Austin Film Society Celebrates SXSW@25

Before this year’s festival kicks off, several films from years past get the big-screen treatment.

With SXSW 2018 only a week away, the Austin Film Society is screening a small selection of movies from Austin’s preeminent film festival. While in no way comprehensive, this mix of six highlights the ethos of the festival with both documentary and narrative films represented. As a bonus, most screenings will be introduced by SXSW Director of Film Janet Pierson or Senior Film Programmer Jarod Neece.

This series is a perfect preview of the big event itself as the AFS Cinema will join the action this year as the festival’s only Satellite Venue. This will make it easier for locals to see SXSW fare without having to battle the chaos of getting downtown. A wide variety of screenings will happen at the Cinema, with a focus on Texas filmmaking.

These SXSW@25 screenings start Friday March 2nd, and showtimes can be found on the AFS Cinema series page. For those not in Austin, check the end of this piece for which films are available via streaming. Descriptions courtesy of AFS.


A peripatetic portrait of a hometown and slices of memories become a cinematic story. The breakout, award-winning debut is from documentary filmmakers and brothers Bill and Turner Ross (CONTEMPORARY COLOR, TCHOUPITOULAS, WESTERN.)


God visits Pentecostal clergyman Richard Gazowsky to send him on a mission: make a Christian movie as big and epic as STAR WARS. Richard gets into action, though he’s never made a movie before, and also had never seen one (before watching STAR WARS). This is a documentary.


A gang of teenage thugs in south London meet their match when they must defend their neighborhood from an alien invasion. One of the most fun, inventive and surprising debut features to recently premiere at SXSW, featuring a breakout performance by John Boyega.


No one knew British director Andrew Haigh’s name when he showed up at SXSW in 2011 with his tiny independent film in hand. By the end of the festival, Andrew and this film were the revelation of the festival. This simmering queer romance is still a knock-out.

SUN DON’T SHINE (Fandor, Shudder, Sundance)

For her feature directorial debut, writer/director/actor Amy Seimetz chose her favorite subject, her home state of Florida, where she says people go when they are “running away from something.” Her sweat-drenched noir, with its hapless would-be Bonnie and Clyde, is one of the strongest indie debuts you’ll ever see, and predicted Amy’s great success with future projects such as Showtime’s The Girlfriend Experience.

MARWENCOL (Fandor, Sundance)

After being beaten into a brain-damaging coma by five men outside a bar, Mark builds a 1/6th scale World War II-era town in his backyard. Mark populates the town he dubs “Marwencol” with dolls representing his friends and family and creates life-like photographs detailing the town’s many relationships and dramas.

Can’t make it in person, you can catch Sun Don’t Shine on Fandor or Shudder and Marwencol on Fandor.

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