SXSW this year has some incredible new features, ranging from comedy to horror. We’ve compiled a list of 10 films you must check out either at SXSW or once they hit the public market. A full list of features can be found here.
Bottoms is a queer story about two nerdy girls who decide to start a fight club during their senior year. What is the motivation? To hook up with the cheerleading team. Directed by Emma Seligman, Producers: Elizabeth Banks, Max Handelman, Alison Small, the film offers an updated look at the nerdy protagonist fighting for an attractive popular high school love interest.
9. Another Body
Directed by Sophie Compton, Reuben Hamlyn, Producers: Elizabeth Woodward, Sophie, “Another Body” is running in the Documentary Feature Competition at SXSW. It tells the story of a college student after she discovers deepfakes of herself online. The psychological, horror story sure seems to be timely given the digital and tech landscape of today.
8. Story Ave
“Story Ave” tells the story of a graffiti artist who attempts to rob an MTA worker on Story Ave. Directed by Aristotle Torres and Produced by Jamie Foxx, Lizzie Shapiro, Datari Turner, and Aristitle Torres, Story Ave seems to have an uplifting and positive message in the end.
7. Hail Mary
Directed by Rosemary Rodriguez, Producer: Karina Miller, with screen writer Knate Lee, “Hail Mary” follows a young Belizean girl who finds herself mysteriously pregnant. While trying to cross the U.S./Mexico border she tries to outrun a virus, the border patrol, and the “Devil’s right hand man.” This film is described as “genre-bending” and we’re intrigued to see where it takes us.
6. If You Were The Last
Anthony Mackie stars in this science-fiction story of two astronauts stuck in space and find themselves questioning how they should spend their final days. What would you do if you were the last? Directed by Kristian Mercado, Producers: Andrew Miano, Dan Balgoyen, Britta Rowings, Dennis Masel, Gabrielle Nadig, Jessamine Burgum, Kara Durrett, Jon Levin, Sean Woods, and written by Angela Bourassa, this film sounds like it will have a sure perspective change on viewers.
5. Flamin’ Hot
Love Hot Cheetos? Then make sure to check out “Flamin’ Hot” which tells the story of a Richard Montañez, the Frito Lay janitor who took his Mexican heritage and used it as influence for the hot cheeto. Director: Eva Longoria, produced by DeVon Franklin, and written by Linda Yvette Chávez and Lewis Colick, this film is sure to break barriers for Chicanos, Mexicans, and Mexican-Americans at SXSW
4. Frybread Face and Me
Similar to number five, this is one of the only films to feature Indigenous actors, and the only one with a full Indigenous cast, Frybread Face and Me follows a young kid who while connecting with family, also finds pride and joy in discovering their culture. Directed by Billy Luther, produced by Taika Waititi, and starring Kier Tallman, Charley Hogan, Martin Sensmeier, Kahara Hodges, Sarah Natani, this film is also sure to break barriers for future Indigenous actors.
“Deadland” tells the story of a U.S. Border Patrol Agent comes face to face with the ghost of his father. A film that is timely given the cultural conflict between multi-generational immigrant-American families. Deadland is directed by Lance Larson, produced by Elizabeth Avellan, Bob Bastarache, Jas Shelton, Lance Larson, Tara Pirnia, Chris Wilks, and written by Lance Larson and Jas Shelton, Cast includes Roberto Urbina, McCaul Lombardi, Julieth Restrepo, Kendal Rae, Luis Chavez, Julio Cesar Cedillo, Manuel Uriza, and Chris Mulkey.
2. Upon Arrival
Upon Diego and Elena’s arrival to Newark’s airport with visas, the duo are unexpectedly held and subjected to an interrogation by border agents. From Spain, cast includes Alberto Ammann, Bruna Cusí, Ben Temple, Laura Gómez Directors and screenwriters are Alejandro Rojas and Juan Sebastián Vásquez. Carles Torras, Carlos Juárez, Xosé Zapata, Sergio Adrià, Alba Sotorra serve as producers on this psychological film.
A24 is synonymous with horror, having produced some of the most influential horror films of the 21st century. Their major World Premiere at SXSW 2023 comes in the form of “Problemista,” a film tagged under LGBTQ+ and Comedy labels with a synopsis that follows protagonist Alejandro, an aspiring toy designer from El Salvador, struggling to bring his unusual ideas to life in New York City. When his work visa ends, he finds a job assisting an erratic art-world outcast may be his only hope to stay in the country.