33 short films announced as part of the Shorts Program at the SXSW Sydney® 2023 Screen Festival

Featured across four Shorts programs, highlighted voices include Comedians Diana Nguyen (Please Like Me) and Tommy Dassalo, Acclaimed Journalist Lee Lin Chin, Actors Adele Perovic (Total Control), Catherine Van-Davies (The Twelve), Cricket Arrison (The Mirror), Shirong Wu (Appetite), and Thom Green (Of An Age), Musician Amy Taylor (Amyl and the Sniffers), and Model Lily Nova.

Telstra also announced as the Official Major Sponsor of the SXSW Sydney 2023 Screen Festival

Sydney, NSW – Tuesday, 5 September, 2023: The SXSW Sydney inaugural Screen Festival announced today 33 Shorts in four programs that will join the growing line-up of local and international screen content in a collision of creativity and culture at the week-long event in the Harbour city.

The four programs represent key festival themes and include:

Short Visions: Future Present Perfectly Wrong

A mix of genres from hybrid documentary to creative animation, experimental work to psychedelic visual artistry. Through various subjects and filmmaking styles, this Shorts program re-evaluates the purpose and meaning of technology and how it shapes our future, for better or worse.

Short Visions: Crazy Fun

Filmmaking is taken to another level of creativity with this collection’s twists and turns. Free from boundaries and traditional storytelling expectations, it features films that are absurdly chaotic and hilariously bent.

Short Visions: Tell Me A Story

This program of story-first films covers intimate teenage relationships, a hybrid documentary about space objects and powerful queer animation.

Short Nightmares

Imagined from the other side of Midnight, this program moves between gruesome crime scenes, creepy thrillers, explosive secretions and a mysterious doll romance. This selection will keep your eyes wide open.

Of the 33 films, 26 showcase the Asia-Pacific region, with 17 from Australia, 6 from First Nations creators and 5 directors identifying as part of the LGBTQIA+ community.

An additional Bush Shorts program, curated by Pauline Clague, the founder of Winda Film Festival, will be announced in September.

This diverse showcase of short films form part of the first SXSW Sydney Screen Festival which aims to ignite the city through visual story and showcase the best screen talent of the APAC region.

From red carpet premieres, including The Royal Hotel and previously announced Hot Potato: The Story of the Wiggles, expect features, shorts, series, music videos and an XR showcase at the SXSW Sydney Screen Festival, accessible with a SXSW Sydney Platinum or Screen, Games, Music and Tech badges, or Screen Festival wristband. The SXSW Sydney 2023 Screen Festival offers a chance to catch unlimited screenings, including these short films, over six days and seven nights.

The full Screen program will be announced later in September.

Discover your new favourite show, witness the breakout of the next generation of creators before anyone else and immerse yourself in groundbreaking XR experiences. Don’t miss out on the Early Bird pricing of $240 for SXSW Sydney 2023 Screen Festival wristbands, on sale now at SXSWSydney.com.

The 33 shorts premiering at SXSW Sydney’s Screen Festival include:


  • Aikane (US), directed by Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Dean Hamer, Daniel Sousa and Joe Wilson
  • Architect A (South Korea), directed by Jonghoon Lee
  • Bald Future (AU), directed by Reilly Archer-Whelan and Michael Whyntie
  • Basri & Salma in a Never-Ending Comedy (Indonesia), directed by Khozy Rizal
  • Clown (AU), directed by Aarushi Chowdhury
  • Compound Eyes of Tropical 熱帶複眼 (Taiwan), directed by Zhan Zhang Xu
  • Dark (Singapore), directed by Alistair Quak
  • Development (AU), directed by Rebecca Metcalf
  • Eating Late (AU), directed by Lewis Attey
  • Eid Mubarak (Pakistan), directed by Mahnoor Euceph
  • Epicenter (South Korea), directed by Hee-yoon Hahm
  • Eyestring (US), directed by Javier Devitt
  • F1ghting Looks Different 2 Me Now (US), directed by Fox Maxy
  • False As A Beach (AU), directed by Stephanie Jane Day
  • Fix Anything (Vietnam), directed by Lê Lâm Viên
  • Fuck Me Richard (AU/US), directed by Lucy McKendrick
  • Hyperconnect (AU), directed by Jim Muntisov
  • I Have No Legs, and I Must Run (China), directed by Li Yue
  • IMOAN (AU), directed by Catherine Kelleher
  • Memorabilia (AU), directed by Ceridwen Dovey and Rowena Pott, voiced by Matilda Ridgway
  • On Film (AU), directed by Emma Hough Hobbs
  • Pairing (AU), directed by Matthew Burns
  • Pasifika Drift (AU), directed by Alana Hicks
  • Pixels of the Orient (Canada), directed by Warren Chan
  • Play. Stop. (India), directed by Neeraj Bhattacharjee
  • Rival Dealer (AU), directed by John Angus Stewart, starring Amy Taylor of Amyl and the Sniffers
  • Someday All This Will Be Yours (US), directed by and starring Cricket Arrison
  • Sugarag (US/AU), directed by Jai Love LaPan
  • Sweet Juices (AU), directed by Seion Im and Will Suen, starring Shirong Wu and Cat Văn-Davies
  • The Krewd Party (AU), directed by Alice Taylor
  • This Is Not Here (AU), directed by Charlotte Mungomery
  • Tongue (Canada/Japan), directed by Yoshida Kaho
  • We Used To Own Houses (AU), directed by David Robinson-Smith, starring Thom Green

Telstra as the Major Sponsor

Today, we are proud to announce that Telstra will join us as the Official Major Sponsor of SXSW Sydney 2023 Screen Festival.

With a legacy grounded in fostering technological advancements and pushing boundaries, Telstra have shown an unwavering commitment to connecting Aussies with each other and the world. By bridging the gap between imagination and execution, Telstra emerges as the perfect partner for propelling the creative screen arts to new heights.

In collaboration with the NSW Government Via Destination NSW, TEG & SXSW®

For SXSW Sydney media inquiries please contact:


Apply for media accreditation now HERE.

Access Media EPK HERE.

Shorts Program stills available HERE.



Key Information about the SXSW Sydney 2023 Screen Festival:

Wristbands: Secure your passage to the ultimate Screen experience with a SXSW Sydney 2023 Screen Festival wristband that gives you access to all of the screen events around Sydney, including red carpet premieres at the ICC’s Darling Harbour Theatre and cinemas across the inner city and an XR showcase.

Wristbands Vs Badges: The difference between badges and wristbands? Platinum and Screen badges include, in addition to the Screen Festival access mentioned above, access to conference keynotes and panels, industry showcases, workshops, parties, launches, networking events, mentoring sessions and ‘Minimart’, a SXSW Sydney-flavoured Screen market for investors, buyers, producers, creatives and industry; a casual way to cut deals. Wristbands grant access to all the Screen Festival events. More info here.

First Nations Screen Festival: A special First Nations Screen Festival with programming by Pauline Clague, founder of Winda Film Festival, will form part of the SXSW Sydney 2023 Screen Festival. Further programming to be announced.

XR Showcase: Encompassing cutting edge technology, this is a celebration of VR, AR, Mixed Reality, SR, immersive experience and interactive AI all waiting to be experienced at the ICC.

Venues: The ICC’s Darling Harbour Theatre, Palace Cinemas Central and more to be announced.

Previously Announced:

The Seven Network has joined SXSW Sydney 2023 to host its 2024 Upfronts during the festival, including live crosses during the event, alongside Amazon Prime Video hosting an activation.

Recently announced slate of films screening at SXSW Sydney this October, aligning with the broader event’s themes of Music, Games and Tech & Innovation includes:

Catching Fire: The Story of Anita Pallenberg (US), about Rolling Stones muse Anita Pallenberg

Cypher (US), a fictional pseudo- music documentary about the artist Tierra Whack

Gagaland (CN) A rags-to-riches, boy-meets-girl story, set against a viral Chinese dance craze flooding streets and social media feeds.

Hot Potato: The Story of The Wiggles (AU), the improbable story of The Wiggles

Jamojaya (US), Indonesian rap star Brian Imanuel (Rich Brian) stars as an up-and-coming musician.

Knit’s Island (FR) ‘DayZ’ is survivalist fiction in the form a videogame. Knit’s Island documents some of the 963 hours the directors spent in there in an at times unsettling blurring of the real and the virtual.

Plastic (JP), teenagers Juna and Ibuki set out to find the psychedelic rock band Exne Kedy.

The Last Year of Darkness (US/CN), bass-heavy and neon-coloured portrait of alternative Chinese youth.

The Royal Hotel (AU), social thriller starring Julia Garner and Jessica Henwick will make its Sydney Premiere at SXSW Sydney.

Tokyo Uber Blues (JP), an in-debt graduate Film Student turns to Uber driving to make ends meet.  

You’ll Never Find Me (AU), A lonely mobile home resident has an unexpected visitor on the night of a relentless thunderstorm.


SXSW Sydney Key Dates

15-22 Oct 2023: SXSW Sydney

15-21 Oct 2023: SXSW Sydney Screen Festival

15-21 Oct 2023: XR Showcase

16-19 Oct 2023: industry networking events and parties

16-21 Oct 2023: Conference


Screen Wristband Early Bird Pricing: $240

Screen Badge Release 3 Pricing: $1,195



About SXSW®

SXSW dedicates itself to helping creative people achieve their goals. Founded in 1987 in Austin, Texas, SXSW is best known for its conference and festivals that celebrate the convergence of tech, film and television, music, education, and culture. An essential destination for global professionals, the annual March event features sessions, music, and comedy showcases, film and television screenings, exhibitions, professional development, and a variety of networking opportunities. SXSW proves that the most unexpected discoveries happen when diverse topics and people come together. SXSW 2024 will take place March 8-16 in Austin. Learn more at sxsw.com.


About SXSW Sydney®

Futurist conference and festival, South by Southwest (SXSW) Sydney, will see the Asia-Pacific’s pre-eminent creative industries come together in the heart of Sydney Harbour. The event is a week-long program stacked with more than 1,000 ground-breaking events and networking sessions across pillars of Tech and Innovation, Games, Music, Screen and Culture.

Informed by a multicultural landscape and an enduring preservation of past, present and future Indigenous cultural heritage, Sydney offers a rich and exciting arts and culture scene with beautiful galleries, acclaimed theatres and burgeoning performance spaces.


About Destination NSW

Destination NSW is the lead agency, champion and voice for the visitor economy within the NSW Government. Spearheading a whole-of-government approach to visitor economy growth, Destination NSW is responsible for leading the delivery of the NSW Visitor Economy Strategy 2030 in partnership with government and industry. Destination NSW influences and shapes the visitor economy through strategic research, policy and thought leadership, stakeholder engagement and consultation, commercial partnerships and investment in visitor experiences, business support, marketing and events. Destination NSW is also the major investor in Business Events Sydney (BESydney) for the purpose of securing more international and domestic conventions, incentive travel reward programs, corporate events and expos for Sydney and regional NSW.


About TEG

TEG is a global leader in Live Entertainment, Ticketing and Technology. Every day TEG connects fans to experiences and customers with brands. We are proud partners of some of the world’s largest and most iconic venues as well as leading event promoters globally. TEG operates worldwide out of seven country offices and includes Ticketek, Ticketek Marketplace, Ticketek UK, Ticketek New Zealand, Ticketek Malaysia, Ticketek Philippines, Eventopia, Softix, TEG Live, TEG Dainty, TEG Sport, TEG Van Egmond, Laneway Festival, Handsome Tours, SXSW Sydney, TEG Theatrical, MJR Presents, TEG Lifelike Touring, TEG TES Live, Brickman, TEG Rockefeller, Rugby Live, TEG Europe, Propaganda, TEG USA, Qudos Bank Arena, FAN+, VIP NOW and Ovation.

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