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Sundance is to Oscar hopefuls as SXSW is to irreverent comedies

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SxSW
Jeffrey Tambor and Jason Bateman at SxSW 2014.

The South by Southwest Film Festival has become a showcase that makes room for both scrappy little indies and really big comedies. And there's plenty of TV, too.

The Frame's host John Horn spoke with Kyle Buchanan from our media partner Vulture about what to expect from this year's South by Southwest film festival

Prestigious festivals such as Sundance and Cannes attract top talent — and big money — from the film industry. But the South by Southwest film festival, which is going on right now, has grown into something a little different. 

"It's the fun one," says Kyle Buchanan, senior editor at Vulture. "That's the interesting sort of dynamic here at South By is that you have the scrappy little indies and then at the same time you have really big comedies."

Comedy films at SXSW 2015: 

"Trainwreck" directed by Judd Apatow and starring Amy Schumer

"Spy" directed by Paul Feig and starring Melissa McCarthy and Jon Hamm 

"Get Hard" directed by Etan Cohen and starring Kevin Hart and Will Ferrell 

"These movies wouldn't have necessarily fit at Sundance, they definitely would not have fit at Cannes, so it's the perfect place to debut something and give it that extra bit of oomph as we go into the summer season," Buchanan says.  

And it's not just movies coming out of SXSW, there's plenty of TV too. 

"Television has definitely started to overlap with the movie component," Buchanan says. "Lena Dunham brought 'Girls' there because she'd had such a great time with 'Tiny Furniture.' The L.A. Times pointed out very correctly... that HBO's Sunday night lineup is basically comprised of SXSW alums." 

TV series at SXSW 2015: 

"The Comedians" with Billy Crystal

"Angie Tribeca" with Rashida Jones 

According to Buchanan, there's another reason to choose SXSW's film festival over Sundance: the locale. 

"There's a lot of art and talent there in Austin. It's considered kind of a creative oasis in Texas," Buchanan says. "It feels like it's something that's organically come out of that town rather than plopped there, as Robert Redford did when he set Sundance in Park City." 

The SXSW Film Festival runs from March 13-21. 

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