SXSW 2021 Interest List

by Col Needham | created - 2 months ago | updated - 2 months ago | Public

I attended the South by Southwest Film Festival virtually this year.

This is my festival watchlist in alphabetical order. Once viewed, titles are moved to my SXSW 2021 list.

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1. Best Summer Ever (2020)

72 min | Musical

72 Metascore

A fresh and exhilarating take on the beloved teen musical genre featuring eight original songs and a fully integrated cast and crew of people with and without disabilities.

Directors: Michael Parks Randa, Lauren Smitelli | Stars: Shannon DeVido, Rickey Alexander Wilson, MuMu, Jacob Waltuck

Votes: 73

2. Broadcast Signal Intrusion (2021)

104 min | Crime, Drama, Horror

In the late 90s, a video archivist unearths a series of sinister pirate broadcasts and becomes obsessed with uncovering the dark conspiracy behind them.

Director: Jacob Gentry | Stars: Anthony E. Cabral, Richard Cotovsky, Jeff Dlugolecki, Jennifer Jelsema

Votes: 53

3. Clerk (2021)

115 min | Documentary

A documentary on the career and life of filmmaker and raconteur Kevin Smith.

Director: Malcolm Ingram | Star: Kevin Smith

Votes: 16

4. The Drovers Wife (2021)

109 min | Drama

65 Metascore

A lonely bushwoman struggles to raise her children and run the family farm while her husband is away.

Director: Leah Purcell | Stars: Gregg Arthur, Craig Bourke, Anthony Cogin, Rob Collins

Votes: 16

5. Executive Order (2020)

103 min | Drama

In a dystopian near future in Brazil, an authoritarian government orders all citizens of African descent to move to Africa - creating chaos, protests, and an underground resistance movement that inspires the nation.

Director: Lázaro Ramos | Stars: Taís Araújo, Paulo Chun, Jéssica Ellen, Emicida

Votes: 57

6. The Fallout (2021)

R | 92 min | Drama

86 Metascore

High schooler Vada navigates the emotional fallout she experiences in the wake of a school tragedy. Relationships with her family, friends and view of the world are forever altered.

Director: Megan Park | Stars: Jenna Ortega, Maddie Ziegler, Niles Fitch, Will Ropp

Votes: 119

7. The Feast (2021)

93 min | Horror

Filmed in Welsh, the picture follows a young woman serving privileged guests at a dinner party in a remote house in rural Wales. The assembled guests do not realize they are about to eat their last supper.

Director: Lee Haven Jones | Stars: Caroline Berry, Steffan Cennydd, Sion Alun Davies, Annes Elwy

Votes: 26

8. Gaia (2021)

R | 96 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

An injured forest ranger on a routine mission is saved by two off-the-grid survivalists. What is initially a welcome rescue grows more suspicious as the son and his renegade father reveal a cultish devotion to the forest.

Director: Jaco Bouwer | Stars: Monique Rockman, Carel Nel, Alex van Dyk, Anthony Oseyemi

Votes: 36

9. The Hunt for Planet B (2021)

93 min | Documentary

74 Metascore

Taking us behind the scenes with NASA's high-stakes Webb Space Telescope, The Hunt for Planet B follows a pioneering group of scientists - many of them women - on their quest to find another Earth among the stars.

Director: Nathaniel Kahn | Stars: Janet Arenberg, Jon Arenberg, Natalie Batalha, Natasha Batalha

Votes: 6

10. Here Before (2021)

83 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

72 Metascore

A taut and sophisticated psychological thriller set in Northern Ireland.

Director: Stacey Gregg | Stars: Andrea Riseborough, Martin McCann, Eileen O'Higgins, Jonjo O'Neill

Votes: 48

11. Hysterical (II) (2021)

TV-MA | 87 min | Documentary

Hysterical is an honest and hilarious backstage pass into the lives of some of stand-up comedy's most boundary-breaking women, exploring the hard-fought journey to become the voices of their generation and their gender.

Director: Andrea Blaugrund Nevins | Stars: Amy Schumer, Iliza Shlesinger, Nikki Glaser, Ali Wong

Votes: 276

12. Inbetween Girl (2021)

89 min | Drama

Teen artist Angie Chen turns to secret hook-ups with the heartthrob of her private school after her parents' sudden divorce.

Director: Mei Makino | Stars: Emma Galbraith, William Magnuson, Emily Garrett, Liz Waters

Votes: 34

13. Introducing, Selma Blair (2021)

90 min | Documentary

82 Metascore

A deeply intimate and raw portrait of Selma Blair after she is diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and tries to slow the progression of her disease.

Director: Rachel Fleit | Star: Selma Blair

Votes: 34

14. Jakob's Wife (2021)

Not Rated | 98 min | Horror

59 Metascore

Anne, married to a small-town Minister, feels her life has been shrinking over the past 30 years. Encountering "The Master" brings her a new sense of power and an appetite to live bolder. However, the change comes with a heavy body count.

Director: Travis Stevens | Stars: Barbara Crampton, Larry Fessenden, Bonnie Aarons, Nyisha Bell

Votes: 1,243

15. Lily Topples the World (2021)

90 min | Documentary

Lily Topples The World follows 20-year-old Lily Hevesh - the world's greatest domino toppler and the only woman in her field - in a coming-of-age story of artistry, passion, and unlikely triumph.

Director: Jeremy Workman | Star: Lily Hevesh

Votes: 41

16. Language Lessons (2021)

91 min | Drama

65 Metascore

A Spanish teacher and her student develop an unexpected friendship.

Director: Natalie Morales | Stars: Mark Duplass, Natalie Morales, Desean Terry, Christine Quesada

Votes: 63

17. Offseason (2021)

83 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

After receiving a mysterious letter, a woman travels to a desolate island town and soon becomes trapped in a nightmare.

Director: Mickey Keating | Stars: Jocelin Donahue, Joe Swanberg, Richard Brake, Melora Walters

Votes: 31

18. Potato Dreams of America (2021)

95 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama

An autobiographical dark comedy about a gay boy growing up in the Soviet Union, his mail-order bride mother and their adventurous escape to America.

Director: Wes Hurley | Stars: Lauren Tewes, Sophia Mitri Schloss, Jonathan Bennett, Lea DeLaria

Votes: 65

19. Our Father (I) (2021)

96 min | Comedy, Drama

Two estranged sisters go in search of their uncle, a mysterious figure who may hold the key to their father's suicide and their family's unhappiness.

Director: Bradley Grant Smith | Stars: Baize Buzan, Allison Torem, Tim Hopper, Guy Massey

Votes: 21

20. See You Then (2021)

74 min | Drama

A decade after abruptly breaking up with Naomi, Kris invites her to dinner to catch-up on their complicated lives, relationships, and Kris' transition.

Director: Mari Walker | Stars: Pooya Mohseni, Lynn Chen, Danny Jacobs, Nican Robinson

Votes: 37

21. Sound of Violence (II) (2021)

94 min | Crime, Horror, Thriller

45 Metascore

Alexis recovered her hearing during the brutal murder of her family when she was ten. The visceral experience awakened synesthetic abilities in her and started her on an orphaned path of ... See full summary »

Director: Alex Noyer | Stars: Jasmin Savoy Brown, Lili Simmons, James Jagger, Tessa Munro

Votes: 282

22. The Spine of Night (2021)

93 min | Animation, Fantasy, Horror

Ultra-violent, epic fantasy set in a land of magic follows heroes from a different eras and cultures battling against a malevolent force.

Directors: Philip Gelatt, Morgan Galen King | Stars: Richard E. Grant, Lucy Lawless, Patton Oswalt, Betty Gabriel

Votes: 40

23. Swan Song (II) (2021)

105 min | Drama

71 Metascore

A formerly flamboyant hairdresser takes a long walk across a small town to style a dead woman's hair.

Director: Todd Stephens | Stars: Udo Kier, Jennifer Coolidge, Linda Evans, Michael Urie

Votes: 49

24. Trapped (2021)

80 min | Drama

Seven women are trapped in enclosed, stifling spaces. The streets are erupting; homes, shops and alleyways lie anxiously in wait. Communications are shut down, answers offered only through ... See full summary »

Director: Manal Khaled | Stars: Ossama Mohamed Attia, Habiba Effat, Mona Hala, Ragwa Hamed

25. United States vs. Reality Winner (2021)

93 min | Documentary

A state of secrets and a ruthless hunt for whistleblowers - this is the story of 25-year-old NSA contractor Reality Winner.

Director: Sonia Kennebeck | Stars: Reality Winner, Billie Winner-Davis, Gary Davis, Brittany Winner

Votes: 16

26. Violet (2021)

92 min | Drama

59 Metascore

A film development executive realizes that "guiding voice" inside her head has been lying to her about everything.

Director: Justine Bateman | Stars: Olivia Munn, Luke Bracey, Justin Theroux, Dennis Boutsikaris

Votes: 41

27. WeWork: Or the Making and Breaking of a $47 Billion Unicorn (2021)

104 min | Documentary

56 Metascore

An account of the six-week death spiral that brought down the company's IPO, a behind-the-scenes look at WeWork's frat-boy culture.

Director: Jed Rothstein | Stars: Ashton Kutcher, Gwyneth Paltrow, Rebekah Paltrow Neumann, Adam Neumann

Votes: 1,426

28. Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America (2021)

117 min | Documentary

Jeffery Robinson's talk on the history of U.S. anti-Black racism, with archival footage and interviews.

Directors: Emily Kunstler, Sarah Kunstler | Stars: Josephine Bolling McCall, Gwen Carr, Tiffany Crutcher, Carolyn Payne

Votes: 15

29. Witch Hunt (I) (2021)

92 min | Fantasy, Horror, Thriller

In a modern America where witches are real and witchcraft is illegal, a sheltered teenager must face her own demons and prejudices as she helps two young witches avoid law enforcement and cross the southern border to asylum in Mexico.

Director: Elle Callahan | Stars: Elizabeth Mitchell, Abigail Cowen, Christian Camargo, Cameron Crovetti

Votes: 34

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