Debbie rounded up all the Austin films at SXSW Film Festival this year, but there are just a few more films in this year's SXSW fest with Texas connections... as far as we can tell, anyway. In addition to the features mentioned below, you can also catch Lone Star films in the Texas Shorts program (screening times) and the Texas High School Shorts program.
The folks who brought us Intimidad, which premiered at SXSW 2008, made documentary Girl Model (screening times), which follows an American model scout and the Siberian teen she has discovered. Nadya, a 13 year old, seems prime for the Japanese market and heads to Tokyo. Meanwhile, Ashley, the model scout, keeps searching Siberia for more young female faces. Girl Model comes from Carnivalesque Films directors Ashley Sabin and David Redmon. Redmon hails from north Texas.
The plethora of films at SXSW Film Festival this year includes a good selection of Austin-based features even without the Lone Star States category of movies. The quality and buzz for local films is high, and I predict a couple of these features are destined to win audience awards at SXSW.
Here's the best list we've been able to compile of Austin connections in SXSW films this year. If we missed your movie, please let us know in the comments and we will update the list as needed. Stay tuned for Elizabeth Stoddard's feature on other Texas films at SXSW.
A note to filmmakers: If your movie has some link to Austin, we would love to interview you about it and see the film. Please drop us a line ASAP so we can set something up before the fest begins.
It's that time of year: SXSW news is flying around thick and fast. Even if you're just concentrating on the film conference and festival, it's hard to keep up. In addition, SXSW has announced some new titles and conference sessions today. Here's the new information and some other recent news, all in our handy-dandy news tidbit format.
- SXSW has just added 15 features and four shorts to this year's lineup. The features announced today include the world premiere of Todd Rohal's Nature Calls, Sundance selection Safety Not Guaranteed (the cast includes former Austinite Mark Duplass), the cameraphone-shot King Kelly, and Blue Like Jazz, about a Texas student who escapes to the Pacific Northwest. Oh yes, and a restored print of Yellow Submarine, which I might not be able to resist.
- SXSW also announced five new Film Conference panels today, including "A Conversation with Seth MacFarlane." Personally, I'm interested in a panel about restoring films at Universal, on Monday at the Paramount, which I hope means they'll show some restored footage.
- If you're more interested in the movies than the panels, and you're on a budget, be aware that SXSW Film Passes will go on sale starting tomorrow, Feb. 16. The passes cost $80 and are available to buy from Waterloo Records and three Alamo Drafthouse locations (Ritz, Lamar, Village). A limited number are sold so if you want one, don't wait. Look for our updated guide about getting the most out of SXSW with a film pass as we get closer to the festival.
Last week, SXSW announced the feature film lineup for the 2012 Film Festival, and today we've heard word about the short films and midnight screenings that will be headed our way this March. In recent years, some of my favorite finds at SXSW have been short films, and here's hoping this year is no different.
Two of the programs will especially focus on films by Texans: Texas Shorts and Texas High School Shorts. A large slate of music videos is also in the lineup, including one by Austinite PJ Raval for Christeene ("African Mayonnaise"). Among the 135 shorts screening at the festival:
- Kat Candler's Hellion is part of the Texas Shorts program. The Austin filmmaker's short premiered at Sundance earlier this year. In his Sundance preview, Don calls it "an unexpected twist on how fathers, sons and brothers deal with other."
- Using stop-motion animation, Abuelas reflects on the past violence in Argentina through a grandmother's narration. I caught this beautifully haunting short at AFF. It returns to Austin through the SX Global Shorts program.
- Remember how 12 Monkeys was a long-form remake of the 1962 short La Jetee? Well, Life and Freaky Times of Uncle Luke takes the French short to modern-day Miami and throws in 2 Live Crew's Uncle Luke. What say you, Terry Gilliam?
SXSW announced its film lineup today, which is full of all kinds of features and documentaries. The big splashy Hollywood news is that the movie 21 Jump Street, starring Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill, will premiere at the fest as its Centerpiece Film. In addition, the closing-night film will be the music documentary Big Easy Express from Emmett Malloy.
One marquee movie with a Texas connection is the Dallas-set Killer Joe, reuniting Bug filmmaker William Friedkin and playwright Tracy Letts, and starring Matthew McConaughey (and that's not the only film he's in that will play SXSW). Other notable movies playing the fest include Bobcat Goldthwait's God Bless America, the Will Ferrell-starring Casa de mi Padre and Guy Maddin's Keyhole ... among many many others announced.
SXSW Film has no Lone Star States category this year, but the overall lineup of narrative and documentary features includes many local and state connections. We'll have a full list later this month of all the Austin and Texas features and shorts screening at the fest this year. In the meantime, here are some Lone Star-connected films that stuck out in today's announcement:
- Gayby (Narrative Feature Competition)-- Jonathan Lisecki has expanded his popular 2010 short of the same name. It stars Jenn Harris and Matthew Wilkas (from the short) as well as Dule Hill and Samantha Buck. The cast also includes Austinites Alex Karpovsky and Anna Margaret Hollyman. Dallas-to-Austin filmmaker Clay Liford (Wuss) is director of photography.
- Somebody Up There Likes Me (Narrative Spotlight, pictured at top) -- The latest feature from Bob Byington (Harmony and Me) will have its world premiere at the fest. The movie stars Keith Poulson, Nick Offerman (also in Casa de mi Padre), Jess Weixler and Kevin Corrigan. The cast also includes local actors Chris Doubek, Andrew Bujalski, Allison Latta, Anna Margaret Hollyman (also in Gayby) and Jonny Mars ... and once again, Bob Schneider as a wedding singer. The trailer is already available on the film's website.
It's that time again ... we finally get to find out what will open the SXSW Film Festival this year. And like Kick-Ass two years ago, it looks like this opening-night movie will pack in the fanboys and fangirls: The Cabin in the Woods, directed by Drew Goddard and written by Goddard and Joss Whedon, who will be in Austin for the screening. The fest has also announced a few other movie selections and conference events.
The SXSW screening will be the world premiere for The Cabin in the Woods, although it unofficially screened in Austin already -- it was the worst-kept secret and supposedly a big favorite at a certain private local movie marathon in December. Mike saw it and says, "Cabin In The Woods is going to turn the world of horror upside down and shake it to see what falls out. It will change your entire perspective."
In addition to attending the opening-night premiere, Whedon will participate in one of the SXSW Film Conference's one-on-one "conversation" panels on Saturday, March 10.
Filmmaker Lena Dunham, who brought Tiny Furniture to SXSW 2010, will also be participating in a panel this year. She's been working on a TV series called Girls, and will discuss the show with several of her production team members and producer Judd Apatow. Austin filmmaker/actor Alex Karpovsky (who was in Tiny Furniture) will moderate the panel. Dunham will also host a sneak preview of three episodes of Girls, which premieres on HBO in April.
SXSW has announced its first round of confirmed sessions today for the 2012 Film Conference in March. SXSW Film Conference and Festival Producer Janet Pierson said, "We’re particularly thrilled with how well our PanelPicker interface harnesses the intelligence and passions of our creative community to help define the most interesting and relevant topics of the day."
Thousands of proposals were submitted for the SXSW film conference panels through the PanelPicker tool, which allowed anyone with an internet connection to submit a proposal, then let the public vote on them this summer. Nearly 40 sessions were announced today on a wide range of topics near and dear to filmmakers' hearts, including several "convergence" titles that are open to all Film, Interactive, Gold and Platinum badgeholders.
The confirmed Film sessions (panels and otherwise) are listed after the jump.
No wonder some hotels are already sold out of rooms for SXSW 2012. The 2011 fest saw a 20 percent jump in hotel room nights (47,500 nights, and that doesn't include couch-surfing).
Mayor Lee Leffingwell and Councilmember Mike Martinez were present on Tuesday as SXSW and Greyhill Advisors announced the details of the fifth consecutive study quantifying the dollar value of the music, film and interactive conferences, trade shows and festival. This year's magic number is $167.8 million of economic impact, which includes $44 million that SXSW contributes to the Austin economy during the non-fest portion of the calendar year. The study only includes those events "sanctioned" by SXSW.
There’s been a steady increase in the millions of dollars that flood the city for the nine-day trio of events. While SXSW is 25 years old, the study has only been done since 2007, when $95 million flooded the city. In 2010 that jumped to $113 million. You can read full economic impact report on the Greyhill blog.
The published report doesn't include specific numbers for SXSW Film other than to note that there were 1,500 passholders. SXSW was able to confirm with us that SXSW 2011 had 13,409 film registrants (actual film badges) and 66,842 that attended film screenings (passes and film, gold, and platinum badges, and I assume filmmakers and guests).
This is the second year SXSW has opened up the Panel Picker for its annual film conference, a tool that allows people to submit proposals for panels and other conference events. It's an ingenious way for the festival to vet proposals; instead of the staff or advisory panel coming up with all the ideas, anyone with a keyboard and an internet connection can submit a proposal, which is then voted on by the public, which gets a lofty 30 percent of the decision power. This is no small thing, since those who plan on attending the conference have the opportunity to weigh in on what they feel is relevant and keep the topics fresh. The only downside is that there are many panel proposals to read and decide among.
So please allow me to direct your attention to a Slackerwood-inspired panel: Removing Barriers Between Press, PR, and Producers, submitted by yours truly. The original idea for the panel happened during SXSW 2011, when I surprised a producer of a great little film by mentioning that Slackerwood gets mileage out of reviews far beyond festivals. In some cases, we get serious spikes in page views more than a year after a review was posted.
For example, this month one of our top traffic-getting pages is a review of Main Street, which screened at Austin Film Festival last year and is about to get a limited theatrical and VOD release. Our list of top ten pages for 2010 includes a review of AFF 2010 selection DMI: The Spirit Molecule and also my review of AFF 2009 film The Donner Party. Cummings Farm may have been renamed All American Orgy but my AFF 2009 review was still being read by many, over a year after I saw the movie.
The indie film Bellflower has drawn a lot of attention since I caught it at SXSW earlier this year. Some people consider it this most fabulous movie they've seen in years; others found it repellant. I thought certain scenes were beautifully done but I had to fight the urge to want to give the characters a smack on the head to jump-start their common sense. And like most people who have seen the movie, no matter how they felt about it overall, I loved the cars.
Bellflower opens in Austin theaters this Friday; look for Don's review here on Thursday. In the meantime, I wanted to share some of my photos from the SXSW screening I attended. Writer-director Evan Glodell and some cast and crew members were there and held a Q&A afterward. But again, what got people even more excited was the presence of one of the cars from the film, Medusa, which emits actual flames.
After the jump, check out photos of Medusa showing off its flames, as well as the car-free Q&A. Sadly, I have no photos frrom the after-party, which featured a cricket-eating contest similar to the one in the movie.