Special Events for 2021 consist of conversations associated with projects in the 2021 Film Festival, table readings and other unique one-off events on our Live Channel 4.
Opening Night Special Event: YouTube Originals Docuseries Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil Special Event Q&A
Global superstar Demi Lovato, Director and Executive Producer Michael D. Ratner, YouTube’s Global Head of Original Content Susanne Daniels and moderator Jenelle Riley from Variety discuss the new documentary event exploring the traumas and every aspect that led to Lovato’s nearly fatal overdose in 2018, followed by her powerful awakenings in the aftermath.
Closing Night Film Special Event: Alone Together Q&A with Charli XCX
Live Q&A with Charli XCX, a brilliant moderator, and directors Bradley & Pablo.
Filmmaker Sam Green and musician JD Samson ask you to step away from your computer and focus on the experience of listening in the present moment. 7 Sounds is an immersive, live-streamed audio-video work that explores the universal influence of sound. The piece weaves seven specific audio recordings into a meditation on the power of sound to bend time, cross borders, and profoundly shape our perception — opening new ways to hear our everyday world.
Art and Life Talk with Filmmakers Daryl Wein & Zoe Lister-Jones of Mister Lister Films
Dive into the filmmaking careers of husband-wife duo, Daryl Wein and Zoe Lister-Jones of such films as How It Ends (Sundance/SXSW 2021), The Craft (Sony), White Rabbit (Sundance/Gravitas), Band Aid (Sundance/IFC Films), Lola Versus (Fox Searchlight), and Breaking Upwards (IFC Films/SXSW).
Black Monday Q&A
Join the brilliant cast and showrunners of Black Monday as they come together virtually for an exclusive Q&A. This series never fails to surprise as it tells subversively modern stories against a backdrop of big hair and bigger fashions. Miraculously, Don Cheadle, Andrew Rannells, Paul Scheer, Yassir Lester, and Casey Wilson and showrunners David Caspe and Jordan Cahan are even more fun live. Hilarity guaranteed.
Boys State: Documenting a New Political Generation
Watch filmmakers Jesse Moss and Amanda McBaine along with subject Steve Garza discuss their documentary Boys State with Ryan Heath from Politico. Boys State is a wildly entertaining and continually revealing immersion into a week-long annual program in which a thousand Texas high school seniors gather for an elaborate mock exercise: building their own state government. In the process, Moss and McBaine have created a complex portrait of contemporary American masculinity, as well as a microcosm of our often dispiriting national political divisions that nevertheless manages to plant seeds of hope. Moss, McBaine, and Garza discuss the new political generation, the influence of the current state of politics, and the future and of civic engagement among the youth.
Brian Eno & Stewart Brand on Film, Music, and Creativity
Musician Brian Eno in discussion with Stewart Brand, the subject of a new documentary on Stewart called We Are As Gods. The film profiles Stewart Brand: legendary pioneer of the counterculture, cyberspace, futurism, and modern environmentalism. Today, he urges people to use our god-like powers to fight extinction by reviving lost species, but his former allies in the environmental movement vow to stand in his way. Brian Eno created the beautiful and indelible original music for We Are As Gods. The two are friends and co-founders of the Long Now Foundation, an organization dedicated to shifting humanity’s perspective to long-term thinking. Brian and Stewart chat with filmmakers about the film, collaborating on the musical score, and limiting creative possibilities in the digital age.
Clerk and Twerk with Kevin Smith and Malcolm Ingram
Clerk is an examination and celebration of the life of Kevin Smith – and an exploration on how one kid from Jersey completely transformed the cultural landscape. A journey which began 25 years ago at the Sundance Film festival where his DIY film Clerks, financed on credit cards took the film world by storm. Leading to a career as a filmmaker, podcaster, stand-up comedian, author, comic book writer, television producer – a veritable pop culture icon with a very large and loyal fanbase.
Confronting a Serial Killer Conversation
Discussion with the team behind Confronting a Serial Killer: director/EP Joe Berlinger, EP/showrunner Po Kutchins and Jillian Lauren. Premiering on STARZ this Spring, the five-episode series that tells the timely story of the unprecedented relationship between acclaimed author and journalist Jillian Lauren and the most prolific serial killer in American history, Sam Little, and her race against time to identify his victims before it’s too late.
Jada Pinkett Smith in Conversation with the Creator, Executive Producers, and Cast of the New Amazon Prime Video Terror Anthology, Them
Them creator and executive producer Little Marvin and executive producer Lena Waithe, will join cast, Deborah Ayorinde, Ashley Thomas, Alison Pill, Melody Hurd, and Shahadi Wright Joseph in a discussion moderated by Jada Pinkett Smith (Actress, Red Table Talk Host). In this candid conversation, executive producers and cast will unpack the first episode, set to World Premiere during this year’s SXSW Film Festival, as well as themes explored across the series. Them is a co-production from Amazon Studios and Sony Pictures Television.
A Conversation with the Filmmakers Behind Hulu’s WeWork: or the Making and Breaking of a $47 Billion Unicorn
Join Director Jed Rothstein and Producer Ross Dinerstein as they uncover the rise and fall of WeWork, the real estate startup whose CEO Adam Neumann blended spirituality, entrepreneurial hustle and free beer to convince investors that shared office space could change the world… until it entered near bankruptcy. The two will share a behind-the-scenes look at this captivating documentary while breaking down the personality that drove the company’s culture and its massive financial deals.
Cosmic Breakthrough: Women in The Hunt for Planet B
Are we alone? This dynamic panel of eminent scientists and engineers will discuss the search for life in the universe. With the discovery of thousands of exoplanets and the huge James Webb Space Telescope launching this year, a new golden age of astronomy is dawning—and these women are at the heart of it. With Natalie Batalha, Amy Lo, Sara Seager, Jill Tarter, and Maggie Turnbull; moderated by Nathaniel Kahn.
Cruel Summer Q&A
From Executive Producer Jessica Biel (The Sinner), Cruel Summer is a psychological thriller that follows two young women; Kate Wallis, the popular girl with a charmed life who one day goes missing, and Jeanette Turner, the nerdy wannabee who is accused of being connected to Kate’s disappearance. Please join us for an exciting panel with series stars Olivia Holt, Chiara Aurelia, and executive producers Tia Napolitano, Jessica Biel and Michelle Purple. The panel will be moderated by Jessica Radloff from Glamour Magazine.
HBO Max’s Made for Love: Panel with Stars and Executive Producers
Join stars Cristin Milioti, Billy Magnussen, Dan Bakkedahl, Noma Dumezweni, Caleb Foote and Ray Romano, and executive producers Christina Lee and Alissa Nutting for a conversation about HBO Max’s upcoming series Made for Love premiering this spring. The darkly absurd and cynically poignant story of love and divorce follows Hazel Green (Milioti), a thirty-something woman on the run after 10 years in a suffocating marriage to Byron Gogol (Magnussen), a controlling tech billionaire. Glamour‘s Samantha Barry moderates.
Homeroom with Nasim Pedrad, Creator of TBS’s New Comedy Series Chad
A conversation with Nasim Pedrad, the creator, star and executive producer of TBS’ upcoming series, Chad, and Glamour‘s Editor-in-Chief Samantha Barry.
Hysterical: Behind the Velvet Curtain with Stand-Up Comedy’s Boundary-Breaking Women
Stand-up comedy had always been a male domain. Join the cast and director of Hysterical, a feature documentary that explores female comics’ hard-fought journey to become the voices of their generation and gender, for an honest and hilarious Q&A. The all-female panel discusses their shared stories and struggles as some of the boundary-breaking women shattering comedy’s glass ceiling with perfectly timed punch lines. Hysterical, produced by Campfire, will be available on FX in 2021. Panelists include Fortune Feimster, Rachel Feinstein, Marina Franklin, Sherri Shepherd, Iliza Shlesinger, Jessica Kirson (who also serves as EP) and director/EP Andrea Nevins. Moderated by Melanie McFarland.
In Conversation with Mark Duplass and Natalie Morales
Language Lessons filmmakers Mark Duplass and Natalie Morales sit down to discuss the process of writing a bilingual movie, the complexities of platonic love, and filmmaking during a global pandemic.
Incorporating Choreography and Verse Into Blindspotting
A discussion with the Blindspotting series creators and writers Rafael Casal and Daveed Diggs, lead actress Jasmine Cephas Jones, director Aurora Guerrero, cinematographer Tarin Anderson, and renowned choreographers Lil Buck and Jon Boogz on incorporating choreography and verse into the new television series Blindspotting.
Jazz Fest: A New Orleans Story: Scenes from the Rough Cut
See work-in-progress scenes from the rough cut of Jazz Fest: A New Orleans Story. This documentary weaves together live performances and interviews from the 50th anniversary of the iconic festival, featuring some of the biggest names in music, along with a wealth of archival documentary footage from the past half century. Academy-award nominee Frank Marshall shares insights from behind the scenes.
The Making and Digital Restoration of I Went to the Dance
This virtual Q&A, hosted by journalist/author Joe Nick Patoski, will go behind the scenes of the making of the celebrated 1989 feature documentary on the roots of SW Louisiana’s Cajun & Creole/Zydeco music, I Went to the Dance. Featured are Co-Filmmaker/Producer, Chris Strachwitz, Co-Filmmaker/Editor Maureen Gosling and Associate Producer/Sound Recordist, Chris Simon. It will also delve into the challenges and magic behind the 2021 ground-breaking 5k digital restoration of a documentary, I Went to the Dance, by Harrod Blank and Anthony Matt. Blank, the son of the late Co-Filmmaker/Cinematographer Les Blank, took on the task to bring back to life this exuberant film which celebrates the most important and influential performers of the era.
On the Road(trip) to Recovery: Filmmakers Mallory Everton, Whitney Call and Stephen Meek Talk Their Feature Debut in the Midst of a Pandemic
For most people, quarantine looked a lot like baking bread and catching up on Tiger King, but for Utah-based sketch comics Mallory Everton, Whitney Call, and Stephen Meek, they saw a chance to do something different. The creative minds (and lifelong friends) behind JK Studios wrote, produced, directed, starred – and even gaffed – their first feature film with Recovery. In this SXSW-exclusive Q&A, the gang comes together to chat about their journey to creating their first feature…all from a safe social distance. The masks will come OFF as the filmmakers dive into what it really takes to make a movie with your quarantine family and the long road to a SXSW World Premiere. From Sorø Films and the whole family, we hope you’ll join us on the road to Recovery.
Poly Styrene: I Am A Cliché: In Conversation with the Filmmakers
In this special Q&A event, directors Celeste Bell and Paul Sng will discuss their new documentary film Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliché, about the late punk icon’s life, legacy, and relationship with Bell, her daughter. Featuring editor Xanna Ward Dixon and moderated by producer Matthew Silverman, this conversation will cover everything from Poly’s influence on the riot grrrl and Afropunk movements to the years-long filmmaking process that took place across three continents.
A Q&A with Kier-La Janisse of Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched
Join programmer Liane Cunje in conversation with Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched director Kier-La Janisse as they discuss the process behind the film – from its genesis as a short featurette to a comprehensive look at the folk horror phenomenon in film and television worldwide that became the House of Psychotic Women author’s first feature as a writer, director, and producer. They’ll discuss the myriad definitions and taxonomies of folk horror, its touchstone films and most vocal champions, and the many challenges of finishing a documentary in the midst of a global pandemic.
Scoring My First Feature Film: A Conversation with Finneas O’Connell
Join internationally acclaimed, multi GRAMMY-Award-winning artist and producer Finneas O’Connell and Variety contributor (Songs for Screens) Andrew Hampp for an exclusive and live discussion at SXSW, as O’Connell delves into the process and his experience when making his feature film-score debut; composing and performing for The Fallout, a powerful new film about the unseen faces of a tragedy.
Solar Opposites Table Read & SHLORPION SILENT (AND ALONE) DISCO
The Solar Opposites are going to SXSW! Join Justin Roiland (“Korvo”), Thomas Middleditch (“Terry”), Sean Giambrone (“Yumyulack”), Mary Mack (“Jesse”), executive producer Mike McMahan, and more as they take it bigger, funnier, and more oppositer than ever before during a virtual table read. As Hulu’s most-watched original comedy premiere to date, Solar Opposites centers around a family of four aliens and their Pupa who are still stuck on earth in suburban America.
The Sparks Brothers Q&A with Edgar Wright, Ron Mael, and Russell Mael
How can one rock band be successful, underrated, hugely influential, and criminally overlooked all at the same time? Edgar Wright’s debut documentary The Sparks Brothers takes a musical odyssey through five weird and wonderful decades with brothers Ron and Russell Mael, celebrating the inspiring legacy of Sparks: your favorite band’s favorite band. Q&A with director Edgar Wright and The Sparks Brothers Ron and Russell Mael.
iBible: Swipe Righteous Series Premiere
Lifted from the parchment and downloaded onto your smartphone, iBible: Swipe Righteous reimagines famous Bible stories through our screens. Watch as Adam swipes right on Eve, Cain blocks Abel, and God tweets out his Ten Commandments – all told through Screenlife format by Searching and Unfriended Timur Bekmambetov and the creators of Dead of Night and Phony Texts.
SXSW Film Fest Episodic Pitch-a-Thon Presented by SeriesFest
For the second year in a row at SXSW Film, independent content creators will have the opportunity to participate in the Episodic Pitch-A-Thon presented by SeriesFest in partnership with SXSW. SXSW 2021 filmmakers will participate in the virtual event where each Creator/Creative Team will have 5 minutes to pitch in front of an audience. An industry panel of experts including top television, news media, and digital execs, will then have 7 minutes to give their feedback on each project.
Soy Cubana: Music from the Movie
The Vocal Vidas are an all-female acapella quartet from Santiago de Cuba. Their unique vocal arrangement and eclectic body of work, which draws inspiration from Cuban Son, Bolero, and Afro-Cuban influences, as well as North American Jazz, Blues, and Spirituals, has surprised and delighted audiences from around the globe. In 2016, the Vocal Vidas released their first studio Album, Canción y Vida, which won a Cubadisco award (Cuba’s highest musical honor). The Vidas have extensively toured the world, playing concerts in Germany, France, Ecuador, Venezuela, Costa Rica, and notably the United States, where they played shows at Downtown LA’s Grand Performances and the Fowler Museum at UCLA. Their 2017 journey to the United States is the subject of the feature documentary Soy Cubana.
Til Death Do Us Part: A Jakob’s Wife Discussion
Moderator Jordan Crucchiola leads an intimate conversation with genre legends Barbara Crampton, Larry Fessenden and writer/director Travis Stevens about reinventing yourself later in life, finding your own voice as an artist and how to have a happy marriage in a horror film.
Tom Petty, Somewhere You Feel Free: 2021 SXSW Filmmakers Panel
Peeling back the layers on Petty’s collaborative & creative process, Tom Petty, Somewhere You Feel Free documents the making of his career-capping album, Wildflowers. Featuring exclusive clips & performance outtakes and hosted by music journalist David Fricke, this panel highlights a discussion with the filmmaking team: Executive Producer Adria Petty, Director Mary Wharton, Producer Peter Afterman, Co-Producer Sarah Haber and Editor Mari Keiko Gonzalez. Together, they discuss the importance of staying true to the raw emotion of Wildflowers, the decision to lean in to the verité, how the songs and the period were crucial to the framework, weaving current interviews into the narrative, the archival gifts in the Petty/Warner vaults and the challenges of production during the covid pandemic.
Join Violet writer/director/producer Justine Bateman and special guests for a discussion of the film.
Weed, Murder & Bigfoot: A Conversation with the Team Behind Hulu’s Sasquatch
While visiting a pot farm in Northern California in 1993, investigative journalist David Holthouse heard a story that still haunts him: On a nearby farm three men were torn limb from limb in a savage Bigfoot attack. Hulu’s Sasquatch follows David as he revisits the Redwoods in search of any evidence that might lead to the truth of what happened that night. Join David Holthouse, director Joshua Rofé, and executive producer Mark Duplass as they break down the production of this wild murder mystery.
When Claude Got Shot: Surviving and Preventing Gun Violence In Our Communities
Hosted by actor Jason George (Station 19, Grey’s Anatomy), whose family has had experiences with gun violence, we’ll be digging deeper into the story of the documentary film When Claude Got Shot. Joining Jason will be Claude Motley, the subject of the film, Brad Lichtenstein, the film’s director, Reggie Moore, the director of the Office of Violence Prevention in Milwaukee, where Claude was shot, and Michael-Sean Spence, Director of Community Safety for Everytown for Gun Safety. We’ll explore the experiences of surviving gun violence, the systemic forces that are pushing the rise of gun violence in our cities, and the biases of our criminal justice system with a group of people addressing these issues from the frontlines.