FEATURES: What is the SXSW premiere and eligibility policy for feature films?

These are the Feature eligibility requirements for SXSW:

Eligible: If your feature film has been completed in 2021, 2022,  or is on track for completion in early 2023 and has NOT been acquired and released via any public online distribution platform (streaming, VOD, SVOD, etc.) before SXSW, it is eligible for SXSW 2023.

Ineligible: Your feature film is ineligible if:

  • it has screened publicly in a theater in the U.S. at one or more non-festival screenings before SXSW. Private screenings, like cast and crew screenings, are okay.
  • it has been acquired and released via any public online distribution platform (streaming, VOD, SVOD, etc.) outside of a limited-time virtual festival event before SXSW.
  • it has been released in the U.S. via television broadcast before SXSW.
  • it has been released via home video, Blu-ray, or DVD before SXSW.  
  • it has been released publicly online before SXSW.

The premiere status of your film is an important factor.  However it is not absolute.  All things being equal, a higher premiere status will get the spot.  Keep in mind it varies, especially by screening section. Filmmakers often ask specifically about their eligibility post a Sundance premiere. Our Festival Favorites section is for films that have premiered elsewhere, and mostly does include films that have recently premiered at Sundance, so we do encourage you to apply to both if so inclined.

 

These are the SXSW Feature Film Premiere Status Definitions:

 

World Premiere: Your eligible project has:

  1. not screened theatrically in any country prior to SXSW, whether at a film festival or other ticketed public theatrical exhibition
  2. not been broadcast or streamed on television in any country prior to SXSW 
  3. not been released via any home video or other public distribution platform (Blu-ray, DVD, streaming, VOD, etc.) in any country prior to SXSW.

International Premiere: Your eligible project has:

  1. not screened theatrically outside of its country or countries of origin prior to SXSW, whether at a film festival or other ticketed public theatrical exhibition
  2. not been broadcast or streamed on television in any country prior to SXSW 
  3. not been released via any home video or other public distribution platform (Blu-ray, DVD, streaming, VOD, etc.) in any country prior to SXSW

North American Premiere: Your eligible project has: 

  1. not screened theatrically in the U.S., Canada, or Mexico prior to SXSW, whether at a film festival or other ticketed public theatrical exhibition
  2. not been broadcast or streamed on television in any country prior to SXSW 
  3. not been released via any home video or other public distribution platform (Blu-ray, DVD, streaming, VOD, etc.) in any country prior to SXSW

U.S. Premiere: Your eligible project has:

  1. not screened theatrically in the U.S. prior to SXSW, whether at a film festival or other ticketed public theatrical exhibition
  2. not been broadcast or streamed on television in any country prior to SXSW 
  3. not been released via any home video or other public distribution platform (Blu-ray, DVD, streaming, VOD, etc.) in any country prior to SXSW

Texas Premiere: Your eligible project has:

  1. not screened theatrically in Texas prior to SXSW, whether at a film festival or other ticketed public theatrical exhibition
  2. not been broadcast or streamed on television in any country prior to SXSW 
  3. not been released via any home video or other public distribution platform (Blu-ray, DVD, streaming, VOD, etc.) in any country prior to SXSW

Austin Premiere: Your eligible project has:

  1. not screened theatrically in Austin prior to SXSW, whether at a film festival or other ticketed public theatrical exhibition
  2. not been broadcast or streamed on television in any country prior to SXSW 
  3. not been released via any home video or other public distribution platform (Blu-ray, DVD, streaming, VOD, etc.) in any country prior to SXSW

Not a Premiere: Your eligible project has either: 

    1. screened theatrically in Austin at a film festival prior to SXSW
    2. been released in a country other than the U.S. via television broadcast or theatrical screening before SXSW
    3. been broadcast or streamed on television

If you'd like to submit your Feature Film to SXSW, click here.

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