comScore 15 SXSW 2021 Films We’re Looking Forward To

15 SXSW 2021 Films We’re Looking Forward To

From R#J to Ma Belle, My Beauty.

Violation at SXSW.

SXSW 2021 is brimming with films that we can’t wait to watch. From a Shakespeare reimagining in the form of R#J to a story of revenge and family in Violation, the lineup for this year’s festival is here to entertain. This year, the festival is all online, but that doesn’t take away from the excitement that is palpable at the thought of diverse stories, creative endeavors, and content creators who are going to give us an experience like no other.

R#J Film SXSW

Charles Murphy/Sundance Institute

1. R#J

Director: Carey Williams, Screenwriters: Carey Williams, Rickie Castaneda, Producers: Timur Bekmambetov, Igor Tsay

Cast: Camaron Engels, Francesca Noel, RJ Cyler, Diego Tinoco, Russell Hornsby, Siddiq Saunderson

Synopsis: A re-imagining of Romeo and Juliet, featuring a diverse cast in the classic Shakespearean roles. This modern-day take is told on mobile and is a mashup of Shakespearean dialogue with current social media communication.

2. Trapped

Director: Manal Khaled, Screenwriters: Manal Khaled, Rasha Azab, Producer: Manal Khaled

Cast List: Coroline Khalil, Reem Hegab, Osama Abo El Ata, Ne’ma Mohsen, Mona Mokhtar, Sara’a Jebel

Synopsis: Trapped revolves around a number of women from different walks of life whose destinies are tied together; being all under one siege. As the events unfold, their own personal stories reflect on a far bigger siege that depicts the shackles imposed by a patriarchal society.

Broadcast Signal Intrusion at SXSW.

Queensbury Pictures

3. Broadcast Signal Intrusion

Director: Jacob Gentry, Screenwriters: Phil Drinkwater, Tim Woodall, Producers: Greg Newman, Brett Hays, Giles Edwards, Nicola Goelzhaeuser

Cast: Harry Shum Jr., Kelley Mack, Chris Sullivan, Jennifer Jelsema, Arif Yampolsky, Justin Welborn, Michael B. Woods, Steve Pringle

Synopsis: In the late ’90s, a video archivist unearths a series of sinister pirate broadcasts and becomes obsessed with uncovering the dark conspiracy behind them.

4. Ma Belle, My Beauty

Director/Screenwriter: Marion Hill, Producers: Ben Matheny, Kelsey Scult, Marion Hill

Cast: Idella Johnson, Hannah Pepper, Lucien Guignard, Sivan Noam Shimon

Synopsis: A surprise reunion in southern France reignites passions and jealousies between two women who were formerly polyamorous lovers.

Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror

Richard Wells

5. Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror

Director/Screenwriter: Kier-La Janisse, Producers: Kier-La Janisse, David Gregory, Winnie Cheung

Synopsis: Woodlands Dark Days and Days Bewitched is the first feature-length documentary on the history of folk horror, from the 1960s to today.

6. The Journey

Director/Screenwriter: Ève Saint-Louis

Synopsis: The Journey is the story of a father and daughter reunion. From Montreal’s airport, they will travel along a chaotic path, where their inability to find each other will unveil a complicated relationship and have them drift from their initial course.

7. I’m Fine (Thanks For Asking)

Directors: Kelley Kali, Angelique Molina, Screenwriters: Kelley Kali, Angelique Molina, Roma Kong, Producers: Roma Kong, Angelique Molina, Kelley Kali, Capella Fahoome, Deon Cole

Cast: Kelley Kali, Wesley Moss, Deon Cole, Brooklynn Marie, Steven Ira Scipio, Andrew Galvan, Lamar Usher, Brian Brooks II, Jacolyn Holmes, Xing-Mai Deng (World Premiere)

Synopsis: When a recently widowed mother becomes houseless, she convinces her 8-year-old daughter that they are only camping for fun while working to get them off the streets.

8. The Other Morgan

Director/Screenwriter: Alison Rich

Synopsis: When a dopey young exterminator discovers there’s another version of her out in the world, she begins to question her life choices.

9. Violation

Directors/Screenwriters/Producers: Madeleine Sims-Fewer, Dusty Mancinelli

Cast: Madeleine Sims-Fewer, Anna Maguire, Jesse LaVercombe, Obi Abili, Jasmin Geljo, Cynthia Ashperger

Synopsis: A troubled woman on the edge of divorce returns home to her younger sister after years apart. But when her sister and brother-in-law betray her trust, she embarks on a vicious crusade of revenge.

10. The Last Cruise

Director: Hannah Olson

Synopsis: The Last Cruise chronicles the first major COVID-19 outbreak outside of China. Using footage recorded by passengers and crew aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship, we watch class divisions emerge as the world misses its chance to contain the virus.

Ayar at SXSW.

Corey Waters

11. Ayar

Director: Floyd Russ, Screenwriters: Ariana Ron Pedrique, Floyd Russ, Vilma Vega, Producers: Kara Durrett, Floyd Russ, Corey Waters, Andy Coverdale

Cast: Ariana Ron Pedrique, Vilma Vega, Henry Foster Brown, Simon Haycock, Calliah Sophie Estrada, Pete Pano, Briza Covarrubias, Ceasar Hartman, Jay Lawrence Kiman, Frances Fuches

Synopsis: Ayar, a first-generation American Latina, returns home to reunite with her daughter. But when her mother, Renata, refuses to let her see her due to Covid, Ayar is confronted by the many roles she’s been forced to play, including the role in this film.

12. Violet

Director/Screenwriter: Justine Bateman, Producers: Justine Bateman, Michael D. Jones, Larry Hummel, Matt Paul

Cast List: Olivia Munn, Luke Bracey, Justin Theroux

Synopsis: A film development executive realizes that “guiding voice” inside her head has been lying to her about everything.

Here Before at SXSW

Rooks Nest Entertainment

13. Here Before

Director/Screenwriter: Stacey Gregg, Producers: Sophie Vickers, Julia Godzinskaya

Cast: Andrea Riseborough, Martin McCann, Jonjo O’Neill, Eileen O’Higgins

Synopsis: After new neighbors move in next door, a bereaved mother begins to question her reality in this unsettling psychological thriller.

14. Executive Order

Director: Lázaro Ramos, Screenwriters: Lusa Silvestre, Lázaro Ramos, Aldri Anunciação, Elísio Lopes Jr, Producers: Daniel Filho, Tania Rocha

Cast List: Alfred Enoch, Taís Araújo, Seu Jorge, Adriana Esteves, Renata Sorrah, Mariana Xavier, Pablo Sanábio

Synopsis: In a dystopian near-future in Brazil, an authoritarian government orders all citizens of African descent to move to Africa—creating chaos, protests, and an underground resistance movement that inspires the nation.

15. Alien on Stage

Directors/Producers: Danielle Kummer, Lucy Harvey

Synopsis: British bus driver’s amateur stage show of Ridley Scott’s Alien accidentally makes it to a famous London theatre! With awkward acting and special effects requiring more luck than judgment, will their homemade homage be alright on the night?

(featured image: Brigade Publicity/Shudder)

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Lyra (She/Her) is a queer Latinx writer who stans badass women in movies, TV shows, and books. She loves crafting, tostones, and speculating all over queer media. And when not writing she's scrolling through TikTok or rebuilding her book collection.