Monday, May 20, 2024

SXSW Announces Initial Films For Its 2021 Film Festival Lineup

By Danilo Castro 

South by Southwest (SXSW) has announced several new titles that will be screening at the 2021 festival. These titles range from the psychological drama series “Confronting a Serial Killer,” to the YouTube Originals series “Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil,” which chronicles the life of the pop star in the wake of her nearly fatal overdose.

SXSW will be held online in 2021, which gives increased access to online exhibitions, special events, music showcases, and more. The festival platform will launch on February 15th, and the festival itself runs from March 16–20th at

Read on below for a rundown of the titles that have been confirmed thus far.

“Confronting A Serial Killer”
Director: Joe Berlinger, Showrunner: Po Kutchins
Plot: Joe Berlinger’s newest docuseries “Confronting a Serial Killer” follows reporter Jillian Lauren who lures the most prolific serial killer in American history — Sam Little. The series will follow their unsettling and unlikely relationship.
(World Premiere) (Episodic Premiere)

“Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil”
Director/Screenwriter: Michael D. Ratner
Plot: “Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil” is a powerful YouTube Originals documentary event, exploring every aspect that led to Lovato’s nearly fatal overdose in 2018 and her awakenings in the aftermath.
(World Premiere) (Headliners)

“The Hunt for Planet B”
Director: Nathaniel Kahn
Plot: The Hunt for Planet B follows a diverse group of scientists on a quest to find another Earth among the stars. From the hi-bays of NASA to the edge of the universe and the bottom of the sea, the film offers a way to see our own planet with new eyes.
(World Premiere) (Documentary Spotlight)

Andrea Nevins 
Plot: Hysterical is an honest and hilarious backstage pass into the lives of some of stand-up comedy’s most boundary-breaking women, exploring the hard-fought journey to become the voices of their generation and their gender.
Cast List: Margaret Cho, Fortune Feimster, Rachel Feinstein, Marina Franklin, Nikki Glaser, Judy Gold, Kathy Griffin, Jessica Kirson, Sherri Shepherd, Iliza Shlesinger and more.
(World Premiere) (Documentary Spotlight)

“Jakob’s Wife”
Director: Travis Stevens, Screenwriters: Travis Stevens, Kathy Charles, Mark Steenland
Plot: The disappearance of a young woman threatens to change the beige and banal lives of Anne Fedder (Barbara Crampton) and her pastor husband Jakob Fedder (Larry Fessenden) forever.
Cast List: Barbara Crampton, Larry Fessenden, Bonnie Aarons, Mark Kelly, Sarah Lind, Robert Rusler, Nyisha Bell, Phil Brooks
(World Premiere) (Midnighters)

“Luchadoras” (Germany)
Directors: Paola Calvo, Patrick Jasim, Screenwriters: Patrick Jasim, Paola Calvo, Phillip Kaminiak
Plot: Luchadoras portrays the courageous female wrestlers of Ciudad Juárez, a city known for its high murder rate against women — who fight in the ring and in their daily lives to redefine the image of what it means to be a woman in Mexico.
(World Premiere) (Global)

“Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliché”
Director: Paul Sng, Celeste Bell, Screenwriters: Celeste Bell, Zoë Howe
Plot: The death of punk icon and X-Ray Spex frontwoman Poly Styrene sends her daughter on a journey across the world and through her mother’s archives to reconcile their fraught relationship.
(North American Premiere)

Mallory Everton, Stephen Meek, Screenwriters: Whitney Call, Mallory Everton
Plot: Two directionless sisters brave a cross-country road trip to rescue their grandmother from a COVID outbreak at her nursing home.
Cast List: Whitney Call, Mallory Everton, Anne Sward Hansen, Julia Jolley, Baylee Thornock, Jessica Drolet, Stephen Meek, Tyler Andrew Jones, Tori Pence, Dora McDonald
(World Premiere) (Narrative Spotlight)

Justine Bateman
Plot: A film development executive realizes that the “guiding voice” inside her head has been lying to her about everything.
Cast List: Olivia Munn, Luke Bracey, Justin Theroux
(World Premiere) (2020 Spotlight)

These exciting titles are merely a sample of the full SXSW lineup, which has yet to be revealed. The lineup will be unveiled in its entirety on February 10th. Which ones are you most excited to see? Share your thoughts in the comments below or on our Twitter account.

You can follow Danilo and hear more of his thoughts on the Oscars and Film on Twitter at @DaniloSCastro

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Danilo Castro
Danilo Castro
Music lover. Writer for Screen Rant, Noir Foundation, Classic Movie Hub & Little White Lies.

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