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Genre films making premieres at this years SXSW 2023

For most genre film fans we are eagerly anticipated the end of the Oscars. Not because genre films usually get snubbed (wait til you hear the latest podcast.) It's because that means the films from the previous year are finally in the books and we get to look forward to what's next. The state of Texas has 3 fan festivals that we have been reporting on for the last 10 years. One of those festivals SXSW is set for their upcoming event in March. Well this morning we received word on some of the genre films heading there that should be on your radar. Enjoy and see you in Austin!


Premiere Status: North American Premiere

Studio: IFC Films

Directed by: Matt Johnson

Written by: Matt Johnson, Matthew Miller

Producers: Niv Fichman, Matthew Miller, Fraser Ash, Kevin Krikst

Starring: Jay Baruchel, Glenn Howerton, Matt Johnson, Michael Ironside, Saul Rubinek, Cary Elwes, Rich Sommer, SungWon Cho, Michelle Giroux

Synopsis: ‘BlackBerry’ tells the story of Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie, the two men that charted the course of the spectacular rise and catastrophic demise of the world’s first smartphone.


Premiere Status: World Premiere

Directed by: Jeremy Coon, Steve Kozak

Written by: Jeremy Coon, Steve Kozak

Producers: Jeremy Coon, Steve Kozak, Kyle Newman

Starring: Seth Green, Weird Al Yankovic, Paul Scheer, Taran Killam, Donny Osmond, Gilbert Gottfried, Bonnie Burton, Bruce Vilanch, Steve Binder

Synopsis: In 1977, "Star Wars" became a cultural phenomenon that single-handedly revitalized a stagnant film industry, and forever changed how films were sold, made, and marketed. Movies would never be the same again.

A year later, neither would television.

In 1978, CBS aired the two-hour "Star Wars Holiday Special" during the week of Thanksgiving and was watched by 13 million people. It never re-aired.

While some fans of the franchise are aware of this dark secret, this bizarre two hours of television still remains relatively unknown among the general public. Simply put, we will answer how and why did the "Holiday Special" get made.

Screening Section: Documentary Spotlight


Premiere Status: World Premiere

Studio: Neon

Directed by: Bishal Dutta

Written by: Bishal Dutta, Ashish Mehta

Producers: Raymond Mansfield, Sean McKittrick

Starring: Megan Suri, Neeru Bajwa, Mohana Krishnan, Betty Gabriel, Vik Sahay

Synopsis: Sam, an Indian-American teen, lives in an idyllic suburb with her conservative mother and her assimilated father. Sam’s cultural insecurities grow due to her estranged friend, Tamira, who mysteriously carries around an empty mason jar all the time. In a moment of anger, Sam breaks Tamira’s jar and unleashes an ancient Indian demonic force that kidnaps Tamira. Sam searches for Tamira, following the trail of a young man who performed a deadly ritual, until the demonic entity starts targeting her, murdering her boyfriend and shattering her reality with terrifying visions. Sam must band together with her parents and a sympathetic teacher to save Tamira and put an end to the terror of the demon.

Screening Section: Midnighters


Premiere Status: World Premiere

Studio: A24

Directed by: Julio Torres

Written by: Julio Torres

Producers: Emma Stone, Dave McCary, Ali Herting

Starring: Julio Torres, Tilda Swinton, RZA, Isabella Rossellini, Greta Lee

Synopsis: Alejandro (Torres) is an aspiring toy designer from El Salvador, struggling to bring his unusual ideas to life in New York City. As time on his work visa runs out, a job assisting an erratic art-world outcast (Swinton) becomes his only hope to stay in the country and realize his dream. From writer/director Julio Torres comes a surreal adventure through the equally treacherous worlds of New York City and the U.S. Immigration system.

Screening Section: Headliners


Premiere Status: World Premiere

Directed by: Paris Zarcilla

Written by: Paris Zarcilla

Producers: Chi Thai

Starring: Max Eigenmann, Leanne Best, David Hayman

Synopsis: A bold coming-of-rage story. Joy is an undocumented Filipina immigrant who is struggling to do the best she can for her daughter when she secures the perfect job; taking care of an extremely wealthy but terminal old man. The new position pays well and guarantees a roof over their heads but very soon, Joy and her daughter Grace start to realize everything is not as it seems. Something is festering beneath the surface, threatening all they have worked for. Deeply personal, British-born Filipino writer-director Paris Zarcilla’s RAGING GRACE is a nightmarish fever dream from an exciting new voice.

Screening Section: Narrative Feature Competition


Premiere Status: World Premiere

Directed by: Leah McKendrick

Written by: Leah McKendrick

Producers: Gillian Bohrer, Jonathan Levine, Brett Haley, Amanda Mortimer

Starring: Leah McKendrick, Ego Nwodim, Andrew Santino, Clancy Brown, Laura Cerón, Yvonne Strahovski, June Diane Raphael, Adam Rodriguez, Brett Dier, Sterling Sulieman

Synopsis: Thirty-something Nellie Robinson is your quintessential eternal bridesmaid. Her weekends are spent hopping from wedding to baby shower to yet another she-said-yes engagement party, all while nursing a broken heart due to a recent breakup. Nellie distracts herself in the shallow dating pool of bartenders and Hinge bros, but when a doctor visit reveals her fertility may be in jeopardy, she stares down the barrel of a future without options and decides to freeze her eggs. The arduous (and pricey) process sends her on a journey of self-examination, confronting past lovers, dreams, and regrets, and ultimately bringing her face to face with the one she’s meant to be with forever: Herself.

Screening Section: Narrative Feature Competition


Premiere Status: Texas Premiere

Studio: A24

Directed by: Danny Philippou, Michael Philippou

Written by: Danny Philippou, Bill Hinzman

Producers: Samantha Jennings, Kristina Ceyton

Starring: Sophie Wilde, Miranda Otto, Alexandra Jensen, Joe Bird, Otis Dhanji, Zoe Terakes, Chris Alosio

Synopsis: When a group of friends discover how to conjure spirits using an embalmed hand, they become hooked on the new thrill, until one of them goes too far and unleashes terrifying supernatural forces.

Screening Section: Midnight

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