If you missed Utah’s Sundance Film Festival this year, then you definitely don’t want to miss out on SXSW 2023! I haven’t seen a film festival line up this great since … well, never. Usually, I look through the list of films and wonder why they’re so dang gon’ depressing.
But not this year!
SXSW 2023 has a ton of great films lined up for us — from Eva Longoria’s directorial debut Flamin Hot to a Dungeons & Dragons epic — and I can’t wait to watch them all! (Okay, I won’t see them all, but I’m definitely going to try to watch as many as I can.)
If you’re not planning on watching movies all day long, for 7 straight days in a row, because it’s not your job too — or quite frankly you just don’t have that kind of time, here’s a list of films you should add to your SXSW 2023 watch list! You can thank me now.
‘Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves’
Starring Regé-Jean Page, Justice Smith, Chris Pine, Michelle Rodriguez, Hugh Grant, and Chloe Coleman, Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves is the story of a charming thief and a band of unlikely adventurers who undertake an epic heist to retrieve a lost relic.
But just like my patience when playing video games after constantly dying over and over, things go south quick. And if it was good enough for Paramount Pictures to pick up, then it’s good enough for us to watch on the big screen. Hopefully it’s just as good as Paramount’s take on Dora the Explorer because that movie was awesome!
Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves brings the rich world and playful spirit of the legendary roleplaying game to the big screen in a hilarious and action-packed adventure – and I can’t wait to see it.
Eva Longoria’s directorial debut, Flamin’ Hot is the story of Richard Montañez, the Frito Lay janitor who channeled his Mexican American heritage and upbringing to turn Flamin’ Hot Cheetos into a snack that disrupted the food industry and became a global phenomenon.
And even though I don’t actually eat Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, I’m still dying to know how they became so darn popular!
Known for her directorial debut Shiva Baby (which premiered at SXSW 2020), Emma Seligman is back with her second film, Bottoms. The film follows two unpopular queer girls during their senior year of high school who start a fight club so they can hook up with cheerleaders.
And since it also stars our favorite gal Ayo Edebiri, from Hulu’s hit series The Bear, there’s absolutely no way we could pass this one up!
Cora (played by Megan Stalter – who starred as Kayla the annoying, but funny, assistant in Hacks) senses her open relationship is on the rocks. But when the struggling musician and messy millennial goes home to Portland to win her girlfriend back, she realizes it’s much more than her love life that needs salvaging.
I loved Megan so much in Hacks I just can’t wait to see her in Cora Bora! Plus, the film also stars Manny Jacinto (from The Good Place) and comedian Margaret Cho.
It’s the mid-90’s in Northern California and 13-year-old Pakistani-American Ilyas is facing a major crisis — public school. Not only did his parents yank him out of his comfortable Islamic private school, but Ilyas’ fears about joining public school are made worse by his insecurities due to his inescapable, prepubescent mustache. Yet it’s only when Ilyas hatches a hilarious plan to return to his old school — that he realizes he must also learn to accept himself.
The film stars comedians Rizwan Manji, Hasan Minhaj, and Clueless star Alicia Silverstone.
Starring Karen Gillan, Margaret Sophie Stein, and one of my all time faves Jermaine Fowler – Late Bloomers tells the story of Louise, an aimless, 28 year-old Brooklynite, who drunkenly falls while doing something stupid and breaks her hip. The fall lands her in physical therapy with people twice her age, where she meets Antonina – a cranky elderly Polish woman, who doesn’t speak English. When Louise gets a job caring for Antonina, neither woman loves the arrangement, but nonetheless it forces them to face the truth about aging.
Joy Ride is a hilarious and unapologetically explicit story of identity and self-discovery that centers on four unlikely friends who embark on a once-in-a-lifetime international adventure.
When Audrey’s (Ashley Park, Emily in Paris) business trip to Asia goes sideways, she enlists the aid of Lolo (Sherry Cola, Good Trouble), her irreverent, childhood best friend who also happens to be a hot mess; Kat (Oscar® nominee Stephanie Hsu, Everything Everywhere All at Once), her college friend turned Chinese soap star; and Deadeye (Sabrina Wu), Lolo’s eccentric cousin. Their no-holds-barred, epic experience becomes a journey of bonding, friendship, belonging, and wild debauchery that reveals the universal truth of what it means to know and love who you are.
‘Black Barbie: A Documentary’
Love her or hate her, almost everyone has a Barbie story. Even if they don’t have a story, there’s a story as to why they don’t have a story. In this film, Lagueria Davis tells the take behind the first Black Barbie, because yes, she has a story too. It started with the filmmaker’s 83-year old aunt, Beulah Mae Mitchell and a seemingly simple question, “Why not make a Barbie that looks like me?”
Story Ave may be the South Bronx tale that we all need to see this year. Blinded by the grief of losing his younger brother, Kadir Grayson, an artistic teen on the brink of finding and losing himself all at once, runs away from home. To escape, he heads to the beautifully dark and dangerous world of graffiti.
Desperate to join the gang, ‘Outside The Lines’, that consists of street kids with minds as criminal as they are artistic, Kadir (Asante Blackk) attempts to rob Luis (Luis Guzmán), an older Puerto Rican MTA conductor on the Story Ave subway platform.
But when Luis offers him the cash he needs, for the first time in his life, Kadir entertains the possibility of his artistic talent being a conduit to a better life.
As a native New Yorker I’ve always loved graffiti – and wondered how they got these insane art pieces so high up! So I’m looking forward to watching Luis and Asante in this one.
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