Another day, another SXSW announcement. This time, we now have a firm grasp on the major films screening during the week of SXSW Film March 7 – 15 in Austin. With feature narratives, feature documentaries and now even television, there’s already a heavy lineup of films to get through and start ranking in terms of priority.
First, there are the headlining films that promise to bring the star power to Austin when SXSW takes over. Some of the heavy hitters include Neighbors, starring Seth Rogen and Zac Efron, the Jon Favreau flick Chef and the world premiere of the Veronica Mars movie, because dreams do come true. SXSW will also get the U.S. premiere of David Gordon Green’s Joe, starring the enigma formally known as Nicholas Cage.
Some of the heavy SXSW heavy hitters include Neighbors, starring Seth Rogen and Zach Efron, the Jon Favreau flick Chef and the world premiere of the Veronica Mars movie, because dreams do come true.
Then again, who needs the big Hollywood stuff when there are plenty of hidden gems to discover or movies coming in with palpable buzz. Some of the major features from Austin filmmakers that made a splash at Sundance will return home, including Richard Linklater’s ambitious Boyhood, Kat Candler’s Hellion and No No: A Dockumentary.
For the narrative feature and documentary feature competitions, there are eight films in each category vying for awards and recognition. These are the films attached with names that you may not recognize at the moment, but SXSW will help to put some of them on the map.
Providing extra intrigue this year is the new Episodic category, containing new projects hitting the small screen. Everyone loves to talk about how television is surpassing feature films in terms of quality, so SXSW is fully jumping on the bandwagon. Highlights include a screening of the rebooted series Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey with narrator Neil deGrasse Tyson also tagging along as announced earlier, the world premiere of Robert Rodriguez’s locally-made From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series and the newest project from beloved Texan Mike Judge, Silicon Valley.
Now with all of these films and TV shows with strong Austin ties, doesn’t it make sense that Austin itself would be the subject of a movie? Well that’s what you’re going to get in the documentary Road to Austin, premiering during the fest. And wouldn’t you know it, it’s about music in the Live Music Capital of the World from 1835 to the present day.
Along with regular screenings, SXSW Film also promises some interesting events to commemorate some classics. In honor of the 40th anniversary of one of the greatest slasher flicks of all time, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre will get its own special night to honor the film’s legacy. If you’re more into kaiju than serial killers, you can also check out Godzilla: The Japanese Original with Gareth Edwards, who will direct the forthcoming Godzilla, set for a release later this summer.
Let’s just slip in one more mention of a Texas filmmaker if we can. Wes Anderson will appear for an extended Q&A to discuss his latest piece, The Grand Budapest Hotel, because what kind of Texas film festival would it be without Wes Anderson?
The final schedule and details about the conference are yet to be released, but there should also be plenty more announcements to come concerning the always popular Midnighter and Short Film programs.