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One of the biggest film and entertainment festivals in the world, SXSW, is heading back to Austin. What are we most excited about?

SXSW 3 Body Problem

3 Body Problem

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The long-awaited lineup for the 2024 SXSW Film & TV Festival has arrived, and it’s just as stacked and packed as you’d expect. The legendary film festival kicks off in Austin, Texas from March 8-16.

Since 1987, SXSW has taken over the city of Austin, Texas, to unveil the latest and greatest in wonderful, wild, and weird storytelling.

Feature Highlights for SXSW 2024 include the Opening Night TV Premiere, 3 Body Problem created by David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, and Alexander Woo.

Premiering on Netflix on March 21, 2024 (watch the teaser here), SXSW attendees will be the first to preview the highly anticipated new series from the creators of Game of Thrones. The show will follow the story of humanity’s first contact with an alien civilization, seeing humanity being vulnerable to the same external threat.

SXSW The Fall Guy

The Fall Guy

David Leitch’s (Deadpool 2, Atomic Blonde, Bullet Train) thriller The Fall Guy — starring Ryan Gosling, Emily Blunt, and Ted Lasso’s Hannah Waddingham — will make its world premiere at the fest. The incredible cast also features the brilliant Stephanie Hsu of Everything, Everywhere All at Once fame.

Written by Drew Pearce (Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, Hotel Artemis, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, Iron Man 3) and Glen A. Larson (a prolific television writer who has worked on the 2018 Magnum P.I. and 2020 Hawaii Five-0 reboots, as well as Battlestar Galactica), the film follows stuntman Colt Seavers who gets pulled back into action from retirement when the star of a mega-budget studio movie directed by his ex goes missing. Watch the official trailer here.

We’re also getting the international premiere of Neon’s Cuckoo, starring Hunter Schafer (Euphoria) and, one of our absolute favorites, Dan Stevens (The Guest).

In the SXSW 2024 Documentary Spotlight selection, we can look forward to Cheech & Chong’s Last Movie from David Bushell (producer of Sling Blade, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind).

Additionally, SXSW attendees can discover feature films across the diverse screening categories of the 2024 festival.

Cuckoo

This includes Headliner, Narrative Feature Competition, Documentary Feature Competition, Narrative Spotlight, Documentary Spotlight, Visions, Global, 24 Beats Per Second, Festival Favorite, and the eagerly anticipated surprise Special Screenings.

Last year’s big SXSW surprise was the enormously crowd-pleasing John Wick: Chapter 4 with Keanu Reeves and director Chad Stahelski in attendance to answer audience questions.

The TV program consists of TV Premieres, TV Spotlight, and the Independent TV Pilot Competition. The Shorts Film Program will present seven competitive sections. XR Experience Competition, XR Spotlight, and XR Special Events programming round out the Film & TV Festival program.

Of course, when we attend, we’ll be seated for as many of the Midnighters as possible. These after-dark features are geared towards genre lovers and the morbidly curious who don’t mind a walk on the wild side.

This year’s Midnighters program has us anxiously on the hook, and March can’t come soon enough.

2024 SXSW Midnighters Program

Azrael (World Premiere)

SXSW Azrael

WHO IT’S FROM

Director: E.L. Katz
Producers: Dan Kagan, Simon Barrett, Dave Caplan
Screenwriter: Simon Barrett

WHAT IT’S ABOUT

Many years following the apocalypse, a devout cult of mute zealots hunts down a young woman who has escaped her imprisonment.

WHO IT STARS

Samara Weaving, Vic Carmen Sonne, Katariina Unt, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett

WHY WE’RE EXCITED

I love a good action horror that puts women in the forefront. Star Samara Weaving is our favorite underrated horror “it” girl (see Scream 6, Mayhem, Ready or Not), and I’ll line up for anything Simon Barrett (You’re Next, The Guest, V/H/S) has his hand in. Director E.L. Katz is a former horror journalist (one of us, one of us!) who directed the absolutely brilliant Cheap Thrills in 2013, and if you haven’t seen that one, I urge you to change that immediately!

Family (World Premiere)

WHO IT’S FROM

Director/Screenwriter: Benjamin Finkel
Producers:  Lynette Howell Taylor, Samantha Housman, Benjamin Finkel

WHAT IT’S ABOUT

Summer, 2002. Watching her sick father decline, 11-year-old Johanna makes a call for a good spirit to save him. But something else comes instead.

WHO IT STARS

Ruth Wilson, Ben Chaplin, Lucinda Lee Dawson Gray, Allan Corduner

WHY WE’RE EXCITED

Honestly, I don’t know much about this one. But if it was selected for SXSW, there’s a pretty safe bet it’s a banger. It looks to be the feature debut from Finkel. I love star Ruth Wilson, a series regular on Luther. You may also know her from I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House (Chef’s Kiss). Above all, the description on the SXSW website makes it seem like it could be the type of artful, haunting supernatural horror film we can’t get enough of, maybe along the lines of the masterful It Lives Inside that I fell in love with at last year’s SXSW.

Hood Witch (France, North American Premiere)

WHO IT’S FROM

Director: Saïd Belktibia
Producer: Ladj Ly
Screenwriters: Saïd Belktibia, Louis Penicaut

WHAT IT’S ABOUT

Nour makes a living from smuggling exotic animals for her city’s marabouts, wishing to get her son out of the city and offer him a better future. But an exorcism turns into a tragedy and Nour has to face a wave of violence that could cost their lives.

WHO IT STARS

Golshifteh Farahani, Denis Lavant, Jérémy Ferrari, Amine Zariouhi, Issaka Sawadogo

WHY WE’RE EXCITED

Oh, those foreign films! Do the French ever let us down when it comes to genre exports? This is another woman-driven feature at SXSW and another feature film directorial debut. I haven’t heard much about it, but we are mightily intrigued by the film’s premise. Inevitably, films out of the foreign market tend to rise to the top of our festival standouts each year, like the surprise 2023 sensation When Evil Lurks that blew us away at the 2023 Fantastic Fest.

Hunting Daze (Canada, World Premiere)

WHO IT’S FROM

Director/Screenwriter:  Annick Blanc
Producers:  Maria Gracia Turgeon, Annick Blanc

WHAT IT’S ABOUT

Nina, a young, tempestuous woman, is taken in by a group of hunters in a remote cabin. In the midst of this tough, yet endearing, male micro-society, she feels like she finally belongs. A mysterious stranger’s arrival disrupts her newfound haven.

WHO IT STARS

Nahéma Ricci, Bruno Marcil, Frédéric Millaire-Zouvi, Marc Beaupré, Alexandre Landry, Maxime Genois, Noubi Ndiaye

WHY WE’RE EXCITED

As much as I love French films, Canadian exports are a close second. Perhaps that makes sense given the country’s significant French population! I love to see all the women-driven genre films this year at SXSW, and this one is also written and directed by a woman. The synopsis gives us just enough to draw us in without revealing too much. I think it may be a thought-provoking social horror film, and I’m 100% here for it.

It’s What’s Inside (Texas Premiere)

SXSW It's What's Inside