Southern Charm: 11 Kickstarter-funded Films to Play SXSW 2017

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Update: We’re thrilled to congratulate director and screenwriter Peter Vack on winning the Adam Yauch Hörnblowér Award at the SXSW Film Festival. The award honors a filmmaker "whose work strives to be wholly its own, without regard for norms or desire to conform.” Learn more about the film below.

Starting this weekend, eleven Kickstarter-funded films are set to play SXSW 2017. More than 23,000 backers pledged more than $1.6 million to help bring these film projects to life — not counting the one that’s currently live!

Over the past seven years, Kickstarter-funded SXSW premieres have enjoyed incredible success in theaters, on national broadcasts, and across digital platforms. Notable alumni projects have made the news this year: the hilarious dark comedy Donald Cried, which premiered at SXSW 2016, had its theatrical release on March 3; Dawn Porter’s reproductive rights documentary, Trapped, aired last summer on PBS's Independent Lens; and, after a series of sold-out screenings, theaters extended their runs of the Israeli dance documentary Mr. Gaga.

Works from Kickstarter creators in this year’s festival run the storytelling gamut: documentaries spotlighting Bill Nye and David Lynch, entertaining horror narratives in the Midnight section, and an insightful music doc featuring electronic music pioneer Suzanne Ciani.

And brace yourselves for some bold world premieres, including a narrative about a small-town gorilla stuck at his job in a debt agency (Sylvio) and a comedy about two sober addicts who fall in love, relapse, and become the biggest... well, see for yourself. The latter is Peter Vack’s first feature, and was recently singled out in IndieWire by SXSW festival director Janet Pierson as one of the feature film lineup’s hidden gems. Pierson called the film “beyond edgy… hilarious… has SXSW written all over it.”

Join us in congratulating the Kickstarter creators whose films will premiere this year at SXSW 2017!

(Film descriptions below all courtesy of SXSW.)

Documentary Spotlight

Bill Nye: Science Guy — World Premiere
Directors/Screenwriters: David Alvarado, Jason Sussberg

A famous television personality struggles to restore science to its rightful place in a world hostile to evidence and reason.

Bill Nye: Science Guy
Bill Nye: Science Guy


Assholes — World Premiere
Director/Screenwriter: Peter Vack

Adah and Aaron are recovering addicts who are struggling to stay sober. After meeting in their psychoanalyst’s waiting room, they fall in love, relapse on poppers, and become the biggest assholes in New York City.


Flesh and Blood — World Premiere
Director/Screenwriter: Mark Webber

Mark Webber boldly explores family dynamics using his real family as the cast and real-life situations as the story. Combining reality with fiction, he exposes a disturbing truth: his family tree is full of broken branches that may never be repaired.

Paa Joe & The Lion (Ghana, United Kingdom) — North American Premiere
Director: Benjamin Wigley

A true story about the art of love and death. A thought-provoking and cinematic documentary film rooted in the universal themes of love, death, and legacy set against one of the most beautiful art forms in the world – Ghana’s very own fantasy coffin.

Sylvio — World Premiere
Directors: Albert Birney, Kentucker Audley

Screenwriters: Albert Birney, Kentucker Audley, Meghan Doherty 
A small-town gorilla joins a local TV program and a series of on-air mishaps threaten to shatter his identity, sending him on an adventure of self-discovery where reality and fantasy start to blend.


24 Beats Per Second

A Life in Waves — World Premiere
Director: Brett Whitcomb

Screenwriter: Bradford Thomason
A Life in Waves explores the life and innovations of composer and electronic music pioneer Suzanne Ciani.

A Life in Waves
A Life in Waves


Bad Lucky Goat (Colombia) — World Premiere
Director/Screenwriter: Samir Oliveros

After accidentally killing a bearded goat with their father’s pick-up truck, two incompatible siblings in their teenage years embark on a journey of reconciliation.

Festival Favorites

David Lynch – The Art Life
Director: Jon Nguyen

A film that deeply explores the experiences that shaped one of cinema's most distinctive voices: David Lynch.

David Lynch - The Art Life
David Lynch - The Art Life

Director: Jennifer Brea

When Harvard PhD student Jennifer is struck down at 28 by a fever that leaves her bedridden, doctors tell her it’s "all in her head." Determined to live, she turns her camera on herself and a hidden world of millions confined to their homes.

Midnight Shorts

Whiskey Fist — World Premiere
Director/Screenwriter: Gillian Wallace Horvat

A branding intern loses the life he once had after an encounter with a mysterious blonde and her whiskey bottle — magical realism ensues. 


The Honor Farm — World Premiere
Director/Screenwriter: Karen Skloss

After prom night falls apart, Lucy finds herself at very different kind of party… on a psychedelic trip that could be a dangerous trap.

The Honor Farm
The Honor Farm

Discover more Film projects on Kickstarter here. Inspired to create your own? Get started here.

    1. Missing avatar

      deepweblinks on

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

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      SamanthaSaint on

      Awesome! More of the same, please