SXSW 2022: Film, Music, Comedy festivals guide

After a two-year hiatus from in-person events, SXSW is back for 2022 and in a hybrid format. In addition to hundreds of in-person events, all SXSW 2022 badges will have access to SXSW Online. If you can’t make it to any of the in-person events, an Online Pass is also available. 

This year’s SXSW is packed with diverse and unique events within the conference, exhibitions and three festivals. Some big names, along with rising stars, are expected at the Music, Film and Comedy festivals. 

FOX 7 Austin has a look at what these festivals are all about this year.

Film Festival

March 11-19

A total of 99 films make up the 2022 lineup, which features 76 world premieres, four international premieres, four North American premieres, two U.S. premieres, 13 Texas premieres, and 111 short films. Other film categories will include music videos, episodic premieres, pilots, XR Experience projects and Title Design.

According to the SXSW website, most in-person films will also feature an online screening. To RSVP to online screenings, click here

Headliners for the 2022 SXSW Film Festival 

Everything Everywhere All At Once

Opening Night Film 

  • March 11, 6 p.m. at Paramount Theatre

This World Premiere of this A24 film will kick off 2022 SXSW Film Festival. The film is described as a "hilarious and big-hearted sci-fi adventure" that follows a Chinese woman who can’t finish her taxes. The thriller comedy is directed by Daniels, the dynamic duo consisting of Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan. The film’s cast includes Michelle Yeoh, Stephanie Hsu, Ke Huy Quan, Jamie Lee Curtis and more. 

The Lost City 

World Premiere

  • March 12, 6:30 p.m. at Paramount Theatre

This comedic jungle adventure features an all-star cast including Sandra Bullock, Channing Tatum, Daniel Radcliffe and Brad Pitt. The story follows a romance novel author named Loretta who goes on tour with her novel’s cover model. The tour turns sideways when Loretta is kidnapped by a wealthy man seeking the treasure she’s written about in her books. Loretta and Alan are then forced to work together to navigate this treacherous situation. The celebrity-filled film is directed by the Nee brothers- Adam and Aaron, who are also working on the latest He-Man movie Masters of the Universe. 

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

World Premiere 

  • March 12, 10:30 p.m. at Paramount Theatre

Nicholas Cage stars as a fictionalized version of himself in this action-comedy directed by Tom Gormican. This film marks Gormican’s second directorial credit. Cage’s character faces financial instability thus leading him to attend a fanatic’s birthday party for $1 million. He then is recruited by the CIA, and the film continues into a comedic adventure you have to see to believe. Starring alongside Cage is Pedro Pascal, Tiffany Haddish, Neil Patrick Harris and more.

AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 09: Nicolas Cage arrives for the premiere of his new film 'Joe' during the South By Southwest Film Festival on March 9, 2014 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Merrick Ales/FilmMagic)

Apollo 10 ½: A Space Age Childhood

World Premiere 

  • March 13, 8 p.m. at Paramount Theatre

This animated film directed and written by Academy Award-nominated director Richard Linklater, who’s decorated with over 100 film awards including six Austin Film Awards, is a story centered around the first moon landing. The story follows two perspectives of the historic event: the astronaut and that of a child in Houston. It is a coming-of-age story giving a glimpse into what life looked like in the late 1960s for a kid with great aspirations. The cast includes Jack Black, Zachary Levi, Glen Powell, Josh Wiggins and more. 

Bodies Bodies Bodies 

World Premiere 

  • March 14, 7:30 p.m. at Paramount Theatre

Actress, producer and writer Halina Reijn marks her third directorial credit with this A24 slasher film. The story follows a group of friends in their twenties that plan a hurricane party at a desolate mansion. The party takes a turn for the worse and the group soon finds out their lives are in grave danger. SXSW calls it a "fresh and funny look at backstabbing, fake friends, and one party gone very, very wrong." The cast includes Pete Davidson, Maria Bakalova, Amandla Stenberg, Myha’la Herrold and more. 


Closing Night Headliner

  • March 19, 7:30 p.m. at Paramount Theatre (Q&A with select cast and crew will follow the screening)

The World Premiere of the third season of FX’s Atlanta will close out the film festival. Director Hiro Murai, Academy Award-nominee and SXSW Grand Jury Award winner, takes the new season overseas. Earn (Donald Glover), Alfred ‘Paper Boi’ (Brian Tyree Henry), Darius (LaKeith Stanfield) and Van (Zazie Beetz) will face new surroundings and challenges while on a thriving European tour.

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 08: Cast and crew of "Atlanta," winners of Best Musical or Comedy TV Series, pose in the press room during the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 8, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (P

To view the full lineup of films, click here

The SXSW Film Awards is scheduled for March 15, 7:30 p.m. at Paramount Theatre. 

During the Film Awards ceremony, winners are named for the Narrative Feature Competition and Documentary Feature competition. Design and Special Awards are also announced. Short Film Program winners, which are eligible for Jury Awards, are also named. Except for Special Events, all film categories are eligible for category-specific Audience Awards.

Music Festival 

March 14-20

Over 300 showcasing artists from around the world will be in the Capital City for the 2022 SXSW Music Festival.

SXSW suggests badge holders wanting to attend the music festival should listen to the Official SXSW 2022 Playlist on Spotify and Apple Music and explore the showcasing artists Music Videos Playlist to build a "must see" list of artists prior to attending. The showcasing artist’s schedules can be found here

In addition to live shows, SXSW is also offering online-exclusive performances. Some online-exclusive artists include Shonen Knife, Elephant Gym, Fake Gentle, Mong Tong, Olivia Tsao, and Sorry Youth, according to the SXSW Music Festival website.

Performances you won't want to miss

Dolly Parton & James Patterson: Between the Pages

  • March 18, 8:30 p.m. at Austin City Limits Live at the Moody Theatre

For her first ever appearance at SXSW, Dolly will be joined by best-selling author James Patterson to talk about the book they co-wrote: Run, Rose, Run. This is Dolly's first novel, and it will be accompanied by her latest album, set to release on March 7.

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - OCTOBER 24: Dolly Parton performs at the 2021 Kiss Breast Cancer Goodbye Concert at CMA Theater at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum on October 24, 2021 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

Dolly is partnering with FOX Entertainment's Blockchain Creative Labs to launch the ‘’Dollyverse," which is described as "an audience-centric Web3 experience." 

The event will begin with a conversation, and end with a live performance of select songs from Dolly's new album. Event attendees will get the chance to claim a free NFT. 

Wet Leg

  • March 16, 12 a.m. at Half Step
  • March 17, 10 p.m. at Cedar Street Courtyard
  • March 18, 2 p.m. at Radio Day Stage (Austin Convention Center)

This UK indie rock band rose quickly to fame after their debut single ‘Chaise Lounge’ was released last summer. The band will be performing three shows at SXSW, just a few days from the release of their debut LP.

Jackie Venson

  • March 16, 12 a.m. at Saxon Pub
  • March 17, 11:10 p.m. at Augustine

Born and raised Austinite Jackie Venson is no stranger to SXSW. She performed in 2019 at the Cooper's BBQ Showcase and is back this year with numerous achievements and accolades behind her. SXSW notes that Venson has served "as a headliner and as support for major acts such as Gary Clark Jr, Melissa Etheridge, Aloe Blacc, Citizen Cope to name a few." 


UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1970: Photo of Cymande Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

  • March 18, 11 p.m. at Lucille
  • March 19, 1 a.m. at Sellers

This British funk group from the 1970s is described as "the greatest band you've never heard of." SXSW says the group is to thank for "samples featured in music by the Fugees, Wu-Tang Clan, De La Soul, EPMD, The KLF, Sugarhill Gang, and more." After being embraced in the 70s in the USA, facing prejudice in the UK, and breaking up in 1975- they're back and aiming to be better than ever. This legendary UK band is touring the world and has plans for a new studio album. 

The above-mentioned artists are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to "must-sees." Don't forget to curate your own list of showcases to attend. 

View the list of free events, including free music performances, here.

Comedy Festival 

March 11-15

The 2022 SXSW Comedy Festival features 43 on-the-rise and established comedians, plus special surprise guests. All SXSW Badges are welcome to attend all comedy showcases and events. 

Opening Night 

Comedy Kickoff event

  • March 11, 7 p.m. at Creek and the Cave

The Comedy Kickoff event will open the festival and feature standup sets and more. Comedians Matthew Broussard, Vanessa Gonzalez, Eddie Pepitone, Kiry Shabazz and Blair Socci will be featured

John Cleese in Conversation

  • March 11, 7:30 p.m. at Esther’s Follies

John Cleese in Conversation will include a group of familiar faces alongside Monty Python’s John Cleese for a conversational event on opening night. Cleese will be joined by Jim Gaffigan, Dan Pasternack, Dulcé Sloan and Ricky Velez.

dpatop - 03 October 2019, North Rhine-Westphalia, Cologne: The comedian John Cleese is delighted to receive the "German Comedy Award 2019" for his life's work. Photo: Henning Kaiser/dpa (Photo by Henning Kaiser/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Closing Night

Comedy Sendoff event

  • March 15, 9 p.m. at Creek and the Cave20

The Comedy Sendoff event will help close the festival with a series of standup sets featuring Rich Vos, Shane Torres, Blair Socci, Dulcé Sloan and Eddie Pepitone.

Gotham Comedy Club Standup Showcase

  • March 15, 10 p.m. at Esther's Follies

The Gotham Comedy Club Standup Showcase will be the final event of the comedy festival. Comedians Matthew Broussard, Jon Daly, Joe DeRosa, and Mike Yard will be featured.

The comedy festival features over a dozen special programs including Roast Battle, A Night at the Comedy Store, Adult Swim Presents Three Busy Debras, Comedy with the Cleeses and more. 

To view the full Comedy Festival schedule, click here.

SXSW returns to Austin March 11-20, 2022
Austin-Travis County moves to Stage 2 ahead of SXSW
SXSW seeking volunteers for 2022 in-person conference, festivals
SUBSCRIBE: Daily Newsletter | YouTube
FOLLOW: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter