SXSW Documentary Preview: Films to Look Out For

While South by Southwest is known for being primarily a music festival, the event screens films that are just as noteworthy. Ranging from low-budget films to headliners, SXSW has had a consistent number of significant films that makes movie-goers anticipate the festival every year. ORANGE is especially excited for the Documentary Feature films and has compiled a list of must-sees.

By Rachel Cooper and Emily Nash


“Accidental Courtesy: Daryl Davis, Race & America”

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Courtesy of

Daryl Davis is known for being a Grammy-winning blues piano player, who played with numerous noteworthy acts, including Bill Clinton. But Davis is also known for a peculiar pastime — interviewing members of the KKK. His 1998 book, “Klan-destine Relationships: A Black Man's Odyssey in the Ku Klux Klan,” is brought to life in this new film which showcases his interactions with Klan members and other white supremacists across the nation. The synopsis of the film says Davis’s purpose is to answer the plaguing question: “How can you hate me when you don’t even know me?” This film is a must-see for all. Amid the Black Lives Matter movement and the rise of the KKK in the media, this film looks to shed light on important racial issues by starting the conversations that are desperately needed.


March 13 at 4:15 p.m., Stateside Theatre

March 14 at 9:45 p.m., Rollins Theatre at the Long Center

March 16 at 10:45 p.m., Stateside Theatre


Aug. 1, 2016 marks the 50-year anniversary of the notorious tower shooting that took place at the University of Texas at Austin. Gunman Charles Whitman shot 46 people, 16 of whom died. This was the first mass school shooting in history, and “TOWER” aims to retell the story through real footage intertwined with animation. The film focuses on the stories of witnesses and survivors, aided by Texas Monthly’s “96 Minutes” article, which recounted the events that happened that day. On August 1, the new campus carry law will also be enacted. This film arrives at the perfect time to remind us of the past and display the strong connection it bears to the  future of guns at UT.


March 13 at 11:00 a.m., Stateside Theatre,

March 14 at 7:15 p.m., Rollins Theatre at the Long Center

March 17 at 11:30 a.m., Paramount Theatre


“The Space In Between — Marina Abromovic and Brazil”

Serbian performance artist Marina Abromovic is recognized as one of the most influential contemporary artists of the century, as she tests the relationship between herself and her audience. After receiving praise for the critically acclaimed documentary “Marina Abromovic: The Artist is Present,” “The Space In Between — Marina Abromovic and Brazil” follow the artist as she travels through culturally rich villages in the Brazilian countryside and beautiful landscapes. Once again, Abromovic test her body and mind, this time by experiencing sacred rituals and getting in touch with nature. The first Abromovic retrospective unveiled the emotional and physical pain she endured as an artist, and assisted us in understanding the strengths and limitations of the human body and mind. If her next documentary is as powerful as the first, then it will leave you questioning concepts such as what should and should not be considered art, our physical and emotional breaking points, sexuality and essentially the meaning of life. Tissues might be a good thing to keep handy while watching Abromovic’s spiritual journey through Brazil.


March 12 at 3:45 p.m., Stateside Theatre

March 13 at 8:30 p.m., Rollins Theatre at Long Center

March 18 at 7:30 p.m., Stateside Theatre

“Ovarian Psycos”

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Courtesy of

The Ovarian Psycos roam the dark streets of Eastside Los Angeles, Boyle Heights and Lincoln Heights, dangerous parts of the city. What started with Latina activist Xela de la X quickly transformed into a powerful group of women of color with one goal: addressing pertinent issues, particularly violence, that negatively affect their neighborhoods. Directed by documentary filmmakers Joanna Sokolowski and Kate Trumbull-LaValle, “Ovarian Psycos” follow these fierce women through the work they do on the streets and give viewers a look into their personal lives, from raising their their kids to upholding their activist ideals. Since March is Women’s History Month, it’s great to see films that shed light on the significant impact women of color have on their communities, by reclaiming their neighborhoods and fighting against violence, white supremacy and a patriarchal society.


March 12 at 9:15 p.m., Stateside Theatre

March 13 at 4:00 p.m., Rollins Theatre at Long Center