While the 2020 SXSW Film Festival was canceled the films still live on. Recently SXSW announced their collaboration with Amazon Prime for an online film festival. They are currently in the process of allowing filmmakers to opt-in or opt-out and will host the festival at the end of April. As someone who refuses to use Amazon Prime, I was happy to see that you don’t have to have the service to attend the festival. It’s free to the public and all you need is an Amazon account.
Something that did not get as much fanfare was SXSW’s other collaboration with MailChimp which is hosting SXSW short films on their website. MailChimp Presents SXSW 2020 Shorts #SupportheShorts offers a variety of short films that would have been screened at the film festival. The categories include: Animated (7), Documentary (11), Made in Texas (8), Midnight (8), Narrative (15), Texas High School (15). It’s not clear how long these shorts will be available to view online. I hope it will be long term. Because I had press pass for the festival I was able to view many of these shorts ahead of time. Three of them I reviewed on this site.
If you love short films as much as I do and want to know which SXSW shorts to watch, here are some recommendations:
Basic — dir. by Chelsea Devantez
A hilarious short about pettiness and dating in the era of social media. I laughed out loud and watched this one on repeat. A must see!
Blackheads — dir. by Emily Ann Hoffman
A highly satisfying animated short film about a woman dealing with a break-up, a bad therapist and a giant blackhead.
Read my full review of Blackheads here.
Figurant — dir. Jan Vejnar
A short Czechian drama about a middle-aged man whose curiosity got the better of him as he finds himself hired for a mystery job. Amazing build-up and cinematography.
Read my full review of Figurant here.
Blocks — dir. by Bridget Moloney
An overwhelmed mom vomits lego blocks. Sounds crazy right? The overall theme of finding time for oneself really struck a chord with me. Don’t let the whacky concept turn you away from this one!
The Claudia Kishi Club — dir. by Sue Ding
In the 1980s/1990s there was a noticeable lack of Asian-American characters and those that existed were stereotypes. Claudia Kishi of The Babysitters Club books was a noticeable exception. A group of Asian-American artists and creators discuss the character’s impact.
Modern Whore — dir. by Nicole Bazuin
A retro style documentary with highly stylized re-enactments. Features a former sex worker describing her experience with escort message board review culture.
I’m Happy, I Promise — dir. by Mimi Cave
A whacky short comedy, told through a series of phone calls, about a nut-obsessed man who tries to ignore his past indiscretions.
Summer Hit — dir. by Berthold Wahjudi
Two exchange students from Iceland and Spain have a summer affair in Germany. What starts off as a meaningless fling blossoms into something much deeper.
Single — dir. by Ashley Eakin
A disability romance about a feisty young woman won’t take shit from anybody, including her blind date. The ending was so satisfying!
Face to Face Time — dir. by Izzy Shill
Perfect viewing for our quarantine culture. A woman calls up her new love interest for a sexy Facetime session. But things don’t turn out quite how she expected them to.
Lions in the Corner — dir. by Paul Hairston
A riveting documentary short about an ex-convict who starts a fight club to encourage youths to take out their battles in a boxing ring. His efforts help reduce needless violence and eventual incarceration.