Can you feel the excitement in the air? The 2023 SXSW Film & TV Festival brought major star power to Austin March 10-19, featuring big names and big talent. From iconic industry leaders to ambitious student filmmakers, they were all in Austin last week to premiere their new shows. Texas Lifestyle Magazine has compiled a list of must-see TV and films to watch this year. Storytellers, unite!
The Big Door Prize (Apple TV+)
Showrunner: David West Read, Directors: Anu Valia, Molly McGlynn, Producers: Matthew Spiegel, Screenwriters: David West Read, Sarah Walker, Craig Rowin
Based on M.O. Walsh’s novel of the same name, The Big Door Prize tells the story of a small town that is forever changed when a mysterious machine appears in the general store, promising to reveal each resident’s true life potential.
Cast: Chris O’Dowd, Gabrielle Dennis, Ally Maki, Damon Gupton, Josh Segarra, Crystal Fox, Sammy Fourlas, Djouliet Amara (World Premiere)
The Big Door Prize premieres on Apple TV+ March 29, 2023.
Showrunner: Lee Sung Jin, Directors: Jake Schreier, Hikari, Lee Sung Jin, Producers: Lee Sung Jin, Steven Yeun and Ali Wong, Jake Schreier
Beef follows the aftermath of a road rage incident between two strangers. Danny Cho, a failing contractor with a chip on his shoulder, goes head-to-head with Amy Lau, a self-made entrepreneur with a picturesque life. The increasing stakes of their feud unravel their lives and relationships in this darkly comedic and deeply moving series.
Cast: Steven Yeun and Ali Wong, Maria Bello, Joseph Lee, Young Mazino, David Choe, Patti Yasutake, Ashley Park, Justin H. Min, Mia Serafino, Remy Holt (World Premiere) (Closing Night TV)
Beef premieres on Netflix on April 6, 2023.
Director: Julio Quintana, Producers: Javier Chapa, Ben Howard, Marla Quintana, Dennis Quaid, Laura Quaid, Screenwriters: Julio Quintana, Jennifer C. Stetson, Paco Farias
When JB Peña moves to the small town of Del Rio, TX to take over as the school district’s superintendent, his dreams of joining the prestigious, all-white Del Rio Country Club are immediately squashed. However, soon he meets a group of high schoolers who happen to caddy at the club—they too are prohibited from playing the same course because of the color of their skin. So JB and them band together, at first with the aim of winning tournaments and making it to State, but quickly learn that there’s a lot more to aim for—and a lot more on the line—when a team of Mexican-American teens competes and wins in this exclusive world. Based on “Mustang Miracle” by Humberto G. Garcia.
Cast: Jay Hernandez, Dennis Quaid, Cheech Marin, Julian Works, Jaina Lee Ortiz, Brett Cullen, Oscar Nuñez, Richard Robichaux, Paulina Chávez (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Paris Zarcilla, Producer: Chi Thai
A bold coming-of-rage story where Joy, a Filipino immigrant, and her daughter Grace encounter a darkness that threatens all they have worked for.
Cast: Maxine Eigenman, Leanne Best, David Hayman (World Premiere)
Director: Lance Larson, Producers: Elizabeth Avellan, Bob Bastarache, Jas Shelton,
Lance Larson, Tara Pirnia, Chris Wilks, Screenwriters: Lance Larson, Jas Shelton
A U.S. Border Patrol Agent tries to apprehend the ghost of his father, a grave decision that will haunt him forever.
Cast List: Roberto Urbina, McCaul Lombardi, Julieth Restrepo, Kendal Rae, Luis Chavez, Julio Cesar Cedillo, Manuel Uriza, Chris Mulkey (World Premiere)
Directors: Alejandra Vasquez, Sam Osborn, Producers: Julia Pontecorvo, Luis A. Miranda Jr., James Lawler
After a devastating year in the Rio Grande Valley, Edinburg North High School mariachi coach Abel Acuña and his band of musicians work through personal hardships and teenage distractions to rebuild their squad and reclaim their title as state champions (Texas Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Dutch Southern, Producers: Thomas Mahoney, Justin X Duprie
While unwittingly committing crimes in Texas, Brea Dunlee stumbles upon a QAnon-like cabal that preys on the poor and the powerless. Through a series of interrogations led by a gaslighting sheriff named Cole Mack, we discover not everything is as it seems.
Cast: Sidney Flanigan, Frederick Weller, D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai, Will Ropp, Darius Fraser, Lachlan Watson, Jon Gries, Patrick Grover (World Premiere)
Directors: Rachael Dyer, Scott Ruderman, Producers: Rachael Dyer, Scott Ruderman, Yael Melamede
Three American families are on the receiving end of a ransom note. Their journeys reflect how lives are being threatened and taken by the soaring price of insulin, and reveal the harrowing reality of life with illness in the richest country in the world. (World Premiere)
Geoff McFetridge: Drawing a Life
Director/Producer: Dan Covert, Screenwriters: Erik Auli, Dan Covert, Amy Dempsey, Tara Rose Stromberg
What defines a life? The iconic work of artist Geoff McFetridge is everywhere. But this film is more than a primer on his career—it’s about the choices we confront in trying to lead meaningful lives, and how we use our most precious resource: time. (World Premiere)
Directors: Danny Philippou, Michael Philippou, Producers: Samantha Jennings, Kristina Ceyton, Screenwriters: Danny Philippou, Bill Hinzman
Lonely teenager Mia gets hooked on the thrills of conjuring spirits through a ceramic hand, but when she is confronted by a soul claiming to be her dead mother, she unleashes a plague of supernatural forces.
Cast List: Sophie Wilde, Miranda Otto, Alexandra Jensen, Joe Bird, Otis Dhanji, Zoe Terakes, Chris Alosio (Texas Premiere)
Cover photo courtesy SXSW
Leean Vargas is the Highlight Reel newsletter editor at Texas Lifestyle Magazine and an honors graduate of Texas State University with a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations. She is a concert enthusiast who loves traveling, photography, good food, and discovering new hangout spots in her beloved city, Austin, Texas.