UT RTF at SXSW 2024

March 8 - 16, 2024
UT RTF at SXSW 2024

It's already time for Austin's annual ritual of spring: SXSW! As is typical of the Austin-based multi-faceted extravaganza of art, culture, and technology, this year's lineup includes an exciting crop of new films and events involving Longhorns, many of which are listed below. Please check them out, as well as our free UT RTF Longhorn Denius Student Film Showcase, hosted by the Austin Film Society on Friday, March 8, at 2 pm at AFS Cinema.

Want to stay on top of UT RTF at SXSW? Check the UT RTF at SXSW schedule and refer back to this page—we will continue to update it with RTF at SXSW activities. Also check out the UT at SXSW events page. 

Please reach out if you know of any RTF-affiliated activities that we're missing.


UT RTF Longhorn Denius Student Film Showcase
Schedule of UT RTF @ SXSW
Shorts | FeaturesPanels | Mentors | Jurors
Contact RTF




March 8 - UT RTF Longhorn Denius Student Film Showcase

Texas Short Competition

Hair Care

Director: Fatima Wardy (MFA production student) 
Screenwriter: Karl-Mary Akre (MFA , Michener program) 
Producer: Mary-Elizabeth Esquibel (MFA Production alum)

After a visit to the African hair salon goes awry, a young Ivorian-American woman must traverse a fantastically animated Abidjan in order to track down her hair braider.

The Passing

Directors: Ivete Lucas (MFA Production alum), Patrick Bresnan
Screenwriter: Ivete Lucas (MFA Production alum)
Producer: Patrick Bresnan

In the latest true-life portrait by the Austin team of Ivete Lucas and Patrick Xavier Bresnan, a veterinarian’s series of home visits culminates in a painful but very kind-hearted experience with a special patient.

Sangre Violenta / Sangre Violeta

Directors: Edna Diaz (MA, advertising), Arturo R. Jiménez (MFA Production alum/lecturer)
Producers: Maggie M. Bailey (MFA Production alum), Edna Diaz (MA, advertising), Arturo R. Jiménez (MFA Production alum/lecturer)
Why does the Mexican government consider the feminist movement a bigger threat than most drug cartels? This short documentary interweaves three powerful narratives, shedding light on the motivations behind feminist activism in Mexico. (World Premiere)

Narrative Short Competition

Los Mosquitos (United States, Costa Rica)

Director: Nicole Chi (MFA production recent alum – her thesis film)
Screenwriters: Nicole Chi, Fumiya Hayakawa (MFA production alum)

DP: Carlos Estrada (MFA production alum)
Producers: Fumiya Hayakawa, Edna Díaz (MA advertising)
Aby is a Honduran teenager living in the US along with her freshly arrived cousin, Nata. Together they will come to terms with the family bonds they are forced to create. (World Premiere)

Music Videos

Music Video Competition

Ismay - 'Stranger In The Barn' (United States, Sweden)

Directors/Screenwriters: Rose Bush (MFA Production alum), Kirsten Bode
"Stranger in The Barn" is a nordic musical fantasy on strings; an allegory of human beings stricken with fear, choosing love in times of crisis.



Documentary Feature Competition

An Army of Women

Field Producer: Chelsea Hernandez (BS alum)
When Amy, Marina and Hanna’s rape cases are dismissed by the Austin police, all three women try to find a way to rebuild their lives. They join forces with twelve other women in a groundbreaking federal class-action lawsuit, the first to argue that sexual assault isn’t prosecuted because it’s a crime that predominantly affects women. The group is determined to hold police and prosecutors accountable for their inaction, but their resilience is tested as they face setbacks from the system they hope to change. Ultimately, "An Army of Women" offers a hopeful look into a movement that aims to change the future for women everywhere.


DP: Paavo Hanninen (MFA Production alum)
Faced with rampant sexual violence on their college campus, a group of Tulane University students spend a year creating an immersive play from their real-life experiences. Building characters and scenes based on the sexual politics of their campus, the student actors confront hard truths. Posing urgent questions about the toxic legacies imparted on the next generation, "Roleplay" explores the roles we play as we grow into who we are: how they hurt us, heal us, and shape who we become. 

The In Between

Associate Producer: Alyssa Esquivel (BS alum)
Following the death of her brother, filmmaker Robie Flores returns to her hometown Eagle Pass on the Texas/Mexico border, wanting to turn back time. She collides with unruly experiences of adolescence – quinceañeras, Rio Grande river excursions, teen makeovers and beyond – that invite her to soak up the details of the home her brother adored and she ignored. What emerges is a playful dance between a personal and collective coming-of-age portrait of kids on the border and Robie herself as she rediscovers the possibilities of joy in the aftermath of grief, while offering a nuanced and unexpected portrait of the border.

24 Beats Per Second

Faders Up: The John Aielli Experience

Directors: David Hartstein (MFA Production alum), Sam Wainwright Douglas
Producer: Shelby Hadden (MFA Production alum)
Graphic designer / animator: Sarah McCaskill (BS alum)
Intern: RTF student Jadah Burciaga
A cinematic collage much like the style of his free-form radio shows, Faders Up explores the extraordinary life and legacy of iconic KUTX Austin radio host, John Aielli. (World Premiere)

A scene was filmed in the CMB building. KUT recently covered the film and you can read about it here

Festival Favorite

Sing SIng (Narrative Feature)

Producer: Monique Walton (MFA Production alum)
Divine G (Colman Domingo), imprisoned at Sing Sing for a crime he didn’t commit, finds purpose by acting in a theatre group alongside other incarcerated men, including wary newcomer (Clarence Maclin), in this stirring true story of resilience, humanity, and the transformative power of art, starring an unforgettable ensemble cast of formerly incarcerated actors.

Sasquatch Sunset (Narrative Feature)

Directors: David Zellner (BS alum), Nathan Zellner 
Producers: Tyler Campellone, Lars Knudsen, George Rush
Screenwriter: David Zellner (BS alum)
A year in the life of a singular family. Cast: Riley Keough, Jesse Eisenberg, Christophe Zajac-Denek, Nathan Zellner (Texas Premiere)


Long Time Sun (Documentary series)
Set Designer:  RTF Assistant Professor Adriana Serrano
"Long Time Sun" is a four-part epic chronicling the rise of Kundalini Yoga and the 3HO Sikh Dharma community. With unprecedented access to key members of the 3HO community’s inner circle and set against the backdrop of sixty years of American life, this intimate, multi-generational series is a microcosm through which to explore the corrosive nature of power, the spiritual toll of capitalism, the commodification of wellness, and the slide into moral ambiguity that often underlies the quest for a greater good. This is a story about family, betrayal, hope, truth and reconciliation.


Music Careers Panel: Book Your Own F*%kin’ Life: Lessons from the 90s DIY Scene 

Panelist: Jett Garrison (MA Media Studies and MFA Production alum)
“Go Start Your Own Band!” was the rallying cry of 80s Austin punk legends the Big Boys. By the 90s, it manifested in an explosion of new bands, venues, labels, radio stations, videos, posters, and zines. Many of this scene’s participants found knowledge, skills, and life lessons that still serve them today. This panel will take you back to the underground musical landscape of 1990s Austin as chronicled in the new UT Press book, A Curious Mix of People, and examine how the spirit of DIY can be preserved in music and beyond.

Trust the Process: The Making of Sing Sing
Panelist/Producer: Monique Walton (MFA Production alum)
Join the filmmaking team for a deep dive into the seven year journey to bring Sing Sing to life from script to screen and what it takes to truly make films as a community.

What We Do In The Shadows: The Role of the Doc Producer 

Panelist: Chelsea Hernandez (BS alum)
Producers are an integral, yet often overlooked, part of the creative and business team for independent documentary films. Their influence ranges from story development, to the edit, to the sale, positioning, and marketing of a film. So why don’t we hear more about what Documentary Producers do? This conversation will feature three producers of documentary films premiering at SXSW 2024, each with a varying degree of experience, from the emerging to the veteran. We will look into the process and experiences of these producers as they helped craft the films they are presenting.

All Entertainment Business SXSW Event: Zachary Levi special fireside chat on "The Future of AI and Filmmaking"

Presenter: Alisa Perren (Professor)
Texas is open for business and film is the front door. Join us for an exclusive AEB & YTexas event at SXSW, where the spotlight shines on the thriving nexus of business and cinema in the Lone Star State. This will be an intimate Fireside Chat featuring illustrious Texas filmmakers and pioneering leaders from film-friendly businesses. Dive deep into the dynamic dialogue as we explore how Texas is setting the stage for innovative collaborations and growth in the film industry. Don't miss this opportunity to network with high-profile professionals and discover why Texas is the premier destination for filmmakers and businesses alike. Zachary Levi will discuss why he moved to Texas and what filmmakers can do now to preserve their jobs. Attend an epic afternoon at SXSW's Arterie House with mingling and inspiring guest speakers sharing stories of what its like working outside of Hollywood. ALSO broadcast live to Zoom. 


Narrative Filmmaker Mentor: Clay Liford (Well Tailored Films) - BS alum
Mar 10, 2024 | 11:30am – 12:45pm CT
Austin Convention Center, Room 13AB

Narrative Filmmaker Mentor: Lizette Barrera (Prelude Films) - MFA Production alum
Mar 10, 2024 | 11:30am – 12:45pm CT
Austin Convention Center, Room 13AB

Game Industry Mentor: Paul Toprac (University of Texas at Austin) - Faculty
Mar 10, 2024 | 4:00pm – 5:15pm CT
Hilton Austin Downtown, Room 400-402

Producer Mentor: Monique Walton - MFA Production alum
Mar 11, 2024 | 11:30am – 12:45pm CT
Austin Convention Center, Room 13AB

Documentary Filmmaker Mentor: Iliana Sosa (Borderchild Productions, LLC) - Faculty
Mar 12, 2024 | 11:30am – 12:45pm CT
Austin Convention Center, Room 13AB

Documentary Filmmaker Mentor: PJ Raval (Unraval Pictures) - Faculty
Mar 12, 2024 | 4:00pm – 5:15pm CT
Austin Convention Center, Room 13AB


Texas Shorts: Chelsea Hernandez (BS alum)


Elana Wakeman
Sr. Programs and Communications Coordinator