Attending SXSW Film Screenings

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

Attending SXSW Film Screenings

Mike Windle/Getty Images

Line Procedure


Stay tuned for 2018 SXSW information.

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 the 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 film guest tickets that allow them and their guests priority entry before ALL other badgeholders. These tickets are good for up to 30 minutes before showtime.

  2. SXXpress Passes
    SXSW Platinum and Film Badgeholders with SXXpress passes have priority entry after the Filmmakers and their guests.

  3. Primary Access
    The remaining Film and Platinum badgeholders will enter the theater.

  4. Secondary Access
    If seats still remain, Film Wristbands, Music Badges and Interactive Badges will enter the theater.

  5. Single Admission Tickets
    If seats still remain, single admission tickets will be sold for $15 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 ZACH Theatre.

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.

Queue Cards


If you have a badge, and want to ensure you get a seat at the Stateside Theatre, Rollins 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.

Badge Type Changes


SXSW is expanding access for all registrants at SXSW. We’re streamlining the conference into one unified event with 24 tracks of programming and offering more opportunities for networking, learning, and discovery than ever before.   

Music Festival showcases will start on Monday, March 13 while the Film Festival maintains its nine day footprint starting on Friday, March 10.

The Platinum badge still remains your best bet with primary access to all of SXSW at a lower price than last year. The Interactive, Film, and Music badges will now include expanded access to more of the SXSW Conference & Festivals experience. Attendees will still receive primary entry to programming associated with their badge type, but can now enjoy secondary access to most other SXSW events. All SXSW badgeholders also receive complimentary access to SXSW Gaming.

For more information, check out our video specifying the changes, download the SXSWeek Timeline, and look at our Badge Comparison Chart below for further details on access. Bookmark the Attendee Services page for a quick list of resources.

Badge Comparison

Purple = Primary Access
Green = Secondary Access
Interactive Film Music Platinum
Interactive Tracks, Keynotes & Featured Speakers
Interactive Mentor Sessions & Workshops
Interactive Festival Events
Interactive Festival Opening Party
Film Tracks, Keynotes & Featured Speakers
Film Mentor Sessions, Round Tables, Workshops & Parties
Film Festival Screenings & Events
Film Festival Exclusive Premieres
Music Tracks, Keynotes & Featured Speakers
Music Mentor Sessions, Workshops & Parties
Music Festival Showcases & Events
Music Festival Exclusive Showcases
Convergence Tracks, Keynotes & Featured Speakers
Comedy Festival Showcases & Events
Trade Shows & Exhibitions
Networking Meet Ups
Film Festival SXXpress Passes
Music Festival SXXpress Passes
Closing BBQ & Softball Tournament
Hotel Priority Booking & Assistance
Access to SXsocial Online Registrant Networking
SXSW Festival Shuttles

SXSW Gaming, SXSW Create, SXSW Job Market, Flatstock Poster Show, Registrants Lounge, Spotlights, The Dewey Winburne Community Service Awards, SouthBites Trailer Park, SXSW Outdoor Stage at Lady Bird Lake concerts.

SXSW Materials: Registrant Big Bag, Program, Pocket Guide & Subscription to SXSWorld®.

Interactive / Film / Platinum: BBQ Crash Course
All Badges: Taco Meet Ups (March 10 & March 17)

Register to Attend

Super Sponsors

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