The South by Southwest festival opens today in Austin, Texas. Eleven animated short films are on the schedule, including the United States premiere of Pixar’s The Blue Umbrella. The full list of movies being screened is on the SXSW website.

Another film to look for is The Gold Sparrow. The film was directed by Daniel Stressen and digitally rotoscoped by Michael Garza using a new software tool he developed that “mimics the physical process of painting – maintaining the hand of the artist in every frame of the film. The result is a living, breathing, animated painting”. As for the story, “the film follows the exploits of The Gold Sparrow and her henchman, The Ringleader, as they scour the gray-scale streets, stealing the color from anyone daring enough to bring art back into their bleak world”. Check out a trailer here:

The Gold Sparrow on Vimeo.