The 24th annual South by Southwest (SXSW) Conferences & Festivals in Austin, Texas kicks off with the world premiere of Kick-Ass, March 12, opening the nine-day film festival and conference with a suitably wacky comedy about a comic book fan-boy. This year's program of 119 films will cover a range from DIY features with emerging talent to red carpet studio launches -- with an independent bent.(Relaxnews) -
The 24th annual South by Southwest (SXSW) Conferences & Festivals in Austin, Texas kicks off with the world premiere of Kick-Ass, March 12, opening the nine-day film festival and conference with a suitably wacky comedy about a comic book fan-boy. This year's program of 119 films will cover a range from DIY features with emerging talent to red carpet studio launches - with an independent bent.
The films are screened in various segments including the competition, midnight showings, international features, and music-focused. Many films are world premieres and US debuts.
Headliners - highlights among the non-competition screenings include:
- Barbershop Punk featuring interviews with OK Go's Damian Kulash, rocker Henry Rollins, comedian Janeane Garofalo. Directed by Georgia Sugimura and Kristin Armfield.
- Barry Munday, a comedy, stars Chloë Sevigny, Jean Smart, Malcolm McDowell, Cybill Shepherd, Billy Dee Williams. Directed and written by Chris D'Arienzo.
- Get Low with Bill Murray, Robert Duvall and Sissy Spacek. Directed by Aaron Schneider.
Elektra Luxx starring Carla Gugino, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Timothy Olyphant.
Director/screenwriter: Sebastian Gutierrez.
- Micmacs ( Micmacs à tire-larigot), starring France's Dany Boon. Directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet.
- Mr. Nice stars Rhys Ifans and Chloë Sevigny. Directed by Bernard Rose.
- The Runaways stars Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning as Joan Jett's 1970s rock girl group. Directed by Floria Sigismondi.
- Cyrus stars Jonah Hill, John C. Reilly, Marisa Tomei, and Catherine Keener. Directed by the Duplass brothers.
- Leaves of Grass, stars Ed Norton playing twin brothers, with Keri Russell and Richard Dreyfuss. Directed and written by Tim Blake Nelson.
Highlights of the non-competition documentaries include:
- Saturday Night, directed by actor James Franco about the behind-the-scenes goings-on in preparation for an episode of the sketch comedy show, Saturday Night Live.
- The White Stripes: Under Great White Northern Lights, follows the band across Canada to its 10th anniversary show. Directed by Emmett Malloy.
- Lemmy, portrait of heavy metal's Motörhead frontman, Lemmy Kilmister with appearances by Metallica, Dave Grohl, and Billy Bob Thornton. Directed by Greg Olliver and Wes Orshoski.
- Man On a Mission, about gaming millionaire Richard Garriott becoming the first second-generation American astronaut. Directed by Mike Woolf.
- One Night in Vegas, about Mike Tyson's fight on September 7, 1996 while sitting ringside was his friend Tupac Shakur. Directed by Reggie Rock Bythewood.
- The People vs. George Lucas examines the relationship between the director and his fans. Directed by Alexandre O. Philippe.
- Ain't In It For My Health, a Film about Levon Helm, about the musician from The Band. Directed by Jacob Hatley part of 24 Beats per Second - a program showcasing films about music and musicians.
Festival Favorites, f eaturing standouts from festivals around the world:
- The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo from Sweden, directed by Niels Arden Oplev.
- And Everything Is Going Fine, directed by Steven Soderbergh, a portrait of master monologist Spalding Gray, creating a narrative that explores art and mental illness.
- The Thorn in the Heart directed by Michel Gondry, a personal look at the life of Gondry family matriarch and her relationship with her son, Jean-Yves.
- Winter's Bone, the Sundance Film Festival's jury winner
Other sections include:
SX Global, featuring international non-fiction filmmaking talent, interactive media and shorts from Denmark, the UK, South Korea, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Mexico, and Canada.
Midnighters, a selection of scary, amusing, and provocative films for "night owls and the terminally curious," including features like Canada's Tucker and Dale vs. Evil.
SX Fantastic, scheduling mind-bending international films selected by Fantastic Fest
Also, several special events are scheduled, including a screening of The Unknown, the Tod Browning film from 1927 with a live score by The Invincible Czars, and Hubble 3D, about NASA's telescope narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio.