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The Four Best Food-Related Films at SXSW

From a family drama about an aspiring master sommelier to a doc about ‘The Donut King’ of California

Mamoudou Athie and Courtney B. Vance in Uncorked
Mamoudou Athie and Courtney B. Vance in Uncorked
SXSW [Official]
Nadia Chaudhury is the editor of Eater Austin covering food and pop culture, as well as a photographer, writer, and frequent panel moderator and podcast guest.

South by Southwest (SXSW) is a conference with many, many components, and movies happen to be a major element of the sprawling festival. With that in mind, Eater sorted through the 130+ films and episodics (aka television shows) on the lineup to highlight the best movies related to food cultures that would be of interest. Everything is listed in chronological order based on its SXSW premiere date

The Donut King

The documentary, directed by Alice Gu, stars Cambodian refugee Ted Ngoy, who came to America and opened a bunch of very successful doughnut shops in California, earning him the nickname of “The Donut King.” His story takes a turn for the worst when he discovered the highs of gambling.
Premiere: Saturday, March 14 at 4:30 p.m. at the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar
Additional Screenings: Sunday, March 15 at 2:15 p.m. and 2:45 at Violet Crown; Wednesday, March 18 at 8:15 p.m. at Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar


The family drama film from Netflix features an aspiring master sommelier, played by Mamoudou Athie (Patti Cake$, Sorry for Your Loss), even though his father, played by Courtney B. Vance (The Hunt for Red October, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story) wants him to take over the family barbecue restaurant in Memphis. Director Prentice Penny is the current showrunner of television series Insecure.
Premiere: Saturday, March 14 at 5:30 p.m. at the Zach Theatre
Additional Screenings: Tuesday, March 17 at 5:45 p.m. at Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar; Thursday, March 19 at 11:30 a.m. at Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar


The television series based on the post-apocalyptic drama film by now-Oscar award-winning director Bong Joon-Ho of the same name is finally premiering after being announced in 2015. The television series tackles the same ideas of class warfare fueled by climate change, which involves food deficits, leading to acts of (spoiler) unaware cannibalism. While the television series won’t focus as heavily on said-cannibalism as the film, it’s still there. The series is being helmed by Graeme Manson (one of the showrunners of television show Orphan Black), and yes, Bong is an executive producer.
Premiere: Sunday, March 15 at 2:15 p.m at the Zach Theatre


The Australian documentary television series focuses on two Asian-Australian friends exploring their heritages during trips to Asian grocery stores.
Premiere: Monday, March 16 at 2:30 p.m. at Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar
Additional Screenings: Wednesday, March 18 at 11 a.m. at the Rollins Theatre at the Long Center