SXSW Film Festival Will Stream for Free, Thanks to Amazon Prime

By
June Diane Raphael
Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SXSW

We’re all going to SXSW this year, and we don't even have to drag ourselves off the couch.

Though South by Southwest was canceled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Austin-based festival has found new life via streaming: "Prime Video Presents the SXSW 2020 Film Festival Collection," a one-time online film festival launching April 27 and running through May 6 in front of Amazon's paywall, free for anyone who wants to watch.

As for the slate? That's a bit more complicated, as filmmakers were given the option to opt in to this virtual version of the festival if they so choose.

While this year's lineup originally included the Liam Hemsworth-starring Arkansas and Kelly Oxford’s directorial debut, Pink Skies Everywhere, as well as premieres of Judd Apatow’s King of Staten Island with Pete Davidson and The Lovebirds with Kumail Nanjiani and Issa Rae, those films have all opted out. (In The Lovebirds' case, because it's now a Netflix movie.)

Instead, here are some highlights of the 39 projects that will be streaming:

My Darling Vivian / U.S. (Director: Matt Riddlehoover) -- The story of Vivian Liberto, Johnny Cash's first wife and the mother of his four daughters. Includes never-before-seen footage and photographs of Johnny Cash and Rosanne Cash, as well as footage featuring Reese Witherspoon, Joaquin Phoenix, Tim Robbins, Whoopi Goldberg, John C. Reilly and many more.

Daddio / U.S. (Director, screenwriter, and producer: Casey Wilson, Co-Writer: Laura Kindred) -- Daddio is a comedy about death. A year after the sudden passing of their beloved wife and mother, a dad and daughter grapple with life after loss. Grief looks very different on both of them. Paul, played by Michael McKean, is manic. He gets a perm and begs neighbors to hot tub with him. Abby, played by Casey Wilson is depressed. She sleeps in her closet and uses a shopping cart for a laundry basket. At its heart, Daddio is a love story between a father and daughter after the unimaginable has happened. Based on real death events. Cast: Michael McKean, Casey Wilson, June Diane Raphael

Tales From the Loop / U.S., Canada (Creator/Writer: Nathaniel Halpern, Director: Mark Romanek) -- Based on the acclaimed art of Swedish artist Simon Stålenhag, Tales From the Loop explores the town and people who live above "The Loop," a machine built to unlock and explore the mysteries of the universe. In this fantastical, mysterious town, poignant human tales are told that bare universal emotional experiences while drawing on the intrigue of genre storytelling. Cast: Rebecca Hall, Paul Schneider, Daniel Zolghadri, Duncan Joiner, Jonathan Pryce

Check out the full lineup here:

"SXSW has always championed creators forging their own paths to success, often with just the right mix of passion, vision and radical experimentation to make their dreams happen,” said SXSW's director of film, Janet Pierson. "There is no one-size-fits-all, especially in these uncertain times, and we knew this opportunity would be of interest to those filmmakers who wanted to be in front of a large audience now. We believe people will be captivated by this selection of intriguing work that would have been shown at our 2020 event."

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