Austin's biggest fest, SXSW rolls into town this Friday! We kicked off the preview series yesterday with a look at Headliners and Competition slates. Today we turn our attention to the meat of the lineup, the Narrative Spotlight, Documentary Spotlight, and Visions programs. Check back tomorrow as we lay out the rest of the fest.
Prolific indie director Joe Swanberg (Uncle Kent
, All the Light in the Sky
) turns noticeably A-List with this brewery-based romcom that stars Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson, Anna Kendrick, and Ron Livingston.
GROW UP, TONY PHILLIPS
Austin local Emily Hagins has built herself quite a following based on her fun, youth-spirited indie films (Pathogen, The Retelling, My Sucky Teen Romance
). Her 4th feature stars Tony Vespe, AJ Bowen, and more in a Halloween-themed high school comedy.
producer Vincent Grashaw makes his directorial debut with this story of a troubled teen who ends up in an even more troubled rehabilitation camp.
Katie Graham and Andrew Matthews (the DP and editing team behind Best Worst Movie
and The American Scream
) make their feature directing debut with this comedy about a loser RPG nut fighting to retain his loser throne.
HOLY GHOST PEOPLE
Director Mitchell Altieri, one-half of the Butcher Brothers (The Violent Kind
), strikes out on his own to direct this pscholigical thriller about a couple and a snake-handling preacher. Emma Greenwell, Brendan McCarthy, and Joe Egender star.
Josh Duhamel and Dan Fogler star in Kevin and Michael Goetz's feature debut about two friends, left to fend for themselves, against themselves.
With a great indie cast that includes Alex Karpovsky (Girls, Tiny Furniture
, director of Red Flag
), Todd Berger (director of It's a Disaster
), Jonny Mars (A Teacher, Pit Stop
), and Adriene Mishler (David Gordon Green's upcoming Joe
), this situational dramedy could be a breakout hit.
Bryan Poyser's third feature (SXSW 2004's Dear Pillow
, Sundance 2010's Lovers of Hate
) is this Austin comedy about two ex-couples that stars Ashley Bell, Zach Cregger, Sara Paxton, and Michael Stahl-David.
Ken Marino, Gillian Jacobs, Peter Stormare, and Stephen Root star in Jacob Vaughn's debut feature about a man who discovers a demon baby living in his colon. Now how'd that get in there?
MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING
Joss Whedon's modern day take on Shakespeare's text makes its US debut after premiering last year at TIFF. Roadside picked it up there and will bring the film to theaters in June.
Read Todd's Review
I GIVE IT A YEAR
The big cast UK comedy marks the directorial debut of Borat/Bruno/AliG
writer Don Mazer. It stars Rose Byrne, Anna Faris, Rafe Spall, Simon Baker, and Minnie Driver.
One of movie-obsessed Austin's most anticipated films at SXSW is Josh Johnson's docu about the rise of the video tape and the pastiche that has grown up around the ancient media.
Alex Gibney producer Eva Orner (Taxi to the Darkside, Gonzo
) makes her directorial debut with this look at Afghanistan's first independent TV network, TOLO TV.
The third feature directorial outing for Mr. Bill S. Preston, Esq. himself, Alex Winter, is this look inside the birth of Napster and the digital download revolution.
Brian Spitz's feature debut tells the tale of one man's obsession with his tiny, tiny dong.
TINY: A STORY ABOUT LIVING SMALL
Christopher Smith and Merete Mueller take a first-hand look at the trend of people building their own miniature, eco-friendly homes.
BEFORE YOU KNOW IT
PJ Raval (DP of Oscar nominated docu Trouble the Water
) follows up his debut feature Trinidad
with this docu best described by its synopsis as, "A year in the lives and a lifetime of experiences of several gay seniors."
I AM DIVINE
Jeffrey Schwarz's bio-docu tells the story of John Waters's favorite transvestite actor/collaborator/pal.
Andrew Cohn and Davy Rothbart's feature debut is this story of small town life in a crumbling Indiana town obsessed with high school basketball.
THE OTHER SHORE
Whale Wars camera operator and Frontline producer Timothy Wheeler takes over the director's chair to tell the story of Diana Nyad's attempt to swim from Cuba to Florida... again.
SPARK: A BURNING MAN STORY
Steve Brown and Jessie Deeter take a look at the inner workings of one of the world's wildest events.
Jake Hoffman stars alongside Nikki Reed, Thomas Dekker, and Scott Bakula in this psychological thriller about a dubstep DJ who falls way too hard for a girl. Directed by Youssef Delara and Victor Teran, the team behind Filly Brown
, the film was also produced by ScreenAnarchy Festivals Editor Ryland Aldrich (ahem, full disclosure
Jillian Schlesinger's feature debut docu is the remarkable story of Laura Dekker, the youngest person to sail around the globe.
M. Blash's follow-up to Cannes 2006 title Lying
is this family drama that starts Jena Malone, Chloë Sevigny , Luke Grimes, and Josh Hamilton.
THESE BIRDS WALK
Omar Mullick and Bassam Tariq's debut feature about street children and their caretakers in Karachi, Pakistan is notable as the first feature executive produced by distrib Oscilloscope Laboratories.
Zach Clark's third feature after Modern Love is Automatic
tells the story of a woman kicking it with her dead husband's stripper mistress.
Simon Ennis's TIFF-premiering docu goes deep inside the minds of some nuts who are really into the Moon.
Read Jason's Review
James Franco, Catherine Keener, Fallon Goodson, David Strathairn, and Alan Cumming star in this idiosyncratic drama about artists on retreat by the director who just goes by Carter.
Junya Sakino's buddy comedy pits a Japanese traveler at odds with his Japanese-American cousin.
FUCK FOR FOREST
This provocative-sounding documentary takes a look at the German-based NGO that raises money for environmental causes by running a porn website.
Read Ard's Review
Nick Cassavetes's (The Notebook, Alpha Dog
) latest is this TIFF-premiering female-driven story that packs such big names as Sienna Miller, Gena Rowlands, and Melanie Griffith.