SXSW 2021 Announces This Year’s Lineup

The 28th annual SXSW Film Festival is just around the corner. This year, the acclaimed program will be an element of SXSW Online from March 16–20, 2021, where it will draw thousands of fans, filmmakers, press, and industry leaders to immerse themselves in Film Screenings, Conference Sessions, Music Showcases, Comedy, Online Exhibitions, Mentoring, Meetups, and Special Events that that come to define the cross-industry event. From Tuesday, March 16 to Thursday, March 18, the Film Festival will premiere new work every two hours from 10:00am to 8:00pm CT during SXSW Online 2021.


This year’s Headliners: Opening and Closing Night Films and a Centerpiece Film with associated Special Events on our Live Channel.

Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil

SXSW 2021 Film Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil

Director: Michael D. Ratner, Producer: Marc Ambrose

Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil is a powerful YouTube Originals documentary event, exploring every aspect that led to Lovato’s nearly fatal overdose in 2018, and her awakenings in the aftermath. (World Premiere) (Opening Night Film)

Alone Together

SXSW Closing Night Film 2021, Alone Together

Directors: Bradley Bell, Pablo Jones-Soler, Producers: Ross Levine, Emmie Lichtenberg, Brian Ferenchik

Charli XCX, a popstar in quarantine, embarks on a whirlwind creative and romantic journey while making an album in 40 days that unites a community around the world. (World Premiere) (Closing Night Film)

Tom Petty, Somewhere You Feel Free

SXSW Film 2021, Tom Petty, Somewhere You Feel Free – Credit Robert Sebree

Director: Mary Wharton, Producer: Peter Afterman

Drawn from a newly discovered archive of 16mm film showing Tom Petty at work on his 1994 record Wildflowers, considered by many including Rolling Stone to be his greatest album ever, Somewhere You Feel Free is an intimate view of a musical icon. (World Premiere) (Centerpiece Film)

Narrative Feature Competition

Eight world premieres, eight unique ways to celebrate the art of storytelling.

Here Before (United Kingdom)

SXSW 2021 Film Here BeforeDirector/Screenwriter: Stacey Gregg, Producers: Sophie Vickers, Julia Godzinskaya

After new neighbors move in next door, a bereaved mother begins to question her reality in this unsettling psychological thriller. Cast List: Andrea Riseborough, Martin McCann, Jonjo O’Neill, Eileen O’Higgins (World Premiere)

I’m Fine (Thanks For Asking)

SXSW 2021 Film I’m Fine (Thanks For Asking)
Directors: Kelley Kali, Angelique Molina, Screenwriters: Kelley Kali, Angelique Molina, Roma Kong, Producers: Roma Kong, Angelique Molina, Kelley Kali, Capella Fahoome, Deon Cole
When a recently widowed mother becomes houseless, she convinces her 8-year-old daughter that they are only camping for fun while working to get them off the streets. Cast List: Kelley Kali, Wesley Moss, Deon Cole, Brooklynn Marie, Steven Ira Scipio, Andrew Galvan, Lamar Usher, Brian Brooks II, Jacolyn Holmes, Xing-Mai Deng (World Premiere)

Islands (Canada)

SXSW 2021 Film Islands

Director/Screenwriter: Martin Edralin, Producer: Martin Edralin, Priscilla Galvez

Joshua, a shy Filipino immigrant on the cusp of 50, has lived in the comfort of his parents’ home his entire life. With his parents now in old age, he pleads with God for a companion, terrified of being alone after they pass. Cast List: Rogelio Balagtas, Sheila Lotuaco, Esteban Comilang, Vangie Alcasid, Pablo Quiogue, Isys Szuky, Maximus Szuky (World Premiere)

Our Father
SXSW 2021 Film Our Father

Director/Screenwriter: Bradley Grant Smith, Producers: Alex Thompson, Ian Keiser, Steven Callas

In a last ditch attempt to foster a meaningful bond, estranged sisters Beta and Zelda go in search of their mysterious Uncle Jerry. Cast List: Baize Buzan, Allison Torem, Austin Pendleton, Corey Hendrix, Tim Hopper, Ann Whitney, Keith Kupferer, Guy Massey, Lance Baker, D’Wayne Taylor (World Premiere)

Potato Dreams of America

SXSW 2021 Film Potato Dreams of America

Director/Screenwriter: Wes Hurley, Producers: Mischa Jakupcak, Wes Hurley

A true story about a gay boy growing up in the collapsing USSR, his courageous mail-order bride mother, and their adventurous escape to Seattle in the 90s. Cast List: Marya Sea Kaminski, Dan Lauria, Tyler Bocock, Lea DeLaria, Sera Barbieri, Hersh Powers, Jonathan Bennett, Sophia Mitri Schloss, Cynthia Lauren Tewes, James Grixoni (World Premiere)

The End Of Us

SXSW 2021 Film The End Of Us

Directors/Screenwriters: Henry Loevner, Steven Kanter, Producers: Claudia Restrepo, Henry Loevner, Steven Kanter, Lovell Holder

After a savage breakup, two exes must continue living together when California issues its stay-at-home order for COVID-19. Now they’ll try to move on without moving out. Cast List: Ben Coleman, Ali Vingiano, Derrick DeBlasis, Gadiel Del Orbe, Kate Peterman, Colin Weatherby, Caroline Kwan, Will Neff, Jesse Benjamin, Claudia Restrepo (World Premiere)

The Fallout

SXSW 2021 Film The Fallout
Director/Screenwriter: Megan Park, Producers: David Brown, Shaun Sanghhai, Rebecca Miller, Cara Shine, Joannie Burstein, Todd Lundbohm, Giulia Prenna

High schooler Vada navigates the emotional fallout she experiences in the wake of a school tragedy. Relationships with her family, friends and view of the world are forever altered. Cast List: Jenna Ortega, Maddie Ziegler, Niles Fitch, Will Ropp, Lumi Pollack, John Ortiz, Julie Bowen, Shailene Woodley (World Premiere)

Women Is Losers

SXSW 2021 Film Women is Losers
Director/Screenwriter/Producer: Lissette Feliciano
In 1960s San Francisco, a once-promising catholic school girl, Celina Guerrera (Lorenza Izzo), sets out to rise above the oppression of poverty and invest in a future for herself that sets new precedents for the time. Cast List: Lorenza Izzo, Bryan Craig, Chrissie Fit, Simu Liu, Steven Bauer, Liza Weil, Cranston Johnson, Alejandra Miranda, Shalim Ortiz, Lincoln Bonilla (World Premiere)

Documentary Feature Competition

Eight world premieres: Eight real world stories that demonstrate innovation, energy and bold voices.

Introducing, Selma Blair

2021 SXSW Film, Introducing, Selma Blair
Director: Rachel Fleit, Producers: Mickey Liddell, Pete Shilaimon, Troy Nankin

Introducing, Selma Blair is a deeply intimate and raw portrait of the actress after she is diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and makes a valiant, risky effort to try to slow the progression of her disease. For the acclaimed, yet often supporting actress, her starring role has finally arrived – she just has to show up and fully embrace herself. (World Premiere)

Kid Candidate

2021 SXSW Film, Kid Candidate

Director: Jasmine Stodel, Producers: Jasmine Stodel, Chevis LaBelle, William Dorrien-Smith

Kid Candidate tells the story of Hayden Pedigo, a 24-year old experimental musician and his unlikely run for Amarillo city council after his Harmony Korine inspired spoof campaign video went viral. (World Premiere)

Lily Topples The World

2021 SXSW Film, Lily Topples The World - Credit Steve Price
Director: Jeremy Workman, Producers: Jeremy Workman, Robert J. Lyons
Lily Topples The World follows 20-year-old Lily Hevesh — the world’s most acclaimed domino toppler and the only woman in her field — in a coming-of-age story of artistry, passion, and unlikely triumph. Executive produced by Kelly Marie Tran. (World Premiere)

Not Going Quietly

2021 SXSW Film, Not Going Quietly - Credit Michael Dwyer People's Television

Director: Nicholas Bruckman, Screenwriters: Nicholas Bruckman, Amanda Roddy, Producer: Amanda Roddy

When a young father chances to meet a powerful senator on an airplane, their exchange goes viral, sparking one of the most unlikely political movements in a generation. (World Premiere)

The Oxy Kingpins

2021 SXSW Film, The Oxy Kingpins

Director: Brendan FitzGerald, Producers: Drea Bernardi, Brendan FitzGerald, Nick August-Perna

The Oxy Kingpins covers the untold story of how a network of pharmaceutical manufacturers, distributors, and retailers worked together to orchestrate and perpetuate the opioid crisis that has killed over half a million people in America. (World Premiere)

The Return: Life After ISIS (Spain, United Kingdom)

2021 SXSW Film, The Return: Life After ISIS

Director/Screenwriter: Alba Sotorra Clua, Producers: Alba Sotorra Clua, Vesna Cudic

Shamima Begum (UK) and Hoda Muthana (US) made it into worldwide headlines when they left their countries as teenagers to join ISIS. Now they want to return but their countries don’t want them back. (World Premiere)

Subjects of Desire (Canada)

2021 SXSW Film, Subjects of Desire

Director/Screenwriter: Jennifer Holness, Producers: Jennifer Holness, Sudz Sutherland

Subjects of Desire is a thought provoking film that examines the cultural shift in beauty standards towards embracing (or appropriating) Black aesthetics and features, deconstructing what we understand about race and the power behind beauty. (World Premiere)

United States vs. Reality Winner
2021 SXSW Film, United States vs. Reality Winner

Director: Sonia Kennebeck, Producer: Ines Hofmann Kanna

A state of secrets and a ruthless hunt for whistleblowers – this is the story of 25-year-old Reality Winner who disclosed a document about Russian election interference to the media and became the number one leak target of the Trump administration. (World Premiere)


High profile narrative features receiving their World, International, North American, U.S. or Texas premieres at SXSW.

The Drover’s Wife The Legend of Molly Johnson (Australia)

SXSW 2021 Film The Drover’s Wife: the Legend of Molly Johnson

Director/Screenwriter: Leah Purcell, Producers: Bain Stewart, David Jowsey, Angela Littlejohn, Greer Simpkin, Leah Purcell

The Drover’s Wife The Legend of Molly Johnson is a reimagining of Leah Purcell’s acclaimed play and Henry Lawson’s classic short story. A searing Australian western thriller asking the question: how far do you go to protect your loved ones? Cast List: Leah Purcell, Rob Collins, Sam Reid, Jessica De Gouw, Malachi Dower-Roberts (World Premiere)

The Fabulous Filipino Brothers (Philippines, United States)

SXSW 2021 Film The Fabulous Filipino Brothers

Director: Dante Basco, Screenwriters: Dante Basco, Darion Basco, Dionysio Basco, Arianna Basco, Producers: Joan Banaga, Rawn Erickson II, Dante Basco, Rome Reyes, Sienna Olazo, Belay A Santillan, Guido Zaballero

From Northern California to The Philippines, four brothers confront their issues with love, family, and culture, surrounding a highly controversial Filipino wedding. Told in four vignettes with cockfights, adultery, romance, food, and family. Cast List: Dante Basco, Derek Basco, Dionysio Basco, Darion Basco, Solenn Heussaff, Liza Lapira, Tirso Cruz III, Cheryl Tsai, Arriana Basco, Joe Jitsukawa (World Premiere)

Language Lessons

SXSW 2021 Film Language Lessons

Director: Natalie Morales, Screenwriters: Mark Duplass, Natalie Morales, Producer: Mel Eslyn

A Spanish teacher and her student develop an unexpected friendship. Cast List: Natalie Morales, Mark Duplass, Desean Terry, Christine Quesada (North American)


SXSW 2021 Film Ludi

Director: Edson Jean, Screenwriters: Edson Jean, Joshua Jean-Baptiste, Producers: Fabiola Rodriguez, Mark Pulaski

Ludi, a hardworking and exhausted nurse, battles coworkers, clients and one impatient bus driver to learn her self worth as she chases the American Dream in Miami’s Little Haiti neighborhood. Cast List: Shein Mompremier, Alan Myles Heyman, Madelin Marchant, Success St. Fleur Jr., Kerline Alce, Plus Pierre, Patrice DeGraff Arenas, Farah Larrieux (Texas Premiere)

Paul Dood’s Deadly Lunch Break (United Kingdom)

SXSW 2021 Film Paul Dood’s Deadly Lunch Break

Director: Nick Gillespie, Screenwriters: Brook Driver, Matt White, Nick Gillespie, Producer: Finn Bruce

When Paul’s chances of winning a national talent contest are ruined and his dreams of fame are slashed, he plans a deathly revenge rampage!! 1 lunch break, 5 spectacular murders! Each wrongdoer dispatched in a fitting manner by the sparkly suited Paul! Cast List: Tom Meeten, Katherine Parkinson, Kris Marshall, Alice Lowe, Mandeep Dhillon, Johnny Vegas, Steve Oram, Craig Parkinson, Kevin Bishop, Pippa Haywood (World Premiere)


SXSW 2021 Film Recovery

Directors: Mallory Everton, Stephen Meek, Screenwriters: Whitney Call, Mallory Everton, Producers: Scott Christopherson, Stephen Meek, Abi Nielson Hunsaker

Two directionless sisters brave a cross-country road trip to rescue their grandmother from a COVID outbreak at her nursing home. Cast List: Whitney Call, Mallory Everton, Anne Sward Hansen, Julia Jolley, Baylee Thornock, Jessica Drolet, Stephen Meek, Tyler Andrew Jones, Noah Kershisnik, Justin Call (World Premiere)

See You Then

SXSW 2021 Film See You Then

Director: Mari Walker, Screenwriters: Kristen Uno, Mari Walker, Producers: Mia Schulman, Kristen Uno, Mari Walker

A decade after abruptly breaking up with Naomi, Kris invites her to dinner to catch-up on their complicated lives, relationships, and Kris’ transition. Cast List: Pooya Mohseni, Lynn Chen, Nican Robinson, Danny Jacobs, Nikohl Boosheri (World Premiere)

Swan Song

SXSW 2021 Film Swan Song

Director/Screenwriter: Todd Stephens, Producers: Todd Stephens, Eric Eisenbrey, Tim Kaltenecker, Stephen Israel

An aging hairdresser (Udo Kier) escapes his nursing home and embarks on an odyssey across his small town to style a dead woman’s hair for her funeral, rediscovering his sparkle along the way. Cast List: Udo Kier, Jennifer Coolidge, Linda Evans, Michael Urie, Ira Hawkins, Stephanie McVay (World Premiere)


Shining a light on new documentary features receiving their World, International, North American or U.S. premieres at SXSW.

Alien On Stage (United Kingdom)

SXSW 2021 Film Alien on Stage - Photo credit Danielle Kummer

Directors/Producers: Danielle Kummer, Lucy Harvey

British bus driver’s amateur stage show of Ridley Scott’s Alien, accidentally makes it to a famous London theatre! With awkward acting and special effects requiring more luck than judgement, will their homemade homage be alright on the night? (International Premiere)

Fruits of Labor

SXSW 2021 Fruits of Labor

Director: Emily Cohen Ibañez, Screenwriters: Ashley Solis Pavon, Emily Cohen Ibañez, Producer: Emily Cohen Ibañez

A Mexican-American teenage farmworker dreams of graduating high school, when ICE raids in her community threaten to separate her family and force her to become her family’s breadwinner. (World Premiere)

The Hunt for Planet B

SXSW 2021 Film The Hunt for Planet B

Director: Nathaniel Kahn, Producers: Bonnie Hlinomaz, Nathaniel Kahn

Taking us behind the scenes with NASA’s high-stakes James Webb Space Telescope, The Hunt for Planet B follows a pioneering group of scientists—many of them women—on their quest to find another Earth among the stars. (World Premiere)


SXSW 2021 Film hysterical - Photo credit FX

Director: Andrea Nevins, Producers: Ross Dinerstein, Rebecca Evans, Carolina Groppa

Hysterical is an honest and hilarious backstage pass into the lives of some of stand-up comedy’s most boundary-breaking women, exploring the hard-fought journey to become the voices of their generation and their gender. Featuring Margaret Cho, Fortune Feimster, Rachel Feinstein, Marina Franklin, Nikki Glaser, Judy Gold, Kathy Griffin, Jessica Kirson, Sherri Shepherd, Iliza Shlesinger and more. Available on FX in 2021. (World Premiere)

The Lost Sons

SXSW 2021 Film The Lost Sons

Director: Ursula Macfarlane, Producer: Gagan Rehill

1960s Chicago, a baby is kidnapped from a hospital. Fifteen months later, a toddler is abandoned. Could he be the same baby? In a tale of breathtaking twists and turns, two mysteries begin to unravel and dark family secrets are revealed. (World Premiere)

Mau (Austria, United States)

SXSW 2021 Film Mau

Directors: Benji Bergmann, Jono Bergmann, Producer: Karol Martesko-Fenster

Mau follows the unlikely story of design visionary Bruce Mau and his ever-optimistic push for massive change. (World Premiere)

Spring Valley

SXSW 2021 Film Spring Valley - Photo credit Christopher Lewis Dawkins

Director: Garrett Zevgetis, Producers: Chico Colvard, Jeff Consiglio, Ariana Garfinkel

An explosive viral video shows a white policeman throwing a Black teenager from her school desk. One woman uproots her life to help the girl, face the officer, and dismantle the system behind the “Assault at Spring Valley.” (World Premiere)

WeWork: or the Making and Breaking of a $47 Billion Unicorn

SXSW 2021 Film WeWork: or the Making and Breaking of a $47 Billion Unicorn

Director: Jed Rothstein, Producer: Ross Dinerstein
WeWork: or the Making and Breaking of a $47 Billion Unicorn explores the rise and fall of one of the biggest corporate flameouts and venture capitalist bubbles in recent years – the story of WeWork, and its hippie-messianic leader Adam Neumann. (World Premiere)

When Claude Got Shot

SXSW 2021 Film When Claude Got Shot

Director: Brad Lichtenstein, Producer: Steven Cantor, Brad Lichtenstein, Jamie Schutz, Santana Wilson (co-producer)

Three strangers’ lives become inextricably entwined by a weekend of gun violence. (World Premiere)

Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America

SXSW 2021 Film Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America

Directors: Emily Kunstler, Sarah Kunstler, Screenwriter: Jeffery Robinson, Producers: Jeffery Robinson, Emily Kunstler, Sarah Kunstler

ACLU lawyer Jeffery Robinson’s shattering talk on the history of U.S. anti-Black racism is interwoven with archival footage, interviews and Robinson’s story, exploring the legacy of white supremacy and our collective responsibility to overcome it. (World Premiere)


Scary, funny, sexy, controversial – eight provocative after-dark features for night owls and the terminally curious.

Broadcast Signal Intrusion

SXSW 2021 Film Broadcast Signal Intrusion

Director: Jacob Gentry, Screenwriters: Phil Drinkwater, Tim Woodall, Producers: Greg Newman, Brett Hays, Giles Edwards, Nicola Goelzhaeuser

In the late 90s, a video archivist unearths a series of sinister pirate broadcasts and becomes obsessed with uncovering the dark conspiracy behind them. Cast List: Harry Shum Jr., Kelley Mack, Chris Sullivan, Jennifer Jelsema, Arif Yampolsky, Justin Welborn, Michael B. Woods, Steve Pringle (World Premiere)

The Feast (United Kingdom)

SXSW 2021 Film The Feast

Director: Lee-Haven Jones, Screenwriter/Producer: Roger Williams

Over an evening a wealthy family gathers for a sumptuous dinner with guests in their ostentatious house in the Welsh mountains. Served by a mysteriously disturbing young woman, the assembled party do not realise they are about to eat their last supper. Cast List: Anne Elwy, Nia Roberts, Julian Lewis Jones, Steffan Cennydd, Sion Alun Davies, Lisa Palfrey, Rhodri Meilir (World Premiere)

Gaia (South Africa)

SXSW 2021 Film Gaia

Director: Jaco Bouwer, Screenwriter: Tertius Kapp, Producer: Tertius Kapp, Jorrie van der Walt, Jaco Bouwer

In the depths of an ancient forest, something has been growing. Something older than humanity itself, and perhaps greater too. When a park ranger discovers a man and his son living wild, she stumbles onto a secret that is about to change the world. Cast List: Monique Rockman, Carel Nel, Alex van Dyk, Anthony Oseyemi (World Premiere)

Jakob’s Wife

SXSW 2021 Film Jakob's Wife

Director: Travis Stevens, Screenwriters: Travis Stevens, Kathy Charles, Mark Steensland, Producers: Barbara Crampton, Bob Portal, Travis Stevens, Inderpal Singh

The disappearance of a young woman threatens to change the beige and banal lives of Anne Fedder (Barbara Crampton) and her pastor husband Jakob Fedder (Larry Fessenden) forever. Cast List: Barbara Crampton, Larry Fessenden, Bonnie Aarons, Mark Kelly, Sarah Lind, Robert Rusler, Nyisha Bell, Phil Brooks (World Premiere)


SXSW 2021 Film Offseason

Director/Screenwriter: Mickey Keating, Producer: Eric B. Fleischman, Maurice Fadida

After receiving a mysterious letter, a woman travels to a desolate island town and soon becomes trapped in a nightmare. Cast List: Joe Swanberg, Jocelin Donahue, Melora Walters, Richard Brake, Jeremy Gardner (World Premiere)

Sound Of Violence (Finland, United States)

SXSW 2021 Film Sound of Violence

Director/Screenwriter: Alex Noyer, Producer: Hannu Aukia, Alex Noyer

A young girl recovers her hearing and gains synesthetic abilities during the brutal murder of her family. Finding solace in the sounds of bodily harm, as an adult, she pursues a career in music composing her masterpiece through gruesome murders. Cast List: Jasmin Savoy Brown, Lili Simmons, James Jagger, Tessa Munro (World Premiere)

The Spine of Night

SXSW 2021 Film The Spine of Night

Directors/Screenwriters: Philip Gelatt, Morgan Galen King, Producers: Will Battersby, Philip Gelatt, Jean Rattle

In this ultra-violent, fantasy epic, ancient dark magic falls into sinister hands and unleashes ages of suffering onto mankind. A group of heroes from different eras and cultures must band together in order to defeat it at all costs. Cast List: Richard E. Grant, Lucy Lawless, Patton Oswalt, Betty Gabriel, Joe Manganiello, Larry Fessenden, Nina Lisandrello, Abby Savage, Tom Lipinski, Patrick Breen (World Premiere)

Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror

SXSW 2021 Film Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror

Director/Screenwriter: Kier-La Janisse, Producers: Kier-La Janisse, David Gregory, Winnie Cheung

Woodlands Dark Days and Days Bewitched is the first feature-length documentary on the history of folk horror, from the 1960s to today. (World Premiere)


Acclaimed standouts and selected premieres from festivals around the world.

Dear Mr. Brody

SXSW 2021 Film Dear Mr. Brody

Director: Keith Maitland, Producers: Melissa Robyn Glassman, Megan Gilbride, Keith Maitland, Sarah Wilson

A psychedelic journey into the heart (and bank account) of Michael Brody, Jr, the hippie-millionaire who offered the world peace for the price of a postage stamp. (Texas Premiere)

How It Ends

SXSW 2021 Film How it Ends

Directors/Screenwriters/Producers: Daryl Wein, Zoe Lister-Jones

On the last day on Earth, one woman goes on a journey through LA to make it to her last party before the world ends, running into an eclectic cast of characters along the way. Cast List: Zoe Lister-Jones, Cailee Spaeny, Nick Kroll, Olivia Wilde, Helen Hunt, Lamorne Morris, Fred Armisen, Bradley Whitford, Charlie Day, Whitney Cummings

In the Same Breath

SXSW 2021 Film In the Same Breath - Photo credit HBO

Director: Nanfu Wang, Producers: Nanfu Wang, Jialing Zhang, Julie Goldman, Christopher Clements, Carolyn Hepburn

Nanfu Wang’s deeply personal In The Same Breath recounts the origin and spread of the novel coronavirus from the earliest days of the outbreak in Wuhan to its rampage across the United States. (Texas Premiere)

Ma Belle, My Beauty

SXSW 2021 Film Ma Belle, My Beauty - Photo credit Lauren Guiteras

Director/Screenwriter: Marion Hill, Producers: Ben Matheny, Kelsey Scult, Marion Hill

A surprise reunion in southern France reignites passions and jealousies between two women who were formerly polyamorous lovers. Cast List: Idella Johnson, Hannah Pepper, Lucien Guignard, Sivan Noam Shimon (Texas Premiere)


SXSW 2021 Film R#J

Director: Carey Williams, Screenwriters: Carey Williams, Rickie Castaneda, Producers: Timur Bekmambetov, Igor Tsay

A re-imagining of Romeo and Juliet, featuring a diverse cast in the classic Shakespearean roles. This modern day take is told on mobile and is a mashup of Shakespearean dialogue with current social media communication. Cast List: Camaron Engels, Francesca Noel, RJ Cyler, Diego Tinoco, Russell Hornsby, Siddiq Saunderson (Texas Premiere)

The Sparks Brothers (United Kingdom)

2021 SXSW Film, Sparks Brothers - Credit: Courtesy of Focus Features

Director: Edgar Wright, Producers: Nira Park, Edgar Wright, George Hencken, Laura Richardson

How can one rock band be successful, underrated, hugely influential, and criminally overlooked all at the same time? Edgar Wright’s debut documentary The Sparks Brothers takes a musical odyssey through five weird and wonderful decades with brothers Ron and Russell Mael, celebrating the inspiring legacy of Sparks: your favorite band’s favorite band. (Texas Premiere)

Violation (Canada)

SXSW 2021 Film Violation - Photo credit DM FILMS

Directors/Screenwriters/Producers: Madeleine Sims-Fewer, Dusty Mancinelli

A troubled woman on the edge of divorce returns home to her younger sister after years apart. But when her sister and brother-in-law betray her trust, she embarks on a vicious crusade of revenge. Cast List: Madeleine Sims-Fewer, Anna Maguire, Jesse LaVercombe, Obi Abili, Jasmin Geljo, Cynthia Ashperger (Texas Premiere)


Visions filmmakers are audacious, risk-taking artists in the new cinema landscape who demonstrate raw innovation and creativity in documentary and narrative filmmaking.


SXSW 2021 Films Ayar

Director: Floyd Russ, Screenwriters: Ariana Ron Pedrique, Floyd Russ, Vilma Vega, Producers: Kara Durrett, Floyd Russ, Corey Waters, Andy Coverdale

Ayar, a first-generation American Latina, returns home to reunite with her daughter. But when her mother, Renata, refuses to let her see her due to Covid, Ayar is confronted by the many roles she’s been forced to play, including the role in this film. Cast List: Ariana Ron Pedrique, Vilma Vega, Henry Foster Brown, Simon Haycock, Calliah Sophie Estrada, Pete Pano, Briza Covarrubias, Ceasar Hartman, Jay Lawrence Kiman, Frances Fuches (World Premiere)

Delia Derbyshire – the Myths and the Legendary Tapes (United Kingdom)

SXSW 2021 Films Delia Derbyshire – the Myths and the Legendary Tapes

Director/Screenwriter: Caroline Catz, Producer: Andy Starke

A portrait of the character and legacy of electronic sound pioneer Delia Derbyshire, who realized the Doctor Who theme tune in 1963 and explores the idea that this extraordinary composer lived outside of time and space as other people experience it. Featuring Caroline Catz, Cosey Fanni Tutti, Julian Rhind-tutt, Tom Meeten, Richard Glover, Saskia Reeves, Michael Higgs. (International Premiere)

Inbetween Girl

SXSW 2021 Films Inbetween Girl

Director/Screenwriter: Mei Makino, Producers: Matt Stryker, Connor Pickens, Emily Gollahon, Kate Gollahon, Udoy Rahim

Teen artist Angie Chen turns to secret hookups with the heartthrob of her private school after her parents’ sudden divorce. Cast List: Emma Galbraith, William Magnuson, Emily Garrett, Lizabeth Waters, KaiChow Lau, Thanh Phuong Bui, Shanshan Jin, Kelsey Buckley (World Premiere)

Through the Plexi-Glass: The Last Days of the San Jose

SXSW 2021 Films Through the Plexi-Glass: The Last Days of the San Jose

Director: Liz Lambert, Producers: Liz Lambert, Tina Gazzerro Clapp, Ariel Quintans

The documentary tells the story of a real estate deal’s unexpected detour — one that sparked the gentrification of Austin’s hippest neighborhood — and reveals layers of knotty, unanswerable questions, all more relevant than ever today. (World Premiere)

Twyla Moves

SXSW 2021 Films Twyla Moves

Director: Steven Cantor, Producers: Steven Cantor, Jamie Schutz

Interwoven with her storied career and prolific works, Twyla Moves sees legendary choreographer Twyla Tharp navigate her latest creative challenge: making a dance for a world plagued by the Covid-19 pandemic. (World Premiere)


Showcasing the sounds, culture and influence of music and musicians, with an emphasis on documentary.

Disintegration Loops

SXSW 2021 Film Disintegration Loops - Photo credit Sara Hogsten

Director/Screenwriter: David Wexler, Producers: David Wexler, Bradford Coleman

As the 20th anniversary of 9/11 looms near, William Basinski contemplates the enduring legacy of The Disintegration Loops (his elegy to the 2001 Attacks), while quarantined in the midst of COVID-19. (World Premiere)

I Went To The Dance/J’ai Été Au Bal

SXSW 2021 Film I Went To The Dance/J'ai Été Au Bal

Directors: Les Blank, Chris Strachwitz, Producer: Chris Strachwitz

Beautiful 5K restoration of the celebrated film on the history of Cajun and Creole/Zydeco music of SW Louisiana. Exhilarating performances by Clifton Chenier, Marc and Ann Savoy, BeauSoleil, and more. By Les Blank, Chris Strachwitz and Maureen Gosling (World Premiere)

Poly Styrene: I Am A Cliché (United Kingdom)

SXSW 2021 Film Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliché

Directors: Paul Sng, Celeste Bell, Screenwriters: Celeste Bell, Zoë Howe, Producers: Rebecca Mark-Lawson, Matthew Silverman, Daria Nitsche

The death of punk icon and X-Ray Spex frontwoman Poly Styrene sends her daughter on a journey across the world and through her mother’s archives to reconcile their fraught relationship. (North American Premiere)

Soy Cubana

SXSW 2021 Film Soy Cubana

Directors: Jeremy Ungar, Ivaylo Getov, Screenwriters: Agustín Rexach Martín, Ivaylo Getov, Jeremy Ungar, Producer: Robin Miller Ungar

When the Vocal Vidas, an all-female Cuban quartet, are invited to play their first show in the US, a simple concert becomes a journey across physical and ideological borders – affirming the connective power of music, even in the most uncertain times. (World Premiere)

Under the Volcano (Australia)

SXSW 2021 Film Under the Volcano

Director: Gracie Otto, Screenwriters: Cody Greenwood, Gracie Otto, Ian Shadwell, Producers: Cody Greenwood

The story of George Martin’s AIR Studios Montserrat and the island that changed music forever. Featuring interviews with Sting, Mark Knopfler, Nick Rhodes, Jimmy Buffett, Verdine White, Tony Lommi, Stewart Copeland, Guy Fletcher, Midge Ure, and Roger Glover. (World Premiere)


A diverse selection of international filmmaking talent, featuring innovative narratives, artful documentaries, premieres, festival favorites and more.

Bantú Mama (Dominican Republic)

SXSW 2021 Film Bantú Mama - Photo credit Point Barre

Director: Ivan Herrera, Screenwriters: Clarisse Albrecht, Ivan Herrera, Producers: Ivan Herrera, Nicolas LaMadrid, Franmiris Lombert

An Afropean woman escapes after being arrested in the Dominican Republic. She is sheltered by a group of minors in a dangerous district of Santo Domingo. By becoming their protégée and maternal figure, she will see her destiny change inexorably. Cast List: Clarisse Albrecht, Scarlett Reyes, Arturo Perez, Euris Javiel, Donis Taveras, Jarold Santos (World Premiere)

Fucking with Nobody (Finland)

SXSW 2021 Film Fucking with Nobody - Photo credit Emilia Haukka © Aamu Film Company

Director: Hannaleena Hauru, Screenwriters: Hannaleena Hauru, Lasse Poser, Producers: Emilia Haukka, Jussi Rantamäki

Hanna is a film director. She loses her dream job to her rival Kristian who is much more popular, and not single. Thus, she decides to create a parody romance on Instagram to question the image one offers to society. This fake romance will have unexpected effects. Cast List: Hannaleena Hauru, Samuel Kujala, Lasse Poser (North American Premiere)

Luchadoras (Germany/Mexico)

SXSW 2021 Film Luchadoras - Photo credit Patrick Jasim

Directors: Paola Calvo, Patrick Jasim, Screenwriters: Patrick Jasim, Paola Calvo, Phillip Kaminiak, Producer: Phillip Kaminiak

Luchadoras portrays the courageous female wrestlers of Ciudad Juárez, a city known for its high murder rate against women – who in the ring and in their daily lives fight to redefine the image of what it means to be a woman in Mexico. (World Premiere)

Ninjababy (Norway)

SXSW 2021 Film Ninjababy

Director: Yngvild Sve Flikke, Screenwriter: Johan Fasting, Producer: Yngve Sæther

When Rakel (23), way too late, finds out she’s six months pregnant after a not-so-romantic one-night stand, her world changes. Cast List: Kristine Thorp, Arthur Berning, Nader Khademi, Tora Christine Dietrichson (International Premiere)

Trapped (Egypt)

SXSW 2021 Film Trapped

Director: Manal Khaled, Screenwriters: Manal Khaled, Rasha Azab, Producer: Manal Khaled
Trapped revolves around a number of women from different walks of life whose destinies are tied together; being all under one siege. As the events unfold, their own personal stories reflect on a far bigger siege that depicts the shackles imposed by a patriarchal society. Cast List: Coroline Khalil, Reem Hegab, Osama Abo El Ata, Ne’ma Mohsen, Mona Mokhtar, Sara’a Jebel (World Premiere)


Exciting Narrative, Documentary and Episodic projects from across our sections from the 2020 edition of the SXSW Film Festival.

Best Summer Ever

SXSW 2021 Film Best Summer Ever

Directors: Michael Parks Randa, Lauren Smitelli, Screenwriters: Michael Parks Randa, Will Halby, Terra Mackintosh, Andrew Pilkington, Lauren Smitelli, Producers: Andrew Pilkington, Katie White, Terra Mackintosh, Leah Romond, Jake Sharpless
A fresh and exhilarating take on the beloved teen musical genre featuring eight original songs and a fully integrated cast and crew of people with and without disabilities. Cast List: Shannon DeVido, Rickey Wilson Jr., MuMu, Jacob Waltuck, Emily Kranking, Eileen Grubba, Holly Palmer, Ajani “AJ” Murray, Lawerence Carter-Long, Bradford Hayes (Texas Premiere)


SXSW 2021 Film Chad

Showrunner/Screenwriter: Nasim Pedrad, Director: Rhys Thomas, Producer: David Cress

An awkward 14-year-old Persian-American boy navigates his first year of high school on a mission to become popular. Cast List: Nasim Pedrad, Jake Ryan, Ella Mika, Saba Homayoon, Paul Chahidi, Alexa Loo, Thomas Barbusca (World Premiere) (Episodic)

Clerk (Canada, U.S.A.)

SXSW 2021 Film Clerk - Photo credit Bruce Lee Roberts III

Director: Malcolm Ingram, Producers: Malcolm Ingram, Craig Fleming

A documentary on the life and career of Kevin Smith. (World Premiere)

Executive Order (Brazil)

SXSW 2021 Film Executive Order - Photo credit Elo Company

Director: Lázaro Ramos, Screenwriters: Lusa Silvestre, Lázaro Ramos, Aldri Anunciação, Elísio Lopes Jr, Producers: Daniel Filho, Tania Rocha

In a dystopian near future in Brazil, an authoritarian government orders all citizens of African descent to move to Africa – creating chaos, protests, and an underground resistance movement that inspires the nation. Cast List: Alfred Enoch, Taís Araújo, Seu Jorge, Adriana Esteves, Renata Sorrah, Mariana Xavier, Pablo Sanábio (Texas Premiere)


SXSW 2021 Film Violet

Director/Screenwriter: Justine Bateman, Producers: Justine Bateman, Michael D. Jones, Larry Hummel, Matt Paul

A film development executive realizes that “guiding voice” inside her head has been lying to her about everything. Cast List: Olivia Munn, Luke Bracey, Justin Theroux (World Premiere)

We Are As Gods

SXSW 2021 Film We Are As Gods

Directors/Screenwriters: Jason Sussberg, David Alvarado, Producers: Kate McLean, Jamie Meltzer, David Alvarado, Jason Sussberg

“We are as gods and might as well get good at it,” Stewart Brand wrote in ‘68. The legendary pioneer of LSD, cyberspace, futurism, and modern environmentalism now urges people to use our god-like powers to fight extinction by reviving lost species. (World Premiere)

We Are The Thousand (Italy)

SXSW 2021 Films We Are the Thousand

Director/Screenwriter: Anita Rivaroli, Producer: Simone Catania

Learn the story behind the viral video and what came after! We Are The Thousand takes you backstage with the Rockin’1000. A thousand musicians gathered together with one mission–to get the Foo Fighters to perform in their small town. (North American Premiere)

Witch Hunt

SXSW 2021 Film Witch Hunt

Director/Screenwriter: Elle Callahan, Producers: Eric B. Fleischman, Maurice Fadida

In a modern America where witches are real and witchcraft is illegal, a sheltered teenager must face her own demons and prejudices as she helps two young witches avoid law enforcement and cross the southern border to asylum in Mexico. Cast List: Gideon Adlon, Elizabeth Mitchell, Abigail Cowen, Nicholas and Cameron Crovetti, Christian Camargo (World Premiere)

Without Getting Killed or Caught

SXSW 2021 Film Without Getting Killed Or Caught Credit Unknown

Directors: Tamara Saviano, Paul Whitfield, Screenwriters: Tamara Saviano, Bart Knaggs, Producers: Tamara Saviano, Paul Whitfield

Without Getting Killed or Caught is the true story of Guy Clark, the dean of Texas songwriters, who struggles to write poetic, yet indelible songs while balancing a complicated marriage with wife Susanna, and a deep friendship with Townes Van Zandt. (World Premiere)


Presenting world premieres of prestige serials slated for release.

Confronting A Serial Killer

SXSW 2021 Film Confronting a Serial Killer

Showrunner: Po Kutchins, Director: Joe Berlinger, Producers: Eve Rodrick, Eleanor Yu, Cassandra Corbett, Janine Nask, Julia Pontecorvo, Lesley Grossman, Emma McNamara, Ariel Kay

Confronting a Serial Killer tells the story of the unprecedented relationship between author Jillian Lauren and serial killer Sam Little while investigating the devastating impact of bias against marginalized women in the criminal justice system. (World Premiere)

Cruel Summer

Showrunner: Tia Napolitano, Director: Max Winkler

From Exec Producer Jessica Biel, Freeform’s Cruel Summer is a psychological thriller taking place over three summers when a popular girl goes missing and an awkward outlier transforms to queen bee and eventually, the most despised person in America. Cast List: Olivia Holt, Chiara Aurelia, Michael Landes, Froy Gutierrez, Harley Quinn Smith, Allius Barnes, Blake Lee, Brooklyn Sudano (World Premiere)

The Girlfriend Experience

SXSW 2021 Film The Girlfriend Experience

Director/Screenwriter: Anja Marquardt, Producer: Philip Fleishman

The third installment of The Girlfriend Experience is set in the London tech scene. Iris, a neuroscience major, begins to explore the transactional world of The Girlfriend Experience and quickly learns that client sessions provide her with a compelling edge in the tech world. Cast List: Julia Goldani Telles, Oliver Masucci, Frank Dillane, Daniel Betts, Armin Karima, Tobi Bamtefa, Jemima Rooper (World Premiere)

Made for Love

SXSW 2021 Film Made for Love - Photo credit John P. Johnson: HBO Max

Showrunner: Christina Lee, Director: Stephanie Laing, Screenwriters: Written for Television by Alissa Nutting & Dean Bakopoulos and Patrick Somerville and Christina Lee

Based on Alissa Nutting’s tragicomic novel, Made for Love is a dark, absurd, and cynically poignant story of divorce and revenge following Hazel Green (Cristin Milioti), a thirty-something woman on the run after 10 years in a suffocating marriage. Cast List: Cristin Milioti, Billy Magnussen, Dan Bakkedahl, Noma Dumezweni, Augusto Aguilera, Caleb Foote and Ray Romano. Executive producers: Christina Lee, Alissa Nutting, Patrick Somerville, Dean Bakopoulos, Liza Chasin, SJ Clarkson. (World Premiere)


SXSW 2021 Film Sasquatch

Showrunner/Director: Joshua Rofé, Producers: Duplass Brothers Productions, Number 19

Sasquatch is a true crime doc series following investigative journalist David Holthouse as he attempts to solve a bizarre twenty-five year old triple homicide that was said to be the work of a mythical creature. (World Premiere)


Showrunner: Little Marvin

Set in 1953, Them, a co-production from Amazon Studios and Sony Pictures Television, centers on a Black family who move from North Carolina to an all-white Los Angeles neighborhood. The family’s idyllic home becomes ground zero where malevolent forces, next door and otherworldly, threaten to taunt, ravage & destroy them. Cast List: Deborah Ayorinde, Ashley Thomas, Alison Pill, Melody Hurd, Shahadi Wright Joseph (World Premiere)


A pilot showcase introducing fresh work from bright new talent, many with an eye towards finding production, completion funds, or a release platform.

4 Feet High (Argentina, France)

SXSW 2021 Film 4 Feet High

Directors: Maria Belen Poncio, Rosario Perazolo Masjoan, Screenwriters: Greta Molas, Javier Correa Caceres, Elisa Gagliano, Rosario Perazolo Masjoan, Maria Belen Poncio, Delphine Agut, Ivana Galdeano, Gabriela Vidal

Imagine your last year of High School in a wheelchair. Cast List: Marisol Agostina Irigoyen, Florencia Licera, Marcio Ramses, Natalia Di Cienzo, Francisca Spinotti (Texas Premiere)

Dale’s House

SXSW 2021 Film Dale's House

Showrunner: Julie Lake, Director: Kat Whalen, Screenwriters: Matt Kirsch, Julie Lake, Producers: Matt Kirsch, Julie Lake, Dana Fares

Dale’s House is a horror comedy about two estranged best friends, both at rock bottom in their careers and personal lives, who end up house sitting together in a demonic house that grants them all the success they desire in exchange for their souls. Cast List: Julie Lake, Matt Kirsch, Sandi McCree, Jeff Cahn (World Premiere)

For the Record (Canada)

SXSW 2021 Film For the Record

Showrunner: Julian De Zotti, Directors: Lisa Baylin, Julian De Zotti, Screenwriter: Julian De Zotti, Producer: Lisa Baylin

Ray and Angela just broke up. What if music had the power to bring them back together? Follow the iconic songs that make up the unforgettable soundtrack for a uniquely interconnected cast of characters. Cast List: Anna Hopkins, Julian De Zotti, Lyriq Bent, Alexandra Beaton, Karen LeBlanc, Maurice Dean Wint, Kyra Clavell, Moni Ogunsuyi, Alannah Ong, Johnny Orlando (International Premiere)

Parked in America

SXSW 2021 Film Parked in America - Photo credit San Yvin

Showrunner/Screenwriter: Kayla Yumi Lewis, Director: Luke Salin, Producers: Ann Swenson, Cole Bannick, Jori Johnson, Alexandro Pacheco

Parked in America is a half-hour dramedy following Jamie Park, a Korean teenager who moves in with her relatives in Illinois after a family tragedy strikes back at home in Seoul. Cast List: Judy Song, Jeff Lawless, Solomon Abell, Ella Baker-Smith, Judy Han, Jim Cairl, Lexi Perkel, MeeWha Alana Lee (World Premiere)

The Position

SXSW 2021 Film the Position - Photo credit Marianne Williams

Director/Screenwriter: Matthew Lessner, Producers: Breeda Wool, Michael Kaleda, Matthew Lessner

The Position is a metaphysical comedy about two modern women’s unlikely partnership and subsequent misadventures in pursuit of a portal to the multiverse. Cast List: Breeda Wool, Remi Nicole (World Premiere)

Pretend Partners

SXSW 2021 Film Pretend Partners

Showrunners/Screenwriters/Producers: Kristin Erickson, Ron Najor, Director: Ron Najor

Two (not so good) friends realize they are better together than alone. Cast List: Kristin Erickson, Ron Najor, Kandis Fay, Dan J. Johnson (World Premiere)

Special Events

Special Events for 2021 consist of conversations associated with projects in the 2021 Film Festival, table readings and other unique one-off events on our Live Channel 4.

Opening Night Special Event: YouTube Originals Docuseries Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil Special Event Q&A
Global superstar Demi Lovato, Director and Executive Producer Michael D. Ratner, YouTube’s Global Head of Original Content Susanne Daniels and moderator Jenelle Riley from Variety discuss the new documentary event exploring the traumas and every aspect that led to Lovato’s nearly fatal overdose in 2018, followed by her powerful awakenings in the aftermath.

Closing Night Film Special Event: Live Q&A with Charli XCX, a SICK moderator, and Directors Bradley & Pablo
Live Q&A Followed by a virtual rave dance party which will consist of: – A pre-recorded DJ set from Charli, shot in a big empty warehouse space with minimal, dark rave-y lighting. A true pandemic rave shot as a live performance.
– Different performers will be spotlighted on Zoom dancing to the set: Poison Oakland + other drag performers + fans featured in the film + lucky attendees!

7 Sounds
Filmmaker Sam Green and musician JD Samson ask you to step away from your computer and focus on the experience of listening in the present moment. 7 Sounds is an immersive, live-streamed audio-video work that explores the universal influence of sound. The piece weaves seven specific audio recordings into a meditation on the power of sound to bend time, cross borders, and profoundly shape our perception — opening new ways to hear our everyday world.

Art and Life Talk with Filmmakers Daryl Wein & Zoe Lister-Jones of Mister Lister Films
Dive into the filmmaking careers of husband-wife duo, Daryl Wein and Zoe Lister-Jones of such films as How It Ends (Sundance/SXSW 2021), The Craft (Sony), White Rabbit (Sundance/Gravitas), Band Aid (Sundance/IFC Films), Lola Versus (Fox Searchlight), and Breaking Upwards (IFC Films/SXSW).

Black Monday Q&A
Join the brilliant cast and showrunners of Black Monday as they come together virtually for an exclusive Q&A. This series never fails to surprise as it tells subversively modern stories against a backdrop of big hair and bigger fashions. Miraculously, Don Cheadle, Andrew Rannells, Paul Scheer, Yassir Lester, and Casey Wilson and showrunners David Caspe and Jordan Cahan are even more fun live. Hilarity guaranteed.

Clerk and Twerk with Kevin Smith and Malcolm Ingram
Clerk is an examination and celebration of the life of Kevin Smith – and an exploration on how one kid from Jersey completely transformed the cultural landscape. A journey which began 25 years ago at the Sundance Film festival where his DIY film Clerks, financed on credit cards took the film world by storm. Leading to a career as a filmmaker, podcaster, stand-up comedian, author, comic book writer, television producer – a veritable pop culture icon with a very large and loyal fanbase.

Confronting a Serial Killer Conversation
Discussion with the team behind Confronting a Serial Killer: director/EP Joe Berlinger, EP/showrunner Po Kutchins and Jillian Lauren. Premiering on STARZ this Spring, the five-episode series that tells the timely story of the unprecedented relationship between acclaimed author and journalist Jillian Lauren and the most prolific serial killer in American history, Sam Little, and her race against time to identify his victims before it’s too late.

Jada Pinkett Smith in Conversation with the Creator, Executive Producers, and Cast of the New Amazon Prime Video Terror Anthology, Them
Them creator and executive producer Little Marvin and executive producer Lena Waithe, will join cast, Deborah Ayorinde, Ashley Thomas, Alison Pill, Melody Hurd, and Shahadi Wright Joseph in a discussion moderated by Jada Pinkett Smith (Actress, Red Table Talk Host). In this candid conversation, executive producers and cast will unpack the first episode, set to World Premiere during this year’s SXSW Film Festival, as well as themes explored across the series. Them is a co-production from Amazon Studios and Sony Pictures Television.

A Conversation with the Filmmakers Behind Hulu’s WeWork: or the Making and Breaking of a $47 Billion Unicorn
Join Director Jed Rothstein and Producer Ross Dinerstein as they uncover the rise and fall of WeWork, the real estate startup whose CEO Adam Neumann blended spirituality, entrepreneurial hustle and free beer to convince investors that shared office space could change the world… until it entered near bankruptcy. The two will share a behind-the-scenes look at this captivating documentary while breaking down the personality that drove the company’s culture and its massive financial deals.

Cosmic Breakthrough: Women in The Hunt for Planet B
Are we alone? This dynamic panel of eminent scientists and engineers will discuss the search for life in the universe. With the discovery of thousands of exoplanets and the huge James Webb Space Telescope launching this year, a new golden age of astronomy is dawning—and these women are at the heart of it. With Natalie Batalha, Amy Lo, Sara Seager, Jill Tarter, and Maggie Turnbull; moderated by Nathaniel Kahn.

Cruel Summer Q&A
From Executive Producer Jessica Biel (The Sinner), Cruel Summer is a psychological thriller that follows two young women; Kate Wallis, the popular girl with a charmed life who one day goes missing, and Jeanette Turner, the nerdy wannabee who is accused of being connected to Kate’s disappearance. Please join us for an exciting panel with series stars Olivia Holt, Chiara Aurelia, and executive producers Tia Napolitano, Jessica Biel and Michelle Purple. The panel will be moderated by Jessica Radloff from Glamour Magazine.

HBO Max’s Made for Love: Panel with Stars and Executive Producers
Join stars Cristin Milioti, Billy Magnussen, Dan Bakkedahl, Noma Dumezweni, Caleb Foote and Ray Romano, and executive producers Christina Lee and Alissa Nutting for a conversation about HBO Max’s upcoming series Made for Love premiering this spring. The darkly absurd and cynically poignant story of love and divorce follows Hazel Green (Milioti), a thirty-something woman on the run after 10 years in a suffocating marriage to Byron Gogol (Magnussen), a controlling tech billionaire. Glamour‘s Samantha Barry moderates.

Homeroom with Nasim Pedrad, Creator of TBS’s New Comedy Series Chad
A conversation with Nasim Pedrad, the creator, star and executive producer of TBS’ upcoming series, Chad, and Glamour‘s Editor-in-Chief Samantha Barry.

Hysterical: Behind the Velvet Curtain with Stand-Up Comedy’s Boundary-Breaking Women
Stand-up comedy had always been a male domain. Join the cast and director of Hysterical, a feature documentary that explores female comics’ hard-fought journey to become the voices of their generation and gender, for an honest and hilarious Q&A. The all-female panel discusses their shared stories and struggles as some of the boundary-breaking women shattering comedy’s glass ceiling with perfectly timed punch lines. Hysterical, produced by Campfire, will be available on FX in 2021. Panelists include Fortune Feimster, Rachel Feinstein, Marina Franklin, Sherri Shepherd, Iliza Shlesinger, Jessica Kirson (who also serves as EP) and director/EP Andrea Nevins. Moderated by Melanie McFarland.

In Conversation with Mark Duplass and Natalie Morales
Language Lessons filmmakers Mark Duplass and Natalie Morales sit down to discuss the process of writing a bilingual movie, the complexities of platonic love, and filmmaking during a global pandemic.

Incorporating Choreography and Verse Into Blindspotting
A discussion with the Blindspotting series creators and writers Rafael Casal and Daveed Diggs, lead actress Jasmine Cephas Jones, director Aurora Guerrero, cinematographer Tarin Anderson, and renowned choreographers Lil Buck and Jon Boogz on incorporating choreography and verse into the new television series Blindspotting.

Jazz Fest: A New Orleans Story: Scenes from the Rough Cut
See work-in-progress scenes from the rough cut of Jazz Fest: A New Orleans Story. This documentary weaves together live performances and interviews from the 50th anniversary of the iconic festival, featuring some of the biggest names in music, along with a wealth of archival documentary footage from the past half century. Academy-award nominee Frank Marshall shares insights from behind the scenes.

The Making and Digital Restoration of I Went to the Dance
This virtual Q&A, hosted by journalist/author Joe Nick Patoski, will go behind the scenes of the making of the celebrated 1989 feature documentary on the roots of SW Louisiana’s Cajun & Creole/Zydeco music, I Went to the Dance. Featured are Co-Filmmaker/Producer, Chris Strachwitz, Co-Filmmaker/Editor Maureen Gosling and Associate Producer/Sound Recordist, Chris Simon. It will also delve into the challenges and magic behind the 2021 ground-breaking 5k digital restoration of a documentary, I Went to the Dance, by Harrod Blank and Anthony Matt. Blank, the son of the late Co-Filmmaker/Cinematographer Les Blank, took on the task to bring back to life this exuberant film which celebrates the most important and influential performers of the era.

On the Road(trip) to Recovery: Filmmakers Mallory Everton, Whitney Call and Stephen Meek Talk Their Feature Debut in the Midst of a Pandemic
For most people, quarantine looked a lot like baking bread and catching up on Tiger King, but for Utah-based sketch comics Mallory Everton, Whitney Call, and Stephen Meek, they saw a chance to do something different. The creative minds (and lifelong friends) behind JK Studios wrote, produced, directed, starred – and even gaffed – their first feature film with Recovery. In this SXSW-exclusive Q&A, the gang comes together to chat about their journey to creating their first feature…all from a safe social distance. The masks will come OFF as the filmmakers dive into what it really takes to make a movie with your quarantine family and the long road to a SXSW World Premiere. From Sorø Films and the whole family, we hope you’ll join us on the road to Recovery.

Poly Styrene: I Am A Cliché: In Conversation with the Filmmakers
In this special Q&A event, directors Celeste Bell and Paul Sng will discuss their new documentary film Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliché, about the late punk icon’s life, legacy, and relationship with Bell, her daughter. Featuring editor Xanna Ward Dixon and moderated by producer Matthew Silverman, this conversation will cover everything from Poly’s influence on the riot grrrl and Afropunk movements to the years-long filmmaking process that took place across three continents.

A Q&A with Kier-La Janisse of Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched
Join programmer Liane Cunje in conversation with Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched director Kier-La Janisse as they discuss the process behind the film – from its genesis as a short featurette to a comprehensive look at the folk horror phenomenon in film and television worldwide that became the House of Psychotic Women author’s first feature as a writer, director, and producer. They’ll discuss the myriad definitions and taxonomies of folk horror, its touchstone films and most vocal champions, and the many challenges of finishing a documentary in the midst of a global pandemic.

The Solar Opposites are going to SXSW! Join Justin Roiland (“Korvo”), Thomas Middleditch (“Terry”), Sean Giambrone (“Yumyulack”), Mary Mack (“Jesse”), executive producer Mike McMahan, and more as they take it bigger, funnier, and more oppositer than ever before during a virtual table read. As Hulu’s most-watched original comedy premiere to date, Solar Opposites centers around a family of four aliens and their Pupa who are still stuck on earth in suburban America.

Scoring My First Feature Film: A Conversation with Finneas O’Connell
Join internationally acclaimed, multi GRAMMY-Award-winning artist and producer Finneas O’Connell and Variety contributor (Songs for Screens) Andrew Hampp for an exclusive and live discussion at SXSW, as O’Connell delves into the process and his experience when making his feature film-score debut; composing and performing for The Fallout, a powerful new film about the unseen faces of a tragedy.

Swipe Righteous
Lifted from the parchment and downloaded onto your smartphone, Swipe Righteous reimagines famous Bible stories through our screens. Watch as Adam swipes right on Eve, Cain blocks Abel, and God tweets out his Ten Commandments – all told through Screenlife format by Searching and Unfriended Timur Bekmambetov and the creators of Dead of Night and Phony Texts.

SXSW Film Fest Episodic Pitch-a-Thon Presented by SeriesFest
For the second year in a row at SXSW Film, independent content creators will have the opportunity to participate in the Episodic Pitch-A-Thon presented by SeriesFest in partnership with SXSW. SXSW 2021 filmmakers will participate in the virtual event where each Creator/Creative Team will have 5 minutes to pitch in front of an audience. An industry panel of experts including top television, news media, and digital execs, will then have 7 minutes to give their feedback on each project.

Til Death Do Us Part: A Jakob’s Wife Discussion
Moderator Jordan Crucchiola leads an intimate conversation with genre legends Barbara Crampton, Larry Fessenden and writer/director Travis Stevens about reinventing yourself later in life, finding your own voice as an artist and how to have a happy marriage in a horror film.

Twyla Moves… You
Twyla Tharp teaches you her infamous and humorous Banjo dance and then talks about the experience of synopsizing her 55 year career into an 82 minute film experience.

Violet Q&A
Join Violet writer/director/producer Justine Bateman and special guests for a discussion of the film.

Weed, Murder & Bigfoot: A Conversation with the Team Behind Hulu’s Sasquatch
While visiting a pot farm in Northern California in 1993, investigative journalist David Holthouse heard a story that still haunts him: On a nearby farm three men were torn limb from limb in a savage Bigfoot attack. Hulu’s Sasquatch follows David as he revisits the Redwoods in search of any evidence that might lead to the truth of what happened that night. Join David Holthouse, director Joshua Rofé, and executive producer Mark Duplass as they break down the production of this wild murder mystery.

Narrative Shorts Competition

A selection of original, well-crafted films that take advantage of the short form and exemplify distinctive and genuine storytelling.

Are You Still There?

SXSW 2021 Film Are You Still There?

Directors/Screenwriters: Rayka Zehtabchi, Sam Davis

Safa’s been through a lot. Now her car battery’s dead in a strip mall parking lot. (North American Premiere)


SXSW 2021 Film Bruiser

Director: Miles Warren, Screenwriters: Miles Warren, Ben Medina

After his father gets into a fight at a bowling alley, Darious begins to investigate the limitations of his own manhood. (Texas Premiere)

Chuj Boys of Summer (Guatemala, United States)

SXSW 2021 Film Chuj Boys of Summer

Director: Max Walker-Silverman, Screenwriters: Marcos Ordoñez Ixwalanhkej Mendoza, Max Walker-Silverman

Speaking only his native language, a Guatemalan teenager begins his new life in rural Colorado. (Texas Premiere)

The Criminals (Romania, Turkey)

SXSW 2021 Film The Criminals

Director/Screenwriter: Serhat Karaaslan

Late at night in a small Turkish town, a young couple tries to find a hotel room to spend the night together.

Don’t Go Tellin’ Your Momma

SXSW 2021 Film Don’t Go Tellin’ Your Momma

Directors: Topaz Jones, rubberband., Screenwriters: Topaz Jones, Jason Sondock, Simon Davis

Topaz Jones debuts his 2nd album, Don’t Go Telling Your Momma, as a reimagining of the 70s Black ABCs; a view into his and America’s Black Identity through 26 individual scenes, each representing a letter and a corresponding update to their meanings. (Texas Premiere)

Femme (United Kingdom)

SXSW 2021 Film Femme

Directors/Screenwriters: Ng Choon Ping, Sam H. Freeman

When Jordan gets into the car of a flirtatious drug-dealer, his night takes a dangerous turn. (World Premiere)

The Journey (Canada)

SXSW 2021 Film The Journey

Director/Screenwriter: Ève Saint-Louis

The Journey is the story of a father and daughter reunion. From Montreal’s airport, they will travel along a chaotic path, where their inability to find each other will unveil a complicated relationship and have them drift from their initial course. (World Premiere)

Like The Ones I Used To Know (Canada)

SXSW 2021 Film Like The Ones I Used To Know - Photo credit Etienne Roussy

Director/Screenwriter: Annie St-Pierre

December 24, 1983, 10:50PM: Julie and her cousins ate too much sugar, Santa Claus is late and Denis, alone in his car, is anxious at the idea of setting foot in his ex-in-law’s house to pick up his children. An early quirky and poetic coming-of-age. (Texas Premiere)

Marvin’s Never Had Coffee Before

SXSW 2021 Film Marvin’s Never Had Coffee Before

Director: Andrew Carter, Screenwriters: Andrew Carter, Kahlil Maskati

Marvin Wexler tries coffee for the first time and desperately tries to talk about it with anyone who will listen.

The Mohel (Canada)

SXSW 2021 Film The Mohel

Director/Screenwriter: Charles Wahl

After celebrating the birth of their first child, James and Lola are faced with family expectations and financial strain as they fly in a Mohel to perform their son’s Brit Milah – The circumcision ceremony. (World Premiere)

The Nipple Whisperer (Belgium)

SXSW 2021 Film The Nipple Whisperer

Director/Screenwriter: Jan Van Dyck

Maurice Sanders has a gift. He’s a nipple whisperer. Once he was known as “Magic Sandy.” But that was years ago, before Doris, a famous model and Sander’s muse, fell ill. Now, after more than a decade, Doris wants to meet Maurice again. (World Premiere)

The Other Morgan

SXSW 2021 Film The Other Morgan

Director/Screenwriter: Alison Rich

When a dopey young exterminator discovers there’s another version of her out in the world, she begins to question her life choices. (Texas Premiere)


SXSW 2021 Film Plaisir

Director/Screenwriter: Molly Gillis

A lonely American faces unrequited love on a farm commune in the south of France. (World Premiere)

Play It Safe (United Kingdom)

SXSW 2021 Film Play It Safe

Director/Screenwriter: Mitch Kalisa

Coaxed into playing a racial typecast in a fellow student’s play, Black drama student Jonathan is faced with all too familiar decision: to challenge prejudice or play it safe. (World Premiere)

Sales Per Hour

SXSW 2021 Film Sales Per Hour

Directors: Michelle Uranowitz, Daniel Jaffe, Screenwriter: Michelle Uranowitz

A young woman faces a moral dilemma when she witnesses a sexual encounter in a dressing room at the clothing store where she works. (World Premiere)


SXSW 2021 Film Sisters

Director/Screenwriter: Jess Brunetto

Hidden secrets cause tension when two estranged sisters are forced to confront each other while preparing for their ailing mother’s death. (World Premiere)


SXSW 2021 Film Soak - Photo credit Heyjin Jun

Director/Screenwriter: Hannah Bang

A 16 year old tries to convince her runaway mother to return home. (World Premiere)

Squeegee (Canada, United States)

SXSW 2021 Film Squeegee

Director/Screenwriter: Morgan Krantz

A high-powered female CEO meets her high-rise window-washer for an erotic rendezvous on opposite sides of a skyscraper window. (World Premiere)

Wiggle Room

SXSW 2021 Film Wiggle Room

Directors/Screenwriters: Sam Guest, Julia Baylis

Determined to save her wheelchair ramp from repossession, Daisy confronts the shady insurance agent who owes her money. (Texas Premiere)


Slices of life from across the documentary spectrum.


SXSW 2021 Film Aguilas - Photo credit David Marquez

Directors: Kristy Guevara-Flanagan, Maite Zubiaurre, Screenwriters: Kristy Guevara-Flanagan, Maite Zubiaurre, Nico Sandi

Along the scorching desert border in Arizona, it is estimated that only one out of every five missing migrants are ever found. Águilas is the story of one group of searchers, the Águilas del Desierto. (Texas Premiere)

The Beauty President

SXSW 2021 Film The Beauty President

Director: Whitney Skauge

In 1992, drag queen Joan Jett Blakk made a historic bid for the White House as an openly queer write-in candidate. Today, Terence Smith, the man behind the persona, reflects back on his place in gay rights history at the height of the AIDS crisis. (World Premiere)

The Box

SXSW 2021 Film The Box

Directors/Screenwriters: James Burns, Shal Ngo

The Box is a hybrid documentary that explores the effects of solitary confinement through three people’s harrowing true stories – they’ve spent a combined nine years in isolation, and one of them co-directed this film. (World Premiere)

I Ran from It and Was Still in It

SXSW 2021 Film I Ran from It and Was Still in It

Director: Darol Olu Kae

A poetic meditation on familial loss and separation and the love that endures against dispersion. (Texas Premiere)

Joe Buffalo (Canada)

SXSW 2021 Film Joe Buffalo - Photo credit Liam Mitchell

Director: Amar Chebib, Screenwriters: Joe Buffalo, Amar Chebib

Joe Buffalo, an Indigenous skateboard legend and Indian Residential School survivor, must face his inner demons to realize his dream of turning pro. (Texas Premiere)

The Last Cruise

Director: Hannah Olson

The Last Cruise chronicles the first major COVID-19 outbreak outside of China. Using footage recorded by passengers and crew aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship, we watch class divisions emerge as the world misses its chance to contain the virus. (World Premiere)

Plant Heist

SXSW 2021 Film Plant Heist

Directors: Chelsi de Cuba, Gabriel de Cuba

California’s fight to protect valuable native succulents from an international poaching ring. (World Premiere)

Red Taxi

SXSW 2021 Film Red Taxi - Photo credit Field of Vision

Director: Anonymous

As protests unfold in Hong Kong, Red Taxi shows a city in upheaval through the eyes of those who must traverse the streets day and night to make a living. Filmed by a local film crew who remain anonymous due to ongoing safety concerns. (North American Premiere)

Sophie and The Baron

SXSW 2021 Film Sophie and The Baron - Photo credit Alexandria Jackson

Director: Alexandria Jackson

Iconic photographer Baron Wolman and contemporary artist Sophie Kipner transcend eras and mediums in a collaboration that demonstrates the magic of just saying yes. (World Premiere)

Ten Leaves Dilated

SXSW 2021 Film Ten Leaves Dilated - Photo credit Kate E. Hinshaw

Directors: Kate E. Hinshaw, Ebony Blanding

A documentary that uses the make-believe world crafted by Cabbage Patch Kids to examine discourses surrounding childbirth in the American South. (World Premiere)

Trade Center

SXSW 2021 Trade Center - Photo credit Daniel Lam

Director: Adam Baran

The voices of five gay men who cruised for sex at the World Trade Center in the 1980s and 1990s haunt the sanitized, commerce-driven landscape that is the newly rebuilt Freedom Tower campus. (World Premiere)


An assortment of stories told using traditional animation, computer-generated effects, stop-motion, and everything in between.

The Expected (Sweden)

SXSW 2021 Film The Expected

Director/Screenwriter: Carolina Sandvik

A father-to-be ends up in a feverish nightmare after a miscarriage when a strange entity seems to be growing in the mother’s blood. (North American Premiere)

Hold Me Tight (Belgium, France)

SXSW 2021 Films hold me tight

Director/Screenwriter: Mélanie Robert-Tourneur

In the middle of a dark forest, two silhouettes meet. In search of sexual desire, they start a dangerous and explosive parade. (International Premiere)

KKUM (Republic of Korea)

SXSW 2021 Film KKUM - credit Kang Min Kim

Director/Screenwriter: Kang Min Kim

My mother’s dreams have always been strong premonitions for important moments in my life. I rely on her dreams more than any religion. (Texas Premiere)

Love is Just a Death Away (Czechia)

SXSW 2021 Film Love is Just a Death Away

Director/Screenwriter: Bára Anna Stejskalová

A tender story about finding love even amid utter decay. (U.S. Premiere)

My Fat Arse and I (Poland)

SXSW 2021 Film My Fat Arse and I - Photo credit Yelyzaveta Pysmak

Director/Screenwriter: Yelyzaveta Pysmak

An amusing film about anorexia and butts. (North American Premiere)

Navozande, the Musician (France)

SXSW 2021 Film Navozande, the Musician

Director/Screenwriter: Reza Riahi

At the time of the attack of the Mongols, a young musician and the love of his life are separated from each other. Fifty years later, the musician is summoned to perform at the castle of the Mongols where his beloved is being held. (Texas Premiere)

Normal (France)

SXSW 2021 Film Normal

Director/Screenwriter: Julie Caty
Dany is a rich heir who faces existential emptiness. He meets Karl Marx who asks him to destroy capitalism in order to save humankind. Reluctantly, Dany accepts his request and turns into a superhero. But he is quickly overwhelmed by his task. (North American Premiere)

Nuevo Rico

SXSW 2021 Film Nuevo Rico

Director: Kristian Mercado, Screenwriters: Kristian Mercado, Juan Arroyo

A brother and sister stumble upon a celestial secret that changes their lives forever and propels them into Reggaetón stardom, but they soon discover that their newfound fame comes at a deep price. (World Premiere)


SXSW 2021 Film Opera - Photo credit Beasts And Natives Alike

Director: Erick Oh

Opera is a massive 8K size animation installation project which portrays our society and history which is filled with beauty and absurdity. Erick enables viewers to experience the range of in-depth emotions through this epic reflection of human life. (Texas Premiere)

Our Bed Is Green

SXSW 2021 Our Bed is Green - Photo credit Maggie Brennan

Director/Screenwriter: Maggie Brennan

A young woman seeks digital refuge from an overwhelming world and a bewildering obsession. (World Premiere)

Rendang of Death (Indonesia)

SXSW 2021 Film Rendang of Death

Director/Screenwriter: Percolate Galactic

In a quaint Padang restaurant, filled with people enjoying their lunch break, two bros put their friendship to the test when it turns out that there’s only a single plate of their favorite food left: the Rendang of Death.

Your Own Bullshit (Poland)

SXSW 2021 Film Your Own Bullshit - Photo credit Daria Kopiec, Piotr Matysiak

Director: Daria Kopiec, Screenwriters: Daria Kopiec, Agata Zyzniewska

There is nothing greater than having a dinner with the family. Although it resembles a looped scenario that repeats itself endlessly. Recited with flying colors for many long years. (North American Premiere)


Bite-sized bits for all of your sex, gore, and hilarity cravings.

Don’t Peek

SXSW 2021 Film Don't Peek

Director/Screenwriter: Julian Terry

While playing a videogame, a young woman comes across a creepy character who wants to be let out.

Flex (Sweden)

SXSW 2021 Film Flex

Directors/Screenwriters: Josefin Malmén, David Strindberg

A semi-surreal comedy short that (literally) lets you under the skin of a bodybuilder and his ambivalent self-image – exploring the fine line between self-loathing and self-loving.


SXSW 2021 Film Flick

Director/Screenwriter: Ariel Zengotita

A reclusive college student is driven mad after picking a booger he can’t flick away.

Joanne Is Dead

SXSW 2021 Film Joanne is Dead

Director/Screenwriter: Brian Sacca

It’s easy to dismiss the ramblings of the dementia-riddled elderly as nonsense. But what if there is a deadly truth behind those words? (World Premiere)

The Moogai (Australia)

SXSW 2021 Film The Moogai - Photo credit Tess Peni

Director/Screenwriter: Jon Bell

An Aboriginal psychological horror, The Moogai is the story of a family terrorized by a child-stealing spirit. (International Premiere)

A Puff Before Dying

SXSW 2021 Film A Puff Before Dying

Directors/Screenwriters: Michael Reich, Mike Pinkney

A wild night of drugs and drugged up driving ends in tragedy for three teenage girls that happen to be marionettes. (World Premiere)


SXSW 2021 Film Puss - Photo credit Paul Slupski

Director/Screenwriter: Leah Shore

Samantha desperately wants to get laid, but is finding it to be difficult for some reason. (World Premiere)


SXSW 2021 Film Reklaw - Photo credit Robert Nachman

Director/Screenwriter: Polaris Banks

A team of altruistic vigilantes destroy evidence to keep as many people from prison as possible, but when one of their crime scene clean-ups is revisited by the killer, the strength of their convictions is tested. (World Premiere)

Run That Shit!

SXSW 2021 Film Run That Shit

Director: Tristan Kim, Screenwriters: Tristan Kim, Will Allyn Robinson

A Satanic cult lures a no-name rapper into stealing an enchanted chamber pot from his estranged friend and now superstar rapper, Big Tobacco. (Texas Premiere)

Significant Other

SXSW 2021 Film Significant Other - Photo credit Joe Martin

Director/Screenwriter: Quinn George

A couple struggles to see eye to eye when a mysterious red orb appears in their new home. (Texas Premiere)

Stuffed (United Kingdom)

SXSW 2021 Film Stuffed

Director: Theo Rhys, Screenwriters: Theo Rhys, Joss Holden-Rea

Stuffed is a short musical about a taxidermist who dreams of stuffing a human, and the man she meets online, so afraid of aging he volunteers to be her specimen. An unexpected romantic spark between them complicates their plans. (North American Premiere)

A Tale Best Forgotten (Sweden)

SXSW 2021 Film A Tale Best Forgotten

Director/Screenwriter: Tomas Stark

In a house by a river that lamented as it ran, lived a father, and his daughter, and the dog-headed man… A murder ballad. (North American Premiere)

The Thing That Ate The Birds (United Kingdom)

SXSW 2021 Film The Thing That Ate the Birds

Directors/Screenwriters: Sophie Mair, Dan Gitsham

On the North Yorkshire Moors, Abel, Head Gamekeeper, discovers the thing that is eating his grouse. (North American Premiere)


An offshoot of our regular shorts program, composed of work shot in, about, or somehow relating to the Lone Star state.

Doretha’s Blues

SXSW 2021 Film Doretha’s Blues

Director/Screenwriter: Channing Godfrey Peoples

Doretha goes out for her evening drink at her local watering hole when a news story dredges up old memories. (World Premiere)

Learning Tagalog with Kayla

SXSW 2021 Film Learning Tagalog with Kayla

Director/Screenwriter: Kayla Abuda Galang

In this lesson, Kayla teaches you Tagalog, the language of her homeland. (World Premiere)


SXSW 2021 Film Malignant

Directors: Morgan Bond, Nickolas Grisham, Screenwriters: Nickolas Grisham, Curtis McOsker

Chynna travels to a West Texas health retreat to visit her terminally ill mother. As she learns more about the faith-based wellness preached in the commune, Chynna desperately attempts to convince her mother to leave. (World Premiere)

O Black Hole! (United Kingdom)

SXSW 2021 Film O Black Hole!

Director: Renee Zhan, Screenwriters: Renee Zhan, Vanessa Rose

A woman who can’t stand the passing of time turns herself into a black hole. A thousand unchanging years pass until one day, the Singularity wakes inside her. (Texas Premiere)

Summer Animals

SXSW 2021 Film Summer Animals

Director/Screenwriter: Haley Elizabeth Anderson

Living out of a motel, 15-year-old Tommy makes a drastic decision in order for her siblings to escape the heat before the summer’s over. (World Premiere)

The Unlikely Fan

SXSW 2021 Film The Unlikely Fan

Directors: Sai Selvarajan, Jeff Bednarz, Screenwriter: Sai Selvarajan

She’s a Sri Lankan born, Dallas-based, retired teacher and mother. She’s also crazy about basketball. Meet “The Unlikely Fan” who knows a thing or two about hoops. (World Premiere)


A preview of the next filmmaking generation, as Texas High Schoolers present shorts of five minutes or less.

Beyond the Model

SXSW 2021 Films Beyond the Model

Director: Jessica Lin

After the assaults and discrimination of Asians because of COVID-19, this film shines a light on what it is like be a “model minority” in an increasingly divided America. (World Premiere)


SXSW 2021 Film Comeuppance

Director/Screenwriter: Meredith Smith

A family vacation forces Aaron to spend time with his diabolical cousin, Richard. The family’s indifference to Richard’s relentless bullying proves tragic as Aaron is ultimately led to his destructive breaking point.

The Good Wife’s Guide

SXSW 2021 Film The Good Wife’s Guide

Director/Screenwriter: Chloe Merriman

The Good Wife’s Guide is a take on 1950s housewife culture based off of Housekeeping Monthly‘s article “The Good Wife’s Guide” published in 1955.

Holographic Dreams

SXSW 2021 Film Holographic Dreams

Director: Satvik Shankar, Screenwriter: Jackson Coates

A teenage boy goes on an exploration of his own fears about death, religion, and sin. (Texas Premiere)

In Time

SXSW 2021 Film In Time

Director/Screenwriter: Gaelila McKaughan

In the still gaps of her loosely-bound routine, a girl confronts a strange figure.


SXSW 2021 Film Metamorphism

Director/Screenwriter: Kate Saltel

Under great pressure, humans undergo similar steps of metamorphism.

A Really Dark Comedy

Director: Manasi Ughadmathe, Screenwriter: Jackson Coates

In a frantic rush to ask his crush out to prom, Gus and his friend Elliot speed to her house, unbeknownst to the horrors that lie on the road. (World Premiere)

Wired Shut.

SXSW 2021 Film Wired Shut.

Director: Alex O. Martinez

A teenage boy breaks his jaw and has to have his mouth wired shut. (World Premiere)


A range of classic, innovative, and stylish work showcasing the scope of music video culture.

The Avalanches – ‘Running Red Lights’

SXSW 2021 Film The Avalanches – ‘Running Red Lights’ / Director: Greg Brunkalla

Director: Greg Brunkalla

Bob Moses Featuring ZHU – ‘Desire’

SXSW 2021 Film Bob Moses Featuring ZHU – ‘Desire’

Director/Screenwriter: Owen Brown

C.Tangana – ‘Demasiadas Mujeres’ (Spain)

Director/Screenwriter: Santos Bacana

Dirty Projectors – ‘Overlord’

SXSW 2021 Film Dirty Projectors – ‘Overlord’

Director: Dave Longstreth

FKA twigs – ‘sad day’ (United Kingdom)

SXSW 2021 Film FKA twigs – ‘sad day’
Director: Hiro Murai

Hedgehog – ‘Bat’ (China)

SXSW 2021 Film Hedgehog – ‘Bat’

Director: Haonan Wang, Screenwriters: Haonan Wang, Heran Wang

Jeremy Ivey – ‘Someone Else’s Problem’

SXSW 2021 Film Jeremy Ivey – ‘Someone Else’s Problem’

Director/Screenwriter: Kimberly Stuckwisch

Julia Stone – ‘Break’ (Australia)

SXSW 2021 Film Julia Stone – ‘Break’

Director/Screenwriter: Jessie Hill

Kuricorder Quartet – ‘Southpaw’ (Japan)

SXSW 2021 Film Kuricorder Quartet – ‘Southpaw’

Director/Screenwriter: Sawako Kabuki

Madame Gandhi – ‘Waiting for Me’ (India)

SXSW 2021 Film Madame Gandhi – ‘Waiting for Me’

Director: Misha Ghose, Screenwriters: Madame Gandhi, Misha Ghose, Aastha Singh

Makeup and Vanity Set – ‘Algorithm’ (France)

SXSW 2021 Film Makeup and Vanity Set – ‘Algorithm’

Directors: Saman Kesh, Justin Daashuur Hopkins

Run The Jewels ft. Pharrell Williams and Zack de la Rocha – ‘JU$T’ (United Kingdom)

SXSW 2021 Film Run The Jewels ft. Pharrell Williams and Zack de la Rocha – ‘JU$T’

Director: Winston Hacking

Wax Tailor – ‘Misery (ft. Rosemary Standley)’ (France)

SXSW 2021 Film Wax Tailor – ‘Misery (ft. Rosemary Standley)’

Director/Screenwriter: Berkay Türk

Waze & Odyssey, George Michael, Mary J. Blige & Tommy Theo – ‘Always’ (United Kingdom, U.S.)

SXSW 2021 Film Waze & Odyssey, George Michael, Mary J. Blige & Tommy Theo – ‘Always’ (United Kingdom, U.S.) / Director: Nelson de Castro

Director: Nelson de Castro

Witch Prophet – ‘Tesfay’ (Canada)

SXSW 2021 Film Witch Prophet – ‘Tesfay’

Director/Screenwriter: Leah Vlemmiks


Inspired by an essential part of the theatrical experience, these are works of art in their own right. The 15 sequences selected represent the very best and most original selections.

The 100 Title Sequence

SXSW 2021 Film The 100 Title Sequence

Company: Picturemill / Title Designers: Dustin Reno, Evan Jackson

Aleph Title Sequence (Turkey)

SXSW 2021 Film Aleph Title Sequence

Company: Ugur Baltepe – Ethem Cem / Title Designers: U?ur Baltepe, Ethem Cem

Birds Of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn Title Sequence

SXSW 2021 Film Birds Of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn Title Sequence

Company: Shine / Creative Director: Michael Riley

The Botanist Title Sequence

SXSW 2021 Film The Botanist Title Sequence

Company: Samplistic / Title Designer: Michael Rosen

Dichos Title Sequence

SXSW 2021 Film Dichos Title Sequence

Company: Gwenaëlle Gobé Films / Title Designer: Gwenaëlle Gobé

Lust Title Sequence

SXSW 2021 Film Lust Title Sequence

Company: Ringling College of Art + Design / Title Designer: Rudy Schultz

Never Forget Tibet Title Sequence (United Kingdom)

SXSW 2021 Film Never Forget Tibet Title Sequence

Title Designer: Chris Caswell

The Queen’s Gambit Title Sequence

SXSW 2021 Film The Queen’s Gambit Title Sequence

Title Designer: Saskia Marka

Sayg? Title Sequence (Turkey)

SXSW 2021 Film Sayg? Title Sequence

Company: Ethem Cem – U?ur Baltepe / Title Designers: Ethem Cem, U?ur Baltepe

Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story Title Sequence (India)

2021 SXSW Film, Scam 1992

Company: Applause Entertainment / Title Designer: Jishnu Chatterjee

Scoob! Title Sequence

SXSW 2021 Film Scoob! Title Sequence

Company: Aspect / Creative Directors: Jon Berkowitz, Brad Colwell

Sonic the Hedgehog Title Sequence

SXSW 2021 Film Sonic the Hedgehog Title Sequence

Company: Picturemill / Title Designers: William Lebeda, Cecilia De Jesus

Strangled Title Sequence (Hungary)

SXSW 2021 Film Strangled Title Sequence

Company: FilmHungary, Studio-X / Creative Director: András Derzsy, Creative Producer: Sándor Takó

Swamp Thing Title Sequence

SXSW 2021 Film Swamp Thing Title Sequence

Company: Filmograph / Title Designer: Aaron Becker

Under the Influence Title Sequence

SXSW 2021 Film Under the Influence Title Sequence

Company: Yacht Club Films / Title Designer: Nicco Quiñones


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 20 projects presented in our sections emphasize storytelling, ingenuity and also showcase how other industries are embracing this new medium.

Virtual Cinema Competition

World and International Premieres of exciting immersive work.

Biolum (France, United Kingdom)

SXSW 2021 Film Biolum

Director: Abel Kohen, Screenwriter: Jon Rowe, Producers: Igal Kohen, Katharina Weser, Paul Kirsten

Biolum is an interactive, narrative VR sci-fi experience which immerses you in the mysterious beauty of deep sea life on a dive that takes a shocking turn for the worse. (World Premiere)

(Hi)story of a Painting (United Kingdom)

SXSW 2021 Film (Hi)story of a Painting

Directors: Gaëlle Mourre, Quentin Darras, Screenwriter: Gaëlle Mourre, Producers: Charlotte Mikkelborg, Gaëlle Mourre

(Hi)story of a Painting journeys into the story behind La Grande Jatte, an iconic painting by Georges Seurat that we all know but don’t actually truly know… until now. Follow us as we learn how Georges went from underdog to world-renowned artist. (World Premiere)

Of Hybrids and Strings (Australia, France, Germany)

SXSW 2021 Film Of Hybrids and Strings

Director: Lauren Moffatt, Producer: Fabbula

Of Hybrids and Strings is a fabulatory immersion into possible human and non-human connectedness. In a forest, at night, one becomes strangely entangled to plants and creatures. Until the forest starts to crystallize… (World Premiere)

The Passengers: Her & Him (Canada, France)

SXSW 2021 Films The Passengers: Her & Him

Director: Ziad Touma, Screenwriter: Nicolas Peufaillit, Producers: Ziad Touma, Oriane Hurard

Enter the thoughts of one of the Passengers, and help them face a pivotal moment in their lives. Welcome aboard an interactive VR experience, in which your gaze and voice influence the story. (International Premiere)

Poison (Republic of Korea)

SXSW 2021 Film Poison

Directors: Meesol Yi, Cooper Sanghyun Yoo, Screenwriter: Hyunsoo So, Producer: Wooyeol Jeon

Through Poison, an immersive VR experience, users are expected to feel the intelligence of the virus and its danger intuitively. Our primary goal is to let the people be alert, be aware of our enemies, and think about what we can do for our lives. (World Premiere)

A Promise Kept

SXSW 2021 Film A Promise Kept

Directors: Ken Winikur, Ariel Efron, Screenwriters: Susan Abrams, Ariel Efron, Kelley Szany, Ken Winikur, Producers: Susan Abrams, Kelley Szany

This gripping virtual reality experience takes you on a journey back to the notorious Auschwitz killing center with Holocaust Survivor, Fritzie Fritzshall as she fulfills her promise to the 599 women who helped save her life. (World Premiere)


SXSW 2021 Film Reeducated

Director: Sam Wolson, Producers: Ben Mauk, Sam Wolson, Nicholas Rubin, Matt Huynh

Reeducated takes viewers inside a “reeducation” camp in Xinjiang, China, guided by the recollections of three men who were caught in what is likely the largest mass-internment drive of ethnic and religious minorities since the Second World War. (World Premiere)

Samsara (Taiwan)

SXSW 2021 Film Samsara

Director/Screenwriter: Huang Hsin-Chien, Producer: Tsau Saiau-Yue

Samsara Episode 1 VR explores the concept of the Embodied Cognition. In this experience, the audiences will be transformed into different beings’ bodies and experience the world from entirely new perspectives. (World Premiere)

Space Explorers: The ISS Experience Episode 2: Advance (Canada, United States)

SXSW 2021 Films Space Explorers: The ISS Experience Episode 2: Advance

Director: Félix Lajeunesse, Screenwriters: Félix Lajeunesse, Paul Raphaël, Producers: Felix & Paul Studios in association with TIME Studios

The largest production ever filmed in space, Space Explorers: The ISS Experience is an epic four-part immersive series that invites you to join eight astronauts on life-changing missions aboard the International Space Station. (World Premiere)

Virtual Cinema Spotlight

Shining a spotlight on acclaimed immersive works.

4 Feet High VR (Argentina, France)

SXSW 2021 Film 4 Feet High

Directors: Maria Belen Poncio, Rosario Perazolo Masjoan, Damian Turkieh, Screenwriters: Greta Molas, Javier Correa Caceres, Elisa Gagliano, Rosario Perazolo Masjoan, Maria Belen Poncio, Delphine Agut, Ivana Galdeano, Gabriela Vidal, Producers: Ezequiel Lenardon, Marie Blondiaux

Imagine your last year of High School in a wheelchair. Cast List: Marisol Agostina Irigoyen, Florencia Licera, Marcio Ramses, Natalia Di Cienzo, Francisca Spinotti (Texas Premiere)

Finding Pandora X

SXSW 2021 Film Finding Pandora X

Director: Kiira Benzing, Screenwriter: Alyssa Landry, Producers: Kiira Benzing, Lara Bucarey, Chris Dawes, Alyssa Landry

With the passing of ages, the Gods of Mount Olympus have faded away until only two remain: Zeus and Hera. Now they are in danger of disappearing if they can’t recover the box of hope that Pandora removed. (North American Premiere)

Meet Mortaza (France)

SXSW 2021 Film Meet Mortaza

Director: Joséphine Derobe, Screenwriters: Joséphine Derobe, Mortaza Jami, Producers: Oriane Hurard, Quentin Noirfalisse

An immersive experience telling the journey of an afghan refugee. (U.S. Premiere)


SXSW 2021 Film Namoo
Director/Screenwriter: Erick Oh, Producers: Larry Cutler, Eric Darnell, Maureen Fan, Kane Lee

A narrative poem brought to life as an animated VR film, and an ode to a grandfather’s passing, this story follows the journey of a budding artist – and his tree of life – from beginning to end. (Texas Premiere)

Odyssey 1.4.9 (France)

2021 SXSW Film, Odyssey 1.4.9

Director: François Vautier, Producer: Jeremy Sahel

A breathtaking VR journey into the visual heart of A Space Odyssey. A personal tribute unveiling the secrets of Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece. (U.S. Premiere)

Once Upon a Sea (Canada)

SXSW 2021 Film Once Upon a Sea

Director: Adi Lavy, Screenwriter: Heidi Miller, Producers: Ina Fichman, Nimrod Shanit

Once Upon a Sea is a stunning, immersive trip to the Dead Sea region, the lowest place on earth – and it is our call to action. If nothing is done, the Dead Sea as we know it will be gone for good. (North American Premiere)

Paper Birds (Argentina)

SXSW 2021 Film Paper Birds

Directors: German Heller, Federico Carlini, Screenwriter: German Heller, Producers: German Heller, Federico Carlini

Paper Birds is the story of a short sighted child with an exceptional talent for music. He must find his way through the world of darkness to bring back his sister, taken away by the shadows.

Potato Dreams

SXSW 2021 Films Potato Dreams of America

Director/Screenwriter: Wes Hurley, Producers: Mischa Jakupcak, Wes Hurley, Mara Auster, Jonathan Caso

Russian mother and son narrate this innovative 360 documentary which traces their nightmarish past in the USSR. (Texas Premiere)

Under the Skin (Brazil, China, Germany, Luxembourg, United States)

SXSW 2021 Films Under the Skin

Director: João Inada, Screenwriters: Thamyra Thâmara, Andressa Núbia, Jon Thomaz, Rafael Cruz, Raull Santiago, João Inada, Producer: Diogo Dahl

Under the Skin is an interactive VR documentary that brings users to Complexo do Alemão — Rio de Janeiro’s most notorious favela complex—during a surprise police operation, meeting residents who face police abuse and structural racism. (North American Premiere)

WebbVR: The James Webb Space Telescope Virtual Experience

SXSW 2021 Films WebbVR: The James Webb Space Telescope Virtual Experience

Director: Chad Smith

Join the James Webb Space Telescope in orbit beyond the Moon and explore the universe from its perspective. Planetary systems are born, galaxies form, and stars emerge from within colorful nebulas—all before your eyes.


The Narrative Feature Competition, the Documentary Feature Competition, Design Awards, and Special Awards will be announced on Friday, March 19 along with all the films in the Short Film Program, which are eligible for Jury Awards within their respective screening categories. All film categories, except Special Events, will be eligible for category-specific Audience Awards, which will be certified by the accounting firm of Maxwell Locke & Ritter and announced via There are also special awards including this year’s new Brightcove Illumination Award, to honor a filmmaker on the rise, celebrating the innovation and creativity of new artists within the SXSW Film Festival official selections. The 2021 SXSW Film Festival Awards are presented by Brightcove.

About Tracy Allen

As the co-owner and Editor-in-Chief of, Tracy has learned a lot about independent horror films and the people who love them. Now an approved critic for Rotten Tomatoes, she hopes the masses will follow her reviews back to PopHorror and learn more about the creativity and uniqueness of indie horror movies.

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