The South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Conference and Festival is embarking on its 20th anniversary this year, running from March 8 –16 in Austin, Texas. Over one hundred films were announced to be featured at this year’s festival and over a course of nine grueling days, folks from all over will see highly anticipated movies such as Spring Breakers, Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing, Don Jon’s Addiction, Evil Dead, and much more.
There will be 69 world premieres, 14 of which from North America and five U.S. premieres. All of these films were selected from a record 5,682 submissions. Of those submissions, there are some big premieres that I am looking forward to seeing this year. If you are attending this year’s SXSW, keep a lookout for these films listed here:
Evil Dead (Directed by Fede Alvarez) – Starring Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, Lou Taylor Pucci, Jessica Lucas, and Elizabeth Blackmore
Synopsis: Five friends, holed up in a remote cabin, discover a Book of the Dead that unwittingly summons up dormant demons which possess the youngsters in succession until only one is left to fight for survival.
The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (Directed by Don Scardino) – Starring Steve Carell, Steve Buscemi, Olivia Wilde, with Alan Arkin, James Gandolfini
and Jim Carrey
Synopsis: As superstar Vegas magicians and former best friends Burt and Anton grow to secretly loathe each other, their long-time act implodes, allowing an ambitious rival street performer the big break he’s been waiting for.
Spring Breakers (Directed by Harmony Korine) – Starring James Franco, Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson, Rachel Korine, and Gucci Mane
Synopsis: Four college girls who land in jail after robbing a restaurant in order to fund their spring break vacation find themselves bailed out by a drug and arms dealer who wants them to do some dirty work. (See the trailer)
Drinking Buddies (Directed by Joe Swanberg) – Starring Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson, Anna Kendrick, Ron Livingston
Synopsis: Weekend trips, office parties, late night conversations, drinking on the job, marriage pressure, biological clocks, holding eye contact a second too long… you know what makes the line between “friends” and “more than friends” really blurry? Beer.
Much Ado About Nothing (Directed by Joss Whedon) – Starring Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof, Nathan Fillion, Fran Kranz, and Jillian Morgese
Synopsis: Shakespeare’s classic comedy is given a contemporary spin.
Scenic Route (Directed by Kevin Goetz & Michael Goetz) – Starring Josh Duhamel and Dan Fogler
Synopsis: Stranded on an isolated desert road, two life-long friends fight for survival as their already strained relationship spirals into knife-wielding madness.
Some Girl(s) (Directed by Daisy Von Scherler Mayer) – Starring Adam Brody, Kristen Bell, Zoe Kazan, Mía Maestro, Jennifer Morrison, and Emily Watson
Synopsis: On the eve of his wedding, a successful writer travels around the country to meet up with ex-lovers in an attempt to make amends for his wrongdoings.
Milo (Directed by Jacob Vaughan) – Starring Ken Marino, Gillian Jacobs, Peter Stormare, Stephen Root, and Mary Kay Place
Synopsis: A man discovers that his chronic stomach problems are due to the fact that he has a demon baby living in his colon.
Before Midnight (Directed by Richard Linklater) – Starring Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick, Jennifer Prior, and Charlotte Prior
Synopsis: We meet Celine and Jesse nine years after their last rendezvous. Almost two decades have passed since their first encounter on a train bound for Vienna, and we now find them in their early forties in Greece. Before the clock strikes midnight, we will again become part of their story.
Don Jon’s Addiction (Directed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) – Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore, and Tony Danza
Synopsis: Jon loves his family, friends, church and porn. Spending hours online, Jon’s ideas of a perfect woman collide with Barbara’s ideas of a perfect man. They struggle to see past their wants and needs in this romantic comedy.
Mud (Directed by Jeff Nichols) – Starring Matthew McConaughey, Tye Sheridan, Jacob Lofland, Reese Witherspoon, Sarah Paulson, Ray McKinnon, Sam Shepard, and Michael Shannon
Synopsis: Two boys find a fugitive hiding out on an island in the Mississippi and form a pact to help him reunite with his lover and escape.
Prince Avalanche (Directed by David Gordon Green) – Starring Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch
Synopsis: Two highway road workers spend the summer of 1988 away from their city lives. The isolated landscape becomes a place of misadventure as the men find themselves at odds with each other and the women they left behind.
The festival’s main competition categories are comprised of eight narrative feature world premieres and eight documentary feature world premieres, vying for their respective Grand Jury Prizes. All feature categories, with the exception of “Headliners,” will be eligible for category specific Audience Awards.
NARRATIVE FEATURE COMPETITION
- Awful Nice (Directed by Todd Sklar)
- Burma (Directed by Carlos Puga)
- Improvement Club (Directed by Dayna Hanson)
- LICKS (Directed by Jonathan Singer-Vine)
- The Retrieval (Directed by Chris Eska)
- Short Term 12 (Directed by Destin Daniel Cretton)
- Swim Little Fish Swim (Directed by Ruben Amar & Lola Bessis)
- This Is Where We Live (Directed by Josh Barrett & Marc Menchaca)
DOCUMENTARY FEATURE COMPETITION
- 12 O’Clock Boys (Directed by Lotfy Nathan)
- Big Joy: The Adventures of James Broughton (Directed by Stephen Silha & Eric Slade)
- Hey Bartender (Directed by Douglas Tirola)
- Los Wild Ones (Directed by Elise Salomon)
- The Short Game (Directed by Josh Greenbaum)
- Touba (Directed by E. Chai Vasarhelyi)
- We Always Lie To Strangers (Directoed by AJ Schnack & David Wilson)
- WILLIAM AND THE WINDMILL (Directed by Ben Nabors)
Of course these are just a taste of what you can expect to see at SXSW 2013. You can find the entire list on the SXSW website. I unfortunately will not be attending, but I hope to in the near future. For now I must wait anxiously and hope that many of these smaller films get distributed sooner than later.