Lindsay Hattrick/Nylon/SXSW


The SXSW 2023 Films You’re Going To Want To See

Featuring the buzziest SXSW 2023 movies, like Emma Seligman and Rachel Sennott's Bottoms, an aespa concert, the story of Flamin' Hot Cheetos, and more.

Austin may be overrun by tech bros wearing Allbirds, but it’s still home to one of film’s most coveted festivals, South by Southwest. SXSW 2023’s lineup continues its streak of curating the most exciting talents in independent film; seasoned actors like Tilda Swinton are on the bill, alongside freshly minted Oscar nominees like Stephanie Hsu; rising stars like Rachel Sennott and Meg Stalter expand their grip on comedy; and even K-pop favorites aespa are in on the fun, opening their virtual world to the film buff masses. Ahead of SXSW’s kickoff on March 10, NYLON gathered the most anticipated films premiering at the festival to guide your viewing experience. Read about them all, below.


Emma Seligman quickly positioned herself as a director to watch following the explosive success of her claustrophobic, hilarious debut film Shiva Baby. Now, her sophomore film Bottoms brings it back to a raunchy and sticky high school campus, following two unpopular senior girls who start a fight club to try to impress and hook up with cheerleaders. Bottoms continues Seligman’s creative partnership with Shiva Baby breakout star Rachel Sennott (who co-wrote the script), and also features Ayo Edeberi. Please do yourself a favor and watch Rachel and Ayo are Single to fully prepare yourself for the stars’ perfect comedic timing. —Layla Halabian, Culture Editor


Cora Bora

It’s about time Meg Stalter got a starring role, and what better for her than as a wayward millennial and struggling musician who goes home to Portland, Oregon to try to win her girlfriend back? (I’m guessing she finds herself along the way!) —Sophia June, Culture Writer


Joy Ride

Girls having a wild romp of a trip is always an excellent film category, and Joy Ride adds to the canon as it follows Audrey (the ever-so-charming Emily in Paris star Ashley Park) as she scrambles to fix her business trip to Asia with the help of her group of friends — which happens to include Oscar nominee Stephanie Hsu as a college pal turned Chinese soap star. —LH


Aespa VR Concert at Kwangya

aespa is the most interesting K-pop girl group in any world, be it physical or virtual. In a VR concert experience unlike any you’ve ever seen, aespa and their avatars take you to KWANGYA, an unruled place where audiences will get to experience the girl group and their stories up close and personal. —SJ



If you’re heartbroken over HBO’s cruel and unjust cancellation of Los Espookys, find solace in Problemista — starring, written, and directed by the always surreal Julio Torres. The film follows El Salvadorean aspiring toy designer Alejandro, who must navigative the byzantine hell known as the U.S. Immigration system in order to stay in the country and bring his dreams to fruition. His only hope: Tilda Swinton as a an erratic art-world outcast, who else? —LH


Flamin’ Hot

Finally! Justice for the most important culinary creation in the last 500 years: Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. The film, directed by Eva Longoria, tells the story of Richard Montañez, the legendary Frito Lay janitor who tapped into his Mexican-American heritage to bring Flamin' Hot Cheetos into the world. —LH


I Used To Be Funny

To be clear, Rachel Sennott is still very funny, and, along with her role in Bottoms, she’s also the star of I Used To Be Fuuny. In this feature debut from Ally Pankiw, who has worked on some true standout series (Schitts Creek, Shrill) and directed music videos for Ariana Grande and Muna, Sennott plays an aspiring stand up comedian and au pair struggling with PTSD who has to decide whether to join the search for a missing teenage girl she used to nanny. —SJ


Late Bloomers

Starring Guardians of the Galaxy’s Karen Gillan, an aimless 28-year-old breaks her hip while drunk and finds herself in a physical therapy ward, where she befriends a cranky, elderly Polish woman and takes a job caring for her. Neither of them are stoked about the arrangement, but they help each other face some hard truths about life and aging. —SJ



Reader, do you remember a time before iPhones? I do! BlackBerry, the latest from director Matt Johnson, takes us back to the heyday of the world’s first smartphone — and it’s cataclysmic demise. —LH



When 13-year-old Pakistani-American Ilyas is yanked out of his Islamic private school and forced to attend public school, it’s a full-blown crisis. He’s emotionally raw, and to make matters worse, he has a new, inescapable mustache. Ilyas cooks up a plan to return to his old school, but not before he learns a heartfelt lesson about accepting himself. —LH


It Lives Inside

First-generation cultural clashes are horrifying enough, so imagine how bad things can get when an ancient Indian demonic force breaks out of its mason jar prison to wreck havoc on an otherwise quiet suburb. Horror thriller It Lives Inside follows Indian-American teen Sam, who must get over her cultural insecurities and work together with her parents in order to save her estranged best friend from a demon’s reign of terror. —LH


Bloody Hell

Maddie Ziegler stars in this coming-of-age “traumedy” (new genre just dropped!) where Hell is a gynecologist’s office. The film follows a 16-year-old who is unexpectedly diagnosed with a reproductive condition that upends her plans to have sex, her relationship with her mom, and most crucially, the one she has with herself. —SJ


Down Low

Simon Rex, Lukas Gage, and Zachary Quinto star in a comedy where a deeply repressed man and a twink hit the town for a wild night of happy endings and ruined lives — though this film might just save mine! —SJ



Halsey (in her first on-screen role, no less), Sydney Sweeney, and Simon Rex star in a comedic heist thriller, where heroes and villains try to pin down a legendary Native American artifact with that’s supposed to bring its owner power, fortune, and freedom — with ties to the complicated (er, genocidal) history of the American West. —SJ


Black Barbie: A Documentary


With bubblegum pink mania sweeping the culture in advance of Greta Gerwig’s highly anticipated Barbie movie, there’s another pressing Barbie tale that needs to told: the story behind the first Black Barbie. It was filmmaker Lagueria Davis’ 83-year-old aunt who changed everything when she considered the question: “Why not make a Barbie that looks like me?” — SJ