–Arts and letters for the modern age–

Cathode Ray Zone

–Arts and Letters for the Modern Age–

SXSW Film Festival and Conference Curtain Raiser

by | Mar 10, 2023

Hot picks for 2023 SXSW film festival

When the pandemic put the squeeze on group gatherings in 2020, the largest convention in the world adapted by going virtual.

The South By Southwest Festival [SXSW] offers conferences geared to music, interactive media, and film and television.

The whole point of a film festival is to achieve maximum buzz by connecting with live audiences. And the SXSW Film & TV Festival bounced back in 2022 with one of its strongest years.

A cursory glance at last year’s line-up reads like a who’s who of this year’s Oscars ceremony.

SXSW offered world premieres of Everything Everywhere All At Once, To Leslie (the acclaimed indie drama), as well as a segment of the celebrated animated short, My Year of Dicks, among many others.

This year is no different. Here are thirteen  film recommendations – mostly world premieres – from over 100 premieres taking place from March 10 through March 19, 2023.


[1] Problemista follows a toy designer from El Salvador navigating his way through the New York art scene as well as dealing with the US immigration system. Stars Julio Torres, Tilda Swinton, RZA.

[2] Late Bloomers stars Karen Gillan as a ne’er-do-well who must adjust her life after she breaks her hip in a freak accident and makes new friends while recovering in the hospital.

[3] Join or Die, from scientist Robert Putnam, based on his non-fiction book, documents the decline of the American community.

[4] Blackberry turns the rise and fall of the world’s first smartphone into a provocative comedy. Cast includes Jay Baruchel and Cary Elwes.

[5] Hypnotic presents a work-in-progress crime thriller from director Robert Rodriguez. Starring Ben Affleck and Alice Braga.

[6] War Pony is set on the Pine Ridge Reservation and centers on two Oglala Lakota youths transitioning to adulthood.

[7] A Disturbance in the Force looks back at the Star Wars Holiday Special and delves into its impact on culture.

[8] Being Mary Tyler Moore tells us all we need to know about the evolution of women in the media.

[9] The Lady Bird Diaries takes a new approach to audio diaries and the influence of FLOTUS.

[10] You Can Call Me Bill promises the ultimate documentary reveal of famed actor William Shatner.

[11] Brooklyn 45 screens as part of the Midnighters series and promises a scary dive into an ad hoc séance among a group of WWII veterans.

[12] Hung Up on a Dream from director Robert Schwartzman chronicles rock icons The Zombies.

[13] Max Roach: The Drum Also Waltzes thoroughly explores the life of the legendary drummer from be bop jazz to new world hip hop.