SXSW has unveiled this year’s Midnighters, Shorts, Virtual Cinema, Music Video, Title Sequence and new Independent Episodic lineup. Busting at the seams with unique — and sometimes bizarre — genre-bending projects, the film festival portion of the event announced an extensive addition to their lineup which includes Wes Anderson’s forthcoming stop-motion animated feature Isle of Dogs as the closing night film and a first-of-its-kind special event for the Robert Rodriguez-directed Alita: Battle Angel. The South by Southwest Conference and Festival runs March 9-18 in Austin.
The 25th edition of the festival will close with the North American premiere of Isle of Dogs which includes all-star voice cast of Anderson regulars and acclaimed actors including Bryan Cranston, Koyu Rankin, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Kunichi Nomura, Akira Takayama, Greta Gerwig, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Scarlett Johansson, Harvey Keitel, Yoko Ono, Ken Watanabe, Courtney B. Vance and a host of others. The film tells the story of Atari Kobayashi, 12-year-old ward to corrupt Mayor Kobayashi. When, by executive decree, all the canine pets of Megasaki City are exiled to a vast garbage dump, Atari sets off alone in a miniature Junior-Turbo Prop and flies to Trash Island in search of his bodyguard-dog, Spots. There, with the assistance of a pack of newly-found mongrel friends, he begins an epic journey that will decide the fate and future of the entire Prefecture.
In a festival first, 20th Century Fox will welcome SXSW Platinum and Film badge holders to Iron City at Robert Rodriguez’s Troublemaker Studios, the movie set where Alita: Battle Angel was filmed. The event will serve as the 2018 SXSW Opening Night Party in celebration of the upcoming sci-fi action pic starring Rosa Salazar, Jennifer Connelly, Mahershala Ali, and Christoph Waltz.
The SXSW Midnighters, which is known for featuring weird and sometimes terrifying selections, will feature 10 genre films, including 6 World Premieres.
“It is the highlight of my year to get to dive into the yearly pool of genre film submission and see what wild and devilish ideas these filmmakers have brought to life,” said Jarod Neece, SXSW Senior Film Programmer. “This year’s Midnighters, made both by veteran filmmakers and many first-timers, are sure to delight and terrify lucky SXSW audiences. And if they can survive the onslaught they will be treated to the fantastical world of Wes Anderson’s latest stop-motion masterpiece, SXSW Closing Night Film Isle of Dogs.”
118 short films, independent episodics, and virtual cinema projects were selected from 5,410 submissions. A comprehensive list of the Short Film Program is below and will screen as part of 12 curated shorts programs. In addition, SXSW expanded the footprint of its Virtual Cinema section of the Film Festival to showcase the newest and most cutting-edge work.
Read the additions to the SXSW Film Festival lineup below.
Scary, funny, sexy, controversial – ten provocative after-dark features for night owls and the terminally curious.
Director: Katsuyuki Motohiro, Screenwriter: Kouji Seko
Endless battle between human being and immortal demi-human “Ajin”. A stunning, strikingly original action masterpiece! Cast: Takeru Satoh, Go Ayano, Tetsuji Tamayama, Yu Shirota, Yudai Chiba, Rina Kawaei, Minami Hamabe (North American Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Owen Egerton
In Blood Fest, fans flock to a festival celebrating the most iconic horror movies, only to discover that the charismatic showman behind the event has a diabolical agenda. Cast: Robbie Kay, Jacob Batalon, Seychelle Gabriel, Tate Donovan, Barbara Dunkelman, Nick Rutherford, Zachary Levi (World Premiere)
Untitled Blumhouse-Bazelevs Film
Director/Screenwriter: Stephen Susco
A 20-something finds a cache of hidden files on his new laptop and is thrust into the deep waters of the dark web. From the makers of Unfriended, this thriller unravels in real-time, entirely on a computer screen. A warning for the digital age. Cast: Colin Woodell, Betty Gabriel, Rebecca Rittenhouse, Andrew Lees, Conor del Rio, Stephanie Nogueras, Savira Windyani (World Premiere)
Field Guide to Evil (Austria, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Poland, Turkey, U.S.)
Directors: Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala, Peter Strickland, Agnieszka Smoczynska, Katrin Gebbe, Can Evrenol, Calvin Reeder, Ashim Ahluwalia, Yannis Veslemes
They are known as dark folklore. Created to give logic to mankind’s darkest fears, these stories and others laid the foundation for what we now call the horror genre. (World Premiere)
Ghost Stories (United Kingdom)
Directors/Screenwriters: Jeremy Dyson, Andy Nyman
An arch-skeptic debunker of the supernatural embarks upon a terror-filled quest when he stumbles across a long-lost file containing details of three cases of inexplicable ‘hauntings’. Adapted from the Olivier Award Winning hit stage play. Cast: Martin Freeman, Alex Lawther, Jill Halfpenny, Andy Nyman, Paul Whitehouse (North American Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Ari Aster
When Ellen, the matriarch of the Graham family, passes away, her daughter’s family begins to unravel cryptic and increasingly terrifying secrets about their ancestry. Cast: Toni Collette, Gabriel Byrne, Ann Dowd, Alex Wolff, Milly Shapiro
A Prayer Before Dawn (United States, France)
Director: Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire, Screenwriters: Jonathan Hirschbein, Nick Saltrese
Based on the international best-seller, A Prayer Before Dawn is the true story of Billy Moore, a troubled young British boxer sent to one of Thailand’s most notorious jails. Cast: Joe Cole, Vithaya Pansringar, Panya Yimmumphai, Nicolas Shake (North American Premiere)
Director: Jenn Wexler, Screenwriters: Jenn Wexler, Giaco Furino
Teen punks, on the run from the cops and hiding out in the woods, come up against the local authority—an unhinged park ranger with an axe to grind. Cast: Chloë Levine, Granit Lahu, Jeremy Pope, Bubba Weiler, Amanda Grace Benitez, Jeremy Holm, Larry Fessenden (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Leigh Whannell
In a utopian near-future when technology controls everything, a technophobe avenges his wife’s murder and his own paralysis-causing injury with the help of an experimental computer chip implant – STEM – that turns out to have a mind of its own. Cast: Logan Marshall-Green, Betty Gabriel, Harrison Gilbertson, Benedict Hardie (World Premiere)
What Keeps You Alive (Canada)
Director: Colin Minihan, Screenwriters: Colin Minihan, Brittany Allen
Majestic mountains, a still lake and venomous betrayals engulf a female married couple attempting to celebrate their one-year anniversary. Cast: Hannah Emily Anderson, Brittany Allen, Martha Macisaac, Joey Klein, Charlotte Lindsay Marron (World Premiere)
Big names, big talent: Headliners bring star power to SXSW, featuring red carpet premieres and gala film events with major and rising names in cinema.
Isle of Dogs (United States, United Kingdom)
Director/Screenwriter: Wes Anderson
Set in Japan, Isle of Dogs follows a boy’s odyssey in search of his dog. Cast: Bryan Cranston, Koyu Rankin, Edward Norton, Bob Balaban, Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Kunichi Nomura, Akira Takayama, Greta Gerwig, Frances McDormand, Akira Ito, Scarlett Johansson, Harvey Keitel, F. Murray Abraham, Yoko Ono, Tilda Swinton, Ken Watanabe, Mari Natsuki, Fisher Stevens, Nijiro Murakami, Liev Schreiber, Courtney B. Vance (North American Premiere)
High profile narrative features receiving their World, North American or U.S. premieres at SXSW.
Brother’s Nest (Australia)
Director: Clayton Jacobson, Screenwriter: Jaime Browne
With their Mother dying of cancer, intent on changing her will to benefit her “new” husband before she dies, two brothers go to extreme and deadly lengths to protect their inheritance from being signed away before it’s too late. Cast: Shane Jacobson, Clayton Jacobson, Lynette Curran, Kim Gyngell, Sarah Snook (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Melanie Laurent
After surviving a setup by his criminal boss, a hitman rescues a young prostitute and flees with her to Galveston, Texas, where the two find strength in each other as dangerous pursuers and the shadows of their pasts follow close behind. Cast: Ben Foster, Elle Fanning, Beau Bridges, Adepero Aduye, Robert Aramayo, Lili Reinhart, Maria Valverde (World Premiere)
Most Likely To Murder
Director: Dan Gregor, Screenwriters: Dan Gregor, Doug Mand
Billy, the coolest kid in high school, comes back to his hometown 15 years later to find he’s no longer cool and the girl he still has feelings for now dates the former town outcast. Billy becomes obsessed with proving the outcast is a murderer. Cast: Adam Pally, Rachel Bloom, Vincent Kartheiser, John Reynolds, Didi Conn, Ethan Phillips, Doug Mand, Hasan Minhaj, Rebecca Naomi Jones, Julia Goldani Telles (World Premiere)
Shining a light on new documentary features receiving their World, North American or U.S. premieres at SXSW.
They Live Here, Now
Director/Screenwriter: Jason Outenreath
Austin based refugee house, Casa Marianella, is one of the most prominent refugee houses in the United States, providing life saving services for thousands of immigrants each year. Meet the people who live here now. (World Premiere)
24 BEATS PER SECOND
Showcasing the sounds, culture and influence of music and musicians, with an emphasis on documentary.
Being Frank: The Chris Sievey Story (United Kingdom)
Director/Screenwriter: Steve Sullivan
The hilarious and bizarre story of Frank Sidebottom, the cult British comedian in a papier mâché head, and the secretive life of Chris Sievey, the artist trapped inside. (World Premiere)
Hearts Beat Loud
Director: Brett Haley, Screenwriters: Brett Haley, Marc Basch
A father and daughter become an unlikely songwriting duo before she leaves for college. Cast: Nick Offerman, Kiersey Clemons, Ted Danson, Toni Collette, Blythe Danner, Sasha Lane
A diverse selection of international filmmaking talent, featuring innovative narratives, artful documentaries, premieres, festival favorites and more.
Jeannette, The Childhood of Joan of Arc (France)
Director/Screenwriter: Bruno Dumont
France, 1425. In the midst of the Hundred Years’ War, the young Jeannette, at the still tender age of 8, looks after her sheep in the small village of Domremy. Cast: Lise Leplat Prudhomme, Jeanne Voisin, Lucile Gauthier, Victoria Lefebvre, Aline Charles (U.S. Premiere)
Acclaimed standouts and selected previous premieres from festivals around the world.
Director: Carlos Lopez Estrada, Screenwriters: Rafael Casal, Daveed Diggs
Lifelong friends Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal co-wrote and star in this timely and wildly entertaining story about the intersection of race and class set against the backdrop of a rapidly gentrifying Oakland. Cast: Daveed Diggs, Rafael Casa, Janina Gavankar, Jasmine Cephas Jones
Directors: Cristina Costantini, Darren Foster, Screenwriters: Jeffrey Plunkett, Darren Foster, Cristina Costantini
Nine high school students from around the globe navigate rivalries, setbacks, and of course, hormones, on their journey to compete at the international science fair. Facing off against 1,700 of the smartest, quirkiest teens from 78 different countries, only one will be named Best in Fair.
Sorry To Bother You
Director/Screenwriter: Boots Riley
In an alternate present-day version of Oakland, telemarketer Cassius Green discovers a magical key to professional success, propelling him into a macabre universe. Cast: Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Armie Hammer, Terry Crews, Steven Yeun, Omari Hardwick, Jermaine Fowler, and Danny Glover
Live soundtracks, cult re-issues and much more. Our Special Events section offers unusual, unexpected and unique one-off film events.
Cartoon Network Screening at SXSW
For the third year in a row, Cartoon Network presents a fun-filled family event open to all fans. Be among the first to watch upcoming adventure series, Craig of the Creek plus catch brand new episodes of favorite shows Ben 10 and Unikitty! And fans are in for a special treat with a never-before-seen look at Teen Titans Go! to the Movies, coming to theaters this summer.
Doug Benson Master Pancake and Doug Loves Movies Podcast
Doug Benson returns in the continuing tradition of our annual St. Patrick’s Day screening of the Leprechaun series. On March 17 we present Leprechaun 5: In The Hood, directed by Rob Spera.
20th Century Fox Presents Alita: Battle Angel SXSW Opening Night Party
For the first time ever, 20th Century Fox welcomes SXSW Platinum and Film badge holders to Iron City, the movie set where Alita: Battle Angel was filmed. SXSW Platinum and Film badge holders are invited to join the cast and filmmakers at Robert Rodriguez’s Troublemaker Studios for the 2018 SXSW Opening Night Party in celebration of the upcoming Alita: Battle Angel. Attendees will be picked up in front of the Hilton Hotel on 5th Street in Downtown Austin by Alita: Battle Angel branded shuttles and will be transported to the futuristic Iron City movie set. From 9:30 pm to 12:30 am on Friday March 9, guests will enjoy cocktails, bites from local food trucks and great music, all within an immersive film set, featuring props from the film.
A selection of original, well-crafted films that take advantage of the short form and exemplify distinctive and genuine storytelling.
Allen Anders – Live at the Comedy Castle (circa 1987)
Director: Laura Moss, Screenwriter: Tony Grayson
Footage of Allen Anders famed 1987 performance at the Comedy Castle. (World Premiere)
Are We Good Parents?
Director: Bola Ogun, Screenwriters: Hailey Chavez, Bola Ogun
When Lauren and Bill’s 14-year-old daughter says she’s going to her first dance with her classmate Ryan, they question their preconceived notions of her sexuality and their openness as parents. (World Premiere)
The Big Day (United Kingdom)
Director: Dawn Shadforth, Screenwriter: Kellie Smith
Jess is super excited to attend her step-sister’s wedding and truly become part of the family, but after only recently finding out about her existence, her stepfamily are less than delighted about her presence on the big day. (World Premiere)
Brian and Charles (United Kingdom)
Director: Jim Archer, Screenwriters: David Earl, Chris Hayward
A comedy about two friends who share a cottage in the English countryside. Brian is a poorly groomed, gravelly voiced farmer who struggles with depression and loneliness. Charles is a robot.
Directors/Screenwriters: Logan George, Celine Held
When plans fall through, a six-year-old is faced with a big responsibility on a hot Texas day. (World Premiere)
Carro (Brazil, United States)
Director/Screenwriter: Gustavo Rosa
An undocumented Brazilian immigrant living in the Boston area decides to buy a car in an effort to better his life before returning home. (World Premiere)
Director: Carey Williams, Screenwriter: K.D. Dávila
Faced with an emergency, a group of young Black and Latino friends weigh the pros and cons of calling the police.
Director/Screenwriter: Moisés Aisemberg
Guilt is a direct window into the undeniable violence experienced by children today and the involuntary repression that they must undergo within a society that tolerates abuse. (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Kelly Fyffe-Marshall
When a little girl finds solace in between her mother’s legs, biggest fears become reality. (North American Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Jonatan Etzler
“I’ll give you 100 bucks” he suggests, and jokingly she agrees, and neither of them see the gravity of the situation. When a sexual boundary is crossed and the balance of power is shifted – what will happen to their peaceful and normal relationship? (North American Premiere)
Jay-Z – ‘Moonlight’
Director/Screenwriter: Alan Yang
The One Where No One’s Ready
Director/Screenwriter: Jackson Kiyoshi Segars
As his family argues about his end-of-life care, an elderly Korean man reflects on his life with a stranger. (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Laurel Akira Parmet
Teenage Kira attempts to take revenge after a heartbreaking betrayal by her ex-best friend. (World Premiere)
Director: Danny Madden, Screenwriters: Danny Madden, Will Madden
In a high school theater class, Krista uses her scene study as catharsis. (World Premiere)
Men Don’t Whisper
Director: Jordan Firstman, Screenwriters: Charles Rogers, Jordan FIrstman
After being emasculated at a sales conference, gay couple Reese and Peyton set out to do the most masculine thing they can think of – sleep with some women.
Director: Mary Neely, Screenwriters: Macey Isaacs, Jenny Leiferman
Best friends Lucy and Julie are spending their summer hiding from a terrorizing neighbor until Lucy runs out of her antidepressant, and they’re forced to fight for their lives. (North American Premiere)
Shiva Baby (Canada)
Director/Screenwriter: Emma Seligman
At a Jewish funeral service with her parents, a college student runs into her sugar daddy. (World Premiere)
Tangles and Knots (Australia)
Director/Screenwriter: Renée Marie Petropoulos
An intimate, unique bond between mother and daughter becomes threatened when the mother helps her teenage daughter throw a party to impress new, more popular friends.
The Things You Think I’m Thinking (Canada)
Director: Sherren Lee, Screenwriter: Jesse LaVercombe
A black male burn-survivor and amputee goes on a date with a regularly-abled man.
Tooth and Nail
Director: Sara Shaw, Screenwriters: Sara Shaw, Amanda Verwey
A sister makes a bargain with her terminally ill brother. He agrees to let her use his sperm for future use with a partner if she comes out to her family that night. (World Premiere)
We Forgot to Break Up (Canada)
Director: Chandler Levack, Screenwriters: Steven McCarthy, Chandler Levack
After a few years absence, Evan unexpectedly returns one night to face his now-famous former bandmates. The surprise reunion is bittersweet, in this intimate depiction of the knotty complexities of relating to old friends after everything has changed. (U.S. Premiere)
Director: Michael Stahl-David, Screenwriters: Ana Nogueira, Michael Stahl-David
A happy couple’s relationship unravels during a game of “Mafia.” (World Premiere)
Wren Boys (United Kingdom)
Director: Harry Lighton, Screenwriters: Harry Lighton, John Fitzpatrick
On the day after Christmas, a Catholic priest from Cork drives his nephew to prison.
Slices of life from across the documentary spectrum.
The Earth is Humming
Director: Garrett Bradley
In Japan, earthquake preparedness is a way of life—and a full-blown industry. (World Premiere)
The Coffin Club (New Zealand)
Director: Briar March, Screenwriter: Kim Harrop, Nick Ward, Briar March
A group of rebellious, creative Kiwi seniors give death the finger, one crazy coffin at a time. (North American Premiere)
Dead. Tissue. Love. (United Kingdom)
Director: Natasha Austin-Green
Dead. Tissue. Love. is an intimate experimental documentary exploring the character of a female necrophile, as she recounts her life experiences and sexual awakening. (U.S. Premiere)
Death Metal Grandma
Director: Leah Galant, Screenwriters: Sean Weiner, Leah Galant
Death Metal Grandma follows 97-year-old Holocaust survivor, Inge Ginsberg, who has decided to break out as a singer of Death Metal music. (World Premiere)
Directors: Ryan Maxey, Zack Wright
Willcox, Arizona is a country music town that isn’t what it used to be. The town’s only radio station has but one employee – a local pariah who lives in the studio, and has a complicated and difficult relationship with the music he plays every day. (World Premiere)
My Dead Dad’s Porno Tapes (Canada)
Director: Charlie Tyrell, Screenwriters: Josef Beeby, Charlie Tyrell
Filmmaker Charlie Tyrell seeks to better understand his emotionally distant late-father through the random objects he left behind, including a stack of tacky, 1980s VHS pornography.
A Night at The Garden
Director: Marshall Curry
Months before the start of World War II, 22,000 Americans gathered in New York’s Madison Square Garden to rally in support of Nazism.
On My Way Out: The Secret Life of Nani and Popi (Canada)
Directors: Brandon Gross, Skyler Gross
Ruth (Nani) and Roman (Popi) are Holocaust survivors married for 65 years. After six decades of marriage, a painful truth tests their enduring union. Brandon and Skyler Gross’ moving portrait of their grandparents raises more questions than it answers. (U.S. Premiere)
Directors: Patrick Bresnan, Ivete Lucas
Palm Beach International Airport’s newest snowbird has become one of the fastest growing roadside attractions in the United States.
Director: César Pesquera, Screenwriters: Kako Mendez, Christian Lopez, César Pesquera
Part art-film, part documentary, Santa Ana aims to elucidate the link between evil and the famed Santa Ana winds, extremely dry down-slope winds in Southern California supposedly responsible for a tense, uneasy, wrathful mood among the people.
Director: Mohammad Gorjestani
Maryam Uloho spent thirteen years in prison in Louisiana. After her release in 2013, she was homeless and lived as a squatter for over 2 years. This experience led her to discover her lifelong mission: To help incarcerated women re-enter society. (World Premiere)
The Terrorist Hunter (Canada, United States)
Director/Screenwriter: Ann Shin
The Terrorist Hunter follows controversial spy Rita Katz, lauded by some for her work fighting terrorism, and criticized by others who say she creates terrorist plots where none exist. The film explores how fear and terror play out in our society. (World Premiere)
Xavier Corbero: Portrait of an Artist in Winter (Spain, United Kingdom)
Director: Nathalie Biancheri
The first and last glimpse into the universe of iconic Spanish sculptor Xavier Corberó. A kaleidoscopic life and career that traversed a turbulent moment of Spanish history. (World Premiere)
ANIMATED SHORTS COMPETITION
An assortment of stories told using traditional animation, computer-generated effects, stop-motion, and everything in-between.
Abnie Oberfork: A Tale of Self-Preservation
Director/Screenwriter: Shannon Fleming
A 12-year-old girl pickles herself to escape the malaise of childhood. (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Alexa Lim Haas
A Chinese manicurist attempts to describe feelings she doesn’t have the words for in a language she does not speak. (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Elodie Dermange
As she is showering, dressing, putting on her make-up, a woman bares her soul. She speaks of her fears, her complexes, and the process of accepting – even loving – herself.
Director: Kangmin Kim
A father and a son both have the same big birthmark on their butt. Believing that the two birthmarks are connected, the son scrubs his father’s birthmark to remove it – but he just can’t get rid of it.
Director: Chintis Lundgren, Screenwriters: Chintis Lundgren, Draško Ivezić
Tinged with typically absurdist Estonian humour, Manivald mixes the surreal and the heartfelt in its timely tale of an emotionally unnourished generation that continue to live with their parents well into their adult lives.
Director: Jeron Braxton
A street race that reflects America’s genocidal history and the parallels between slavery and the private prison system. (World Premiere)
People of Color
Director: Raghav Arumugam
An animated documentary about race and perception in America. (World Premiere)
The Shivering Truth
Directors: Vernon Chatman, Cat Solen, Screenwriter: Vernon Chatman
An omnibus of painfully riotous daymares dripping with dream logic; a slate of emotional parables from the deepest caverns of your unconscious, lovingly animated in stop-motion. In other words, it is the Truth.
Director: Jonatan Schwenk, Screenwriters: Jonatan Schwenk, Merlin Flügel
The dystopic drama Sog is about the cruel efforts of a people of humanlike creatures to lash out viciously against a shoal of fish that had unintentionally entered their desolate land.
Solar Walk (Denmark, Hungary)
Director/Screenwriter: Réka Bucsi
Solar Walk shows the a cosmic journey of individuals and their passion for creation, through the unique and playful texture of the animation craft itself. (U.S. Premiere)
Director: Sara Litzenberger
Sasquatch has always remained elusive in photos–but not for the reasons we think. (World Premiere)
Bite-sized bits for all of your sex, gore, and hilarity cravings.
Asian Girls (Australia)
Director/Screenwriter: Hyun Lee
Chan is a Chinese factory worker who lives alone. Every night, she suffers from horrific nightmares involving the woman in the apartment next door, a Japanese office lady. (World Premiere)
Brendan Maclean – ‘House of Air’ (United Kingdom)
Directors: Brian Fairbairn and Karl Eccleston
An exploration of hanky codes and visual signifiers in 1970s San Francisco. Inspired by Hal Fischer’s Gay Semiotics, House of Air humorously investigates a clash between coded and explicit representations of gay sex.
Crying Bitch (Japan)
Director/Screenwriter: Reiki Tsuno
Crying Bitch is a dark tale about a woman’s grudge, mixed with comedy, horror, and a homage to 80s cinema. A dark tale about a man who discovers his wife’s dark side after having an affair with a young girl. (U.S. Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Mariama Diallo
In a black hair salon in gentrifying Brooklyn, the local residents fend off a strange new monster: white women intent on sucking the lifeblood from black culture. (World Premiere)
Lil Dicky – ‘Pillow Talking’
Director: Tony Yacenda, Screenwriters: Lil Dicky, Dave Burd
A story about a man, a woman, and a brain.
Long Distance Relationship (Brazil)
Director/Screenwriter: Carolina Markowicz
A brief story about a gentleman who’s obsessed about having sex with ETs. (U.S. Premiere)
The Mangina Exit
Director: Byron Brown, Screenwriters: Byron Brown, David James Ward
Two people. Zero broken hearts. One harmless little mangina. (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Santiago Menghini
On a late night, a young teen goes into the kitchen for a glass of milk. Upon encountering his sleepless mother, he quickly realizes things are not as they seem. (World Premiere)
Neverlanding. A Bad Thriller. (Belgium)
Director/Screenwriter: Wim Reygaert
A reclusive Michael Jackson impersonator dedicates his whole life to the perfection of his act. (North American Premiere)
Perfect Town (Switzerland)
Director/Screenwriter: Anais Voirol
In search of perfection, a city obeys to selection. A constant struggle. Trying and trying again. Where is the difference between endurance and madness?
Who’s the daddy (Hong Kong)
Director/Screenwriter: Wong Ping
A journey finding my root of shame. (U.S. Premiere)
An offshoot of our regular narrative shorts program, composed of work shot in, about, or somehow relating to the Lone Star state.
An Uncertain Future
Directors: Iliana Sosa, Chelsea Hernandez
In Austin, Texas, two expectant mothers—one undocumented and one US citizen—must contend with increased ICE raids and mounting hostility towards immigrants under President Trump.
Come & Take It
Directors: Ellen Spiro, PJ Raval
Come & Take It captures Jessica Jin’s transformation into one of America’s most inspired anti-gun violence leaders creating what some people are calling The Great Texas Dildo Revolt. (World Premiere)
Don’t Be a Hero
Director/Screenwriter: Pete Lee
Lizzy Jo still lives with mom at 45 and battles her loneliness and boredom by robbing banks in the guise of a cowboy on her lunch break. After the adrenaline rush wears off, she still has to deal with her deeply unhappy life. Based on a true story.
Ghosted Featuring Kamille – ‘Get Some’
Director/Screenwriter: Fidel Ruiz-Healy
A story about youthful animalistic lust and how it presents itself under the glow of the full moonlight. The answer is it’s messy and there is lots of biting.
Director/Screenwriter: Blair Rowan
Feelings get complicated and oddly mutual amongst a trio of friends in Heavy Chemistry, a short comedy about love, friendship, attraction, hunger, lust, and other complex chemical reactions. (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Anna Margaret Hollyman
Teeny thought it was just another routine babysitting job—until she’s shocked to meet the client. As the day goes on, Teeny decides to become the woman she had no idea she always wanted to be … until she gets caught.
Director: Carlyn Hudson, Screenwriter: Jeff Whitaker
After a failed date, Jake maintains a friendly connection with a part of Brooke no one saw coming. (World Premiere)
TEXAS HIGH SCHOOL SHORTS
A preview of the next filmmaking generation, as Texas High Schoolers present shorts of 5 minutes or less.
Director/Screenwriter: Ramiro Cantu
In order to survive, a young Syrian woman leaves her home, family and country behind to seek refuge in the United States.
The Art of War
Director/Screenwriter: Cal Etcheverry
There are only two realms in which rules are broken – art and war. This film explores the deontological ethics of war through the deep contrast of the utopian life of a painter and the chaotic life of a battle-bruised soldier.
Director: Sofia Rasmussen
These are the stories of people who stepped up in the tough times after Hurricane Harvey and brought hope to the people who needed the support of their community in and around Clear Creek Independent School District.
Directors: The Zavitsanos Brothers
When Myles is held at gunpoint in crime-ridden Baltimore, his life is forever changed…
Director/Screenwriter: Lindsay Wolf
Contact follows two awkward teenagers on a movie date, struggling with whether or not to show their true feelings for each other through subtle physical contact.
Directors/Screenwriters: Jada Harbin, Karina Harchandani
A 19-year-old drunk is triggered to drink when her boyfriend fails to keep his promise. A friend cleans her up and is her shoulder to cry on, maybe even more. Is it too good to be true?
How You See Us
Director/Screenwriter: Susannah Joffe
How You See Us is my way of giving a voice to all the women who are done with being disrespected, and I hope it encourages men to rethink the over-sexualization of women in society.
Directors: Nicholas Luna, Alan Lawson
High School Music Video for Alan Lawson’s Hunned Effort. Shot and edited by Nicholas Luna.
Director: C. Fears
Koepcke is an experimental animation about the experience of a 17-year-old girl in 1971.
Director/Screenwriter: Weston Bering
A couple who meets at a masquerade ball is interrupted by another couple’s plan to heist them.
Molly and Me
Directors: Colton Vanlandingham, Collin Grant, Screenwriters: Sydney Sexton, Mary Patrello, Gaby Fernandez
Party animal Bryce and sweet Molly meet each other at a party and decide to get to know each other better. They start to find out that neither one of them are who they seem.
The Night I Lost My Favorite Jacket
Director/Screenwriter: Jenna Krumerman
A girl tells her friend about her Saturday night. She loses her favorite jacket and a little of herself while meeting new characters and trying to get by.
Pursuit of a Dream
Director/Screenwriter: Scott Larson
A man working a dead-end nine to five has to let go of his past in order to pursue his future.
Director: Ben Phillips, Screenwriters: Ben Phillips, Billy Nguyen, Edward Nuno
A cybernetically enhanced man must track down the criminal who stole his wallet by chasing the masked thief through a futuristic city, and will have to make the ultimate decision between what is right and wrong.
Puzzle Pieces: Living Life on The Spectrum
Puzzle Pieces: Living Life on The Spectrum explores children and teens that have autism spectrum disorder.
Directors: Demar Gunter, Victoria Hartson, Screenwriter: Demar Gunter
In a dystopian future, where life holds monetary value, a family must make a tough decision.
The Risk For Freedom (Vietnam)
Director: Alex Le
This documentary follows the early life of a Vietnamese immigrant, the director’s grandmother and her struggle to get to America.
Director/Screenwriter: Jinho Rhee
Everyone has roommate problems at one point; However, none is like the one Nayeon has to face.
Directors: Jose Martinez, Nana Achempong, Screenwriters: Jose Martinez, Nana Achempon, and Brandon Mai
A silent Buddhist prays for peace when a loud, angry boxer next door challenges him to enter the ring.
What It Takes
Director: Kourtney Williams
This documentary was created to help express the point of view of a male gymnast. There’s a lot that goes into the sport of gymnastics and what it takes to be successful. The story takes you through 3 different perspectives to show their passion.
Innovative and new independent web series, pilots and docs aimed squarely at the small screen.
Director/Screenwriter: Ben Strang
When his father mysteriously goes missing at sea, a teenager rallies the help of his small fishing-island town to find him and figure out once and for all why people keep disappearing on Smith Island. (World Premiere)
Directors/Screenwriters: Flora Birnbaum, Sarah Scarlett Downing
A jaded Los Angeles thirty-something goes on a magical juice cleanse to fix her life. (World Premiere)
Everything is Okay: Robot
Director: Adam Sacks, Screenwriter: Cirocco Dunlap
A better you is just a click away.
First World Problems
Director/Screenwriter: X. Dean Lim
Harold, an Asian-American, comes to realizes his family are apathetic douchebags. But when a mysterious crisis starts a ticking clock, he alienates them all to prove they’re more than Amazon, Audi and Autopay. The question is: can he be wrong? (World Premiere)
Hold To Your Best Self
Director/Screenwriter: Emily Hagins
Over the course of a prom night, young adults tackle big questions concerning identity, relationships, self-esteem, and the future – their adolescent ideas and expectations are fundamentally challenged by high school coming to an end. (World Premiere)
My Dead Ex
Directors: Joe Lynch, Zoe Cassavetes, Screenwriter: Drew Hancock
A little thing like death can’t stop these two teens from falling in love. Or maybe it can. (World Premiere)
Night Owl (Canada)
Directors: R. Miskin, Gillian Muller, Screenwriter: R. Miskin
One Girl’s quest to face her fears, step outside her comfort zone and make some real friends!… in the middle of the night at a 24-hour grocery store. Well?… What do you do when you can’t sleep? (World Premiere)
One Eye Small
Director/Screenwriter: Jane Stiles
Two female strangers become affectionate friends over the course of a frenetic evening in NYC. (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Alexander Etseyatse
A young calm, mentally unstable man attempts to convince his new buddy that they don’t belong at a Psych ward by inciting an uprising while trying to win back the affection of his ex-fiancée and daughter. (World Premiere)
Polar (Denmark, Greenland)
Directors: Natalia Anna Ciepiel, Alexander Ohrt, Screenwriter: Morten Mortensen
Terrorized by an unbearable sound a group of teenagers commit suicide in the habour of Nuuk. After being declared dead, Ivik, awakes again. As the phenomenon returns to haunt the young population of Nuuk, Ivik sets out to find the nature of the sound. (World Premiere)
She’s the Ticket
Director: Nadia Hallgren
Five different women from around the country see Donald Trump get elected to the presidency on November 8th, 2016 and decide to do something about it. Run for office.
Director: Milena Govich, Screenwriter: David Cornue
A young woman in a desperate situation averts authorities by claiming to be a girl who disappeared years ago as a child. But when the missing girl’s family welcomes the impostor home, she’s forced to keep the deception alive or face the consequences. (World Premiere)
A range of classic, innovative, and stylish work showcasing the scope of music video culture.
Aisha Badru – ‘Mind on Fire’ / Director/Screenwriter: Thoranna “Tota” Sigurdardottir
Amanda Palmer & Edward Ka-Spel – ‘The Clock At The Back Of The Cage’ (Australia) / Directors: Chris Bennett, Christy Flaws, Luke O’Connor
The Blaze – ‘Territory’ / Director: The Blaze
Capital Cities – ‘Vowels’ / Director/Screenwriter: Remy Cayuela
CATHEDRALS – ‘Try To Fight’ / Director/Screenwriter: Jesse Fleece
Chris Lake – ‘I Want You’ / Director/Screenwriter: NORTON
COM TRUISE – ‘Propagation’ / Directors/Screenweriters: Karrie Crouse, Will Joines
Cray – ‘Lotus’ / Director: Ariel Fisher, Screenwriters: Ariel Fisher and Cray
Every Time I Die – ‘Map Change’ / Director: Kyle Thrash
JAY-Z – ‘Smile’ / Director/Screenwriter: Miles Jay
JIL – ‘All Your Words’ / Director: Anton Tammi
Moses Sumney – ‘Doomed’ / Director: Allie Avital
Oly. – ‘Growing Young’ (Poland) / Director: Katarzyna Sawicka
Oren Lavie – ‘Second Hand Lovers’ (Israel) / Director/Screenwriter: Oren Lavie
Peejay – ‘NA B YA’ (Korea, Republic of) / Directors: Jinwoo Lee, Jungsu Lee
POLO & PAN – ‘Coeur Croisé’ (France) / Director: PABLO MAESTRES
salute – ‘Storm’ (United Kingdom) / Director: Raine Allen Miller
The Shins – ‘Half A Million’ / Director: LAMAR+NIK
siyyu – ‘stop us’ (United Kingdom) / Director: This is Felo
Sue the Night – ‘Mind Dear’ (Netherlands) / Director: Thessa Meijer
The immersive arts are finding new ways to enhance our ability to perceive the world that surrounds us, and in many instances they are redefining how we experience the world. The 25 projects presented in our new Virtual Cinema emphasize storytelling, ingenuity and also showcase how other industries are embracing this new medium.
Discover an ever-changing virtual landscape created by Viacom NEXT and Isobar (with Tilt Brush art by Danny Bittman), where a volumetric 3D model of two-time Grammy award-winning artist Billy Corgan sings and plays the piano to his single Aeronaut. (World Premiere)
Director: Brian Solomon, Screenwriters: Brian Solomon, James Longmire
The Atrium, Meow Wolf’s first mixed reality installation, builds on the story of the acclaimed immersive exhibition, House of Eternal Return. Voyage through the surreal lullaby of the multiverse — and unravel a mystery spanning multiple dimensions. (World Premiere)
Awake: Episode One (Australia, United States)
Director: Martin Taylor, Screenwriters: Martin Taylor, Mike Jones, Christian Cantamessa
Harry is a prisoner in his own house, obsessed with discovering the truth behind a recurring dream and a cryptic message within it. The arrival of a new presence promises to save Harry from his darkness and unlock the potential of humanity’s future. (World Premiere)
Beethoven’s Fifth (United Kingdom, United States)
Director: Jessica Brillhart, Screenwriters: Jessica Brillhart, Esa-Pekka Salonen
Journey into interstellar space with a performance of Beethoven’s Fifth by the Philharmonia Orchestra, London – conducted by Principal Conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen. The film was inspired by content on Voyager’s Golden Record, launched by NASA in 1977. (U.S. Premiere)
Director: Tyler Hurd
Transform into fantastical female warriors in this social virtual reality experience. Six people can band together to battle evil in this epic journey of empowerment, all orchestrated to the song “Chorus” by Justice. (World Premiere)
Director: Angel Manuel Soto, Screenwriters: Charlotte Stoudt, Laura Wexler
Dinner Party, the pilot episode for a true-life supernatural anthology series The Incident, is a 3D virtual reality experience based on the true story of Betty and Barney Hill, an interracial couple who in 1961 reported the first known UFO abduction.
Everything Flows (China, United States)
Director: Yumeng Du
Everything Flows is a VR film experience that presents the time and space in an artistic way. It invites you to a journey of Director’s hometown, Wuhan, China. It is a mixture of painting, video capture, sounds, dreaming, memory, and reality. (World Premiere)
The Evolution of Testicles (United States, Ireland, United Kingdom)
Director: Ryan Hartsell
A testicular romp through the evolution of man told via CGI, a giant testicle-shaped hot air balloon, and narrator Chris O’Dowd—all in the name of bringing awareness to male cancer prevention. (World Premiere)
Four Worlds (United States, Australia)
Directors: Jonathan Zawada, Mark Pitchard
Four Worlds consists of four installations comprised of looping VR experiences augmented with extra sensory stimulation IRL. Each scene is a microcosm of a different environment, accompanied by an exquisite soundtrack by Mark Pritchard. (World Premiere)
Director: Michael Jacobs
An immersive 360 experimental film that offers a first-person experience of going on a date with a sex worker. (World Premiere)
Directors: Catherine Upin, Nonny de la Peña, Screenwriters: Catherine Upin, Nonny de la Peña, Julia Cort, Caitlin Saks, Carla Borras
NASA scientists are studying a troubling cause, Greenland is melting faster and faster. Using cutting edge VR technology, people can experience standing in front of a glacier, traveling underwater, and flying over some of the world’s stunning scenery. (North American Premiere)
Hold The World (United Kingdom)
Director: Dan Smith
Hold the World (“HTW”) is a world-first interactive VR entertainment experience hosted by Sir David Attenborough at the London’s Natural History Museum. (North American Premiere)
The Journey (United States, Chad, Ethiopia, South Sudan, United Kingdom)
Director: Charlotte Mikkelborg
The Journey through childhood in three of the toughest environments on Earth. Our three children will take you on a sensory journey into their worlds – where not only sight and sound but taste, smell and touch immerse you in their past present and future. (World Premiere)
Living With Jaguars (Canada)
Directors: Patrick McGuire, Jeff Orlowski, Screenwriter: Kate Lunau
Living With Jaguars is an interactive virtual reality film documenting wild jaguars in Brazil. Users explore the complex and interconnected perspectives of four key stakeholders: jaguars, ranchers, conservation researchers, and ecotourism operators. (World Premiere)
MONO – Blackwater
Director: Ben Wolstenholme, Screenwriters: Ben Wolstenholme, Felipe Marino, Anthony Brock
MONO, the former assassin to the queen and legendary ape-man, returns from exile to save his daughter, and reluctantly, Mankind. (World Premiere)
One Eighty (United States, India)
Director: Eren Aksu
One Eighty is the story of an Indian mother, Vijai Kumari, who spent 20 years behind bars, and her son, Kanhaiya Kumari, who was born in prison…and their quest to clear their names and live in freedom. (World Premiere)
Parragirls Past, Present – unlocking institutional memories of ‘care’ (Australia)
Directors: Media artists and Parragirls, Parragirls/Parramatta Female Factory Precinct Memory Project, Screenwriters: Bonney Djuric, Lily Hibberd, Jenny McNally
Parragirls Past, Present is a deeply moving immersive experience presenting former residents’ contemporary visions of Parramatta Girls Home to unlock memories of institutional ‘care’ within the punitive Australian child welfare system. (North American Premiere)
Director: Lester Francois
A distinctive portrait in VR of street artist Rone, whose stunning large-scale portraits are often seen in forgotten spaces. A mix of 360′ video and a virtual art gallery to explore, RONE will draw you into the world of street art like never before. (North American Premiere)
Sanctuaries of Silence
Directors: Adam Loften, Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee
Sanctuaries of Silence is an immersive listening journey into Olympic National Park, one of the quietest places in North America.
Space x Girl (Korea, Republic of)
Director: Minhyuk Che
A story about a girl and her space. The girl has a special sense of feeling the heart of the space. One day the space of the girl begins a conversation. It is about her memories that she was not aware of. (World Premiere)
Spheres: Songs of Spacetime
Director/Screenwriter: Eliza McNitt
Dive into the heart of a black hole and uncover the hidden songs of the cosmos. In this VR experience, the breakthrough discovery of gravitational waves transforms how we see the Universe. Fall into the darkness, and you will find the light.
Summation of Force (Australia)
Directors: Trent Parke, Narelle Autio, Matthew Bate, Screenwriters: Trent Parke, Narelle Autio
In a moonlit suburban backyard, two brothers battle one another in an otherworldly game of cricket in this stunning black and white live-action study of the motion, physics, and psychology of sport. Created by photographers Trent Parke and Narelle Autio, in collaboration with filmmaker Matthew Bate, this VR artwork offers a cosmic, darkly beautiful, and dreamlike metaphor for life.
Sun Ladies VR
Directors: Celine Tricart, Christian Stephen
In 2014, ISIS invaded Iraq and targeted the Yazidi community. The men were killed, and the women taken as sex slaves. Some of the ones who escaped decided to join the Kurdistan army and started a female-only fighting unit called the Sun Ladies.
Directors: Nicholas Manting Brewer, Megan Simon
An emotionally immersive and visually poetic journey into the issue of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome through the story of a woman who suffered from substance abuse disorder to Opioids and her child.Cassie Duran (World Premiere)
Director: Terrence Malick
Together is a VR experience about the power of human connection. The piece fuses dance and technology, putting the viewer in the middle of an emotional narrative about breaking down barriers and bringing people closer. (World Premiere)
We’re Still Here
Director: Jesse Ayala Aiden
Short Cloud, a Two-Spirit artist and historian in Boise, Idaho, struggles to preserve and revive his heritage in a race against time. (World Premiere)
Wonderful You VR (United Kingdom)
Director: John Durrant
Wonderful You VR, a Virtual Reality experience narrated by Academy Award nominee Samantha Morton, is a journey through the strange world of your developing senses: sight, sound, touch, taste and smell. (North American Premiere)
EXCELLENCE IN TITLE DESIGN
Inspired by an essential part of the theatrical experience, these are works of art in their own right. The 16 sequences selected represent the very best and most original of the past year.
Big Mouth / Company: Titmouse Inc. / Designer: Mike Roush
Book of Henry / Company: Imaginary Forces / Creative Director: Alan Williams
Britannia / Company: Me & the Bootmaker / Designer: Manija Emran
Comtes de Barcelona (Counts of Barcelona) / Company: Freelance / Designer: J. A. Duran
Counterpart / Company: Imaginary Forces / Creative Director: Karin Fong
Dark / Company: Self employed / Designer: Lutz Lemke
Divide / Company: Ringling College of Art and Design / Designer: Ioana Oprescu
Exhalación / Company: Mordisco Films / Designer: Alberto Díaz López
Godless / Company: Method Studios / Designer: John Likens
Narcos Season 3 / Company: Digital Kitchen / Designer: Harshit Desai
National Geographic Breakthrough / Company: Imaginary Forces / Creative Director: Karin Fong
OFFF CDMX Opening titles / Company: Diecinueve36 / Designer: Maribel Martínez
OFFF Barcelona 2017 / Company: Sailor Productions / Designer: Vallee Duhamel
Orient City: Ronin & The Princess / Company: Spoke Lane Entertainment / Designer: Zsombor Huszka
Paa Joe & The Lion / Company: Bottletop / Designer: Mark Pyper
Semi Permanent Festival / Company: Framestore / Designer: Akira Thompson
SOLO / Company: Plexus Post / Designer: Vijesh Rajan
Taboo / Company: Method Studios / Designer: John Likens
TEDx Sydney / Company: Substance / Designer: Scott Geersen
ZARAH / Company: Bakery Films / Designers: Florian Meimberg, Izzy Acar
Also, a special viewing of SXSW Gaming Awards Open 2017 / Company: Imaginary Forces / Designer: Jeremy Cox
COMPETITION AWARDS AND CEREMONY – Renowned Comedian and Actor Jim Gaffigan to Host
The films in the Short Film Program are eligible for Jury Awards within their respective screening categories, announced during the SXSW Film Awards on Tuesday, March 13 at 8:00 pm at the Paramount Theatre. Three-time Grammy-nominated Comedian and Actor Jim Gaffigan, star of 2018 SXSW Narrative Spotlight You Can Choose Your Family, will Host the Ceremony. Other awards announced will include the Narrative Feature Competition, the Documentary Feature Competition, Design Awards, and Special Awards. All feature film categories, except Special Events, will be eligible for category-specific Audience Awards, announced via sxsw.com on Saturday, March 17. SXSW is proud to be an official qualifying festival for the Academy Awards Short Film competition. Winners of our Best Animated, Best Narrative and Best Documentary Short Film categories become eligible for Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awards (Oscars). Any British Short Film or British Short Animation that screens at SXSW is eligible for BAFTA nomination.