The first thing you’ll usually see at the South By Southwest is their huge wall of movie posters advertising the film festival’s over 50 independent documentaries, feature length narratives, short and animated films. Each year SXSW Film gives out awards for the best poster, but we decided to get a head start by picking out 20 that really caught our eye and offering a small blurb about their films, if the posters catch your attention. You can click on the titles to learn more.
It’s no wonder that the poster depicts an exploration inside the forest of one’s mind seeing as this film contains five short films where independent filmmakers “literally adapt each other’s dreams for the screen.”
Best and Most Beautiful Things
The film, which is debuting at SXSW, has a rather evasive, non-spoiler description about its subject — a charming, legally blind, autistic woman named Michelle joins a provocative fringe community, presumably one of a sexual nature. The poster beautifully captures her walk on society’s fringes.
Born to Be Blue
Chet Baker, a jazz trumpeter and vocalist — who looks uncannily like Ethan Hawke (who also plays him in this film) — struggled with heroin addiction. He even served a year in an Italian prison on drug charges — blue indeed.
And Punching the Clown
Even though we may have fond memories of Bozo the Clown, we also have horrible nightmares about Pennywise and John Wayne Gacy; so punching those clowns sounds awesome. Alas, this dramatic comedy isn’t about a circus clown but rather a comedian trying to make money off of laughter in LA without ending up the butt of the joke.
Believe it or not, Dorothy’s ruby slippers from the 1931 MGM film The Wizard of Oz are “considered the most important piece of Hollywood memorabilia and the catalyst for the creation of Hollywood memorabilia collecting.” It also turns out that there were more than one pair created for the film, which chronicles the different collectors who have found each pair of ruby slippers.
From the creators of TV’s The Walking Dead comes Cinemax’s first foray into the world of horror TV. It stars Almost Famous‘ Patrick Fugit as Kyle, a man whose family has been haunted by a series of demonic possessions. Fun!
“Miss Me: The Artful Vandal”
Infamous vandalism artist MissMe left a job in advertising to become a public defacer of misogynist advertising. Hell. Yes.
The Alchemist Cookbook
Sean and his cat Kaspar hide out in the woods while Sean tries to practice actual alchemy. He accidentally ends up unleashing evil forces instead… or are they just the result of his deluded, pill-popping imagination? [CUE DRAMATIC MUSIC!]
Hailing from neighborhoods in north and east LA, the Ovas are a masked bicycle gang who ride out to reclaim streets where women have recently been murdered. Perhaps they should team up with MissMe (above).
A recently released prisoner is looking for some sex. What he finds is much more frightening. That’s all we know about this 5-minute horror short whose trailer only shows a bearded man taking a whizz.
“Through the Eyes of Autism”
Autistic high school student Jared DeDonato shot this five-minute short to illustrate the exclusion and discrimination he and three of his autistic friends experience in high school.
You Me Her
Whoa. Looks like someone actually had the courage to create a TV dramedy series about an actual polyamorous relationship: A married throuple involving Jack, an inexperienced sex-worker named Izzy and Jack’s secretive wife Emma. It’s Canadian, but damn we hope we can view it in the states.
Neil is young slash fan-fiction writer exploring his sexual feelings through stories about his favorite male superhero… but he also has some feelings for his best girlfriend and the erotic fanfic site owner who could help make his career. Yow!
Accidental Courtesy: Daryl Davis, Race & America
Meet Daryl Davis, a Black musician who has a side-hobby of befriending Ku Klux Klan members, many who have never met a Black person. He even keeps uniforms of the ones who decide to disaffiliate from the group. Incredible.
“Eat My Shit”
Poor Samantha. Her Instagram selfie has been deleted for containing alleged sexual content. Little does Instagram realize that her face has an interesting shape… a rather shitty one, in fact.
“These Cocksucking Tears”
The totally true story of Patrick Haggerty, a farmer’s kid who went on to form Lavender Country, a gay country band who infamously released a song in 1973 called “Cryin’ These Cocksucking Tears”. Playing it got one DJ banned from the airwaves.
Former hobbit Dominic Monaghan goes dark when he imprisons his longstanding crush Holly (Ksenia Solo) in a dog cage. Several hallucinations later, their relationship experiences a major shift, leaving you wondering about their roles as master and creature.
Abortion clinic workers in Texas are doing their best to fight T.R.A.P. laws (that stands for “targeted regulations of abortion providers”, and can severely limit women’s access to abortion). Considering that the Supreme Court is about to make a huge ruling on the constitutionality of T.R.A.P. laws, this documentary couldn’t come at a better time.
Dungeons and Dragons-obsessed, Brooklyn-based artist Stefan Pokorny explores his rough upbringing through adventure games that center on miniature recreations of real-world places, transformed through his RPG-imagination.
When African native Mavela meets Marwan, they start to fall in love — too bad they belong to rival street gangs. With actors speaking in French, Arabic, Lingala and Dutch, West Side Story it ain’t.
In gay director Yen Tan’s eight-minute short, a gay man with AIDS goes to a beautician to hide his physical symptoms. Umm… bring Kleenex.
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