For the second year running, Live Cinema UK will be part of the programme at SXSW, appearing on two panels and scouting around for new partners to work with and new tech to play with.

The trip to Austin in 2016 was our first time at the conference, and was incredible in two very distinct ways.

Firstly, because of Austin itself, which is a beautiful and exciting place to be. Secondly, because of the things we learned and the people we met at the conference, which helped to set the tone of our work for the following year.

With inspiring talks, cutting edge entertainment technology, and too many amazing live performances to choose from, just a few days at SXSW put Live Cinema UK firmly on the development fast track.

But even with the kind of sexy new tech we saw at SXSW last year, we’re still working in an industry that values traditional film and the cinema experience.

That relationship between these two worlds is the basis of both the panels we’ll be repping at SXSW this year.

The Future of Cinema in the Age of VR will look at the ways virtual reality threatens – and can potentially benefit – the exhibition experience.
Chaired by Joan Parsons from Sheffield’s Showroom Cinema, the panel also includes Dan Tucker from Sheffield Doc/Fest, Selena Pinnell from Kaleidoscope VR and Live Cinema UK’s Kate Wellham – who also works for live art organisation The Brick Box.

They will all try to answer one thrilling question: ‘Is VR the end of the cinema as we know it?’

Selling Celluloid: Finding New Audiences for Film will debate the role of 35mm and 70mm film in an increasingly digital world.

Film editor David Strohmaier, Kathryn Penny from the UK’s National Media Museum, Lars Nilsen from the Austin Film Society and the chair – Live Cinema UK founder Lisa Brook – will ask whether today’s audiences really care about watching film ON film, and whether younger generations can be inspired to continue using it.

We’re keen to meet with any partners who’d be interested in working with us on projects either in the UK or overseas, so contact us if you’re heading out to SXSW this year and would like to meet up.

We’d also like to extend our thanks to the DIT (Department for International Trade), who have helped to make this trip possible for us and other UK companies, as well as so many musicians and artists.