South by Southwest in Austin Hosts Major Premieres and Music Sets
South by Southwest returned for its first full in-person festival in four years over the weekend, with major film premieres and music sets around Austin, Texas. The festival is one of the most popular in the US and live streams some of its events, including music.
The range of programming at SXSW is one of the top features. From pitch events to surprise screenings, keynote speakers, and over 80 musical artists performing across the city, South by Southwest has something for everyone.
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On the music front, a lightning storm shut down some high-profile showcases, but smaller artists had the chance to shine in Austin this year. However, many artists criticized SXSW for poor compensation. Overall, there were many great sets locally and a surprise airport show from supergroup boygenius.
Flamin’ Hot and Mustache won the audience awards at the end of the festival. Flamin’ Hot will premiere on both Hulu and Disney+ in June.
Premieres at SXSW are coming to you
Last year, eventual Oscar winner Everything Everywhere All At Once premiered at SXSW. That premiere turned the festival into a potential Oscar launchpad, so eyes were on the premieres and award winners this year.
Ben Affleck’s new movie Air, which will be on Amazon Prime later this year, was the closing night movie for the festival. With Affleck, Matt Damon, Jason Bateman, and Viola Davis on stage, it felt like the festival was back in its pre-pandemic heyday.
The highly anticipated newest entry in the John Wick franchise—John Wick 4—had a surprise US premiere last week with a live Q&A after the screening.
The Alamo Drafthouse, a Texas and movie theater staple, hosted a range of documentaries. On the other end of the spectrum, Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves opened the festival. Evil Dead Rise, Joy Ride, Bottoms, and Tetris were other big film premieres.
Continuing a new trend of TV series premiering at festivals, FX’s Swarm made its world premiere opening night. Nearly every studio-backed streaming service had a strong showing, with Rabbit Hole from Paramount+, Love & Death coming to HBO Max in April, The Big Door Prize airing on Apple TV+, Beef on Netflix next week, and Mrs. Davis coming to Peacock. Finally, newly-minted Oscar winners Michelle Yeoh and Ke Huy Quan appear in American Born Chinese, coming to Disney+ at the end of May.
While most of the movies will be shown in theaters first, nearly all TV premieres will be available to stream immediately upon release.