The King of Staten Island - Photo by Mary Cybulski / Universal Pictures

The King of Staten Island - Photo by Mary Cybulski / Universal Pictures

Film Festival

March 13–21, 2020



The SXSW Film Festival celebrates raw innovation and emerging talent from both behind and in front of the camera. Featuring provocative dramas, documentaries, comedies, genre standouts and more, the festival has become known for the high caliber and diversity of films presented, and for its smart, enthusiastic audiences.


About Film Festival

 

Check back in June 2020 for 2021 Submissions.

For nine days in March, creatives of all stripes gather for the acclaimed SXSW Film Program to celebrate raw innovation and emerging talent both behind and in front of the camera. Take a look at our 2020 Lineup.

Running concurrent with the SXSW Conference and Music and Comedy Festivals, attendees can take advantage of the opportunity to connect with tech and music industry experts, making the SXSW Film Festival an unparalleled experience at the forefront of discovery, creativity, and innovation.

Learn more about the Film Poster Gallery and browse our Screening Sections.

Explore the 2020 SXSW Film Awards announcement featuring Jury and Special Awards winners.

John Berardo

The experience I’m trying to communicate with Dembanger is an enjoyable and hyper-realistic ride that pays homage to the movies I was inspired by, but with a modern take for today’s generation.

John Berardo
Filmmaker / Dembanger

Jiayan “Jenny” Shi

I hope after the audience watches the film, they walk away with the image of an extraordinary woman who had a wonderful life ahead and the impact of such a sudden loss in the community and everyone around her. I also hope Finding Yingying can help change the narrative of crime stories nowadays.

Jiayan “Jenny” Shi
Filmmaker / Finding Yingying

Annie Silverstein

The spirit of SXSW resonates deeply with us as filmmakers and Bull is a Texas born and bred film. Can’t think of a better TX homecoming.

Annie Silverstein
Filmmaker / Bull

Film Festival Screenings

 

Feature Film Screening Sections

Narrative Feature Competition
Ten world premieres, ten unique ways to celebrate the art of storytelling.

Documentary Feature Competition
Ten world premieres, ten real world stories that demonstrate innovation, energy and bold voices.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Global
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.

Episodic Screening Sections

Episodic Premieres
Presenting world premieres of prestige serials slated for release and accompanied by show-runners, directors and cast members featuring extended Q&As.

Episodic Pilot Competition
A pilot showcase introducing fresh work from bright new talent, many with an eye towards finding production, completion funds, or a release platform.

Short Film Screening Sections

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 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.

Title Design Competition
Inspired by an essential part of the theatrical experience, these are works of art in their own right.

VR/AR/MR Screening Sections

Virtual Cinema
The immersive arts 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 projects presented in our Virtual Cinema emphasize storytelling, ingenuity and also showcase how other industries are embracing this new medium.

Film Poster Gallery

 

The SXSW Excellence in Poster Design Award highlights outstanding work from international design and illustration talent. Each year, we curate the SXSW Film Poster Gallery at the Austin Convention Center with poster designs from films featured in the SXSW Film Program. Posters in this dedicated gallery are eligible for the Excellence in Poster Design Award.

More SXSW Film Festival

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