SXSW was cancelled due to coronavirus fears, but thanks to the fine folks at Oscilloscope and Mailchimp, you can now enjoy some SXSW programming from your own home. Around 75 SXSW short films are going to be released online, for free, with many available right now. The lineup includes four festival winners and seven special recognition films, and since you’re likely stuck inside, you have plenty of time to watch everything.
Short films need love, especially those that were set to premiere at SXSW, only to end up left out in the cold. So Oscilloscope and Mailchimp have joined forces to release nearly every short film that would’ve played the fest online, right here. The site is 100% free, and doesn’t even require a password. Just go over there and start watching.
After SXSW was shutdown, Mailchimp and O-Scope set out to find a solution for short films. With support from the SXSW programming team, “offers were made to all filmmakers who were selected as part of the 2020 SXSW Official Short Film Selections, and we were able to license a vast majority.” The films will be available on the site above exclusively throughout April.
After the cancellation of this year’s SXSW, Mailchimp and O-Scope scrambled to find a way to help filmmakers showcase the projects they had worked so hard to have accepted into the festival. With the support of the SXSW programming team, offers were made to all filmmakers who were selected as part of the 2020 SXSW Official Short Film Selections, and we were able to license a vast majority. These films will be available on Mailchimp Presents exclusively through April.
Regarding the shorts program, O-Scop president Dan Berger said:
“When SXSW announced their cancellation, one of our first thoughts was the mass devastation that would be felt by the filmmakers who would no longer have an opportunity to experience their premiere. With the exceedingly generous support of Mailchimp, we were collectively able to make a mad dash to create a site from the ground up thanks Code and Theory! to highlight these films, pay the filmmakers generously for their rights, and make everything available to the public at no cost.”
While Sarita Alami, Director of Programming at Mailchimp Studios added:
The night that SXSW was cancelled, filmmakers were wondering what to do next, and prominent members of the tight-knit film community offered support and a signal-boost — we wondered if we could do the same at scale. With this project, we’re trying to accomplish two things: to offer these artists a platform for exposure, and to provide access to some amazing work from artists I’m sure we’ll be hearing about for a long time to come. And, we’re excited that many people who weren’t planning on attending the festival, as well as those who were, will get to enjoy them too.”
'I started working on this film five years ago. But I had been wanting to do this movie since I saw a woman drum live for the first time,' says director Lindsay Lindenbaum.
Documentary Tomboy was one of the many independent features scheduled to premiere at the SXSW Film Festival earlier this month, but the event's abrupt cancellation due to the coronavirus pandemic led the filmmakers to scramble to figure out new plans to get their film on to screens.
Lindsay Lindenbaum's documentary, an in-depth look at the experience of professional female drummers, was slated to debut in the film festival's 24 Beats Per Second category, which spotlights work about music and musicians.
Other festivals where Tomboy was set to screen have been canceled or postponed, and planned screenings in New York and Los Angeles had to be similarly disbanded as those cities issued shelter-in-place orders.
SXSW festival organizers shifted the film competition online after the City of Austin canceled the main event, and Tomboy was given a new chance to be seen by industry professionals, film critics and press. With the traditional avenues taken by independent filmmakers no longer available amid the coronavirus pandemic, Lindebaum and Tomboy producer Eleanor Emptage are working to figure out what comes next.
Shortly after the March 6 festival cancellation, THR talked to the filmmakers about the making of Tomboy and their hopes for the project.
Where did the idea for Tomboy come from?
Lindsay Lindenbaum: I started working on this film five years ago. But I had been wanting to do this movie since I saw a woman drum live for the first time, which was a few years before that and it was Tune-Yards' Merrill Garbus of Tune-Yards. Seeing her so fierce and loud and unafraid to take up space as a woman, which is such a powerful image. In a five year journey, I traveled across the country interviewing and filming dozens of women drummers. I always knew I wanted the film to say something more universal about the female experience that went beyond the drum world. It became about women having to prove themselves in any male dominated field. I think that right now there is such an urgency to make these women that are pushing boundaries — whether its in music or science or film or politics — more visible so that the next regeneration of girls get a more expensive picture about what they can become.
Did you know you wanted to spend five years tracking the drummers?
Lindenbaum: Going into it I didn't know it was aging to take five years. I knew it was aging to take some time if I wanted to do justice to their stories, which meant I would have to follow them for more than a year. I wanted to make sure that I was spending enough time with them to make sure that things were unfolding in their lives. You need several years to let...