Documentary Shorts Competition presented by IMDbPro

Documentary Shorts Program 1

Slices of life from across the documentary spectrum.

Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.

Program Includes:

A bus picks up some passengers on Friday morning to travel the route that brings them closer to the weekend, with their plans, their reflections, and their fears. The same bus will pick them up on Sunday afternoon to return them to where they came from.

'Roger J. Carter: Rebel Revolutionary' follows Chicago portrait artist Roger J. Carter as he creates colorful, unique images of African American revolutionaries through the use of toy soldiers on canvas. Staggering, vibrant, and complex, Roger’s work combines familiar faces with skilled craftsmanship and biting social commentary, highlighting the wars the marginalized face as they attempt to dismantle an established system.

In April 2019, after the fall of President Omar al-Bashir, Sudanese from across the country make their way to Khartoum to demand civilian rule. Protestors occupy the military headquarters, setting up tents and constructing barricades. In this liminal space, a group of young revolutionaries create an imaginary television station. What begins as play becomes an urgent conjuring of a new Sudan.

Each year, hundreds of people apply to join the Ball Crew at the US Open tennis tournament. Through a surprisingly rigorous tryout process, only a few dozen are ultimately selected.

"Birdsong" explores the dying whistling traditions of the Hmong people of northern Laos, whose sonic exchanges straddle the boundary between music and speech. The film follows the personal stories of three individuals from Long Lan village, as they reflect on their experience as practitioners of a vanishing musical language. "Birdsong" portrays the collision of an ancient linguistic practice with the modern condition of urban life in Laos. The film explores how listening can change our perception of both society and nature, offering a glimpse into the philosophical relationship between sound and reality.


Primary Entry:
Platinum Badge
Film & TV Badge
Secondary Entry:
Music Badge
Interactive Badge
Film & TV Festival Wristband
Screening Section:

Documentary Shorts Competition

Screening Category:

Documentary Short


95 mins