SXSWedu Film Program, He Names Me Malala, photo by Earl McGhee

The SXSWedu Film program highlights poignant narratives and documentaries focusing on all aspects of education. With films tackling social impacts on domestic and international learning, peering into classrooms, and exploring the journey to becoming an educator, the film program presents an entertaining and compelling addition to SXSWedu.

Please note that SXSWedu Film is a programming component of SXSWedu. It is distinct from and should not be confused with the SXSW Film Festival.

Film Screenings

Watch the trailers, learn more and add film screenings to your schedule for March.

44 Pages

44 Pages

A portrait of Highlights magazine following the creation of the cultural phenomenon’s 70th anniversary issue.

Director: Tony Shaff
Producers: Laura D. Smith Rebecca Green Tony Shaff

Beyond the Dream

Beyond The Dream

Three young immigrants journey far to find themselves

Director: Alex Gomez
Producers: Roadtrip Nation, Dan Ford, Alex Gomez, Nathan Gebhard

Changing Ed

Changing Education From The Inside Out

The traditional education system is no longer adequate to prepare our children for the 21st century workforce. Changing Education From The Inside Out takes us on the journey with the educators from Singapore American School, showcasing the motivations, extensive research and challenges to transforming the education system - breaking frontiers and raising the bar.

Directors: Michael Rogers & Meghan Shea
Producer: Michael Rogers & Meghan Shea

Fly By Light

Fly By Light

Four DC youth embark on a journey into the mountains to break the cycles of violence and rewrite their futures.

Director: Ellie Walton Producer: Hawah Kasat

Hidden Figures

Hidden Figures

The film chronicles the true story of a group of unacknowledged African American women whose brilliance in math helped NASA win the space race.

Director: Theodore Melfi
Producer(s): Donna Gigliotti, Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping, Pharrell Williams, Theodore Melfi

Landfill Harmonic

Landfill Harmonic follows the amazing journey of a garbage picker, a music teacher, and a group of children who create the most unlikely orchestra, one made entirely out of trash. They call it the “Recycled Orchestra of Cateura”.

Director: Graham Townsley
Producer & Co-Director: Juliana Penaranda-Loftus
Director/Editor/Director of Photography: Brad Allgood

Lunch Hour

Lunch Hour

A feature length documentary that explores the national school lunch program, childhood obesity and our addiction to unhealthy foods.

 Newtown photo Credit Derek Wiesehahn


Filmed over the course of nearly three years, the filmmakers use unique access and never before heard testimonies to tell a story of the aftermath of the deadliest mass shooting of schoolchildren in American history on December 14, 2012. Newtown documents a traumatized community fractured by grief and driven toward a sense of purpose. Joining the ranks of a growing club to which no one wants to belong, a cast of characters interconnect to weave an intimate story of community resilience.

Director: Kim A. Snyder Producer(s): Maria Cuomo Cole + Kim A. Snyder

watch the trailer »

Newtown Trailer from Mile22 on Vimeo.

Newtown photo Credit Derek Wiesehahn.

Night School film

Night School

Fraught with the challenges of daily life and the broader systemic roadblocks faced by many low income Americans, three adult-ed students set back to finally earn their high school diploma in hope of a better life.

Director: Andrew Cohn
Producer(s): Steve Bannatyne, Jason Orans, Andrew Cohn, Zachary Shields, Pamela Ryan
Executive Producers: Jenny Raskin, Dan Cogan, Louis Venezia, Jeremy Workman, Rob Lyons, Wendy vanden Heuvel

Paper Tigers

Paper Tigers

Paper Tigers follows a year in the life of an alternative high school that has radically changed its approach to disciplining its students, becoming a promising model for how to break the cycles of poverty, violence and disease that affect families.

Director: James Redford
Producer: Karen Pritzker



The biology of stress & the science of hope chronicles the birth of a new movement among pediatricians, therapists, educators and communities, who are using cutting-edge brain science to disrupt cycles of violence, addiction and disease.

Director: James Redford
Producer: Karen Pritzker

She Started It

She Started It

Five young women will stop at nothing to pursue their startup dreams.

Directors: Nora Poggi and Insiyah Saeed Producers: Nora Poggi and Insiyah Saeed

Sonita film


18-year-old Sonita is an undocumented Afghan illegal immigrant living in the suburbs of Tehran. She fights to live the way she wants: As a rapper in spite of all her obstacles she confronts in Iran and her conservative family.

Director: Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami
Producer(s): Gerd Haag, Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami, Aline Schmid, Kerstin Krieg

Starving the Beast

Starving the Beast

Starving the Beast tells the story of a potent one-two punch roiling public higher education right now: thirty-five years of systematic defunding and a well financed market-oriented reform effort. It’s the story of a little known and misunderstood ideological fight, the outcome of which will change the future of public education.

Director name: Steve Mims

Swim Team

Swim Team

Three autistic boys coming of age struggle with limited support and services, but find hope for their futures through a transformative community swim team.

Director Name: Lara Stolman


Teach Us All

Teach Us All is a documentary and youth-led social justice movement on educational inequality and the re-segregation of America’s schools set against the timely historical backdrop of the 1957 Little Rock school desegregation crisis.

Director: Sonia Lowman
Producer(s) name: Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes

The Beginning of Life

The Beginning of Life

The Beginning of Life invites everyone to reflect: are we taking good care of this unique moment, which defines both the present and future of humankind?

Director name: Estela Renner Producer(s) name: Marcos Nisti, Luana Lobo and Estela Renner

The University

On a hidden NASA research base, a small group of people undertake a mission - change the world for a billion people within ten years' time. Will they succeed or crash and burn?

Director name: Matt Rutherford



An animated and action-packed look at America’s first mass school shooting, when the worst in one man brought out the best in so many others.

Director: Keith Maitland
Producer(s): Susan Thomson, Megan Kilbride, Hillary Pierce, Luke Wilson, Steve Eckelman

Visit the past films page to see what films have participated in the film program in the past. For more information or questions about film, check out the SXSWedu Film FAQ.

SXSWedu Film program, He Names Me Malala, photo by Earl McGhee.