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Three Canadian Documentaries Tapped for SXSW

Plastic People, Adrianne & the Castle, and Hello Stranger to world premiere at festival

3 mins read

Three Canadian documentaries are set to premiere at this year’s SXSW festival. Plastic People: The Hidden Crisis of Microplastics and Adrianne & the Castle are feature docs that will both have their world premieres at the music and film festival in Austin, Texas. SXSW revealed the full line-up for the 2024 edition of the festival on Wednesday with the former doc appearing in the Documentary Spotlight programme and the latter in the Visions programme. On the shorts front, Hello Stranger will have its world premiere in competition.

Plastic People brings a notable environmental documentary to SXSW as it follows investigative journalist Ziya Tong as she dives into the impact of microplastics on humans’ health. Tong co-directs the film with Ben Addelman, who previously directed documentaries including Discordia and Nollywood Babylon. Tong makes her directorial debut with Plastic People following extensive work as a journalist and as host of Daily Planet from 2001 to 2017. Plastic People is produced by Vanessa Dylyn and Stephen Paniccia, and executive produced by Peter Raymont, Rick Smith and Steve Ord for White Pine Pictures in association with TELUS independent.

Adrianne & the Castle, meanwhile, is the latest film from director Shannon Walsh (The Gig Is Up). The film is an inventive musical hybrid that explores the story of Alan and Adrianne St-George, who built a testament to love with a medieval castle on the Mississippi River. Walsh is a recent recipient of the Governor General’s Award, while Adrianne & the Castle producer Ina Fichman of Intuitive Pictures recently earned an Oscar nomination for Fire of Love.

Hello Stranger, finally, comes from director Amélie Hardy and producers Sarah Mannering and Fanny Drew of Colonelle Films. The film follows trans woman Cooper Josephine through her transition using a unique approach the within the space between fiction and non-fiction.

Other documentaries tapped for SXSW include A House Is Not a Disco, directed by Brian J. Smith, which explores the gay travel haven of Fire Island Pines, while Roleplay from director Katie Mathews visits a college campus that tackles gender-based violence through theatre. Big names on the documentary front include famed songwriter Diane Warren, who gets a portrait in Diane Warren: Relentless, while the story of songwriter/artist Allee Willis chronicles several decades in the music business in The World According to Allee Willis. This year’s SXSW runs March 8 to 16.


Pat Mullen is the publisher of POV Magazine. He holds a Master’s in Film Studies from Carleton University where his research focused on adaptation and Canadian cinema. Pat has also contributed to outlets including The Canadian Encyclopedia, Paste, That Shelf, Sharp, Xtra, and Complex. He is the vice president of the Toronto Film Critics Association and an international voter for the Golden Globe Awards.

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