Diversity seems to be the key this year at the SXSW festival, which takes place in Austin, TX from March 12-20, as they’ve now announced the full lineup of Panels and short films that will be at this years event. As with the feature films schedule, this list of panels and shorts should provide an almost endless supply of diverse and interesting programming for attendees.
Following sre some highlights of panels we think are worth checking out. For a full list and descriptions, head over to the SXSW official site. Also, be sure to check back here at The Flickast as we’ll be at SXSW this year to bring you all the details on these great events and much more.
A Conversation with Michel Gondry
The stratospheric rise of Academy Award-winning visionary Michel Gondry is one of the great success stories of modern film. Working with fellow travelers like Spike Jonze, Charlie Kaufman and Bjork, Gondry has made his mark on the film landscape with iconic work like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and The Science of Sleep. Come and enjoy what promises to be a fascinating discussion as Gondry discusses his latest, highly personal and emotionally raw documentary A Thorn in the Heart with TCM’s Elvis Mitchell.
Directing the Dead: Genre Directors Spill Their Guts
How does modern horror take gore beyond the purely grisly to the level of grand guignol art and imagination? How does bone-cracking violence and flesh-rending horror contribute to the hallowed pantheon of art and cinema? Join five of the most striking genre filmmakers in modern movies as they lock horns over the all-important issues of blood, guts and gratuitous gore. Featuring Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland), Matt Reeves (Let Me In) Eli Roth (Hostel), Quentin Tarantino (Inglorious Basterds), Ti West (House of the Devil), moderated by Scott Weinberg (Cinematical)
Filmmakers in TV: A Case Study
Carving a niche in the world of film is tough enough, and achieving the same feat on the small screen is no easier. Successfully mastering both is in yet another league, but somehow the creators of HBO’s Eastbound & Down are pulling it off with style. Find out how Danny McBride (Your Highness), and filmmakers David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express) and Jody Hill (Observe and Report) made it look easy in this illuminating, entertaining glimpse at the art of combining technical skill, sharp comedy writing and moving from the packed auditorium to the living room couch.
Creating a Graphic Novel Hollywood Will Buy
Graphic novels are red hot in Hollywood now. With its combination of words and visuals in one attractive package, a comic book can be a great sales tool when pitching your project to studios. Ean Mering (Pomegranate) talks to David Wohl (Radical Publishing), Martin Shapiro (Night Owl Productions), Matt Hawkins (Top Cow) and Ted Adams (IDW Publishing) will explain how to create a graphic novel that will attract the attention of movie producers.
Previously announced participants for the 2010 SXSW Film Conference include Jeffery Tambor’s Acting Workshop, a Kick-Ass Conversation panel with director Matthew Vaughn, actors Aaron Johnson, Cholë Grace Moretz and Christopher Mintz-Plasse, and comic writers Mark Millar and John S. Romita, Academy Award-winning Argentine composer, solo artist and producer Gustavo Santaolalla in Conversation with BMI’s Doreen Ringer Ross, and Cult comics legend Gilbert Shelton in Conversation with Harry Knowles.
There are also a great deal of short films screening at this year’s fest. It’s a long list but has several opportunities to explore and enjoy some great films and discover new filmmakers on their way to bigger (and longer) films in the future.
COMPREHENSIVE SHORT FILMS LINEUP
A selection of original, well-crafted films that take advantage of the short form and exemplify distinctive and genuine storytelling. The winner of our Grand Jury Award in this category is eligible for a 2011 Academy Award nomination for Best Narrative Short.
Director: David Wanger
A glimpse of the dawn of a strange new era.
Bedford Park Boulevard
Director: Felix Thompson
A fifteen-year-old Latino boy at a high school in the Bronx makes a mistake that will define the rest of his life.
The Big Fiddle
Director: Willi Patton
A conceptual drama exploring the nature of music in cinema, and the possibilities of having a live score shape the ways in which the characters interact with each other.
Directors: Andrew Goldman and Andrew Blackwell
After shoplifting lighters, three young friends venture into the woods behind their neighborhood to create an explosion.
Black Ops Arabesque
Director: Jared Drake
A Secret Service Agent has a secret of his own- it involves ballet shoes.
Director: Gaysorn Thavat
When Brian pays a visit to his old home he unexpectedly finds himself in the middle of a violent dispute in which he saves a woman’s life. Tragically, his courageous decision proves to be his ultimate undoing.
The Call to the Post
Director: Brian Higdon
David, an aging musician, returns to a horseracing track to rediscover the job that defined his identity.
Director: Lauren Wolkstein
Forced to play the role of “the hero” at his homecoming party, a traumatized teenage Marine forms an unlikely bond with a rebellious young girl.
Coney Island Baby
Director: André Aimaq
Betty found a thick wad of cash hidden in a porn DVD stashed in her new oven. And that wasn’t even the strangest thing that happened to her that day.
Equestrian Sexual Response
Director: Zeke Hawkins
Alice is introduced to sexuality through the world of racehorse breeding.
Girls Named Pinky
Director: Alex Lubliner
Morris Munsey is an average man searching in vain for a human connection. On a quiet night in a small town bar, he finds her…
Director: Adam Keleman
A glimpse into the life of Lorna, a failed model, who returns to her home town after a sudden death in the family, confronting the past she left behind.
The Hardest Part
Director: Oliver Refson
An aging actor finally secures the audition of a lifetime. But just how badly does he want the role?
Have You Seen My Hair?
Directors: John M. Wilson and Chris Maggio
The story of a young girl whose salon appointment catapults her into a nightmarish romp through the depths of her imagination.
Jean-Paul Luc Sabastien Rene
Director: Milena Pastreich
Two fifty-year-old women tan on their living room floor when an unexpected message from their past flies through their window.
Directors: Benjamin Dohrmann and Seth Cuddeback
A somber comedy about a married man who becomes infatuated with kelp.
The Mess Hall of an Online Warrior
Director: Dan P K Smyth
A short film about computer game addiction and the effects it has on family life.
Out of Nowhere
Director: Will Lamborn
On the run from a killer, a man tries to escape the desert.
Director: Adam Locke-Norton
A sarcastic guy realizes that his jokes about his girlfriend cheating may in fact be more truthful than he thought.
Director: Lisa Jackson
A residential school musical.
Directors: Kate Barker and Andres Rosende
New York City – Seven Stories – One Day.
Director: Nadia Tabbara
Two Lebanese men with limited English search the streets of Brooklyn for a place of Storage.
Director: Eric Flanagan
A Filipino call center agent takes her American corporate-trainer boss out on the town, setting off a chain of events with unexpected consequences.
Director: Prithi Gowda
Working at a call center somewhere in India, a young woman’s computer breaks down. In an attempt to fix it, she finds herself in a magical, mythical web of electronic wires where memories, secrets, and hidden desires reveal themselves.
NARRATIVE SHORTS SCREENING WITH FEATURES
Always A Bride
Director: Danny Strauss
Cate can’t control her jealousy when she finds out her best friend is getting divorced.
Annie Goes Boating
Director: Noel Paul
A picnic in a park, in 3D.
Director: Jon Goldman
Relations between the United States and Iran take an unexpected turn when two senior diplomats and their interpreters meet for a closed-door session.
Director: Robin Wilby
13-year-old Nick lives with his dad at an amusement park. But today, with the arrival of his mother and a pink-haired girl, Nick is in for the ride of his life.
Lunch Watching TV
Director: Alfonso Nogueroles
A normal day: the eggs, the fries, the beer, the bread, the crisis, the politics, the football… A historical date. Just another day.
Unfiltered slices of life, from across the documentary spectrum.
Director: Jeff Bednarz
A portrait of modern day small town America told through the story of two 6 Man Football teams vying for the Texas State Championship.
Big Birding Day
Director: David Wilson
A glimpse into the world of competitive bird watching, as three friends attempt to see as many species as possible in 24 hours.
Director: Bradley Beesley
Self proclaimed “Doctor” Dante had a colorful career as a grifter. Mr. Hypnotism chronicles Dante’s stint as Hollywood’s Hypnotist to the Stars and his descent to become one of the most notorious conmen of the 20th Century.
Director: Amy Grappell
An unconventional documentary about two ‘conventional’ couples that swapped partners and lived in a group marriage in the early 70s, hoping to pioneer an alternative to divorce and the way people would live in the future.
Director: Jessica Edwards
The last seltzer filler in Brooklyn fends off the supermarket seltzer take-over and honors this simple drink’s place in history
White Lines and The Fever: The Death of DJ Junebug
Director: Travis Senger
The Bronx, 1983. The hottest club in the city. One of Hip-Hop’s greatest DJ’s ever and his tragic death.
DOCUMENTARY SHORTS SCREENING WITH FEATURES
5 variations on a long string
Director: Peter Esmonde
A short music documentary about the creative life of composer/performer Ellen Fullman, who has spent over 25 years developing, perfecting, and performing on an extraordinary 60-foot-long instrument.
Director: Greg Vander Veer
The story of two 90-year old dancers who still meet, twice a week, in a private studio in Manhattan to choreograph and rehearse.
Director: Holden Abigail Osborne
Part family portrait, part audacious vision of a future that never was, Solitary/Release is an intimate documentary-fiction hybrid exploring the life of a recovering drug addict on the verge of great change.
An assortment of stories told using a mix of traditional animation, computer-generated effects, stop-motion, and everything in-between. The winner of our Grand Jury Award in this category is eligible for a 2011 Academy Award nomination for Best Animated short.
The Art of Drowning
Director: Diego Maclean
Based on a poem by Billy Collins, The Art of Drowning ponders what awaits us at the end of the line.
Director: Harry Chaskin
A washed-up movie monster relives his halcyon days.
The Cow Who Wanted to Be a Burger
Director: Bill Plympton
A tragic story of a bovine seduced by advertising down the path of butchers and carnivores.
Down To The Bone
Director: Peter Ahern
A boy. A babysitter. An explosive sneeze. Google it.
Director: Scot Hampton
Composed entirely of parts from disassembled antique/analog cameras, The Falcon follows Howell the Owl (f/256) and Professor Weston (ISO 50) as they journey throughout the Focal Kingdom searching for dinner.
Director: Sol Friedman
A young Japanese orphan and her mystical friend exact poetic justice on a malevolent samurai lord.
La Nostalgia del Sr. Alambre
Director: Jonathan Ostos Yaber
A young man’s talent, miles of twisted wire, and a spotlight mix together to produce a show as never seen before.
Director: Tom Gasek
Off-Line is a short animated film that tells about what can happen inside a microwave oven when it is abused. It features a rather curious orange capacitor named “IZ.”
Director: Nick Fox-Gieg
Suddenly, a humble citrus fruit is granted absolute power over the universe.
One Square Mile of Earth
Director: Jeff Drew
A series of bar room conversations featuring Bill the Bunny, Gary the Frog, Lucy the Goat, Thad the Bear, Leon the Hippopotamus and Pedro the Squirrel. Fun times await!
Director: James Cunningham
A New Zealand soldier finds redemption in the hell of WWI.
The Polish Language
Director: Alice Lyons and Orla Mc Hardy
Using hand-drawn, stop-motion, time-lapse and computer animation techniques, The Polish Language is at once a playful and solemn journey into the sensuality, beauty and subversive power of language.
A diverse collection of films ranging from the visually stimulating to the intellectually challenging.
The Bellows March
Director: Eric Dyer
Crowds of concertinas live out a cycle of destroy-create-destroy. Dyer’s 3-D printed and hand-painted ‘cinetropes’ come to vibrant life when seen through the shutter of a video camera.
Director: Ben Claremont
A whole life’s story is told in just a few seconds. Eulogy is a film about life, death… and pigeons.
Director: Joseph Ernst
A short film that will make you feel sick.
I close my eyes and walk away
Director: Michele Castagnetti
Memories turn into dreams as dreams turn into memories.
Director: Annie Dorsen
In this mesmerizing short, a girl is prompted by her mother in the recitation of an intensely romantic poem.
Kids Might Fly
Director: Alex Taylor
A young homeless girl is taken into care. Set in an urban wilderness, this film is an offbeat and touching experimental drama about East London kids.
Director: Patrick Bergeron
In a train going to Hanoi in Vietnam, the houses boarding the railroad are passing by. Using animation and time shifts this video runs forwards and backwards looking for forgotten details, mimicking the way memories are replayed in the mind.
Director: Leah Shore
An old man recalls his strange and bizarre memories
Director: Karl Lemieux
Mamori takes its title from a place in the Amazon forest, and captures the textures of tropical vegetation and its various transformations according to the phenomena of light.
Director: Guy Maddin
From acclaimed fabulist Guy Maddin comes a new quasi-documentary completely unburdened by fact.
Director: Asif Mian
An urban odyssey of visual and audio following a young basketball player and his sneakers.
Director: Oscar Berrio
Poetry and video integrated to transmit a stunning aesthetical experience.
Bite-sized bits for all of your sex, gore, and hilarity needs.
5 Second Films
Director: Brian Firenzi
A warped-speed, breathlessly bizarre collection of comedic shorts, all exactly 5 seconds long. From the people that brought you Sophie’s Choice.
Director: Cosmo Jarvis
An experimental film about an alleyway and an old man’s relationship to it.
Director: Kristen Gray-Rockmaker
When a troubled married couple arrive home from a night out, they encounter a horrifying scene.
Can We Talk?
Director: Jim Owen
Vince gets way more than he bargains for when he dumps his girlfriend . . . again.
Director: Shaka King
A short film about cocoa butter scented lotion, karmic retribution, and the strangers you call family.
Delmer Builds A Machine
Director: Landon Zakheim
An account of the most Important event in recorded history.
Dwight David Honeycutt for Conway School Board
Director: Roland Honeycutt Jr.
Re-edit of my uncle’s old political video footage in order to better convey the man.
Eagles Are Turning People Into Horses
Director: Brian McElhaney
Lyle, too scared to break up with his girlfriend honestly, enacts a scheme to convince her they MUST break up because he is on the frontlines of a vicious battle between man, beast and fowl.
Director: Mark Nickelsburg
A lonely man courts danger by drinking a glass of milk just seconds before the expiration date.
Fix My Dick
Director: PJ Raval
A music video for the artist CHRISTEENE featuring DJ Jaunty.
Director: D.W. Young
A spaced out knife salesman makes the house call of a lifetime.
Director: Bobby Miller
Paul can’t commit. Paul jerks off in the shower. Paul just impregnated his bath tub.
An offshoot of our regular narrative shorts program, composed of work shot in, about, or somehow relating to the Lone Star state.
Better Safe than Sorry
Director: Chris Demarais
The Big Bends
Director: Jason William Marlow
The Big Bends captures the story of a dying man in the desert as he is confronted by a troubled Mexican couple crossing the border.
Depth of Phil
Director: Jack Daniel Stanley
Amidst delusions of saving failed U.S. banks and car companies, an aging homeless man reconnects with a long-lost sweetheart via Facebook in this quirky Austin-set tragicomedy.
Director: Dino Dinco
El Abuelo is a lyrical portrait of Joe Jimenez, Texan poet and educator, whose words connect the power of a well-ironed crease with attracting the eye of another homeboy.
Director: Jason Wehling
In The GrownUps, two couples try to regroup after a dinner argument gets out-of-hand.
Director: Steve Mims
The arrival of a controversial figure to speak at a university conference tests the boundaries of social decorum and social duties.
Director: Miguel Alvarez
A deep-space transmitter pilot begins to experience unusual flashbacks on his ship when he learns he’s being sent back to Earth.
Now or Never
Director: Aaron Burns
Henry has been in love with his best friend Alexa for years. Today he has decided to tell her not only how he feels, but exactly how deeply he feels it.
Director: Craig Elrod
The sea of love is short on sharks.
Rule No. 2
Director: Avram Dodson
Breaking Rule No. 2 leads to relationship trouble, which is bad. But relationship trouble leads to makeup sex, which is good!
Director: Marko Slavnic
A couple has an intimate conversation in a restaurant, unaware that their every word is being closely monitored.
Director: Sam Lerma
When you love your trash man, tell him with your garbage.
SX GLOBAL SHORTS
A showcase for cutting-edge documentary shorts from around the world.
The Mystery of Flying Kicks (Australia)
Director: Matthew Bate
Murder, sex, drugs, art, politics…? A film exploring the global mystery of why shoes appear on telephone lines.
Peter in Radioland (Scotland)
Director: Johanna Wagner
A carefully observed study of the director’s father Peter, who stubbornly remains in an analogue world.
Director: Matthew Lloyd
A deserted village in limbo on the west coast of Scotland where two men share an obsession with an imagined future.
Director: Christopher Thomas Allen
Maybe some people are just born unlucky? An exploration of luck – does it exist and if so how can you get more of it?
Summer of a Newspaper Kid (Estonia)
Director: Katri Rannastu
9-year old Marten has decided to sell newspapers during his summer holiday. The job, boring and routine at first glance, pushes the kid into the everyday reality of the grownup world, where he meets competition and cheating.
Sunrise Dacapo (12cm/Stehend) (Germany)
Director: Nina Poppe
Nature from the assembly line. An observation on the growing of geraniums in mass production and the coherence of noise and silence. The beauty of nature, apparently perfectly reproduced in artificial surroundings.
Director: Ryan Mullins
Former projectionist Emmanual Agboyame and others tell the story of the Volta cinema and look back on the sense of community it brought out in everyone.
SX GLOBAL SHORTS SCREENING WITH FEATURES
Director: Miro Remo
A Film about mom and her son Lubos, who conquered the world upside down.
Director: Hanne Myren
Control is about the emotions we prefer to keep to ourselves.
Ivan and Ivan (Russia)
Director: Philipp Abryutin
Ivan lives with his grandparents on the tundra, fishing and herding reindeer. He and his grandfather, Ivan senior, have strong bonds both to the land and to each other, but soon, young Ivan must leave.
A range of classic, innovative, and stylish work showcasing the scope of music video culture.
Apes & Androids, “Golden Prize”
Director: That Go
Director: Pete Scalzitti
Chris Garneau, “Fireflies”
Director: Daniel Stessen
Cinnamon Chasers, “Luv Deluxe”
Director: Saman Keshavarz
The Diagonals, “Clones”
Director: Nick Smith
Fatback Circus, “Brain Damage”
Director: Rodney Brunet
Fires of Rome, “Set in Stone” (M83 Remix)
Director: Matthew Lessner
Grizzly Bear, “Forest”
Director: Allison Schulnik
Height, “Mike Stone”
Director: Justin Barnes
Director: Joey Ciccoline
Hunter Cross and the Strays, “Twisty Ties”
Director: Paul Ahern
Kevin Devine, “I Could Be With Anyone”
Director: Sherng-Lee Huang
Man Branch, “The Gym Is All She Has”
Director: Matt Leach
N.A.S.A. “Spacious Thoughts”
Director: Mark Lomond
Director: Todd Cobery
Passion Pit, “To Kingdom Come”
Director: Mixtape Club
Socalled, “(Rock the) Belz”
Director: Kaveh Nabatian
These United States, “Everything Touches Everything”
Director: Maxwell Sorensen
Truckers of Husk, “Person for the Person”
Directors: Casey Raymond and Ewan Jones Morris
WHY?, “These Hands / January Twentysomething”
Director: Ben Barnes
Writer, “Four Letters”
Director: Brad Kester
What is the America of the future? In this series of fictional shorts presented by ITVS, different filmmakers examine current events by extrapolating them into the future. By embracing elements of speculative and science fiction, each film creates a fantastic new world to make comment on our own.
Director: Greg Pak
A parable about change in which a jaded government undersecretary becomes the unwitting test subject for an experimental program to curb global warming.
Director: Ramin Bahrani
Struggling with its immortality, a lost plastic bag ventures through the environmentally barren remains of America as it narrates its search for its master, the young woman who owned and used it in an era long since past.
Director: Garret Williams
In the radically altered housing market of the future, an older couple must forego their dreams of retirement and home ownership and in the process, adapt to the ever-evolving definition of the American dream.
Director: Tze Chun
In the polarized economy of the near future, corporations offer subsidies to their high-ranking female employees to pay for surrogate pregnancies and chemically accelerated births. Here a struggling career surrogate must decide whether or not to carry the child of two potential clients, thus giving up her last chance to have a child of her own.
Director: Aldo Velasco
In a world where housing is granted only to the powerful few, a father who makes his living evicting the powerless must choose between his responsibilities as a provider for his family and his moral principles.
Tia & Marco
Director: Annie Howell
When a pregnant border patrol agent discovers an illegal immigrant child hiding in her home, she is forced to question her loyalty to closed borders.
ALAN GOVENAR SPECIAL PRESENTATION
Texas Folklife will present special screenings of the films of a Texas treasure–folklorist, writer, photographer and filmmaker Alan Govenar.
Cigarette Blues (1985)
Co-directed with Les Blank, the film features Sonny Rhodes and the Texas Twisters performing at Eli’s Mile High Club in Oakland, California.
The Devil’s Swing (2005)
The film takes its name from a story people tell in the isolated region of the Texas-Mexico border and reveals the seemingly unrelated worlds of sacred rituals, corridos, drug lords, Pancho Villa and the tragic killing of a nineteen year old boy.
The Hard Ride (1996)
A journey into the little known world of the black ranch rodeo culture of Southeast Texas.
Little Willie Eason and His Talking Gospel Guitar (2005)
Taking place on the street and in the House of God Church south of Miami, the film highlights the man who introduced the pedal steel guitar as an instrument for the expression of faith.
The Microtones of Simon Shaheen (2010)
The film introduces a virtuoso of the Arabic oud and violin, and his Palestinian community in Brooklyn.
The Poetry of Exactitude (2008)
The film delves into the imagination of Lucien Mouchet and the 1/120th scale carousels and fairground scenes that he has been making in Paris, France since 1946.
Stoney Knows How (1981)
Govenar’s first film, is an inside look at the circus and carnival sideshow from the point of view of Old School tattoo master, Leonard St. Clair, disabled by arthritis at the age of four, who joined the circus as a sword swallower as a teenager and tattooed young and old alike for more than fifty years.