About Film Screenings

Image from SXSW 2013 courtesy Michael Buckner

Every March, our acclaimed Film Program draws thousands of fans, filmmakers, press and industry leaders to Austin, TX to immerse in some of the most innovative, smart and entertaining new films around.

FEATURE FILM CATEGORIES

Narrative Feature Competition
In 2013, eight world premieres - eight unique celebrations of the art of storytelling - were selected from over 1200 films submitted to SXSW Film.

Documentary Feature Competition
Selected from over 900 submissions, the eight world premieres in the 2013 Documentary Feature category brought real-world stories to life, demonstrating innovation, energy and bold voices.

Headliners
Big names, big talent: Headliners bring star power to SXSW, featuring red carpet premieres & gala film events with major & rising names in cinema.

Narrative Spotlight
Shining a light on new narrative features making World, North American or U.S. Premieres.

Documentary Spotlight
New documentary features making their World, North American or U.S. Premieres.

Visions
Visions (formerly “Emerging Visions”) filmmakers are audacious, risk-taking artists in the new cinema landscape. They demonstrate raw innovation & creativity in documentary & narrative filmmaking.

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

Episodic
Featuring innovative new work aimed squarely at the small screen, Episodic tunes in to the explosion of exciting material on non-theatrical platforms, including serialized TV, webisodes and beyond.

24 Beats Per Second
Showcasing the sounds, culture & influence of music & musicians, with an emphasis on the documentary.

SXGlobal
A diverse selection of International filmmaking talent, featuring innovative narratives, artful documentaries, premieres, festival favorites and more.

Festival Favorites
Acclaimed standouts & selected previous premieres from festivals around the world.

Special Events
Live Soundtracks, cult re-issues & much more. Our Special Events section offers unusual, unexpected & unique one-off film events.

SHORT FILM CATEGORIES

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

Documentary Shorts
Slices of life from across the documentary spectrum.

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

Midnight Shorts
Bite-sized bits for all of your sex, gore, and hilarity cravings.

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

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

Texas High School Shorts
A preview of the next filmmaking generation, as Texas High Schoolers present shorts of 5 minutes or less.

Photo by Michael Buckner