Virtual SXSW Film Festival now playing on Amazon Prime thru May 6, 2020
This week, a virtual SXSW Film Festival made its debut on Amazon Prime with a collection of films available to view on the platform for free thru Monday May 6, 2020. The annual Austin, TX-based film, music and technology festival was canceled in March due to the outbreak of Covid—19.
South By Southwest (SXSW) is one of the world’s most prominent film, art, music and technology festivals. Held each March in Austin-TX, SXSW attracts millions of dollars in investments, tens of thousands of fans and participants. Every year, big tech, big Hollywood and big Media all gather for SXSW to hob knob, share trade secrets, bask in the exclusivity of it all, and set the cultural barometer for film, music, and technology for the next twelve months. Not so, in 2020. Or so we thought.
Virtual SXSW Film Festival – a new model?
It’s unknown if “sharing it with the masses” will hurt or help the aim of these independent films screenings to secure paid distribution deals or not. Perhaps a new business model will emerge. Regardless it’s a win for audiences that will get to watch all these yet-to-be-officially-released films sooner than later…for free.
Like all fast actors, the folks at SXSW have pivoted to at least showcase the film festival portion of the prominent showcase online via Amazon. After all, many resources have been invested in the production of these independent films and the screenings of such productions at large festivals are crucial for exposure and distribution.
While Amazon is hosting the titles on its Prime Video platform, the films will be accessible for all, even those without Prime memberships. The collection is available through May 6th, so grab your popcorn and enjoy yet another long, Covid-19 weekend with lots of cinematic inspiration.
Below are some of films available to stream for free on Amazon Prime with links, trailers and synopsis.
For the full list go here.
Directed by: Mina Mileva and Vesela Kazakova
Synopsis: CAT IN THE WALL tells the true story of how a cat, stuck in a wall, changes the lives of aspirational Bulgarian migrants, benefit fraudsters and gentrified Brexiteers.
Directed by: Camila Urrutia
Synopsis: Claudia and Maria have fallen in love. They live in the city of Guatemala, a city full of stories related to abuse, unforgiving police officers and charming secret corners. Everything changes one night when they are attacked by three men.
Le Choc Du Futur (French with Subtitles)
Directed by: Marc Collin
Synopsis: The late 1970s arrival of electronic music to France is dealt with in the story of 24 hours in the life of a young woman composer in Paris.
Selfie (French with Subtitles)
Directed by: Marc Fitoussi, Cyril Gelblat, Vianney Lebasque, Thomas Bidegain, Tristan Arouet
Synopsis: Algorithms, technophobics, dating App addicts, vloggers, cloud security breach… each one of us can relate to the wired madness happening on screen. In five subversive and hilarious Black Mirror-like tales, Selfie takes on our digital shortcomings and shows how the new 2.0 era is driving all of us nuts!
Directed by: Karen Bernstein
Synopsis: “i’m gonna make you love me” is a full-length documentary about the life of Brian Belovitch, who in the 1980s as a transgender woman named Tish, was one of New York’s most famous downtown divas.
Directed by: Matt Riddlehoover
Synopsis: The story of Vivian Liberto, Johnny Cash’s first wife and the mother of his four daughters.
Directed by: Alex Lee Moyer
Synopsis: Born from the internet, the phrase “TFW NO GF” was originally used online to describe a lack of romantic companionship. Since then, it has evolved to symbolize a greater state of existence defined by isolation, rejection and alienation. The meme’s protagonist, “WOJAK,” has become the mascot to a vast online community consisting of self-described “hyper-anonymous twenty somethings” and “guys who slipped between the cracks.” TFW NO GF asks: How has the zeitgeist come to bear down on a generation alienated by the ‘real world’? Meet the lost boys who came of age on the internet- places like 4chan and Twitter, where they find camaraderie in despair.
Showrunner/Directed by: Jay Cheel
Synopsis: Cursed Films is a five part documentary series which explores the myths and legends behind some of Hollywood’s notoriously cursed horror film productions.
Showrunner: Eliot Laurence
Synopsis: Motherland: Fort Salem follows Raelle Collar, Abigail Bellweather and Tally Craven, three witches who are enlisted in the U.S. Army. … The series takes place in a women-dominated world in which the U.S. ended persecution of witches 300 years ago during the Salem Witch Trials after an agreement known as the Salem Accord.
Showrunner: Nathaniel Halpern
Directed by: Mark Romance
Synopsis: Tales from the Loop is an American science fiction drama television series based on the eponymous art book by Swedish artist Simon Stålenhag. The series premiered on Amazon Prime Video on April 3, 2020. All eight episodes of the first season were released simultaneously.
James C. Sullivan is a guitarist, singer and long-time journalist having worked at publications including Snowboarder Magazine and USA Today. He recently returned to his roots in New England after a decade in California because cold winters and cloudy days inspire more creativity.