Very little sleep. Sitting in a darkly lit, jam-packed movie theaters 30 times in a mere seven days. Eating nothing but Alamo Drafthouse cuisine for both lunch and dinner day in and day out. Yes, our time spent at the SXSW 2012 Film Festival was a nonstop exercise in cinephile nirvana, with, thankfully, only a small handful of unforgivably bad films having insignificantly tainted the experience.

All throughout the wonderful city of Austin, Texas, the most exciting and talked-about independent movies had their premieres or highly anticipated festival replays starting on Friday, March 9, and concluding March 17, this past Saturday. With nearly 150 film options on the schedule, the Complex Pop Culture team managed to catch 30, which, if you think about it, is rather impressive for only a week’s duration.

Thus, the following list is in no way a definitive countdown of the fest’s all-around best entries, but, rather, a breakdown of the strongest, top flicks that we were actually able to catch. Consider The 15 Best Movies Complex Saw At The SXSW 2012 Film Festival as a comprehensive directory of forthcoming, non-major-studio fare that should be on your radars. Sadly, though, bottles of the Drafthouse’s killer Monty Python’s Holy Grail Ale aren’t included.

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