SXSW World Premiere of "Frybread Face and Me" - Photo by Justin Lotak

5 Films Featuring Indigenous Voices at SXSW 2023


A heist of the mythical Lakota Ghost Shirt goes horribly wrong. Unlikely heroes and villains must navigate a new playing field in pursuit of this legendary Native American artifact renown for bringing its owner power, fortune, or freedom. An elevated, darkly comedic crime thriller told through intersecting storylines that precipitate a showdown of epic proportions.

Director: Tony Tost
Screenwriter: Tony Tost
Principal Cast: Sydney Sweeney, Paul Walter Hauser, Halsey, Eric Dane, Zahn McClarnon, Gavin Maddox Bergman, Simon Rex, Derek Hinkey, Toby Huss, Harriet Sansom Harris

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Fancy Dance

Following her sister's disappearance, a Native American hustler kidnaps her niece from the child's white grandparents and sets out for the state powwow in the hopes of keeping what’s left of her family intact.

Director: Erica Tremblay
Screenwriters:Erica Tremblay, Miciana Alise
Principal Cast: Lily Gladstone, Isabel Deroy-Olson, Ryan Begay, Crystle Lightning, Audrey Wasilewski, Shea Whigham

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Frybread Face and Me

It’s 1990. Benny is a Native American boy growing up in San Diego who plays with dolls and listens to Fleetwood Mac. Everything Benny thinks he knows about himself and his family is turned upside down when his parents force him to spend the summer at his Grandma Lorraine’s sheep ranch on the reservation in Arizona. There he meets his cousin Dawn— AKA Frybread Face, a pudgy 11-year-old vagabond, tough-as-nails tomboy. Benny has never met anyone like her, and he is equally intimidated and impressed by her knowledge of Navajo language and tradition. Benny is introduced to Navajo life on the Rez, and his unruly uncle Marvin. Together, Benny and Fry create a memorable summer.

Director: Billy Luther
Screenwriter: Billy Luther
Principal Cast: Keir Tallman, Charley Hogan, Martin Sensmeier, Kahara Hodges, Sarah Natani

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The Arc of Oblivion

"The Arc of Oblivion" explores a quirk of humankind: in a universe that erases its tracks, we humans are hellbent on leaving a trace. Set against the backdrop of the filmmaker's quixotic quest to build an ark in a field in Maine, the film heads far afield - to salt mines in the Alps, fjords in the Arctic, and ancient libraries in the Sahara - to illuminate the strange world of archives, record-keeping, and memory.

Director: Ian Cheney

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Until Branches Bend

Robin lives with her sister Laney in the idyllic orchard town of Montague. While at work at the fruit packing house, she finds a insect that she believes to be invasive. When her boss Dennis brushes away her concerns, Robin goes public with her finding. The reaction is swift: the factory shuts down, the farms are placed under quarantine, and the majority of the people in Montague find themselves unemployed with Robin to blame. Meanwhile, Robin has been struggling to get an abortion. Unable to take control of her own body, she devotes herself entirely to finding proof that the bug she found was real. The parallel between these two invasions becomes clear as she loses herself in her obsession.

Director: Sophie Jarvis
Screenwriter: Sophie Jarvis
Principal Cast: Grace Glowicki, Alexandra Roberts, Quelemia Sparrow, Lochlyn Munro, Antoine DesRochers

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For the full nine days of 2023 SXSW event premieres, exclusive interviews and Red Carpet photos, check out the 2023 SXSW Film & TV Festival Rewind.

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Teaser Images: SXSW 2023 Flamin' Hot; American Born Chinese

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