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Before & After: What It’s Like to Have a Movie Playing the SXSW Film Festival

Perri Nemiroff writes for, but she also produced a short film screening at this year’s South by Southwest Film Festival. Here she writes about her expectations before the screening, and will return later to tell us what happened after.

Child Eater Goes to SXSW


Our short film Child Eater plays to an adoring crowd, we get up and charm the audience further during our Q&A, someone from Blumhouse Productions approaches us post-screening with interest in the feature version and BOOM! – Child Eater the feature gets a green light.

Hey, a girl can dream, right?

Just over a month ago I was shocked and overjoyed to find out my Columbia University non-thesis short Child Eater was accepted into SXSW and was set to play in the Midnight Shorts program. We’d already gotten a great reaction at the Columbia University Film Festival, were named an honorable mention at the Reykjavík International Film Festival and had the privilege of screening before Scream and a Wes Craven Q&A at the New York City Horror Film Festival, but SXSW was something else. Not only has the festival become one of the biggest in the country, but it’s a place where something really could happen, whether it be finding that magical person eager to propel the feature version into production, meet future collaborators, or even just simply get our names out there. Whatever fate is upon us, we’re going to do whatever it takes to ensure we get the most out of this experience.

We’re very fortunate that SXSW is an incredibly organized operation with a staff that’s truly dedicated towards helping us make the most of our time in Austin. From the moment we found out we were accepted, the e-mails started pouring in and it was as simple as following their instructions. Booking hotels, transportation ideas, press and industry contacts, the opportunity to have our poster featured in the Austin Convention Center digital displays – everything was neatly placed within our grasp, so it was up to us to make the most out of it. Now that team Child Eater has hit Austin, we’re as prepared as possible and ready to make some strides.

Cait Bliss in Child Eater

We’ve got a well-rounded representation of our film on the ground – myself, the producer, writer-director Erlingur Thoroddsen, and lead actress, Cait Bliss. Pockets full of business cards and Child Eater postcards with SXSW screening information (a necessity for anyone promoting a film at a film festival), we’re eager to roam the streets of Austin passing our promotional material every which way to draw a crowd to our big premiere at the Rollins Theatre on Saturday, March 9th at 9:00pm. If anything’s going to happen, that’s going to be the time and place, so while we wait it’s all about spreading the word – and enjoying good food and Evil Dead, of course.

While I most certainly don’t want to get ahead of myself, it’s necessary to be prepared for everything – the highs and who knows. Maybe those lofty dreams, too. Until our premiere comes and goes, I’m banking on this equation – promotion + proficient/worthy film + supportive audience = a step forward. Will it be a career-changing step forward? I certainly hope so, but it’s hard to deny that making it in this industry can be a shot in the dark, so it comes down to balancing the two. We’re ready to receive inquiries whether they’re about screening the film at another festival, digital distribution, interest in the feature, or perhaps someone simply looking to talk horror. Whatever it may be, we want it, we’re ready for it and are excited about it. We’ve done all we can do up until this point and now it’s all about being flexible and rolling with whatever actually does come our way.

What’s that going to be? You can find out when the “after” portion of this article goes live after SXSW. In the meantime, feel free to check out the Child Eater trailer below, as well as stills and more on our website,

(And yes, we really own that domain.)

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