6 Things Out of SXSW Sydney 2023 That Are Worth Watching

6 Things Out of SXSW Sydney 2023 That Are Worth Watching
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The first-ever SXSW Sydney festival has been and gone, and we were on hand to catch a lot of the action. While the festival covers tech, gaming and music, its screen component offers a place to watch some of the boldest and brightest up-and-coming films from both Australian creators and from others around the world.

Here are a few of our favourites that we recommend you keep an eye out for.

SXSW Sydney Screen highlights

ONEFOUR: Against All Odds

An incredible and hyper-local documentary, ONEFOUR: Against All Odds follows the rise of Australia’s first drill rap stars who show true resilience in the face of oppression and police pressure.

The documentary tracks the group’s history, from their friendship with the Kid LAROI to their brushes with the law, and takes huge strides towards representing Pacific Islander talent on-screen.

ONEFOUR: Against All Odds will be available on Netflix from October 26.

The Royal Hotel

The opening night film at SXSW Sydney this year was Kitty Green’s The Royal Hotel. The film is a thriller following two Canadian backpackers as they take a bartending job at a bar in a remote Australian mining town. It shines a light on Australia’s drinking culture that feels all too familiar, with an edge of menace.

The Royal Hotel is set for a theatrical release on November 23.


Since the debut of Emerald Fennell’s Oscar-winning Promising Young Women, everyone has been waiting to see what the director does next.

Saltburn is the answer, a story that blends dark humour and coming-of-age tropes with thrilling twists and a pumping 2006-era soundtrack. Barry Keoghan stars as Ollie, an Oxford student who is invited to the home of his aristocratic friend Felix (Jacob Elordi), where they share a summer that will change all their lives forever.

Saltburn will be released in cinemas in Australia on November 16.

Erotic Stories

TV series also got a spot at SXSW Sydney, with Erotic Stories being one of the highlights of the show. The anthology series portrays a number of love stories and relationships with characters who are not typically depicted as sexual leads – whether they be gay, non-binary, POC, or middle-aged.

Erotic Stories debuts on SBS and SBS On Demand starting October 26.


After premiering at SXSW Austin earlier this year, it was fitting that Emma Seligman’s (Shiva Baby) queer high school comedy Bottoms also made its Australian debut at SXSW Sydney.

Rachel Sennott (Bodies Bodies Bodies) stars alongside Ayo Edeberi (The Bear) as two teenagers who start a fight club at their school in order to try and land dates with their cheerleader crushes. The plot is absurd, the dialogue hilarious, the action surprisingly bloody, and it is undoubtedly going to cement itself as a teen classic.

Bottoms releases in Aussie cinemas on November 30.

Hot Potato: The Story of the Wiggles

SXSW Sydney was home to the debut of a quintessentially Australian story – that of beloved children’s entertainers, The Wiggles. In attendance at the premiere of Hot Potato: The Story of the Wiggles were Wiggles members, both past and present.

The documentary tracks their incredible story from playing school halls to Madison Square Garden and digs into the personal hardships that rocked the group throughout their decades-long history. While Hot Potato isn’t afraid to get candid, it is also a beautiful portrayal of the joy the Wiggles have brought generations of children.

Hot Potato: The Story of the Wiggles releases on Prime Video on October 24.

Between all of these titles, the local premieres of Baz Luhrmann’s Faraway Downs and Craig Gillespie’s Dumb Money and screenings of festival favourites like Satranic Panic and Uproar, there was a lot to love at SXSW Sydney this year.

Now, we have to wait and see what SXSW Sydney 2024 will bring.

Lead Image Credit: Universal Pictures/Netflix/Prime Video


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