This smorgasbord of our favorite SXSW titles is filled with films that are funny, sad, and beautifully weird. From dark comedies to documentaries of fascinating subcultures, these films run a brilliant gamut of substance and style.
In a real-life Black Mirror story, two live streamers seek fame, fortune and human connection in China's digital idol-making universe.
from Jim Cummings
From the Sundance-winning short film, Thunder Road follows Officer Jim Arnaud on his journey to raise his young daughter.
from Gravitas Ventures
The ultimate backstage pass and front row seat to 40 years of incredible music from the longest running music show in TV history.
Type "The Angriest Man in the World" into any search engine, and one name appears—Jack Rebney—an hilarious ‘80s RV salesman who became an Internet phenomenon.
from Bobby Miller
Paul jerked off in the shower. Paul just impregnated his bath tub. World premiered at Sundance and went on to play over 40 film festivals including SXSW & more.
from Premium films
2018 Oscar® nominated in the Short Live-Action category. Inspired by an actual 911 call placed during a school shooting incident in Atlanta, Georgia.
from Monster Pictures
A black comedy horror about Big Ronnie, a man who runs a disco walking tour of LA with his son, Big Brayden.
from Factory 25
When an unexpected tragedy befalls an amateur game inventor, his wife and a rival make a pact to share in the spoils of his invention.
from Albert Birney
It's the story of a small town gorilla, Sylvio, who is stuck in his job at a debt collection agency.
An Uber driver clocks in to work on the busiest night of the year, New Year’s Eve, as he transports nine different sets of passengers.
from Shella Films
Sundance award-winning documentary about the hidden world of millions confined to their homes and bedrooms by ME, commonly know as chronic fatigue syndrome.
from Autour de Minuit
LOVE is a short film describing affection in 3 different chapters, through an impact on a distant solar system. Screened at Sundance, SXSW & Berlin Film Fest.
from New Europe Film Sales
Thousands of men, women and children struggle to get into Europe as a comfortable English family leave, on what appears to be a holiday.
from Film First
The life, music, and message of singing legend and civil rights icon Mavis Staples.
Would-be filmmaker Parker Smith purchases a camcorder on eBay and discovers a revealing home video inside.
from Jennifer Steinman
The award-winning documentary film MOTHERLAND explores the timeless subjects of grief and healing through the story of a very unique journey.
from First Pond
“A CHARMING and BEAUTIFULLY filmed story.” - Neil Young, The Hollywood Reporter
from Strand Releasing
On a hedonistic Greek island, a middle-aged doctor becomes obsessed with a young tourist when she lets him tag along with her group of hard partying friends.
Two childhood friends reunite for an unexpected journey in this award-winning buddy comedy with a hilarious twist.
from Eric Metzgar
Independent Spirit Award nominated film about the all-too-human artist who sacrifices nearly to save world’s disappearing turtles and tortoises.
from Ignite Channel
Imagine seeing someone on YouTube who looks just like you.
from MPI Media Group
When ghosts invade their vacation home, a successful artist hires an exorcist who may be more frightening than the spirits he’s been hired to destroy.
from Annie Eastman
An award-winning and honest exploration of life on the palafitas, a vast network of shacks built on stilts above a rising tide of garbage over the ocean.
One couple, one year apart and two distant cities: Los Angeles and Barcelona. An award-winning love story about romance in the internet age.
from Brainstorm Media
A bipolar woman and a grief-stricken man struggle to forge a simple life.
The story of "Dub" Lawrence, a former sheriff who established his state's first SWAT team only to see it kill his son-in-law in a standoff 30 years later.
from Cinema Politica
One man risks his family and future to stop the tar sands of the Keystone XL oil pipeline from crossing his land.
from 108 Media
Enea is 29 and is still a virgin. He hasn’t found the right one yet. Still he has never stopped looking for her. One more thing about Enea: he is autistic.
An examination of the romantic life of a young man in New York City and his sometimes fleeting, sometimes profound experiences with the women he encounters.
from Casa Redonda
In search of personal healing and artistic inspiration, Marina Abramović travels through Brazil exploring the limits between art and spirituality.
from First Girl I Loved
The funny and touching story about two brainy and awkward virgins who hook up (drunkenly), fall in love (maybe), and get pregnant (twins).
from SeeThink Films
Made entirely from camera-phone footage, King Kelly is a sensational journey through hedonistic American youth culture and the YouTube generation.
from Oscilloscope Laboratories
Young outcast Sean has isolated himself in a trailer in the woods with his chemistry kit, but then he turns to black magic to crack nature’s secret.
The Wall Street Journal calls Uncle Kent 2 "freaking magic." The best part is you didn't need to see the first one!
from Juice Distribution
If you had the equipment and the ambition, could you convince another person that they're being haunted?
This SXSW comedy deals with decades long rivalry between two brothers and how they learn to bridge the gap through their mutual love & talent for tennis.
The year is 1985. Rad Miracle is a shy 13-year-old white kid who's obsessed with two things: ping pong & hip hop. Now he's off to experience both at Ocean Beach
from Under The Milky Way
Filmed during the Sziget Festival, one of the largest outdoor music events in the world, this enjoyable coming of age drama is impressive for that feat alone.
from Parker Film Company
Based on Herman Melville's classic story, this silly, colorful film features a perfectly cast Crispin Glover as the title office worker who would prefer not to.
from Film Movement
When Davis Green's alluring young cousin Alexis appears on his doorstep one night, he discovers that a side of his family has been kept secret from him.
from The Nobelity Project
Austin filmmaker Turk Pipkin leads the vision and fundraising to build the first high school for a remote African community in Kenya.
from Virgil Films
The Carter Family are country music legends and this is their story. Includes an intimate interview with Johnny Cash near the end of his life.
How to ruin a perfectly nice graduation party? Invite your deadbeat father who long ago abandoned your family to begin another.
There's a lot of swiping left in this story of two young orthodox women, one Jewish and the other Syrian whose families are trying to arrange their marriages.
An intimate portrait of legendary musician and founding member of The Band, Levon Helm.
from DRAFTHOUSE FILMS
After Steven Spielberg's classic Raiders of the Lost Ark was released, three 11-year-old boys made a faithful, shot-for-shot adaptation of the adventure film.
Reminiscent of low-brow comedies of the 90's, this rollicking misadventure about a sex tape mishap stars Charlie Hunnam, Chris O'Dowd and Lizzy Caplan.
Meet Claressa Shields, a native of Flint, Michigan who was the youngest boxer at the 2012 Olympics — and the first-ever Olympic gold medalist in women's boxing.
Two sisters, played by Judy Greer and Natasha Lyonne, work as Fresno hotel maids in this dark comedy.
from Dayna Hanson
Art imitates art in award-winning choreographer Dayna Hanson’s first feature, which fictionalizes the back-story of Hanson’s stage production, Gloria’s Cause.
from Entertainment One
A moody but perceptive story of a dysfunctional family on the occasion of an unhappy wedding. Filled with terrific performances and sharp writing.
from olivia wyatt
This critically-acclaimed experimental documentary explores the world of the Moken people, a community that lives on and below the sea.
from Digital Media Rights
A sarcastic and self-deprecating Asian-American takes his naive Japanese cousin on a foul-mouthed road trip of a lifetime, while looking for a girlfriend.
Explore the life of piano legend James Booker, the man Dr. John described as "the best black, gay, one-eyed junkie piano genius New Orleans has ever produced."
Will Oldham stars as an Evangelical Christian aiming to spread the message to a lost military vet returning home from Afghanistan. Profound drama from 2011.
from Monoduo Films
The story of multi-instrumentalist Rahsaan Roland Kirk; who went from blind infant, to child prodigy, to adult visionary, to political activist and beyond.
from Cinema Tropical
We are all passengers on the school bus of free trade, from the American suburbs to the dangerous streets of Guatemala.
from oriGine films
Brady Corbet stars in the debut short film of a very promising director as a male prostitute who forms a bond with curious girl in a wheelchair.
While attending a dinner party at his former home, a man thinks his ex-wife and her new husband have sinister intentions for their guests.
from Emma Franz
Literally shouting from the mountain tops, S. Korean shaman Kim Seok-Chul is the heart of Australian drummer's Simon Barker's spiritual search.
from JL Aronson
Featuring the start of Sufjan Stevens, this outsider music doc gets to the heart of the Danielson Famile - a Christian rock band embraced by the indie scene.
from Gunpowder & Sky
This hauntingly beautiful documentary follows three families living in San Marcos, a Mexican ghost town partially submerged by water in Northwestern Mexico.
from Journeyman Pictures
Did you ever wonder, 'Why do we play ball?' This fascinating documentary takes us deep into human history and uncovers some poignant, fun, and strange truths.
Perhaps one of the most inspiring stories to emerge from YouTube, Lizzie Velasquez challenges cyber-bullying and overcomes the odds with strength & positivity.
from WG Film
This environmental documentary looks at a sampling of large cities where automobile traffic has become overwhelming & unmanageable; that's where bikes come in.
Three unique and troubled souls struggle to find happiness and true friendship in this quirky dramedy by director Alison Bagnall.
In this very well-constructed biographical portrait of Russell Brand, we get a look at a unique kind of famous person who is both narcissistic and altruistic.
COMPUTER CHESS transports viewers to a nostalgic moment when the contest between technology and the human spirit seemed a little more up for grabs.
A Mormon girl who believes she has been immaculately impregnated runs off with her brother to Las Vegas and searches for her own biological father.
from Wolfe Video
This complex tale of race, religion and sexuality about two gay teens who arouse the suspicions of an undercover FBI agent is an auspicious feature debut.
Wonder Women! is an intelligent, insightful and inspiring look at the positive female archetypes in American media and film that have left a lasting legacy.
from Epic Pictures Group
When Holly starts dating Rob she finds his dedication to his dead ex, Nina, sweet. That's until she discovers that although Nina is dead, she is far from gone.
An 83 year-old man returns to Germany for a long planned journey of atonement. When Ross, his useless son agrees to drive him there, a nightmare family road trip…
After Max's latest play bombs, he decides to stop writing and rob a bank. Turns out, he's really good at it. Audience Award at SXSW in 2007.
A local exterminator and his security guard sidekick battle a giant alien spider wrecking havoc on Los Angeles after it's mistakenly set loose. Goofy fun.
You don't have to be a foodie to enjoy this scrumptious documentary about Curtis Duffy who leaves one of Chicago's top restaurants to open his own place.
This gorgeous meditative documentary contrasts the northern lights with decay in rural Canada. Narration by Will Oldham and original score by Jim O'Rourke.
The rise and fall of Tower Records, an entertaining and informative documentary about the music business and the culture of one unique company.
from Chris Ordal
Based on the story of real-life crop artist Stan Herd, EARTHWORK tells the story of a massive environmental artwork in Manhattan during the 1990s.
Based on real events, Eden is the story of one young woman's tragic experience being kidnapped into white slavery.
The heartbreaking true story of Kevin Pearce, one of the best snowboarders in the world until a tragic accident sends him fighting for his life. Powerful stuff.
A must-see documentary for fans of 70s fusion, jazz and rock. This film is a very thorough profile of a brilliant musician, bass player Jaco Pasotrius.
After a drunken one night stand, Kevin realizes Madeleine is his boss's ex-mistress. They spend an intriguing night together in this modern screwball comedy.
from Women Make Movies
Filmmaker Grace Lee tracks down other women named Grace Lee to explore commonalities between them in this quietly funny and truthful documentary.
from Invincible Entertainment
Jim is the biggest loser in town. Things start to look up when the new kid in town promises to improve his situation. But to what lengths is Jim willing to go?
from Revelation Film Festival
Shot in a real nursing home with a cast of actual senior residents, this film follows a typical work day in the life of janitor Todd, an unhappy slacker.
Three lives caught in the drug wars along the US-Mexico border. Bernardo Ruiz's searing documentary humanizes the ordeal & gives it drama and dimension.
from Andrew Garrison
Meet the most amazing sanitation workers, all of them prideful and passionate and positive people, also frank and funny, as they put on a unique kind of show.
Overnight is a romantic comedy about two neurotic strangers who meet amidst an odd group of passengers on the red-eye flight from LA to New York on Valentine’s Day.
Follow 8 of the best 7 year-old golfers in the world as they descend on Pinehurst to compete in the World Championships of Junior Golf. It's a pure delight.
from Amplify Releasing
Eve runs away from the psych ward and meets two other young musicians who agree to start a band. An offbeat musical by the lead singer of Belle & Sebastian.
A pregnant sex worker takes her chance to escape when she realizes her son might be taken away from her.
from Cinema Libre Studio
"A genuine under-the-radar gem—the kind of quietly charming, profound film that creeps up on you." - New Yorker Magazine.
A modern Fulci-esque ghost story with chilling atmosphere that builds to a ghastly climax.
DEEP WEB explores the inside story of the internet's dark side and one of the most important digital crimes of the century.
A band of friends come together to celebrate one couple's recent marriage in a non-horror cabin in the woods tale.
from Andreas Wolff
Brothers Lucky + Bongani use swagger to survive the rough reality of growing up young, male, black, and poor in South Africa, until they are charged with murder
from Gidalya Pictures
Follow five theater camp kids into the trenches of auditions, rehearsals, and behind the scenes dramas as they prepare for their end of summer productions.
A slow-burning murder drama in a small town, reminiscent of "Crime and Punishment," reminding us that we all may be closer to violence than we think.
Jeremy Strong and Adam Scott, serious this time, are the biggest reasons to watch this oftentimes sad dramedy that offers a realistic take on romance.
This resurrection of a 1980s high school documentary is a real-life John Hughes movie, complete with the parties, the humor and the carefree candid attitude.
From the director of ROOM 237, comes a documentary-horror film exploring the phenomenon of 'Sleep Paralysis' through the eyes of eight very different people.
Hardcore heavy metal horror and hijinks, with demons, destruction and dark comedy. "A hilarious, high energy, blood splattered good time.”
- POP CULTURE BEAST.
from Cold Iron Pictures
Indie film producer Miranda Bailey tries to lead a "green" film production and humorously explores the attempts and difficulties to reduce the carbon footprint.
A Japanese woman who believes Fargo is a true story ventures to Minnesota in search of the stolen money hidden during the classic Coen brothers film. What?!?!
Sex with your best friend has never been so reproductive!
Follow National Geographic photographer James Balog across the Arctic to capture a multi-year record of the world's changing glaciers.
When educators open a school in Bed-Stuy, where the graduation rate is 40%, their optimism must contend with the reality of teaching struggling youth.
from Visit Films
Fiercely independent Ronah works as a sexual surrogate, but when she begins working with a new client, her life begins to unravel.
This comedic rock 'n roll road movie is based loosely on actual events that happened to the band Tennis Pro as they tried to make it big in Japan.
from don hertzfeldt
WINNER: SXSW Best Animated Short. Envisioned as a top secret digital exercise, Don Hertzfeldt's newest film surpasses all expectations.
from Planetary Collective
We are in the midst of a global crisis of perspective. We have forgotten the undeniable truth that everything is connected. Are you ready for your wakeup call?
from Hal Hartley
In the closing chapter of Hal Hartley’s trilogy about the fractured Grim family, young son Ned embarks on a quest to kill his father for wrecking his mom's life.
Join Davina, an imaginative and strong-willed teenage girl, on a road trip through the stunning and complex landscape of troubled young love.
A fatherless 13 year-old boy sent north during the Civil War by his bounty hunter gang on a dangerous mission to retrieve a wanted man under false pretense.
A man's attempts to construct the ultimate romantic weekend backfire when his quest for perfection traps his lover in an infinite loop.
from Mighty Coconut
After the seas have disappeared, a courageous young female pilot fights against vicious sky pirates for control of the last remaining source of water: the clouds.
from Screen Media Films
To help their daughter escape an evil and dangerous cult, two parents recruit an expert to kidnap and deprogram her.
A rebellious teen parties across Portland's underground music scene while struggling with unrest at home.
This modern mystery tells the story of an online romance, where the couple has never met because he is in Brooklyn and she is supposedly in Berlin.
This powerful film odyssey across America explores the sea change in our national attitude from pride in big dams to wariness of the life and health of our rivers.
The story of two eccentric scientists struggling to create eternal youth with medical breakthroughs in a world they call “blind to the tragedy of old age.”
A heroic portrait of former U.S. Navy SEAL Christopher Beck as he embarks on a new mission as Kristin Beck, a transgender woman.
A blind war veteran's thirst for justice turns into a one-man vendetta against the monster that killed his seeing-eye dog and is terrorizing his neighborhood.
From the producer of Cheap Thrills and Jodorowsky’s Dune, STARRY EYES is an occult tale of ambition, possession, and the true cost of fame.
“The Internet’s Own Boy” is a dynamic portrait of a brilliant tech millionaire (Aaron Swartz) who renounced the values of Silicon Valley to fight for social justice.
This is the true story of survival told from a Somali pirate's perspective.
Filmed over the course of a 10-year period, this documentary captures the many sides of John Wojtowicz’s larger-than-life persona, the basis of Dog Day Afternoon.
Follow the story of a 20 something supervisor at a foster case facility for at-risk teenagers in this lovingly realized film that finds truth and humor in unexpected…
from Avi Weider
Upon becoming the father to triplets, filmmaker Avi Zev Weider explores the nature of technology and about what it really means to be human.
"Convento is Hallucinogenic, No Drugs Required"
"Last Days Here" is a raw yet unexpectedly touching portrait of cult metal legend Bobby Liebling.
Before Bad Brains, the Sex Pistols or even the Ramones, there was a band called Death.
Packed with interviews and clips, this dynamic portrait of the legendary Divine brings to life a complex understanding of John Waters’s favored muse.
"The best American queer film of the year." — Film.com
“This powerful, iconoclastic pic could gain a cult following.” – Ronnie Scheib, Variety
This acclaimed film from director Jennifer Phang (Advantageous) combines live action with amazing animation to tell the powerful story of three young people.
"Seventy ephemeral minutes. You slip from image to image, pulled along by their beauty."
- Manohla Dargis, The New York Times, Critics Pick
from rob curry
A heartfelt ode to his agrarian roots, filmmaker Tim Plester goes on a deeply personal journey from the barleyfields of his childhood to the killing fields of Somme.
"A shrewdly psychological first feature...smartly blends the allure of genre with do-it-yourself intimacy." - Richard Brody, The New Yorker
from First Run Features
With a camera in tow, 14-year-old Laura Dekker sets out on a two-year voyage to be the youngest person ever to sail around the world alone.
from Republik Film Productions
At the tender age of 70 Sigrídur Níelsdóttir started recording and releasing her own music straight from the living room and made over 600 songs in 7 years.
From the minds of Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter, this strange micro-budget oddity follows a young girl dealing with a stranded old lady in a well.
Amor Cronico follows Grammy nominated, Cuban-born CuCu Diamantes as she embarks on a whirlwind tour of her home country.
Deep in the San Fernando Valley, behind the train tracks and amidst dilapidated warehouses, was rock n' roll's best kept secret.
"Mesmerizing." -Bilge Ebiri, New York Magazine, CRITICS PICK
"[A] furiously expressive drama blending the moody rambles of a road movie with the tightly ratcheted criminal tension of a film noir." - The New Yorker
from Monterey Media VOD
From the wonderfully inventive director Guy Maddin comes the story of a house haunted with memories and the gangster who arrives home to shake things up.
Follow the down-but-not-out Medora Hornets varsity basketball team over the course of the 2011 season, seeing the players' stories both on and off the court.
A documentary on Brazilian Formula One racing driver Ayrton Senna, who won the F1 world championship three times before his death at age 34.