20 Films You Need to Watch at SXSW 2022: Festival Preview

20 Films You Need to Watch at SXSW 2022: Festival Preview

When SXSW 2020 was cancelled, it marked the beginning of the COVID era. After two years though, SXSW is returning to Austin (and will also have an virtual presence) for its 2022 edition (March 11-20). If the recently released film festival lineup is any indication, SXSW might mark a turning point for in-person festivals.

From comedic blockbusters (The Lost City) to old-school slashers (X) to introspective dramas (The Unknown Country), there’s bound to be something for everyone in this year’s lineup. With so many unique films on SXSW’s slate this year, we at Silver Linings Reviews have picked out 20 highlights that should be on your radar. Additionally, we will dive deeper into each of these films every Tuesday in our “Road to SXSW” preview series leading up to the event.

Festival passes are still available for purchase here. For a full list of the line up and schedule, please go to schedule.sxsw.com. And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest information on the SXSW Film Festival and all things movies!

Headliners:

Credit: Gwen Capistran

Bodies Bodies Bodies
Director: Halina Reijn, Screenwriters: Kristen Roupenian, Sarah Delappe, Chloe Okuno, Joshua Sharp, Aaron Jackson, Producers: David Hinojosa, Ali Herting, Lara Costa-Calzado, Tatiana Bears


When a group of rich 20-somethings plan a hurricane party at a remote family mansion, a party game turns deadly in this fresh and funny look at backstabbing, fake friends, and one party gone very, very wrong. Cast List: Amandla Stenberg, Maria Bakalova, Pete Davidson, Rachel Sennott, Myha’la Herrold, Chase Sui Wonders, Lee Pace (World Premiere)


 ‘Nick Cage’ greets ‘Javi Gutierrez’ with a ‘Palm Hold Fist’ salute as he arrives in Mallorca, Spain. | Credit: Katalin Vermes

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent
Director: Tom Gormican, Screenwriters: Tom Gormican, Kevin Etten, Producers: Nicolas Cage, Mike Nilon, Kristin Burr, Kevin Turen


In this delirious action-comedy, Nicolas Cage plays…Nick Cage. Caught between a dangerous superfan (Pedro Pascal) and a CIA operative (Tiffany Haddish), Cage must reflect upon the legacy of his career to save himself and his loved ones. Cast List: Nicolas Cage, Pedro Pascal, Sharon Horgan, Ike Barinholtz, Alessandra Mastronardi, Jacob Scipio, Lily Sheen, Neil Patrick Harris, Tiffany Haddish (World Premiere)


Narrative Feature Competition (Presented by Panavision)

Featuring Patton Oswalt (“Chuck”) and writer/director James Morosini (“Franklin”). | Credit: © I Love My Dad, LLC (Hantz Motion Pictures)

I Love My Dad
Director/Screenwriter: James Morosini, Producers: Bill Stertz, Patton Oswalt, Sean O’Grady, Dane Eckerle, Phil Keefe, Daniel Brandt, Sam Slater


A hopelessly estranged father catfishes his son in an attempt to reconnect. Inspired by a true story. Like, this literally happened to me. Cast List: Patton Oswalt, James Morosini, Claudia Sulewski, Rachel Dratch, Ricky Velez, Lil Rel Howery, Amy Landecker (World Premiere)


LINOLEUM starring Jim Gaffigan & Rhea Seehorn

Linoleum
Director/Screenwriter: Colin West, Producers: Chad Simpson, Dennis Masel, Chadd Harbold


When the host of a failing children’s science show tries to fulfill his childhood dream of becoming an astronaut by building a rocket ship in his garage, a series of bizarre events occur that cause him to question his own reality. Cast List: Jim Gaffigan, Rhea Seehorn, Katelyn Nacon, Gabriel Rush, Amy Hargreaves, West Duchovny, Michael Ian Black, Tony Shalhoub, Elisabeth Henry, Roger Hendricks Simon (World Premiere)


Credit: Slash/Back

Slash/Back (Canada)
Director: Nyla Innuksuk, Screenwriters: Nyla Innuksuk, Ryan Cavan, Producers: Dan Bekerman, Christopher Yurkovich, Alex Ordanis, Nyla Innuksuk, Stacey Aglok McDonald, Alethea Arnaquq-Baril, Ethan Lazar 


In a remote Arctic community, a group of Inuit girls fight off an alien invasion, all while trying to make it to the coolest party in town. Cast List: Tasiana Shirley, Alexis Wolfe, Chelsea Prusky, Frankie Vincent-Wolfe, Nalajoss Ellsworth (World Premiere)


Documentary Feature Competition

Credit: Sean Casey

Spaz
Director/Producer: Scott Leberecht


Steve ‘Spaz’ Williams is a pioneer in computer animation. His digital dinosaurs of Jurassic Park transformed Hollywood in 1993, but an appetite for anarchy and reckless disregard for authority may have cost him the recognition he deserved. (World Premiere)


Credit: Scott Grossman

The Thief Collector
Director: Allison Otto, Screenwriter: Mark Monroe, Producers: Caryn Capotosto, Jill Latiano Howerton, Joshua Kunau

 
It was one of the most audacious and puzzling crimes of a generation. The Thief Collector unravels the mystery of the infamous 1985 heist of Willem de Kooning’s seminal painting, “Woman-Ochre.” (World Premiere)


Narrative Spotlight

Credit: Sean McElwee

Spin Me Round (Italy, U.S.)
Director: Jeff Baena, Screenwriters: Jeff Baena, Alison Brie, Producers: Mel Eslyn, Jeff Baena, Alison Brie, Dylan Sellers, Chris Parker


When the manager of an Italian restaurant chain wins the opportunity to attend the franchise’s educational immersion program in Italy, what she thought would be a romantic getaway devolves into chaos and catastrophe. Cast List: Alison Brie, Alessandro Nivola, Aubrey Plaza, Molly Shannon, Zach Woods, Ayden Mayeri, Ben Sinclair, Tim Heidecker, Debby Ryan, Fred Armisen (World Premiere)


Connor Kalopsis & Rita Moreno in THE PRANK | Credit: Mathew Rudenberg

The Prank
Director: Maureen Bharoocha, Screenwriters: Becca Flinn-White, Zak White, Producer: Steven J. Wolfe

 
Ben, and his slacker friend, Tanner play a prank on their high school physics professor when she fails them on a test. They teach the imperious, demanding instructor a lesson by falsely accusing her of the murder of a missing student on social media. Cast List: Connor Kalopsis, Ramona Young, Rita Moreno, Keith David, Kate Flannery, Meredith Salenger, Johnathan Kimmel, Nathan Janak, Betsy Sodaro, Romel De Silva (World Premiere)


Documentary Spotlight

Credit: Courtesy of Showtime Documentary Films and Kilo Films)

Nothing Lasts Forever
Director: Jason Kohn, Producers: Amanda Branson Gill, Jared Goldman


When filmmaker Jason Kohn infiltrates the secretive diamond industry, he uncovers a massive criminal conspiracy that threatens not only the value of every diamond ever mined but also the universal symbol of love – the engagement ring. (North American Premiere)


Credit: Casey Neistat

Under the Influence
Director: Casey Neistat, Producers: Christine Vachon, Casey Neistat, Mason Plotts, Screenwriter: Mark Monroe


The rise and fall of the biggest YouTuber in the world whose feel-good videos masked the dark and reckless new ethos of online celebrity culture. (World Premiere)


Midnighters


Aisha Dee as Cecilia in SISSY | Credit: Steve Arnold ACS

Sissy (Australia)
Director/Screenwriter: Hannah Barlow, Kane Senes, Producers: Lisa Shaunessy, John De Margheriti, Jason Taylor, Bec Janek


Invited away on a bachelorette weekend, Sissy is stuck in a remote cabin with her high school bully…and a taste for revenge. #triggered Cast List: Aisha Dee, Hannah Barlow, Emily De Margheriti, Daniel Monks, Yerin Ha, Lucy Barrett, Shaun Martindale, Amelia Lule, April Blasdall, Camille Cumpston (World Premiere).


Credit: Christopher Moss

X
Director/Screenwriter: Ti West, Producers: Jacob Jaffke, Kevin Turen, Harrison Kreiss, Ti West


In 1979, a group of young filmmakers set out to make an adult film in rural Texas, but when their reclusive, elderly hosts catch them in the act, the cast find themselves fighting for their lives. Cast List: Mia Goth, Jenna Ortega, Martin Henderson, Brittany Snow, Owen Campbell, Stephen Ure, Scott Mescudi (World Premiere)


Visions

Credit: The Blind Man Who Did Not Want To See Titanic

The Blind Man Who Did Not Want To See Titanic (Finland)
Director/Screenwriter: Teemu Nikki, Producers: Jani Pösö, Teemu Nikki


An intense movie, shot from a blind man’s perspective. An atypical action/thriller film about a man who has to go through hell to reach his loved one. Cast List: Petri Poikolainen, Marjaana Maijala, Samuli Jaskio, Rami Rusinen, Hannamaija Nikander, Matti Onnismaa (North American Premiere)


Lily Gladstone stars as Tana, a grieving young woman on an unexpected cross-country road trip through the American Midwest. | Credit: Morrisa Maltz (c)2022 Morrisa Maltz, LLC)

The Unknown Country
Director/Screenwriter: Morrisa Maltz, Producers: Laura Heberton, Lainey Bearkiller Shangreaux, Katherine Harper, Vanara Taing, Tommy Heitkamp


An unexpected invitation launches a grieving young woman on a solitary road trip through the American Midwest as she struggles to reconcile the losses of her past with the dreams of her future. Cast List: Lily Gladstone, Raymond Lee, Richard Ray Whitman, Lainey Bearkiller Shangreaux, Devin Shangreaux, Jasmine “Jazzy” Bearkiller Shangreaux, Pam Richter, Dale Leander Toller, Florence R. Perrin, Teresa Boyd (World Premiere)


24 Beats Per Second

Filming at the Royal Albert Hall | Credit: Tony Levin

In the Court of the Crimson King (United Kingdom)
Director: Toby Amies, Producers: Toby Amies, Nicholas Jones


What began as a traditional documentary about the legendary band King Crimson as it turned 50, mutated into an exploration of time, death, family, and the transcendent power of music to change lives; but with jokes. (World Premiere)


Nick Cave and Warren Ellis | Credit: Charlie Gray)

This Much I Know To Be True (United Kingdom)
Director: Andrew Dominik, Producers: Amy James, Isaac Hoff


Shot over five days at Battersea Arts Centre and on location in London and Brighton, This Much I Know To Be True captures Nick Cave and Warren Ellis’ exceptional creative relationship as they bring to life songs from albums Ghosteen and Carnage. (US Premiere)


GLOBAL Presented By MUBI

Sonja (Maria Bakalova) and Lora (Ralitsa Stoyanova) in “Women Do Cry” | Credit: © Dimitar KOSTOV / ACTIVIST38 – ICI ET LÀ PRODUCTIONS – ARTE FRANCE CINÉMA – 2021

Women Do Cry (Bulgaria, France)
Directors/Screenwriters: Mina Mileva, Vesela Kazakova, Producers: Mina Mileva, Vesela Kazakova, Christophe Bruncher


After Cat in the Wall (Locarno 2019 Competition, SXSW 2020), the activist duo Mina Mileva and Vesela Kazakova (nicknamed the ‘demonic duo’) expose with Borat 2 breakthrough star Maria Bakalova the absurd yet sadly realistic contradictions in Bulgaria. Cast List: Maria Bakalova, Ralitsa Stoyanova, Katia Kazakova, Bilyana Kazakova, Iossif Surchadjiev, Rositca Gevrenova, Diana Spasova, Dobriela Popova, Yavor Kostov, Jerome Godfrey (Texas Premiere)


Festival Favorites

Credit: 2nd Chance

2nd Chance / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Ramin Bahrani, Producers: Daniel Turcan, Johnny Galvin, Charles Dorfman, Ramin Bahrani, Jacob Grodnik)

Bankrupt pizzeria owner Richard Davis invented the modern-day bulletproof vest. To prove that it worked, he shot himself 192 times. He launched a multi-million-dollar company and became a cult figure among police. Davis’ rise and fall reveals a man of contradictions and the nature of power and impunity in America. World Premiere. Documentary.


Credit: A24

Marcel The Shell With Shoes On
Director: Dean Fleischer-Camp, Screenwriters: Dean Fleischer-Camp, Jenny Slate, Nick Paley,
Producers: Elisabeth Holm, Andrew Goldman, Caroline Kaplan, Paul Mezey

 
Marcel, a one-inch-tall shell, lives a miniature life with his grandma Connie and their pet lint, Alan. When the trio goes viral, they get millions of fans and new hope for finding their long-lost family, in this big-hearted big-screen adventure. Cast List: Jenny Slate, Isabella Rossellini, Dean Fleischer-Camp (Texas Premiere).

Cover Photo provided by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for SXSW. All loglines for films provided by SXSW Press.

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