Yesterday, SXSW announced the second round of its Film Festival program, including the Midnighters, Festival Favorites, Shorts, Episodic Pilot Competition, Virtual Cinema, Music Video, and Title Design lineup. The big event also announced the late-addition Features and the Closing Night Film for the 26th edition of the Festival, which runs from March 8th through the 17th. This year’s program offers 131 Feature Films including 101 World Premieres. There are 64 films from first-time filmmakers screening at the event, with 101 Short Films (including music videos), 5 Episodic Premieres, 12 Episodic Pilots, 25 Virtual Cinema Projects, and 30 Title Design entries. On that list is the world premiere of Paramount Pictures’ “Pet Sematary,” directed by Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer. The screening will close the 2019 Festival and a new trailer was released today for fans of the franchise.
Based on the horror novel by Stephen King, Pet Sematary follows Dr. Louis Creed (Jason Clarke), who, after relocating with his wife Rachel (Amy Seimetz) 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 (John Lithgow), setting off a perilous chain reaction that unleashes an unfathomable evil with horrific consequences.
The SXSW Midnighters section features 10 genre films, all World Premieres, and the slate includes dark comedies, thrillers, Sci-Fi, mystery and slasher horrors. The Midnighters, Festival Favorites, as well as 15 additional films, round out the 131 total features now to be screened at the SXSW 2019 Film Festival.
“Programming the SXSW Midnighters section is always a favorite part of my job, and this year was no exception,” said Jarod Neece, SXSW Senior Film Programmer. “We get to peek into the collective consciousness of the world of genre filmmakers working today. This year’s selections are a mix of horror, thriller, sci-fi and fantasy with a good dose of feral children, haunted houses, extraterrestrial creatures and the undead to creep out SXSW audiences late into the night. Genre films can be found throughout the entire SXSW program, from Jordan Peele’s Us on Opening Night to our Closing Night Film, Pet Sematary!”
This year’s 101 short films and music videos were selected from 5,478 submissions. A comprehensive list of the Short Film Program is below and will screen as part of 10 curated shorts programs.
“Welcoming these films and filmmakers into our community is a major highlight for me,” said Claudette Godfrey, Senior Film Programmer. “The work this year is contemplative and tender. In an uneasy era, these shorts show us how to connect across the abyss by exposing and embracing vulnerability through their originality, authenticity, and humor. Rightly so, over half of the films across our Shorts Programs, Music Videos, and Episodic Pilot Competition are directed by women.”
“The industry leaders and independent creators working in the immersive arts are once again bringing their fantastical new worlds to SXSW this March,” said Blake Kammerdiener, VR Programmer. “This year’s selections showcase the breadth of ingenuity in this medium and will transport you to far off lands in both the smallest and largest ways imaginable.”