The days of chaos are upon us!  Just kidding. Well, it’s South by Southwest, so actually, not kidding at all.  SXSW will swallow you whole if you show up without a game plan.  Even the Marauders’ Map couldn’t chart everything that happens at the big bad Festival, so consider these avenues while you’re mapping out your week.  Be safe and happy watching!


The Unicorn SXSWLove the locals?

SXSW dedicates two blocks to short films connected to Texas.   The Texas Shorts Competition is made up of films shot in or connected to the Lone Star State, while Texas High School Shorts is dedicated exclusively to films of five minutes or less from Texas high school filmmakers.  Not into short films? Screenwriters and UT alums Kirk Johnson and Will Elliott are bringing their latest feature, THE UNICORN, into town for the Narrative Feature Competition.  With a cast that includes Nicholas Rutherford, Lauren Lapkus, Lucy Hale, and Beck Bennett, the World Premiere will be a sell-out.  Get in line early!


A Quiet Place SXSW Celeb watcher?

Well, you could just walk up and down Congress with your eyes open.  Or you could keep an eye on this year’s Headliners category, which features BLOCKERS (starring Leslie Mann and John Cena), A QUIET PLACE (directed by and starring John Krasinski with his wife Emily Blunt), and ISLE OF DOGS (directed by Wes Anderson and starring literally everyone).  Be ready with your SXXpress Passes if you’re hoping to get into one of these.



2018 is going to be a good year for you.  CHI-TOWN is premiering as part of the Documentary Feature Competition.  ALI & CAVETT: THE TALE OF THE TAPES is featured in the Documentary Spotlight Category, along with DAUGHTERS OF THE SEXUAL REVOLUTION: THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE DALLAS COWBOYS CHEERLEADERS.  If you want something a little more gritty, check out the Muay Thai-centered drama, A PRAYER BEFORE DAWN.  Based on the true story of boxer Billy Moore, this Midnighters selection was shot in an actual Thai prison.   


SXSW Brewmaster FilmJust here for the food?

We hear ya!  Get started with AGAVE: THE SPIRIT OF A NATION and BREWMASTER, World Premieres in the Documentary Spotlight category.  Then move on to CHEF FLYNN, about culinary prodigy Flynn McGarry.  Finish with CONSTRUCTING ALBERT, a Festival Favorite about the Adrià family and their famous elBulli restaurant in Catalonia, Spain.


sxsw film

No badge?

Hey, we get it: those badges don’t come cheap.  But that’s not a reason for you to be left out of the action.  Director Olivier Assayas (PERSONAL SHOPPER, CLOUDS OF SILS MARIA) will be speaking with Richard Linklater at the film conference, but you can hear him first at Austin Film Society’s Artist Spotlight event.  AFS has programmed seven of his films that will run this coming week at the AFS Cinema, and Mr. Assayas will be on hand to present three of them himself. Interested? Get to Austin Film Society’s website and get your tickets NOW.    

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Carrie Hoover
Contributing Writer

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