SXSW: Sustainability Awareness Going Viral with New Short Film Competition

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Calling all environmentalists, filmmakers, and fans of Gangham Style

Today, SXSW Eco and launched a unique initiative that will work to provoke action, creative thinking and new ideas around sustainability. The primary focus will be a short film competition called “Sustainability Goes Viral!”

The competition, led by TV Host and founder Sarah Backhouse, will call for impactful short films that creatively showcase some of the most significant challenges facing us today. The competition encourages participants to submit videos in any style they feel is most compelling, whether that be comedy, drama, or even mockumentary. ”The competition uses the power of video storytelling to give the future of our planet the attention it deserves.  We’re challenging filmmakers to create something important, yet viral, in 5 minutes or less,” says Backhouse. Gangham Style and Grumpy Cat may now dominate the Internet, but Backhouse believes the creative short films this competition calls for can be just as crowd-pulling.

With today’s threats of climate change, increased energy consumption and diminishing resources, environmental stability is being pushed to its limits more than ever before. There has never been a more important time to take action by spreading awareness of these issues in a way that is all at once entertaining, informative, and irresistibly viral.

Chris Sonnier, program manager of SXSW Eco, commented on how the partnership will evoke creative freedom for causes that require more of an edge to attract awareness. “We’re excited to be teaming up with for this competition. We’re accepting a wide range of styles and subject matter, so the possibilities are endless for sustainability thought leaders, enthusiasts, and professional and amateur filmmakers alike to produce something truly moving and creative.”

By September 30th, 2013, the 20 films with the most views will be selected for a special screening at this year’s SXSW Eco event in Austin, TX which will be held October 7-9, 2013 at the Austin Convention Center. Awards and cash prizes will be given to the most viral film and Grand Jury Prize winner.

For more information and to submit an entry, go to or