Rooney Frontman Robert Schwartzman Brings His First Documentary To SXSW


Robert Schwartzman likes to wear many hats. He’s a filmmaker, director, screenwriter, actor, and musician. He’s adding documentary filmmaker to the list as well! Schwartzman is returning to Austin for SXSW with his first featured documentary Hung Up On A Dream. This marks the first time he’ll be back at the fest since 2018. Keep reading to find out more about the documentary, what Schwartzman has been up to over the years, and what he thinks about Austin.

Let Us Reintroduce You to Robert Schwartzman

Schwartzman is best known for directing DreamlandThe Unicorn, and The Argument, as well as acting in his cousin Sofia Coppola’s projects like The Virgin Suicides. You may even remember him from his role in The Princess Diaries. And if you don’t know him from his acting and directing, then you might know him as the frontman of the band Rooney.

In 2018 Schwartzman co-founded Utopia with business partner Cole Harper. Utopia is a production, distribution and sales agency that was started to try and fix the broken film distribution system and to make it more artist-focused. The company’s roster continues to grow with projects like Lena Dunham’s movie Sharp Stick. Now, he’s heading to SXSW a new project!

SXSW Preview: Hung Up On A Dream

Schwartzman newest project is not only on Utopia’s roster, but he also directed it. Hung Up On A Dream is about the iconic British band The Zombies and it’s the band’s first-ever featured documentary. In it, they tell their story while looking back on their journey, one where true friendship led them to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The featured documentary is premiering at SXSW where The Zombies will also be playing. In fact, they’re playing a free show at Auditorium Shores.

Schwartzman will also be in Austin for the world premiere of the documentary. We have a feeling that even if he wasn’t directing it, he would still be at the premiere. Schwartzman told us that he’s obsessed with The Zombies’ music. He thinks they’re one of the greatest bands ever and wants everyone to know and celebrate them. His wish is that the film will inspire people to discover their great catalog of work. Fun fact: his own band Rooney went on tour with The Zombies in 2022!

Here’s a clip of Schwartzman talking about the film debuting at SXSW on his Instagram:

More About Robert Schwartzman

Rooney has been touring since 2002 and has played Austin countless times. Schwartzman said he’s experienced the growth of Austin each time he’s visited and he always loves the friendly, creative atmosphere, and the boutique eateries. Of course, he especially loves the live music! He told us that he’s often come to SXSW even when he didn’t have a project at the festival, simply attending as a film lover. What he’s most looking forward to this time around is getting back into the Austin culture and grabbing some good coffee and food on South Congress.

Because Austin likes to “Keep it Weird” we asked Schwartzman to tell us something weird about himself. Here’s what he had to say: 

I have incredible dental hygiene, is that weird?

Jason Schwartzman

What do y’all think? Is that weird? We’re sure his dentist doesn’t think so.

You can catch the world premiere of Hung Up On A Dream Sunday, March 12 at 5:30 PM at ZACH Theater. There will be a second screening Friday, March 17 at 2:15 PM at ZACH Theater. Find more details here.

Photo Courtesy of Utopia

This is an official SXSW event so it does require a badge. That said, check the theater the day of because sometimes they sell individual tickets to non-badge holders! 

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Featured photo via Robert Schwartzman’s Instagram