Video: Ten Most Exciting SXSW Films

This year’s South By Southwest Film Festival has over 130 feature films spread across several programs, from the main competitions to emerging talent showcases to glitzy galas. Here are trailers for ten films that show the most potential:


10. Convento
(dir. Jarred Alterman, Emerging Visions)

Gorgeously shot but teasingly short, this trailer features some arresting imagery featuring flying paintballs and a medieval knight, but doesn’t give away what it’s about. But the SXSW program description is a killer: “Dutch kinetic artist Christiaan Zwanikken resurrects the deceased local wildlife by reanimating the skeletal remains with servomotors and robotic engineering. He breeds these new species in a 400 yr. old monastery in a village in Portugal.”

9. PressPausePlay
(dirs. Victor Köhler & David Dworsky; Spotlight Premieres)

It’s an intriguing question: has the level playing field created by the digital revolution made our culture more mediocre? The answer will be revealed to us through an array of CGI whatsits and Swede pop idol Robyn’s adorable accent.

8. Wuss
(dir. Clay Liford; Lone Star States)

Looks like a Teach for America nightmare come true. Love the titles with the faux-film grain and the use of a word like “irrevocably.” And the mashup of punk with Beethoven’s Seventh is as schizo as the sinister turn this apparent comedy takes at the end.

7. Where Soldiers Come From

(dir. Heather Courtney; Documentary Competiton)

There have been dozens of soldiers-in-combat docs since the start of the Iraq War, so it’s admittedly a tough sell to draw attention to a new one – but the trailer for this production conveys a genuine sense of intimacy with its subjects, four childhood friends who go off to Afghanistan, sort of a modern update to The Deer Hunter. The lensing is impeccable, with some arresting visuals that capture their subjects candidly, whether in battle, among friends and family, or in their own dark thoughts.

6. Hit So Hard
(dir. P. David Ebersole; 24 Beats Per Second)

This is the story of Hole’s openly gay drummer Patty Schemel, whom this trailer hints may have been the real driving force to the band while Courtney Love grabbed the headlines. The trailer moves fast and paints enough intrigue around its subject to leave you wanting more. Everyone talks about her, yet she remains an enigma – but what’s clear is that she is badass on the sticks.


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