Attending SXSW Film Screenings

Seating for each screening is subject to capacity and will occur on a priority basis approximately, 30-45 minutes before the screening starts.

Don’t be discouraged by the lines. Many of Official SXSW Film venues are quite large and our systems ensure that you’ll know quickly if it’s worth waiting. During the festival, be sure to check our Venue Status Boards for up-to-date seating information for every screening.

Line Procedure

1. Filmmakers and Their Guests
Filmmakers are given tickets that allow them priority entry. These tickets are good for up to 30 minutes before showtime.

2. SXSW Badges with SXXpress Passes
Next, Film, Gold, and Platinum badgeholders with SXXpress passes will enter the theater.

3. SXSW Badges
The remaining badgeholders will enter the theater.

4. SXSW Film Wristbands
If seats still remain, Film Wristbands will enter the theater. SXSW Film Wristbands ($95) and SXSW Second Half Film Wristbands ($65) will be sold online starting in mid-February.

5. Single Admission Tickets
If seats still remain, single admission tickets will be sold for $12 starting 15 minutes before showtime. We sell tickets most often at our larger venues: The Paramount Theatre, Vimeo Theater at the Austin Convention Center and the Topfer Theatre at ZACH.

Helpful Information

Venue Status BoardsSXSW Venue Status Boards

Get accurate line status information for every film screening at the SXSW Film Festival with the Venue Status Boards.

We’ll be continually updating the Venue Status Boards (VSB) in the SXSW GO app, online at and on monitors at select venues throughout the event.

Venue Status Boards are color coded to make things easy for you! See the graphic on the right for more information.

SXXpress Passes

All Film, Gold, and Platinum badgeholders can request up to two SXXpress (South By Express) passes per day (one pass per film) for the current day’s screenings. These passes allow you to jump to the front of the badge line.

Show up early. Simply having the SXXpress pass does not guarantee you a seat. You must arrive at the theater at least 30 minutes before the screening to guarantee entry.

SXXpress Passes:

  • can only be used to obtain tickets on the day of the screening
  • must be used in combination with a registration badge
  • are limited – we allocate approximately 20% of each venue’s capacity to SXXpress passes
  • are distributed March 11-19 from 9:00am - 4:00pm, in Exhibit Hall 5 in the Austin Convention Center near the Hilton entrance

Queue Cards

If you have a badge, and you want to ensure you get a seat at the Stateside Theatre, Rollins Theatre, Marchesa Theatre, Vimeo Theater at ACC or any Alamo Theater, show up early to get a numbered Queue Card.

Queue cards will be distributed starting 1 hour before screening time, and will be handed out until capacity has been met.

A card guarantees you a seat as long as you stay in line at the venue.

Buffer Cards

After all available Queue Cards are distributed, Buffer Cards will be handed out.

While these cards do not guarantee entry to the theater, they will help badgeholders secure a seat if any Filmmaker Guest Tickets or SXXpress passes go unused at the screening.


Have questions about any of this? Just email

Photo by Michael Loccisano