Film FestivalsMoviesSXSW 2019 Movie Preview

dannythemoviemanMarch 3, 2019

We at KLM are super excited to be covering the SXSW Film Festival this year, especially considering the lineup is shaping up to be one of the best in festival history! With titles including favorites from Sundance (Greener Grass, Them That Follow), noteworthy directorial debuts from famed actors (Adopt A Highway, Booksmart) or star studded headlining titles (The Beach Bum, Pet Sematary) there’s just too much to be excited for! Welcome to our SXSW 2019 movie preview, where we let you know about the noteworthy selections for this years festival and follow them up with 5 top picks. Stay tuned for our coverage, and we hope to see you there!

Noteworthy Titles (Listed Alphabetically)

Adopt a Highway 

After being released from prison following a twenty year sentence for a minor offense, an ex-con must learn to navigate the modern world while coming to terms with his own life which has moved on – all while caring for the abandoned baby he finds in a dumpster. (SXSW)

Written and directed by Logan Marshall Green.

Starring Ethan Hawke, Elaine Hendrix, Diane Gaeta, Betty Gabriel, Mo McRae, Chris Sullivan, Nate Mooney, Christopher Heyerdahl and Anne Marie Johnson.

Screening Times:

  • Sunday, March 10th, Stateside Theatre, 8:30pm – 9:48pm
  • Tuesday, March 12th, AFS Cinema, 6:00pm – 7:18pm
  • Wednesday, March 13th, Rollins Theatre, 5:30pm – 6:48pm

The Art of Self-Defense

A man who is attacked at random on the street enlists in a local dojo, led by a charismatic and mysterious Sensei, in an effort to learn how to defend himself. (SXSW)

Written and directed by Riley Stearns.

Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Alessandro Nivola and Imogen Poots.

Screening Times:

  • Sunday, March 10th, Paramount Theatre, 2:45pm – 4:29pm
  • Tuesday, March 12th, Atom Theater at the Austin Convention Center, 11:00am – 12:44pm
  • Friday, March 15th, Stateside Theatre, 7:45pm – 9:29pm


Told from a wildly original, fresh and modern perspective, Booksmart is an unfiltered comedy about high school friendships and the bonds we create that last a lifetime. Capturing the spirit of our times, the film is a coming of age story for a new generation. (SXSW)

Directed by Olivia Wilde. Written by Emily Halpern, Sarah Haskins, Susanna Fogel and Katie Silberman.

Starring Kaitlyn Dever, Beanie Feldstein, Jessica Williams, Billie Lourd, Jason Sudeikis, Lisa Kudrow and Will Forte.

Screening Times

  • Sunday, March 10th, Paramount Theatre, 9:30pm – 11:15pm
  • Monday, March 11th, Atom Theater at the Austin Convention Center, 5:45pm – 7:30pm

The Curse of La Llorona

Ignoring the eerie warning of a troubled mother suspected of child endangerment, a social worker and her own small kids are soon drawn into a frightening supernatural realm. Their only hope to survive La Llorona’s deadly wrath may be a disillusioned priest and the mysticism he practices to keep evil at bay, on the fringes where fear and faith collide. (IMDb)

Directed by Michael Chaves. Written by Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis.

Starring Linda Cardellini, Raymond Cruz, Patricia Velasquez, Marisol Ramirez, Sean Patrick Thomas, Jaynee-Lynn Kinchen and Roman Christou.

Screening Time

  • Friday, March 15th, Paramount Theatre, 9:30pm – 11:08pm

The Day Shall Come

Based on 100 true stories, the explosive new film from Chris Morris is an emotionally gripping, laugh out loud thriller that exposes the dark farce at the heart of the homeland security project: It is harder to catch a real terrorist than it is to manufacture your own. (SXSW)

Directed by Chris Morris, written by Morris and Jesse Armstrong.

Starring Marchánt Davis, Anna Kendrick, Danielle Brooks and Denis O’Hare.

Screening Times

  • Monday, March 11th, Paramount Theatre, 6:30pm – 7:57pm
  • Tuesday, March 12th, Alamo Lamar E, 5:45pm – 7:12pm
  • Friday, March 15th, Alamo Ritz 1, 5:15pm – 6:42pm

Greener Grass

A deliciously twisted comedy set in a demented, timeless suburbia where every adult wears braces on their straight teeth, couples coordinate meticulously pressed outfits, and coveted family members are swapped in more ways than one in this competition for acceptance. (SXSW)

Written and directed by Jocelyn DeBoer and Dawn Luebbe.

Starring Jocelyn DeBoer, Dawn Luebbe, Beck Bennett, Neil Casey, Mary Holland, D’Arcy Carden, Dot-Marie Jones, Janicza Bravo, Jim Cummings and Lauren Adams.

Screening Times

  • Friday, March 8th, Alamo Lamar D, 9:15pm – 10:56pm
  • Saturday, March 9th, Rollins Theatre, 10:00pm – 11:41pm
  • Tuesday, March 12th, Atom Theater at the Austin Convention Center, 2:30pm – 4:11pm

I See You

In a perfect town filled with perfect families, twelve-year-old Justin Whitter has gone missing. Greg Harper, lead investigator on the case, struggles to balance the pressures of the investigation which has brought to attention a similar case thought to be buried in the past, while finding a way to forgive his well-heeled wife, Jackie, for a recent infidelity. Great strain is put on the family as Jackie’s guilt slowly gnaws away at her grip on reality, and when a malicious presence manifests itself and puts their young son, Connor, in mortal danger, the cold, hard truth about evil in the Harper household is finally uncovered. (MPRM Communications)

Directed by Adam Randall and written by Devon Graye.

Starring Helen Hunt, Jon Tenney, Judah Lewis, Owen Teague, Libe Barer, Greg Alan Williams, Erika Alexander and Allison King.

In I See You, we get to see Helen Hunt back on the big screen in a performance that we don’t usually see from her. From the director of 2017’s Netflix original film iBoy, this selection from the Midnighters program is sure to give you the chills. We’re excited for the crowds at the midnight screening of this one, and are expecting an awesome, original horror story that utilizes creativity to further it’s less horrific plot.

Screening Times

  • Monday, March 11th, Stateside Theatre, 11:30pm – 1:05am
  • Wednesday, March 13th, Alamo Lamar A, 10:45pm – 12:20am
  • Friday, March 15th, Alamo Lamar B, 11:15am – 12:50pm

Little Monsters

A washed-up musician teams up with a teacher and a kids show personality to protect young children from a sudden outbreak of zombies. (IMDb)

Written and directed by Abe Forsythe.

Starring Lupita Nyong’o, Alexander England and Josh Gad.

Screening Times

  • Saturday, March 9th, Paramount Theatre, 2:45pm – 4:15pm
  • Tuesday, March 12th, Rollins Theatre, 2:30pm – 4:00pm
  • Friday, March 15th, Stateside Theatre, 11:00pm – 12:30am

Long Shot

When Fred Flarsky reunites with his first crush, one of the most influential women in the world, Charlotte Field, he charms her. As she prepares to make a run for the Presidency, Charlotte hires Fred as her speechwriter and sparks fly. (IMDb)

Directed by Jonathan Levine. Written by Dan Sterling and Liz Hannah.

Starring Seth Rogen, Charlize Theron, O’Shea Jackson, Andy Serkis, June Diane Raphael, Bob Odenkirk, Alexander Skarsgard and Ravi Patel.

Screening Time

  • Saturday, March 9th, Paramount Theatre, 9:30pm – 11:30pm

The Mountain

Set against the 1950’s “golden age” of American male supremacy, an introverted young man joins a renowned lobotomist on a tour to promote the doctor’s recently-debunked procedure. As he increasingly identifies with the asylum’s patients, he becomes enamored with a rebellious young woman and lost in the burgeoning New Age movement of the west. (SXSW)

Directed by Rick Alverson. Written by Alverson, Dustin Guy Defa and Colm O’Leary.

Starring Tye Sheridan, Denis Lavant, Udo Kier, Hannah Gross and Jeff Goldblum.

Screening Times

  • Monday, March 11th, Alamo Ritz 1, 8:30pm – 10:16pm
  • Wednesday, March 13th, Alamo Lamar E, 11:15pm – 1:01am
  • Friday, March 15th, ZACH Theatre, 11:00am – 12:46pm

The Peanut Butter Falcon

Zak, a young man with Down syndrome runs away from a nursing home where he lives to chase his dream of becoming a professional wrestler and attending the wrestling school of The Salt Water Redneck. Through circumstances beyond their control Tyler, a small time outlaw on the run becomes Zak’s unlikely coach and ally. Together they wind through deltas, elude capture, drink whisky, find God, catch fish, and convince Eleanor, a kind nursing home employee with a story of her own to join them on their journey. (SXSW)

Written and directed by Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz.

Starring Shia LaBeouf, Dakota Johnson, Zack Gottsagen, John Hawkes, Bruce Dern, Thomas Haden Church, Jon Bernthal, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, Mick Foley and Yelawolf.

Screening Times

  • Saturday, March 9th, Atom Theater at the Austin Convention Center, 8:00pm – 9:33pm
  • Tuesday, March 12th, Alamo Lamar D, 4:45pm – 6:18pm
  • Wednesday, March 13th, Stateside Theatre, 5:15pm – 6:48pm

Pet Sematary

Based on the seminal horror novel by Stephen King, Pet Sematary follows Dr. Louis Creed, who, after relocating with his wife Rachel and their two young children from Boston to rural Maine, discovers a mysterious burial ground hidden deep in the woods near the family’s new home. When tragedy strikes, Louis turns to his unusual neighbor, Jud Crandall, setting off a perilous chain reaction that unleashes an unfathomable evil with horrific consequences. (SXSW)

Directed by Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer.

Starring Jason Clarke, Amy Seimetz, Jeté Laurence, Hugo Lavoie, Lucas Lavoie and John Lithgow.

Screening Time

  • Saturday, March 16th, Paramount Theatre, 8:00pm – 10:00pm

Pink Wall

Six scenes. Six years. Six moments that shaped the relationship of Jenna and Leon. Pink Wall examines what defines us, the pressures of gender expectations, and our perpetual struggle between life and ambition. (SXSW)

Written and directed by Tom Cullen.

Starring Tatiana Maslany and Jay Duplass.

Screening Times

  • Saturday, March 9th, ZACH Theatre, 12:00pm – 1:25pm
  • Monday, March 11th, Alamo Lamar A, 4:45pm – 6:10pm
  • Wednesday, March 13th, Alamo Ritz 2, 11:15am – 12:40pm

Sword of Trust

When Cynthia & Mary show up to collect Cynthia’s inheritance from her deceased grandfather, the only item she’s received is an antique sword that was believed by her grandfather to be proof that the South won the Civil War. The two attempt to unload the object to a curmudgeonly pawnshop owner & his man-child sidekick Nathaniel. When Mel and Nathaniel discover there’s a black market for the relic, the two pairs reluctantly join forces to sell this rarefied ‘prover item’ to the highest bidder. The adventure that ensues takes the four of them on a wild journey into the depths of conspiracy theory and and Southern disillusionment. (SXSW)

Directed by Lynn Shelton, written by Shelton and Mike O’Brien.

Starring Marc Maron, Jon Bass, Michaela Watkins, Jillian Bell, Toby Huss, Dan Bakkedahl, Tim Paul and Whitmer Thomas.

Screening Times

  • Friday, March 8th, ZACH Theatre, 9:15pm – 10:43pm
  • Monday, March 11th, Atom Theater at the Austin Convention Center, 9:00pm – 10:28pm
  • Wednesday, March 13th, Alamo Lamar D, 2:30pm – 3:58pm

Teen Spirit

Violet is a shy teenager who dreams of escaping her small town and pursuing her passion to sing. With the help of an unlikely mentor, she enters a local singing competition that will test her integrity, talent and ambition. Driven by a pop-fueled soundtrack, Teen Spirit is a visceral and stylish spin on the Cinderella story. (SXSW)

Written and directed by Max Minghella.

Starring Elle Fanning.

Screening Times

  • Tuesday, March 12th, Paramount Theatre, 3:00pm – 4:33pm
  • Wednesday, March 13th, Atom Theater at the Austin Convention Center, 8:45pm – 10:18pm

Them That Follow

Snake handlers are spiritual renegades belonging to an obscure, but growing, sect of American Pentecostalism: part of a century-old tradition of worshiping with venomous snakes during church services. Seeing themselves as the vanguards of salvation in a morally bankrupt world, these fundamentalists put their lives on the line — each and every week — to prove themselves before God. “Them That Follow” is a dramatic thriller that explores this dangerous and unseen way of life, deep in the wilds of Appalachia, telling the story of a pastor’s daughter who holds a secret that threatens to tear her father’s church apart. (SXSW)

Written and directed by Britt Poulton and Dan Madison Savage.

Starring Olivia Colman, Kaitlyn Dever, Alice Englert, Jim Gaffigan, Walton Goggins, Thomas Mann and Lewis Pullman.

Screening Times

  • Friday, March 8th, Alamo Lamar E, 9:45pm – 11:23pm
  • Saturday, March 9th, Alamo Ritz 2, 11:00am – 12:38pm
  • Wednesday, March 13th, ZACH Theatre, 11:00am – 12:38pm


Mickey and Jules are lovers on the run, headed southbound for a fresh start in the Sunshine State. When their car dies after a gas station robbery, they break into a nearby house looking for a new set of wheels. What they find instead is a dark secret, and a sweet-as-pie pair of homeowners who will do anything to keep it from getting out. (SXSW)

Written and directed by Dan Berk and Robert Olsen.

Starring Bill Skarsgard, Maika Monroe, Kyra Sedgwick and Jeffrey Donovan.

Screening Times

  • Saturday, March 9th, ZACH Theatre, 3:00pm – 4:28pm
  • Tuesday, March 12th, Alamo Lamar D, 10:45am – 12:13pm
  • Wednesday, March 13th, Atom Theater at the Austin Convention Center, 5:45pm – 7:13pm

KLM’s Top Five Picks

5. Good Boys

After getting invited to their first kissing party, three best friends accidentally destroy a drone they weren’t allowed to touch. To replace it, they skip school and set off on an epic odyssey of bad decisions, involving inadvertently stolen drugs, the police, and lots of tears. (SXSW)

Directed by Gene Stupnitsky. Written by Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg.

Starring Jacob Tremblay, Keith L. Williams, Brady Noon, Molly Gordon, Midori Francis and Josh Caras.

Why You Should Be Excited: Producers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg are claiming this to be a “6th grade Superbad”, which sounds extremely intriguing on its own! We haven’t really ever seen a raunchy comedy where the leads are kids, and we are definitely excited to see how they handle that first of a concept.

Screening Time

  • Monday, March 11th, Paramount Theatre, 9:30pm – 11:05pm

4. Stuber

When a mild-mannered Uber driver named Stu picks up a passenger who turns out to be a cop hot on the trail of a brutal killer, he’s thrust into a harrowing ordeal where he desperately tries to hold onto his wits, his life and his five-star rating. (SXSW)

Directed by Michael Dowse and written by Tripper Clancy.

Starring Kumail Nanjiani, Dave Bautista, Iko Uwais, Natalie Morales, Betty Gilpin, Jimmy Tatro, Mira Sorvino and Karen Gillan.

Why You Should Be Excited: This is a plot that sounds particularly driven by the ensemble and the chemistry of the actors, and considering the talent involved here, we should be set for a comedic masterpiece! We’re excited to see Dave Bautista in his first full-on-comedic film, and to see Kumail Nanjiani back on the big screen after 2017’s fantastic The Big Sick! Not to mention the great Canadian filmmaker Michael Dowse of The F Word fame, and one of the funniest titles for a film we’ve ever heard.

Screening Time

  • Wednesday, March 13th, Paramount Theatre, 9:30pm – 11:15pm

3. Run This Town

After graduation, Bram gets his dream job at a local newspaper. In his mind he’s the next Woodward (but he’s probably more of a Bernstein). A year in, he realizes that maybe the paper business is no longer what he’d seen in the movies. Instead of investigative journalism, he is writing easily consumable Top 10 Lists – Best Hot Dogs in the City! Ten Ways to Tell You Grew Up in the 90s! After the paper is hit with another round of layoffs, Bram stumbles upon a potentially explosive story involving the city’s controversial mayor. But he needs to beat the mayor’s smooth talking aide, Kamal, to the punch. This could be Bram’s big break — if he had any idea how to be a real journalist. (SXSW)

Written and directed by Ricky Tollman.

Starring Ben Platt, Nina Dobrev, Mena Massoud, Damian Lewis, Jennifer Ehle and Scott Speedman.

Why You Should Be ExcitedIt’s not a movie about notoriously controversial former Toronto mayor Rob Ford, as the director has stated before. However, the thing we are definitely looking forward to the most in this film is Damian Lewis’ portrayal of the figure, taking on a drastic physical performance which we are eagerly anticipating, in addition to covering some awesome, homegrown Canadian content at the fest.

Screening Times

  • Saturday, March 9th, Stateside Theatre, 8:30pm – 10:09pm
  • Monday, March 11th, Alamo Lamar A, 11:00am – 12:39pm
  • Friday, March 15th, Alamo Ritz 1, 11:15am – 12:54pm

2. The Beach Bum

THE BEACH BUM follows the hilarious misadventures of Moondog (Matthew McConaughey), a rebellious rogue who always lives life by his own rules. Co-starring Snoop Dog, Zac Efron, and Isla Fisher, THE BEACH BUM is a refreshingly original and subversive new comedy from director Harmony Korine (Kids, Spring Breakers). (SXSW)

Written and directed by Harmony Korine.

Starring Matthew McConaughey, Snoop Dogg, Isla Fisher, Stefania Lavie Owen, Jimmy Buffett, Zac Efron and Martin Lawrence.

Why You Should Be Excited: Although it definitely saw a split audience response, Spring Breakers is a film that was loved by many, including us at KLM! It’s so great to see a studio like NEON give Korine an outlet to explore his quirky ideas and neon-hued visual style, especially in a type of film we’ve never seen Korine do. With a star studded cast and one of the best trailers of the year, we are so excited to join Moondog on this wild ride which will probably end up being one of the funniest movies of the year.

Screening Time

  • Saturday, March 9th, Paramount Theatre, 6:00pm – 7:35pm

1. Us

A family’s serenity turns to chaos when a group of doppelgangers begin to terrorize them. (IMDB)

Written & directed by Jordan Peele.

Starring Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Elisabeth Moss, Tim Heidecker, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Anna Diop, Evan Alex, Shahadi Wright-Joseph, Madison Curry and Cali Sheldon.

Why You Should See It: Is there much that needs to be said? In what is going to be a surefire box office hit, Jordan Peele returns post best picture nomination (Get Out) with another social horror that is sure to blow your mind. Never mind having one of the best trailers I’ve ever seen. Stay tuned for our SXSW coverage for a review of this one, which has garnered the festival’s coveted opening night gala (which has been held by films like A Quiet Place, Everybody Wants Some, Chef and Cabin in the Woods in previous years). (Taken from our March 2019 preview, which you can view here)

Screening Time

  • Friday, March 8th, Paramount Theatre, 6:30pm – 8:30pm

If you are looking forward to seeing Us, you can also enter our contest for advance screening tickets in select Canadian cities here.

Follow me on twitter @daniel_azbel and on letterboxd @danthemovieman.

Stay tuned to for our coverage of this year’s SXSW Film Festival.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter or Instagram or like us on Facebook.


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