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SXSW Online 2021: Here's what to watch on Day 3, March 18

Eric Webb
Austin 360

It's back, and it's more comfy than ever: The first digital-only edition of South by Southwest started Tuesday. After the annual Austin conference and festivals had to cancel in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, SXSW returns with virtual programming March 16-20.

Here's what to catch on the third day of the fest, and check out our guide to how to watch the sessions, films and music showcases. Check the full schedule at online.sxsw.com.

Session picks

Our keynote for Day 3 is newly minted Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, the artist formerly known as the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and the first openly gay major presidential candidate. He'll talk at 1 p.m. 

He's not a keynote, but we'd be remiss not to mention former President George W. Bush (also a former Austinite as governor of Texas), who will be a featured speaker at 11:30 a.m.

Former President George W. Bush will be one of the SXSW Online speakers on Thursday.

Also on the docket: director James Cameron at 10:30 a.m., rock star Mick Fleetwood at 3 p.m. and singer-songwriter icon Carole King at 3:30 p.m.

Film picks

Almost all the films in the fest are available on demand until Saturday, but Thursday is the last day for the bulk of the premieres. Our big closer: "Alone Together," the documentary about hyperpop innovator Charli XCX and her journey to create an album in quarantine. It premieres at 6 p.m. (Don’t miss the post-screening event with Ms. XCX at 9 p.m. on March 20.)

Charli XCX performs at Emo’s in 2019. She's the subject of a headlining SXSW Online documentary, "Alone Together."

A few more film picks for your nerves on Day 3: Texas music doc “Without Getting Killed or Caught” at 10 a.m., immigration doc "Fruits of Labor" at noon, Udo Kier-starring "Swan Song" at noon, fabulous coming-of-age story "Inbetween Girl" (directed by University of Texas alum Mei Makino) at 4 p.m. and hyperviolent rotoscope fantasy "The Spine of Night" at 8 p.m.

More picks:Here's what to watch at SXSW Film 2021, the fest's first online edition

Music pick

At 6:30 p.m., catch the Care Free Black Girl showcase. Savannah rapper, community organizer and entrepreneur Quanna Bolden’s lifestyle brand aims “to promote solutions for women of color to keep striving in spite of their obstacles.” Kick your sexy self into weekend mode with a seven-act power set that includes brash and nasty rhymes from Baltimore’s Baby Kahlo, blunted soul from ATL duo the Queendom and sultry singer Demi Grace’s buoyant club seductions. — Deborah Sengupta Stith

More SXSW music picks:Sample sounds from around the world

Our full coverage of SXSW is only possible thanks to Statesman subscribers. If you're not already a subscriber, become one today at statesman.com/subscribenow. New subscribers get a year of digital access at an introductory rate of $39 through March 18.