Little Monsters - Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SXSW

Little Monsters - Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SXSW

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.



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.

Running concurrent with the SXSW Conference and Music and Interactive 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 Awards, the Film Poster Gallery and browse our Screening Sections.

Submissions for Features, Shorts, Episodics, Music Videos, and VR/AR/MR projects are now closed. If you are in need of an extension, please fill out this form.

Paul Solet

This is not a traditional doc by any stretch of the imagination, so a festival that is totally fearless and unusual was the perfect fit.

Paul Solet
Filmmaker / Tread

Colby Holt and Sam Probst

We felt like if any festival was going to program a film like Pig Hag it was going to be this one. It deals with tough issues in a grounded and offbeat way that we felt would play well with the vibe of SXSW audience, who might be willing to go somewhere weird, but honest.

Colby Holt and Sam Probst
Filmmakers / Pig Hag

Gabriela Calvache

I like the globalized feeling that SXSW brings forth in their festivals. I believe it’s an incredible privilege and honor to be part of a festival that interprets cinema as part of a cultural system and not as an isolated art.

Gabriela Calvache
Filmmaker / La Mala Noche

Booksmart Red Carpet and Q&A

Film 101 Video Playlist

The Underdogs of Film Video Playlist

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.

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

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.

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 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.

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.

The 2020 poster selections will be announced later in the season.

More SXSW Film Festival

Homepage Sponsors

Super Sponsors

Music Sponsors

Stay Tuned

Sign up to receive the latest announcements, tips, networking invitations and more.