Rocky start for SXSW
The South by Southwest Film Festival got off to a bit of a rocky start Friday night when the high-profile screening of Austin filmmaker Michael Tully’s “Ping Pong Summer” was canceled after the audience waited for more than 30 minutes.
People who stood in line for up to an hour for the screening were initially told at about 9:40 p.m. that there was a technical problem with the projector but that a technician was working on it and that the problem was expected to be solved in 5 to 10 minutes.
But after more than a 30-minute delay, festival reps told the crowd that they were welcome to go next door for free beer and that SXSW was arranging a late-night Friday screening at the Alamo Village.
The Marchesa has been functioning well for a year as the home of Austin Film Society screenings, and an earlier showing of Texas short films was problem-free. But it’s unusual for a major film festival to cancel a screening on opening night and then try to arrange another screening elsewhere. Luckily, “Ping Pong Summer” has two or more screenings left at SXSW.