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January 19, 2020

Animated ‘Weathering With You’ Scores at Box Office — Without an Oscar Boost

This week’s Oscar nominations boosted contenders “1917” (Universal) and “Parasite” (Neon) to further box-office gains. Other nominees saw little impact, from “Bombshell” (Lionsgate) to the second week expansion of French Oscar entry “Les Miserables” (Amazon). While some Oscar also-rans fell short, crowdpleaser “Just Mercy” (Warner Bros.) managed just fine. Such is the uneven impact of the award that dominates the specialized world for nearly half the year.

Even when results don’t meet expectations, things still work out. That’s the case with “Weathering With You” (GKids), the Japanese animated smash that in five days has already in national release grossed $5 million. That’s a nice reminder that innovative strategies, such as initial event weekday showings, can bring success outside the conventional limited release pattern.

After a Los Angeles qualifying run, Alex Gibney’s Russia expose “Citizen K” (Greenwich), about an exiled  billionaire dissident opponent of Vladimir Putin, opened in New York for a strong $10,500 for the weekend. The WGA award contender will expand to further theaters in upcoming weeks (six this Friday), without a hoped for documentary Oscar nomination but still showing appeal.


Weathering With You (GKids) – Metacritic: 72; Festivals include: Toronto 2019

$1,731,000 in 486 theaters; PTA (per theater average): $3,562; Cumulative: $5,074,000

Even though the #1 film in Japan last year failed to land either Best International Feature Film or Animated Feature Oscar nods, the movie started off its domestic run in spectacular style. From Makoto Shinkai, whose “Your Name.” grossed $5 million three years ago, the movie launched Wednesday and Thursday with event screenings (it was #2 overall both days), followed by regular showings this weekend at nearly 500 theaters nationwide to become the biggest grossing film from GKids, which has released most major international animated films in recent years (though not “Your Name.”)

What comes next: The holiday Monday will boost this more, and these grosses will extend its run and get additional interest for this early-year sleeper success.

VHYes (Oscilloscope) – Metacritic: 49; Festivals include: Fantastic 2019

$28,000 in 22 theaters; PTA: $1,272

Shot on VHS and resembling earlier found-footage films, this comedy about a pre-teen’s adventures with a video camera follows initial successful festival showings with a multi-city release as an event (not full show) release. It sparked interest in some initial showings.

What comes next: This will roll out to additional cities over upcoming weeks.

"Les Misérables"

“Les Misérables”

SRAB Films/Rectangle Productions/Lyly films

Week Two

Les Miserables (Amazon)

$66,569 in 42 theaters (+38); PTA: $1,585; Cumulative: $103,202

Major ad buys and the International Feature Film Oscar nomination were in play for this bigger-than-usual second weekend expansion for a specialized subtitled release. The result remains minor, similar to its platform dates last weekend.  Despite the “Parasite” box office, this reminds how hard it is to get audiences interested in non-English films.

Ongoing/expanding (Grosses over $50,000)

1917 (Universal) Week 4

$22,100,000 in 3,612 theaters (+178); Cumulative: $76,800,000

The 40% second-wide-weekend drop is a positive sign for Sam Mendes’ Globe-and-PGA-winning World War I event film. The Martin Luther King holiday, Oscar nominations, and additional theaters helped to boost the total. For context, the last major studio wide release parallel to Oscar nominations was “The Revenant.” That dropped only 20% its second weekend, with the same elements in play, and from a higher previous weekend gross. That suggests this film, with clearly good word of mouth and wind at its back, doesn’t have quite the same momentum. It fell the #3 this weekend, behind new openers “Bad Boys for Life” and “Dolittle.”

Just Mercy (Warner Bros.) Week 4

$6,000,000 in 2,457 theaters (+82); Cumulative: $19,613,000

Despite not getting a hoped for Supporting Actor Oscar nod for SAG-nominee Jamie Foxx, this capital punishment legal drama dropped only 38% this weekend. With terrific word of mouth and Warner’s ongoing support, this could be around for a while.

Parasite (Neon) Week 15

$1,745,000 in 843 theaters (+498); Cumulative: $27,733,000

Still at a $2,000+ PTA despite a big theater count jump and playing only partial shows, this still strong Korean film has more to add ahead of general home viewing availability on January 28. Figure it reaches at least $32 million.

Jojo Rabbit (Searchlight) Week 14

$1,400,000 in 1,005 theaters (+880); Cumulative: $23,500,000

While “Jojo” has been in theaters more than 90 days, Searchlight is delaying its post-theatrical play for Taika Waititi’s comedy Oscar contender. This weekend raised their gross further as they push toward a possible $30 million.

Uncut Gems (A24) Week 6

$1,200,000 in 930 theaters (-1,151); Cumulative: $46,129,000.

The Safdie Bros. edgy drama with Adam Sandler may end up just shy of A24’s best gross (“Lady Bird” at $49 million), but it did this total without either Oscar nods or the usual 10% or greater boost from Canadian grosses (since the film like the rest of the world will play on Netflix there). It stands as their biggest U.S. domestic grosser at this point.

Bombshell (Lionsgate) Week 6

$630,000 in 410 theaters (-879); Cumulative: $29,430,000

A big drop in theater totals and a bigger percentage drop in gross this week for Jay Roach’s Fox News #MeToo film, despite three nominations (including two for acting).

Pain and Glory (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 16

$95,522 in 167 theaters (+63); Cumulative: $4,192,000

With transitioning to home viewing now starting, Pedro Almodovar’s Best Actor and International Film nominee will end up with a gross close to our estimate for Netflix’s “Roma” and Amazon’s “Cold War” last year, and ahead of Magnolia’s “Shoplifters.”

The Song of Names (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 5

$90,522 in 76 theaters (+6); Cumulative: $482,253

This post-World War II story with Tim Roth and Clive Owen reconnecting with each other after decades continues its modest limited play.

Harriet (Focus) Week 12

$68,000 in 95 theaters (-27); Cumulative: $43,017,000

Little change from last week’s gross for this Best Actress and Song nominated biopic which has already reached an impressive total.

Also noted:

Invisible Life (Amazon) – $23,958 in 15 theaters; Cumulative: $119,279

Clemency (Neon) – $17,949 in 10 theaters; Cumulative: $135,081

Citizen K (Greenwich) – $10,500 in 1 theater; Cumulative: $37,123

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Source: IndieWire film

January 19, 2020

‘Bombshell’: Charlize Theron Says Megyn Kelly’s Reaction Video Was ‘Validating’

At the Producers Guild of America (PGA) awards on Saturday night, where she accepted the Stanley Kramer Award, Charlize Theron said that watching the video response from former Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly, to the Oscar-nominated “Bombshell,” was “really emotional.”

Theron, who plays Kelly in the film, was reacting to a 30-minute taped discussion that Kelly posted to her YouTube Channel on January 9, in which she was joined by former Fox co-workers Juliet Huddy, Rudi Bakhtiar and Julie Zann, and husband, Douglas Brunt, after a private screening of “Bombshell,” and then talking about the film afterward.

“When they talked about how the film really got the essence of what it felt like to work there and what they experienced there, the fact that we got that right, that just felt really validating,” Theron said. “Because that’s ultimately as filmmakers what you’re trying to get. You know, it’s not a documentary, but to get that right was important.”

Kelly has spoken at length about “Bombshell,” the Jay Roach-directed movie. She previously took to Instagram to share her thoughts on the film, which she called an “incredibly emotional experience” while stressing that this wasn’t necessarily the version of her story she would’ve told.

According to Kelly, the events portrayed in the movie aren’t exactly as they happened in real life.

“They suggest that I had run my debate questions for Trump by the Murdochs. That’s a fantasy. I never ran it by Ailes or the Murdochs, or anyone other than my debate team,” Kelly said. “The notion that Roger liked the ‘Donald Trump woman question’ because it created controversy in a TV moment was not true. Roger did not like the question at all and was very angry at me for asking it. And at one point eventually asking me, ‘no more female empowerment stuff.’”

Kelly also added, “There certainly were no protests of me at the GOP convention. There were other people’s protests. That was all BS.”

Kelly and former Fox employee Julie Zann also said that Margot Robbie’s character Kayla — a fictionalized composite character meant to represent the young staffers that Ailes reportedly harassed during his tenure at Fox — isn’t portrayed as they’d hoped, especially in a moment where she calls out Kelly’s character for her silence.

The film earned three Oscar nominations last week: Best Actress (Theron), Best Supporting Actress (Margot Robbie) and Best Makeup and Hairstyling.

Watch Kelly’s full YouTube discussion of “Bombshell” below.

Source: IndieWire film

January 18, 2020

‘The Matrix 4’: The Merovingian May Return to the Franchise

“The Matrix” franchise will continue with a fourth film that’s currently in development, with Lana Wachowski set to write and direct, and Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss reprising their roles as Neo and Trinity, respectively.

The project has been kept mostly under wraps, as plot details are currently unknown. In addition to Reeves and Moss, actors already confirmed to be joining the cast include Jada Pinkett Smith (Niobe), as well as newcomers Jessica Henwick, Neil Patrick Harris, Toby Onwumere, and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, who is rumored to be playing young Morpheus.

Lambert Wilson might soon be added to the list, according to a recent report by French outlet Allocine (via The Playlist), that says Wilson, who played The Merovingian in “The Matrix Reloaded” and “The Matrix Revolutions,” is currently in negotiations to return to for the upcoming fourth film. Pproduction on the film may conflict with his schedule, so it’s possible that he won’t be back.

In the “Matrix” universe, The Merovingian (sometimes called The Frenchman) is an old, powerful program that resides within the Matrix. The self-described “trafficker of information” and his wife Persephone (played by Monica Bellucci) operate a smuggling ring, providing a haven for exiled programs in the Matrix.

Aleksandar Hemon and David Mitchell, one of the most visionary sci-fi writers of our time, are co-writing the script with Wachowski. Mitchell is the author of “Cloud Atlas,” which the Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer adapted into a 2012 film.

Additionally, cinematographer John Toll, Academy Award winner for “Braveheart” and “Legends of the Fall,” also nominated for Terrence Malick’s “The Thin Red Line,” will lens the fourth film.

The word is still out on if, Lilly Wachowski, the original trilogy’s co-director, will be involved in the project.

Over the course of the three previous “Matrix” films, which include “The Matrix,” “The Matrix Reloaded,” and “The Matrix Revolutions,” the franchise grossed more than $1.6 billion at the global box office. However, the sequels were met with critical derision, which means “Matrix 4” may be an opportunity to stabilize the franchise’s legacy.

Wilson will next be seen playing Charles de Gaulle, former President of France, in the French production, “De Gaulle.”

Source: IndieWire film

January 18, 2020

‘The Batman’: Zoe Kravitz Will Bring ‘Strong Femininity’ to Catwoman, Inspired By Michelle Pfeiffer

Principal photography on Matt Reeves’ “The Batman” kicked off this month in England, with Robert Pattinson as Bruce Wayne / Batman and Zoe Kravitz as Selina Kyle / Catwoman, his most enduring love interest, with whom he’s had a complex love-hate relationship.

Speaking to reporters on Friday after a Television Critics Association (TCA) presentation for her upcoming Hulu series “High Fidelity,” Kravitz suggested that, in preparing to play Catwoman, she was looking for inspiration from an actress who previously wore the black catsuit in a movie.

“I think Catwoman is an iconic character,” Kravitz said. “I was never into a lot of comic books, but that world was always really intriguing to me. And then of course Michelle Pfeiffer — her performance has always been super inspiring to me. It just felt iconic.”

Michelle Pfeiffer portrayed the character in 1992’s “Batman Returns” opposite Michael Keaton as the dark knight, in a film directed by Tim Burton, for which she received plenty of critical raves. So Kravitz certainly has big shoes to fill.

“I think Catwoman, Selina Kyle represents really strong femininity, and I’m excited to dive into that,” she said. “I think femininity represents power, and I think it’s a different kind of power than masculine power. That’s something that’s really interesting about Batman and Catwoman. I think Batman represents a very kind of masculine power, and Catwoman represents very feminine power — slightly more complicated, and softer, too. I like the idea that you can be soft, you can be gentle and still be very powerful and still be very dangerous.”

Kravitz was cast in the film, beating out a field of actresses that included Zazie Beetz, Eiza Gonzalez, and Alicia Vikander.

She joins actresses Julie Newmar, Lee Meriwether, Eartha Kitt, Michelle Pfeiffer, Halle Berry and Anne Hathaway, who have all played the character on the small and big screens.

It marks Kravitz’s second major Warner Bros. franchise movie following “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.”

She’ll next be seen in Hulu’s “High Fidelity,” which is inspired by the 2000 film starring John Cusack, which itself is based on the 1995 British novel of the same name by Nick Hornby. The original drama series is set to premiere on February 14.

“The Batman” is the tenth film in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) and a reboot of the Batman film franchise. Jeffrey Wright, Paul Dano, Andy Serkis, Colin Farrell, and John Turturro round out the main cast.

Warner Bros. has slotted “The Batman” for a June 25, 2021 theatrical release.

Source: IndieWire film

January 18, 2020

‘Bad Boys’: Fourth Movie Starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence Is Already Being Planned

Bad Boys for Life”, the third title in the 25-year-old franchise starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, is set to open to a strong $68.4 million, making it the second best MLK weekend of all time, after 2014’s “American Sniper” ($107.2 million). So it shouldn’t be a surprise that Sony Pictures is plotting a fourth movie.

According to a new report in Variety, “Bad Boys for Life” screenwriter Chris Bremner, who co-wrote the script with Peter Craig and Joe Carnahan, is set to return and write the fourquel.

No details on what story the fourth film will tell, although the open ending of the third film all but suggested that the franchise would continue.

Directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah (replacing Michael Bay, who directed the first two), “Bad Boys for Life” follows detectives Mike Lowrey (Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Lawrence) reuniting once again to solve a string of murders. All of the crimes are connected by an old case that involved Lowrey, putting his life in jeopardy.

The film sat in development hell for over a decade, with various writers and directors attached. Production was finally set in October 2018, with filming taking place during the first half of 2019 in Atlanta and Miami.

The movie, which opened on January 17, 2020, co-stars Vanessa Hudgens, Alexander Ludwig, Charles Melton, Paola Núñez, Kate del Castillo, Nicky Jam, and a returning Joe Pantoliano as police chief.

The threequel also reps the best opening for the action buddy-cop franchise, outperforming 2003’s “Bad Boys II ($46.5 million opening weekend), and “Bad Boys” ($15.5 million).

The second most expensive movie in the franchise, with a $90 million budget, it’s on track to top the trilogy in total box office. “Bad Boys” grossed $141 million worldwide, on a $19 million budget. And “Bad Boys II” grossed $270 million worldwide on a $130 million budget.

Reviews have been mostly positive for “Bad Boys for Life,” with a 75% score on Rotten Tomatoes score. IndieWire senior film critic David Ehrlich called it a “fun, explosive, and even thoughtful action movie that updates Jerry Bruckheimer bombast for the modern age of multiplex cinema.”

Will Smith and Martin Lawrence are expected to return for the fourquel, but no word on whether directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah will do the same.

The film franchise even spawned a television series starring Gabrielle Union, who appeared in the second installment, alongside Jessica Alba, in a spin-off titled “L.A.’s Finest,” which aired on Spectrum in 2019, and was renewed for a second season set to premiere in 2020.

Source: IndieWire film

January 17, 2020

How to Deal with “Unexpected Villains” in Your Story?

Source: Visual Storytelling

January 17, 2020

Animated Shorts and Episodic Pilot Competition : 2019 SXSW Film Festival Selections [Video]

The Features and Episodic Premieres Lineup is here! Whet your appetite for this year’s slate by revisiting some of the best Animated Shorts and Episodic Pilots that competed in 2019.

The Animated Shorts Competition is an assortment of stories told using traditional animation, computer-generated effects, stop-motion, and everything in between, while the Episodic Pilot Competition introduces fresh work from bright new talent, many with an eye towards entering production, finding completion funds, or securing a release platform.

If you want to indulge in more shorts, take a look at our SXSW Film Festival Vimeo Channel.

2019 SXSW Animated Shorts Selections

Las Del Diente

Director/Screenwriter: Ana Perez Lopez

Three women discuss the social pressure of having kids while celebrating the uniqueness of their bodies during flamenco covens.


Director:: Julian Glander

Look at clouds. You’re 12.

2019 SXSW Episodic Pilot Competition Selections

Baby Love

Director: Deena Adar, Screenwriters: Danielle Weeks, Miranda Kent

A single camera half hour comedy about two besties since childhood, one a struggling artist, the other an idealistic professional, both unlucky in love and fertility, who decide to stop waiting for Mr. Right and have a baby together.

A Cure For Fear

Director: Lana Wilson

A doctor has come up with a way to knock out phobias and trauma overnight. But what if being afraid is a fundamental part of who we are?

Other Animated Shorts and Episodic Pilots that were part of the SXSW 2019 program, but are not yet available to watch on Vimeo include:

  • The Coin — Director/Screenwriter: Siqi Song
  • East of La Brea — Director: Sam Bailey, Screenwriters: Sameer Gardezi, Halima Lucas, Tanha Dil, Nia Malika Dixon, Thandisizwe Chimurenga
  • Hammerhead — Director/Screenwriter: Dean Imperial
  • Facing It — Director: ASam Gainsborough, Screenwriters: Sam Gainsborough, Louisa Wood
  • Guaxuma — Director/Screenwriter: Nara Normande
  • Je sors acheter des cigarettes — Director: Osman Cerfon
  • M — Director: Javier Devitt, Screenwriters: Mateo Ingouville, Ezequiel Schmoller
  • Maggie — Director/Screenwriter: Sasha Gordon
  • Moderately Put Together — Director: Leigh Ann Biety, Screenwriter: Erin Alexis
  • Obon — Director: Madeleine Gottlieb, Screenwriter: André Hörmann
  • Queering — Director: Leticia De Bortoli
  • Rainbow Ruthie — Director/Screenwriter: Ruthie Marantz
  • Reneepoptosis — Director: Renee Zhan
  • Revenge Tour — Directors: Andrew Carter, Kahlil Maskati, Screenwriter: Kahlil Maskati
  • Slug Life — Director/Screenwriter: Sophie Koko Gate
  • Stepdaddy — Director: André Hörmann, Samo (Anna Bergmann), Screenwriter: Anna Greenfield
  • Sterling — Director: Ryan Zaragoza, Screenwriters: Bryce Ahart, Stephanie McFarlane
  • Who You Are — Director: Joel Jay Blacker, Screenwriter: Samuel Roots
  • Wild Love — Director: Paul Autric,Quentin Camus, Maryka Laudet Léa Georges, Zoé Sottiaux, Corentin Yvergniauz

Join Us for SXSW 2020

Discover what’s next in film with a 2020 SXSW Film Badge. From March 13-22, 2020, experience 10 days of conference sessions, screenings, exhibitions, networking events, mentor sessions, and much more. All attendees will receive primary entry to programming associated with their badge type, in addition to enjoying secondary access to most other SXSW events.

Stay tuned for more programming announcements throughout the 2020 SXSW season, including the full Film Festival lineup coming this January.

Sign up for SXSW Event Updates and read SXSW News for programming features, registration information, and more.

Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook for the latest SX coverage.

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The post Animated Shorts and Episodic Pilot Competition : 2019 SXSW Film Festival Selections [Video] appeared first on SXSW.

Source: SxSW Film

January 16, 2020

Your Indie Film Creator Toolkit

You have your idea, you have the experience, you have the drive. But how do you take all of these skills and go out and create your project? It’s an incredibly daunting task to create a series or film, especially in the indie realm. We want to give you the advice and tools you need to pitch, raise money, get investors, and any other vital information you may need. The Film & TV Industry Track aims to cover topics such as distribution, financing, representation, and more through the independent lens. Let’s get started!


Want to standout in the television landscape? It’s important to realize that having a good idea isn’t everything, but knowing who your audience is and how to pitch your show is the conduit to success. In Finding the Perfect Pitch for Your Indie Episodic, meet Jose Acevedo (Head of Development at Tiny Reparations), Christine Davila (Stage 13), Randi Kleienr (SeriesFest), and Hannes Otto (Indie Filmmaker) as they discuss the key points on how to make your idea really standout.

If TV isn’t your thing, and you have a bonafide pitch for a feature film, head over to the But, How Do I Raise Money for MY Project? session. Get the opportunity to pitch your movies to three successful film producers: Ramfis Myrthil (Beast of East Productions), Bill Straus (Bridge Independent), and Atit Shah (Create Entertainment). With the help of the moderator, Dave DeBorde, these producers will give their advice and explain how they would approach the process if they had to jump on board.

Get That Money

If you want to get rich quick, investing in indie films may not be the fastest solution. However, what if the stars align? There are ways for investors to identify financially responsible filmmakers and for filmmakers to secure trustworthy investment partners. Investing in Indie Film: From Tragedy to Triumph will explore how to bring a financially sound vision to screen, from both the filmmaker and the investor perspective. Join notable producer Effie Brown (Duly Noted, Inc.), Tom Staggs (Spotify), and Zachary Tarica (The Forest Road Company) for their expert advice. What are you waiting for? You already have your perfect pitch ready!

Browse More Film & TV Industry Track Sessions

For more sessions that cover the future of film and television, explore all Film & TV Industry Track sessions.

This Film Track grants primary access to Platinum and Film Badges while Interactive and Music Badges enjoy secondary access.

Across our 22 tracks of Conference programming, browse all sessions on the SXSW Schedule and add events to your Favorites list to start planning your SX adventure.

Browse Film & TV Industry Sessions

Join Us for SXSW 2020

Register and book your housing for SXSW 2020 early for the best rates. Browse the latest confirmed programming for SXSW on the online SXSW Schedule including Conference sessions for Film Tracks and more.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, explore our YouTube Channel, and SXSW News to stay current with all things SXSW.

See you in March! 

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Featured Session: You’re Wrong, Leonard Maltin! – Photo by Edward Bennett

The post Your Indie Film Creator Toolkit appeared first on SXSW.

Source: SxSW Film

January 16, 2020

Numa Perrier Gets Candid About Her Directorial Debut Jezebel – SXSW Filmmaker In Focus

Dive into our Q&A with director Numa Perrier, as she tells us about her film Jezebel, which made its world premiere in the Visions screening section at SXSW 2019. Explore why this story was essential for her to share and why she chose SXSW to make her directorial debut.

Watch Jezebel in select theaters now, as well as on Netflix, and more SXSW Film alumni as you await SXSW 2020 this March.

Interview with Numa Perrier

In your own words, what does this film mean to you?

Numa Perrier: Jezebel is a gift to me and my sister, and to all sisters who had to be a gateway to each other for permissiveness around sexuality, survival, and becoming a woman.

What motivated you to tell this story?

NP: The short form of this script sat in a drawer for years — it began to nag at me — after many collaborations I felt compelled to present my own signature. This is largely my true story and I felt ready as an artist and a woman to face it and express it.

What do you want the audience to take away?

NP: I’m excited to raise questions around agency vs. exploitation. I’m thrilled to explore the politics of pleasure while presenting black female sensuality.

What were you doing when you found out you were coming to SXSW?

NP: Reading a parenting plan! I was handling very important domestic business pertaining to my daughter. I refreshed my email and there was the invitation. I immediately said “NO — this isn’t real” and I refreshed again. “Hmm — still there.” I started pacing. I was absolutely speechless. Then I called the star — Tiffany [Tenille] and it took me forever to get the words out. Then we cried. It was the relief that now the film will have the platform and opportunities that I’ve always desired.

What made you choose SXSW to showcase your film to the world?

NP: SXSW remains committed to emerging talents and I love that there are so many worlds that come together at SX. Music, tech, gaming, films — incredible speakers and activists — so many intersections. I love it. And it’s Austin. Austin is great.

Join Us for SXSW 2020

Discover what’s next in film with a 2020 SXSW Film Badge.

From March 13-22, 2020, experience 10 days of conference sessions, screenings, exhibitions, networking events, mentor sessions, and much more. All attendees will receive primary entry to programming associated with their badge type, in addition to enjoying secondary access to most other SXSW events.

Explore the newly announced 2020 SXSW Film Festival Lineup of Features, Episodic Premieres, and Judd Apatow’s The King of Staten Island as the Opening Night Film. Stay tuned for more programming announcements throughout the 2020 SXSW season.

Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook for the latest SX coverage. Plus, sign up for SXSW Event Updates and read SXSW News for programming features, registration information, and more.

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World Premiere of Jezebel – Photo by Kit McNeil

The post Numa Perrier Gets Candid About Her Directorial Debut Jezebel – SXSW Filmmaker In Focus appeared first on SXSW.

Source: SxSW Film

January 15, 2020

SXSW Film Festival Announces 2020 Features, Episodic Premieres and Opening Night Film The King of Staten Island

We are so excited to announce the features, episodic premieres, and Opening Night Film for the 27th edition of the SXSW Film Festival, running March 13-21, 2020 in Austin, Texas. Every year, this acclaimed program draws thousands of fans, filmmakers, press, and industry leaders to immerse themselves in the most innovative, smart, and entertaining new films of the year.

The 102 features and episodics in this release will be shown across nine days of SXSW, with dozens of additional titles to be announced February 5. The complete SXSW Film Festival program typically includes more than 250 total projects. The 2020 program was selected from 2,316 feature-length film submissions, with a total of 8,362 films submitted this year.

Judd Apatow has consistently provided transcendent, exhilarating experiences at SXSW, starting with Knocked Up, then Bridesmaids, Trainwreck, Girls, The Big Sick, and his documentary May it Last: A Portrait of The Avett Brothers,” said Janet Pierson, Director of Film. “This March, it’s our particular privilege to present his funny and deeply moving new feature — his first in five years as a director — The King of Staten Island, starring Pete Davidson leading a great ensemble, as our Opening Night Film.”

Feature highlights include: The King of Staten Island directed by Judd Apatow; Bad Trip directed by Kitao Sakurai; The Lovebirds directed by Michael Showalter; In & Of Itself directed by Frank Oz; The 24th directed by Kevin Willmott; She Dies Tomorrow directed by Amy Seimetz; Zappa directed by Alex Winter; Critical Thinking directed by John Leguizamo; Clerk directed by Malcolm Ingram; A Secret Love directed by Chris Bolan; The Show directed by Mitch Jenkins; I Used to Go Here directed by Kris Rey; Uncorked directed by Prentice Penny; Biography: The Nine Lives of Ozzy Osbourne directed by R. Greg Johnston; We Are The Thousand directed by Anita Rivaroli; and You Cannot Kill David Arquette directed by David Darg and Price James.

Episodic highlights include: Central Park (showrunner: Loren Bouchard); Chad (showrunner: Nasim Pedrad); Outcry (showrunner: Pat Kondelis); Snowpiercer (showrunner: Graeme Manson); and Upload (showrunner: Greg Daniels).

Films screening in Festival Favorites, Midnighters, Shorts, Virtual Cinema, Episodic Pilot Competition, Title Design Competition, Music Videos, Special Events and late-breaking Features will be announced on February 5. All categories, with the exception of Special Events, will be eligible for section-specific Audience Awards.

Explore the list of newly announced films by screening sections: Narrative Feature Competition, Documentary Feature Competition, Headliners, Narrative Spotlight, Documentary Spotlight, Visions, Episodic Premieres, 24 Beats Per Second, and Global.

2020 Film Festival Lineup

Narrative Feature Competition

Ten world premieres, ten unique ways to celebrate the art of storytelling. Selected from 1,305 narrative feature submissions in 2020.

Director/Screenwriter: Nicole Riegel
To pay for her education, and the chance of a better life, a young woman joins a dangerous scrap metal crew. Cast: Jessica Barden, Gus Halper, Austin Amelio, Grace Kaiser, Pamela Adlon, Becky Ann Baker (World Premiere)

I’ll Meet You There (Pakistan, United States)
Directors/Screenwriter: Iram Praveen Bilal
A Muslim policeman goes undercover at his estranged father’s mosque while his daughter hides her passion for a forbidden dance, uncovering a shocking family secret. Cast: Faran Tahir, Nikita Tewani, Muhammad Qavi Khan, Sheetal Sheth, Shawn Parsons, Andrea Cirie, Nitin Madan, Michael Pemberton (World Premiere)

Director/Screenwriter: Noah Hutton
Delivery man Ray Tincelli is struggling to support himself and his ailing younger brother. He turns to quantum cabling, a strange new corner of the gig economy, and faces a pivotal choice to either help his fellow workers or to get rich and get out. Cast: Dean Imperial, Madeline Wise, Babe Howard, Dora Madison, Ivory Aquino, James McDaniel, Frank Wood, Arliss Howard, Pooya Mohseni, Portia (World Premiere)

Pink Skies Ahead
Director/Screenwriter: Kelly Oxford
Life unravels for a wild young woman after dropping out of college, moving in with her parents, and being diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. Cast: Jessica Barden, Marcia Gay Harden, Michael McKean, Henry Winkler, Rosa Salazar, Odeya Rush, Lewis Pullman, Devon Bostick, Mary J. Blige, Evan Ross (World Premiere)

Really Love
Director: Angel Kristi Williams, Screenwriters: Felicia Pride, Angel Kristi Williams
Set in a gentrifying Washington DC, a rising Black painter tries to break into a competitive art world, while balancing a whirlwind romance he never expected. Cast: Kofi Siriboe, Yootha Wong-Loi-Sing, Uzo Aduba, Mack Wilds, Naturi Naughton, Suzzanne Douglas, Jade Eshete, Blair Underwood, Michael Ealy (World Premiere)

Director/Screenwriter: Cooper Raiff
A homesick college freshman goes to a party at Shithouse and ends up spending the night with his sophomore RA who’s had a shitty day and wants someone to hang out with. Cast: Dylan Gelula, Cooper Raiff, Amy Landecker, Logan Miller (World Premiere)

Shiva Baby
Director/Screenwriter: Emma Seligman
A young woman struggles to keep up different versions of herself when she runs into her sugar daddy and her ex-girlfriend at a shiva with her parents. Cast: Rachel Sennott, Polly Draper, Molly Gordon, Danny Deferrari, Dianna Agron, Fred Melamed, Glynis Bell, Sondra James, Jackie Hoffman (World Premiere)

Teenage Badass
Director: Grant McCord, Screenwriters: Matthew D. Dho, Grant McCord
Set in 2006, Teenage Badass follows a band when they score a shot to play on the local news. But as all of their dreams start to become a reality, the band’s egocentric singer/songwriter threatens to make them lose everything. Cast: Mcabe Gregg, Evan Ultra, Madelyn Deutch, Dillon Lane, Elsie Hewitt, Karsen Liotta, Julie Ann Emery, Kevin Corrigan, James Paxton, Jim Adkins (World Premiere)

Directors/Screenwriters: Celine Held, Logan George
A five year-old girl and her mother live in a community inhabiting the tunnels beneath New York City, when a sudden police eviction forces them into the world above, throwing their lives into chaos. Cast: Zhaila Farmer, Celine Held, Jared Abrahamson, Fatlip (World Premiere)

Director/Screenwriter: Justine Bateman
A film development executive realizes that “guiding voice” inside her head has been lying to her about everything. Cast: Olivia Munn, Luke Bracey, Justin Theroux, Bonnie Bedelia, Zach Gordon, Erica Ash, Rob Benedict, Dennis Boutsikaris, Todd Stashwick, Laura San Giacomo (World Premiere)

Documentary Feature Competition

Ten world premieres: ten real world stories that demonstrate innovation, energy and bold voices. Selected from 1,011 feature documentary submissions in 2020.

The Boy Who Sold the World
Director: Adam Barton
At age 15, Ben Pasternak dropped out of high school and moved to NYC. Leaving behind his family in Australia, Ben sacrificed his childhood to pursue his dream of changing the world through innovation. But things didn’t quite go according to plan. (World Premiere)

Director: Todd Chandler
What does it mean to be safe in school in the United States? Safe from what, and from whom? Bulletproof poses and complicates these questions through a provocative exploration of fear and American violence. (World Premiere)

The Donut King
Director: Alice Gu, Screenwriters: Alice Gu, Carol Martori
The rise, fall, and rise again of a Cambodian refugee who escaped genocide and overcame poverty to build a life for himself and hundreds of other immigrant families by baking America’s favorite pastry and building an unlikely empire of donut shops. (World Premiere)

An Elephant in the Room (Denmark)
Director: Katrine Philp
At Good Grief in New Jersey, groups of children meet to understand the passing of a parent or a sibling through play. Death may come suddenly or slowly, violently or peacefully, but it leaves a pain that the child has never felt before. (World Premiere)

Finding Yingying
Director: Jiayan “Jenny” Shi
After a young Chinese student goes missing on an American university campus, her family travels to the U.S. for the first time, hoping to unravel the mystery of her disappearance. (World Premiere)

For Madmen Only
Director: Heather Ross, Screenwriters: Heather Ross, Adam Samuel Goldman
Del Close, the hidden architect of modern comedy, sets out to smash open the creative process by writing an autobiographical comic book. (World Premiere)

Kenny Scharf: When Worlds Collide
Directors/Screenwriters: Malia Scharf, Max Basch
Kenny Scharf is surveyed through the eyes of his daughter — revealing a private struggle for identity and acceptance through the ups and downs of a prolific career driven by a passion for making his fantastical inner worlds a very public reality. (World Premiere)

Lights Camera Uganda
Directors: Cathryne Czubek, Hugo Perez
When “Africa’s Tarantino” casts a New York film nerd as his next action hero, it’s the beginning of a friendship that makes their no-budget studio world famous. But as their success grows, tensions flare and threaten everything they built. (World Premiere)

Red Heaven
Directors: Lauren DeFilippo, Katherine Gorringe
Six people live for a year on “Mars” in a NASA experiment studying what happens to humans when they are isolated from Earth. (World Premiere)

We Don’t Deserve Dogs
Director: Matthew Salleh
A contemplative odyssey across our planet, looking at the simple and extraordinary ways that dogs influence our daily lives. People need dogs, and perhaps they need us, but what do humans do to deserve the unconditional love they provide? (World Premiere)


Big names, big talent: Headliners bring star power to SXSW, featuring red carpet premieres and gala film events with major and rising names in cinema.

Bad Trip
Director: Kitao Sakurai, Screenwriters: Eric André, Dan Curry, Kitao Sakurai
From a producer of Jackass and Bad Grandpa, this hidden camera comedy follows two best friends as they go on a cross-country road trip full of hilarious, inventive pranks, pulling its real-life audience into the mayhem. Cast: Eric André, Lil Rel Howery, Tiffany Haddish, Michaela Conlin (World Premiere)

Beastie Boys Story
Director: Spike Jonze
Beastie Boys, Mike Diamond and Adam Horovitz, tell you an intimate, personal story of their band and 40 years of friendship in this live documentary experience directed by their longtime friend and collaborator, and their former grandfather, filmmaker Spike Jonze. (World Premiere)

The King of Staten Island
Director: Judd Apatow, Screenwriters: Judd Apatow, Pete Davidson, Dave Sirus
Filmmaker Judd Apatow directs Saturday Night Live breakout Pete Davidson in a bracing comedy about a burnout stuck living with his mom (Oscar® winner Marisa Tomei) on Staten Island. Cast: Pete Davidson, Marisa Tomei, Bill Burr, Bel Powley, Maude Apatow, Ricky Velez and Steve Buscemi (World Premiere)

LA Originals (Argentina)
Director: Estevan Oriol, Screenwriters: Brian Maya, Omar Quiroga
An exploration of the culture and landmarks of the chicano and street art movement that cemented Mister Cartoon and Estevan Oriol’s status as behind-the-scenes hip hop legends. (World Premiere)

The Lovebirds
Director: Michael Showalter, Screenwriters: Aaron Abrams, Brendan Gall
A young couple (Issa Rae & Kumail Nanjiani) is pulled into a bizarre (and hilarious) murder mystery. Working to clear their names and solve the crime, they need to figure out how they, and their relationship, can survive the night. Cast: Kumail Nanjiani, Issa Rae, Paul Sparks, Anna Camp, Kyle Bornheimer (World Premiere)

Narrative Spotlight

High profile narrative features receiving their World, North American or U.S. premieres at SXSW.

The 24th
Director: Kevin Willmott, Screenwriters: Kevin Willmott, Trai Byers
The 24th is based on the true story of the all-black Twenty-Fourth United States Infantry and the Houston Riot of 1917. The night of violence led to the largest murder trial in American History. Cast: Trai Byers, Aja Naomi King, Bashir Salahuddin, Mo McRae, Tosin Morohunfola, Mykelti Williamson, Thomas Haden Church (World Premiere)

Archive (United Kingdom)
Director/Screenwriter: Gavin Rothery
2048: George Almore is working on a true human-equivalent AI. His latest prototype is almost ready. But his true goal must be hidden at all costs. Cast: Theo James, Stacy Martin, Rhona Mitra, Peter Ferdinando, Richard Glover, Lia Williams, Toby Jones (World Premiere)

Best Summer Ever
Directors: Michael Parks Randa, Lauren Smitelli, Screenwriters: Michael Parks Randa, Will Halby, Terra Mackintosh, Andrew Pilkington, Lauren Smitelli
A fresh and exhilarating take on the beloved teen musical genre featuring eight original songs and a fully integrated cast and crew of people with and without disabilities. Cast: Shannon DeVido, Rickey Wilson Jr., MuMu, Jacob Waltuck, Emily Kranking, Bradford Hayes, Eileen Grubba, Holly Palmer, Ajani A.J. Murray, Lawrence Carter-Long (World Premiere)

Castle in the Ground (Canada)
Director/Screenwriter: Joey Klein
A grieving teenager befriends the troubled woman across the hall just as the opiate epidemic takes hold of their small town in 2012. Cast: Alex Wolff, Imogen Poots, Neve Campbell, Tom Cullen, Keir Gilchrist, Kiowa Gordon, Star Slade (U.S. Premiere)

Critical Thinking
Director: John Leguizamo, Screenwriter: Dito Montiel
Based on a true story from 1998, five Latin and Black teenagers from the toughest underserved ghetto in Miami fight their way into the National Chess Championship under the guidance of their unconventional but inspirational teacher. Cast: John Leguizamo, Michael Kenneth Williams, Rachel Bay Jones, Jorge Lendeborg Jr., Angel Bismark Curiel, Will Hochman, Corwin Tuggles, Jeffry Batista, Zora Casebere, Ramses Jimenez (World Premiere)

Cut Throat City
Director: RZA, Screenwriter: Paul Cuschieri
Cut Throat City is a powerful and hard-hitting heist drama by RZA, set in New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward following Hurricane Katrina. Cast: Shameik Moore, Tip “T.I.” Harris, Demetrius Shipp Jr., Kat Graham, Rob Morgan, Keean Johnson, Denzel Whitaker, Sam Daly, Isaiah Washington, Wesley Snipes, Terrence Howard, Eiza Gonzalez, Ethan Hawke (World Premiere)

I Used to Go Here
Director/Screenwriter: Kris Rey
Following the launch of her new novel, 35-year-old writer Kate Conklin (Gillian Jacobs) is invited to speak at her alma mater by her mentor and former professor (Jemaine Clement). Cast: Gillian Jacobs, Jemaine Clement, Josh Wiggins, Hannah Marks, Zoe Chao, Jorma Taccone, Forrest Goodluck (World Premiere)

The Outpost
Director: Rod Lurie, Screenwriter: Paul Tamasy, Eric Johnson
Based on the Battle of Kamdesh in Afghanistan, where fifty four U.S. soldiers held off 400 Taliban insurgents in the deadliest military outpost in the world. Cast: Scott Eastwood, Caleb Landry Jones, Orlando Bloom, Jack Kesy, Cory Hardrict, Milo Gibson, Jacob Scipio, Taylor John Smith (World Premiere)

The Quarry
Director: Scott Teems, Screenwriters: Scott Teems, Andrew Brotzman
A mysterious fugitive kills a traveling preacher and assumes his identity, hiding out in a desolate Texas town. The congregation is quickly drawn to the man’s unorthodox sermons, but so is the local police chief, who has his suspicions. Cast: Shea Whigham, Michael Shannon, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Bobby Soto, Bruno Bichir, Alvaro Martinez (World Premiere)

The Racer (Ireland)
Director: Kieron J. Walsh, Screenwriter: Ciaran Cassidy, Kieron J. Walsh
As the 1998 Tour de France kicks off its first three stages in Ireland, one rider faces what could be the last stage of his own career during what became known as the notorious “Tour de Dopage.” Cast: Louis Talpe, Tara Lee, Matteo Simoni, Iain Glen, Karel Roden (World Premiere)

The Show (United Kingdom)
Director: Mitch Jenkins, Screenwriter: Alan Moore
A new mystery from the extraordinary mind of legendary comic book writer Alan Moore, creator of Watchmen, V for Vendetta and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Cast: Tom Burke, Ellie Bamber, Siobhan Hewlett, Sheila Atim, Alan Moore (World Premiere)

Small Engine Repair
Director/Screenwriter: John Pollono
Blue collar childhood buddies Frank, Swaino and Packie meet off-hours one night in Frank’s out-of-the-way repair shop for suspicious reasons only he seems to have a handle on. Cast: Jon Bernthal, Shea Whigham, Jordana Spiro, Ciara Bravo, Spencer House, John Pollono (World Premiere)

Director/Screenwriter: Prentice Penny
Elijah (Mamoudou Athie) must find a way to balance his dream of becoming a master sommelier with his father’s expectations for him to carry on the family’s popular Memphis barbeque joint. Cast: Mamoudou Athie, Courtney B. Vance, Niecy Nash, Matt McGorry, Sasha Compere, Gil Ozeri, Kelly Jenrette, Bernard David Jones, Meera Rohit Kumbhani (World Premiere)

Documentary Spotlight

Shining a light on new documentary features receiving their World, North American or U.S. premieres at SXSW.

9to5: The Story of A Movement
Directors: Julia Reichert, Steve Bognar
In the 1970s, America’s secretaries took to the streets, fed up with on-the-job abuse. They created a movement called 9to5, which later inspired Jane Fonda to make a movie and Dolly Parton to write a song. This is the untold story of their fight. (World Premiere)

The Alpinist
Directors: Peter Mortimer, Nick Rosen
An elusive young climber explores the limits of solo mountaineering. (World Premiere)

And We Go Green
Directors: Fisher Stevens, Malcolm Venville, Screenwriter: Mark Monroe
Professional drivers on the international Formula E circuit race for victory across 10 cities in this white-knuckle documentary from filmmaker Malcolm Venville, Oscar-winning director Fisher Stevens (The Cove), and producer Leonardo DiCaprio. (U.S. Premiere)

Baby God
Director: Hannah Olson
For more than 30 years, Dr. Quincy Fortier covertly used his own sperm to inseminate his fertility patients. Now his secret is out. Baby God follows his children as they seek the truth about his motives and try to make sense of their own identities. (World Premiere)

Clerk (Canada, United States)
Director: Malcolm Ingram
A documentary on the career and life of filmmaker and raconteur Kevin Smith. (World Premiere)

Console Wars
Directors: Jonah Tulis, Blake J. Harris
In 1990, Sega assembled a team of misfits to take on the greatest video game company in the world, Nintendo. Console Wars goes behind the scenes to meet the men and women who fought for both sides in this epic battle that defined a generation. (World Premiere)

Crazy, Not Insane
Director: Alex Gibney
Dr. Dorothy Lewis is a psychiatrist who’s spent her career examining violent people. Through the use of chilling never-before-seen inmate interviews, Crazy, Not Insane looks into the mind of a killer in an attempt to understand why people kill. (World Premiere)

The Dilemma of Desire
Director: Maria Finitzo
The Dilemma of Desire explores the clash between the external power of gender politics and the equally powerful imperative of female sexual desire. How different would the world look if women’s libidos were taken as seriously as men’s? (World Premiere)

Hamtramck, USA
Directors: Razi Jafri, Justin Feltman
Through the exploration of daily life and democracy in America’s first Muslim-majority city, Hamtramck, USA examines the benefits and tensions of multiculturalism. (World Premiere)

Hood River
Director: Steven Cantor, Jonathan Field
In a small Oregon community, a high school soccer team struggles to overcome class and racial divide in a quest for team success. They are torn between their individual commitment to the team and the expectations of the town itself. (World Premiere)

Insert Coin
Director: Joshua Tsui
The oral history of a team of geeks and misfits in the back of a Chicago factory creating the biggest video games (Mortal Kombat, NBA JAM, and others) of all time. (World Premiere)

M For Magic
Director: Alexis Manya Spraic
M for Magic is the never-told story of the royal family of magic – four generations of the legendary Larsen family – and their tireless endeavor to save the art of magic with a private club for magicians – the world famous Magic Castle in Hollywood. (World Premiere)

One Man and His Shoes (United Kingdom)
Director: Yemi Bamiro
One Man and His Shoes tells the story of Air Jordan sneakers, depicting their social, cultural and racial significance, showing how ground-breaking marketing strategies created a multi-billion-dollar business. (World Premiere)

A Secret Love
Director: Chris Bolan, Screenwriters: Chris Bolan, Alexa L. Fogel, Brendan Mason
A moving and triumphant love story about two trailblazing women who break barriers and conventional norms, coming out to their conservative families as they face the difficulties of aging. (World Premiere)

We Are As Gods
Directors/Screenwriters: Jason Sussberg, David Alvarado
“We are as gods and might as well get good at it,” Stewart Brand wrote in ‘68. The legendary pioneer of LSD, cyberspace, futurism, and modern environmentalism now urges people to use our god-like powers to fight extinction by reviving lost species. (World Premiere)

You Cannot Kill David Arquette
Directors: David Darg, Price James
In 2000, actor David Arquette infamously became the world wrestling champion as a promotion for his movie Ready to Rumble. He wasn’t prepared for the backlash. 20 years later, Arquette seeks redemption by returning to the ring… for real this time. (World Premiere)


Visions filmmakers are audacious, risk-taking artists in the new cinema landscape who demonstrate raw innovation and creativity in documentary and narrative filmmaking.

Director: Marnie Ellen Hertzler, Screenwriters: Marnie Ellen Hertzler, Corey Hughes
In the desert of Crestone, Colorado, a group of SoundCloud rappers live in solitude, growing weed and making music for the internet. When an old friend arrives to make a movie, reality and fiction begin to blur. (World Premiere)

Drunk Bus
Directors: Brandon LaGanke, John Carlucci, Screenwriter: Chris Molinaro
A directionless, young campus bus driver and a punk rock, Samoan security guard named Pineapple form an unlikely kinship as they navigate the unpredictable late shift shit show known as the “drunk bus.” Together, they break out of their endless loop. Cast: Charlie Tahan, Kara Hayward, Pinapple Tangaroa, Tonatiuh, Zach Cherry, Sarah Mezzanotte, Jay Devore, Dave Hill, Martin Pfefferkorn (World Premiere)

Echoes of the Invisible (Poland, United States)
Director: Steve Elkins
Daring explorers embark upon seemingly impossible journeys into the most extreme environments on Earth to find the connective tissue between all things seen and unseen. (World Premiere)

Directors/Screenwriters: Kate McLean, Mario Furloni
Forced to go legal, an outlaw pot farmer fights to preserve her way of life. Cast: Krisha Fairchild, Frank Mosley, Lily Gladstone, John Craven, Ryan Tasker, Cameron James Matthews, Michelle Maxson, Robert Parsons, George Psarras (World Premiere)

Golden Arm
Director: Maureen Bharoocha, Screenwriters: Ann Marie Allison, Jenna Milly
Golden Arm is a female buddy comedy about a wimpy baker who gets roped into the world of ladies arm wrestling by her truck driving best friend. Cast: Mary Holland, Betsy Sodaro, Olivia Stambouliah, Eugene Cordero, Aparna Nancherla, Dawn Luebbe, Ron Funches, Ahmed Bharoocha, Dot-Marie Jones, Kate Flannery (World Premiere)

In & Of Itself
Director: Frank Oz, Screenwriter: Derek DelGaudio
Storyteller and Conceptual Magician Derek DelGaudio attempts to understand the illusory nature of identity and answer one deceptively simple question: Who am I? Cast: Derek DelGaudio (World Premiere)

I Will Make You Mine
Director/Screenwriter: Lynn Chen
Three women wrestle with life’s difficulties while confronting their past relationships with the same man. Cast: Lynn Chen, Yea-Ming Chen, Ayako Fujitani, Goh Nakamura, Joy Osmanski, Mike Faiola, Tamlyn Tomita, Ayami Riley Tomine (World Premiere)

Make Up (United Kingdom)
Director/Screenwriter: Claire Oakley
After Ruth moves in with her boyfriend in a remote holiday park, tensions rise as she makes an unsettling discovery that lures her into a spiral of obsession. Cast: Molly Windsor, Joseph Quinn, Stefanie Martini (North American Premiere)

Rare Beasts (United Kingdom)
Director/Screenwriter: Billie Piper
An anti rom-com about Mandy, a career-driven single mother, who falls in love with the charming traditionalist Pete. Cast: Billie Piper, Leo Bill, David Thewlis, Kerry Fox, Toby Woolf, Lily James (North American Premiere)

Selfie (France)
Directors: Marc Fitoussi, Thomas Bidegain, Screenwriters: Giulio Callegari, Noé Debré, Hélène Lombard, Julien Sibony, Bertrand Soulier
Five interconnected stories explore the extremities of human behavior in the digital age. Cast: Blanche Gardin, Elsa Zylberstein, Finnegan Oldfield, Manu Payet, Sébastien Chassagne, Max Boublil, Julia Piaton, Alma Jodorowsky (North American Premiere)

She Dies Tomorrow
Director/Screenwriter: Amy Seimetz
Amy thinks she’s dying tomorrow…and it’s contagious. Cast: Kate Lyn Sheil, Jane Adams, Kentucker Audley, Chris Messina, Katie Aselton, Tunde Adebimpe, Jennifer Kim, Josh Lucas, Olivia Taylor Dudley, Michelle Rodriguez (World Premiere)

Director/Screenwriter: Alex Lee Moyer
A generation of disaffected young men searches for meaning in the dark corners of the internet. TFW NO GF offers an intimate portrait of five such individuals- as shared through the metaphor of an iconic meme. (World Premiere)

Episodic Premieres

Presenting world premieres of prestige serials slated for release and accompanied by show-runners, directors and cast members featuring extended Q&As.

Central Park
Showrunner: Loren Bouchard
Central Park is an animated musical series that tells the story of how a family of caretakers, who live and work in Central Park, end up saving the park, and basically the world. Cast: Josh Gad, Leslie Odom Jr., Tituss Burgess, Kristen Bell, Stanley Tucci, Daveed Diggs, Kathryn Hahn (World Premiere)

Showrunner: Nasim Pedrad, Director: Rhys Thomas
A pubescent Persian boy navigates high school. His friendships and sanity are pushed to the limits as he uses every tactic at his disposal to befriend the cool kids, while enduring his mother’s dating life and reconciling with his cultural identity. Cast: Nasim Pedrad, Jake Ryan, Ella Mika, Saba Homayoon, Paul Chahidi, Alexa Loo (World Premiere)

Cursed Films (Canada)
Showrunner: Jay Cheel
Cursed Films is a five-part documentary series which explores the myths and legends behind some of Hollywood’s notoriously cursed horror film productions. (World Premiere)

Showrunner/Screenwriter: Rebecca Cutter
Set in the world of beautiful but bleak Cape Cod, Hightown follows one woman’s journey to sobriety, overshadowed by an unfolding murder investigation. Cast: Monica Raymund, James Badge Dale, Riley Voelkel, Shane Harper, Amaury Nolasco, Atkins Estimond, Dohn Norwood (World Premiere)

Showrunners: Joe Poulin, Matt Weaver, Bruce Gersh, Ian Orefice, Doug Pray, Collin Orcutt, Matt Tyrnauer
Home is a nine-part series that explores extraordinary interpretations of domestic architecture and the concept of “home.” The first season features homes in six different countries and was filmed in eight countries and 16 cities around the world. (World Premiere)

Motherland: Fort Salem
Showrunner/Screenwriter: Eliot Laurence
The series is set in an alternate, present-day America where witches ended their persecution just over 300 years ago by cutting a deal with the burgeoning government to fight for and protect their country. Cast: Ashley Nicole Williams, Taylor Hickson, Jessica Sutton, Amalia Holm, Demetria McKinney (World Premiere)

Showrunner: Pat Kondelis
In a small Texan town in 2014, star football player, Greg Kelley, was convicted of a child sexual assault case. In an outpour of support, his community bands together to prove his innocence and rectify a crime that ruined lives. (World Premiere)

Showrunner/Screenwriter: Graeme Manson
Set after the world has become a frozen wasteland, TNT’s Snowpiercer centers on the remnants of humanity who inhabit a perpetually moving train that circles the globe, dealing with class warfare, social injustice and the politics of survival. Cast: Jennifer Connelly, Daveed Diggs, Alison Wright, Mickey Sumner, Susan Park, Iddo Goldberg, Katie McGuinness, Lena Hall, Annalise Basso, Sam Otto, Roberto Urbina, Sheila Vand and Jaylin Fletcher.(World Premiere)

Solar Opposites
Showrunners/Screenwriters: Justin Roiland, Mike McMahan
Co-created by Justin Roiland (Rick & Morty) and Mike McMahan (ex-writer’s assistant on Rick & Morty), Solar Opposites centers around a family of aliens from another world who must take refuge in middle America. They disagree on whether Earth is awful or awesome.

Tales from the Loop
Showrunner/Screenwriter: Nathaniel Halpern
From executive producer Matt Reeves and based on the acclaimed art of Swedish artist Simon Stålenhag, Tales from the Loop explores the town and people who live above “The Loop” a machine built to unlock and explore the mysteries of the universe. Cast: Rebecca Hall, Paul Schneider, Duncan Joiner, Daniel Zolghardi, Jonathan Pryce (World Premiere)

Showrunner: Greg Daniels
Upload is a ten-episode half-hour sci-fi comedy from the Emmy winning writer, Greg Daniels, starring Robbie Amell and Andy Allo. It takes place in the future, where people who are near death can be “Uploaded” into a virtual afterlife of their choice. Cast: Robbie Amell, Andy Allo, Allegra Edwards, Zainab Johnson, Kevin Bigley (World Premiere)

24 Beats Per Second

Showcasing the sounds, culture and influence of music and musicians, with an emphasis on documentary.

American Rap Star
Director: Justin Staple
American Rapstar chronicles the rise of a subculture of young rappers who utilized the SoundCloud streaming platform to disrupt the traditional norms of the music industry with their distinct self expression and rebellious approach. (World Premiere)

Biography: The Nine Lives of Ozzy Osbourne
Director: R. Greg Johnston
A&E’s Biography: The Nine Lives of Ozzy Osbourne celebrates the life of rock icon and Godfather of heavy metal Ozzy Osbourne and features interviews with Sharon Osbourne, Rick Rubin, Ice-T, Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie, Jonathan Davis and Post Malone. (World Premiere)

Le Choc du Futur (France)
Director: Marc Collin
In the Paris of 1978, old formulas do not charm listeners anymore and new music must arise. In a male-dominated industry, Ana uses her electronic gadgets to create a new sound that will mark the decades to come: the music of the future. Cast: Alma Jodorowsky, Philippe Rebbot, Laurent Papot, Elli Medeiros, Clara Luciani, Teddy Melis, Corine (North American Premiere)

Lydia Lunch: The War Is Never Over
Director: Beth B
Lydia Lunch: The War is Never Over by Beth B is the first career-spanning documentary retrospective of Lydia Lunch’s confrontational, acerbic and always electric music and art.

The Mojo Manifesto: The Life and Times of Mojo Nixon
Director: Matt Eskey
On a bicycle trip across the country, a young Neill Kirby McMillan Jr. experiences The Mojo Revelation. After teaming up with the enigmatic Skid Roper, he unexpectedly finds mainstream success but makes a decision that could jeopardize his career. (World Premiere)

My Darling Vivian
Director: Matt Riddlehoover
Director Matt Riddlehoover traces the dizzying journey of Vivian Liberto, Johnny Cash‘s first wife and the mother of his four daughters. Featuring unseen footage and photographs, the film was produced by Dustin Tittle, Vivian and Johnny’s grandson. (World Premiere)

The Nowhere Inn
Director: Bill Benz, Screenwriters: Carrie Brownstein, Annie Clark
St. Vincent sets out to make a documentary about her music, but when she hires a close friend to direct, notions of reality, identity, and authenticity grow increasingly distorted and bizarre. Cast: Annie Clark, Carrie Brownstein

Rockfield: The Studio on the Farm (United Kingdom)
Director: Hannah Berryman
The unlikely tale of two Welsh brothers who turned their dairy farm into one of the most successful recording studios of all time. This is a story of rock and roll dreams intertwined with a family business’ fight for survival. (World Premiere)

Director: Lindsay Lindenbaum
Tomboy shines a light on four women drummers, in a field that was once the exclusive domain of men. The narratives of these trailblazing musicians interweave, launching a dialogue on gender and artistry, which extends far beyond the musical sphere. (World Premiere)

We Are the Thousand (France, Italy)
Director/Screenwriter: Anita Rivaroli
Fan of rock music, Fabio wants to convince the Foo Fighters to perform in his little village in Italy. To do that he gathered 1,000 musicians to play their song together… He created a huge community who became the biggest rock band on Earth. (World Premiere)

Without Getting Killed or Caught
Directors: Tamara Saviano, Paul Whitfield, Screenwriters: Tamara Saviano, Bart Knaggs
Guy Clark, the dean of Texas songwriters, struggles to write poetic songs while balancing a complicated marriage with wife Susanna, and a deep friendship with legendary songwriter Townes Van Zandt, on whom Susanna forges a passionate dependence. (World Premiere)

Director: Alex Winter
The first all-access documentary on the life and times of Frank Zappa. (World Premiere)


A diverse selection of international filmmaking talent, featuring innovative narratives, artful documentaries, premieres, festival favorites and more.

Cargo (India)
Director/Screenwriter: Arati Kadav
Prahastha, a lonely devil astronaut has been working in a spaceship for many years. His spaceship comes close to Earth every morning and Cargos start arriving at the arrival station. These Cargos are people who have just died on Earth. Cast: Vikrant Massey, Shweta Tripathi, Nandu Madhav (North American Premiere)

Cat in the Wall (Bulgaria)
Directors/Screenwriters: Mina Mileva, Vesela Kazakova
Cat in the Wall tells the true story of how a cat, stuck in a wall, changes the lives of aspirational migrants, benefit fraudsters and gentrified Brexiteers. Cast: Irina Atanasova, Angel Genov, Orlin Asenov, Gilda Waugh, Chinwe A Nwokolo, Kadisha Gee Camara, Jon-jo Inkpen, John Harty (North American Premiere)

Executive Order (Brazil)
Director: Lázaro Ramos
In a near future Brazil, the federal government has decided to send the black population back to Africa. Three individuals try to resist and fight for their rights. (World Premiere)

La Mami (Mexico, Spain)
Director/Screenwriter: Laura Herrero Garvín
Night after night, La Mami, in charge of the women’s restroom at the mythical Cabaret Barba Azul offers care to the women who work there dancing.

Gunpowder Heart (Guatemala, Spain)
Director/Screenwriter: Camila Urrutia
In a chaotic Guatemala City two naive girlfriends have to make a radical decision on how to cope with the events of a fateful night: is violence the solution, or are there other ways? Cast: Andrea Henry, Vanessa Hernández (North American Premiere)

Marygoround (Poland)
Director: Daria Woszek, Screenwriters: Daria Woszek, Sylwester Piechura, Aleksandra Swierk
Mary is a lonely, small-town, grocery store worker, living a carefree life. On the eve of her 50th birthday, Mary’s life soon begins to take on a totally unexpected turn for the better – becoming an awesome revelation. Cast: Grazyna Misiorowska, Helena Sujecka, Sylwester Piechura, Janusz Chabior, Magdalena Kolesnik, Barbara Kurzaj, Agnieszka Wosinska, Michal Majnicz, Pawel Smagala, Katarzyna Nosowska (World Premiere)

Scales (Iraq, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates)
Director/Screenwriter: Shahad Amee
Set in a dystopian landscape, Scales is the story of a young girl who stands alone against her family and overturns the village tradition of sacrificing the female children. Cast: Ashraf Barhoum, Yagoub AlFarhan, Fatima Al Taei, Haifa AlAgha, Hafssa Faisal, Abdulaziz Shtian, Basima Hajjar

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The King of Staten Island – Photo by Mary Cybulski / Universal Pictures

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Source: SxSW Film