Narrative Shorts: 2019 SXSW Film Festival Selections [Video]

December 18, 2019 Neha Aziz

Our 2020 Film Festival lineup will be out soon (January 2020), so in the meantime, check out some of the Narrative Shorts that played in 2019.

The Narrative Shorts Competition is a selection of original, well-crafted films that take advantage of the short form and exemplify distinctive and genuine storytelling. From a gay man’s entanglement with an older married couple to a young girl learning about love and intimacy from her neighbor, these stories and more are guaranteed to make you laugh, cry, and feel all the feels.

Each year, this competition is composed of three 90-minute short film programs, the winner of which is Oscar Qualified and becomes eligible for the Academy Awards. If you want to indulge in more shorts, take a look at our SXSW Film Festival Vimeo Channel.

2019 SXSW Narrative Shorts Selections


Director/Screenwriter: Rebecca Halfon

A Syrian deli owner and two teen girls with a fake ID find common ground on one winter night in Brooklyn.


Director: Katia Badalian, Screenwriters: Sara Bower, Katia Badalian

A young girl with blooming awareness, Nina, interacts with her crass neighbor who explains the tangled world of intimacy and love. Drawing from her own experiences, Nina understands more than she thought.


Director/Screenwriter: John Merizalde

After countless failed attempts at finding love, a reclusive young man turns to an anonymous community of the “involuntarily celibate” for help, but instead finds himself increasingly pushed towards extremism.

The Jog

Director/Screenwriter: Joseph Lee Anderson

A man gets the news of a lifetime, but his morning jog doesn’t go as planned.


Director/Screenwriter: Matthew Puccini

A young gay man grows increasingly entangled in the marriage of an older couple.

Little Grey Bubbles

Director/Screenwriter: Charles Wahl

Devastated by her best friend’s death, Kim travels from NYC to Canada to attend his funeral. There she meets his family and friends and awkwardly tries to explain how she had never met him in person because their friendship was exclusively online.


Directors/Screenwriters: Celine Held, Logan George

Struggling with feelings for her best friend, 14 year-old Marie stages an almost perfect plan.


Director/Screenwriter: Julian Turner

A weary white French professor and a young black drug dealer share an impalpable connection on a single night in Philadelphia


Director/Screenwriter: Tim Wilkime

A guy makes a bad first impression when he meets his girlfriend’s family as they gather at her grandfather’s deathbed.


Director/Screenwriter: Maxwell Addae

A young man attends his new nephew’s baby naming ceremony with a plan to steal the money collected from family and friends to run away and keep a deep secret hidden from them.


Director/Screenwriter: José Andrés Cardona

Jonny teaches Tommy how to drive.


Director/Screenwriter: Farida Zahran

A teenage girl takes a step toward adulthood in contemporary Cairo.

Other Narrative Shorts that were part of the SXSW 2019 program, but are not yet available to watch on Vimeo include:

  • Framework Director: Jasmin Gordon, Screenwriter: Julien Bouissoux
  • Fuck You Director/Screenwriter Anette Sidor
  • Liberty Director/Screenwriter Faren Humes
  • Manila is Full of Men Named Boy Director: Andrew Stephen Lee, Screenwriters: Andrew Stephen Lee, Neda Jebelli, Emre Gulcan
  • Nice Talking to You Director: Saim Sadiq, Screenwriters: Saim Sadiq Joseph Capotorto
  • The Orphan Director/Screenwriter Carolina Markowicz
  • Snare Director: Madeleine Gottlieb, Screenwriter: Ryan Dowler,, Seth Epstein
  • Stepdaddy Director: Lisa Steen, Screenwriter: Anna Greenfield
  • Virgins4Lyfe Director: Thea Hvistendahl, Screenwriters: Sofia Lersol Lund, Thea Hvistendahl
  • Washed Away Director/Screenwriter Ben Kallam

Join Us for SXSW 2020

Discover what’s next in film with a 2020 SXSW Film Badge. From March 13-22, 2020, experience 10 days of conference sessions, screenings, exhibitions, networking events, mentor sessions, and much more. All attendees will receive primary entry to programming associated with their badge type, in addition to enjoying secondary access to most other SXSW events.

Stay tuned for more programming announcements throughout the 2020 SXSW season including the full Film Festival lineup coming this January.

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Dive into 2019 Music Tracks

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