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SXSW Announces 2019 Film Lineup

(Photo by Claudette Barius/Universal Pictures)

The SXSW Conference has announced its features lineup, adding to the previously announced opening night film US, Jordan Peele’s follow up to his winning mega-hit Get Out. Film, interactive, episodic, and immersive media all converge during the 10-day film conference, known for Texas-sized crowds and raucous reactions, in March. Last year’s opener, A Quiet Place, parlayed a glowing SXSW reaction into a $340 million juggernaut, and Us, we would assume, hopes for the same. This initial release of films is already stacked with a number of festival favorites like Seth Rogan and Matthew McConaughey and new offerings from first-time filmmakers Olivia Wilde and Logan-Marshall Green.

In the documentary section, lookout for Stuffed, which chronicles the surprising world of taxidermy, and Running with Beto, a behind-the-scenes look at Beto O’Rourke’s 2018 breakaway campaign to unseat Ted Cruz in the US Senate. Not to be overlooked is the impressive Episodic slate, which has become a premier stop for new and continuing series. A highlight this year is Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement’s hotly anticipated What We Do in the Shadows series, an episodic continuation of their cult feature of the same name. Last year, HBO built an entire town to recreate Westworld in the Lone Star State, and with the final season of Game of Thrones premiering in April, don’t be surprised if a larger-than-life installation pops up in the streets of Austin. The Headliners section and the Narrative Spotlight section include new films featuring Seth Rogen, Charlize Theron, Lupita Nyong’o, and Winston Duke, and those titles are joined by SXSW regulars Jay Duplass, Ethan Hawke, and Robert Rodriguez.

Films screening in Festival Favorites, Midnighters, Shorts, Virtual Cinema, Episodic Pilot Competition, Title Design Competition, Music Videos, and late-breaking Features will be announced on February 6. Read up on the full of SXSW Film Slate below:

NARRATIVE FEATURE COMPETITION

AliceDirector/Screenwriter: Josephine MackerrasCast: Emilie Piponnier, Martin Swabey, Chloe BorehamShe did everything right until it all went wrong. (World Premiere)

Go Back to ChinaDirector/Screenwriter: Emily TingCast: Anna Akana, Richard Ng, Lynn Chen, Kelly Hu, Kendy Cheung, Aviva WangAfter spoiled rich girl Sasha Li (Anna Akana) blows through half of her trust fund, she is cut off by her father (Richard Ng) and forced to go back to China and work for the family toy business. (World Premiere)

Mickey and the BearDirector/Screenwriter: Annabelle AttanasioCast: Camila Morrone, James Badge Dale, Calvin Demba, Ben Rosenfield, Rebecca HendersonFaced with the responsibility to take care of her addict, veteran father, headstrong teen Mickey Peck keeps her household afloat. When she has the opportunity to leave for good, she must choose between familial obligation and personal fulfillment. (World Premiere)

Ms. White LightDirector/Screenwriter: Paul ShoulbergCast: Roberta Colindrez, John Ortiz, Judith Light, Carson Meyer, Zachary SpicerLex Cordova’s business is dying. She has a unique ability to connect with her clients that are terminally ill. It’s just everyone else that she has a problem with. Valerie is a no bullshit woman who loves living her life. Her only way out is thru Lex. (World Premiere)

(Photo by Sam Probst)

PornoDirector: Keola RacelaScreenwriters: Matt Black, Laurence VannicelliCast: Evan Daves, Larry Saperstein, Jillian Mueller, Glenn Stott, Robert Tann, Bill Phillips, Katelyn Pearce, Peter ReznikoffWhen a group of naive teens working at a movie theater in a small Christian town discover a mysterious film hidden in its basement, they unleash an alluring succubus who gives them a sex education… written in blood. (World Premiere)

South MountainDirector/Screenwriter: Hilary BrougherCast: Talia Balsam, Scott Cohen, Andrus Nichols, Michael Oberholtzer, Naian Gonzalez, Midori Francis, Macaulee Rusnak Cassaday, Isis Masoud, Violet Rea,Guthrie MassWhen her teenagers head off to camp and her husband abruptly leaves her to begin a new family, Lila is left to her own curious and chaotic devices for a summer in her rural home in the Catskill mountains. (World Premiere)

Yes, God, YesDirector/Screenwriter: Karen MaineCast: Natalia Dyer, Timothy Simons, Wolfgang Novogratz, Francesca Reale, Susan Blackwell, Parker Wierling, Alisha Boe, Donna Lynne ChamplinAfter an innocent AOL chat turns racy, a Catholic teenager in the early 2000s discovers masturbating and struggles to suppress her urges in the face of eternal damnation. (World Premiere)

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE COMPETITION

Ernie & JoeDirector: Jenifer McShaneErnie & Joe follows two officers with the San Antonio Police Department mental health unit who are diverting people away from jail and into mental health treatment — one 911 call at a time. (World Premiere)

Museum TownDirector: Jennifer Trainer, Screenwriters: Noah Bashevkin, Pola Rapaport, Jennifer TrainerFrom the ashes of a deserted factory, an ambitious center for contemporary art has emerged. With MASS MoCA, a familiar story of deindustrialization in a rural American town finds an unconventional route to recovery. (World Premiere)

StuffedDirector: Erin DerhamStuffed is a documentary feature film about the surprising world of taxidermy and the passionate artists across the world who see life where others only see death. (World Premiere)

(Photo by Jan Balster)

TreadDirector: Paul SoletPushed to his breaking point, a master welder in a small town at the foot of the Rocky Mountains quietly fortifies a bulldozer with 30 tons of concrete and steel and seeks to destroy those he believes have wronged him. (World Premiere)

We Are The Radical MonarchsDirector: Linda Goldstein KnowltonMeet the Radical Monarchs, a group of young girls of color at the front lines of social justice. Set in Oakland, the film documents the journey of the group as they form, grow, and earn badges for units like “Black Lives Matter” and “Radical Beauty” (World Premiere)

Well GroomedDirector/Screenwriter: Rebecca SternWell Groomed travels the humorous, visually stunning world of Competitive Creative Dog Grooming alongside the colorful women transforming their beloved poodles into living sculptures. (World Premiere)

Why Can’t I Be Me? Around YouDirectors/Screenwriters: Harrod Blank, Sjoerd DijkRusty, a male race enthusiast, decides at 53 to get breasts. His father cuts his pay, his motorcycle friends abandon him and the women he dates all reject him. Rusty pursues her new identity and only hopes to gain acceptance from others. (World Premiere)

HEADLINERS

(Photo by NEON / VICE)

BooksmartDirector: Olivia WildeScreenwriters: Emily Halpern, Sarah Haskins, Susanna Fogel, Katie SilbermanCast: Kaitlyn Dever, Beanie Feldstein, Jessica Williams, Will Forte, Lisa Kudrow, Jason SudeikisOn the eve of graduating high school, two academic superstars and best friends realize they should have worked less and played more. Determined to not fall short of their peers, the girls set out on a mission to cram four years of fun into one night. (World Premiere)

The HighwaymenDirector: John Lee HancockScreenwriter: John FuscoCast: Kevin Costner, Woody Harrelson, Kathy Bates, Kim DickinsonTexas Ranger Frank Hamer reflects on what made him a great lawman as he comes out of retirement to hunt down Bonnie and Clyde. (World Premiere)

NARRATIVE SPOTLIGHT

(Photo by Nolwen Cifuentes)

Come As You AreDirector: Richard WongScreenwriter: Erik LinthorstCast: Grant Rosenmeyer, Hayden Szeto, Ravi Patel, Gabourey Sidibe, Janeane Garofalo, C.S. Lee, Jennifer Jelsema, Martha Kuwahara, Delaney Feener, Asta PhilpotThree young men with disabilities embark on a road trip to a brothel in Montreal catering to people with special needs to lose their virginity and embrace their independence. Inspired by a true story and remake of the Belgian film Hasta La Vista. (World Premiere)

The Day Shall Come (United Kingdom, U. S.)Director: Chris MorrisScreenwriters: Chris Morris, Jesse ArmstrongCast: Marchánt Davis, Anna Kendrick, Danielle Brooks, Denis O’HareAn impoverished preacher who brings hope to the Miami projects is offered cash to save his family from eviction. He has no idea his sponsor works for the FBI who plan to turn him into a criminal by fueling his madcap revolutionary dreams. (World Premiere)

(Photo by Carmen Hilbert)

Frances FergusonDirector: Bob ByingtonScreenwriter: Scott KingCast: Kaley Wheless, Nick Offerman, Keith Poulson, David KrumholtzA small town’s reaction to scandal. (World Premiere)

I’m Just F*cking With YouDirector: Adam MasonScreenwriters: Gregg Zehenter, Scott BarkanCast: Keir O’Donnell, Hayes MacArthur, Jessica McNameeA young man and his sister endure a night of increasingly frightening practical jokes while spending the night at a secluded motel. (World Premiere)

The Peanut Butter FalconDirectors/Screenwriters: Tyler Nilson, Michael SchwartzCast: Shia LaBeouf, Dakota Johnson, Zack Gottsagen, John Hawkes, Bruce Dern, Thomas Haden Church, Jon Bernthal, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, Mick FoleyA young man with Down syndrome runs away from the retirement home where he lives to chase his dream of becoming a professional wrestler. (World Premiere)

(Photo by Nigel Bluck)

Pink WallDirector/Screenwriter: Tom CullenCast: Tatiana Maslany, Jay DuplassSix scenes. Six years. Six moments that shaped the relationship of Jenna and Leon. Pink Wall examines what defines us, the pressures of gender expectations, and our perpetual struggle between life and ambition. (World Premiere)

Run This TownDirector/Screenwriter: Ricky TollmanCast: Ben Platt, Nina Dobrev, Mena Massoud, Damian Lewis, Jennifer Ehle, Scott SpeedmanA political aide tries to corral his brash, outspoken boss when a young researcher at a newspaper gets word of a scandal that could make or break both of their careers. (World Premiere)

VillainsDirectors/Screenwriters: Dan Berk, Robert OlsenCast: Bill Skarsgard, Maika Monroe, Kyra Sedgwick, Jeffrey DonovanWhen a pair of amateur criminals break into a suburban home, they stumble upon a dark secret and two sadistic homeowners who will do anything to keep it from getting out. (World Premiere)

DOCUMENTARY SPOTLIGHT

Any One Of UsDirector: Fernando VillenaThrough the inspiring journey of a recovering athlete, Any One of Us offers an unprecedented glimpse into the traumatic world of spinal cord injuries. (World Premiere)

Building the American DreamDirector: Chelsea HernandezIn Texas, construction workers face the deadliest conditions in the country. Building the American Dream follows three immigrant families who are rising up to seek justice and equality in an industry rife with exploitation. (World Premiere)

Community First, A Home for the HomelessDirector: Layton BlaylockCommunity First, A Home for the Homeless is a feature documentary about a totally unique concept for mitigating homelessness. Conceived and created in Austin, Texas, Community First! Village is truly transforming the lives of homeless people. (World Premiere)

(Photo by Derek Reich)

I Love You, Now Die: The Commonwealth Vs. Michelle CarterDirector: Erin Lee CarrTeen Michelle Carter’s actions shocked a nation — but what really happened behind closed doors? This HBO special showcases the prosecution’s point of view and alternately the defense’s. Which side do you fall on? (World Premiere)

Jump ShotDirector: Jacob Ryan HamiltonJump Shot uncovers the inspiring true story of Kenny Sailors, the developer of the modern day jump shot in basketball, and how he defined the game, but why the game never defined him. (World Premiere)

Kathy Griffin: A Hell of a StoryDirector: Troy MillerScreenwriter: Kathy GriffinIn her first ever comedy concert film, Comedian Kathy Griffin details the aftermath of lost work and being the subject of a federal investigation following the release of her now infamous photo depicting President Donald J Trump. (World Premiere)

(Photo by Charlie Gross)

QualifiedDirector: Jenna RickerIn the world of motorsports, the Indianapolis 500 has long been considered the only race. In May 1977, Janet Guthrie — the first woman to attempt Indy — earned herself a spot in the prestigious field of 33. (World Premiere)

Red DogDirectors: Casey Pinkston, Luke DickIn the early 1980s, the only family that toddler Luke knew were the strippers, bouncers, and outcasts that made OKC’s rowdiest strip club their home. (World Premiere)

The River and the WallDirector: Ben MastersFive friends venture into the unknown wilds of the Texas borderlands to document the environment before a wall is built. As the wilderness gives way to the bustling Rio Grande Valley, they encounter the unexpected and enter uncharted emotional waters. (World Premiere)

Running with BetoDirector: David ModiglianiFollow Beto O’Rourke behind the scenes of his breakaway campaign to unseat Ted Cruz in the US Senate. With intimate access to the candidate, his family and team, the film captures Beto’s rise from a virtual unknown to a national political sensation. (World Premiere)

Sunset over Mulholland DriveDirector: Uli GaulkeScreenwriters: Uli Gaulke, Marc PitzkeThe vital power of creativity — a behind the scenes look into Hollywood’s retirement home. (North American Premiere)

(Photo by Tim Pipe)

The Garden Left BehindDirector: Flavio AlvesScreenwriters: John Rotondo, Flavio AlvesCast: Michael Madsen, Ed Asner, Carlie Guevara, Danny Flaherty, Alex Kruz, Anthony Abdo, Dawn Young, Tamara M. Williams, Miriam Cruz, Brock YurichA Mexican trans woman struggles to build a life for herself as an undocumented immigrant in New York City. (World Premiere)

J.R. “Bob” Dobbs and The Church of the SubGeniusDirector: Sandy K BooneScreenwriters: Sandy K Boone, Jason WehlingThis film explores the underground movement that has galvanized the imaginative, the artistic, the nerdy, even the deranged – to examine the simmering dystopia in their culture, and do absolutely nothing about it… except, maybe, poke fun at it all. (World Premiere)

(Photo by Robert Rodriguez)

One Man Dies a Million Times (Belarus)Director/Screenwriter: Jessica OreckCast: Alyssa Lozovskaya, Maksim BlinovSet in the future, a story about seeds and genetic diversity, about growth and decay, about love and war, and about hunger of all kinds. (World Premiere)

Red 11Director: Robert RodriguezScreenwriters: Robert Rodriguez, Racer RodriguezCast: Roby Attal, Lauren Hatfield, Carlos Gallardo, Alejandro Rose Garcia, Rebel Rodriguez, Racer Rodriguez, Eman Esfandi, Steven Brudniak, Brently Heilbron, Pierce Foster BaileyRob, an independent filmmaker, loses his investor’s money only to find out his investors are the Cartel. He checks himself into a medical research facility to pay off his debt, but quickly realizes it won’t be that easy. (World Premiere)

Romantic Comedy (United Kingdom)Director: Elizabeth SankeyMusician and writer Elizabeth Sankey investigates the past, present and future of romantic comedies, assisted by a chorus of critics, actors and filmmakers. (World Premiere)

SakawaDirector/Screenwriter: Ben AsamoahWhat human story lies behind the phenomenon of ‘internet fraud’? In Sakawa we meet three Ghanaian youngsters who, out of desperation, turn to internet scamming with the help of black magic. (North American Premiere)

TitoDirector/Screenwriter: Grace GlowickiCast: Grace Glowicki, Ben PetrieA desperate man seeks refuge from the predators hunting him by befriending a cheerful intruder. (World Premiere)

EPISODIC PREMIERES

RamyShowrunner: Bridget BedardScreenwriter: Ramy YoussefCast: Ramy Youssef, Mohammed Amer, Hiam Abbass, Amr Waked, May Calamawy, David Merheje, Laith Nakli, Steve WayRamy, a first generation American Muslim on a spiritual journey, explores the challenges of being caught in between an Egyptian community that thinks life is moral a test, and a millennial generation that thinks life has no consequences. (World Premiere)

ShrillShowrunner: Alexandra RushfieldScreenwriters: Alexandra Rushfield, Lindy West and Aidy BryantCast: Aidy Bryant, Lolly Adefope, Luka Jones, Ian Owens, John Cameron MitchellFrom Executive Producers Lorne Michaels and Elizabeth Banks comes Shrill, a comedy series starring Aidy Bryant (Saturday Night Live) as Annie, a fat young woman who wants to change her life — but not her body. Annie is trying to start her career while juggling bad boyfriends, a sick parent, and a perfectionist boss. (World Premiere)

What We Do in the ShadowsShowrunners: Jemaine Clement, Paul SimmsScreenplay: Jemaine ClementCast: Matt Berry, Kayvan Novak, Natasia Demetriou, Harvey Guillén, Mark ProkschBased on the feature film of the same name from Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi, FX’s new comedy What We Do in the Shadows follows vampire roommates who have lived together for hundreds and hundreds of years. (World Premiere)

24 BEATS PER SECOND

(Photo by Jacques Cheuiche)

Amazônia GrooveDirector/Screenwriter: Bruno MurtinhoLeaving Belem and crossing much of the Para State Amazon region, its towns and riverside villages, Amazônia Groove reveals artists and their traditions, faith and mysticism, music and life that pound in the northern region of Brazil. (North American Premiere)

The Boy Band Con: The Lou Pearlman StoryDirector: Aaron KunkelThe Boy Band Con: The Lou Pearlman Story charts the life and crimes of boy band impresario Lou Pearlman. The film tracks his life from discovering NSYNC and Backstreet Boys, to his perpetration of one of the largest ponzi schemes in US history. (World Premiere)

Boy Howdy! The Story of CREEM MagazineDirector: Scott CrawfordScreenwriters: Scott Crawford, Jaan UhelszkiRipping back the curtain on legendary rock rag CREEM Magazine’s wild and disruptive newsroom; a dysfunctional band of unruly outsiders who weren’t all that different from the artists they covered. (World Premiere)

Brainiac: Transmissions After ZeroDirector: Eric MahoneyThe film explores the seminal ’90s band Brainiac from Dayton, OH and its creative force Tim Taylor. Just days before signing a major record contract Taylor was killed in a bizarre auto accident leaving his family and bandmates to pick up the pieces. (World Premiere)

Carmine Street GuitarsDirector: Ron MannScreenwriter: Len BlumFive Days in the life of Greenwich Village guitar shop Carmine Street Guitars.

(Photo by Herman Nijhof courtesy of New Zealand Film Commission)

The Chills: The Triumph and Tragedy of Martin PhillippsDirector: Julia Parnell, Rob CurryNew Zealand music genius Martin Phillipps fights his creative demons, conquers the music world, inspires a generation, and then retreats into depression, addiction and anonymity. (World Premiere)

David Crosby: Remember My NameDirector: A.J. EatonDavid Crosby reflects on his life of music stardom, while forging new paths to relevancy at his age of 77 in this deeply personal documentary. (World Premiere)

Everybody’s EverythingDirectors: Sebastian Jones, Ramez SilyanEverybody’s Everything is the story of artist Lil Peep (Gustav Ahr) from his birth in Long Island and meteoric rise as a genre blending pop star & style icon, to his death due to an accidental opioid overdose in Arizona at just 21 years of age. (World Premiere)

The Gift: The Journey of Johnny CashDirector: Thom ZimnyScreenwriter: Warren ZanesJohnny Cash stands among the giants of 20th century American life. But his story remains tangled in mystery and myth. This documentary brings Cash the man out from behind the legend. (World Premiere)

(Photo by Courtesy of Nothing Stays The Same: The Story of The Saxon Pub)

Show Me The Picture: The Story of Jim MarshallDirector: Alfred George BaileyJim Marshall was a maverick with a camera. An outsider who captured the heights of Rock’N’Roll music and the seismic changes of an era, from the Beatles and Jimi Hendrix, to the civil rights movements and some of the most iconic moments of the ’60s. (World Premiere)

Strange NegotiationsDirector: Brandon VedderA documentary exploring the existential, artistic and family life of musician and former evangelical, David Bazan (Pedro The Lion), set against America’s own crisis of faith highlighted during the 2016 presidential election. (World Premiere)

Who Let The Dogs OutDirector: Brent HodgeScreenwriters: Brent Hodge, John Diemer, Jasleen KaurThe origin story of the smash hit “Who Let the Dogs Out” goes back further than anyone could have imagined; steeped in legal battles, female empowerment and artist integrity, which beckons the question: will we ever know who let the dogs out? (World Premiere)

Wild RoseDirector: Tom HarperScreenwriter: Nicole TaylorCast: Jessie Buckley, Julie Walters, Sophie OkonedoA musician from Glasgow dreams of becoming a Nashville star. (U.S. Premiere)

AleksiDirector/Screenwriter: Barbara VekarićCast: Tihana Lazović, Goran Marković, Sebastian Cavazza, Nataša Janjić, Jason Mann, Aljoša Vučović, Neda Arnerić, Leon LučevA character piece about funny and troubled girl in her 20s, forced to move back in with her overbearing family. (North American Premiere)

Being ImpossibleDirector: Patricia OrtegaScreenwriters: Patricia Ortega, Enmanuel ChávezA young woman discovers she was submitted to several surgeries to correct her intersexual body as a baby. She has to find her own self outside gender binaries. (North American Premiere)

Cachada: The OpportunityDirector/Screenwriter: Marlén ViñayoFive Salvadoran saleswomen want to take their cruel life stories to the stage. During the rehearsal process of their play, they’ll discover themselves as victims and victimizers in a cycle of violence that has plagued their families for generations. (World Premiere)

Days of the WhaleDirector/Screenwriter: Catalina Arroyave RestrepoCast: Laura Tobón, David Escallón, Carlos Fonnegra, Christian Tappan, Julián Giraldo, Natalia Castaño, Margarita RestrepoTwo young graffiti artists of Medellín defy a criminal gang when they decide to paint the mural of a whale over a threat written in a wall. (World Premiere)

La Mala NocheDirector/Screenwriter: Gabriela CalvacheCast: Nöelle Schönwald, Cristian Mercado, Jaime Tamariz, Ariana FreireShe is the perfect woman until she decides to be free. (World Premiere)

X&YDirector: Anna OdellScreenwriters: Anna Odell, Jakob BeckmanCast: Anna Odell, Mikael Persbrandt, Trine Dyrholm, Vera Vitali, Shanti Roney, Sofie Gråbøl, Jens Albinus, Thure LindhardtSwedish director and visual artist, Anna Odell (The Reunion), conducts a social experiment in which she aims to challenge the gender roles that men and women have in the society of today. (North American Premiere)

SPECIAL EVENTS

(Photo by Kurt Volk)

How Rednecks Saved Hollywood with Joe Bob BriggsDirector/Screenwriter: Joe Bob BriggsAmerica’s drive-in movie critic uses 200 video clips and photos to tell the 500-year history of the American redneck in a multimedia comedy performance.

Ra: Path of the Sun GodDirector: Lesley KeenAustin based electronic and experimental label Holodeck Records is partnering with Austin Film Society for a special live re-score screening of the 1990 animated film Ra: Path of the Sun God, a beautiful re-telling of one of Ancient Egypt’s most famous myths.

Rebel Without A Crew: Filmmaking Master Class with Robert RodriguezJoin Robert Rodriguez as he gives a master-class in micro-budget guerilla filmmaking, featuring behind the scenes moments from his new $7,000 film, RED 11. The event will be followed by the World Premiere of RED 11.

Shangri-LaDirectors: Morgan Neville, Jeff MalmbergAn intimate look at the creative process through the lens of legendary music producer Rick Rubin.

True StoriesDirector: David ByrneScreenwriters: Stephen Tobolowsky, Beth Henley, David ByrneDavid Byrne’s 1986 musical comedy, inspired by theater director Robert Wilson, tabloid newspapers, and filmmakers Robert Altman and Federico Fellini, remains a unique artistic vision that celebrates the singular citizens of a fictional Texas town. David Byrne will appear in-person for Q&A following a screening of new 4K restoration.

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