South By Southwest -- the annual film, music and interactive festival that takes over downtown Austin, Texas – began teasing its wares for the 2014 event, announcing its Opening Night selection and a few key features that will dot its schedule.
Destin Daniel Cretton’s Short Term 12, an ensemble drama about a 20-something caretaker (Brie Larson) at a foster care facility, took home the Narrative Feature award at the South By Southwest Film Festival on Tuesday evening. In the Documentary category, Ben Nabors’ winning William and the Windmill took home the top prize.
In sticking with its prominent position in the campaign of keeping Austin weird, the film side of South by Southwest has always been a lot friendlier to horror films than almost any film festival that isn’t singularly geared towards a genre. Instead of being relegated to time-filling slots, films like Adam Wingard’s You’re Next, Rob Zombie’s Lords of Salem and Fede Alvarez’s Evil Dead remake are as anticipated as any other films being shown, and E.L. Katz’s Cheap Thrills was the first sale of the festival.
Zal Batmanglij and Brit Marling’s The East has been selected as the Closing Night film for the 2013 South By Southwest Film Festival, it was revealed today. The annual event also revealed a handful of new titles that finally complete this year’s Film Conference lineup, including screenings of Alicia Dwyer’s documentary Xmas Without China and James Ponsoldt’s Sundance hit, The Spectacular Now.
SXSW celebrates its 20th anniversary. This year’s fest runs from March 8-16, beginning with Burt Wonderstone and continuing with screenings of already announced (and eagerly anticipated) features like the Evil Dead remake and Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers.
I recently had the pleasure of reviewing the film and later speaking with Ms. Conti for a few minutes about the process behind making a personal movie, and subsequently, baring her soul to the world. You can check out a portion of the interview, below.
As the SXSW team announced more Audience Award winners in various categories, I wanted to run through the last of the films I’d yet to write about in some detail, and also post the last two videos I shot with MovieHole columnist Adam Frazier. Conveniently, we discussed a couple of the films that took home Audience Award trophies this year
As the 2012 South By Southwest Film Festival rolls on, Moviehole columnist Adam Frazier and I are starting to dig into the second tier films – the ones that come into this year’s festival looking for the level of buzz that’s already attached to The Raid, 21 Jump Street or The Cabin in the Woods.
“It’s been amazing this year to hear over and over again about the high range of quality across the board,” said Janet Pierson, Film Conference and Festival Producer. “I know I’m always going on about the great variety of our program, but this year it seems to have been embraced in even wider measure and it’s very exciting.”
“To a certain extent, you understand that,” Duplass told me. “People like to do that stuff. But I think you do bring up a good point in that this is not a time travel film. This is a relationship movie seen through the prism of time travel, and the metaphor that time travel is."
Rudin, of course, produced the chess-themed Searching for Bobby Fischer back in 1993, which Steve Zaillian wrote and directed. The site notes that Cinetic Media, which closed the deal with Rudin, also is shopping for distribution. Wouldn’t it make sense for Sony to grab it, and maybe distribute it wide under Sony Pictures Classics? It’s an amazing doc, and one that’s generating great buzz at SXSW.
21 Jump Street opens Friday, and we have been banging the drum hard in support of this raucous comedy. This evening, our bandwagon just tripled as crowds streamed from the Paramount Theatre – where the film just held a South By Southwest premiere – and sang the movie’s praises. These are just a few of our favorite Tweets that blew up Twitter right after the screening.
Here are quick hits on what I’ve seen since. I’ll start at the bottom and work my way up to the top, which means we begin with Frankie Goes Boom, my first -- and so far only -- bust of this year’s fest.
If there’s one thing we know about horror films, it’s that they routinely spawn multiple sequels. And so, during an exclusive chat with Joss Whedon at SXSW, I asked him if he and co-writer/director Drew Goddard would consider revisiting the world
Colin Trevorrow’s Safety Not Guaranteed has been my festival favorite, by far. The open-hearted, snappy and sarcastic crowd-pleaser tells the off-beat story of three Seattle journalists investigating a loner (Mark Duplass) who takes out a classified ad seeking a partner for a time-travel mission. As the relationships unfold and the film’s strong emotional ties deepen, however, Safety become less about traveling through time and more about why individuals would choose to travel in the first place.