Yesterday, the SXSW Film Festival (March 11-19) announced its lineup for 2011, and, once again, it’s a pretty big showing. Among the headliners is Jodie Foster premiering her film The Beaver, indie-favorite James Gunn and the U.S. premiere of his superhero comedy Super, and the North American premiere of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost’s latest film, Paul.
The full list can be found at the SXSW website. In all the festival will screen 130 features, including 60 world premieres, 12 North American premieres, and 16 U.S. premieres. The full press release announcement, including recaps of the narrative features, documentary features, and headliners, follows:
The South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Conference and Festival is thrilled to announce the features lineup for this year’s Festival, March 11 – 19, 2011 in Austin, Texas. The 2011 lineup continues the SXSW tradition of tapping into the cultural zeitgeist, highlighting emerging talent and breakthrough performances and supporting first-time filmmakers. The Midnighters and SXFantastic feature sections, along with the short film program, will be announced next week.
“This is the most exciting moment for us. After a fantastic festival of discovery in 2010, we can finally unveil the line up for this year’s event,” says Film Conference and Festival Producer Janet Pierson. “SXSW prides itself on taking chances, sifting for films that are the seedlings of the next generation of must-see artists. This year’s line up is full of emerging voices and filmmakers who transcended the resources they had on hand, often with an alchemist’s touch.”
Over the course of nine days, 130 features will screen at SXSW 2011. The program consists of 60 World Premieres, 12 North American Premieres and 16 U.S. Premieres. These films were selected from a record 1,792 feature-length film submissions composed of 1,323 U.S. and 469 international feature-length films. SXSW saw a 23% increase in its overall submissions over 2010, with a record number of nearly 4,900 total.
The festival’s main competition categories once again find eight Narrative Features and eight Documentary Features, vying for their respective Grand Jury Prizes. New for 2011, films in competition will also be eligible for screenplay, editing, cinematography, music and acting awards.
The Narrative Feature Competition includes: 96 MINUTES, directed by Aimée Lagos, A Year in Mooring, directed by Chris Eyre, American Animal, directed by Matt D’Elia, Charlie Casanova, directed by Terry McMahon, FLY AWAY, directed by Janet Grillo, HAPPY NEW YEAR, directed by K. Lorrel Manning, Natural Selection, directed by Robbie Pickering and Small, Beautifully Moving Parts, directed by Annie J. Howell & Lisa Robinson.
The Documentary Feature Competition includes: A Mouthful, directed by Sally Rowe, Better This World, directed by Katie Galloway & Kelly Duane de la Vega, The City Dark, directed by Ian Cheney, DRAGONSLAYER, directed by Tristan Patterson, FIGHTVILLE, directed by Michael Tucker & Petra Epperlein, Kumaré, directed by Vikram Gandhi, LAST DAYS HERE, directed by Don Argott & Demian Fenton and Where Soldiers Come From, directed by Heather Courtney.
Previously announced films include Opening Night film Source Code, as well as narrative features The Beaver, Paul and The Innkeepers, and documentaries Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop, It’s About You, and Square Grouper. In addition to nine full days of film screenings, SXSW Film will ultimately feature over 80 sessions of panels and workshops in the Film Conference. For details on the confirmed sessions, selected from proposals submitted via the SXSW PanelPicker™ interface, visit www.sxsw.com/film/talks. The final panel and conference lineup will be announced on February 15.
Visit http://www.sxsw.com/film for more information and updates.
Director & Writer: Aimée Lagos
Four young lives. One night. One terrifying event. These 96 minutes will change everything.
Cast: Brittany Snow, Evan Ross, Christian Serratos, J. Michael Trautmann, and David Oyelowo (World Premiere)
A Year in Mooring
Director: Chris Eyre, Writer: Peter Vanderwall
In his first leading dramatic role, Josh Lucas walks an isolated line between solitude and redemption.
This quiet cinematic journey tells a of tale grief, solace and peace. Cast: Josh Lucas, Ayelet Zurer, James Cromwell, Jon Tenney, Taylor Nichols (World Premiere)
Director & Writer: Matt D’Elia
Jimmy – eccentric, delusional, dying – feels betrayed when roommate James gets a job. During one night of drinks, drugs and women, a classic battle of wills ensues as James prepares for work and Jimmy goes mad. Cast: Matt D’Elia, Brendan Fletcher, Mircea Monroe, Angela Sarafyan (World Premiere)
Charlie Casanova (Ireland)
Director & Writer: Terry McMahon
A ruling class sociopath knocks down a working class girl in a hit-and-run and uses a deck of playing cards to determine his fate. Cast: Emmett J. Scanlan, Leigh Arnold, Damien Hannaway, Ruth McIntyre, Tony Murphy (World Premiere)
Director & Writer: Janet Grillo
A poignant yet humor filled story about a single mother of a teenager with autism, confronting her child’s future. What will sustain her daughter, and herself? A parent/child love story, when love means letting go. Cast: Beth Broderick, Ashley Rickards, Greg Germann, JR Bourne, Reno (World Premiere)
Happy New Year
Director & Writer: K. Lorrel Manning
A war torn marine returns home to face his fiercest battle yet — the one against himself.
Cast: Michael Cuomo, JD Williams, Monique Gabriela Curnen, Tina Sloan, Alan Dale (World Premiere)
Director & Writer: Robbie Pickering
When a dutiful, albeit barren, housewife discovers that her ailing husband has an illegitimate son, she sets out to find the young man and reunite him with her husband before he dies.
Cast: Rachael Harris, Matt O’Leary, Jon Gries, John Diehl (World Premiere)
Small, Beautifully Moving Parts
Directors & Writers: Annie J. Howell & Lisa Robinson
Technology-obsessed Sarah Sparks is pregnant and ambivalent, afraid she relates better to machines than to people. Looking for answers, she hits the road in search of her estranged mother, now livingoff the grid. Cast: Anna Margaret Hollyman, André Holland, Sarah Rafferty, Susan Kalechi Watson, Mary Beth Peil (World Premiere)
Documentary Feature Competition:
Director: Sally Rowe
Considered a rising star of haute cuisine, Paul Liebrandt found his career stalled in New York’s austere environment post 9/11. Paul struggles over the next decade as he tries to make his way back to the top. (World Premiere)
Better This World
Directors: Katie Galloway & Kelly Duane de la Vega
Two childhood friends from Midland, Texas cross a line that changes their lives forever. The result: eight homemade bombs, multiple domestic terrorism charges and a high stakes entrapment defense hinging on a controversial FBI informant. (World Premiere)
The City Dark
Director: Ian Cheney
The film chronicles the disappearance of darkness, following astronomers, cancer researchers, ecologists and philosophers in a quest to understand what is lost in the glare of city lights. (World Premiere)
Director: Tristan Patterson
Killer Films presents the transmissions of a lost kid, falling in love, in the suburbs of Fullerton, California. Featuring skateboarding, the usual drugs, and stray glimpses of unusual beauty. (World Premiere)
Directors: Michael Tucker & Petra Epperlein
A documentary about the art and sport of fighting: a microcosm of life, a physical manifestation of that other brutal contest called the American Dream. (World Premiere)
Director: Vikram Gandhi
A documentary about a man who impersonates a wise Indian Guru and builds a following in Arizona. (World Premiere)
Last Days Here
Directors: Don Argott & Demian Fenton
The film follows middle-aged rocker Bobby Liebling, lead singer of the cult hard rock/heavy metal band Pentagram, as he leaves his parents’ basement in search of the life he never lived. (World Premiere)
Where Soldiers Come From
Director: Heather Courtney
From a snowy small town in Northern Michigan to the mountains of Afghanistan and back, the film follows the four-year journey of childhood friends and their town, forever changed by a faraway war. (World Premiere)
Director: Takashi Miike, Writers: Shoichirou Ikemiya & Daisuke Tengan
Distressed by the Lord’s murderous rampage, top Shogun official Sir Doi secretly calls on esteemed samurai Shinzaemon Shimada to assassinate the evil Naritsugu. Outraged by Lord Naritsugu’s vile acts, Shinzaemon willingly accepts the dangerous mission. Cast: Koji Yakusho, Takayuki Yamada, Yusuke Iseya, Goro Inagaki, Masachika Ichimura
Ain’t It Cool News 15th Anniversary Screening
Harry Knowles will curate a surprise screening in honor of the 15th Anniversary of his popular cult website Ain’t it Cool News.
Director: Jodie Foster, Writer: Kyle Killen
Two-time Academy Award® winner Jodie Foster directs and co-stars with two-time Academy Award® winner Mel Gibson in an emotional story about a man on a journey to re-discover his family and re-start his life. Plagued by his own demons, Walter Black was once a successful toy executive and family man who now suffers from depression. No matter what he tries, Walter can’t seem to get himself back on track…until a beaver hand puppet enters his life. Cast: Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster, Anton Yelchin, Jennifer Lawrence, Cherry Jones (World Premiere)
Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop
Director: Rodman Flender
Did Conan O’Brien go on tour to connect with his fans or fill a void within himself? Rodman Flender’s documentary captures an artist trained in improvisation at the most improvisational time of his career. (World Premiere)
Director: Greg Mottola, Writers: Simon Pegg & Nick Frost
Simon Pegg and Nick Frost reunite as two geeks who meet an alien named Paul (Seth Rogen) on a pilgrimage to America’s UFO heartland. Their road trip will alter our universe forever. Cast: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Jason Bateman, Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader, Blythe Danner, John Carroll Lynch, with Sigourney Weaver, and Seth Rogen as Paul (North American Premiere)
Director: Duncan Jones, Writer: Ben Ripley
When soldier Captain Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal) wakes up in the body of an unknown man, he discovers he’s part of a mission to find the bomber of a Chicago commuter train. In an assignment unlike any he’s ever known, he learns he’s part of a government experiment called the “Source Code,” a computer program that enables him to cross over into another man’s identity in the last 8 minutes ofhis life. Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga, Jeffrey Wright (World Premiere)