Dev Patel Swings Into South by Southwest With Monkey Man World Premiere

Fest gets new docs on Stormy Daniels, Alex Jones, and Jon Bon Jovi

Dev Patel stars in and directs Monkey Man, the new revenge flick getting its world premiere at this year's South by Southwest Film & TV Festival (Image Courtesy of Universal)

South by Southwest 2024's Film & TV Festival schedule is packed with big releases like The Fall Guy and Road House, but now it's added the world premiere of one of the year's most eagerly anticipated directorial debuts: Monkey Man, the first film from Dev Patel.

The British actor was supposed to be at the ultimately-canceled SXSW 2020 as the star of The Green Knight, but for this year's SXSW (March 8-16) he's coming even stronger with this Jordan Peele-produced revenge flick. Described as "John Wick in Mumbai," this action-packed drama was inspired by the legend of the valiant but chaotic Hanuman. Patel, a black belt martial artist and medal-winning practitioner of taekwondo in his spare time, stars as the Kid, a low-ranking brawler in an underground fight ring who works his way to the heart of this criminal empire.

Patel's first foray behind the lens is just one of 30 films, TV shows, and XR and VR projects that join the already-bulging SXSW roster. On the film side, there's also the world premiere of Immaculate, the new Catholic horror from Neon, and Timestalker the second film from Alice Lowe (the genius behind maternal horror and SXSW 2017 selection Prevenge).

This latest round of titles is also loaded with documentaries. On the politics side, two figures of unlikely importance in the last five years get their story told, with Stormy putting former adult performer Stormy Daniels in charge of her own narrative, while The Truth vs. Alex Jones puts Austin's village idiot on the stand to be truly culpable for his monstrous attacks on the families of the children killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook Massacre.

Reality, inevitably, is in the TV programming as well, and expect the "secret music showcase" rumor mill to start grinding with the addition of Thank You, Goodnight: The Bon Jovi Story, for which director Gotham Chopra got extraordinary access to multiplatinum rock star Jon Bon Jovi as he struggled with the possibility of losing his voice after Covid.

And, of course, is it really SXSW without a Duplass? The former Austinites and festival regulars since 2005 are back this year, and as always they will be helping boost new creators. Mark Duplass will be on hand to present the Duplass Brothers Indie TV Showcase, featuring four pilots produced under their shingle.

SXSW 2024 runs March 8-16. More details and info at sxsw.com. And don't forget to follow all our coverage, and dig into the archives, at austinchronicle.com/sxsw. Now here's that complete list of today's new titles ...

Immaculate (Image Courtesy of Neon)

Headliners

Immaculate
Director: Michael Mohan
Producers: David Bernad, Sydney Sweeney, Jonathan Davino, Teddy Schwarzman, Michael Heimler, Screenwriter: Andrew Lobel

A devout American nun embarks on a new journey in a remote convent in the picturesque Italian countryside. Her warm welcome quickly devolves into a nightmare as it becomes clear her new home harbors a sinister secret and unspeakable horrors. Cast: Sydney Sweeney, Álvaro Morte, Dora Romano, Benedetta Porcaroli, Giorgio Colangeli, Simona Tabasco (World Premiere)

Monkey Man
Director: Dev Patel
Producers: Dev Patel, Jomon Thomas, Jordan Peele, Win Rosenfeld, Ian Cooper, Basil Iwanyk, Erica Lee, Christine Haebler, Anjay Nagpal
Screenwriters: Dev Patel, Paul Angunawela, John Collee

Dev Patel achieves an astonishing directing debut with this action thriller about a man’s vengeance against the men who murdered his mother. Cast: Dev Patel, Sharlto Copley, Pitobash, Vipin Sharma, Sikandar Kher, Sobhita Dhulipala, Ashwini Kalsekar, Adithi Kalkunte, Makarand Deshpande (World Premiere)

Y2K
Director: Kyle Mooney
Producers: Jonah Hill, Matt Dines, Alison Goodwin, Chris Storer, Cooper Wehde, Evan Winter,
Screenwriters: Kyle Mooney, Evan Winter

On the last night of 1999, two high school juniors crash a New Years Eve party, only to find themselves fighting for their lives in this dial-up disaster comedy. Cast: Jaeden Martell, Rachel Zegler, Julian Dennison, The Kid Laroi (World Premiere)

Música

Narrative Spotlight

Arcadian (Ireland)
Director: Ben Brewer
Producers: David Wulf, Braxton Pope, Nicolas Cage, Mike Nilon, Arianne Fraser, Delphine Perrier
Screenwriter: Mike Nilon

After a catastrophic event depopulates the world, a father and his two sons must survive their dystopian environment while being threatened by mysterious creatures that emerge at night. Cast: Nicolas Cage, Jaeden Martell, Maxwell Jenkins, Sadie Soverall (World Premiere)

Desert Road
Director/Screenwriter: Shannon Triplett
Producers: Steven Schneider, Josh Clayton, Kirk Martin, Alec Roth, Lauren Bates, Sam Cohan

A young woman crashes her car and walks down the road seeking help, only to find no matter which way she walks she ends up back at her car. As night falls, she realizes she’s going to die in this endless loop... unless she can find a way to escape. Cast: Kristine Froseth, Frances Fisher, Beau Bridges, Ryan Hurst, D.B. Woodside, Max Mattern, Ratchel Dratch, Edwin Garcia II (World Premiere)

The Greatest Hits
Director/Screenwriter: Ned Benson
Producers: Michael London, Shannon Gaulding, Ned Benson, Stephanie Davis, Cassandra Kulukundis

Harriet finds art imitating life when she discovers certain songs can transport her back in time – literally. Cast: Lucy Boynton, Justin H. Min, David Corenswet, Austin Crute (World Premiere)

The Gutter
Directors: Yassir Lester, Isaiah Lester
Producers: Liz Destro, Jared Hess, Helen Estabrook, Tristen Tuckfield, Jillian Apfelbaum,
Screenwriter: Yassir Lester

Walt (lover of threesomes, hater of shirts) strikes up an unlikely friendship with a former Pro Bowler as they discover he might be THE GOAT of the lanes. The only things standing in their way are racism, alcoholism and Linda "The Crusher" Curson. Cast: Shameik Moore, Susan Sarandon, D’Arcy Carden, Jay Ellis, Jackée Harry, Paul Reiser (World Premiere)

High Tide
Director/Screenwriter: Marco Calvani
Producers: Mickey Liddell, Pete Shilaimon, Marco Calvani

Heartbroken and adrift, undocumented Brazilian immigrant Lourenço searches for purpose in the queer mecca of Provincetown, where he sparks an unexpected romance with Maurice. Together the two reconcile their pasts they’ve left behind and their uncertain futures. Cast: Marco Pigossi, Mya Taylor, James Bland, Marisa Tomei, Bill Irwin, Sean Mahon (World Premiere)

Música
Director: Rudy Mancuso
Producers: McG, Mary Viola
Screenwriters: Rudy Mancuso, Dan Lagana

Based on writer, director and star Rudy Mancuso, Música is a coming-of-age love story that follows an aspiring creator with synesthesia, who must come to terms with an uncertain future, while navigating the pressures of love, family and his Brazilian culture in Newark, New Jersey. Cast: Rudy Mancuso, Camila Mendes, Francesca Reale, Maria Mancuso, J.B. Smoove (World Premiere)

Omni Loop
Director/Screenwriter: Bernardo Britto
Producers: Ben Cohen, Patrick Donovan, David Hinojosa

Diagnosed with a black hole growing inside her chest, a woman from Miami, Florida decides to solve time travel in order to go back and be the person she always intended to be. Cast: Mary Louise Parker, Ayo Edebiri, Hannah Pearl Utt, Chris Witaske, Carlos Jacott, Harris Yulin, Steven Maier, Eddie Cahill (World Premiere)

Switch Up
Director: Tara Pirnia
Producers: Elizabeth Avellan, Marcela Ronquillo, Tara Pirnia, Cristian de la Fuente, Melissa Bickerton, Angela Blair
Screenwriters: Felice Heather Monteith, Tara Pirnia, Tina Contogenis, Pamela Beach

One of the nation’s top talk show hosts finds himself stranded at a homeless shelter where he meets a young widow. He falls in love and realizes the path to happiness lies in helping others. Cast: Cristian de la Fuente, Julieth Restrepo, Jeff Fahey, Shondrella Avery, R. Brandon Johnson, Temple Baker, Donnell Rawlings, Alicia Witt, Manuel Uriza, Felice Heather Monteith (World Premiere)

Timestalker (UK)
Director/Screenwriter: Alice Lowe
Producers: Vaughan Sivell, Mark Hopkins, Natan Stoessel, Tom Wood

From the creative team behind Prevenge comes a reincarnation rom-com about the eternal humiliation that is the search for love, spanning the most romantic epochs of history. Cast: Alice Lowe, Jacob Anderson, Aneurin Barnard, Tanya Reynolds, Nick Frost (World Premiere)

Wakhri
Director/Screenwriter: Iram Parveen Bilal
Producers: Abid Aziz Merchant, Apoorva Bakshi, Iram Parveen Bilal

A school teacher becomes a viral sensation overnight when she accidentally unleashes her unabashed opinions on social media. This newfound fame comes with its own challenges as she has to navigate archaic mindsets and secret identities. Cast: Faryal Mehmood, Gulshan Majeed, Shees Sajjad Gul, Saleem Meraj, Sohail Sameer, Bakhtawar Mazhar, Akbar Islam, Tooba Siddiqui (North American Premiere)

Yasmeen's Element (US, Pakistan)
Director: Amman Abbasi
Producers: Amman Abbasi, Jeffrey E. Stern, Alex Nystrom, Sana Jafri, Missy Laney,
Screenwriters: Amman Abbasi, Jeffrey E. Stern, Sana Jafri
After losing her homework in the winding paths of her mountain town, resourceful Yasmeen sets off alone on an unexpected journey to find her Professor. Cast: Eeshal Fatima, Nazir Ahmed Bulbul, Abeera Rubab, Naveed Hassan (World Premiere)


Documentary Spotlight

7 Beats Per Minute (Canada)
Director/Screenwriter: Yuqi Kang
Producers: Ina Fichman, Sherien Barsoum

Director Yuqi Kang’s documentary captures the descent of a lifetime, when freediving champion Jessea Lu returns to the site of her near-death experience to face the traumas of her past and find a way back to connection. (World Premiere)

A King Like Me
Director: Matthew O. Henderson
Producers: Fisher Stevens, Maura Anderson, Darcy McKinnon, Terry Dugas

A King Like Me follows members of the Zulu Club, New Orleans’ first and century-old Black Mardi Gras krewe, as they work to bring Zulu back to the streets for Mardi Gras 2022. (World Premiere)

The Antisocial Network
Directors: Giorgio Angelini, Arthur Jones
Producers: Giorgio Angelini, Arthur Jones, Jordan Wynn, Andrew Fried, Dane Lillegard

From the rise of QAnon to the January 6th riots, The Antisocial Network explains how a group of bored teenagers built an online community out of their shared loneliness but accidentally shattered consensus reality in the process. (World Premiere)

Billy & Molly: An Otter Love Story
Director: Charlie Hamilton James
Producer: Jeff Wilson

From National Geographic and Silverback Films, Billy & Molly: An Otter Love Story is a heart-warming story of love between a wild otter and a man set in the remote Scottish islands of Shetland. (World Premiere)

Brandy Hellville & the Cult of Fast Fashion
Director: Eva Orner
Producers: Jonathan Chinn, Simon Chinn, Eva Orner
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Hiding behind the shiny Instagram façade of Brandy Melville, the go-to clothing brand for young women, is a shockingly toxic culture that lies within the global fast fashion industry. (World Premiere)

Clemente
Director: David Altrogge
Producers: Mike Blizzard, Mary Sabol, Sarah Altrogge, Jocelyn Hartnett, Stephen Turselli, Keith Ayers, Andrew Calvetti, Steve Burman
Screenwriters: Elise Andert, David Altrogge

An immersive documentary about the remarkable life and legacy of MLB icon Roberto Clemente. Featuring Vera Clemente, Rita Moreno, Roberto Clemente Jr., Michael Keaton, Luis Roberto Clemente, Bob Costas, Tom Morello, Francisco Lindor, Yadier Molina, Richard Linklater. (World Premiere)

Fly
Directors/Producers: Shaul Schwarz, Christina Clusiau
To stand on the edge and jump into the wind, one must be willing to lose everything. That could mean the love of your life, or the life you love. Over seven years, three couples in the world of BASE jumping risk everything to feel alive. (World Premiere)

The Hobby (Canada)
Director: Simon Ennis
Producers: Kim C. Roberts, Tina Pehme, Justin Rebelo

Are games the meaning of life? The Hobby is a funny, affectionate, character-driven portrait of the massive subculture of modern board games, featuring a fascinating and diverse group of subjects who find deep meaning in “meaningless” pursuits. (World Premiere)

How Music Got Free
Showrunner/Director: Alex Stapleton
Producers: Philip Byron, Marshall Mathers, Paul Rosenberg, LeBron James, Maverick Carter, Steve Stoute, Jamal Henderson, Bridgette Theriault, Dan Sacks, James Chapman, Steve Berman, John Janick, Anthony Seyler, Stephen Witt, Alex Stapleton

How Music Got Free is a documentary by Alex Stapleton, that reveals the true story of Dell Glover, a CD factory worker turned piracy pioneer, who sparked a global file-sharing revolution. (World Premiere)

Stormy
Director: Sarah Gibson
Producers: Sarah Gibson, Erin Lee Carr, Emelia Brown

From reporters to lawyers to politicians, many have attempted to define Stormy Daniels. Stormy tells the unvarnished truth about an unlikely American icon - this time, in her own words. (World Premiere)

The Truth vs. Alex Jones
Director: Dan Reed
Producer: Dan Reed, Marguerite Gaudin

How grieving Sandy Hook families defeated conspiracy giant Alex Jones in two historic trials, holding him to account for the lies he spread about the 2012 mass shooting. Fake news on trial, with unprecedented access to a Travis County courtroom. (World Premiere)


Visions

7 Keys (UK)
Director/Screenwriter: Joy Wilkinson
Producers: Cassandra Sigsgaard, Dylan Rees

Daniel has kept the keys to all the places he’s lived. Lena wants to use them for a wild weekend getting to know each other intimately in other people’s homes. But what begins as a risky fantasy soon becomes a deadly threat. Cast: Emma McDonald, Billy Postlethwaite, Kaylen Luke, Joey Akubeze, Amit Shah, Jane Goddard (World Premiere)

Doppelgängers³ (US, Algeria, Armenia, France, UK)
Director/Screenwriter: Nelly Ben Hayoun- Stépanian
Producers: Sandra Leeming, Luke Moody, Victoria Adams, Amina Castaing, Nelly Ben Hayoun-Stépanian
Three doppelgängers meet in outer space to imagine diasporic and eco-feminist futures. (World Premiere)

Sew Torn (US, Switzerland)
Director: Freddy Macdonald
Screenwriters: Freddy Macdonald, Fred Macdonald
Producers: Fred Macdonald, Barry Navidi, Sebastian Klinger, Diamantis Zavitsanos, Socratis Zavitsanos

A seamstress gets tangled in her own thread after stealing a briefcase from a drug deal gone bad. In an escalating game of cat and mouse, her different choices lead to drastically different outcomes along the way. Cast: Eve Connolly, Calum Worthy, John Lynch, K Callan, Ron Cook, Thomas Douglas, Werner Biermeier, Veronika Herren-Wenger, Caroline Goodall (World Premiere)


24 Beats Per Second

Any Other Way: The Jackie Shane Story (Canada)
Directors/Screenwriters: Michael Mabbott, Lucah Rosenberg-Lee
Producers: Amanda Burt, Sam Dunn, Scot McFadyen, Michael Mabbott, Justine Pimlott

Any Other Way: The Jackie Shane Story reveals the extraordinary rise, sudden disappearance, and resurgence of trailblazing Black trans soul singer Jackie Shane. (World Premiere)

Billy Preston: That's The Way God Planned It
Director: Paris Barclay
Producers: Stephanie Allain Bray, Jeanne Elfant Festa, Nigel Sinclair
Screenwriters: Cheo Hodari Coker, Paris Barclay
Billy Preston: That’s the Way God Planned It is a celebration of Billy Preston's extraordinary musical legacy, and an examination of the personal and social forces that haunted him throughout his life. Featuring Billy Preston, Eric Clapton, Billy Porter, Merry Clayton, Ringo Starr, Olivia Harrison, Suzanne de Passe, Tony Jones, Cory Henry, Gloria Jones (World Premiere)

Dandelion
Director/Screenwriter: Nicole Riegel
Producers: Rian Cahill, Adam Cobb, Nicole Riegel, Peter McClellan

Dandelion follows a singer-songwriter in a downward spiral as she takes a last effort gig at a motorcycle rally in South Dakota where she meets Casey, a guitarist who walked away from his dream long ago. Cast: Kiki Layne, Thomas Doherty, Melanie Nicholls-King, Brady Stablein, Jack Stablein, Grace Kaiser (World Premiere)

Freaknik: The Wildest Party Never Told
Director: P. Frank Williams

Freaknik: The Wildest Party Never Told is a celebratory exploration of the boisterous times of Freaknik, the iconic Atlanta street party that drew hundreds of thousands of people in the 80s and 90s, helping put Atlanta on the map culturally. Featuring 21 Savage, Too $hort, Jermaine Dupri, Killer Mike, Luther Campbell (AKA Uncle Luke), Ceelo Green, Jaleen Rose, DJ Kenny Burns, Lil' Jon, Legendary Jerry, Sharon Toomer, Emma Horton, Monique Tolliver, and Amadi Boon, Stacy Llyod (World Premiere)


Festival Favorite

Black Box Diaries (US, Japan, UK)
Director: Shiori Ito
Producers: Eric Nyari, Hanna Aqvilin, Shiori Ito

Journalist Shiori Ito embarks on a courageous investigation of her own sexual assault in an improbable attempt to prosecute her high-profile offender. (Texas Premiere)

Dìdi (弟弟)
Director/Screenwriter: Sean Wang
Producers: Carlos López Estrada, Josh Peters, Valerie Bush, Sean Wang

In 2008, during the last month of summer before high school begins, an impressionable 13-year-old Taiwanese American boy learns what his family can’t teach him: how to skate, how to flirt, and how to love your mom. Cast: Izaac Wang, Joan Chen, Shirley Chen, Chang Li Hua (Texas Premiere)

Every Little Thing (Australia)
Director/Screenwriter: Sally Aitken
Producers: Bettina Dalton, Anna Godas, Oli Harbottle

All that stands between a wounded hummingbird and its survival is Terry Masear, the busiest hummingbird rehabilitator in Hollywood. Follow Terry’s unique mission to heal these tiny birds, and how in turn she shows us how to heal ourselves. (Texas Premiere)

Ghostlight
Directors: Kelly O'Sullivan, Alex Thompson
Producers: Alex Thompson, Chelsea Krant, Pierce Cravens, Ian Keiser, Eddie Linker, Alex Wilson
Screenwriter: Kelly O'Sullivan

When a construction worker unwittingly joins a local theater's production of Romeo and Juliet, the drama onstage starts to mirror his own life. Cast: Keith Kupferer, Dolly De Leon, Katherine Mallen-Kupferer, Tara Mallen (Texas Premiere)

Girls Will Be Girls (India)
Director/Screenwriter: Shuchi Talati
Producers: Richa Chadha, Claire Chassagne, Shuchi Talati

16-year-old Mira finds her sexy, rebellious coming-of-age hijacked by her mother who never got to come of age herself. Cast: Preeti Panigrahi, Kani Kusruti, Kesav Binoy Kiran (Texas Premiere)

I Saw The TV Glow
Director/Screenwriter: Jane Schoenbrun
Producers: Emma Stone, Ali Herting, Dave McCary, Kevin Kelly, Sam Intilli, Sarah Winshall
Owen is just trying to make it through life in the suburbs when his classmate introduces him to a mysterious TV show — a vision of a supernatural world beneath their own. In the pale glow of the television, Owen’s view of reality begins to crack. Cast: Justice Smith, Brigette Lundy-Paine, Ian Foreman, Helena Howard, Lindsey Jordan, Danielle Deadwyler, Fred Durst, Conner O'Malley, Emma Portner (Texas Premiere)

Kneecap (Ireland, UK)
Director/Screenwriter: Rich Peppiatt
Producers: Trevor Birney, Jack Tarling

There are 80,000 native Irish speakers in Ireland. 6,000 live in the North of Ireland. Three of them became a rap group called Kneecap. This is the real life story of how this anarchic Belfast trio became the unlikely figureheads of a civil rights movement to save their mother tongue. Cast: Naoise Ó Cairealláin aka “Móglaí Bap”, Liam Óg Ó Hannaidh aka “Mo Chara”, JJ Ó Dochartaigh aka “Dj Provaí”, Josie Walker, Fionnuala Flaherty, Jessica Reynolds, Adam Best, Simone Kirby, Michael Fassbender (Texas Premiere)

Love Machina
Director: Peter Sillen
Producers: Brendan Doyle, Peter Sillen

Love Machina follows Bina48, a humanoid AI, commissioned in 2007 by Martine and Bina Rothblatt. An early sketch of potential digital consciousness, Bina48 is our vehicle to explore the Rothblatt's futurist ideas and their quest to be in love forever. (Texas Premiere)

Never Look Away (New Zealand)
Director: Lucy Lawless
Producers: Matthew Metcalfe, Lucy Lawless, Tom Blackwell
Screenwriters: Matthew Metcalfe, Tom Blackwell, Lucy Lawless, Whetham Allpress
New Zealand born, ground-breaking CNN camerawoman Margaret Moth, risks it all to show the reality of war from inside the conflict. Moth stares down danger and she confronts those that perpetuate it. (Texas Premiere)

Pet Shop Days (Italy, UK, US)
Director: Olmo Schnabel
Producers: Galen Core, Francesco Melzi, Alex Coco, Bebe Moratti, Marie Savare, Olmo Schnabel
Screenwriters: Olmo Schnabel, Galen Core, Jack Irv

Impulsive black sheep Alejandro and pet store employee Jack, enter a whirlwind romance that sends them down the rabbit hole of depravity in Manhattan’s underworld. Cast: Jack Irv, Dario Yazeb Bernal, Willem Dafoe, Peter Sarsgaard, Jordi Molla, Louis Cancelmi, Maribel Verdu (Texas Premiere)

Smugglers (Republic of Korea)
Director: Ryoo Seung-wan
Producers: Kang Hye-jung, Cho Sung-min, Ryoo Seung-wan
Screenwriters: Ryoo Seung-wan, Kim Jung-youn, Choi Cha-won

Two women get unexpectedly caught up in a high stakes smuggling scheme in 1970's Korea. Cast: Kim Hye-soo, Yum Jung-ah, Zo In-sung, Park Jeong-min, Kim Jong-soo, Go Min-si (U.S. Premiere)


TV Premiere

Stax: Soulsville, U.S.A.
Director: Jamila Wignot
Producer: Jamila Wignot, Kara Elverson

In 1960s Memphis, an audacious set of interracial collaborators dared to make their own music on their own terms, forming Stax Records, one of America’s most influential creators of Black music. (World Premiere)

Thank You, Goodnight: The Bon Jovi Story
Director: Gotham Chopra

This all-access docuseries chronicles the history and uncertain future of one of the most recognizable bands in the world and its front-man Jon Bon Jovi. A legend on the precipice as a vocal injury threatens to bring everything to a screeching halt. (World Premiere)


TV SPOTLIGHT

Long Time Sun
Showrunners/Producers: Joanna Forscher, Chloe Chapman
Director: Joanna Forscher

Long Time Sun is a four-part epic chronicling the rise of Kundalini Yoga and 3HO Sikh Dharma. Spanning sixty years, this community is a microcosm of American life through which to explore themes of power, family, capitalism, and forgiveness. (World Premiere)


Duplass Brothers Indie TV Showcase

A showcase of four independently produced pilots by Duplass Brothers Productions featuring Penelope, Ryley Walker and Friends, The Broadcast, and The Long Long Night. Mark Duplass, Mel Eslyn, Natalie Palamides, Courtney Pauroso, and Barret O’Brien will be in attendance for a Q&A after the screening.

The Broadcast
Directors/Screenwriters: Natalie Palamides, Courtney Pauroso ‘
Producer: Emily A. Neumann

In an absurd dystopian future, two female scientists find themselves responsible for the world’s only remaining televised news source. Cast: Natalie Palamides, Courtney Pauroso (World Premiere)

The Long Long Night
Director/Screenwriter: Barret O'Brien
Producer: Rory O'Neill Schmitt

It’s been six months since that disastrous night in the motel and these two guys are nowhere near over it. Cast: Mark Duplass, Barret O'Brien (Texas Premiere)

Penelope
Showrunner/Director: Mel Eslyn
Screenwriters: Mark Duplass, Mel Eslyn
Producer: Meghan Mowery

Feeling out of place in modern society, a 16-year-old is drawn into the unknown wilderness, where she begins forming a new life for herself. Cast: Megan Stott, Austin Abrams (Texas Premiere)

Ryley Walker & Friends
Director: Mark Duplass
Producer: Daniel Chelemer
Ryley visits English singer-songwriter Bridget St. John. (World Premiere)


XR Experience Competition

Last We Left Off (Canada)
Directors: The Expats: Connor Illsley, Jon Riera, Grayson Moore, Aidan Shipley
Producers: Cameron MacLaren, Peter Fisher, Connor Illsley, Jon Riera
When a group of friends hire a Dungeon Master to lead them through a tabletop role-playing game, they get more than they bargained for. As the lines between fantasy and reality blur, our characters' inescapable pasts come back to haunt them. (World Premiere)

We Speak Their Names in Hushed Tones (Nigeria, South Africa)
Director: Omoregie Osakpolor
Producers: Ingrid Kopp, Steven Markovitz, Antoinette Engel

Family members of missing migrants who traveled through irregular migration routes to Europe struggle with anxiety, pain and unresolved hope. (World Premiere)


XR Experience Spotlight

444.2 (South Africa)
Director: Nirma Madhoo
Producers: Ingrid Kopp, Steven Markovitz, Antoinette Engel

The first star cluster mapped by the original stargazers constellates 444.2 light years away from Earth. African cosmology and volumetric fashion performance on the site of the Southern African Large Telescope mesmerize on a sublime journey to space. (North American Premiere)

Energēia (France)
Director/Screenwriter: Ugo Arsac

Energēia is an immersive documentary experience that questions the future of energy use. Freed from gravity, the visitor can explore ghostly buildings, built from 3D scans within French nuclear power plants to discover hidden interviews. (International Premiere)

The Imaginary Friend (Netherlands)
Director/Screenwriter: Steye Hallema
Producer: Corine Meijers

A young child with a vivid imagination struggles to make sense of the world around him, he needs YOU–his imaginary friend–to help him navigate his feelings. (North American Premiere)

Shadowtime (US, Netherlands, Turkey)
Directors/Screenwriters: Sister Sylvester, Deniz Tortum
Producers: Firat Sezgin, Ecegül Bayram

You are in two worlds at the same time. Your body is in the other world, but your heart is in this one. (North American Premiere)

Songs for a Passerby (Netherlands)
Director: Celine Daemen

A dreamlike VR-opera about our experience of time. How do we relate to a world of things that are passing? Are we a part of it? Or are we just looking at it? (North American Premiere)

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