Midnight Shorts Program
Bite-sized bits for all of your sex, gore, and hilarity cravings.
Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.
Margaret is an international renowned composer who witnesses the violent accidental death of her partner - and becomes convinced her spirit is still within the house. In the search for an answer, she composes a suite of new music to drive the spectre out from the shadows. In doing so, she evokes her own deep unresolved pain and guilt - and what she's afraid to confront about her own feelings for someone else....
A group of people trudge through a maze of underground tunnels. They break the absolute darkness with the abundant lights that are attached to their bodies, in baroque suits loaded with batteries and lights of many kinds. On their journey they will have to face the dangers that lurk in the dark and what’s worse: themselves.
'Moshari' is a traditional South Asian mosquito net, made for protection against vermin at night. When the world is overrun with bloodthirsty creatures, the last of mankind persevere in Dhaka, Bangladesh by spending their nights inside the moshari - the only known shelter from the unknown threat. Two sisters, Apu and Ayra, must navigate this strange new world to survive. However, their strained relationship is becoming as much of a threat as the dangers outside. One night, when Ayra’s curiosity lures her outside the safety of the moshari, Apu must rise to the occasion - as they face their demons, together.
A local news story about the effects of deforestation on a nearby suburb takes a dark turn when the mousy housewife from the interview lures the reporter into the woods with a promise of a scoop. As they go deeper and deeper into the forest, the housewife reveals details about her dark past that leads to a deadly confrontation. The reporter goes to desperate measures to save her life and is compelled to take on the housewife’s cause, leaving both of them forever changed.
In Taiwan, "song wa si de" are workers who routinely supply gas tanks to street vendors and old residential buildings. The magical Tank Fairy delivers her tanks unlike any other - with sass, stilettos and a healthy helping of glitter. Her arrival upends the life of Jojo, a lonely ten-year-old who dreams of dancing and drag. Outcast by classmates and misunderstood by his stern, single mom, Jojo is inspired to live out loud by his fierce, propane-toting fairy godmother. Tank Fairy is a musical extravaganza that encourages us all to embrace our authentic selves.
Young TJ and his father Tyrone are going on their annual fishing trip in a cove off of the ocean. TJ plays around and falls off the boat, he struggles to keep afloat and reaches in after him. When his dad reaches in to save him, what emerges from the deep waters reveals life will never be the same.
After being violently pushed from a window, Mary wakes up in the hospital, almost completely paralyzed. Trapped inside the prison of her own body, Mary’s only way to communicate is by blinking her eyes. She tries to warn the nurse that a sinister, inhuman force is trying to kill her. But when strange things begin happening around her, she realizes it may be too late to stop it.
A horror satire set during the summer of 2020 in New York City during quarantine and the protests It tells the tale of a black woman held captive with whiteness as it mutates into monstrosity. The sole characters of the film are an interracial couple weathering quarantine rather comfortably, until the death of George Floyd upends their routine. The woman begins to grow increasingly fearful of her partner, a man outraged by - and later obsessed with - the death of Floyd. As the two grow alienated from each other, their cozy brownstone becomes a hellscape.
Two brothers living on a farm sell old broken iPads, iPhones, and laptops to make ends meet. After one of the horses on the ranch convinces the older brother that the younger one is pinching a portion of the profits, the brother is left with no choice but to kill him and run off with the horse. Horse Brothers is a hilariously weird short film starring world-renowned arthouse filmmaker Guy Maddin (My Winnipeg, Forbidden Room) and Milos Mitrovic (Tapeworm, Stump the Guesser).