SXSW FILM 2012
By Don Simpson | February 1, 2012
The South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Conference and Festival announced the features lineup for this year’s Festival, March 9 – 17, 2012 in Austin, Texas. The world premiere of Emmett Malloy’s documentary Big Easy Express will be featured as the Closing Night Film on Saturday, March 17. This year’s program also includes the world premiere of Phil Lord’s 21 Jump Street — starring Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill — which will screen in the Centerpiece slot on Monday, March 12.
Over the course of nine days, 130 features will screen at SXSW 2012. The program features 51 films from first-time filmmakers, and consists of 65 World Premieres, 17 North American Premieres and 10 U.S. Premieres. These films were selected from a record 1,957 feature-length film submissions composed of 1,387 U.S. and 570 international feature-length films.
In addition to nine full days of film screenings, SXSW Film will feature over 100 panels, workshops, mini-meetings and mentor sessions. Previously announced panels include A Conversation with Joss Whedon; a dialogue with Lena Dunham, Judd Apatow and more on the HBO series Girls; A Conversation with Cliff Martinez, Drive composer; and The Business of Kevin Smith. (The final conference lineup will be announced February 15.)
The festival’s main competition categories are comprised of eight Narrative Feature world premieres and eight Documentary Feature world premieres. These 16 films will compete for their respective Grand Jury Prizes, plus all feature categories will be eligible for Audience Awards.
The 2012 SXSW Film Festival will feature…
NARRATIVE FEATURE COMPETITION
Booster (World Premiere)
Director: Matt Ruskin
Writer: Matt Ruskin
Starring: Nico Stone, Adam DuPaul, Seymour Cassel, Kristin Dougherty, Brian McGrail
Synopsis: When Simon’s brother is arrested for armed robbery, he is asked to commit a string of similar crimes in an attempt to get his brother acquitted.
Eden (World Premiere)
Director: Megan Griffiths
Writers: Richard B. Phillips, Megan Griffiths, Story by: Richard B. Phillips & Chong Kim
Starring: Jamie Chung, Matt O’Leary, Beau Bridges, Jeanine Monterroza, Scott Mechlowicz
Synopsis: A young Korean-American girl, abducted and forced into prostitution by domestic human traffickers, joins forces with her captors in a desperate plea to survive.
Gayby (World Premiere)
Director: Jonathan Lisecki
Writer: Jonathan Lisecki
Starring: Jenn Harris, Matthew Wilkas, Mike Doyle, Anna Margaret Hollyman, Jack Ferver
Synopsis: Jenn and Matt, best friends since college who are now in their thirties, decide to have a child together, the old-fashioned way – even though Matt is gay and Jenn is straight.
Gimme the Loot (World Premiere)
Director: Adam Leon
Writer: Adam Leon
Starring: Tashiana Washington, Ty Hickson, Meeko, Zoe Lescaze, Sam Soghor
Synopsis: When Malcolm and Sofia’s latest graffiti masterpiece is buffed by a rival gang, these two determined Bronx teens must hustle, steal, and scheme to get spectacular revenge and become the biggest writers in the City.
Los Chidos (World Premiere)
Director: Omar Rodriguez Lopez
Writer: Omar Rodriguez Lopez
Starring: Kim Stodel, María De Jesús Canales Ramírez, Manuel Ramos, Cecillia Gutiérrez
Synopsis: The Gonzales family tries hard to hold on to their beautiful Latino traditions of misogyny and homophobia when a tall, white, industrialist stranger appears, challenging their place in the exploitative food chain.
Pilgrim Song (World Premiere)
Director: Martha Stephens
Writers: Martha Stephens, Karrie Crouse
Starring: Timothy Morton, Bryan Marshall, Karrie Crouse, Harrison Cole, Michael Abbott Jr.
Synopsis: A pink-slipped music teacher ponders his stalled relationship and place in the world during an arduous trek across Kentucky’s Sheltowee Trace Trail.
Starlet (World Premiere)
Director: Sean Baker
Writers: Sean Baker, Chris Bergoch
Starring: Dree Hemingway, Besedka Johnson, Stella Maeve, James Ransone, Karren Karagulian
Synopsis: The film explores the unlikely friendship between 21-year-old Jane and 85 year-old Sadie, two women whose worlds collide in California’s San Fernando Valley.
The Taiwan Oyster (World Premiere)
Director: Mark Jarrett
Writers: Mark Jarrett, Jordan Heimer, Mitchell Jarrett
Starring: Billy Harvey, Jeff Palmiotti, Leonora Lim
Synopsis: Two Ex-Pat Kindergarten teachers in Taiwan embark on a quixotic odyssey to bury a fellow countryman.
DOCUMENTARY FEATURE COMPETITION
Bay of All Saints (World Premiere)
Director: Annie Eastman
Synopsis: As the last of the notorious water slums is demolished in Bahia, Brazil, will three single mothers face homelessness or rally for a better life?
Beware of Mr. Baker (World Premiere)
Director: Jay Bulger
Synopsis: Ginger Baker is the original rock ‘n roll madman junkie drummer superstar who everyone thought was dead but somehow survived 50+ years of heroin abuse, disastrous experiments and 5 marriages on 4 continents.
The Central Park Effect (World Premiere)
Director: Jeffrey Kimball
Synopsis: The film reveals the extraordinary array of wild birds who grace Manhattan’s celebrated patch of green, and the equally colorful, full-of-attitude New Yorkers who schedule their lives around the rhythms of migration.
Jeff (World Premiere)
Director: Chris James Thompson
Synopsis: A documentary about the people around Jeffrey Dahmer during the 1991 summer of his arrest for the murder of 17 people in Milwaukee.
Seeking Asian Female (World Premiere)
Director: Debbie Lum
Synopsis: When an American man with “yellow fever” meets a Chinese woman half his age online, documenting their attempt to build a marriage from scratch reveals hilarious and troubling complications for the couple and the filmmaker.
The Sheik and I (World Premiere)
Director: Caveh Zahedi
Synopsis: Commissioned by a Middle Eastern Biennial to make a film on the theme of “art as a subversive act,” independent filmmaker Caveh Zahedi (I am a Sex Addict) is threatened with a fatwa.
The Source (World Premiere)
Directors: Jodi Wille, Maria Demopoulos
Synopsis: The Source Family was a radical experiment in ’70s utopian living. Their popular restaurant, rock band, and beautiful women made them the darlings of Hollywood; but their outsider ideals led to their dramatic undoing.
Welcome To The Machine (World Premiere)
Director: Avi Zev Weider
Synopsis: Upon fathering triplets, filmmaker Avi Zev Weider explores the nature of technology, seeking answers about what it means to be human.
21 Jump Street (World Premiere)
Directed by: Phil Lord & Christopher Miller
Writers: Michael Bacall (screenplay/story), Jonah Hill (story)
Starring: Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Brie Larson, Dave Franco, Rob Riggle, Johnny Depp, Ice Cube
Synopsis: Police officers Schmidt and Jenko get sent back to high school as undercover cops.
Big Easy Express (World Premiere)
Director: Emmett Malloy
Synopsis: Emmett Malloy’s latest film invites us aboard a train ride unlike any other with Mumford & Sons, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros and Old Crow Medicine Show.
The Cabin in the Woods (World Premiere)
Director: Drew Goddard
Writers: Joss Whedon, Drew Goddard
Starring: Kristen Connolly, Fran Kranz, Anna Hutchison, Chris Hemsworth, Jesse Williams, Richard Jenkins, and Bradley Whitford
Synopsis: Five friends go to a remote cabin in the woods. Bad things happen. If you think you know this story, think again. From fan favorites Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard comes The Cabin in the Woods, a mind-blowing horror film that turns the genre inside out.
Decoding Deepak (World Premiere)
Director: Gotham Chopra
Synopsis: Filmmaker Gotham Chopra spends a year on the road decoding his father and spiritual icon Deepak Chopra.
Girls (World Premiere)
Director: Lena Dunham
Writer: Lena Dunham
Starring: Lena Dunham, Allison Williams, Jemima Kirke, Zosia Mamet, Adam Driver
Synopsis: Created by and starring Lena Dunham (Tiny Furniture), the HBO show is a comic look at the assorted humiliations and rare triumphs of a group of girls in their early 20s.
The Hunter (U.S. Premiere)
Director: Daniel Nettheim
Writers: Alice Addison (screenplay), Julia Leigh (novel), Wain Fimeri (original adaptation)
Starring: Willem Dafoe, Frances O’Connor, Sam Neill
Synopsis: A mercenary is dispatched from Europe to the Tasmanian wilderness by a mysterious biotech company to search for the last surviving Tasmanian tiger.
Killer Joe (U.S. Premiere)
Director: William Friedkin
Writer: Tracy Letts
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Emile Hirsch, Gina Gershon, Juno Temple, Thomas Haden Church
Synopsis: A garish, Southwestern tale – a violent black comedy about a desperate Texas debtor who plots to kill his mother with help of his family. They hire a crazy Dallas cop who moonlights as a contract killer to do the job, but Killer Joe asks for their teenage daughter as a retainer. The film is based on Pulitzer Prize winner Tracy Letts’ award winning play.
Marley (North American Premiere)
Director: Kevin Macdonald
Synopsis: The definitive life story of Bob Marley – musician, revolutionary, legend – from his early days to his rise to international superstardom. Made with the support of the Marley family, the film features rare footage, incredible performances and revelatory interviews with the people that knew him best.
The Babymakers (World Premiere)
Director: Jay Chandrasekhar
Writers: Peter Gaulke, Gerry Swallow
Starring: Paul Schneider, Olivia Munn, Kevin Heffernan, Wood Harris, Nat Faxon
Synopsis: Unable to impregnate his wife, Tommy and friends rob a sperm bank – to get Tommy’s long-ago donated sperm back. The crazy plan goes hilariously awry and shows how far a couple will go to create a new life.
Crazy Eyes (World Premiere)
Director: Adam Sherman
Writers: Adam Sherman, Dave Reeves, Rachel Hardisty
Starring: Lukas Haas, Madeline Zima, Jake Busey, Tania Raymonde, Regine Nehy
Synopsis: Just another story about love.
Do-Deca-Pentathalon (World Premiere)
Directors: Jay Duplass, Mark Duplass
Writers: Jay Duplass, Mark Duplass
Starring: Mark Kelly, Steve Zissis, Elton LeBlanc
Synopsis: Two brothers compete in their own private 25-event Olympics.
Fat Kid Rules The World (World Premiere)
Director: Matthew Lillard
Writers: Michael M.B. Galvin, Peter Speakman
Starring: Jacob Wysocki, Matt O’Leary, Billy Campbell, Lilli Simmons, Dylan Arnold
Synopsis: Troy, a depressed overweight teenager, gets sucked into the punk rock world by Marcus, a charming street musician. But when Troy discovers Marcus’ drug addiction, he suddenly must figure out the true boundaries of friendship.
frankie go boom (World Premiere)
Director: Jordan Roberts
Writer: Jordan Roberts
Starring: Charlie Hunnam, Chris O’Dowd, Lizzy Caplan, Ron Perlman, Chris Noth
Synopsis: A comedy about two brothers, a girl with a broken heart, a sex tape, an angel and a pig.
Hunky Dory (North American Premiere)
Director: Marc Evans
Writer: Laurence Coriat
Starring: Minnie Driver, Aneurin Barnard, Danielle Branch, Robert Pugh, Haydn Gwynne
Synopsis: From the producer of Billy Elliot comes this funny, coming of age film featuring songs from artists such as David Bowie, Lou Reed, The Beach Boys, Simon and Garfunkel, Dusty Springfield and Electric Light Orchestra.
In Our Nature (World Premiere)
Director: Brian Savelson
Writer: Brian Savelson
Starring: Zach Gilford, Jena Malone, John Slattery, Gabrielle Union
Synopsis: Taking place over a single weekend, an estranged father and son accidentally end up in the same country house with their two girlfriends.
Keyhole (U.S. Premiere)
Director: Guy Maddin
Writers: Guy Maddin, George Toles
Starring: Isabella Rossellini, Jason Patric, Udo Kier, Kevin McDonald, Tattiawna Jones
Synopsis: I’m only a ghost… but a ghost isn’t nothing.
See Girl Run (World Premiere)
Director: Nate Meyer
Writer: Nate Meyer
Starring: Robin Tunney, Adam Scott, Jeremy Strong, William Sadler, Josh Hamilton
Synopsis: What happens when a 30-something woman allows life’s “what ifs” to overwhelm her appreciation for what life actually is. Disregarding her current obligations, she digs into her romantic past in hopes of invigorating her present.
Small Apartments (World Premiere)
Director: Jonas Åkerlund
Writer: Chris Millis
Starring: Matt Lucas, Billy Crystal, James Caan, Johnny Knoxville, Juno Temple
Synopsis: When Franklin accidentally kills his landlord, he must hide the body; but, the wisdom of his beloved brother and the quirks of his neighbors, force him on a journey where a fortune awaits him.
Somebody Up There Likes Me (World Premiere)
Director: Bob Byington
Writer: Bob Byington
Starring: Keith Poulson, Nick Offerman, Jess Weixler, Stephanie Hunt, Kevin Corrigan
Synopsis: Time flies for everyone. Thirty-five years in the life of Max, his best friend Sal, and a woman they both adore. A deadpan fable about time sneaking up on and swerving right around us.
$ELLEBRITY (World Premiere)
Director: Kevin Mazur
Synopsis: Renowned celebrity photographer, Kevin Mazur, gives us an all access pass to the life behind the velvet rope and in front of the camera. Candid, revealing and bold interviews with Jennifer Aniston, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jennifer Lopez, Elton John and more, take us inside the blurred lines of privacy, pliable journalism, celebrity, fame and what it feels like to be consumed.
America’s Parking Lot (World Premiere)
Director: Jonny Mars
Synopsis: Pull up a front row seat as two die-hard fans of ‘America’s Team’ spend their last season with the Dallas Cowboys at historic Texas Stadium, and scramble to preserve their place in America’s Parking Lot.
The Announcement (World Premiere)
Director: Nelson George
Synopsis: On Thursday, November 7, 1991, Earvin “Magic” Johnson made the stunning announcement that he was HIV-positive and would be retiring from basketball immediately. The Announcement gets to the core of Magic’s incredible personal journey.
Beauty Is Embarrassing (World Premiere)
Director: Neil Berkeley
A funny, irreverent and inspirational look into the life and times of one of America’s most important artists, Wayne White.
Brooklyn Castle (World Premiere)
Director: Katie Dellamaggiore
Synopsis: Amidst financial crises and unprecedented public school budget cuts, Brooklyn Castle takes an intimate look at the challenges and triumphs facing members of a junior high school’s champion chess team.
Code of the West (World Premiere)
Director: Rebecca Richman Cohen
Synopsis: Frames a high stakes showdown in the halls of the Montana State Legislature. The future of medical marijuana is at stake.
Degenerate Art: The Art and Culture of Glass Pipes (World Premiere)
Director: M. Slinger
Synopsis: A true document of the art and culture of glass pipe-making. It is the first film to ever bring to light this invisible sub-culture in a comprehensive and well-informed format.
Girl Model (U.S. Premiere)
Directors: A. Sabin, David Redmon
Synopsis: Young Russian girls join a modeling agency to seek work in Japan, but get caught up in an unregulated system that reveals an unseemly side of the fashion industry.
Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters (World Premiere)
Director: Ben Shapiro
Synopsis: Acclaimed photographer Gregory Crewdson’s 10-year quest to create a series of haunting, surreal, and stunningly elaborate portraits of small-town American life — filmed with unprecedented access as he makes perfect renderings of a disturbing, imperfect world.
Just Like Being There (World Premiere)
Director: Scout Shannon
Synopsis: Through the eyes of Daniel Danger, Jay Ryan, and the gig poster community, Just Like Being There focuses on poster artists, the music they commemorate, MONDO film posters, fans, bloggers, galleries, collectors and everything in between.
Scarlet Road (North American Premiere)
Director: Catherine Scott
Synopsis: The film follows the extraordinary work of Australian sex worker, Rachel Wotton. Impassioned about freedom of sexual expression and the rights of sex workers, she specializes in a long over-looked clientele – people with disability.
Trash Dance (World Premiere)
Director: Andrew Garrison
Synopsis: A choreographer finds beauty and grace in garbage trucks, and against the odds, rallies reluctant city trash collectors to perform an extraordinary dance spectacle. On an abandoned airport runway, two dozen sanitation workers — and their trucks — inspire an audience of thousands.
Waiting For Lightning (World Premiere)
Director: Jacob Rosenberg
Synopsis: From the producers of Step into Liquid, comes the story of visionary skateboarder Danny Way, who jumped China’s Great Wall and created a new movement in sport.
Wikileaks: Secrets & Lies (North American Premiere)
Director: Patrick Forbes
Synopsis: The in-depth story of Wikileaks told by all the key players. Sulphurous, personal and moving, it documents history in the making at the lawless frontier of new technology and mainstream media.
WONDER WOMEN! The Untold Story of American Superheroines (World Premiere)
Director: Kristy Guevara-Flanagan
Synopsis: This documentary examines the fascinating evolution and legacy of Wonder Woman and introduces audiences to a dynamic group of real life superheroes who continue to fight the good fight both on and off the screen.
Black Pond (North American Premiere)
Directors: Tom Kingsley, Will Sharpe
Writer: Will Sharpe
Starring: Chris Langham, Simon Amstell, Amanda Hadingue, Colin Hurley, Will Sharpe
Synopsis: An ordinary family is accused of murder when a stranger dies at their dinner table.
Dollhouse (North American Premiere)
Director: Kirsten Sheridan
Writer: Kirsten Sheridan
Starring: Seana Kerslake, Johnny Ward, Kate Stanley Brennan, Shane Curry, Ciaran McCabe
Synopsis: Five street teens break into a house in a rich Dublin suburb for a night of partying. But games are twisted into something more emotional and ultimately out of control through a series of surprising revelations.
Eating Alabama (World Premiere)
Director: Andrew Beck Grace
Synopsis: A quest to eat locally becomes a meditation on community, the South and sustainability. Eating Alabama is a story about why food matters.
Electrick Children (North American Premiere)
Director: Rebecca Thomas
Writer: Rebecca Thomas
Starring: Julia Garner, Rory Culkin, Liam Aiken, Billy Zane
Synopsis: Rachel, a 15-year-old fundamentalist Mormon, believes she’s had an immaculate conception by listening to rock and roll. She flees to Las Vegas to escape an arranged marriage, seeking answers to her mysterious pregnancy.
Extracted (World Premiere)
Director: Nir Paniry
Writer: Nir Paniry
Starring: Sasha Roiz, Dominic Bogart, Jenny Mollen, Nick Jameson, Brad Culver
Synopsis: A scientist is trapped in the memories of a criminal and must solve a crime in order to get back home to his family.
Francine (North American Premiere)
Directors: Brian M. Cassidy, Melanie Shatzky
Writers: Brian M. Cassidy, Melanie Shatzky
Starring: Melissa Leo, Keith Leonard, Victoria Charkut
Synopsis: Academy-Award-winner, Melissa Leo, plays Francine, a woman struggling to find her place in a downtrodden lakeside town after leaving behind a life in prison.
Funeral Kings (World Premiere)
Directors: Kevin Mcmanus, Matthew Mcmanus
Writers: Kevin Mcmanus, Matthew Mcmanus
Starring: Dylan Hartigan, Alex Maizus, Jordan Puzzo, Charles Odei, Kevin Corrigan
Synopsis: For three 14-year-old boys at St. Mark’s Middle School, it’s always a good day for a funeral.
Hard Labor (U.S. Premiere)
Directors: Juliana Rojas, Marco Dutra
Writers: Juliana Rojas, Marco Dutra
Starring: Helena Albergaria, Marat Descartes, Naloana Lima, Marina Flores
Helena prepares to open her own business: a neighborhood grocery store. She hires a maid. But when her husband Octavio is suddenly fired from his job, Helena is left to support the family alone.
La Camioneta – The Journey of One American School Bus (World Premiere)
Director: Mark Kendall
Synopsis: On a 3,000-mile adventure across the borders between the Americas, La Camioneta follows the journey of one out-of-service American school bus as it is repaired, repainted and resurrected into a Guatemalan camioneta.
The Last Fall (World Premiere)
Director: Matthew A. Cherry
Writer: Matthew A. Cherry
Starring: Lance Gross, Nicole Beharie, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Harry Lennix, Keith David
Synopsis: An NFL journeyman struggles to deal with life’s complexities after his professional career is over at age 25.
Leave Me Like You Found Me (World Premiere)
Director: Adele Romanski
Writer: Adele Romanski
Starring: Megan Boone, David Nordstrom
Synopsis: Big trees, broken hearts. The story of a lovesick couple’s breakup & makeup while camping in the wilds of California.
Pavilion (World Premiere)
Director: Tim Sutton
Writer: Tim Sutton
Starring: Max Schaffner, Zach Cali, Cody Hamric, Addie Barlett, Aaron Buyea
Synopsis: Max, a quietly troubled 15-year-old, leaves his lakeside town to live with his father on the sun-blasted fringe of suburban Arizona. What begins in a calm and lush environment ends in a drastic, frayed confusion.
Sun Don’t Shine (World Premiere)
Director: Amy Seimetz
Writer: Amy Seimetz
Starring: Kate Lyn Sheil, Kentucker Audley, AJ Bowen, Kit Gwinn, Mark Reeb
Synopsis: Two lovers, on the back roads of Florida, do very bad things.
Sunset Stories (World Premiere)
Directors: Silas Howard, Ernesto Foronda
Writer: Valerie Stadler
Starring: Monique Curnen, Sung Kang, Joshua Leonard, Mousa Kraish, Michelle Krusiec
Synopsis: When May returns to LA and runs smack into JP, the man she left behind, past and present collide sending them on a twenty-four hour journey in search of what they lost.
Tchoupitoulas (World Premiere)
Directors: Bill Ross, Turner Ross
Synopsis: Three young brothers’ immersive journey into the sensory wonders of the New Orleans night.
Thale (North American Premiere)
Director: Aleksander L. Nordaas
Writer: Aleksander L. Nordaas
Starring: Silje Reinåmo, Jon Sigve Skard, Erlend Nervold, Morten Andresen
Synopsis: The film revolves around huldra, a mythical, tailed creature, found by two crime scene cleaners in a concealed cellar. Someone’s been keeping her down here for decades, for reasons soon to surface.
Director: Wu Tsang
Writer: Wu Tsang
Synopsis: A magical-realist portrait of the Silver Platter, a historic bar in Los Angeles that provides a safe space for Latin/LGBT immigrant and queer art communities to come together in love and conflict.
Wolf (World Premiere)
Director: Ya’ke Smith
Writer: Ya’ke Smith
Starring: Irma P. Hall, Mikala Gibson, Jordan Cooper, Shelton Jolivette, Eugene Lee
Synopsis: A family is shaken to the core when they discover their son has been molested. As they struggle to deal with the betrayal, their son heads towards a total mental collapse.
24 BEATS PER SECOND
Amor Cronico (World Premiere)
Director: Jorge Perugorria
Starring: Cucu Diamantes, Adela Legra, Liosky Clavero, Andres Levin, Jorge Perugorria
Synopsis: Weaving footage of singer Cucu Diamantes’ Cuban tour into a fictional love story. The result is an energetic display of her glamorous and infectious performance style and a fascinating portrait of Cuba today.
Bad Brains: Band in DC (World Premiere)
Directors: Mandy Stein, Benjamen Logan
Synopsis: How four young men from DC changed music forever.
Charles Bradley: Soul of America (World Premiere)
Director: Poull Brien
Synopsis: The incredible late-in-life rise of 62-year-old aspiring soul singer Charles Bradley, whose debut album rocketed him from a hard life in the projects to Rolling Stone magazine’s top 50 albums of 2011.
Daylight Savings (World Premiere)
Director: Dave Boyle
Writers: Dave Boyle, Michael Lerman, Joel Clark, Goh Nakamura
Starring: Goh Nakamura, Michael Aki, Yea-Ming Chen, Lynn Chen, Ayako Fujitani
Synopsis: After a devastating breakup, musician Goh Nakamura hits the road with his irresponsible cousin to pursue a promising rebound with fellow musician Yea-Ming Chen.
Grandma Lo-fi: The Basement Tapes of Sigrídur Níelsdóttir
Director: Kristín Björk Kristjánsdóttir
Synopsis: At the tender age of 70 she started making music – and then she couldn’t stop! A tribute to the Danish/Icelandic artist and late bloomer Sigrídur Níelsdóttir.
Paul Williams Still Alive (U.S. Premiere)
Director: Stephen Kessler
Synopsis: A documentary filmmaker tracks down actor/singer/songwriter Paul Williams in an attempt to find out what happened to his idol.
Rock ‘N’ Roll Exposed: The Photography of Bob Gruen (North American Premiere)
Director: Don Letts
Synopsis: Iggy Pop, Debbie Harry, Yoko Ono, Alice Cooper, Billie Joe Armstrong and others discuss the incredible life and work of the world’s foremost rock ‘n’ roll photographer, Bob Gruen.
Sunset Strip (World Premiere)
Director: Hans Fjellestad
Synopsis: The 100-year history of the loudest street on the planet, The Sunset Strip.
Under African Skies
Director: Joe Berlinger
Synopsis: Paul Simon returns to South Africa to explore the incredible journey of his historic Graceland album, including the political backlash he received for allegedly breaking the UN cultural boycott of South Africa designed to end the Apartheid regime.
Uprising: Hip Hop & The LA Riots (World Premiere)
Director: Mark Ford
Synopsis: 20 years after riots ripped through Los Angeles, Uprising documents how hip hop forecasted – and some say ignited – the worst civil unrest of the 20th century.
Bijuka (India) (North American Premiere)
Director: Ashtar Sayed
Writer: Dr. Mahendra Purohit
Starring: Arti Rautela, Amit Purohit
Synopsis: Inspired by a true event, Scarecrow tells the true story of a young woman who is attempting to escape from an abusive arranged marriage.
Crulic – The Path to Beyond (Romania / Poland)
Director: Anca Damian
Synopsis: This animated documentary tells the story of the life of Crulic, the 33-year-old Romanian who died in a Polish prison while on hunger strike.
Cubaton – El Medico Story (Estonia / Sweden) (North American Premiere)
Director: Daniel Fridell
Synopsis: El Medico – a Cuban house doctor who wants to become a cubaton star – is facing a serious choice between serving the state and becoming a popstar.
Her Master’s Voice (UK) (World Premiere)
Director: Nina Conti
Synopsis: Watching someone talk to themselves has never been so interesting.
Italy Love It Or Leave It (Italy / Germany) (North American Premiere)
Directors: Gustav Hofer, Luca Ragazzi
Synopsis: Gustav and Luca, two Italians, have to decide: Should they stay in Italy, or leave it?
Mustafa’s Sweet Dreams (Greece / UK) (North American Premiere)
Director: Angelos Abazoglou
Synopsis: Mustafa, a 16-year-old pastry shop apprentice dreams of becoming a famous baklava chef in Istanbul.
Pompeya (Argentina) (U.S. Premiere)
Director: Tamae Garateguy
Writers: Tamae Garateguy, Diego A. Fleischer
Starring: José Luciano González, Joel Drut, Chang Sung Kim, Vladimir Yuravel, Miguel Forza de Paul
Synopsis: When a film director hires two screenwriters to make a gangster movie, a fiction feast starts: femmes fatales, mobs fighting for the same neighborhood and a limitless hero who defies every movie concept.
¡Vivan las Antipodas! (Germany / The Netherlands / Argentina / Chile)
Director: Victor Kossakovsky
Synopsis: Haven’t we all wondered at some point what was happening just at this moment beneath our very feet at the other side of the planet?
Director: Christoffer Boe
Writer: Christoffer Boe
Starring: Nicolas Bro, Marijana Jankovic, Nikolaj Lie Kaas
Synopsis: How long will you go, to hold on to the person you love?
Director: Rick Alverson
Writers: Robert Donne, Colm O’Leary
Starring: Tim Heidecker, Eric Wareheim, James Murphy, Kate Lyn-Sheil, Alexia Rassmusen
Synopsis: Indifferent even to the prospects of inheriting his father’s estate, Swanson, a desensitized, aging Brooklyn hipster, strays into a series of reckless situations that may offer the promise of redemption or the threat of retribution.
Dreams of a Life (North American Premiere)
Director: Carol Morley
Synopsis: An imaginative quest to go beyond the newspaper reports and solve the mystery of who thirty-eight year old Joyce Vincent was and why she lay undiscovered for three years after her death in one of the busiest parts of London.
God Bless America (U.S. Premiere)
Director: Bobcat Goldthwait
Writer: Bobcat Goldthwait
Starring: Joel Murray, Tara Lynne Barr
Synopsis: Loveless, jobless, possibly terminally ill, Frank has had enough of the downward spiral of America. With nothing left to lose, Frank takes his gun and offs the stupidest, cruelest, and most repellent members of society.
Director: Bart Layton
Synopsis: In 1994 a 13-year-old disappears without trace in Texas. Three years later he resurfaces in Spain with accounts of a horrifying kidnap. His family is overjoyed – but all is not as it seems.
Indie Game: The Movie
Directors: Lisanne Pajot, James Swirsky
Synopsis: With the twenty-first century comes a new breed of artist: the indie game designer. These innovators design and program their distinctly personal games in the hope that they may find connection and success.
Director: David Zellner
Writer: David Zellner
Starring: Sydney Aguirre, Susan Tyrrell, Nathan Zellner, David Zellner, David Wingo
Synopsis: A fever-dream fable about Annie, a rebellious girl devoid of parental guidance or a moral compass. She roams the countryside looking for adventure, and finds it one day in the form of an abandoned well.
Last Call at the Oasis
Director: Jessica Yu
Synopsis: A powerful argument for why the global water crisis will be the central issue facing our world this century.
Lovely Molly (U.S. Premiere)
Director: Eduardo Sanchez
Writers: Eduardo Sanchez, Jamie Nash
Starring: Gretchen Lodge, Johnny Lewis, Alexandra Holden
Synopsis: Exploring the parallels between psychosis, addiction and demonic possession, Lovely Molly tells the story of what really happens before the exorcist arrives.
Director: Gareth Huw Evans
Writer: Gareth Huw Evans
Starring: Iko Uwais, Joe Taslim, Doni Alamsyah, Yayan Ruhian, Pierre Gruno
Synopsis: Rama and his special forces team fight their way through a rundown apartment block with a mission to remove its owner, a notorious drug lord.
We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists
Director: Brian Knappenberger
Synopsis: We Are Legion takes us inside the world of Anonymous, the radical “hacktivist” collective that has redefined civil disobedience for the digital age.
An Evening With Sacred Bones Records (World Premiere)
Director: Jacqueline Castel
Synopsis: Brooklyn-based record label Sacred Bones presents an evening of original and curated programming of music videos, short films, works in progress, and a rare screening of their first film production, Twelve Dark Noons.
Director: Richard Linklater
Writers: Richard Linklater, Skip Hollandsworth
Starring: Jack Black, Shirley MacLaine, Matthew McConaughey, Brady Coleman, Richard Robichaux
Synopsis: Based on real-life events, this dark comedy follows Bernie Tiede, his recently deceased friend Marjorie Nugent and District Attorney Danny Buck Davidson who is determined to get to the bottom of the crime.
Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me (Work in Progress)
Director: Drew Denicola
Synopsis: A feature-length documentary about the massive critical acclaim, dismal commercial failure, and enduring legacy of pop music’s greatest cult phenomenon, Big Star.
Casa de mi Padre
Director: Matt Piedmont
Writer: Andrew Steele
Starring: Will Ferrell, Gael García Bernal, Diego Luna, Genesis Rodriguez, Pedro Armendáriz Jr., Nick Offerman
Synopsis: Will Ferrell plays a Mexican rancher who must defend his father’s home against the country’s most infamous drug lord.
Girl Walk // All Day
Director: Jacob Krupnick
Writer: Jacob Krupnick
Starring: Anne Marsen, John Doyle, Daisuke Omiya
Synopsis: A feature-length dance music film that combines freestyle dance with the daily chaos of New York City, set to Girl Talk’s recent mashup album, All Day.
Director: Amir Bar Lev
Synopsis: 5 DJ’s Turn the Table on The History of Music.
Renga (North American Premiere)
Directors: Adam Russell, John Sear
Synopsis: A ground breaking feature-length show controlled entirely by the audience using laser pointers. It is the first viable example of a standalone interactive experience capable of running in commercial movie theatres.
The Oyster Princess (1919) with original live score by Bee vs. Moth (World Premiere)
Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Writers: Hanns Kraly, Ernst Lubitsch
Synopsis: The Oyster Princess is Ernst Lubitsch’s tart 1919 silent comedy that parodies the rich and the spoiled. Austin jazz/rock band Bee vs. Moth performs their original score live with the film for the first time.
NOTE: The Midnighters feature section and the Short Film program will be announced on February 8.
SXSW Film is an official qualifying festival for the Academy Awards Short Film competition. The Best Narrative Short and Best Animated Short winners become eligible for the Academy Awards.
For more information, visit http://www.sxsw.com/film