, this is one of the highlights of the annual calendar for three closely linked industries, and Scotland will be well represented on this world stage.

And its not just big names like musician Edwyn Collins or film director David MacKenzie heading to SXSW. Ross Butter (www.twistosterone.com), who's currently studying at the Edinburgh College of Arts has his short film, Dinosaur Ballet, screening three times during the Festival, and he's hoping to use it as a calling card. As Butter puts it, he finally gets to put an “Official Selection” on his CV.

Admiral Fallow are one of nine bands that have received support from Create Scotland to attend SXSW. Louis Abbot knows that the stage at Austin is one of the proven platforms for musicians to showcase themselves to an international audience, “we already have fans in the United States and want our music to reach a wider, worldwide audience. This is why we are going.”

The relatively small grants are smart investments for Scotland as a whole. The crowds at SXSW are a cross-section of the people that create, that sell, that consume, and support. Director of Creative Scotland, Caroline Parkinson kows the value of promoting Scottish companies around the world, “we’ll be showcasing across music, film and interactive technology – mirroring Creative Scotland’s area of interest and we are delighted to be able to support our musicians, filmmakers and creative economy.”

Think of SXSW like the engine of business, Creative Scotland are making sure that our companies are well oiled to make the most of all the opportunities on offer in America and bring this value back home to benefit us .

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