Enjoy the best of the SXSW Film Festival without actually going

You don't need to fly to Texas to enjoy the best of indie cinema. You can watch it on Vimeo instead!

The Source Family tells the story of an "Aquarian tribe" of dropouts

If you're reading this then we're guessing you didn't get to go to SXSW this year. If so, you have our sympathies - we didn't either. Bah!

But even if you have been lucky enough to attend the world-famous Texan festival of interactivity, music and film in the past, you probably didn't have time to enjoy many of the movies anyway. And you doubtless thought: "Never mind. If it's any good I'll probably get another chance to see it in a few months."

Beauty Is Embarrassing is a funny and inspiring documentary film about one of America’s most important artists, Wayne White.

Sadly, though, the stranglehold big distributors have on mainstream cinemas means that's often not the case - even for the best indie movies. Which is why YouTube rival Vimeo stepped up exactly one year ago to launch a direct distribution platform, Vimeo On Demand, to give a thinking armchair audience worldwide an alternative to the 300 sequel down the multiplex.

Today Vimeo's celebrating the anniversary of the service by launching a completely redesigned experience. One element is the introduction of themed groups of titles, called collections, and the one that caught our eyes was 'Vimeo SXSW Favorites'.

Dave Grohl directs Sound City, the story of America's greatest unsung recording studio

This Vimeo-curated list includes staff favourites from SXSW Film Festivals of years past. From dark comedies to documentaries of fascinating subcultures, these films run a brilliant gamut of substance and style, including: $cellebrity; A Teacher; Beauty Is Embarrassing; Broadway Idiot; Hunky Dory; It’s Such a Beautiful Day; Medora; Some Girls; Sound City; Spark; and The Source Family.

You have to pay to watch them of course, but it's a darn sight cheaper than a night at the Hyatt during Austin's most expensive week. And if you want the full SXSW experience, then why not first spend 24 hours without sleep, drink a lot of beer out of plastic glasses and pound the streets for several hours before sitting down and enjoying the movie?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom May is a freelance writer and editor specialising in design and technology. He was previously associate editor at Creative Bloq and deputy editor at net magazine, the world’s best-selling magazine for web designers. Over two decades in journalism he’s worked for a wide range of mainstream titles including The Sun, Radio Times, NME, Heat, Company and Bella. Follow him on Twitter @tom_may.

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