Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes ofwebsite accessibilitySXSW 2024 Recap: Best of the Fest
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Credit: IFC Films
Credit: IFC Films
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SXSW 2024 Recap: Best of the Fest

The 2024 edition of the SXSW Film Festival is over and as is tradition, the festival was a fantastic showcase of creativity, diversity and unique filmmaking. These are some of the highlights of this year's lineup.


One of the major highlights of this year's festival was “Ghostlight,” a film about a grieving construction worker who stumbles his way into a community theater production of “Romeo and Juliet.” Directed by husband and wife duo Kelly O’Sullivan and Alex Thompson, “Ghostlight” is a moving and authentic portrait of a family trying to navigate their grief and an exploration of the healing power of family, friends and art. Though the cast is great across the board, theater actor Keith Kupferer gives the performance of the festival, treating his character of Dan with emotional depth as he grapples with the swings of the stages of grief. As humorous and warm as it is sad and moving, “Ghostlight” was the high point of SXSW 2024.

Bob Trevino Likes It

Taking a story from her real life experiences, writer/director Tracie Laymon’s “Bob Trevino Likes It” tells the story of a girl who after facing a complicated relationship with her father, finds a man who shares her fathers name on Facebook, leading to an unexpected friendship. The best thing about “Bob Trevino Likes It,” by far, is the performance from lead actress Barbie Ferreira. She expertly portrays Lily’s complex emotional spectrum that goes with being a well-intentioned people pleaser who internalizes every bit of negative feedback she receives. The film also features a really great performance from John Leguizamo, who plays the Bob Trevino that gives Lily the support that she’s always needed, but never received. Though the final act lays the emotionality on pretty thick, “Bob Trevino Likes It” is still one of the most powerful and moving films of the festival.


Following in the footsteps of fellow National Geographic documentary “Free Solo,” “Fly” takes on the dangerous world of athletic pursuits, focusing on BASE jumping. Directors Christina Clusiau and Shaul Schwarz follow three couples over the course of several years as they grapple with the increasingly dangerous growth of wingsuit BASE jumping. Along the way, its subjects face the push and pull between loving the thrill of the sport and wanting to enjoy a long life with their partners. “Fly” features absolutely stunning cinematography of these athletes traversing down mountains and through narrow passages at high speeds. But beyond the visuals, “Fly” is very successful at making the audience care about its subjects, which makes the emotional journey that much more affecting.


In the Australian dark comedy “Audrey,” forgotten soap star Ronnie Lipsick (Jackie van Beek) takes on the role of a lifetime as she poses as her 18-year old abrasive protege daughter after she falls into a coma. While it may sound dramatic on paper, “Audrey” is a subversive and hilarious pitch black comedy that explores the lengths the one may go through to remain relevant and the unspoken sigh of relief that comes with the absence of difficult people. Though its unrelentingly acerbic tone may not be for everyone, fans of sharp, well-written comedic satire will have a great time.

I Wish You All The Best

As an adaptation of the acclaimed best selling book of the same name, “I Wish You All The Best” tells the story of a teenager named Ben who is kicked out of their house after coming out as non-binary to their parents. Ben is then taken in by their sister and transfers to a new school where they can finally become the truest form of themself. It features a fantastically nuanced lead performance from Corey Fogelmanis and tells its story with a perfect balance of tone. Though “coming of age” movies are a dime a dozen, “I Wish You All The Best” treats its subject and story with so much empathy and compassion and feels monumental in its representation.