All The Pieces Fall in to Place as SXSW Adds Tetris

New titles include experimental Visions and 24 Beats Per Second

Taron Egerton in Tetris, one of the new titles added to SXSW Film and Television Festival 2023 (Image Courtesy of Apple)

They call it a lineup drop for a reason: South by Southwest Film and Television Festival has just added gaming and international intrigue drama Tetris to its headliners as part of today's second round of titles.

The eagerly-awaited biopic stars Taron Egerton (Rocket Man) as Henk Rogers, the Dutch game developer who brought literal game-changer Tetris to the West.

It's one of two headliners added today to the festival lineup (running Feb. 10-19), joining a packed roster that already includes the world premiere of Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, and Eva Longoria's snackable true story Flamin' Hot. Now Bottoms reunites the Shiva Baby duo of director Emma Seligman and star Rachel Sennott (who also shared writing duties) in a wild college comedy.

The announcement also included films in the experimental Visions category, including The Artifice Girl, the latest from Austin's Paper Street Pictures.

And this being SXSW, there's got to be a little music somewhere, and that's where the 24 Beats Per Second music thread comes in, with new documentaries about British Invasion mainstays the Zombies (Hung Up on a Dream), '60s folk pioneer Joan Baez (Joan Baez I Am A Noise), jazz legend Max Roach (Max Roach: The Drum Also Waltzes), and the queen of disco herself, Donna Summer (Love to Love you, Donna Summer).

The rhythm doesn't stop there. Festival Favorites brings some of the biggest hits from the global festival scene, starting with rock & roll bio-doc Little Richard: I Am Everything, which just played at Sundance. Also making the trip from Park City are the remarkable STILL: A Michael J. Fox Movie, about the Back to the Future star's life with Parkinson's, and The Starling Girl, writer-director Laurel Parmet's breakout success telling the story of a young woman trying to find her place in evangelical Kentucky.

SXSW 2023 runs March 10-19, 2023. Badges and further info are available now at sxsw.com.

Also, make sure to follow all our coverage at austinchronicle.com/sxsw.


HEADLINERS

Bottoms
Director: Emma Seligman, Producers: Elizabeth Banks, Max Handelman, Alison Small, Screenwriters: Emma Seligman, Rachel Sennott

Directed by Emma Seligman and written by Seligman and Rachel Sennott, Bottoms follows two unpopular girls in their senior year who start a fight club to try to impress and hook up with cheerleaders. Cast: Rachel Sennott, Ayo Edebiri, Ruby Cruz, Havana Rose Liu, Kaia Gerber, Nicholas Galitzine, Miles Fowler, Marshawn Lynch, Dagmara Dominiczyk, Punkie Johnson (World Premiere)

Tetris
Director: Jon S. Baird, Producers: Matthew Vaughn, Gillian Berrie, Claudia Vaughn, Len Blavatnik, Gregor Cameron, Screenwriter: Noah Pink

Based on the true story of American video game salesman Henk Rogers (Taron Egerton) and his discovery of Tetris in 1988. When he sets out to bring the game to the world, he enters a dangerous web of lies and corruption behind the Iron Curtain. Cast: Taron Egerton, Nikita Efremov, Sofia Lebedeva, Anthony Boyle, Ben Miles, Ken Yamamura, Igor Grabuzov, Oleg Shtefanko, Ayane Nagabuchi, Rick Yune, Roger Allam, Toby Jones (World Premiere)


NARRATIVE SPOTLIGHT

Cora Bora

Appendage
Director/Screenwriter: Anna Zlokovic, Producers: David Worthen Brooks, Arbi Pedrossian, Jenna Cavelle, Katrina Kudlick, Alex Familian, Hadley Robinson, Anna Zlokovic

After hitting a breaking point, Hannah’s inner thoughts physicalize into a monstrous creature that threatens to upend her life. Cast: Hadley Robinson, Emily Hampshire, Brandon Mychal Smith, Kausar Mohammed (World Premiere)

Blackberry (Canada)
Director: Matt Johnson, Producers: Niv Fichman, Matthew Miller, Fraser Ash, Kevin Krikst, Screenwriters: Matt Johnson, Matthew Miller

The story of the meteoric rise and catastrophic demise of the world's first smartphone. Cast: Jay Baruchel, Glenn Howerton, Matt Johnson, Cary Elwes, Saul Rubinek (North American Premiere)

Cora Bora
Director: Hannah Pearl Utt, Producers: Mallory Schwartz, Jeffrey Soros, Simon Horsman, Screenwriter: Rhianon Jones

Cora senses her open relationship is on the rocks. When the struggling musician and messy millennial goes home to Portland to win her girlfriend back, she realizes it’s much more than her love life that needs salvaging. Cast: Megan Stalter, Jojo T. Gibbs, Manny Jacinto, Ayden Mayeri, Thomas Mann, Chrissie Fit, Andrew Hyland, Chelsea Peretti, Margaret Cho, Darrell Hammond (World Premiere)

Hail Mary
Director: Rosemary Rodriguez, Producer: Karina Miller, Screenwriter: Knate Lee

A young Belizean girl, Maria, finds herself mysteriously pregnant and trying to cross the US/MEX border while outrunning a deadly virus, the Cartels, Border Patrol and the right-hand man of the Devil. This genre-bending retelling of the Mary and Joseph story begs the question – who are the real monsters? Cast: Natalia del Riego, Benny Emmanuel and Jack Huston with Angela Sarafyan (World Premiere)

The Long Game
Director: Julio Quintana, Producers: Javier Chapa, Ben Howard, Marla Quintana, Dennis Quaid, Laura Quaid, Screenwriters: Julio Quintana, Jennifer C. Stetson, Paco Farias

Banned from playing at the club where they caddied, a group of Mexican-American high schoolers form their own golf team, build a one-hole course in the fields, and win the 1957 Texas State Championship against all odds. Based on a true story. Cast: Jay Hernandez, Dennis Quaid, Cheech Marin, Julian Works, Jaina Lee Ortiz, Brett Cullen, Oscar Nuñez, Richard Robichaux, Paulina Chávez (World Premiere)

National Anthem
Director: Luke Gilford, Producers: Mickey Liddell, Pete Shilaimon, Kevin Garland, Gina Marcheschi, Jasmine Daghighian, Screenwriters: David Largman Murray, Kevin Best, Luke Gilford

Dylan, a 21-year old construction worker in rural New Mexico, joins a community of queer ranchers and rodeo performers in search of their own version of the American dream. Cast: Charlie Plummer, Eve Lindley, Mason Alexander Park, Rene Rosdado, Robyn Lively (World Premiere)

Northern Comfort (Germany, Iceland, United Kingdom)
Director: Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson, Producers: Grímar Jónsson, Sol Bondy, Fred Burle, Mike Goodridge, Screenwriters: Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson, Halldór Laxness Halldórsson, Tobias Munthe

A diverse group of people with a chronic fear of flying are stranded in the wintry north. Cast: Lydia Leonard, Timothy Spall, Ella Rumpf, Sverrir Guðnason, Simon Manyonda, Rob Delaney (World Premiere)

Peak Season
Directors: Henry Loevner, Steven Kanter, Producers: Lovell Holder, Patrick Ward, Henry Loevner, Steven Kanter, Screenwriter: Henry Loevner

An emotionally adrift young woman forges an unexpected friendship with a wilderness guide when she and her fiancé take a summer trip to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Cast: Claudia Restrepo, Derrick DeBlasis, Ben Coleman, Fred Melamed, Stephanie Courtney, Will Neff, Caroline Kwan, Ron Hanks, Gadiel Del Orbe, Natasha Dewhurst (World Premiere)

This Closeness
Director/Screenwriter: Kit Zauhar, Producer: Ani Schroeter

Tensions rise when a couple on the rocks stays at the home of a reclusive host, with the three entering an intimate battle to gain and reclaim territory. Cast: Zane Pais, Kit Zauhar, Ian Edlund, Jessie Pinnick, Kate Williams (World Premiere)

War Pony
Directors: Gina Gammell, Riley Keough, Producers: Willi White, Bert Hamelinck, Ryan Zacarias, Sacha Ben Harroche, Riley Keough, Gina Gammell, Screenwriters: Franklin Sioux Bob, Bill Reddy, Riley Keough, Gina Gammell

War Pony follows the interlocking stories of two young Oglala Lakota men growing up on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Bound by their shared search for belonging, each grapple with a world built against them, navigating their unique paths to manhood. Cast: Jojo Bapteise Whiting, Ladainian Crazy Thunder (North American Premiere)

You Sing Loud, I Sing Louder
Director: Emma Westenberg Producers: Mark Amin, Christine Vachon, Clara McGregor, Vera Bulder, Greg Lauritano, Mason Plotts, Cami Winikoff, Screenwriter: Ruby Caster

A father takes his estranged daughter on a road trip in an effort to get her out of trouble. Along the way they meet all types of strangers, as their strained relationship is put to the test. Cast: Clara McGregor, Ewan McGregor, Devyn McDowell, Sasha Alexander, Kim Zimmer, Jake Weary, Vera Bulder (World Premiere)


DOCUMENTARY SPOTLIGHT

Black Barbie: A Documentary Miniature Animation Set (Photo by Bry Thomas Sanders, Animation DP)

Art for Everybody
Director: Miranda Yousef, Producers: Morgan Neville, Tim Rummel

Thomas Kinkade’s pastoral landscapes made him the most collected and despised painter of all time. After his shocking death, his family discovers a vault of unseen paintings that reveal a complex artist whose life and work embody our divided America. (World Premiere)

Black Barbie: A Documentary
Director/Screenwriter: Lagueria Davis, Producers: Aaliyah Williams, Lagueria Davis

Through intimate access to a charismatic Mattel insider, Beulah Mae Mitchell, Black Barbie delves into the cross section of merchandise and representation as Black women strive to elevate their own voices and stories, refusing to be invisible. (World Premiere)

Citizen Sleuth
Director: Chris Kasick, Producers: Chris Kasick, Tyler Davidson, Fabiola Washburn, Drew Sykes, Jared Washburn

A true crime podcaster from Appalachia blurs the line between fact and entertainment as she investigates a mysterious local death. (World Premiere)

Satan Wants You (Canada)
Directors/Screenwriters: Sean Horlor, Steve J. Adams, Producers: Michael Grand, Melissa James

The shocking story of how a young woman and her psychiatrist ignited the global Satanic Panic with their bestselling memoir Michelle Remembers. (World Premiere)

This World is Not My Own
Directors: Petter Ringbom, Marquise Stillwell, Producer: Ruchi Mital, Screenwriters: Ruchi Mital, Petter Ringbom

Chewing gum sculptures, a wealthy gallerist, a notorious murder case, and the segregated south – it’s all part of Nellie Mae Rowe’s boundless universe. This World is Not My Own reimagines this artist’s world and her life spanning the 20th century. (World Premiere)

Wild Life
Directors: Jimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, Producers: Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi. Jimmy Chin, Bob Eisenhardt, Anna Barnes

A sweeping portrait of conservationists Kris and Doug Tompkins chronicling their fight to preserve one of the last truly wild places on earth. (Texas Premiere)

You Can Call Me Bill
Director/Screenwriter: Alexandre O. Philippe, Producers: Kerry Deignan Roy, Jeff Annison

An intimate portrait of William Shatner's personal journey over nine decades on this Earth, You Can Call Me Bill strips away all the masks he has worn to embody countless characters, and reveals the man behind it all. (World Premiere)


MIDNIGHTERS

Furies (Vietnam)
Director: Veronica Ngo (Ngo Thanh Van), Producers: Giang Ho, Bey Logan, Screenwriters: Ngo Thanh Van, Aaron Toronto, Uyen Nguyen Nha Ly, Thach Ngoc Nguyen, Nhan Truong Nguyen

A mysterious woman trains a trio of girls to take revenge on a criminal gang that abuses females. The three lady warriors risk everything to challenge this corrupt empire, before finally learning that their cause is not what they believed it to be. Cast: Dong Anh Quynh, Toc Tien, Rima Thanh Vy, Thuan Nguyen, Song Luan, Gi A Nguyen, Phan Thanh Hien (Festival Premiere)


VISIONS

Laya DeLeon Hayes plays Vicaria, a sixteen year-old genius who desperately seeks to cure death in The Angry Black Girl and her Monster

The Angry Black Girl and Her Monster
Director/Screenwriter: Bomani J. Story, Producers: Jack Davis, Darren Brandl, Bomani J. Story

Death is ever present in Vicaria's world - violence, police brutality, substance abuse - and after watching her mother and brother succumb, she's had enough. Vicaria is going to put an end to all this death... by bringing the dead back to life. Cast: Laya DeLeon Hayes, Denzel Whitaker, Chad Coleman, Reilly Brooke Stith, Keith Sean Holliday, Amani Summer Boyles, Edem Atsu-Swanzy (World Premiere)

Anhell69 (Colombia)
Director/Screenwriter: Theo Montoya, Producers: Bianca Oana, David Hurst, Theo Montoya, Juan Pablo Castrillon, Balthasar Busmann, Maximilian Haslberger

Anhell69 explores the dreams, doubts and fears of an annihilated generation, and the struggle to carry on making cinema. (U.S. Premiere)

The Artifice Girl
Director/Screenwriter: Franklin Ritch, Producers: Aaron B. Koontz, Ashleigh Snead

Three special agents develop a bold new computer program to catch online predators, but its rapid advancement poses unexpected challenges. Cast: Tatum Matthews, Sinda Nichols, David Girard, Franklin Ritch, Lance Henriksen (U.S. Premiere)

Caterpillar
Director: Liza Mandelup, Producers: Jay Van Hoy, Matthew Cherchio, Liza Mandelup

Endlessly struggling to feel seen, David becomes infatuated with a mysterious company’s promise to transform people’s lives by permanently changing the color of their eyes. After traveling to India to get the controversial procedure, he begins to question if this artificial beauty will give him the fulfillment he truly seeks. (World Premiere)

Chronicles of a Wandering Saint (Argentina, U.S.)
Director/Screenwriter: Tomas Gomez Bustillo, Producers: Gewan Brown, Amanda Freedman

In a tiny rural village in Argentina, Rita Lopez, a pious yet insatiably competitive woman, discovers that staging a miracle could be her ticket to sainthood. Cast: Monica Villa, Horacio Marassi, Pablo Moseinco, Silvia Mackenzie, Noemi Ron, Silvia Porro, Hernan Bustamante, Dahyana Turkie, Iair Said (World Premiere)

Molli And Max In The Future
Director/Screenwriter: Michael Lukk Litwak, Producers: Candice Kuwahara, Ben J. Murphy, Mallory Schwartz, Kate Geller, Michael Lukk Litwak

Molli and Max In The Future is a Sci-Fi Romantic Comedy about a man and woman whose orbits repeatedly collide over the course of 12 years, 4 planets, 3 dimensions and one space-cult. Cast: Zosia Mamet, Aristotle Athari, Danny Burstein, Arturo Castro, Okieriete Onaodowan, Erin Darke, Grace Kuhlenschmidt, Michael Chernus, Aparna Nancherla, Matteo Lane (World Premiere)

Secaderos (Spain, U.S.)
Director/Screenwriter: Rocío Mesa, Producers: Olmo Figueredo González-Quevedo

A rural village is the fantasy of a child and the cage of a teenager. Two parallel sailing in opposite directions among tobacco barns during a magical summer full of revelations. Cast: Vera Centenera, Ada Mar Lupiáñez, Tamara Arias (International Premiere)

Until Branches Bend (Canada, Switzerland)
Director/Screenwriter: Sophie Jarvis, Producers: Tyler Hagan, Sara Blake, Magali Gillon-Krizaj, Michela Pini, Olga Lamontanara

Set in the seemingly peaceful Okanagan, a distraught cannery worker discovers an invasive insect that could threaten the livelihood of her entire town. Cast: Grace Glowicki, Alexandra Roberts, Quelemia Sparrow, Lochlyn Munro, Antoine DesRochers (US Premiere)

With Love and a Major Organ (Canada)
Director: Kim Albright, Producer: Madeleine Davis, Screenwriter: Julia Lederer

In an alternate world where hearts are made of objects and suppressing emotions is self-care, a lonely woman rips out her own heart for the man she loves, only to discover that he has run away with it. Cast: Anna Maguire, Hamza Haq, Veena Sood, Donna Benedicto, Lynda Boyd, Arghavan Jenati, Enid-Raye Adams, Kerën Burkett, Ryan Beil, Laara Sadiq (World Premiere)

The Young Wife
Director/Screenwriter: Tayarisha Poe, Producers: Anne Carey, Tayarisha Poe

The story of a young woman grappling with the meaning of love in the face of an uncertain world, The Young Wife is a sunny day panic attack and a wholly new take on the wedding film following her over the course of her “non-wedding” day. Cast: Kiersey Clemons, Leon Bridges, Kelly Marie Tran, Michaela Watkins, Aya Cash, Sandy Honig, Brandon Micheal Hall, Lukita Maxwell, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Judith Light (World Premiere)


24 BEATS PER SECOND

Love to Love You, Donna Summer (Courtesy of Estate of Donna Summer Sudano)

299 Queen Street West (Canada)
Director: Sean Menard, Producers: Sean Menard, Molly Ye

During the rise of the music video era in the 80s, Canada launched MuchMusic, a low budget TV network that revolutionized how the world’s biggest stars connected with their fans and influenced the culture for the next three decades. (World Premiere)

Hung Up on a Dream
Director: Robert Schwartzman, Producers: Russell Wayne Groves, Robert Schwartzman

British Invasion icons The Zombies reflect on paving 60 years and counting of their musical path from teenage friends to legends in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. (World Premiere)

Joan Baez I Am A Noise
Directors: Karen O'Connor, Miri Navasky, Maeve O'Boyle, Producers: Miri Navasky, Karen O'Connor

Facing the end of a 60-year career, legendary singer and activist Joan Baez takes an honest look back and a deep look inward as she tries to make sense of her large, history-making life, and the personal struggles she’s kept private, until now. (North American Premiere)

Louder Than You Think
Director: Jed I. Rosenberg, Producers: Jeffrey Lewis Clark, Brian Thalken, Kelly Thomas, Screenwriters: Jed I. Rosenberg, Greg King

An intimate portrait of creativity colliding with chaos. Gary Young, drummer for indie-rock icons Pavement, injected a wild-card unpredictability into the band’s breakthrough, lo-fi sound. But those same gonzo impulses derailed his rock star dream. (World Premiere)

Love to Love You, Donna Summer
Directors: Roger Ross Williams, Brooklyn Sudano, Producers: Julie Goldman, Christopher Clements, Carolyn Hepburn, David Blackman, Roger Ross Williams, J. Daniel Torres

Love to Love You, Donna Summer captures a richly complex picture of the woman, the artist, the wife, and mother whose iconic voice changed music forever. (U.S. Premiere)

Max Roach: The Drum Also Waltzes
Directors/Producers: Samuel Pollard, Ben Shapiro

The Drum Also Waltzes explores the life and music of legendary drummer and activist Max Roach, his creative peaks, personal struggles, and re-inventions from the Jim Crow to Civil Rights eras, from heady days of post-war jazz to hip hop and beyond. (World Premiere)

Rebelión (Colombia)
Director: José Luis Rugeles Gracia, Producer: Federico Durán Amorocho, Screenwriters: José Luis Rugeles, Chucky García, Martín Mauregui

This film portrays a genius in the depths of his intimacy, the heartbeat of a soul tormented by that great love: music. (North American Premiere)

Revival69: The Concert That Rocked the World (Canada, France)
Director: Ron Chapman, Producers: Trish Dolman, Ron Chapman, Sally Blake, Screenwriter: Phyllis Ellis

When a young concert promoter launches a festival in 1969 to revive the Kings of Rock ‘n’ Roll, a chain of unimaginable events manifests in the 11th hour arrival of John Lennon and The Plastic Ono Band, triggering Lennon’s decision to leave The Beatles. (US Premiere)


GLOBAL Presented by MUBI

Ek Jagah Apni (India)
Directors/Producers: Ektara Collective, Screenwriters: Rinchin, Maheen Mirza

After sudden eviction by their prejudiced landlord, Laila and Roshni, two transwomen, must put their wits together to find a home and reclaim their place in society. Cast: Manisha Soni, Muskan, Akash Jamra (North American Premiere)

Kite Zo A (Canada, Haiti)
Director: Kaveh Nabatian, Producers: Kaveh Nabatian, Zach Niles, Joseph Ray, Screenwriter: Wood-Jerry Gabriel

Kite Zo A is a sensorial film about rituals in Haiti, from ancient to modern, made in collaboration with poets, dancers, musicians, fishermen, daredevil rollerbladers, and Vodou priests, set to poetry by Haitian author Wood-Jerry Gabriel. (International Premiere)

My Drywall Cocoon (Brazil)
Director/Screenwriter: Caroline Fioratti, Producers: Rui Pires, André Montenegro

Virginia's death during her 17th birthday shakes up a luxurious building complex. For most residents, it’s a passing tragedy. For her mother and her friends, it is the beginning of a transformation: the crack in their drywall cocoon. Cast: Maria Luisa Mendonça, Bella Piero, Michel Joelsas, Mari Oliveira, Daniel Botelho, Caco Ciocler (World Premiere)

The Ordinaries (Germany)
Director: Sophie Linnenbaum, Producers: Laura Klippel, Britta Strampe, Screenwriters: Sophie Linnenbaum, Michael Fetter Nathansky

Have you ever felt like a supporting character in your own life? What if you really are one? Cast: Fine Sendel, Jule Böwe, Henning Peker, Noah Tinwa, Sira Faal, Denise M’Baye (U.S. Premiere)

Sister & Sister (Panama)
Director/Screenwriter: Kattia G. Zúñiga, Producers: Alejo Crisóstomo, Kattia G. Zúñiga, Isabella Gálvez Peñafiel, Said Isaac

A heartfelt film about sisterhood, desires, jealousy, and youth in the never-ending tropical summer of Panama. Cast: Ariana Chaves Gavilán, Cala Rossel Campos, Gabriela Man, Fernando Bonilla, Joshua De León, Lía Jiménez, Michelle Quiñones, Angelo Morales, Mir Rodríguez (World Premiere)


FESTIVAL FAVORITES

Little Richard: I Am Everything

Fancy Dance
Director: Erica Tremblay, Producers: Deidre Backs, Erica Tremblay, Heather Rae, Nina Yang-Bongiovi, Tommy Oliver, Screenwriters: Erica Tremblay, Miciana Alise

Following her sister's disappearance, a Native American hustler kidnaps her niece from the child's white grandparents and sets out for the state powwow in the hopes of keeping what’s left of her family intact. Cast: Lily Gladstone, Isabel Deroy-Olson, Ryan Begay, Crystle Lightning, Audrey Wasailewski, Shea Whigham (Texas Premiere)

Food and Country
Director: Laura Gabbert, Producers: Laura Gabbert, Ruth Reichl, Paula P. Manzanedo, Caroline Libresco

Worried about the survival of small farmers, ranchers, and chefs hobbled by America’s policy of producing cheap food, trailblazing food writer Ruth Reichl reaches across political and social divides to report on the country's broken food system and the innovators risking everything to transform it. (Texas Premiere)

Fremont
Director: Babak Jalali, Producers: Marjaneh Moghimi, Sudnya Shroff, Rachael Fung, George Rush, Chris Martin, Laura Wagner, Screenwriters: Carolina Cavalli, Babak Jalali

Donya works for a fortune cookie factory in San Francisco. Formerly a translator for the U.S. military in Afghanistan, she struggles to settle into her new life. In a moment of sudden revelation, she decides to send out a special message in a cookie. Cast: Anaita Wali Zada, Jeremy Allen White, Gregg Turkington (Texas Premiere)

Going Varsity in Mariachi
Directors: Alejandra Vasquez, Sam Osborn, Producers: Julia Pontecorvo, Luis A. Miranda Jr., James Lawler

After a devastating year in the Rio Grande Valley, Edinburg North High School mariachi coach Abel Acuña and his band of musicians work through personal hardships and teenage distractions to rebuild their squad and reclaim their title as state champions. (Texas Premiere)

Is There Anybody Out There? (United Kingdom)
Director: Ella Glendining, Producer: Janine Marmot

Inhabiting a bizarrely unusual body (the body I love), and navigating daily discrimination, I search the world for another like me. Is there anybody out there? (Texas Premiere)

It's Only Life After All
Director: Alexandria Bombach, Producers: Kathlyn Horan, Jess Devaney, Anya Rous

Blending home movies and intimate verité, a poignant reflection from Amy Ray and Emily Saliers of iconic folk rock duo Indigo Girls. A timely look into the obstacles, activism, and lessons of two queer friends who never expected to make it big. (Texas Premiere)

Kokomo City
Director: D. Smith, Producers: D. Smith, Harris Doran, Bill Butler

Kokomo City is a wildly entertaining and refreshingly unfiltered documentary that passes the mic to four Black transgender sex workers in Atlanta and New York City as they hold nothing back while breaking down the walls of their profession. (Texas Premiere)

Little Richard: I Am Everything
Director: Lisa Cortes, Producers: Robert Friedman, Caryn Capotosto, Liz Yale Marsh, Lisa Cortes

Little Richard: I Am Everything celebrates the revolutionary and deeply conflicted artist who navigated the minefields of race and sexuality as he spread the gospel of rock n' roll. (Texas Premiere)

No Ordinary Campaign
Director: Christopher Burke, Producer: Tim Rummel

One couple’s fight to reclaim their future from a brutal disease has snowballed into a movement with resounding ramifications not only for the ALS community, but for millions of patients seeking to find their voice in our broken healthcare system. (Texas Premiere)

Plan C
Director/Producer: Tracy Droz Tragos

A determined group of women is expanding access to abortion pills in the United States - by any means necessary. (Texas Premiere)

Robert Irwin: A Desert Of Pure Feeling
Director/Screenwriter: Jennifer Lane, Producers: David Hollander, Jennifer Lane, Joseph Cashiola, Arne Glimcher

A sensitive portrait of iconoclastic artist Robert Irwin, whose investigations into the nature of perception have radically expanded the possibilities of what art can be. (Texas Premiere)

The Starling Girl
Director/Screenwriter: Laurel Parmet, Producers: Kara Durrett, Kevin Rowe

17-year-old Jem Starling struggles with her place within her Christian fundamentalist community. But everything changes when her magnetic youth pastor Owen returns to their church. Cast: Eliza Scanlen, Lewis Pullman, Jimmi Simpson, Wren Schmidt, Austin Abrams, Claire Elizabeth Green, Jessamine Burgum, Kyle Secor (Texas Premiere)

STILL: A Michael J. Fox Movie
Director: Davis Guggenheim, Producers: Davis Guggenheim, Annetta Marion, Jonathan King, Will Cohen

The improbable tale of a short kid from a Canadian army base who became the darling of 1980s Hollywood — only to find the course of his life altered by a stunning diagnosis. What happens when an incurable optimist confronts an incurable disease? (Texas Premiere)

Theater Camp
Directors: Nick Lieberman, Molly Gordon, Producers: Will Ferrell, Noah Galvin, Molly Gordon, Nick Lieberman, Ben Platt, Erik Feig, Samie Kim Falvey, Julia Hamme, Ryan Heller, Maria Zuckerman, Jessica Elbaum, Screenwriters: Noah Galvin, Molly Gordon, Nick Lieberman, Ben Platt

Theater Camp follows the eccentric staff running a scrappy theater camp in upstate New York. After its indomitable and beloved founder falls into a coma, they must band together with her clueless “crypto-bro” son to keep the thespian paradise afloat. Cast: Molly Gordon, Ben Platt, Noah Galvin, Jimmy Tatro, Patti Harrison, Ayo Edebiri, Nathan Lee Graham, Owen Thiele, Alan Kim, Alexander Bello, Bailee Bonick, Kyndra Sanchez, Donovan Colan, Vivienne Sachs, Quinn Titcomb, Caroline Aaron, Amy Sedaris (Texas Premiere)


TV PREMIERES

Jesse Plemons as Allan Gore and Elizabeth Olsen as Candy Montgomery in Love & Death (Photo by Jake Giles/HBO Max)

American Born Chinese
Showrunner: Kelvin Yu, Directors: Destin Daniel Cretton, Dinh Thai, Producers: Kelvin Yu, Destin Daniel Cretton, Melvin Mar, Jake Kasdan, Erin O’Malley, Asher Goldstein, Gene Luen Yang
Based on the graphic novel by Gene Luen Yang, American Born Chinese is a genre-hopping action comedy that tells the story of Jin Wang, an average teenager juggling his high school social life with his home life. When he meets a new foreign student on the first day of the school year, even more worlds collide as Jin is unwittingly entangled in a battle of Chinese mythological gods. Cast: Ben Wang, Yeo Yann Yann, Chin Han, Ke Huy Quan, Jimmy Liu, Sydney Taylor with Daniel Wu and Michelle Yeoh (World Premiere)

A Small Light
Showrunners: Joan Rater, Tony Phelan Directors: Susanna Fogel, Leslie Hope, Tony Phelan, Producers: Joan Rater, Tony Phelan, Susanna Fogel, Traugott, Lisa Roos, Alon Shtruzman, Avi Ni, Screenwriters: Joan Rater, Tony Phelan, William Harper, Ben Esler, Alyssa Margarite Jacobson

Miep Gies was young, carefree and opinionated when Otto Frank asked her to hide his family from the Nazis during WWII. The series shakes the cobwebs off history and makes Miep’s story feel relevant. Some stood by, Miep stood up. Cast: Bel Powley, Liev Schreiber, Joe Cole, Billie Boullet, Ashley Brooke, Amira Casar (World Premiere)

Beef
Showrunner: Lee Sung Jin, Directors: Jake Schreier, HIKARI, Lee Sung Jin, Producers: Lee Sung Jin, Steven Yeun and Ali Wong, Jake Schreier

Beef follows the aftermath of a road rage incident between two strangers. Danny Cho, a failing contractor with a chip on his shoulder, goes head-to-head with Amy Lau, a self-made entrepreneur with a picturesque life. The increasing stakes of their feud unravel their lives and relationships in this darkly comedic and deeply moving series. Cast: Steven Yeun and Ali Wong, Maria Bello, Joseph Lee, Young Mazino, David Choe, Patti Yasutake, Ashley Park, Justin H. Min, Mia Serafino, Remy Holt (World Premiere) (Closing Night TV)

The Big Door Prize
Showrunner: David West Read, Directors: Anu Valia, Molly McGlynn, Producers: Matthew Spiegel, Screenwriters: David West Read, Sarah Walker, Craig Rowin

Based on M.O. Walsh’s novel of the same name, The Big Door Prize tells the story of a small town that is forever changed when a mysterious machine appears in the general store, promising to reveal each resident’s true life potential. Cast: Chris O’Dowd, Gabrielle Dennis, Ally Maki, Damon Gupton, Josh Segarra, Crystal Fox, Sammy Fourlas, Djouliet Amara (World Premiere)

Love & Death
Showrunner/Screenwriter: David E. Kelley, Director: Lesli Linka Glatter

Two church going couples, enjoying small town family life in Texas, until somebody picks up an axe. Cast: Elizabeth Olsen, Jesse Plemons, Lily Rabe, Patrick Fugit, Krysten Ritter, Tom Pelphrey, Keir Gilchrist, Elizabeth Marvel (World Premiere)

The Luckiest Guy in the World: The Bill Walton Story
Director: Steve James, Producers: Zak Piper, Steve James

A multi-part film chronicling the colorful life and unlikely legend of basketball Hall of Famer Bill Walton, whose strange trip takes him from glory days on the court through generational upheaval, from the depths of pain to the pinnacle of the game. (World Premiere)

Lucky Hank
Showrunners: Aaron Zelman, Paul Lieberstein, Director: Peter Farrelly, Producers: Aaron Zelman, Paul Lieberstein, Bob Odenkirk, Peter Farrelly, Mark Johnson, Richard Russo, Naomi Odenkirk, Marc Provissiero

Lucky Hank is a mid-life crisis tale set at Railton College, told in the first person by William Henry Devereaux, Jr. (Bob Odenkirk), the unlikely chairman of the English department in a badly underfunded college in a working-class American town. Cast: Bob Odenkirk, Mireille Enos, Olivia Scott Welch, Diedrich Bader, Suzanne Cryer, Sara Amini, Cedric Yarbrough (World Premiere)

Rabbit Hole
Showrunners/Directors/Screenwriters: Glenn Ficarra, John Requa
In Rabbit Hole, John Weir (Kiefer Sutherland), a master of deception in the world of corporate espionage, is framed for murder by powerful forces who have the ability to influence and control populations. Cast: Kiefer Sutherland, Charles Dance, Meta Golding, Enid Graham, Rob Yang, Walt Klink (World Premiere)

Swarm
Showrunner: Janine Nabers, Directors: Donald Glover, Adamma Ebo, Screenwriters: Janine Nabers, Jamal Olori, Producers: Donald Glover, Janine Nabers, Stephen Glover, Fam Udeorji, Steven Prinz, Michael Schaefer

Murder. Sex. Music. This is not a work of fiction. Cast: Dominique Fishback, Chloe Bailey, Damson Idris (World Premiere) (Opening Night TV)


TV SPOTLIGHT

JJ Nolan and Maury Sterling in Shatter Belt

Demascus
Showrunner: Tearrance Chisholm, Kirk Moore, Directors: Slick Naim, Theodore Witcher, Producers: Tearrance Chisholm, Kirk Moore, Mark Johnson, Myki Bajaj

Set in a slightly futuristic world where therapy has become digitized, 33-year-old Demascus (Okieriete Onaodowan) explores the dichotomy of being an educated black man in America - when your “enlightened” self comes into conflict with your “hood” self. Cast: Okieriete Onaodowan, Janet Hubert, Caleb Eberhardt, Shakira Ja'nai Paye, Martin Lawrence (World Premiere)

Shatter Belt
Showrunner/Director/Screenwriter: James Ward Byrkit, Producers: James Ward Byrkit, Alyssa Byrkit, Olaf Carlson-Wee, Tom Cline, Laura Evans.

From director James Byrkit (Coherence) comes a collection of stories from the other side of consciousness. A modern mindbender for a new generation, it dives head first into the deep end of emotional questions about our relationship to reality. Cast: Abigail Spencer, Patton Oswalt, JJ Nolan, Maury Sterling, Elimu Nelson, Julie Zhan, Dale E. Turner, Annie Ruby, Richard Follin, Catherine Lidstone, Shannon Timberlake, Ryan Keem, Bobby Foley, Isayas J. Theodros (World Premiere)


DOCUMENTARY SHORTS COMPETITION

"How to Rig an Election: The Racist History of the 1876 Presidential Contest"
Directors: Emily Kunstler, Sarah Kunstler, Screenwriter: Jeffery Robinson, Producers: Jeffery Robinson, Emily Kunstler, Sarah Kunstler, Andrea Crabtree

The most hotly contested presidential election in U.S. history did not take place in 2020, or even 2000. It took place 11 years after the Civil War and ended in a backroom deal with devastating consequences still felt to this day. (World Premiere)


XR EXPERIENCE

From The Main Square (Germany)
Director: Pedro Harres, Producer: Lorena Junghans, Screenwriters: Angelina Urbanczyk, Pedro Harres, Rafael Loss

A compact portrait of social disruption. (U.S. Premiere)

J. Balvin Futurum: A VR Concert Experience
Created specifically for VR, the 180-degree concert experience will take viewers on a career retrospective of some of Balvin’s greatest hits.

MLK: Now is the Time
Director: Limbert Fabian, Producers: Matthew O’Rourke, Sulivan Parker, Screenwriter: Andrina Wekontash Smith

MLK: Now is the Time is an immersive journey that explores key themes of Dr. King's “I Have a Dream” Speech and highlights systemic inequities that persist in our society.

Symbiosis (Netherlands)
Directors: Marcel van Brakel, Mark Meeuwenoord, Producer: Corine Meijers, Screenwriter: Marcel van Brakel

How does it feel to be a slime mould? Or a toad? Or a plant? Performative, multi-sensory, multi-user VR experience Symbiosis catapults you 200 years into the future and immerses you in a different form of being and kinship with other creatures. (Texas Premiere)


XR Experience Special Events

Metaverse Music Concert
Directors: YOOM, Active Theory
Immerse yourself into a unique virtual music experience created exclusively for SXSW 2023. YOOM and Active Theory present an interactive, volumetric music concert in a special metaverse space inspired by the famous Sixth Street in Austin, TX. (World Premiere)

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

SXSW, SXSW 2023, SXSW Film 2023

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