Austin at SXSW 2013: All the Features (Part One)
The feature-film selections for the 2013 SXSW Film Festival were announced last week and boy, are there a lot of movies with Austin connections on the program -- so many that we had to split this article in two! We'll start with the narrative feature films, and the second half will highlight the documentaries and "festival favorites." These lists don't include the short films or the midnight movies, which will be announced later today.
- When Angels Sing -- Austin director Tim McCanlies' new film is based on a novel by Turk Pipkin (who also appears in the movie), wherein the main character has a troubled relationship with Christmas. Sometimes-Austinite Connie Britton stars as the wife, and the cast also includes Dana Wheeler-Nicholson, Heather Kafka (who appears in four SXSW feature films this year), and the Red Headed Stranger himself! Elizabeth Avellan of Troublemaker Studios is one of the producers on this film, which was shot partially at Northwest Park in Allandale. (screening times, official site)
- The Bounceback -- Bryan Poyser's comedy, which follows the travails of two former couples mixing things up around Austin (including Alamo Drafthouse Ritz), makes its world premiere at the fest. Rebecca Campbell visited the set last year.
Jette butts in: The cast includes Heather Kafka, filmmakers Yen Tan (Pit Stop), David Zellner and Clay Liford; Poyser's former AFS coworkers Chale Nafus and Sarah Ann Mockbee, and Ashley Spillers (also in SXSW 2013 films Zero Charisma, Loves Her Gun and Pit Stop). The director of photography is PJ Raval, who directed another SXSW film, Before You Know It. Editor Don Swaynos also edited Pit Stop. It's like Three Degrees of Separation, geez, we should just draw a graph. (screening times)
- Good Night -- Many Austin actors (or folks who once resided here) are featured in this black comedy, which will premiere at SXSW. Leigh (Adriene Mishler, Austin High) announces that the night's celebration of her 29th birthday may be the last time her friends see her alive. This is the first film from writer/director Sean Gallagher, who graduated from UT's RTF program in 2002.
Jette butts in: The production received a Texas Filmmakers' Production Fund grant in 2009 under its working title Home. Cast includes Chris Doubek (also in Loves Her Gun, A Teacher and Computer Chess); Jonny Mars (who produced too, and who's also in Pit Stop, A Teacher and Computer Chess); Austin filmmaker/actor Alex Karpovsky (well known these days for his role on Girls); and filmmaker/UT alum Todd Berger (It's a Disaster). Co-produced by Chris Ohlson, who also produced Poyser's previous film Lovers of Hate, and The Happy Poet. (screening times)
- Grow Up, Tony Phillips -- This latest film from Austin's own Emily Hagins (My Sucky Teen Romance) was funded on Kickstarter. Tony loves Halloween, but his teenage peers think themselves too cool to get very excited about the day. Slackerwood shares some connections to Hagins' movie: Contributor J.C. De Leon worked on the film and contributor Rod Paddock was an extra. (screening times)
- Loves Her Gun -- This intense drama from Geoff Marslett (see our Slacker 2011 interview) ran a successful crowdfunding campaign to cover post-production costs (see Debbie's post). Allie, who moves to Austin after being attacked in NYC, tries to regain some semblance of control of her life. In the cast: the director himself, Heather Kafka, John Merriman, Chris Doubek, Ashley Spillers, and Jerm Pollet. NSFW (unless you use headphones) trailer below. (screening times, Facebook page)
- Milo -- Former Austinite Jacob Vaughan helms this horror comedy about a man who discovers his stomach problems are being caused by a demon in his intestines. Former Austinites Jay and Mark Duplass produced; Steve Zissis, a Duplass regular and another ex-Austinite, shows up in the cast. (screening times)
- Reality Show -- This dark satire includes a number of UT RTF grads in the crew (full list here). Jared Hoffman exec-produced and Ty Eddingston served as visual effects artist (he also worked on Grow Up, Tony Phillips). (screening times, official website)
- Scenic Route -- Based on a screenplay by hometown favorite Kyle Killen (Lone Star), this drama finds two close friends stranded in a desert. (screening times)
- Zero Charisma (pictured at top) -- New-to-Austin filmmakers Katie Graham and Andrew Matthews (Best Worst Movie) filmed this one in town. Competition from a new guy in his circle threatens to disrupt the life of gamer Scott, or as he's known among his pals on Saturday nights, the Game-Master. Cast members include locals Sam Eidson, Cyndi Williams, local film critic John Gholson, and Jennymarie Jamison (The Quiet Girl's Guide to Violence, Loves Her Gun). Soon-to-be-former Alamo programmer Zack Carlson served as a producer. View the trailer below, from the film's post-production crowdfunding campaign. (screening times)
Narrative Feature Competition:
- The Retrieval -- Austin's Chris Eska (see our Slacker 2011 interview with him) directed this movie about a boy searching for a wanted man around the time of the Civil War. We don't know much more than that about the plot, but look at the gorgeous poster! Other Austin ties: Jason Wehling (Fourplay, Saturday Morning Massacre, America's Parking Lot), Alan Berg of Arts+Labor, and Scott Colquitt (also involved with two other SXSW flicks this year: Computer Chess and Pit Stop) serve as producers for the film. (screening times)
- This Is Where We Live -- Based in the Texas Hill Country and filmed outside of Austin, this drama depicts the relationship between a boy with cerebral palsy and his caretaker. (screening times, Facebook page)
But wait, there's more! Read our follow-up article detailing Austin-connected documentaries and festival favorites. And you can check out all the trailers (so far) for SXSW 2013 films. (Some couldn't be embedded here, like When Angels Sing, so do go look.)