South By SouthWest Film Festival (SXSW) – Festival Highlights!
The South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference and Festivals announced the second round of its Film Festival program, including the Midnighters, Festival Favorites, Shorts, Episodic Pilot Competition, Virtual Cinema, Music Video and Title Design lineup, plus late-addition Features and the Closing Night Film for the 26th edition of the Festival, running March 8-17, 2019 in Austin, Texas. The acclaimed Film program draws thousands of fans, filmmakers, press and industry leaders every year to immerse themselves in the most innovative, smart and entertaining new films of the year.
This year’s program encompasses 131 Feature Films including 101 World Premieres, 9 North American Premieres, 3 US Premieres, and 64 films from first-time filmmakers,101 Short Films (including music videos), 5 Episodic Premieres, 12 Episodic Pilots, 25 Virtual Cinema Projects, and 30 Title Design entries.
The world premiere of Paramount Pictures’ Pet Sematary, directed by Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer,will close the 2019 Festival. Based on the seminal horror novel by Stephen King, Pet Sematary follows Dr. Louis Creed (Jason Clarke), who, after relocating with his wife Rachel (Amy Seimetz) and their two young children from Boston to rural Maine, discovers a mysterious burial ground hidden deep in the woods near the family’s new home. When tragedy strikes, Louis turns to his unusual neighbor, Jud Crandall (John Lithgow), setting off a perilous chain reaction that unleashes an unfathomable evil with horrific consequences.
The SXSW Midnighters section is a perennial favorite for SXSW audiences thrilled by the weird, electric, and sometimes terrifying selections. Featuring 10 genre films, all World Premieres, the slate includes dark comedies, thrillers, Sci-Fi, mystery and slasher horror from a mix of established and first-time filmmakers. The Midnighters, Festival Favorites, as well as 15 additional films, round out the 129 total features now to be screened at the SXSW 2019 Film Festival.
“Programming the SXSW Midnighters section is always a favorite part of my job, and this year was no exception,” said Jarod Neece, SXSW Senior Film Programmer. “We get to peek into the collective consciousness of the world of genre filmmakers working today. This year’s selections are a mix of horror, thriller, sci-fi and fantasy with a good dose of feral children, haunted houses, extraterrestrial creatures and the undead to creep out SXSW audiences late into the night. Genre films can be found throughout the entire SXSW program, from Jordan Peele’s Us on Opening Night to our Closing Night Film, Pet Sematary!”
This year’s 101 short films, and music videos were selected from 5,478 submissions. A comprehensive list of the Short Film Program is below and will screen as part of 10 curated shorts programs.
“Welcoming these films and filmmakers into our community is a major highlight for me,” said Claudette Godfrey, Senior Film Programmer. “The work this year is contemplative and tender. In an uneasy era, these shorts show us how to connect across the abyss by exposing and embracing vulnerability through their originality, authenticity, and humor. Rightly so, over half of the films across our Shorts Programs, Music Videos, and Episodic Pilot Competition are directed by women.”
The Virtual Cinema section of the Film Festival continues to grow, showcasing the newest and most cutting-edge work. SXSW resides at the intersection of film and technology, and there is no better place to present this innovative format. The 27 projects emphasize storytelling, ingenuity and also showcase how other industries are embracing this new medium.
“The industry leaders and independent creators working in the immersive arts are once again bringing their fantastical new worlds to SXSW this March,” said Blake Kammerdiener, VR Programmer. “This year’s selections showcase the breadth of ingenuity in this medium and will transport you to far off lands in both the smallest and largest ways imaginable.”
SXSW Conference has announced separately many of this year’s Keynotes, Featured Speakers and Sessions in the Entertainment Influencers, Film & TV Industry and Making Film & Episodics Tracks, plus Convergence Tracks: Experiential Storytelling, Cannabusiness, VR/AR, Food, Media & Journalism, Social and Global Impact and more. Film and TV Highlights include: Film Keynotes: Olivia Wilde, Jessica Brillhart, and Marti Noxon.
Featured Speakers: Neil Gaiman; Frank Oz; Elisabeth Moss; Henry Winkler; Shira Lazar and Zoe Saldana; Pamela Adlon; Jason Blum and John Pierson; Busy Philipps with Hillary Kerr and more.
Continuing for 2019, the Interactive, Film, and Music badges include expanded access to most of the SXSW Conference and Festivals experience. Attendees receive primary entry to programming associated with their badge type, with secondary access to most other SXSW events. SXSW’s next registration deadline is February 15, 2018 at 11:59pm PT. Early registrants benefit from discounted rates.
Additions to the 2019 SXSW Film Festival lineup include:
Scary, funny, sexy, controversial – ten provocative after-dark features for night owls and the terminally curious.
7 Reasons to Run Away (From Society) (Spain)
Directors: Esteve Soler, Gerard Quinto, David Torras, Screenwriter: Esteve Soler
7 Reasons to Run Away takes a critical look at today’s society and puts the values it transmits into question. Cast: Sergi Lopez, Emma Suarez, Lola Dueñas, Alex Brendemuhl, Alain Hernandez, Francesc Orella (World Premiere)
Body At Brighton Rock
Director/Screenwriter: Roxanne Benjamin
An inexperienced park employee discovers a body on a remote mountain trail and must stay with it overnight in the wilderness, facing her darkest fears in the process. Cast: Karina Fontes, Casey Adams, Emily Althaus, Brodie Reed, Martin Spanjers, John Getz, Miranda Bailey, Susan Burke, Matt Peters (World Premiere)
Boyz in the Wood (United Kingdom, U.S.)
Director/Screenwriter: Ninian Doff
When four city-bred schoolboys embark on a traditional Duke of Edinburgh Award camping trip that takes them deep into the Scottish Highlands, they find themselves chased by a deranged masked couple with aims of culling this teenaged “wildlife”. Cast: Eddie Izzard, Kate Dickie, James Cosmo, Kevin Guthrie, Jonathan Aris, Alice Lowe, Samuel Bottomley, Viraj Juneja, Rian Gordon, Lewis Gribben (World Premiere)
Daniel Isn’t Real
Director: Adam Egypt Mortimer, Screenwriters: Brian DeLeeuw, Adam Egypt Mortimer
Troubled Luke suffers a violent family trauma and resurrects his childhood imaginary friend to help him cope. Charismatic and full of manic energy, “Daniel” helps Luke to achieve his dreams, before pushing him into a desperate fight for his own soul. Cast: Patrick Schwarzenegger, Miles Robbins, Sasha Lane, Hannah Marks, Mary Stuart Masterson (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Pollyanna McIntosh
In this visually inventive sequel to The Woman, a feral teenage girl is taken into strict Catholic care and prepared for her First Holy Communion. Cast: Lauryn Canny, Bryan Batt, Nora-Jane Noone, Cooper Andrews, Pollyanna McIntosh (World Premiere)
Girl On The Third Floor
Director/Screenwriter: Travis Stevens
Don Koch tries to renovate a rundown house with a sordid history for his growing family, only to learn that the house has other plans. Cast: Phil Brooks, Trieste Kelly Dunn, Sarah Brooks, Elissa Dowling, Karen Woditsch, Travis Delgado, Marshall Bean, Anish Jethmalani, Bishop Stevens, Tonya Kay (World Premiere)
I See You (United Kingdom, U.S.)
Director: Adam Randall, Screenwriter: Devon Graye
Strange occurrences plague a small town detective and his family as he investigates the disappearance of a young boy. Cast: Helen Hunt, Jon Tenney, Judah Lewis, Owen Teague, Libe Barer, Greg Alan Williams, Erika Alexander, Allison King (World Premiere)
Directors: Stephen Cedars, Benji Kleiman, Screenwriters: Stephen Cedars, Benji Kleiman, Scott Yacyshyn
After a popular teen has sex for the first time, she finds herself pregnant — with an alien. With no one to turn to but her nerdy ex-best-friend, she’ll have to risk her neck — and social status — to fight the freaky extraterrestrial threat. Cast: Mary Nepi, Gabrielle Elyse, Austin Fryberger, JJ Nolan, Nick Gomez, Ashley Argota, Amy Arburn, Amy Landecker, Rich Fulcher (World Premiere)
Tales from the Lodge (United Kingdom)
Director/Screenwriter: Abigail Blackmore
When a group of old friends spend the night telling stories of murders, ghosts, zombies and possessions they soon become aware of another tale unfolding around them. And this one is real. Cast: Mackenzie Crook, Dustin Demri-Burns, Laura Fraser, Sophie Thompson, Johnny Vegas, Kelly Wenham (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Richard Bates, Jr.
Two generations collide with terrifying results in this home invasion horror film that is also a darkly comedic critique of the bizarre cultural and political climates in the United States. Cast: Amanda Crew, Robert Patrick, Kim Delaney, Hayley Marie-Norman, Ray Wise, Johnny Pemberton, Keisha Castle-Hughes, AnnaLynne McCord, Nelson Franklin, Ronnie Gene-Blevins (World Premiere)
Acclaimed standouts and selected premieres from festivals around the world.
Director: Todd Douglas Miller
A look at the Apollo 11 mission to land on the moon led by commander Neil Armstrong and pilot Buzz Aldrin.
Aquarela (Germany, United Kingdom)
Director: Victor Kossakovsky, Screenwriters: Victor Kossakovsky, Aimara Reques
Aquarela is a deeply cinematic journey through the transformative beauty and raw power of water. Filmed at 96 frames per second, it’s a visceral wake-up call that humans are no match for the sheer force and will of Earth’s most precious element.
Directors/Screenwriters: Jocelyn DeBoer, Dawn Luebbe
A deliciously twisted comedy set in a demented, timeless suburbia where every adult wears braces on their straight teeth, couples coordinate meticulously pressed outfits, and coveted family members are swapped in more ways than one in this competition for acceptance. Cast: Jocelyn DeBoer, Dawn Luebbe, Beck Bennett, Neil Casey, Mary Holland, D’Arcy Carden, Dot-Marie Jones, Janicza Bravo, Jim Cummings, Lauren Adams
Director/Screenwriter: Alex Ross Perry
A self-destructive punk rocker struggles with sobriety while trying to recapture the creative inspiration that led her band to success. Cast: Elisabeth Moss, Cara Delevingne, Dan Stevens, Amber Heard, Agyness Deyn, Gayle Rankin, Ashley Benson, Eric Stoltz, Dylan Gelula
The Hottest August (Canada, U.S.)
Director: Brett Story
A film about climate change, disguised as a portrait of collective anxiety.
The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley
Director/Screenwriter: Alex Gibney
Elizabeth Holmes was once the world’s youngest self-made billionaire, heralded as the next Steve Jobs. Then, overnight, her $10-billion-dollar company dissolved. The rise and fall of Theranos is a window into the psychology of fraud.
Knock Down the House
Director: Rachel Lears Screenwriters: Rachel Lears, Robin Blotnick
Four women run for Congress, overcoming personal adversity to battle powerful political machines across the country. One of their races will change the country forever.
Little Monsters (Australia)
Director/Screenwriter: Abe Forsythe
A washed-up musician teams up with a plucky schoolteacher and a despicable kid’s show personality to protect a Kindergarten class from a sudden outbreak of zombies. Cast: Lupita Nyong’o, Alexander England, Josh Gad
Maiden (United Kingdom)
Director/Screenwriter: Alex Holmes
In a moving portrait of resilience, Alex Holmes chronicles the unprecedented journey of 24-year-old Tracy Edwards and the first all-female sailing crew to enter the Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race.
Director: Rick Alverson, Screenwriters: Rick Alverson, Dustin Guy Defa, Colm O’Leary
A well known physician, in the decline of his career, takes a young man on a desperate tour of rural mid-century hospitals, advocating for a new controversial procedure. Cast: Tye Sheridan, Jeff Goldblum, Hannah Gross, Denis Lavant, Udo Kier
Directors: Ivete Lucas, Patrick Bresnan
In a small agricultural town in the Florida Everglades, hopes for the future are concentrated on the youth. Four teens face heartbreak and celebrate in the rituals of an extraordinary senior year.
Raise Hell: The Life & Times of Molly Ivins
Director: Janice Engel, Screenwriters: Janice Engel, Monique Zavistovski
Six-feet of Texas trouble, Molly Ivins, a legendary journalist and a warrior for the Bill of Rights, fought Good Old Boy corruption with razor-sharp wit that left both sides of the aisle laughing and craving ink in her columns. Raise Hell y’all!
Directors/Screenwriters: Samantha Buck, Marie Schlingmann
After faking her own death, America’s most famous evangelist finds herself on a wild road trip towards Mexico, haunted not only by the police but by her own persona. Cast: Anna Margaret Hollyman, Michael Mosley, Andrea Suarez Paz, Julie White, Amy Hargreaves, Macon Blair, Lee Eddy, Blake Delong, John Merriman, Nathan Zellner
Them That Follow
Directors/Screenwriters: Britt Poulton, Dan Madison Savage
Set deep in the wilds of Appalachia, where believers handle death-dealing snakes to prove themselves before God, Them That Follow tells the story of a pastor’s daughter who holds a secret that threatens to tear her community apart. Cast: Olivia Colman, Kaitlyn Dever, Alice Englert, Jim Gaffigan, Walton Goggins, Thomas Mann, Lewis Pullman
Director/Screenwriter: Stella Meghie
A comedian hauls the baggage of her defunct relationship on a weekend getaway with friends, which happens to include her ex-boyfriend and his new girlfriend. Cast: Sasheer Zamata, Tone Bell, Dewanda Wise, Y’Lan Noel, Kym Whitley
Additional Features added to the lineup:
Big names, big talent: Headliners bring star power to SXSW, featuring red carpet premieres and gala film events with major and rising names in cinema.
The Curse of La Llorona
Director: Michael Chaves, Screenwriters: Mikki Daughtry, Tobias Iaconis
In 1970s Los Angeles, La Llorona is stalking the night…and the children. Ignoring the eerie warning of a troubled mother, a social worker is soon drawn into a terrifying supernatural realm, with the lives and souls of her own kids at stake. Cast: Linda Cardellini, Raymond Cruz, Patricia Velasquez, Marisol Ramirez, Sean Patrick Thomas, Jaynee-Lynne Kinchen, Roman Christou (World Premiere)
Directors: Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer, Screenwriter: Jeff Buhler
Based on the seminal horror novel by Stephen King. The new Pet Sematary trailer premieres online tomorrow! Click here to be one of the first to see it. Cast List: Jason Clarke, Amy Seimetz, Jeté Laurence, Hugo Lavoie, Lucas Lavoie, John Lithgow
Director: Michael Dowse, Screenwriter: Tripper Clancy
When a mild-mannered Uber driver (Kumail Nanjiani) picks up a cop (Dave Bautista) hot on the trail of a brutal killer, he’s thrust into a harrowing ordeal where he has to keep his wits, his life and his five-star rating. Cast: Kumail Nanjiani, Dave Bautista, Iko Uwais, Natalie Morales, Betty Gilpin, Jimmy Tatro, with Mira Sorvino and Karen Gillan
Shining a light on new documentary features receiving their World, North American or U.S. premieres at SXSW.
I Am Richard Pryor
Director/Screenwriter: Jesse James Miller
I Am Richard Pryor tells the life story of the legendary performer and iconic social satirist, who transcended race and social barriers by delivering his honest irreverent and biting humor to America’s stages and living rooms until his death at 65. (World Premiere)
Director: Amy C. Elliott
The Yellowknife dump, and its massive, unrestricted salvage area, has long played a central role in this remote Canadian city’s civic and social life. Can a colorful group of thrifty locals save it from city bureaucrats determined to close it down? (World Premiere)
State of Pride
Director/Screenwriters: Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman
Fifty years after the Stonewall uprising, Oscar winning filmmakers Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman travel to three diverse communities – Salt Lake City, San Francisco, and Tuscaloosa, Alabama – for an unflinching look at LGBTQ Pride. (World Premiere)
24 BEATS PER SECOND
Showcasing the sounds, culture and influence of music and musicians, with an emphasis on documentary.
Iris: A Space Opera by Justice (France)
Directors: Andre Chemetoff, Armand Beraud
Iris is a film adaptation of Justice’s Woman World Wide live show from 2017-2018, which is widely regarded as the greatest live electronic concert created. Recorded in an empty and invisible space, Iris focuses on the impressive production and music. (World Premiere)
Live soundtracks, cult re-issues and much more. Our Special Events section offers unusual, unexpected and unique one-off film events.
Broad City Finale Screening
Created by, written by and starring Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer, the critically acclaimed Broad City follows Abbi and Ilana as they navigate life in New York, capturing their hookups, relationships, crappy jobs, and, ultimately, their badass friendship. In the final season, Ilana starts her own business and learns about her ancestors, while Abbi turns 30 and…tries to pull off a hat. And finally, we say goodbye to Abbi, Ilana and this iconic series. Join Abbi and IIana for a special sneak screening of the final three episodes of the series. Cast: Abbi Jacobson, Ilana Glazer, Arturo Castro, John Gemberling, Hannibal Buress, Paul W. Downs, Susie Essman.
Cobra Kai Season 2 Outdoor Screening
We are proud to present a special screening of the second season of Cobra Kai, the hit YouTube Premium Original Series, starring Ralph Macchio and William Zabka. Exclusively premiering at SXSW, YouTube and Sony Pictures Television will screen the first two episodes of the second season followed by a Q&A panel with series stars Ralph Macchio (Daniel LaRusso), William Zabka (Johnny Lawrence) and Martin Kove (Kreese) along with the Cobra Kai series creators and executive producers Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg.
Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate SXSW Event
Showrunner and best-selling author Neil Gaiman is joined by director Douglas Mackinnon and cast including Michael Sheen, David Tennant, and Jon Hamm to give attendees the most in-depth look at Good Omens to date and watch never-before-seen exclusive clips from the entire series. The six-episode series coming to Amazon Prime Video is based on the beloved satirical novel Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. Good Omens is a dark, comedic story set in modern-day Britain that centers on a fussy angel Aziraphale (played by Sheen) and the loose-living demon Crowley (played by Tennant) as they join forces to prevent the coming of the Apocalypse.
A selection of original, well-crafted films that take advantage of the short form and exemplify distinctive and genuine storytelling.
Director/Screenwriter: Rebecca Halfon
A Syrian deli owner and two teen girls with a fake ID find common ground on one winter night in Brooklyn. (World Premiere)
Director: Jasmin Gordon, Screenwriter: Julien Bouissoux
It’s summertime in rural France. A charismatic stranger happens upon three teenage boys. He has a gun in his car. Are they ready to go for a ride? (North American Premiere)
Fuck You (Sweden)
Director/Screenwriter: Anette Sidor
Alice is together with Johannes but she doesn’t have enough space to be herself. On a night out with friends, she steals a strap-on and challenges her boyfriend’s thoughts about girls.
Director: Katia Badalian, Screenwriters: Sara Bower, Katia Badalian
A young girl with blooming awareness, Nina, interacts with her crass neighbor who explains the tangled world of intimacy and love. Drawing on her own experiences, Nina understands more than she thought.
Director/Screenwriter: John Merizalde
After countless failed attempts at finding love, a reclusive young man turns to an anonymous community of the “involuntarily celibate” for help, but instead finds himself increasingly pushed towards extremism.
Director/Screenwriter: Joseph Lee Anderson
A man gets the news of a lifetime, but his morning jog doesn’t go as planned. (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Matthew Puccini
A young gay man grows increasingly entangled in the marriage of an older couple.
Director/Screenwriter: Faren Humes
Alex and Milagros deal with great life upheaval as they prepare to dance at their community’s redevelopment groundbreaking ceremony. (World Premiere)
Little Grey Bubbles (Canada)
Director/Screenwriter: Charles Wahl
Devastated by her best friend’s death, Kim travels from NYC to Canada to attend his funeral. There she meets his family and friends and awkwardly tries to explain how she had never met him in person because their friendship was exclusively online. (North American Premiere)
Directors/Screenwriters: Celine Held, Logan George
Struggling with feelings for her best friend, 14 year-old Marie stages an almost perfect plan.
Manila is Full of Men Named Boy
Director: Andrew Stephen Lee, Screenwriters: Andrew Stephen Lee, Neda Jebelli, Emre Gulcan
An estranged son buys a child that can drink and smoke to impress his father. However, when the patriarch embraces his new grandson as the favorite, what determines who is more valuable of attention? (U.S. Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Julian Turner
A weary white French professor and a young black drug dealer share an impalpable connection on a single night in Philadelphia. (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Tim Wilkime
A guy makes a bad first impression when he meets his girlfriend’s family as they gather at her grandfather’s deathbed. (World Premiere)
Nice Talking to You
Director: Saim Sadiq, Screenwriters: Saim Sadiq, Joseph Capotorto
Two strangers form a silent bond in the world’s loudest city. (World Premiere)
The Orphan (Brazil)
Director/Screenwriter: Carolina Markowicz
Jonathas has been adopted but then returned due to his ‘different’ way. Inspired by true events.
Director/Screenwriter: Maxwell Addae
A young man attends his new nephew’s baby naming ceremony with a plan to steal the money collected from family and friends to run away and keep a deep secret hidden from them. (World Premiere)
Director: Madeleine Gottlieb, Screenwriters: Madeleine Gottlieb, James Fraser
It’s 1997. Distorted guitars rule the world. In an ageing Chinese restaurant, a father and his punk-rock son struggle with their familial roles as they realise they each desperately need something from one other. (World Premiere)
Something Like Loneliness
Directors: Seth Epstein, Ben Epstein, Screenwriters; Seth Epstein, Ryan Dowler
Upstairs-downstairs neighbors barter sounds captured in food storage containers. With the sounds come fragments of past relationships and the hopes and disappointments that remain. (World Premiere)
Director: Lisa Steen, Screenwriter: Anna Greenfield
Two estranged friends rediscover their profound incompatibility over dinner, only to learn that the one thing they share might force them together, forever. (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: José Andrés Cardona
Jonny teaches Tommy how to drive.
Director: Thea Hvistendahl, Screenwriters: Sofia Lersol Lund, Thea Hvistendahl
The friendship of two Norwegian girls are put to the test. While one holiday in Southern Europe they both want to explore their own sexuality, but only one of them seem to succeed. (North American Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Ben Kallam
A teenage girl in an evangelical church youth group must deal with the fallout when her trust is publicly betrayed. (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Farida Zahran
A teenage girl takes a step toward adulthood in contemporary Cairo. (World Premiere)
Slices of life from across the documentary spectrum.
All Inclusive (Switzerland)
Director/Screenwriter: Corina Schwingruber Ilić
Under the spell of mass entertainment on the high seas.
Anas v. the Giant
Director: Adrienne Collatos
What happens when an 18-year-old who thought he had nothing more to lose, becomes embroiled in fake news on Facebook? (World Premiere)
Director: Mohammad Gorjestani
After two tours in Fallujah in the Iraq war, US Marine Roman Baca came home a different person. To deal with the effects of war, Roman turned to an unlikely place, ballet.
Ghosts of Sugar Land
Director: Bassam TariqIn
Sugar Land, Texas, a group of young Muslim-American men ponder the disappearance of their friend “Mark,” who is suspected of joining ISIS.
Guns Found Here
Director: David Freid
A surprisingly non-fictional tragicomedy about how America traces a gun involved in a gun crime back to its owner.
In the Dark
Director: Jessie King
Reading isn’t natural. It’s a struggle for each of us to master, but those with dyslexia fight to read their entire lives. In the Dark is about performance, persistence and Phyllis, a woman in Austin, Texas, who says she can reverse dyslexia. (World Premiere)
Life in Miniature (United Kingdom)
Director: Ellen Evans
A celebration of one woman’s mission to document the everyday, as she carves a place for herself in the precious world of miniatures.
Director: Sandra Winther
As climate change erases the Louisiana coast, the last two teenagers on Isle de Jean Charles fight to stay on an island that’s been their family home for generations. (World Premiere)
Director: Jeremy Raff
An unflinching look at one family’s experience being forcibly separated at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Trans In America: Texas Strong (United Kingdom, U.S.)
Director: Daresha Kyi
An intimate portrait of Kimberly and Kai Shappley in Texas: a Christian mother rejects her community’s beliefs as her 7-year-old transgender daughter navigates life at school, where she’s been banned from the girls’ bathroom.
The Trial (United Kingdom, U.S.)
Director: Johanna Hamilton
Meet the lawyers tasked with defending 9/11 suspects against the U.S. government.
ANIMATED SHORTS COMPETITION
An assortment of stories told using traditional animation, computer-generated effects, stop-motion, and everything in-between.
Director/Screenwriter: Siqi Song
In Chinese New Year holidays, finding the coin inside the dumplings means having a blessed year ahead. A young woman loses a jar on her journey to a new country, which contains the lucky coins she has been collecting growing up. Her new life begins with a search to find the coin. (World Premiere)
Facing It (United Kingdom)
Director: Sam Gainsborough, Screenwriters: Sam Gainsborough, Louisa Wood
As Sean anxiously awaits a meeting in the local pub, he is forced to explore his own unhappy memories and relationships in an evening that will that will leave him changed forever. (U.S. Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Nara Normande
Tayra and I grew up on a beach in the north east of Brazil. We were inseparable. The sea breeze brings me back happy memories.
Je sors acheter des cigarettes (France)
Director: Osman Cerfon
Jonathan, twelve years old, lives with his sister, his mother and also some men. They all have the same face and nest in closets, drawers, TV set… (North American Premiere)
Las Del Diente
Director/Screenwriter: Ana Perez Lopez
Three women discuss the social pressure of having kids while celebrating the uniqueness of their bodies during flamenco covens.
Directors: André Hörmann, Samo (Anna Bergmann), Screenwriter: André Hörmann
Akiko Takakura survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima – in the midst of total destruction she finds a moment of happiness.
Director: Renee Zhan
Three Renees go on a quest to find God, who is also Renee. As they traverse the great mountains and valleys of Renee, they discover all the joys, mysteries, and sadnesses of being Renee.
Director: Julian Glander
Look at clouds. You’re 12.
Slug Life (United Kingdom)
Director/Screenwriter: Sophie Koko Gate
Tanya has finally created the perfect sexual partner, who happens to be a beautiful giant slug. (North American Premiere)
Wild Love (France)
Directors: Paul Autric, Quentin Camus, Maryka Laudet, Léa Georges, Zoé Sottiaux, Corentin Yvergniauz
Alan and Beverly, away hiking on a romantic getaway, cause the death of a marmot without noticing it. But this incident will not stay unpunished… (U.S. Premiere)
Bite-sized bits for all of your sex, gore, and hilarity cravings.
La Bête (France)
Director/Screenwriter: Filippo Meneghetti
A village far away in time and land. Nearby, in a forest thought to be haunted, a child falls into a pit. His grandfather, an old and nearly blind shepherd, tries to convince the villagers to go rescue him, facing the darkness of the night and their. (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Mike Egan
Neo-sun worshiper Martin prepares to appease the solar Gods with ritual human sacrifice. But first he needs a spray tan. (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Meredith Alloway
A girl orders a special massage. (World Premiere)
The Do It Up Date
Directors: Emily Ting, Andrew Barchilon, Screenwriter: Josh Fadem
Kip and Shayla go on a big date! (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Emily Hagins
When two anxious teens sneak away from a Halloween party to share their first kiss, they soon realize someone…or something…may be watching them.
How To Be Alone
Director/Screenwriter: Kate Trefry
One woman’s simple, three-step guide to surviving a night on your own. (World Premiere)
It’s Not Custard (United Kingdom)
Director/Screenwriter: Kate McCoid
Louise, a teenager suffering unrelenting acne and continual bullying, is granted a delicious revenge. (U.S. Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Ryan Dickie
In the middle of nowhere, three best friends grow closer when a chill vacation weekend turns supernatural. (World Premiere)
Other Side of the Box
Director: Caleb J. Phillips, Screenwriters; Caleb J. Phillips, Nick Tag
A couple receives a terrifying gift from an old friend. (U.S. Premiere)
Right Place, Wrong Tim (United Kingdom)
Director/Screenwriter: Eros Vlahos
England’s 2nd most popular sitcom ‘Right Place, Wrong Tim’ is besieged by bloodthirsty killer clones live on air. Starring Asa Butterfield, Ella Purnell & Adam Buxton.
The Video Store Commercial (Canada)
Directors: Cody Kennedy, Tim Rutherford, Screenwriter: Tim Rutherford
A desperate video store owner hires a crew to shoot a commercial in his shop. (World Premiere)
An offshoot of our regular narrative shorts program, composed of work shot in, about, or somehow relating to the Lone Star state.
Director: Lizette Barrera, Screenwriters: Lizette Barrera, Renier Murillo, Vittoria Rodriguez, Katy Atkinson, Elyssa Chapa
An ill-tempered teenager attempts to find peaceful solitude on the day of her grandfather’s passing until an estranged friend pays her a visit. (World Premiere)
A Good Son
Director/Screenwriter: Suzanne Weinert
When Tommy, 75, asks his son Mike to put a Hefty bag over his head and suffocate him to death, neither believes the other will really go through with it. Until MIke’s son Chris, 17, devises a plan that will satisfy both his father and grandfather. (World Premiere)
I Am Mackenzie
Director: Artemis Anastasiadou, Screenwriter: Brittany Worthington
Caught among toxic masculinity, a sequin dress and a teenage crush, a teen skater, growing up in rural Texas, will have sex for the first time in the back of their dad’s truck. (World Premiere)
A Line Birds Cannot See
Director: Amy Bench
Separated from her mother at the border, a determined 12-year-old sets out across the desert with only a plastic sack, survives starvation on the streets of Ciudad Juarez, and escapes kidnappers to find her mother and a place where they can be safe. (World Premiere)
Directors: Erin Sanger, Taylor Hess
Mack Beggs broke records and changed history when he won the Texas state title as a transgender wrestler. Now with high school ending and college on the horizon, the sports champion and national activist, must grapple with what comes next. (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Will Goss
A depressed man puts off an important task. (World Premiere)
Sweet Sweet Kink: A Collection of BDSM Stories
Director: Maggie M. Bailey
Sweet Sweet Kink takes a sweet, sweet peek into the kinky world of bondage, dominance, and sadomasochism through stories of intimate connection, consensual exploration, and deep self-reflection. (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: B.B. Araya
Before she can leave town for a fresh start, Yirga must get one problem out of her head. (World Premiere)
TEXAS HIGH SCHOOL SHORTS
A preview of the next filmmaking generation, as Texas High Schoolers present shorts of five minutes or less.
Directors: Tyniya Perryman, Brenna Rinehart, Screenwriter: Tyniya Perryman
Being a kid can be a little lonely sometimes, but this young girl has her best friend, Abby. (World Premiere)
Director: Mystery Clemons, Screenwriters: Mystery Clemons, Shannon Angeletti
A young man stumbles upon an unexpected situation finding one in need. The two build upon their friendship after the young man helps with his situation. After the young man realizes his friend is a bad influence he gets caught up in his past. (World Premiere)
Directors: Miranda Potter, Jade Jess, Screenwriter: Jade Jess
A victim of human trafficking tells her story. (U.S. Premiere)
By the Pool
Director/Screenwriter: Neo Bramlett
A high school student tells his friend about an awkward experience he had. (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Amiri Scrutchin
In a championship basketball game, our hero goes through a spiritual experience to gain an immense power to overpower his adversary. (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Louisa Baldwin
Fifteen is the story of first love for two teenage girls.
Director/Screenwriter: Sophia Rigg
A cat and her witch encounter a strange, sinister presence in the forest. (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Emily Ma
A teenage girl manages her stress through the power of the ocean. (World Premiere)
A Grand Gesture
Directors: Tanish Venkatesh, Tyniya Perryman, Screenwriter: Tanish Venkatesh
Two best friends, Harold and Gunter, form a plan to win back Gunter’s ex-girlfriend. (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Emma Evans
A girl obsessed with secret agents has the chance to become one, until she realizes that things are not as they seem. (World Premiere)
Learning to Swim
Director/Screenwriter: Susannah Joffe
This experimental drama covers the relationship between romance and substance between two teens.
The Making of Chase Humes
Director: Grace Humes
A student who has come out as transgender, talks about experiences and hardships he’s had through his journey.
Directors/Screenwriters: Kayla Kummerl, Krista Kummerl, Richard Ahn
“The caged bird sings / with a fearful trill / of things unknown / but longed for still /