SXSW Film Festival Announces 2017 Midnighters, Shorts, and Inaugural VR Programs

The South by Southwest® (SXSW®) Conference and Festivals announced the remainder of its Film Festival program, including the Midnighters, Shorts and VR lineup for the 24th edition of the Festival, running March 10-19, 2017 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.
 
The SXSW Midnighters section is a perennial favorite for SXSW audiences thrilled by the weird, electric, and sometimes terrifying selections. Featuring 10 genre films, including eight World Premieres, the slate includes dark comedies, thrillers, and slasher horror from a mix of established and first-time filmmakers. The Midnighters, as well as nine additional films, are included in the 128 total features now to be screened at the SXSW 2017 Film Festival.

“In this current political climate, genre filmmakers are more necessary than ever,” said Jarod Neece, SXSW Senior Film Programmer. “They give us the chance to escape the horrors in our daily lives and spend some time in the dark, hallowed halls of the cinema. This year’s batch of Midnighters span the gamut of splatter horror, dark comedy, revenge, and satire, and explore mortality, sociopathy and survival. 10 films, eight world premieres from four countries, all ready to keep you squirming in your seats at Midnight!”

128 short films were selected from 4,975 submissions. A comprehensive list of the Short Film Program is below and will screen as part of 12 curated shorts programs.

“In this year’s Short Film Program you can feel the motivation to express and address concerns of our modern time,” said Claudette Godfrey, Senior Film Programmer. “Our diverse group of filmmakers push boundaries, experiment with story, form, and style to explore the familiar narratives of love, life, growth, the digital age, and social issues in new ways that move us. The sense of discovery in our Short Film Program is what I love most, and it’s rewarding to see our filmmakers grow through short film and go on to make larger scale work. It’s truly exciting and I can’t wait to share this new work with our exceptional and adventurous audiences.”

This year, SXSW launched a new Virtual Reality section of the Film Festival to showcase the newest and most cutting-edge work in our Virtual Cinema. SXSW resides at the intersection of film and technology, and there is no better place to present this innovative format. The 38 projects emphasize storytelling, ingenuity and also showcase how other industries are embracing this new medium. 

“This year we have expanded our Virtual Reality programming, launching the Virtual Cinema and elevating the medium to its own category in the SXSW Film Festival,” said Blake Kammerdiener, VR Programmer. “We not only put an emphasis on storytelling and ingenuity but also showcase how other industries are embracing VR. With collaboration at the core of SXSW, this year's Virtual Cinema includes industry leaders and independent creators who have come together with projects from the health, fashion, music industries and more.”

SXSW Conference announced separately a swath of new Keynotes, Featured Speakers and Sessions. They include Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin, Senator Cory Booker, actress Julia-Louis Dreyfus and the cast of Veep, GLAAD President Sarah Kate Ellis, Fleetwood Mac namesake Mick Fleetwood, pop singer and songwriter Kesha, actor Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul, Breaking Bad), WWE superstar John Cena, Nick Denton and Jeff Goodby, featured in Nobody Speak, the creative teams behind Animals and last year’s SXSW premiere of Preacher, Frank Oz (Muppet Guys Talking) and Leonard Maltin, and more. They join previously announced Keynotes Lee Daniels, Gareth Edwards, Jill Soloway, plus Featured Speakers Cheryl Boone Isaacs, President, AMPAS, and the Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.

New for 2017, the Interactive, Film, and Music badges will now include expanded access to more of the SXSW Conference and Festivals experience. Attendees will still receive primary entry to programming associated with their badge type, but can now enjoy secondary access to most other SXSW events. This means the exchange between SXSW’s creative industries can now curate and discover their SXSW experience like never before. SXSW’s next registration deadline is February 10, 2017 at 11:59pm PT. Early registrants benefit from discounted rates.

Additions to the 2017 SXSW Film Festival lineup include:

FEATURES

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

68 Kill

Director: Trent Haaga, Screenwriters: Trent Haaga based on the novel by Bryan Smith
Chip's problem is that he can't say no to beautiful women. This weakness gets him into a world of trouble when he agrees to help his girlfriend steal $68,000. Cast: Matthew Gray Gubler, Annalynne McCord, Alisha Boe, Sheila Vand, Sam Eidson, Lucy Faust, Eric Podner, Peter James, Hallie Grace Bradley, James Moses Black (World Premiere)
 
Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon: 10th Anniversary Screening

Director: Scott Glosserman, Screenwriters: David Stieve, Scott Glosserman
At SXSW in 2006 AICN's Quint wrote: "...it just had its world premiere at the Alamo a few hours ago. I hope to see this one get picked up, but I guarantee this one will make it." 10 years after its 2007 theatrical, the 35mm print returns to the fest! Cast: Nathan Baesel, Angela Goethals, Robert Englund, Scott Wilson, Zelda Rubinstein, Kate Lang Johnson, Britain Spellings, Bridgett Newton, Ben Pace
 
Game of Death (Canada, France)

Directors: Laurence "Baz" Morais, Sebastien Landry, Screenwriters: Laurence "Baz" Morais, Sebastien Landry, Edouard Bond and adapted by Philip Kalin-Hajdu
In the middle of small-town nowhere, seven friends are forced to kill or be killed when they play the Game of Death. When faced with their own mortality, will they turn on each other to survive? Cast: Sam Earle, Victoria Diamond, Emelia Hellman, Catherine Saindon, Nick Serino, Erniel Baez D., Thomas Vallieres, Jane Hackett (World Premiere)
 
The Honor Farm

Director/Screenwriter: Karen Skloss
After prom night falls apart, Lucy finds herself at very different kind of party… On a psychedelic trip that could be a dangerous trap. Cast: Olivia Applegate, Louis Hunter, Dora Madison, Liam Aiken, Katie Folger, Michael Eric Reid, Mackenzie Astin, Michelle Forbes, Josephine McAdam, Christina Parrish (World Premiere)
 
Lake Bodom (UK)

Director: Taneli Mustonen, Screenwriters: Taneli Mustonen, Aleksi Hyvärinen
Reconstructing a legendary campsite murder turns fatal when the girls decide to rewrite history. As night falls, turns out not all of them are there to play. Cast: Nelly Hirst-Gee, Mimosa William, Mikael Gabriel, Santeri Mäntylä
 
Mayhem

Director: Joe Lynch, Screenwriter: Matias Caruso
After being framed for corporate espionage on the same day that a mysterious virus is unleashed on his company, attorney Derek Cho is forced to savagely fight tooth and nail for not only his job but his life. Cast: Steven Yeun, Samara Weaving, Dallas Mark Roberts, Caroline Chikezie, Mark Stewart Frost, Kerry Fox, Lucy Chappell, Steven Brand (World Premiere)
 
Meatball Machine Kodoku (Japan)

Director: Yoshihiro Nishimura, Screenwriters: Yoshihiro Nishimura, Sakichi Sato
A long-awaited sequel to the internationally acclaimed full-throttle splatter sci-fi action horror Meatball Machine directed by Yoshihiko Nishimura, an acclaimed makeup artist and special effects designer (“Godzilla Resurgence”). Cast: Yoji Tanaka, Yurisa, Takumi Saito (World Premiere)
 
PIG: The Final Screenings

Director: Adam Mason
A savage satire of gender politics in America, Adam Mason is guaranteed to shock and offend with Pig. Created with actor and long time collaborator Andrew Howard, Pig is a virtuoso piece of pure cinema. Cast: Andrew Howard, Guy Burnet, Lorry Stone, Juliet Quintin-Archard, Molly Black (World Premiere)
 
Tragedy Girls (Canada, USA)

Director: Tyler MacIntyre, Screenwriters: Chris Lee Hill, Tyler MacIntyre, based on an original screenplay by Justin Olson
A twist on the slasher genre following two budding teenage sociopaths who use their online show about real-life tragedies to send their small midwestern town into a frenzy, cementing their legacy as modern horror legends. Cast: Brianna Hildebrand, Alexandra Shipp, Craig Robinson, Josh Hutcherson, Kevin Durand, Jack Quaid, Timothy V. Murphy, Nicky Whelan, Austin Abrams, Kerry Rhodes (World Premiere)
 
Two Pigeons (UK)

Director: Dominic Bridges, Screenwriter: Rae Brunton
A wide-boy estate agent unknowingly shares his home with a malicious tenant, one with a totally surprising agenda. Two Pigeons is a dark urban morality tale with an underlying streak of jet black comedy. Cast: Mim Shaikh, Javier Botet, Mandeep Dhillon, Kola Bokinni, Michael McKella (World Premiere)

Additional Features:

HEADLINERS
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 Disaster Artist
Director: James Franco, Screenwriters: Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, based on the book The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside the Room
This is a true story about the making of The Room – the cult classic described as the “Citizen Kane of bad movies”. Cast: James Franco, Dave Franco, Seth Rogen, Josh Hutcherson, Ari Graynor, Jacki Weaver, Alison Brie (World Premiere)

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

Paris Can Wait

Director/Screenwriter: Eleanor Coppola
A devoted American wife (Diane Lane) with a workaholic inattentive husband (Alec Baldwin), takes an unexpected journey from Cannes to Paris with a charming Frenchman (Arnaud Viard) that reawakens her sense of self and joie de vivre. Cast: Diane Lane, Arnaud Viard, Alec Baldwin (U.S. Premiere)

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

Mission Control:  The Unsung Heroes of Apollo (UK)

Director: David Fairhead, Screenwriters: David Fairhead, Keith Haviland
At the heart of the Apollo program was the special team in Mission Control who put a man on the moon and helped create the future. (World Premiere)

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

Porto (Portugal)

Director: Gabe Klinger, Screenwriters: Larry Gross, Gabe Klinger
Jake and Mati are two outsiders in Porto who once experienced a brief connection. A mystery remains about the moments they shared, and in searching through memories, they relive the depths of a night uninhibited by the consequences of time. Cast: Anton Yelchin, Lucie Lucas, Françoise Lebrun, Paulo Calatré (North American Premiere)

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

Song of Granite (Canada, Ireland)

Director: Pat Collins, Screenwriters: Pat Collins, Eoghan McGiolla Bhríde, Sharon Whooley
Acclaimed filmmaker Pat Collins brings the dramatic life story of legendary seannós singer Joe Heaney to the screen in Song of Granite, an audacious exploration of the man and his music. Cast: Macdara Ó Fatharta, Mícheál Ó Chonfhaola, Jaren Cerf, Pól Ó Ceannabháín, Colm Seoighe (North American Premiere)

FESTIVAL FAVORITES
Acclaimed standouts & selected previous premieres from festivals around the world.

David Lynch - The Art Life

Director: Jon Nguyen
A film that deeply explores the experiences that shaped one of cinema's most distinctive voices: David Lynch. Presented by FilmStruck.
 
Person to Person

Director/Screenwriter: Dustin Guy Defa
A record collector hustles for a score while a lovelorn roommate regrets a dire mistake, a teenager bears witness to her friend’s new relationship, and a rookie reporter and her demanding boss chase clues to a homicide involving a jaded watchmaker.
Cast: Abbi Jacobson, Michael Cera, Tavi Gevinson, Philip Baker Hall, Bene Coopersmith, George Sample III, Isiah Whitlock, Ben Rosenfeld, Olivia Luccardi

Trophy (USA, South Africa)

Director: Shaul Schwarz, Screenwriter: Christina Clusiau
Endangered African species like elephants, rhinos, and lions march closer to extinction each year. Trophy investigates the powerhouse businesses of big game hunting, breeding, and wildlife conservation.

Through the Repellent Fence: A Land Art Film

Director: Sam Wainwright Douglas
Some fences don't divide.

SPECIAL EVENTS
Live soundtracks, cult re-issues and much more. Our Special Events section offers unusual, unexpected and unique one-off film events.
 
Le Ride

Director: Phil Keoghan, Screenwriters: Phil Keoghan, Louise Keoghan
Television personality Phil Keoghan retraces the 1928 Tour de France riding an original vintage bicycle, with no gears, as he tells the forgotten ‘underdog’ story about the first English speaking team to take on the toughest sporting event on earth.
 
Doug Benson Master Pancake & Doug Loves Movies Podcast    
Doug Benson returns in the continuing tradition of our annual St. Patrick's Day screening of the Leprechaun series. On March 17 we present Leprechaun 5: In The Hood, directed by Rob Spera. 

SHORTS PROGRAM

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

Adult (Australia)

Director/Screenwriter: Jamieson Pearce
It is 1996. A middle-aged woman sits on a city bench on the wrong side of town. Waiting. Is anyone watching her? A pause in the traffic. The woman stands and shuffles across the road. The door to the Adult Store swings shut behind her.  (North American Premiere)
 
American Paradise

Director/Screenwriter: Joe Talbot
Folk tale meets modern tragedy, American Paradise is the story of a man in Donald Trump's America who attempts to shift his fate with the perfect crime: a bank heist in a 'black-guy-mask.'
 
Cla'am (UK)

Director/Screenwriter: Nathaniel Martello-White
A dark, surreal comedy about a local man who becomes convinced that a vast conspiracy is behind the impossibly rapid gentrification in his London area. But is it all in his head, or is the truth even darker than he imagines?  (World Premiere)
 
Cubs (Iceland)

Director/Screenwriter: Nanna Kristín Magnúsdóttir
A single father wants to fulfil his young daughter’s wish to throw a slumber party for her friends, but it turns out to be more of a challenge than he thought due to the rules of modern society. (North American Premiere)
 
DeKalb Elementary

Director/Screenwriter: Reed Van Dyk
Inspired by a 911 call placed during a school shooting incident in Atlanta, Georgia. (North American Premiere)
 
Forever Now (Denmark)

Director: Kristian Håskjold, Screenwriters: Kristian Håskjold, Trille Cecilie Uldall-Spanner After several years together William and Cecilie break up. To treat the sorrow with love the same night they decide to do the drug, MDMA, together. This results in a emotional rollercoaster ride for better or worse over a whole weekend. (World Premiere)
 
Fry Day

Director: Laura Moss, Screenwriters: Laura Moss, Brendan O'Brien
An adolescent girl comes of age against the backdrop of serial killer Ted Bundy's execution in 1989. (World Premiere)
 
Gamechanger (Netherlands)

Director: Christian van Duuren,  Daan Gielis On his way to another tour of duty abroad, thirty-year-old Max gets caught up in a game with the young boys next door. Max gradually loses sight of reality, and the boys lose their innocence.  (World Premiere)
 
I Know You From Somewhere

Director/Screenwriter: Andrew Fitzgerald
A young woman incurs the wrath of the internet after she inadvertently becomes a viral sensation.
 
Laps

Director/Screenwriter: Charlotte Wells
On a routine morning, a woman on a crowded New York City subway is sexually assaulted in plain sight.
 
Melon Rainbow (Denmark)

Director/Screenwriter: Laurits Flensted-Jensen Melon
Rainbow is a young girl who yearns to be seen. (North American Premiere)
 
The Mess He Made

Director: Matthew Puccini A man spends 15 minutes waiting for the results of a Rapid HIV test in a small-town strip mall.  (World Premiere)
 
Mutt

Director/Screenwriter: Erin Sanger
A family's plan to stage an intervention unravels. (World Premiere)
 
The Robbery

Director: Jim Cummings, Screenwriter: Dustin Hahn
Crystal robs a liquor store and it goes pretty ok.
 
Rubber Heart

Director: Lizzy Sanford, Screenwriters: Lizzy Sanford, Anna Cordell
A one night stand that just doesn't click.
 
Spring

Director/Screenwriter: Laurel Parmet
Amanda struggles as she spends the day taking pictures of her best friend. (World Premiere)
 
Submarine (Lebanon)

Director: Mounia Akl, Screenwriters: Mounia Akl, Clara Roquet
Under the imminent threat of Lebanon’s garbage crisis, Hala, a wild child inside of a woman is the only one to refuse evacuation, clinging to whatever remains of home.

DOCUMENTARY SHORTS
Slices of life from across the documentary spectrum.

The Collection

Director/Screenwriter: Adam Roffman
Two friends stumble upon the mother lode of movie memorabilia in the most unexpected of places. (World Premiere)
 
Foam Sweet Foam
Directors: Kelly Loudenberg, Jillian Mayer
Simplistic catalogue­-style photographs, sound design, and narration are used to create a moving portrait of the furniture made of solid foam in a vast stage where officers in training play out every disaster imaginable. (World Premiere)
 
Gut Hack

Directors/Screenwriters: Kate Mclean, Mario Furloni
A former NASA scientist turned bio-hacker attempts an experiment that makes him confront the multitudes inside. (World Premiere)
 
Little Potato

Directors: Wes Hurley, Nathan M. Miller, Screenwriter: Wes Hurley
An autobiographical doc that tells the story of Little Potato's journey growing up gay in the Soviet Union before and after the fall of communism and their eventual escape to America. (World Premiere)
 
The Moderators (USA, Ireland)

Directors: Ciaran Cassidy, Adrian Chen
A group of new employees at a consultancy in India are trained in their responsibilities as the moderating backbone of the Internet.  (World Premiere)
 
Nidal

Director: Tarek Turkey
Born female, Nidal has identified as a boy since he was 9, coinciding with his family's escape from Syria. As he matures, he has to deal with the complexity in the confines of a refugee camp and a culture that cannot comprehend gender fluidity.   (World Premiere)
 
No Harm No Foul

Director: Cheng Zhang
In the tendency to assume that science-based conclusions are objective and reliable, public health tragedies are allowed to occur repeatedly.  (World Premiere)
 
Perfectly Normal

Director: Joris Debeij
A high-functioning autistic man balancing reality with his imaginary world, proves that one can make deliberate choices to find stability and to be more present in life.  (North American Premiere)
 
Raised by Krump (Germany, Sweden, USA)

Director: Maceo Frost
Raised by Krump is a 22-minute documentary film that explores the Compton/South Central, Los Angeles-born dance movement called “Krumping”, and the lives and emotional issues of some of the area’s most influential and prolific dancers.  (U.S. Premiere)
 
Refuge

Director: Matthew K. Firpo
Refuge is a multimedia project chronicling human stories from the European Refugee Crisis, focused on humanity and hope. Shot on location in Greece, January 2016.  (U.S. Premiere)
 
Übermensch (Denmark)

Director/Screenwriter: Jesper Dalgaard
Two transient young men breaks into an empty church by the sea to form a blood pact: to get rid of their childhood demons and escape the cycle of anxiety and authorities. "It's not really goth to be afraid of the darkness" they agree.  (World Premiere)
 
Waiting for Hassana (Nigeria, USA)

Director/Screenwriter: Ifunanya "Funa" Maduka
In 2014, 276 teenage girls came together for exams in Chibok, Nigeria -- by dawn, nearly all had disappeared and their school was burnt. Jessica, an escapee, shares her haunting account of a friendship violently interrupted by Boko Haram.
 
The Watchmaker (UK)

Director: Marie-Cécile Embleton
A poetic portrait of a Persian watchmaker, whose philosophical musings on his craft invite us to reflect on how we engage with time in a globalised, fast-paced world.  (North American Premiere)

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

Birdlime (Canada)

Director: Evan DeRushie
A birds-eye-view of the exotic bird trade industry.  (World Premiere)
 
Bloop's Birthday

Director: Julian Glander
Bloop's Birthday is the story of an odd little pink creature bouncing around an acid-pastel landscape in search of fun. The looming presence of a mysterious shadow figure makes things a little more complicated for the B-day gal and her friends.  (World Premiere)
 
Catherine (Belgium)

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Director/Screenwriter: Britt Raes
The bittersweet life story of a young girl, who grows up to be a crazy old cat lady.  (North American Premiere)
 
Glucose

Director/Screenwriter: Jeron Braxton
Glucose is sweet, marketable, and easy to consume, but its surface satisfaction is a thin coating on the pain of many disenfranchised people.  (World Premiere)
 
Hot Dog Hands

Director: Matt Reynolds
This woman can't stop growing fingers.  (World Premiere)
 
It Should Be Easy (Canada)

Director: Ben Meinhardt
What happens when your mom calls for help with the computer.  (World Premiere)
 
Lou

Director/Screenwriter: Dave Mullins
When a toy stealing bully ruins recess for a playground full of kids, only one thing stands in his way: the “Lost and Found” box.  (World Premiere)
 
Pussy (Poland)

Director/Screenwriter: Renata Gasiorowska
A young girl spends the evening alone at home. She decides to have some sweet solo pleasure session, but not everything goes according to plan.
 
Summer Camp Island

Director/Screenwriter: Julia Pott
Oscar has to accept that his totally normal sleepover with Hedgehog isn’t going to be totally normal.
 
Tough (UK)

Director: Jennifer Zheng
Some things can only be understood with maturity. New light is shed on childhood cultural misunderstandings when a Chinese mother and her British born daughter speak as adults for the first time.
 
Wednesday with Goddard (Canada)

Director/Screenwriter: Nicolas Menard
A personal quest for spiritual enlightenment leads to romance and despair.  (U.S. Premiere)

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

Boss Bitch

Director: Winona Regan
Find out the meaning of boss ass bitch in this animated music video.

Coyanuscocksee (Canada)

Director: Gary Ye
Koyaanisqatsi, but with dicks (pls don't sue).  (World Premiere)

Do No Harm (New Zealand)

Director/Screenwriter: Roseanne Liang
Save the patient.  Nothing else. 

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Director: Tony Grayson
We take a poor humans person, like you, and treat them like a pawn in our game.  It will be candy for your tum tum.  Watch as neuroscientist, Wallace L. Graybill, attempts to receive money coins from grants for his important research.  (World Premiere)

Hi Stranger

Director/Screenwriter: Kirsten Lepore
Hi Stranger.  It's been awhile... (World Premiere)

It Began Without Warning

Directors/Screenwriters: Santiago C. Tapia, Jessica Curtright
Change is coming (World Premiere)

Kisses

Director/Screenwriter: Justin Harding
Bree, a dishonest 9-year-old receives a terrifying visitor after a parenting lesson goes horribly wrong. 

Mouse

Directors/Screenwriters: Celine Held, Logan George
Fueled by coke, Vanessa and Danny attempt to capitalize on an unlikely opportunity (World Premiere)

Mr. Popular

Director/Screenwriter: Charlie Mayforth
A well-liked jock discovers the true dangers of his popularity when he encounters an obsessed classmate. (World Premiere)

The Saurus

Director/Screenwriter: Drew Maynard A man with a robust vocabulary must write a scornful letter to an old friend. 

Summer's Puke is Winter's Delight (Japan)

Director/Screenwriter: Sawako Kabuki
Painful events become memories over time.  Still, we vomit and eat again.  Life is Eco. 

The Suplex Duplex Complex

Director: Todd Rohal, Screenwriters: Todd Rohal, Zack Carlson, Bryan Connelly
A neighboring pair of tag team wrestlers learn the downside of life without a landlord. (World Premiere)

Tickle Monster (UK)

Director/Screenwriter: Remi Weekes
You better not giggle.  (U.S. Premiere)

Whiskey Fist

Director/Screenwriter: Gillian Wallace Horvat
A branding intern loses the life he once had after an encounter with a mysterious blonde and her whiskey bottle - magical realism ensues.  (World Premiere)

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

Beach Day

Directors: Matt Stryker, Dalton Allen
On a slow day, Matt and Dalton decide to go to the beach. (World Premiere)

Chasing Grace

Director/Screenwriter: Julia Barnett
A young woman reluctantly meets with her estranged father only to discover the truth about the events of the wild 70's summer that drove them apart. (World Premiere)

Hold Me (Ca Caw Ca Caw)

Director/Screenwriter: Renee Zhan
Flap flap flap flap flap.  A large bird and a small boy cohabit in an unhappy relationship, trapped by four walls and a mutual codependency. 

Lucia, Before and After

Director/Screenwriter: Anu Valia
After traveling 200 miles, a young woman waits out Texas's state-mandated 24-hour waiting period before her abortion can proceed. 

Makeup

Director/Screenwriter: Hannah Whisenant
A young girl tries to get close to her absent mother by putting on her makeup, only to realize why she shouldn't emulate her. 

The Rabbit Hunt

Director: Patrick Bresnan, Screenwriter: Ivete Lucas
On the weekends during harvest season, 17-year-old Chris and his family hunt rabbits in the sugarcane fields of the Florida Everglades.

Robert Ellis - 'California'

Directors: Erica Alexandria Silverman, Cullen Kelly, Screenwriter: Erica Alexandria Silverman The moment you fall in love and the moment it falls apart. Life is ephemeral, but we are lucky it happens at all.

The Wait (Mexico, USA)

Director/Screenwriter: Juan Pablo González
The Wait portrays at once the straits of immigrant life and the haunting soundscape of reprieve.

TEXAS HIGH SCHOOL SHORTS
A preview of the next filmmaking generation, as Texas High Schoolers present shorts of 5 minutes or less.

After Thoughts

Director: Xavier Hernandez, Screenwriters: Xavier Hernandez, Cooper Shapiro
What goes through a teenagers mind after they have had intercourse? After Thoughts explores just that. Witness as a teenage woman and a teenage boy struggle to understand their feelings for each other.

All You Need

Directors/Screenwriters: Taylor Butler, Raven Robinson
Everyone's constantly searching for that one person who'll be there for them.

Be Anyone, Do Anything

Director: Alyssa "Midori" Brown
Be Anyone, Do Anything follows Krystle Starr at the 2016 Dallas Fan Expo and to her Comic Club at My Possibilities. She encourages nerd culture and shares advice along with James Enelow and Calen Hoffman to help those new to the convention scene.

Behind the Scenes

Director/Screenwriter: Jake Billard
A teenage with a film crew gets away with a robbery and murder.

Better Late Than Never

Director/Screenwriter: Atheena Frizzell
A teenage girl must figure out a way to keep a secret from her devout family.

Boxed In

Directors/Screenwriters: Andrew Fleming, Nate Grizzell
A young adult struggles with loss of his family. He sees no way to deal with his pain other than boxing.

Breakfast

Director/Screenwriter: Rohun Vora
Breakfast is a dramatic piece that explores a morning in the life of a broken marriage.

Chroma

Director/Screenwriter: Demar Gunter
A young girl must find courage within herself to rebel against an oppressive society.

Darcy's Quinceañera

Director: Sam Cooper, Screenwriters: Sam Cooper, Jonathan Randall
Darcy's Quinceañera is a 360° multimedia audio-visual xxx-perience.

Flightless
Director: Sarah Fonville, Screenwriters: Max Wilson, Madison Duckworth, Brennan Guffey
An injured bird of prey must figure out a way to take flight and soar to survive.

Game Room

Director/Screenwriter: Siri Ketha
A young girl has some family issues like no other. With intrusive parents and pressure to be perfect she is pushed over the edge. Like mother, like daughter, it's all just family matters.

Inge

Director: Rachel Schlesinger
Inge Stanton vowed to never return to Germany after she fled her home there days before World War II began. This film follows Inge as she returns to her hometown to show her children and grandchildren the world she escaped from as a little girl.

Jawn Otis's Wall

Directors: Carmela Moreno, Daisy Cervantes, Screenwriter: Carmela Moreno
"Jawn Otis's Wall" is about an 8 year old boy named Jawn Otis, who is abused by his single mother.  Jawn escapes his home and gives us a glimpse into his daily routine to show us the true meaning of innocence.

La Mano

Director/Screenwriter: Grace Snyder
A tiny butler comes in handy.

Limbo
Director/Screenwriter: Pierson Hawkins
Limbo is an experimental film chronicling the struggles of a man after entering purgatory and his endless efforts to escape.

Newcomers

Director/Screenwriter: Haley Bunn
Newcomers is a documentary about refugee students at Anderson High School who come from various background and face many challenges upon living here.

One

Directors/Screenwriters: Emily Ma, Grace Zhang
A girl embarks on a physical exploration to seek the answer of an age-old question: Who am I?

Red Line
Directors/Screenwriters: Quinn O'Brien, Arfa Chowdhary
A little girl finds herself on a train to discover new places.

Roll for Initiative

Directors/Screenwriters: Adam Weider, Cameron Potter
Four adventurers journey into an unforgiving thieves' den.

The Silent Paracosm

Director/Screenwriter: Dylan Banfield
The Silent Paracosm is a silent horror film following Faust , a young blind boy coming to terms with events that with change him deeply.

Split Ends

Director: Miranda Potter
A film portraying female body hair in a different, untraditional way.

Stripped

Directors/Screenwriters: Kendra Fogleman, Logan Sullivan
Olivia, a senior in high school, takes advantage of an innocent freshman.

VR PROGRAM

VIRTUAL REALITY
Virtual reality and augmented reality technologies 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 38 projects presented in our new Virtual Cinema emphasize storytelling, ingenuity and also showcase how other industries are embracing this new medium.

After Solitary

Directors: Cassandra Herrman, Lauren Mucciolo
After Solitary, a collaboration between Emblematic and FRONTLINE, allows viewers to experience interactively the story of 38-year-old Kenny Moore, a recently released inmate who spent 5½ years straight in solitary confinement. (World Premiere)

Amor de Abuela (A Grandmother's Love) (Australia, Guatemala, USA)

Director: Jessie Hughes
A Guatemalan family’s life is transformed when their grandmother gains access to electricity and light. (World Premiere)

BattleScar (Spain, USA)

Directors/Screenwriters: Nico Casavecchia, Martin Allais
BattleScar is a linear short film with interactive components that follows a year in the life of Lupe, a Puerto Rican-American, living in the 1978 Punk rock scene of New York City.

Behind The Fence
Directors: Lindsay Branham, Jonathan Olinger
The Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar must survive a Buddhist-led campaign to eliminate them. (World Premiere)

Chocolate

Director: Tyler Hurd
Cats, champagne and joy overflows in Chocolate, a psychedelic VR Music video experience set in a chrome cat-centric world, for the song Chocolate by Giraffage. By acclaimed VR creator Tyler Hurd. Presented by Viacom NEXT.

Cycling Pathways to Mars

Directors: Lex Halaby, Daniel Schechter, Guil Rambelli , Screenwriters: Buzz Aldrin, Andy Aldrin, Lex Halaby, Christina Korp
Buzz Aldrin’s Cycling Pathways to Mars is a volumetric VR experience that takes you on a journey from the moon to Mars with Aldrin's hologram as your guide, and brings his vision of cyclers, landers and rovers, to life. (World Premiere)

Dear Pigeon Man (Netherlands)

Director/Screenwriter: Daniël Ernst
Dear Pigeon Man is a hand painted virtual reality experience. It is the fifth piece of the Shoebox Dioramas, a series of virtual stories. All the stories in the series overlap, as the series grows so will the world of the Shoebox Dioramas.

DeathTolls Experience (Islamic Republic of Iran)

Director/Screenwriter: Ali Eslami
A virtual journey from the refugee crisis in Europe to the bloodbath in Syria, placing the dry “data reality” of the news in an emotional perspective. (U.S. Premiere)

Decay Theory (UK)

Director/Screenwriter: Nick Pittom
Decay Theory is an Episodic Sci-Fi Storytelling Experience, that follows the intergalactic adventures of SuRei, a young girl and FeiMa, the bio-mechanical horror that protects her.

Dreams of "O" (Canada)

Directors: Félix Lajeunesse, Paul Raphaël, Screenwriters: Francois Blouin, Félix Lajeunesse, Paul Raphaël
Dive into the hypnotic world of Dreams of ‘’O’’. Submerge yourself into a virtual reality universe comprised of aerial acrobatics, daring dives, and the surreal amphibious characters of the breathtaking aquatic masterpiece “O” by Cirque du Soleil.

Fistful of Stars

Director/Screenwriter: Eliza McNitt
Fistful of Stars is the world’s first Virtual Reality exploration of the cosmos alongside the Hubble Telescope that transports you inside of the Orion Nebula and reveals the cosmic connections between humans and the stars. (World Premiere)

The Giant

Director: New Media Ltd, Screenwriter: Mike Anderson
A tale of a girl who never stops growing, her destructive plight, and ultimate transcendence. (World Premiere)

In Harmony

Director: Elliot Dillman, Screenwriters: Chris Collins, Elliot Dillman
For some LA kids, music is not just a form of art, it’s the key to overcoming the odds. When Deonte and Amy's high schools cut their music programs, The Harmony Project steps in with mentoring and music training. (World Premiere)

Life of Us

Directors: Chris Milk, Aaron Koblin
Life of Us is a shared VR journey from within that tells the complete story of the evolution of life on Earth. Created by Chris Milk & Aaron Koblin, with music by Pharrell Williams.

Mars 2030

In partnership with NASA and MIT's Space Systems Laboratory, FusionVR welcomes you to Mars 2030. This immersive experience lets you play the role of one of the first scientists tasked with establishing a human presence on the Red Planet. (World Premiere)

The Melody of Dust

Directors: Viacom NEXT, Hot Sugar
A musical journey for the HTC Vive. Explore a mysterious world where every object contains a unique melody. From Viacom NEXT and musician Hot Sugar, this experience brings you inside the fantasies of a romantic composer. (World Premiere)

Movements

Directors: Michael Catalano, Elliot Cole
Movements is an interactive experience for virtual reality that gives you the thrill of conducting a live orchestra.

Museum of the Impossible

Directors: Ben Vance, Kate Parsons
Museum of The Impossible (MOTI) is a new type of museum for virtual reality that curates the best in immersive art.

Next Nature Habitat VR (Netherlands)

Director: Koert van Mensvoort
The natural habitat of the polar bear is the Arctic. The natural habitat of the scorpion is the dessert. How about humans? What is our natural habitat? As a species, we need to discover what it means to live in a world where the born and the made are  (North American Premiere)

Notes to My Father (India, UK, USA)

Director/Screenwriter: Jayisha Patel
Notes To My Father is a story of love, grief, and reconciliation, between father and daughter. (World Premiere)

Out of the Blue

Director/Screenwriter: Sophie Ansel
A family of fishermen in Mexico sacrifice their livelihood to save open ocean sea life from extinction. Narration by Sylvia Earle. (World Premiere)

Playthings VR

Director: George Michael Brower
Playthings puts virtual drumsticks in your hands and sets you loose on a musical playground from another world.

Reinvent

Directors: Ian Forester, Sook-Lei Liew, Phd
VR Playhouse has partnered with neuroscientist Dr. Sook-Lei Liew and her team at USC's Neural Plasticity and Neurorehabilitation Lab to create content for Reinvent, a new method that uses VR to promote motor recovery for victims of severe strokes.  (World Premiere)

Rise Above

Director: Ben Ross
One girl’s journey of empowerment as she confronts and overcomes abuse. (World Premiere)

See Beyond Labels

Director: Sarah Hill, Screenwriter: StoryUP Studios
An examination of bias through the stories of six people who are often seen through societal filters. (World Premiere)

Show It 2 Me

Directors: Mark Brooks, Dylan Carter
An interactive music video created using Tilt Brush's audio reactive brushes featuring Night Club's single, "Show It 2 Me." (World Premiere)

Spatium (UK)
Directors/Screenwriters: Roland Lane, Alex Lambert
INITION and Roland Lane take you on a journey inspired by a famous hat by legendary designer Philip Treacy. In VR, structure and form are explored on a scale that escapes the bounds of the physical, creating a fantasy of light, sound and shadow.  (World Premiere)

Square the Circle (Netherlands)

Directors: Harm van de Ven, Sara Kolster
Square the Circle is an interactive experience which explores the possibilities of interacting with Touch controllers in room scale.

Synesthesia (Netherlands, USA)

Director: Kaleidoscope VR
Synesthesia is an interactive experience comprised of six movements each inspired by a different stage of life.

Use Your Imagination

Director: Roberto Drilea, Screenwriters: Roberto Drilea, Garth Herberg, Jason Weissbrod
A VR musical written and performed by young artists on the autism spectrum. (World Premiere)

Vestige (UK)

Director: Aaron Bradbury
Vestige is a journey into the mind of a man who lost his lover in a car accident.

Vibrant Matter

Director: FLOAT
A Within Original Experience, Vibrant Matter invites you to step inside a new world pulsing with an original score by Toro Y Moi. Twist and play through memories as you explore this new dimension.  (World Premiere)

Waba

Director: EDWON
Waba is an interactive video game character, empathic petting simulator, and virtual wobble pet combined into one.

We Who Remain (Sudan, USA)

Directors: Sam Wolson, Trevor Snapp
We Who Remain is an immersive live action documentary that explores life during a brutal fighting season in Sudan’s decades long civil war. (World Premiere)

Women on the Move (Niger, USA)

Director: Shannon Carroll, Screenwriters: Shannon Carroll, Kate Crosby, Brian Feagans, Raegan Hodge, Andisheh Nouraee
A woman in Niger joins a local women’s savings group to fund previously unattainable opportunities for girls—including her own granddaughter. (World Premiere)

Wonder Buffalo VR

Director: Christine T. Berg, Screenwriters: Christine Berg, Simon Shterenberg
Just another Saturday listening to records and drawing comics until Ann is challenged by an archnemisis: her mother. Tired of being called a fat lazy water buffalo, Ann stands up for herself. Find the hero within. The Wonder Buffalo VR Experience.

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

Avalanches - 'Subways' (France) / The Directors/Screenwriters: Mrzyk and Moriceau

Beyoncé - 'Formation' / Director: Melina Matsoukas

Blonde Redhead - 'Dripping' / Director: Eric Wareheim

BOKKA - 'Answer Me' (Poland) / Director: Katarzyna Sawicka

DJ Shadow ft. Run the Jewels - 'Nobody Speak' (UK) / Director: Sam Pilling

Frank Ocean - 'Nikes' (UK) / Director: Tyrone Lebon

Hinds - 'Garden' (UK) / Director/Screenwriter: Pedro Martin-Calero

Khruangbin - 'Two Fish and an Elephant' (UK) / Director: Scott Dungate

Leon Bridges - 'River' / Director/Screenwriter: Miles Jay

LORN - 'ANVIL' (France, UK) / Directors/Screenwriters: Hélène Jeudy, Antoine Caëcke

Millington - 'Being' (Australia) / Directors: Josh Thomas, Darcy Prendergast

Mykki Blanco ft. Woodkid - 'High School Never Ends' (Germany) / Director: Matt Lambert, Screenwriters: Matt Lambert, Mykki Blanco

Pussy Riot - 'Straight Outta Vagina' / Director: Phillip R Lopez

Roseau - 'Disintegrate' (UK) / Director: Hannah Jacobs

Run the Jewels ft. Gangsta Boo - 'Love Again' (UK, USA) / Director: Ninian Doff

Symbion Project - 'Arcadian' / Director/Screenwriter: Sherif Alabede

Tame Impala - 'The Less I Know The Better' (Spain) / Director: CANADA

Tesla Boy - 'Circles' / Director: Ryan Patrick

Yeasayer - 'I Am Chemistry' / Director/Screenwriter: New Media Ltd

Zeds Dead ft. Rivers Cuomo & Pusha T - 'Too Young' (Canada) / Director: Chris Ullens, Screenwriters: Chris Ullens, Jade Bogue, Jamie Durand

EXCELLENCE IN TITLE DESIGN
Inspired by an essential part of the theatrical experience, these are works of art in their own right. The 27 sequences selected represent the very best and most original of the past year.

Animal Kingdom / Company: Sarofsky / Designer: Erin Sarofsky and Duarte Elvas

Barbie Beach / Company: Coat of Arms / Designer: Courtney Dixon

The Crown / Company: Elastic / Designer: Patrick Clair

De 16 / Company: GRID VFX / Designer: Willem Wallyn

Dogma / Company: diecinueve36 / Designer: Maribel Martínez

Dr. Strange / Company: Sarofsky / Designer: Erin Sarofsky

El Rey Tuerto (The OneEyedKing) / Company: Pavlo Sánchez / Designer: Pablo Sánchez

Golden Life / Company: Digital Apes / Designer: Gergely Regula

Into the Badlands / Company: Huge Designs / Designers: Paul McDonnell, Hugo Moss, Ben Hanbury

Into The Current / Company: CR Moberg / Designers: Chris R Moberg and Jarod Young

IRA (Wrath) / Company: Pastrana Lab / Designers: Kike A. Pastrana and Ángel A. Pastrana

Jessica Jones / Company: Imaginary Forces / Designer: Michelle Dougherty

LOCA / Company: Gabaeff Pictures, The Creative Alliance / Designer: Nathan Gabaeff

New York City Blues / Company: Ian Glaum / Designer: Ian Glaum

OFFF By Night 2016 / Company: The Mill  / Designer: Mario Stipinovich

OFFF CDMX / Company/Designer: Outro Studio

Outsiders / Company: Shine / Designer: Michael Riley

PANICROOM 13 / Company: PanicProgram / Designer: Guido Ekker

Preacher / Company / Picturemill / Designer: William Lebeda

The Shannara Chronicles / Company: Huge Designs / Designers: Tamsin McGee and Andrew Popplestone

St. Nickel / Company: Oily Film Company Inc. & Morro Creative / Designers: Jay Bond and Garry Tutte

Stranger Things / Company: Imaginary Forces / Designer: Michelle Dougherty

Style Frames Design Conference / Company: Hornet / Designer: Eran Hilleli

Voyages des Cleauvard / Designer: Federico Pessa

Westworld / Company: Elastic / Designer: Patrick Clair

COMPETITION AWARDS AND CEREMONY
The films in the Short Film Program are eligible for Jury Awards within their respective screening categories, announced during the SXSW Film Awards on Tuesday, March 14 at 8:00 pm at the Paramount Theatre. Other awards announced will include the Narrative Feature Competition, the Documentary Feature Competition, Design Awards, and Special Awards. All feature film categories, except Special Events, will be eligible for category-specific Audience Awards, announced via sxsw.com on Saturday, March 18. SXSW is proud to be an official qualifying festival for the Academy Awards® Short Film competition. Winners of our Best Animated, Best Narrative and Best Documentary Short Film categories become eligible for Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awards (Oscars). Any British Short Film or British Short Animation that screens at SXSW is eligible for BAFTA nomination.


Now in its 24th year, SXSW Film brings together creatives of all stripes over nine days to experience a diverse lineup and thousands of Conference sessions with visionaries from all corners of the entertainment and media industries.
 
SXSW dedicates itself to helping creative people achieve their goals. Founded in 1987 in Austin, Texas, SXSW is best known for its conference and festivals that celebrate the convergence of the interactive, film and music industries. The event, an essential destination for global professionals, features sessions, showcases, screenings, exhibitions, and a variety of networking opportunities. SXSW proves that the most unexpected discoveries happen when diverse topics and people come together. SXSW 2017 will take place March 10-19, 2017.

SXSW is proud to be an official qualifying festival for the Academy Awards® Short Film Competition. The Best Narrative Short, Best Documentary Short and Best Animated Short winners become eligible for the Academy Awards.

SXSW 2017 is sponsored by Esurance, Mazda, Monster Energy, Bud Light, Capital One, McDonald’s, and The Austin Chronicle.