SXSW Film News: Highlights of Filmmakers and Actors to Watch in Features and Shorts

Hundreds of films and television shows are official selections of the 2024 SXSW Film & TV Festival. I have narrowed down a few that peak interest with the filmmakers and actors (either veteran or making their debut). On the online schedule, you can find them listed in different categories, and for this article, I have listed the category first, the title, synopsis, and date/time of when they are offered. To view the full schedule, visit

Section – Narrative Spotlight

Cold Wallet – After losing everything in a cryptocurrency scam, a ragtag team of vigilante Redditors attempt to kidnap the kingpin who screwed them over. But when the home invasion takes a turn for the worst, they become victims in a sadistic game. The film stars Raul Castillo (Cassandro), Melonie Diaz (The First Purge), Tony Cavalero (The Righteous Gemstones), and Josh Brener (Silicon Valley), as well as Zoe Winters (“Succession”). Festival Screenings:
March 8 @ Violet Crown Cinema 2 (434 W 2nd St., Austin TX 78701) – 2:00pm—3:24pm
March 8 @ Violet Crown Cinema 4 (434 W 2nd St., Austin TX 78701) – 2:30pm—3:54pm
March 9 @ Violet Crown Cinema 1 (434 W 2nd St., Austin TX 78701) – 11:00am—12:24pm
March 9 @ Violet Crown Cinema 3 (434 W 2nd St., Austin TX 78701) – 11:30am—12:54pm
March 13 @ Violet Crown Cinema 1 (434 W 2nd St., Austin TX 78701) – 9:15pm—10:39pm
March 13 @ Violet Crown Cinema 3 (434 W 2nd St., Austin TX 78701) – 9:45am—11:09pm

Música – Based on writer, director, and star Rudy Mancuso, Música is a coming-of-age love story that follows an aspiring creator with synesthesia who must come to terms with an uncertain future while navigating the pressures of love, family, and his Brazilian culture. Cast: Rudy Mancuso, Camila Música Mendes, Francesca Reale, Maria Mancuso, J.B. Smoove (World Premiere) Director: Rudy Mancuso, Producers: McG, Mary Viola, Screenwriters: Rudy Mancuso, Dan Lagana. Festival Screening: Música at ZACH Theatre, March 13, 2024 3:00pm—4:31pm

Switch Up – One of the nation’s top talk show hosts finds himself stranded at a homeless shelter, where he meets a young widow. He falls in love and realizes the path to happiness lies in helping others. Cast: Cristian de la Fuente, Julieth Restrepo, Jeff Fahey, Shondrella Avery, R. Brandon Johnson, Temple Baker, Donnell Rawlings, Alicia Witt, Manuel Uriza, Felice Heather Monteith, Sal Velez Jr. (World Premiere) at Paramount Theatre, March 10, 2024 11:00am—12:45pm
Director: Tara Pirnia, Producers: Elizabeth Avellan, Marcela Ronquillo, Tara Pirnia, Cristian de la Fuente, Melissa Bickerton, Angela Blair, Screenwriters: Felice Heather Monteith, Tara Pirnia, Tina Contogenis, Pamela Beach

Section: 24 Beats Per Second

Synopsis: This is the story of two immigrant outsiders, Omar Rodríguez-López and Cedric Bixler-Zavala (At the Drive-in / The Mars Volta), and their desire to create their place in the world. Told through intimate self-shot footage, Omar and Cedric charts the duo’s intense and profound journey of brotherhood, love, fame, betrayal and sacrifice. Tackling addiction, grief, and redemption themes, it’s an intimate portrait of lifelong friendship and a look at the world through a whole new creative prism.
Festival Screenings: Tuesday, March 12, 5:45pm CST – North American Premiere (ZACH Theatre) and
Friday, March 15, 3:30pm CST – 2nd Public Screening (Stateside Theatre)

Diane Warren: Relentless
Diane Warren: Relentless unveils the mystique and defiant personality behind one of the hardest-working and most successful songwriters’ music has ever known. Featuring Clive Davis, Common, Gloria Estefan, Jerry Bruckheimer, Jennifer Hudson, Cher, Randy Jackson, and Quincy Jones (World Premiere). Director: Bess Kargman, Producers: Michele Farinola, Peggy Drexler, Bess Kargman
Festival Screenings: March 12, 202411:00am – 12:31pm CT ZACH Theatre and March 15, 202411:45am – 1:16pm CT Stateside Theatre

Section: Documentary Feature Competition

An Army of Women – When the Austin police dismiss Amy, Marina, and Hanna’s rape cases, all three women try to find a way to rebuild their lives. They join forces with twelve other women in a groundbreaking federal class-action lawsuit, the first to argue that sexual assault isn’t prosecuted because it’s a crime that predominantly affects women. The group is determined to hold police and prosecutors accountable for their inaction, but their resilience is tested as they face setbacks from the system they hope to change. Ultimately, “An Army of Women” offers a hopeful look into a movement that aims to change the future for women everywhere. (WORLD PREMIERE) Festival Screenings: Friday, March 8 at 2:00PM CT at Zach Theatre; Monday, March 12 at 2:45PM CT at Rollins Theatre at The Long Center; Friday, March 15 at 6:00PM CT at AFS Cinema (Satellite Venue)

The In Between – Director: Robie Flores, Producers: Alejandro J Flores, Kellen Quinn

Following her brother’s death, filmmaker Robie Flores returns home to the Texas-Mexico border. Dancing playfully between personal and collective coming-of-age experiences, Robie rediscovers the possibilities of joy in the aftermath of grief. (World Premiere) Festival Screenings: March 9, 2024, 6:45pm—8:07pm Alamo Lamar 4, March 11, 2024, 9:00pm—10:22pm at Alamo Lamar 9, March 11, 2024, 9:30pm—10:52pm at Alamo Lamar 3, March 15, 2024, 12:00pm—1:22pm at Alamo Lamar 8

Section: Global

Malta – Set in Bogotá, this captivating female character study narrates the story of a young Colombian woman who dreams of escaping her suffocating urban reality and traveling the world. However, an unexpected relationship with an unlikely man will make her question her motives for leaving. (The second feature by Colombian writer-director Natalia Santa (The Dragon Defense, Cannes Directors’ Fortnight 2017). [World Premiere – In Spanish with English subtitles.] Festival Screenings: Saturday, March 9, 2:15pm at the Violet Crown Cinema 1 — World Premiere, Saturday, March 9, 2:45pm at the Violet Crown Cinema 3, Monday, March 11, 3:15pm at the Violet Crown Cinema 4, Thursday, March 14, 9:45pm at the Alamo Lamar 8

Bionico’s Bachata -Bionico is a hopeless romantic addicted to crack who must take control of his life before his fiancée leaves a rehabilitation center. A raw vision of love in a hostile Caribbean city. Cast: Manuel Raposo, Ana Minier, El Napo, Yasser Michelen, Barbara Plaza, Donis Tavaras (World Premiere, Dominican Republic) Director: Yoel Morales, Producer: Cristian Mojica, Screenwriters: Cristian Mojica, Yoel Morales. Festival Screenings: Bionico’s Bachata March 8, 2024, 9:15pm—10:35pm at Violet Crown Cinema 1, March 8, 2024, 9:45pm—11:05pm at Violet Crown Cinema 3, March 10, 2024, 11:45am—1:05pm, at Violet Crown Cinema 4, March 14, 2024, 11:00am—12:20pm at Alamo Lamar 6.

My Sextortion Diary – The thriller documentary about how Pati, the film’s director, embarks on a digital blackmail situation after her computer is stolen. (World Premiere, Spain). Director/Screenwriter: Patricia Franquesa, Producers: Patricia Franquesa, Mireia Graell. Festival Screenings: March 8, 2024, 5:30pm—6:34pm Violet Crown Cinema 2, March 8, 2024, 6:00pm—7:04pm at Violet Crown Cinema 4, March 11, 2024, 6:45pm—7:49pm, at Alamo Lamar 6, March 13, 2024, 2:30pm—3:34pm at Violet Crown Cinema 2, March 13, 2024, 3:00pm—4:04pm at Violet Crown Cinema 4.

Section: Narrative Feature Competition

Bob Trevino Likes It – After searching for her estranged father online, a people-pleasing young woman unexpectedly forms a close bond with a grieving, childless man with the same name as her father on Facebook. Inspired by a true story. Cast: Barbie Ferreira, John Leguizamo, French Stewart, Lauren “Lolo” Spencer, Rachel Bay Jones (World Premiere). Director/Screenwriter: Tracie Laymon, Producers: Tracie Laymon, Sean Mullin, Edgar Rosa, Felipe Dieppa. Film Screenings: March 9, 2024, 3:00pm—4:42pm, at ZACH Theatre, March 12, 2024, 10:45am—12:27pm at Alamo Lamar 8, March 12, 2024, 11:15am—12:57pm at Alamo Lamar 7, March 16, 2024, 2:15pm—3:57pm at Alamo Lamar 6.

Mamifera-Lola, happily child-free at 40, confronts an unexpected pregnancy, triggering a clash with societal norms. Amidst her reluctance to embrace motherhood, her boyfriend Bruno’s desire adds a surprising twist to their expectations. Cast: Maria Rodríguez Soto, Enric Auquer, Ruth Llopis, Anna Alarcón, Ann Perelló, Amparo Fernández, Maria Ribera, Anna Bertran, Marina Rodríguez, Mireia Aixalà (World Premiere, Spain). Director/Screenwriter: Liliana Torres, Producers: Carla Sospedra, Miriam Porté, Gerard Marginedas. Film Screenings – March 8, 2024, 6:30pm—8:03pm at Alamo Lamar 5, March 11, 2024, 5:30pm—7:03pm at Alamo Lamar 9, March 11, 2024, 6:00pm—7:33pm at Alamo Lamar 3, March 15, 2024, 5:45pm—7:18pm at Alamo Lamar 6.

Section: Narrative Spotlight

I Wish You All The Best – The film revolves around a non-binary teen who, after being kicked out of the house by their conservative parents and moving in with their estranged sister, embarks upon a journey of self-discovery that teaches them about love, friendship, and family. Cast: Corey Fogelmanis, Miles Gutierrez-Riley, Alexandra Daddario, Cole Sprouse, Lena Dunham, Amy Landecker, Lexi Underwood, Lisa Yamada, Judson Mills, Brian Michael Smith (World Premiere). Director/Screenwriter: Tommy Dorfman, Producers: Matt Kaplan, Tommy Dorfman. Film Screenings: March 12, 2024, 3:15pm—4:47pm at Alamo Lamar 4, March 14, 2024, 2:30pm—4:02pm at Stateside Theatre.

The Uninvited – Rose and Sammy’s Hollywood Hills party turns chaotic as elderly stranger Helen exposes hidden truths, reigniting old flames and unearthing secrets. Rose confronts her past, leaving everyone questioning their existence and desires. Cast: Elizabeth Reaser, Walton Goggins, Lois Smith, Eva De Dominici, Rufus Sewell, Pedro Pascal, Michael Panes, Kate Comer, Roland Rubio, Annie Kurzen (World Premiere). Director/Screenwriter: Nadia Conners, Producers: Rosie Fellner, Carlos Enrique Cuscó, Ari Taboada. Film Screenings: Mar 11, 2024, 11:00am—12:37pm, at Stateside Theatre, Mar 13, 2024, 9:30pm—11:07pm at Stateside Theatre, Mar 14, 2024, 11:00am—12:37pm at ZACH Theatre.

Magpie – When Ben and Anette’s daughter is cast in a film alongside glamorous movie star Alicia, Ben is quickly drawn into Alicia’s world. Anette is left at home with the baby, pushed to her emotional limits, and psychologically on the brink. Cast: Daisy Ridley, Shazad Latif, Matilda Lutz, Hiba Ahmed, Cherrelle Skeete, Pippa Bennet-Warner, Alistair Petrie (World Premiere, United Kingdom) Director: Sam Yates, Producers: Kate Solomon, Daisy Ridley, Tom Bateman, Camilla Bray, Nadia Khamlichi, Sierra Garcia, Screenwriter: Tom Bateman. Festival Screenings: March 9, 2024,5:30pm—7:00pm at Stateside Theatre, March 11, 2024, 2:00pm—3:30pm at Alamo Lamar 8, March 11, 2024, 2:30pm—4:00pm at Alamo Lamar 7, March 15, 2024, 11:00am—12:30pm at Alamo Lamar 6.

Section: Documentary Spotlight

Cheech and Chong’s Last Movie—Cheech and Chong’s Last Movie explores the legacy of pioneering comics Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong with a mix of archival madness and cinematic road trip. The result is a true-life tale of fame and friendship stranger (and funnier) than fiction. (World Premiere). Director: David Bushell, Producers: David Bushell, Robbi Chong. Film Screening: March 12, 2024, 2:30pm—4:33pm at Paramount Theatre.

Preconceived – A riveting documentary about the pervasive but overlooked presence of Crisis Pregnancy Centers. Preconceived explores the complex role of deception, finances, faith, and privacy amid a shifting legal landscape. (World Premiere). Directors: Sabrine Keane, Kate Dumke, Producers: Heather Keane, Sabrine Keane, Maggie Contreras. Festival Screenings: March 9, 2024, 11:30am—12:50pm at ZACH Theatre, March 10, 2024, 11:30am—12:50pm at Violet Crown Cinema 1, March 10, 2024, 12:00pm—1:20pm at Violet Crown Cinema 3, March 16, 2024, 2:45pm—4:05pm at Alamo Lamar 9.

Section: Festival Favorite

Gasoline Rainbow – Five small-town teenagers embark on one last adventure by van, boat, train, and foot, careening into the new frontier of adulthood as they search for the mysterious Party at the End of the World. Cast: Makai Garza, Micah Bunch, Tony Aburto, Nichole Dukes, Nathalie Garcia (North American Premiere). Directors: Bill Ross IV, Turner Ross, Producers: Michael Gottwald, Carlos Zozaya, Claire Haley, Joanne Feinberg, Lauren Cargo, Jesy Buhl, Olivia Lloyd. Festival Screenings: March 8, 2024, 5:30pm—7:18pm at Alamo Lamar 9, March 8, 2024, 6:00pm—7:48pm at Alamo Lamar 3, March 9, 2024, 11:00am—12:48pm at Satellite Venue: AFS Cinema, March 13, 2024, 11:00am—12:48pm at Violet Crown Cinema 1, March 13, 2024, 11:30am—1:18pm at Violet Crown Cinema 3.

Sing Sing – A theater troupe finds escape from the realities of incarceration through the creativity of putting on a play in this film based on a real-life rehabilitation program and featuring a cast that includes formerly incarcerated actors. Cast: Colman Domingo, Clarence Maclin, Paul Raci, Sean San José (U.S. Premiere). Director: Greg Kwedar, Producers: Monique Walton, Clint Bentley, Greg Kwedar, Screenwriters: Clint Bentley, Greg Kwedar. Film Screenings: March 8, 2024, 5:15pm—7:02pm at ZACH Theatre, March 9, 2024, 5:45pm—7:32pm at Satellite Venue: AFS Cinema.

Toll – Suellen, a toll booth attendant, realizes she can use her job to raise some extra money illegally. But this is only for a so-called noble cause: to send her son to an expensive gay conversion workshop led by a renowned foreign priest. Cast: Maeve Jinkings, Kauan Alvarenga, Thomás Aquino, Aline Marta Maia, Isac Graça (U.S. Premiere, Brazil). Director/Screenwriter: Carolina Markowicz, Producers: Bianca Villar, Fernando Fraiha, Karen Castanho, Carolina Markowi, cz, Luís Urbano. Festival Screenings: March 11, 2024, 2:15pm—3:56pm at Violet Crown Cinema 1, March 11, 2024, 2:45pm—4:26pm at Violet Crown Cinema 3, March 13, 2024, 6:30pm—8:11pm at Alamo Lamar 9, March 13, 2024, 7:00pm—8:41pm at Alamo Lamar 3.

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