The South by Southwest Film Conference and Festival, otherwise known as SXSW, gets underway next month, and has now announced this year's lineup of feature films.
Joining previously-announced titles, such as Evil Dead and Spring Breakers, are 109 features, including 68 from first-time filmmakers.
Notable titles include documentaries I Am Divine, by Jeffrey Schwarz, about Glen Milstead, better known as John Waters' muse Divine; Milius, directed by Zak Knutson and Joey Figueroa, which covers the life of renegade filmmaker John Milius; and Rewind This!, by Josh Johnson, a film that aims to "trace the ripples" of the VHS home video revolution.
Among the narrative features that caught my eye: Chris Eska's The Retrieval, about a boy who must retrieve a wanted man during the Civil War (the director's previous efforts include the marvelously low-key August Evening); Emily Hagins' Grow Up, Tony Phillips, a new comedy from the steadily developing young filmmaker of My Sucky Teen Romance; Walter Strafford's Kilimanjaro, which follows a man who tires of his "routine life" and decides to climb a mountain, and Snap, directed by Youssef Delara and Victor Teran (last year's Filly Brown), described as "a stylish psychological thriller" set in the underground dubstep DJ scene. (Full disclosure: ScreenAnarchy's Festivals Editor Ryland Aldrich served as one of the producers on Snap. He was not involved in the editing of this article.)
Twitch will have multiple correspondents on the ground in Austin, Texas, and we'll be providing our usual mix of advance previews, first impressions, reviews, interviews, and more. The complete features lineup is below. All descriptions and other information come directly from SXSW.
NARRATIVE FEATURE COMPETITION
This year's 8 films were selected from 1,191 submissions. Each film is a World Premiere.
Films screening in Narrative Feature Competition are:
Director/Screenwriter: Todd Sklar, Screenwriter: Alex Rennie
Estranged brothers Jim and Dave must travel to Branson together when their father dies and leaves them the lake home. A series of hilarious mishaps and costly misadventures follow as they attempt to restore the house and rebuild their relationship. Cast: Alex Rennie, James Pumphrey, Christopher Meloni, Brett Gelman, Keeley Hazell (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Carlos Puga
On the eve of an annual sibling reunion, a troubled young writer is sent reeling with the arrival of an unexpected guest. Cast: Christopher Abbott, Gaby Hoffmann, Chris McCann, Dan Bittner, Emily Fleischer (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Dayna Hanson
When their big gig falls through, a ragtag, avant-garde performance group with a political message struggles to find their audience--and the motivating force behind their work.
Cast: Magge Brown, Dave Proscia, Wade Madsen, Jessie Smith, Pol Rosenthal (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Jonathan Singer-Vine, Screenwriter: Justin "Hongry" Robinson
The story of a young man, D, as he returns to his Oakland neighborhood after two years served in prison for a robbery gone wrong... Cast: Stanley "Doe" Hunt, Koran Jenkins, Tatiana Monet, Devon Libran, Les "DJ Upgrade" Aderibigbe (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Chris Eska
On the outskirts of the Civil War, a boy is sent north by a bounty hunter gang to retrieve a wanted man. Cast: Ashton Sanders, Tishuan Scott, Keston John, Bill Oberst, Jr., Christine Horn, Alfonso Freeman (World Premiere)
Short Term 12
Director/Screenwriter: Destin Daniel Cretton
The film follows Grace, a young supervisor at a foster-care facility, as she looks after the teens in her charge and reckons with her own troubled past. An unsparingly authentic film, full of both heart and surprising humor.
Cast: Brie Larson, John Gallagher Jr., Kaitlyn Dever, Rami Malek, Keith Stanfield (World Premiere)
Swim Little Fish Swim (USA, France)
Director/Screenwriter: Ruben Amar, Lola Bessis
Between surrealism, unusual characters, art and magic tricks, Swim Little Fish Swim is a dreamlike journey from childhood to adulthood. Cast: Dustin Guy Defa, Anne Consigny, Brooke Bloom, Lola Bessis, Olivia Durling Costello (World Premiere)
This Is Where We Live
Directors: Josh Barrett, Marc Menchaca, Screenwriter: Marc Menchaca
A struggling family's dynamics are challenged and a unique friendship is born when a small-town Texas handyman becomes caregiver to their son with cerebral palsy.
Cast: Ron Hayden, CK McFarland, Marc Menchaca, Tobias Segal, Frankie Shaw (World Premiere)
DOCUMENTARY FEATURE COMPETITION
This year's 8 films were selected from 905 submissions. Each film is a World Premiere.
Films screening in Documentary Feature Competition are:
12 O'Clock Boys
Director: Lotfy Nathan
Pug, a young boy growing up on a combative West Baltimore block, finds solace in a gang of illegal dirt bike riders known as The 12 O'Clock Boys. (World Premiere)
Big Joy: The Adventures of James Broughton
Directors: Stephen Silha, Eric Slade
A documentary about embracing your passions and becoming the person of your dreams, disguised as an inspiring biopic about pioneering filmmaker and poet James Broughton (1913-1999).
Director: Douglas Tirola
The story of the bartender in the era of the craft cocktail. (World Premiere)
Los Wild Ones
Director: Elise Salomon
Wild Records is an indie label reminiscent of the early days of Sun Records. The label is based in LA and run by Reb Kennedy aka Mr. Wild Records and is comprised of young Latin musicians who write and perform 50s Rock n Roll. (World Premiere)
The Short Game
Director: Josh Greenbaum
Each year, the world's best 7-year-old golfers descend on Pinehurst, North Carolina to determine the next "world champion" and who might become golf's next phenom. The Short Game follows 9 young golfers on their quest for greatness. (World Premiere)
Director: Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi
With unprecedented access and dynamic 16mm cinematography, Touba reveals a different face of Islam by chronicling Sufi Muslims' annual pilgrimage to the city of Touba. (World Premiere)
We Always Lie To Strangers
Directors: AJ Schnack, David Wilson
A story of family, community, music and tradition set against the backdrop of Branson, Missouri, the remote Ozark Mountain town that is one of the biggest tourist destinations in America.
WILLIAM AND THE WINDMILL
Director: Ben Nabors
William Kamkwamba builds a windmill from scrap to rescue his family from famine, transforming his life and launching him onto the world stage. His success leads to new opportunities and complex choices, distancing him from the life he once knew. (World Premiere)
Big names, big talent: Headliners bring star power to SXSW, featuring red carpet premieres and gala film events with some major and rising names in cinema.
Films screening in Headliners are:
Director/Screenwriter: Fede Alvarez, Screenwriter: Rodo Sayagues
Five friends, holed up in a remote cabin, discover a Book of the Dead that unwittingly summons up dormant demons which possess the youngsters in succession until only one is left to fight for survival. Cast: Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, Lou Taylor Pucci, Jessica Lucas, Elizabeth Blackmore
Director: Stephen Finnigan
A brief history of mine: a look at the life of Stephen Hawking. (World Premiere)
The Incredible Burt Wonderstone
Director: Don Scardino, Story by Chad Kultgen & Tyler Mitchell and Jonathan Goldstein & John Francis Daley. Screenplay by Jonathan Goldstein & John Francis Daley
As superstar Vegas magicians and former best friends Burt and Anton grow to secretly loathe each other, their long-time act implodes, allowing an ambitious rival street performer the big break he's been waiting for. Cast: Steve Carell, Steve Buscemi, Olivia Wilde, with Alan Arkin, James Gandolfini and Jim Carrey (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Harmony Korine
Four college girls who land in jail after robbing a restaurant in order to fund their spring break vacation find themselves bailed out by a drug and arms dealer who wants them to do some dirty work.
Cast: James Franco, Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson, Rachel Korine, Gucci Mane (U.S. Premiere)
When Angels Sing
Director: Tim Mccanlies, Screenwriter: Lou Berney
Michael despises Christmas. Now Christmas is getting even.
Cast: Harry Connick Jr., Connie Britton, Chandler Canterbury, Fionnula Flanagan, Lyle Lovett, Dana Wheeler-Nicholson, Eloise DeJoria, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson (World Premiere)
High profile narrative features receiving their World, North American or U.S. Premieres at SXSW.
Films screening in Narrative Spotlight are:
Director: Bryan Poyser, Screenwriters: David Degrow Shotwell, Steven Walters, Bryan Poyser
An outrageous comedy about love and revenge in Austin, Texas. Cast: Marshall Allman, Ashley Bell, Zach Cregger, Sara Paxton, Michael Stahl-David (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Vincent Grashaw, Screenwriter: Mark Penney
A teenage boy is sent to a juvenile reform facility in the wilderness. As we learn about the tragic events that sent him there, his struggle becomes one for survival with the inmates, the counselors, and with the retired war colonel in charge. Cast: PJ Boudousqué, James C. Burns, Chris Petrovski, Octavius J. Johnson, Nicholas Bateman (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Joe Swanberg
Weekend trips, office parties, late night conversations, drinking on the job, marriage pressure, biological clocks, holding eye contact a second too long... you know what makes the line between "friends" and "more than friends" really blurry? Beer.
Cast: Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson, Anna Kendrick, Ron Livingston (World Premiere)
Go For Sisters
Director/Screenwriter: John Sayles
Bernice and Fontayne grew up so tight they could 'go for sisters'. After twenty years apart, they are reunited when Bernice is assigned to be Fontayne's parole officer- just when she needs help on the wrong side of the law. Cast: Edward James Olmos, Lisa Gay Hamilton, Yolonda Ross
(North American Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Sean H. A. Gallagher
Leigh's 29th birthday party takes a sudden turn when she announces that the evening maybe the last time her friends see her alive. A night of questions, coping and debauchery immediately follow.
Cast: Adriene Mishler, Jonny Mars, Alex Karpovsky, Chris Doubek, Todd Berger (World Premiere)
Grow Up, Tony Phillips
Director/Screenwriter: Emily Hagins
A comedy about a Halloween-obsessed high school senior who doesn't think childhood passions should have an expiration date.
Cast: Tony Vespe, AJ Bowen, Devin Bonnée, Katie Folger, Byron Brown (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Jessie Mccormack
Lizzie, married and longing for a child, can't conceive. Her best friend, Andie, single and adrift, gets pregnant from a one-night stand and offers to have the baby for Lizzie, sparking a journey full of funny and painful obstacles for all involved. Cast: Michelle Monaghan, Radha Mitchell, Jon Dore, Michael Weston, Mimi Kennedy (World Premiere)
Holy Ghost People
Director: Mitchell Altieri, Screenwriters: Kevin Artigue & Joe Egender, Mitchell Altieri & Phil Flores
On the trail of her missing sister, Charlotte enlists the help of Wayne, an ex-Marine and alcoholic, to infiltrate the Church of One Accord - a community of snake-handlers who risk their lives seeking salvation in the Holy Ghost. Cast: Emma Greenwell, Brendan McCarthy, Joe Egender, Cameron Richardson, Roger Aaron Brown (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Eric Heisserer
Set mostly in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Hours is the story of a man who battles looters, the elements and exhaustion for two days in a hospital while his newborn daughter clings to life inside a ventilator powered only by a manual crank. Cast: Paul Walker, Genesis Rodriguez (World Premiere)
I Give It A Year (UK)
Director/Screenwriter: Dan Mazer
A brand new comedy from the writer of Borat and Bruno that lifts the veil on the realities of the first year of marriage. Cast: Rose Byrne, Anna Faris, Rafe Spall, Simon Baker, Minnie Driver, Jason Flemyng, Stephen Merchant (North American Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Walter Strafford
Sick of his routine life, Doug sets out to climb Kilimanjaro. Cast: Brian Geraghty, Alexia Rasmussen, Abigail Spencer, Chris Marquette, Bruce Altman (World Premiere)
Loves Her Gun
Director/Screenwriter: Geoff Marslett, Screenwriter: Lauren Modery
This romantic tragedy follows a young woman's transition from flight to fight after she is the victim of street violence, but will the weapons that make her feel safe again create problems worse than the ones she is escaping? Cast: Trieste Kelly Dunn, Francisco Barreiro, Ashley Rae Spillers, Melissa Hideko Bisagni, John Merriman (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Jacob Vaughan, Screenwriter: Benjamin Hayes
A man discovers that his chronic stomach problems are due to the fact that he has a demon baby living in his colon.
Cast: Ken Marino, Gillian Jacobs, Peter Stormare, Stephen Root, Mary Kay Place (World Premiere)
Much Ado About Nothing
Director: Joss Whedon
Shakespeare's classic comedy is given a contemporary spin in Joss Whedon's film, Much Ado About Nothing. Cast: Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof, Nathan Fillion, Fran Kranz, Jillian Morgese (U.S. Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Adam Rifkin
A darkly comedic satire that follows TV producer Mickey Wagner and his amoral attempt to re-invent the reality genre. Mickey's big idea is to pick a family and put them under all encompassing surveillance...without their knowledge. Cast: Adam Rifkin, Scott Anderson, Kelly Menighan Hensley, Monika Tilling, Valerie Breiman (World Premiere)
Directors: Kevin Goetz, Michael Goetz, Screenwriter: Kyle Killen
Stranded on an isolated desert road, two life-long friends fight for survival as their already strained relationship spirals into knife-wielding madness. Cast: Josh Duhamel, Dan Fogler (World Premiere)
Director: Daisy Von Scherler Mayer, Screenwriter: Neil LaBute
On the eve of his wedding, a successful writer travels around the country to meet up with ex-lovers in an attempt to make amends for his wrongdoings. Cast: Adam Brody, Kristen Bell, Zoe Kazan, Mía Maestro, Jennifer Morrison, Emily Watson (World Premiere)
Directors: Katie Graham, Andrew Matthews, Screenwriter: Andrew Matthews
An obsessive fantasy nerd gradually becomes unhinged when a charismatic hipster joins his D&D game. Cast: Sam Eidson, Garrett Graham, Brock England, Anne Gee Byrd, Cyndi Williams, Brian Losoya, Vincent Prendergast, Katie Folger, John Gholson, Dakin Matthews (World Premiere)
Shining a light on new documentary features receiving their World, North American or U.S. Premieres at SXSW.
Films screening in Documentary Spotlight are:
An Unreal Dream: The Michael Morton Story
Director: Al Reinert
Michael Morton's wife Christine was brutally murdered in front of their only child, and he was convicted of the crime. Twenty-five years later, he tells the story of his journey from despair to exoneration. (World Premiere)
Before You Know It
Director: PJ Raval
Three gay seniors navigate the adventures, challenges and surprises of life and love in their golden years. (World Premiere)
Continental (USA, Canada)
Director: Malcolm Ingram
A stylish and thoughtful examination of the infamous Continental Baths NYC circa 1968-1976. Told by the people who were there. (World Premiere)
Director: Alex Winter
A documentary that explores the rise and fall of Napster and the birth of the digital revolution. It's about the teens that helped start this revolution, and the artists and industries who continue to be impacted by it. (World Premiere)
Getting Back to Abnormal
Director: Louis Alvarez, Andrew Kolker, Peter Odabashian, Paul Stekler
A polarizing white politician becomes a lightning rod for racial strife in New Orleans. (World Premiere)
Good Ol' Freda
Director: Ryan White
The story of Freda Kelly, a shy Liverpudlian teenager asked to work for a young local band hoping to make it big: The Beatles. Their loyal secretary from beginning to end, Freda tells her tales for the first time in 50 years. (World Premiere)
I Am Divine
Director: Jeffrey Schwarz
The story of Divine, aka Harris Glenn Milstead, and how he became John Waters' cinematic muse and an international drag icon. (World Premiere)
Directors: Andrew Cohn, Davy Rothbart
In America's basketball heartland, four resilient boys from rural Medora, Indiana fight to end their high school team's three-year losing streak, as their dwindling town faces the threat of extinction.
Directors: Zak Knutson, Joey Figueroa
The life story of "Zen Anarchist" filmmaker John Milius, one of the most influential storytellers of his generation. (World Premiere)
Director: Dan Hunt
Chronicles the extraordinary life of trans male porn pioneer and educator, Buck Angel. It's a moving & provocative story of a man's search for acceptance from his family and the world. An inspirational tale of an unlikely hero. (World Premiere)
The Network (Australia, UK)
Director: Eva Orner
Set behind the scenes at the largest television network in one of the most dangerous places on earth: Afghanistan. (World Premiere)
The Other Shore
Director: Timothy Wheeler
The film tracks legendary swimmer Diana Nyad's lifetime vision and four harrowing attempts to swim non-stop from Cuba to Florida. An abusive past collides with an obsessive present over a dangerous 60-hour feat never before accomplished. (World Premiere)
Director: Josh Johnson
Home video changed the world. The impact of the VHS tape was enormous. Rewind This! aims to trace the ripples of that impact. (World Premiere)
Spark: A Burning Man Story
Directors: Steve Brown, Jessie Deeter
What happens when you allow yourself to act on your dreams? Spark takes us behind the curtain with organizers and participants of Burning Man, revealing a year of unprecedented challenges and growth. (World Premiere)
TINY: A Story About Living Small
Directors: Christopher Smith, Merete Mueller
One couple's attempt to build a "tiny house" smaller than the average parking space with no construction experience raises questions about sustainability and good design, the nature of home, and the changing American Dream. (World Premiere)
Unhung Hero (Germany)
Director: Brian Spitz
After a failed marriage proposal because of his inadequate size, a young man adventures the world in search of answers so he will never come up short again. (World Premiere)
We Cause Scenes
Director: Matt Adams
The extraordinary story of a group of twenty-somethings who seized the streets of New York, transforming the meaning of comedy, performance and art through forming "Improv Everywhere," a prank collective ten years in the making. (World Premiere)
Audacious, risk-taking artists in the new cinema landscape that demonstrate raw innovation and creativity in documentary and narrative filmmaking.
Films screening in Visions are:
Director: Petra Costa
Elena moves to NY with the dream of becoming a movie actress. She leaves behind Petra, her 7-year-old sister. Years later, her sister Petra goes to NY to look for Elena. (North American Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Danny Madden
listen. Cast: Will Madden, Maria Decotis (World Premiere)
Everyone's Going to Die (UK)
A modern British story about coming home, getting by and the redemptive power of feeling you're not alone. A story where porn hotlines rub shoulders with sexy beavers on rollerskates; where the past is laid to rest, two lives are changed and nobody, finally, is going to die.
Cast: Nora Tschirner, Rob Knighton, Kellie Shirley, Madeline Duggan (World Premiere)
Fuck for Forest (Poland)
Director: Michał Marczak, Screenwriter: Michał Marczak, Łukasz Grudziński
Have sex. Save the world. (North American Premiere)
Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction (Switzerland)
Director: Sophie Huber
An iconic actor and passionate musician in his intimate moments, with film clips from some of his 250 films and his own heart-breaking renditions of American folk songs. (U.S. Premiere)
Kelly + Victor (UK)
Director/Screenwriter: Kieran Evans, Screenwriter: Adapted For Screen By Niall Griffiths
Adapted by Kieran Evans from the acclaimed novel by Niall Griffiths, Kelly + Victor is a raw compelling passionate love story set against the backdrop of a highly cinematic Liverpool, to a searing soundtrack. Cast: Antonia Campbell-Hughes, Julian Morris, Stephen Walters, William Ruane, Claire Keelan (North American Premiere)
Director: Simon Ennis
Director Simon Ennis introduces us to an unforgettable group of characters who all share one thing in common: an obsession with the Moon. (U.S. Premiere)
Director: Jillian Schlesinger
An intimate coming-of-age adventure set against the epic backdrop of the open sea, Maidentrip explores life through the eyes of 14-year-old Laura Dekker on her quest to become the youngest person ever to sail around the world alone. (World Premiere)
A comedic look at the life of a former actor turned writer struggling to cope with reality, his work and interpersonal relationships. Cast: James Franco, Catherine Keener, Fallon Goodson, David Strathairn, Alan Cumming (North American Premiere)
Director: Penny Lane
Recently discovered Super 8 home movies filmed by three of Richard Nixon's closest aides - and fellow Watergate conspirators - offer an intimate and complex new glimpse into his presidency in this all-archival documentary. (North American Premiere)
Sake-Bomb (USA, Japan)
Director: Junya Sakino, Screenwriter: Jeff Mizushima
A sarcastic and self-deprecating Asian-American must take his naive Japanese cousin on a road trip along the California coast to find his ex-girlfriend.
Cast: Gaku Hamada, Eugene Kim, Marlane Barnes, Josh Brodis, Samantha Quan (World Premiere)
Directors: Youssef Delara, Victor Teran, Screenwriter: Victor Teran
A stylish psychological thriller set against the underground dubstep DJ scene that takes the audience on a dark and terrifying journey into the depths of the psychopathic mind as it threatens to explode into horrific violence.
Cast: Jake Hoffman, Nikki Reed, Thomas Dekker, Scott Bakula, Jason Priestley (World Premiere)
These Birds Walk
Directors: Omar Mullick, Bassam Tariq
The film documents the resilience of a 6-year-old Pakistani runaway as he tackles one critical question: where is home? The streets, an orphanage, or with the family he fled in the first place?
Director/Screenwriter: M. Blash
An enigmatic phone call from a psychic, catapults a family into a state of suspended belief while waiting for their recently deceased mother to be resurrected.
Cast: Jena Malone, Chloë Sevigny, Luke Grimes, Josh Hamilton, Devon Gearhart (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Zach Clark
After an unexpected tragedy, Suzanne searches for the true meaning of Christmas during one sad, strange December in suburban Virginia. Cast: Anna Margaret Hollyman, Laura Lemar-Goldsborough, Lydia Johnson, Joe Swanberg, Christopher Doubek (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Nick Cassavetes, Screenwriter: Heather Wahlquist
A young substitute teacher escapes from her drudging everyday life by fantasizing bizarre parallel realities, in this wildly inventive and visually dazzling head-trip from director Nick Cassavetes.
Cast: Heather Wahlquist, Sienna Miller, Melanie Griffith, Gena Rowlands, Ray Liotta (U.S. Premiere)
24 BEATS PER SECOND
Showcasing the sounds, culture and influence of music and musicians, with an emphasis on documentary.
Films screening in 24 Beats Per Second are:
All the Labor
Director: Doug Hawes-Davis
Intimate performances and behind-the-scenes footage convey the life, labor and brotherhood of the distinctive purveyors of original American music, The Gourds, as they defy genres, expectations, and career clichés over two decades of musical joy. (World Premiere)
Director: Bartholomew Cubbins
Telling harsh truths about the modern music business, Artifact gives intimate access to singer/actor Jared Leto and his band Thirty Seconds to Mars as they battle their label in a brutal lawsuit and record their album This Is War.
A Band Called Death
Directors: Mark Christopher Covino, Jeff Howlett
Before Bad Brains, the Sex Pistols and the Ramones, there was a band called Death.
Born in Chicago
Director: John Anderson
Passed down from musician to musician, the Chicago blues transcended the color lines of the 1960s as young, white Chicago musicians apprenticed themselves to legends such as Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf. (World Premiere)
Director: Doug Hamilton
Punk Rock meets Broadway - WTF!?! Go behind the curtain with Green Day lead singer, Billie Joe Armstrong, as he ventures into the strange new world of Broadway. Will Billie Joe - or Broadway - ever be the same? (World Premiere)
Director: Reuben Atlas
Eight brothers, extraordinary brass musicians from Chicago's South Side, test their brotherhood and their father's legacy against mounting mainstream success. (World Premiere)
Director: Tim Wheeler
The film takes you inside the world of Green Day, chronicling the conceptualizing and recording of their current musical trilogy (Green Day ¡Uno! Green Day ¡Dos! Green Day ¡Tré!) and featuring intimate live performances that took place along the way.
Finding the Funk
Director/Screenwriter: Nelson George
A look at Funk's past, present and enduring influence on contemporary music. (World Premiere)
Good Vibrations (UK, Ireland)
Directors: Lisa Barros D'sa, Glenn Leyburn, Screenwriters: Colin Carberry, Glenn Patterson
A chronicle of Terri Hooley's life, a record-store owner instrumental in developing Belfast's punk-rock scene. Cast: Richard Dormer, Jodie Whittaker, Michael Colgan, Karl Johnson, Liam Cunningham (North American Premiere)
The Punk Singer
Director: Sini Anderson
What happened to Kathleen Hanna? The Punk Singer - a feature-length documentary about the musician (Bikini Kill, Le Tigre) and feminist icon - tells the story of where she's been, and where she is now. (World Premiere)
Director: Andy Capper
The film follows Snoop Dogg on an intimate, spiritual journey, depicting the life and times of a conflicted modern icon striving for light in a world of darkness. (North American Premiere)
Twenty Feet from Stardom
Director: Morgan Neville
The untold story of the backup singer in popular music. It is a celebration of the voices from the edge, which brought shape and style to the soundtracks of our lives.
A diverse panorama of international filmmaking talent, including premieres, interactive documentaries and shorts.
Films screening in SX Global are:
And Who Taught You To Drive? (Germany)
Director: Andrea Thiele
An American in Tokyo, a Korean in Bavaria, and a German in Mumbai: Prepare for a real culture clash when you have to pass your driving test again in another country ... A real life comedy.
(North American Premiere)
Diario a Tres Voces / Three Voices (Mexico)
Director: Otilia Portillo Padua
We are always told that love lasts forever like in children's fairy tales, but the reality is that people change and relationships expire. (North American Premiere)
Dog Flesh / Carne de Perro (Chile)
Director/Screenwriter: Fernando Guzzoni
The life of Alejandro, a solitary, fragile and unpredictable man, who is crushed by the hostility of his mysterious past. Cast: Alejandro Goic (North American Premiere)
The Fifth Season (Belgium, Netherlands, France)
Directors/Screenwriters: Peter Brosens & Jessica Woodworth
In a village, a mysterious calamity strikes: spring doesn't come.
Cast: Aurélia Poirier, Django Schrevens, Sam Louwyck, Gill Vancompernolle
Museum Hours (Austria, USA)
Director/Screenwriter: Jem Cohen
When a Vienna museum guard befriends an adrift visitor from abroad, the grand Kunsthistorisches Art Museum becomes a mysterious crossroads which sparks explorations of their lives, the city, and the ways artworks reflect and shape the world.
Cast: Mary Margaret O'Hara, Bobby Sommer, Ela Piplits (U.S. Premiere)
The Punk Syndrome (Finland)
Directors: Jukka Kärkkäinen, J-P Passi
Meet Finland's most kick-ass punk rock band with a handicap: Toni, Sami, Pertti and Kari.
The film follows the band's journey from rehearsals to success, showing the love and hate between the guys.
Sofia's Last Ambulance (Bulgaria)
Director: Ilian Metev
Sofia, Bulgaria. In a city where only 13 ambulances struggle to serve several million people, three paramedics face Kafkaesque situations.
Director/Screenwriter: Halil Deniz Tortum, Screenwriter: Steeve Roso
A man falls into the Bosphorus on a snowy night. His son, Mete half-heartedly searches for him in wintered Istanbul. Cast: Ulas Tuna Astepe, Sergulen Onan Dervisoglu, Zeynep Olcer, Burak Cevik, Selim Can Bilgin (North American Premiere)
Acclaimed standouts and selected previous premieres from festivals around the world.
Films screening in Festival Favorites are:
The Act of Killing (Denmark)
Director: Joshua Oppenheimer
In a country where killers are celebrated as heroes, the filmmakers challenge unrepentant death squad leaders to dramatize their role in genocide.
Director/Screenwriter: Hannah Fidell
A popular high school teacher in Austin, Texas has an affair with one of her students. Her life begins to unravel as the relationship comes to an end.
Cast: Lindsay Burdge, Will Brittain, Jennifer Prediger, Julie Dell Phillips, Jonny Mars, Chris Doubek
Director/Screenwriter: Richard Linklater, Screenwriters: Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke
We meet Celine and Jesse nine years after their last rendezvous. Almost two decades have passed since their first encounter on a train bound for Vienna, and we now find them in their early forties in Greece. Before the clock strikes midnight, we will again become part of their story.
Cast: Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick, Jennifer Prior, Charlotte Prior
Director/Screenwriter: Andrew Bujalski
An artificially intelligent comedy from the director of Funny Ha Ha and Mutual Appreciation.
Cast: Wiley Wiggins, Patrick Riester, Robin Schwartz, Gerald Peary, Myles Paige
Don Jon's Addiction
Director/Screenwriter: Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Jon (Gordon-Levitt) loves his family, friends, church and porn. Spending hours online, Jon's ideas of a perfect woman collide with Barbara's (Johansson) ideas of a perfect man. They struggle to see past their wants and needs in this romantic comedy.
Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore, Tony Danza
First Cousin Once Removed
Director: Alan Berliner
A heartfelt and intimate portrait of poet Edwin Honig's final years with Alzheimer's disease.
Imagine (Poland, Portugal, France)
Director/Screenwriter: Andrzej Jakimowski
Ian, a special instructor for the visually impaired, has been hired by a Lisbon school to help blind children and young adults. However, his unusual teaching methods are not only challenging, but also dangerous... Cast: Edward Hogg, Alexandra Maria Lara, Melchior Derouet, Francis Frappat
Director/Screenwriter: Jeff Nichols
Two boys find a fugitive hiding out on an island in the Mississippi and form a pact to help him reunite with his lover and escape. Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Tye Sheridan, Jacob Lofland, Reese Witherspoon, Sarah Paulson, Ray McKinnon, Sam Shepard, Michael Shannon
Director/Screenwriter: Yen Tan, Screenwriter: David Lowery
Two men. A small town. A love that isn't quite out of reach.
Cast: Bill Heck, Marcus DeAnda, Amy Seimetz, John Merriman, Richard C. Jones
Director/Screenwriter: David Gordon Green
Two highway road workers spend the summer of 1988 away from their city lives. The isolated landscape becomes a place of misadventure as the men find themselves at odds with each other and the women they left behind. Cast: Paul Rudd, Emile Hirsch
Director/Screenwriter: Shane Carruth
A man and woman are drawn together, entangled in the life cycle of an ageless organism.
Cast: Amy Seimetz, Shane Carruth, Andrew Sensenig, Thiago Martins, Kathy Carruth
Live Soundtracks, cult re-issues and much more. Our Special Events section offers unusual, unexpected and unique film event one-offs.
Films screening in Special Events are:
Bates Motel: Story to Screen with Carlton Cuse
Combining the SXSW Film Festival and Conference in one, attendees will get an exclusive first look at the pilot of Bates Motel, the thrilling new series from A&E. Following the screening, Executive Producer Carlton Cuse (Lost) will sit down with A&E Marketing EVP Guy Slattery for an inside look and Q&A on the process for bringing this contemporary prequel to life.
Cast: Vera Farmiga, Freddie Highmore, Max Thieriot, Olivia Cooke, Nicola Peltz (World Premiere)
Director: Ken Marino, Screenwriter: Erica Oyama
Season 2 follows Damaged Darlin' and Dental Hygenist, Julie Gristlewhite, as she searches for love amongst 16 eligible bachelors in the second installment of the popular web series that parodies reality dating shows. Cast: June Diane Raphael, Michael Ian Black, Ken Marino, Jerry O'Connell, Michael Cera, Colin Hanks, Paul Scheer, Rob Huebel, Adam Scott, Joe Lo Truglio (World Premiere)
No More Road Trips?
Director: Rick Prelinger
A dream ride through 20th-century America made entirely from home movies, asks whether we've reached the end of the open road. The soundtrack for this fully participatory film is made fresh daily by audiences at each screening. (World Premiere)
Director: Dave Grohl
Through interviews with musicians and producers who worked at recording studio, Sound City, and the writing and recording of new music, we observe the human element of making music and the art of analog recording.
This Ain't No Mouse Music!
Directors: Chris Simon, Maureen Gosling
Roots music icon Chris Strachwitz (Arhoolie Records) takes us on a hip-shaking stomp from Texas to New Orleans, Cajun country to Appalachia, searching for the musical soul of America.
TPB AFK: The Pirate Bay Away From Keyboard (Sweden, Denmark, Norway)
Director: Simon Klose
The inside story of three hacktivists who became cult heroes for the internet generation and persecuted criminals to the media industry for running the worlds largest file sharing site.
(North American Premiere)