SXSW recap – the verdict is in!

As we’re packing our bags here in Austin, getting ready for the next adventure, the report from SXSW is in, and it’s nothing short of amazing.

Fans waiting in line at the Alamo South Lamar.

Fans waiting in line at the Alamo South Lamar.

Our first screening at The Alamo South Lamar had a line so long that another screening was added at midnight to accommodate the spillover (a festival first, we were told)—both ended up completely full. Same story with our Tuesday screening at The Paramount—a 1,200 seater—packed on a weekday afternoon. Lines of badge-holders wrapped around the entire block on a chilly, rainy day. A sight to behold—reminiscent of a certain 1977 Summer release. The fourth and final screening took place at the slanted Hitachi G-Tech Theater on Thursday. Another packed house, plenty of applause during the film, and a really engaging Q&A to round it all up.

This one speaks for itself!

This one speaks for itself!

Let’s not forget the kick-ass premiere party at The Highball, hosted by the gracious and fabulous Tim League, and featuring DJ Fuckin’ A, Slave Leia dancers, and plenty of lasers.

Intense Q&A with a passionate crowd.

Intense Q&A with a passionate crowd.

Here in Austin, the fans, industry and media have embraced the film with tremendous enthusiasm and interest, and we couldn’t have hoped for a better reception. We’re now only days away from announcing further screenings at two top-tier international film festivals, and committed to two additional ones in June (details TBA).

DJ Fuckin A energizes the crowd @ The Highball.

DJ Fuckin' A energizes the crowd @ The Highball.

After an interview with Entertainment Weekly, and a second front page appearance as Top Entertainment story on, the early reviews are in. We’ll let them speak for themselves:

‘Best film about geek culture I’ve ever seen.’ (Chris Gore, G4)

‘A major crowd pleaser.’ (Eric Kohn, Moving Pictures Magazine) – FULL REVIEW HERE

The winner of our costume contest!

The winner of our costume contest!

‘The briskly paced movie does an admirable job of lashing together the best bits, which are combined with fascinating archival footage of the social phenomenon that Star Wars has become. […] That’s a lot of input to boil down into a coherent, feature-length movie, but Philippe and crew have pulled it off.’ ( – FULL REVIEW HERE

‘There’s more to “People” than just fanboys and girls emoting over the highs and lows of their tangled relationship with Lucas. […] Philippe crafts an interesting meditation on art and marketing and film itself. Between the voluminous clips of fan art and his true cross-section of high- and low-brow commentators, “People” is a clever and stimulating look inside a subculture that has ramifications on far bigger subjects. The galaxy in this case is not so very far away.’ (Randee Dawn, Moving Pictures Magazine) – FULL REVIEW HERE

The marquee at The Paramount--an impressive Baroque Revival 1,200-seater.

The marquee at The Paramount--an impressive Baroque Revival 1,200-seater.

‘A consistently good-looking doc, with high production values and some inspired editing.’ (SciFi Squad)

‘There isn’t a single angle of this discussion neglected, and the film serves as a testament to fandom’s greatest debate, becoming a distillation of the finer points while never neglecting the underlying passion that the fans have for the material. Equal parts funny and informative, […] this is the definitive word on the debate and it is impossible to imagine that anyone will ever say it better.’ ( – FULL REVIEW HERE

The line wrapped around the entire block from both sides of the theater. Impressive. Most impressive.

The line wrapped around the entire block from both sides of the theater. Impressive. Most impressive.

‘A generation of fanboys has its say in “The People vs. George Lucas,” a doc whose obvious sympathy for one side of the battle doesn’t keep it from giving a fair shake to the mogul behind “Star Wars” or prevent it from making good-natured jokes about those who take the saga too seriously. […] Even a well-informed “Star Wars” enthusiast will likely make new discoveries here, and more casual fans will be stunned by the homemade remakes, imaginative off-shoots and eagle-eyed edits put together by ordinary people who may have a stronger feel for the Force than the man who dreamed it up.’ (The Hollywood Reporter) – FULL REVIEW HERE

‘The longer the film rolls, the more apparent it becomes that, despite all the judicial trappings, this isn’t a trial; it’s a communal therapy session. An odd, hilarious, bittersweet communal therapy session, so that maybe, just maybe, we can start to heal. […] The People vs. George Lucas doesn’t provide any definitive verdicts. It’s honest enough to admit that ultimately, George Lucas is just a guy, and maybe we never had any right to hold him up to the standards we set for him after 30 years of nostalgic devotion.’ (Cinemablend) – FULL REVIEW HERE

‘The People vs. George Lucas is an amazing piece of documentary film making. […] The interviewees range from film critics and musicians, to regular people and filmmakers. […] The commentary they provide on the passion they have for the original fare is powerful and inspiring and makes you proud to be a film geek of any ilk. Conversely, the articulating of black-bile hatred for the newer films and the re-releases is subversively hysterical.’ (Film School Rejects)

‘SXSW always has a strong lineup of documentaries, and The People vs. George Lucas is one of this year’s best. Smart, funny, and often impassioned, it’s entertaining even when it’s just exploring the filmmaker’s relationship with his rebellious army of fans. But what really hooked me were its insights into why this battle matters to the noncombatants.’ (Slant Magazine) – FULL REVIEW HERE

‘As a film by and for the fans, there’s no denying that The People vs George Lucas is worthy of its place in the pantheon of George Lucas’s classic series.’ ( – FULL REVIEW HERE

Finally, a few relevant clips/audio files for your enjoyment:

Movie Maven Report

Movie Maven Interview

Directors Notes Podcast

Big Fanboy Interview

Q&A @ The Paramount

YouTube Fan Review


Early media reactions to SXSW World Premiere

Below is a short compilation of the love we’ve received from the media 24 hours after the official announcement of our world premiere. Look for my interview with later today!


‘I’m trying to decide whether or not to spend $1500-plus so I can attend 2010 South by Southwest. […] It may be worth it just to see The People vs. George Lucas.’ (Hollywood Elsewhere)

‘Premiering at the SXSW film festival is this amazing little documentary that shows the everyday battle we all fight in our love/hate relationship with George Lucas. Diving deep into expert opinion and fandom rage and love the directors analyze the deep dark relationship we all have with Lucas and Star Wars.’ (Meredith Woerner,

‘Do you think George Lucas is “the Antichrist” and “a little devil disguised as a false prophet”? Or do you believe he’s “unlocked a generation’s imagination”? Either way, the new documentary The People vs. George Lucas, which debuts at next month’s South By Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival in Austin, is going to be a must-see. (Scott Edelman, Sci-Fi Wire)

‘As we continue to pick through the massive 191-feature deep lineup of this year’s South by Southwest Film Festival, we continue to find little films that we’ve been excited about for some time. Chief among these gems is the Star Wars-centric documentary The People vs. George Lucas.’ (Neil Miller, Film School Rejects)

‘The Documentary I have been looking forward to the most is The People Vs George Lucas. Mostly because I think these people really do understand the love affair that Star Wars fans have with the franchise.

Only someone you love this much can hurt you so deeply. If a movie upset you so badly, you would just dismiss it and be satisfied to publicly snub it by denying its existence. But not Star Wars fans! We just LOVE this so much that we are so deeply offended that Star Wars has treated us this way, and we just must voice these deep hurts to anyone who will listen.

The doc is finally going to be released at the South by Southwest Film Festival next month and I hope soon after we will get a DVD release.’ (