10 SXSW Film & TV Festival Selections For Gamers and Tech Fans

By Olivia Cruz

05/4/2023

Film & TV



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This past March, the SXSW Film & TV Festival brought gaming and tech to the big screen in a big way. Dozens of films exploring creation, technology, and the transformative powers it harnesses transported festival attendees to 1593 AD deep space, 1980's Russia, the year 3000, and beyond.

Grab your blue light filtering glasses and your weekly board gaming group to dive into SXSW Film & TV Festival alumni films focused on the convergence of video games, tech, and creative storytelling.

Begin your film travels by heading back to a galaxy far, far away with Jeremy Coon and Steve Kozak's A Disturbance in the Force to revisit the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special and why 45 years later it has become a cult classic among fans. Follow the story of the meteoric rise and catastrophic demise of the world's first smartphone in Matt Johnson's BlackBerry. Then take your game room roleplaying on an action-packed adventure with Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley's Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves. Create your watchlist below!

Discover other ways SXSW filmmakers are fusing gaming and tech in Creating Film & TV and Film & TV Industry track sessions as well as the XR Experience Exhibition.

The Artifice Girl

A small team of special agents discovers a revolutionary computer program that uses a digital child to catch online predators. After teaming up with the program’s troubled developer, they soon find that the AI’s inevitable advancement is far more rapid and incalculable than they could have imagined, posing unforeseen challenges and unsettling consequences for the future of technology and mankind.

Director/Screenwriter: Franklin Ritch
Principal Cast: Tatum Matthews, Sinda Nichols, David Girard, Franklin Ritch, Lance Henriksen

Watch Trailer

A Disturbance in the Force

Travel back to a galaxy far, far away—the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special. Dive into the mystery of how it happened and why 45 years later it has become, much to the chagrin of George Lucas, the ultimate cult classic among Star Wars fans.

Directors: Jeremy Coon, Steve Kozak
Principal Cast: Seth Green, Kevin Smith, Paul Scheer, Taran Killam, Bonnie Burton, Weird Al Yankovic, Bruce Vilanch, Gilbert Gottfried, Donny Osmond, Miki Herman

Watch Trailer

Confessions of a Good Samaritan

Director Penny Lane’s decision to become a “Good Samaritan” by giving one of her kidneys to a stranger turns into a funny and moving personal quest to understand the nature of altruism. Confessions of a Good Samaritan is a provocative inquiry into the science, history, and ethics of organ transplantation, asking an ancient question in a whole new way: Who is your neighbor, and what do you owe them?

Director: Penny Lane

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BlackBerry

The story of the meteoric rise and catastrophic demise of the world's first smartphone.

Director: Matt Johnson
Screenwriters: Matt Johnson, Matthew Miller
Principal Cast: Jay Baruchel, Glenn Howerton, Matt Johnson, Cary Elwes, Saul Rubinek

Watch Trailer

Releases in theaters May 12

Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves

A charming thief and a band of unlikely adventurers undertake an epic heist to retrieve a lost relic, but things go dangerously awry when they run afoul of the wrong people. Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves brings the rich world and playful spirit of the legendary roleplaying game to the big screen in a hilarious and action-packed adventure.

Directors: Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley
Screenwriters: Jonathan Goldstein & John Francis Daley and Michael Gilio
Principal Cast: Chris Pine, Michelle Rodriguez, Hugh Grant, Regé-Jean Page, Justice Smith, Sophia Lillis, Chloe Coleman, Daisy Head

Watch Trailer

Released in theaters March 31

Mrs. Davis

Mrs. Davis is the world’s most powerful Artificial Intelligence. Simone is the nun devoted to destroying Her. Who ya got?

Showrunner: Tara Hernandez
Directors: Owen Harris, Alethea Jones
Principal Cast: Betty Gilpin, Jake McDorman, Andy McQueen

Watch Trailer

Streaming now on Peacock

Rabbit Hole

A master of deception in the world of corporate espionage is framed for murder by powerful forces who have the ability to influence and control populations.

Showrunners: Glenn Ficarra, John Requa, John Requa
Directors: Glenn Ficarra, John Requa
Screenwriters: Glenn Ficarra, John Requa
Principal Cast: Kiefer Sutherland, Charles Dance, Meta Golding, Enid Graham, Jason Butler Harner, Rob Yang, Walt Klink

Watch Trailer

Streaming now on Paramount+

Shatter Belt

From director James Byrkit (Coherence) comes a collection of stories from the other side of consciousness. A modern mind bender for a new generation, Shatter Belt dives head first into the deep end of questions about our relationship to reality.

Director/Showrunner: James Ward Byrkit
Screenwriter: James Ward Byrkit
Principal Cast: Abigail Spencer, Patton Oswalt, JJ Nolan, Elimu Nelson, Julie Zhan, Dale E. Turner, Annie Ruby, Catherine Lidstone, Maury Sterling, Richard Follin

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Tetris

Based on the true story of American video game salesman Henk Rogers and his discovery of Tetris in 1988. When he sets out to bring the game to the world, he enters a dangerous web of lies and corruption behind the Iron Curtain.

Director: Jon S. Baird
Screenwriter: Noah Pink
Principal Cast: Taron Egerton, Nikita Efremov, Sofia Lebedeva, Anthony Boyle, Ben Miles, Ken Yamamura, Igor Grabuzov, Oleg Shtefanko, Ayane Nagabuchi, Rick Yune

Watch Trailer

Now streaming on AppleTV+

You Can Call Me Bill

Captain Kirk. T.J. Hooker. Denny Crane. Big Giant Head. Alexander the Great. Henry V. Priceline’s Negotiator. These are but a handful of the innumerable masks worn by William Shatner over seven extraordinary decades onstage and in front of the camera. A peerless maverick thespian, electrifying performer, and international cultural treasure, Bill (as he prefers to be called), now 91 years young, is the living embodiment of his classic line “to boldly go where no man has gone before.” In unprecedented fashion, You Can Call Me Bill strips away all the masks he has worn to embody countless characters, revealing the man behind it all.

Director: Alexandre O. Philippe
Screenwriter:Alexandre O. Philippe
Principal Cast: William Shatner

Watch Trailer

 

Watch SXSW On Demand

Looking to expand your film genre taste? Check out the 2023 SXSW Film & TV Festival Rewind for the full nine days of event premieres, exclusive interviews, and Red Carpet photos.

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Teaser Images: SXSW 2023 Film & TV Festival film, BlackBerry; SXSW 2023 "Tetris" World Premiere - Photo by Andy Wenstrand

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