SXSW Sydney 2024: must-see documentaries

A slate of music and pop-culture docos have been added to the SXSW Sydney screen program for 2024.
Still of the Hard-Ons from The Most Australian Band Ever! Image: Living Eyes/SXSW Sydney

This year’s SXSW Sydney screen program will feature a documentary on the rise of Australian 80s punk band The Hard-Ons, and a unique exploration of former Pizza Hut restaurants in the US – both among a new slate of films revealed for the screen program this week.

More than 500 new speakers, workshops, artists, screenings, games, and experiences have now been unveiled for this year’s event, which will run from October 14-20 2024.

Among the film highlights is Jonathan Sequeira’s documentary The Most Australian Band Ever! which chronicles the journey of three teenagers from Punchbowl who became the legendary punk rock band The Hard-Ons. The band sold over a quarter of a million albums and achieved 17 consecutive number one listings on the alternative music charts.

Australian-born, Brooklyn-based filmmakers Matthew Salleh and Rose Tucker will premiere their new documentary Slice of Life: The American Dream. In Former Pizza Huts. This film delves into the transformation of former Pizza Hut buildings across the US, showcasing their new roles as an LGBTQ+ church in Florida, a karaoke bar in Texas, and a cannabis dispensary in rural Colorado. Salleh and Tucker previously premiered Barbecue at SXSW 2017 in Austin.

Read: SXSW Sydney first films and speakers announced

Also featured in the festival’s music strand is David Charles Rodrigues’ S/He Is Still Her/e, a portrait of Genesis P-Orridge, co-founder of industrial music pioneers Throbbing Gristle. The film premiered at last year’s Tribeca Film Festival and will be part of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival next month.

From New Zealand, Kent Blecher’s Alien Weaponry: Kua Tupu Te Ara follows two brothers making waves in the thrash metal scene with the Māori language, while Wellington’s Floating Rock animation studio will present a live commentary session on their viral trailer Kyoryu, created by Benjamin Mulot.

Additionally, the festival will showcase 24 music videos focusing on Australian artists, including bands like Amyl and the Sniffers, Bad//Dreems, and The Buoys.

Tuesday’s line-up announcement adds to a handful of short films revealed last month, featuring works such as Wendi Tang’s Fishtank (China/USA), Eros V’s Meat Puppet (UK), Hweiling Ow’s Vivie (NZ), and Talia Shea Levin’s Make Me a Pizza (US).

More films are expected to be announced for SXSW Sydney over the coming months.

For the full schedule and more info, visit the official SXSW Sydney website.

Silvi Vann-Wall is a journalist, podcaster, and filmmaker. They joined ScreenHub as Film Content Lead in 2022. Twitter: @SilviReports