Strap in, kids! Here’s your first look at the 2013 SXSW Film Features Lineup: 109 films, including 69 world premieres, 14 North American and 5 United States premieres. Amazingly enough, 68 of these titles are from first-time filmmakers.
Highlights include Stephen Finnigan’s Hawking, Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing, John Sayles’ Go For Sisters, Jacob Vaughn’s Milo, Penny Lane’s Our Nixon, Zak Knutson & Joey Figueroa’s MILIUS, Ryan White’s Good Ol’ Freda, Sini Anderson’s The Punk Singer, Josh Johnson’s Rewind This!, and Bryan Poyser’s The Bounceback.
These movies join the previously announced, Opening Night film The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, Joe Swanberg’s Drinking Buddies, Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers, Evil Dead, and Alex Winter’s Downloaded.
There’s way too many to amazing films to list here – but here are some films I’m super excited about seeing this year:
Much Ado About Nothing (U.S. Premiere)
Director: Joss Whedon
Shakespeare’s classic comedy is given a contemporary spin in Joss Whedon’s film, Much Ado About Nothing.
Cast: Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof, Nathan Fillion, Fran Kranz, Jillian Morgese
Director/Screenwriter: David Gordon Green
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.
Cast: Paul Rudd, Emile Hirsch
Director/Screenwriter: Shane Carruth
A man and woman are drawn together, entangled in the life cycle of an ageless organism.
Cast: Amy Seimetz, Shane Carruth, Andrew Sensenig, Thiago Martins, Kathy Carruth
Director/Screenwriter: Jeff Nichols
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.
Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Tye Sheridan, Jacob Lofland, Reese Witherspoon, Sarah Paulson, Ray McKinnon, Sam Shepard, Michael Shannon
Spring Breakers (U.S. Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Harmony Korine
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.
Cast: James Franco, Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson, Rachel Korine, Gucci Mane
Evil Dead (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Fede Alvarez
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.
Cast: Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, Lou Taylor Pucci, Jessica Lucas, Elizabeth Blackmore
Director/Screenwriter: Richard Linklater
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.
Cast: Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick, Jennifer Prior, Charlotte Prior
Our Nixon (North American Premiere)
Director: Penny Lane
Recently discovered Super 8 home movies filmed by three of Richard Nixon’s closest aides – and fellow Watergate conspirators – offer an intimate and complex new glimpse into his presidency in this all-archival documentary.
Some Girl(s) (World Premiere)
Director: Daisy Von Scherler Mayer, Screenwriter: Neil LaBute
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.
Cast : Adam Brody, Kristen Bell, Zoe Kazan, MÃa Maestro, Jennifer Morrison, Emily Watson
Everyone’s Going to Die (UK) (World Premiere)
A modern British story about coming home, getting by and the redemptive power of feeling you’re not alone. A story where porn hotlines rub shoulders with sexy beavers on rollerskates; where the past is laid to rest, two lives are changed and nobody, finally, is going to die.
Cast: Nora Tschirner, Rob Knighton, Kellie Shirley, Madeline Duggan
Good Ol’ Freda (World Premiere)
Director: Ryan White
The story of Freda Kelly, a shy Liverpudlian teenager asked to work for a young local band hoping to make it big: The Beatles. Their loyal secretary from beginning to end, Freda tells her tales for the first time in 50 years.
Rewind This! (World Premiere)
Director: Josh Johnson
Home video changed the world. The impact of the VHS tape was enormous. Rewind This! aims to trace the ripples of that impact.
MILIUS (World Premiere)
Directors: Zak Knutson, Joey Figueroa
The life story of “Zen Anarchist” filmmaker John Milius, one of the most influential storytellers of his generation.
Go For Sisters (North American Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: John Sayles
Bernice and Fontayne grew up so tight they could “˜go for sisters’. After twenty years apart, they are reunited when Bernice is assigned to be Fontayne’s parole officer- just when she needs help on the wrong side of the law.
Cast: Edward James Olmos, Lisa Gay Hamilton, Yolonda Ross
Drinking Buddies (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Joe Swanberg
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.
Cast: Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson, Anna Kendrick, Ron Livingston
Hey Bartender (World Premiere)
Director: Douglas Tirola
The story of the bartender in the era of the craft cocktail.
A Band Called Death
Directors: Mark Christopher Covino, Jeff Howlett
Before Bad Brains, the Sex Pistols and the Ramones, there was a band called Death.
Don Jon’s Addiction
Director/Screenwriter: Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Jon (Gordon-Levitt) loves his family, friends, church and porn. Spending hours online, Jon’s ideas of a perfect woman collide with Barbara’s (Johansson) ideas of a perfect man. They struggle to see past their wants and needs in this romantic comedy.
Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore, Tony Danza
Hawking (UK) (World Premiere)
Director: Stephen Finnigan
A brief history of mine: a look at the life of Stephen Hawking.
Next week SXSW will announce their Midnight Features (S-V/H/S, anyone!?) and Short Film programs, so there’s stil plenty of movies to get excited about. To browse the full list of films, click here. Geeks of Doom will be covering the film festival so stay tuned for further updates, reviews, and Skull-Face Island podcasts from the SXSW 2013!