SXSW Adds 102 Movies to 2019 Film Festival Lineup
After Us, what else does the film fest have in store?
By Richard Whittaker,
2:00PM, Wed. Jan. 16, 2019
Start your SXSW Film Festival planning now: the annual celebration of screens large and small has announced its first wave of movies and shows, with new films from Olivia Wilde, Robert Rodriguez, Christopher Morris, and more.
The massive list of 102 features, TV and streaming titles, and special events includes all the titles for the Narrative and Documentary Feature Competitions, Headliners, Narrative and Documentary Spotlight sections, Visions, Global, Episodic Premieres, and 24 Beats Per Second.
The film festival (March 8-17) already announced Jordan Peele's eagerly-awaited doppelgänger horror Us as the opening night film, and today's announcement confirms a few sneaking suspicions. Olivia Wilde, who was added earlier this week as the film keynote speaker, brings the world premiere of her feature directorial debut Booksmart, while Americana legend David Crosby (who will be in town for a conversation with Oscar-winning director Cameron Crowe) is the focus of David Crosby: Remember My Name, part of the 24 Beats Per Second music documentary strand.
SXSW has become a launching pad for raunchy studio comedies, and this year sees a double chuckle with Universal's new-style puberty comedy Good Boys, and a first glimpse at the (so far) untitled comedy from Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron. Elsewhere on the comedy front, there's a first glimpse at What We Do in the Shadows, the TV adaptation of the vampire comedy from Jemaine Clement and Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi.
Plus watch out for a couple of slice-of-life takes on making laughs, with a behind-the-scenes look at the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival in It Started as a Joke, and an unmissable world premiere in Kathy Griffin's first ever concert film, Kathy Griffin: A Hell of a Story, where the scarlet-haired hellraiser breaks down what really happened in the wake of that photoshoot.
The star power continues with The Highwaymen, the true story of Frank Hamer, the Texas Ranger who hunted down Bonnie and Clyde, starring Woody Harrelson and Kevin Costner. There's also a return for our SXSW cover star from last year, Jay Duplass, who stars opposite Tatiana Maslany in UK-shot relationship drama Pink Wall.
But SXSW is first and foremost a home to rising talents and stories often left untold, and no city's films speak to that as much as Austin. The home town presence is strongest in the documentary section. Layton Blaylock, who captured the creativity of Austin's homeless community in 2008 with Art From the Streets, returns to the topic with his exploration of the city's radical experiment in building new lives after falling through the safety net in Community First, A Home for the Homeless. Meanwhile Becoming Leslie is a biography of Albert Leslie Cochran, Austin's late and beloved homeless celebrity, which director Tracy Frazier has promised will catch him in all his complexities. Speaking of Austin's oddball icons, J.R. "Bob" Dobbs and The Church of the SubGenius is a revival meeting for the Dadaist takedown of organized religions - one of the first true internet sensations.
Of course, it's not Austin without some music and politics, so get your dancing shoes on for Nothing Stays the Same: The Story of the Saxon Pub, South Austin's legendary beer and beats institution, then take to the campaign trail with director David Modigliani for Running With Beto, inside the campaign bus for Beto O'Rourke's grassroots campaign to unseat U.S. Senator Ted Cruz.
Austin stays strong on the narrative side too: Bob Byington reunites with his Somebody Up There Likes Me stars Keith Poulson and Nick Offerman for small-town scandal drama Frances Ferguson; then Matthew McConaughey gets back to the urgent business of taking it easy in Harmony Korine's The Beach Bum. Meanwhile Robert Rodriguez seemingly snuck a break from his upcoming mega-blockbuster Alita: Battle Angel to squeeze in a surprise new project: Red 11, a semi-autobiographical-but-very-made-up story of an indie filmmaker that sees Rodriguez go back to his microbudget roots.
Red 11 screens straight after Rodriguez holds his Rebel Without a Crew Filmmaking Masterclass, one of a host of special events including a special screening of Ra: Path of the Sun God with live score by Austin's Holodeck Records, the debut of the new 4K restoration of David Byrne's True Stories (with the Talking Head himself in attendance), and the return of the ultimate historian of drive-in movies, Joe Bob Briggs, with his special presentation, How Rednecks Saved Hollywood.
Of course, always look out for new names, but there are some established (and recognizable) directors well worth looking out for this time around. Chris Morris, the godfather of modern scathing political satire, strikes back with his evangelical spoof The Day Shall Come; Laggies director Lynne Shelton is back with Sword of Trust; Riley Stearns (Faults) teaches Jesse Eisenberg The Art of Self-Defense; and Adam Mason, who shocked audiences two years ago with a rare screening of his lost horror masterpiece Pig, is back with I'm Just F*cking With You.
But wait, there's more. Come back on Feb. 6 when the festival announces Festival Favorites, Midnighters, shorts, more Episodics, and a few extra-special feature titles that you'll want on your schedule.
NARRATIVE FEATURE COMPETITION
D: Josephine Mackerras (France)
She did everything right until it all went wrong.
Cast: Emilie Piponnier, Martin Swabey, Chloe Boreham (World Premiere)
D: Mike Ahern, Enda Loughman (Ireland)
Rose, a mostly sweet and mostly lonely small-town driving instructor, must use her supernatural talent to save the daughter of Martin (also mostly sweet and lonely), from a washed-up rockstar who is using her in a satanic pact that will reignite his fame.
Cast: Maeve Higgins, Barry Ward, Will Forte, Claudia Doherty (World Premiere)
Go Back to China
D: Emily Ting (China, U.S.)
After 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.
Cast: Anna Akana, Richard Ng, Lynn Chen, Kelly Hu, Kendy Cheung, Aviva Wang (World Premiere)
Mickey and the Bear
D: Annabelle Attanasio
A headstrong Montana teenager navigates a loving but volatile relationship with her single, veteran father. In a desperate search for independence and her own identity, she risks family, heartbreak and her standing in the only place she can call home.
Cast: Camila Morrone, James Badge Dale, Calvin Demba, Ben Rosenfield, Rebecca Henderson (World Premiere)
Ms. White Light
D: Paul Shoulberg
Lex 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.
Cast: Roberta Colindrez, John Ortiz, Judith Light, Carson Meyer, Zachary Spicer (World Premiere)
D: Sam Probst, Colby Holt
Jodie, a woman in her mid-thirties, struggles with the pressure to find a partner and have children. When she attends a Guns N' Roses concert, she thinks she may have met a potential match — until he immediately ghosts on her.
Cast: Anna T Schlegel, Tony Jaksha, Pete Zias, Michael Henry, Nate Stoner, Maxwell Esposito, Amanda DeSimone, Alex Myerchin, Andrew Kudla (World Premiere)
D: Keola Racela
When 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.
Cast: Evan Daves, Larry Saperstein, Jillian Mueller, Glenn Stott, Robert Tann, Bill Phillips, Katelyn Pearce, Peter Reznikoff (World Premiere)
D: Alex Thompson
At the start of the summer, Bridget has an abortion just as she lands a much-needed job in affluent Evanston, Illinois — nannying a six-year old.
Cast: Ramona Edith-Williams, Kelly O'Sullivan, Lily Mojekwu, Charin Alvarez, Jim True-Frost, Max Lipchitz, Mary Beth Fisher, Francis Guinan, Bradley Grant Smith (World Premiere)
D: Hilary Brougher
When 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.
Cast: Talia Balsam, Scott Cohen, Andrus Nichols, Michael Oberholtzer, Naian Gonzalez, Midori Francis, Macaulee Rusnak Cassaday, Isis Masoud, Violet Rea, Guthrie Mass (World Premiere)
Yes, God, Yes
D: Karen Maine
After an innocent AOL chat turns racy, a Catholic teenager in the early 00s discovers masturbating and struggles to suppress her urges in the face of eternal damnation.
Cast: Natalia Dyer, Timothy Simons, Wolfgang Novogratz, Francesca Reale, Susan Blackwell, Parker Wierling, Alisha Boe, Donna Lynne Champlin (World Premiere)
Narrative Feature Competition Jury: Barbara Chai, Senior Editor for the Wall Street Journal; Ira Madison III, Writer and Host of the podcast Keep It!>; Jada Yuan, Inaugural 52 Places Traveler for The New York Times.
DOCUMENTARY FEATURE COMPETITION
Ernie & Joe
D: Jenifer McShane
Ernie & 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)
D: Waad al-Khateab, Edward Watts (United Kingdom)
For Sama tells the epic story of a young woman’s journey through love, war and motherhood across five years of the uprising in Aleppo, Syria. (World Premiere)
D: Jennifer Trainer
From 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)
Nothing Fancy: Diana Kennedy
D: Elizabeth Carroll (UK, U.S.)
Award-winning cookbook author, diehard environmentalist and feisty British nonagenarian Diana Kennedy reflects on an unconventional life spent mastering the cuisines of Mexico. (World Premiere)
D: Erin Derham (Canada, U.S.)
Stuffed 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)
D: Paul Solet
Pushed 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)
D: Rodney Evans
A feature-length documentary that chronicles the creative paths of blind and visually impaired artists including a photographer (John Dugdale), dancer (Kayla Hamilton), writer (Ryan Knighton) and the film's director, Rodney Evans. (World Premiere)
We Are The Radical Monarchs
D: Linda Goldstein Knowlton
Meet 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)
D: Rebecca Stern
Well 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 You
D: Harrod Blank, Sjoerd Dijk
Rusty, 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)
Documentary Feature Competition Jury: Karen Han, Entertainment Reporter at Polygon; Adam B. Vary, Senior Film Reporter for BuzzFeed News; Katie Walsh, Film Critic for the Tribune News Service
The Beach Bum
D: Harmony Korine
The Beach Bum follows the hilarious misadventures of Moondog (Matthew McConaughey), a rebellious rogue who always lives life by his own rules. Co-starring Snoop Dogg, Zac Efron, and Isla Fisher, The Beach Bum is a refreshingly original and subversive.
Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Snoop Dogg, Isla Fisher, Stefania Lavie Owen, Jimmy Buffett, Zac Efron, Martin Lawrence (World Premiere)
D: Olivia Wilde
On 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.
Cast: Kaitlyn Dever, Beanie Feldstein, Jessica Williams, Will Forte, Lisa Kudrow, Jason Sudeikis (World Premiere)
D: Gene Stupnitsky
The writers of Superbad and the producers of Sausage Party take on sixth grade in Universal Pictures’ Good Boys, an R-rated comedy about three friends on an epic one-day odyssey of bad decisions.
Cast: Jacob Tremblay, Keith L. Williams, Brady Noon, Molly Gordon, Midori Francis, Josh Caras (World Premiere)
D: John Lee Hancock
The outlaws made headlines. The lawmen made history. From director John Lee Hancock (The Blind Side), The Highwaymen stars Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson in the untold true story of the legendary detectives who brought down Bonnie and Clyde.
Cast: Kevin Costner, Woody Harrelson, Kathy Bates, Kim Dickinson (World Premiere)
Untitled Seth Rogen/ Charlize Theron Comedy
D: Jonathan Levine
An ambitious diplomat with a spotless reputation and a hard-partying journalist hilariously redefine “international relations” as they try to keep their red-hot romance under wraps.
Cast: Seth Rogen, Charlize Theron, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Andy Serkis, June Diane Raphael, Ravi Patel and Alexander Skarsgård (World Premiere)
D: Jordan Peele
An original nightmare from Oscar-winner Jordan Peele (Get Out), starring Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke, Us pits an average American family against a terrifying opponent: doppelgängers of themselves.
Cast: Lupita Nyong'o, Winston Duke, Elisabeth Moss, Tim Heidecker, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Anna Diop, Evan Alex, Shahadi Wright-Joseph, Madison Curry, Cali Sheldon (World Premiere)
Adopt a Highway
D: Logan Marshall-Green
After being released from prison following a twenty year sentence for a minor offense, an ex-con must learn to navigate the world while coming to terms with his own life which has moved on — all while caring for an abandoned baby he finds in a dumpster.
Cast: Ethan Hawke, Elaine Hendrix, Diana Gaeta Marshall-Green, Betty Gabriel, Mo McRae, Chris Sullivan, Nate Mooney, Christopher Heyerdahl, Anne Marie Johnson (World Premiere)
The Art of Self-Defense
D: Riley Stearns
The Art of Self-Defense stars Jesse Eisenberg and is set in the world of karate. Eisenberg plays a man who is attacked on the street and enlists in a local dojo, led by a charismatic Sensei (Nivola), in an effort to learn how to defend himself.
Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Alessandro Nivola, Imogen Poots (World Premiere)
Come As You Are
D: Richard Wong
Three 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.
Cast: Grant Rosenmeyer, Hayden Szeto, Ravi Patel, Gabourey Sidibe, Janeane Garofalo, C.S. Lee, Jennifer Jelsema, Martha Kuwahara, Delaney Feener, Asta Philpot (World Premiere)
The Day Shall Come
D: Chris Morris (UK, U.S.)
An 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.
Cast: Marchánt Davis, Anna Kendrick, Danielle Brooks, Denis O'Hare (World Premiere)
D: Bob Byington
A small town's reaction to scandal.
Cast: Kaley Wheless, Nick Offerman, Keith Poulson, David Krumholtz (World Premiere)
I'm Just F*cking With You
D: Adam Mason
A young man and his sister endure a night of increasingly frightening practical jokes while spending the night at a secluded motel.
Cast: Keir O’Donnell, Hayes MacArthur, Jessica McNamee (World Premiere)
Mother's Little Helpers
D: Kestrin Pantera
When Joy Pride, a groovy 70’s burn-out on the caboose of the flower power movement learns she has weeks to live, her estranged children come together to do right by a mother who always did them wrong.
Cast: Breeda Wool, Melanie Hutsell, David Giuntoli, Sam Littlefield, Kestrin Pantera (World Premiere)
D: Jeremy Teicher
In the Athlete Village at the Olympic Winter Games, Penelope (Alexi Pappas), a cross-country skier, befriends Ezra (Nick Kroll), a volunteer dentist, after a disappointing finish in her race. Penelope and Ezra share a special but limited time together.
Cast: Nick Kroll, Alexi Pappas, Gus Kenworthy, Morgan Schild, Jamie Anderson (World Premiere)
The Peanut Butter Falcon
D: Tyler Nilson, Michael Schwartz
A young man with Down syndrome runs away from the retirement home where he lives to chase his dream of becoming a professional wrestler.
Cast: Shia LaBeouf, Dakota Johnson, Zack Gottsagen, John Hawkes, Bruce Dern, Thomas Haden Church, Jon Bernthal, Jake "The Snake" Roberts, Mick Foley (World Premiere)
D: Tom Cullen (UK)
Six 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.
Cast: Tatiana Maslany, Jay Duplass (World Premiere)
Run This Town
D: Ricky Tollman (Canada)
A 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.
Cast: Ben Platt, Nina Dobrev, Mena Massoud, Damian Lewis, Jennifer Ehle, Scott Speedman (World Premiere)
Sword of Trust
D: Lynn Shelton
A curmudgeonly pawnshop owner and his man-child sidekick team up with an out of town couple to cash in on a family heirloom: a sword believed by alt history conspiracy nuts to be proof that the South won the Civil War.
Cast: Marc Maron, Jon Bass, Michaela Watkins, Jillian Bell, Toby Huss, Dan Bakkedahl, Tim Paul, Whitmer Thomas (World Premiere)
D: Dan Berk, Robert Olsen
When 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.
Cast: Bill Skarsgard, Maika Monroe, Kyra Sedgwick, Jeffrey Donovan (World Premiere)
The Wall of Mexico
D: Zachary Cotler, Magdalena Zyzak (U.S., Mexico)
A young white handyman, hired by a wealthy Mexican-American family to upkeep their ranch, finds himself caught between disgruntled locals and the family's outrageously decadent daughters and discovers that something quite unusual is happening at the ranch.
Cast: Jackson Rathbone, Esai Morales, Marisol Sacramento, Carmela Zumbado, Alex Meneses, Moises Arias, with Mariel Hemingway, and Xander Berkeley (World Premiere)
Any One Of Us
D: Fernando Villena
Through 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)
D: Alex Horwitz
A feature documentary about the emerging technology of self-driving vehicles and the big questions they raise: what is control and who do we become as we relinquish it to machines? (World Premiere)
Bellingcat — Truth in a Post-Truth World
D: Hans Pool (Netherlands)
Bellingcat — Truth in a Post-Truth World explores the exclusive world of Bellingcat, a highly-skilled and controversial collective of “citizen investigative journalists” dedicated to redefining breaking news in the 21st century. (North American Premiere)
D: Bill Haney
Breakthrough tells the story of a renegade, blues-playing, Nobel prize-winning Texas scientist who created a cure for the world’s deadliest disease. Narrated by Woody Harrelson with a country-blues soundtrack. (World Premiere)
Building the American Dream
D: Chelsea Hernandez
In 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 Homeless
D: Layton Blaylock
Community 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)
D: Adam Bolt
A once-in-a-lifetime scientific discovery called CRISPR gives us the power to change what it means to be human. Now it’s up to us to decide how far we should go. (World Premiere)
I Love You, Now Die: The Commonwealth Vs. Michelle Carter
D: Erin Lee Carr
Teen 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)
It Started As a Joke
D: Julie Smith Clem, Ken Druckerman
It Started As a Joke documents the decade-long run of the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival. The film celebrates Eugene's unique brand of humor and reminds us of the healing properties of comedy – even in the most challenging of life’s circumstances. (World Premiere)
D: Jacob Ryan Hamilton
Jump 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 Story
D: Troy Miller
In 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)
D: Jenna Ricker
In 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)
D: Casey Pinkston, Luke Dick
In the early 1980's, 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 Wall
D: Ben Masters
Five 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 Beto
D: David Modigliani
Follow 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 Drive
D: Uli Gaulke (Germany)
The vital power of creativity — a behind the scenes look into Hollywood's retirement home. (North American Premiere)
D: Tracy Frazier
Becoming Leslie reveals the inner and bizarre world of Leslie Cochran, a cross-dressing homeless misfit who became the most iconic and unlikely civic symbol of Austin, Texas. (World Premiere)
The Garden Left Behind
D: Flavio Alves
A Mexican trans woman struggles to build a life for herself as an undocumented immigrant in New York City.
Cast: Michael Madsen, Ed Asner, Carlie Guevara, Danny Flaherty, Alex Kruz, Anthony Abdo, Dawn Young, Tamara M. Williams, Miriam Cruz, Brock Yurich (World Premiere)
J.R. "Bob" Dobbs and The Church of the SubGenius
D: Sandy K Boone
This 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)
D: Numa Perrier
A true story. In the last days of her mother’s life, 19-year-old Tiffany crashes with five family members in a Las Vegas studio apartment. In order to make ends meet, her sister, a phone sex operator, introduces her to the world of fetish cam girls.
Cast: Tiffany Tenille, Numa Perrier, Stephen Barrington, Bobby Field, Brett Gelman, Rockwelle Dortch, Zoe Tyson, Dennis Jaffee, Jessa Zarubica (World Premiere)
Leave the Bus Through the Broken Window
D: Andrew Hevia (Hong Kong, U.S.)
A broken-hearted filmmaker navigates an unfamiliar city, an international art fair and his personal baggage in this intimate, playful and unexpectedly comedic documentary. (World Premiere)
One Man Dies a Million Times
D: Jessica Oreck (Belarus)
Set in the future, a story about seeds and genetic diversity, about growth and decay, about love and war, and about hunger of all kinds.
Cast: Alyssa Lozovskaya, Maksim Blinov (World Premiere)
D: Robert Rodriguez
Cast: Roby Attal, Lauren Hatfield, Carlos Gallardo, Alejandro Rose Garcia, Rebel Rodriguez, Racer Rodriguez, Eman Esfandi, Steven Brudniak, Brently Heilbron, Pierce Foster Bailey (World Premiere)
D: Elizabeth Sankey (UK)
Musician and writer Elizabeth Sankey investigates the past, present and future of romantic comedies, assisted by a chorus of critics, actors and filmmakers. (World Premiere)
D: Ben Asamoah (Belgium, Netherlands)
What 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)
D: Grace Glowicki (Canada)
A desperate man seeks refuge from the predators hunting him by befriending a cheerful intruder.
Cast: Grace Glowicki, Ben Petrie (World Premiere)
David Makes Man
Showrunner: Dee Harris-Lawrence, Screenwriter: Tarell Alvin McCraney
A richly layered, deeply personal work about a 14-year-old prodigy from the projects who is haunted by the death of his closest friend. Set in South Florida, the series is inspired by events in McCraney’s own life, exploring childhood trauma and the power of imagination.
Cast: Akili McDowell, Nathaniel McIntyre, Isaiah Johnson, Ade Chike Torbert, Cayden Williams, Jordan Bolger, Travis Coles, Phylicia Rashad, Alana Arenas (World Premiere)
Showrunner/Screenwriter: Jami O'Brien
NOS4A2 introduces Vic, a young woman who has a supernatural ability to find lost things. This ability puts her on a collision course with the evil and immortal Charlie Manx, a supernatural villain who feeds off the souls of children.
Cast List: Zachary Quinto, Ashleigh Cummings, Jahkara J. Smith, Olafur Olafsson, Virginia Kull, Ebon Moss-Bachrach (World Premiere)
Showrunner: Bridget Bedard, Screenwriter: Ramy Youssef
Ramy, 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.
Cast: Ramy Youssef, Mohammed Amer, Hiam Abbass, Amr Waked, May Calamawy, David Merheje, Laith Nakli, Steve Way (World Premiere)
Showrunner: Alexandra Rushfield, Screenwriters: Alexandra Rushfield, Lindy West and Aidy Bryant
From 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.
Cast: Aidy Bryant, Lolly Adefope, Luka Jones, Ian Owens, John Cameron Mitchell (World Premiere)
What We Do in the Shadows
Showrunners: Jemaine Clement, Paul Simms
Based 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.
Cast: Matt Berry, Kayvan Novak, Natasia Demetriou, Harvey Guillén, Mark Proksch (World Premiere)
24 BEATS PER SECOND
D: Bruno Murtinho
Leaving 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)
D: Brian Loschiavo
Discover the origin stories of megastars like Garth Brooks and Taylor Swift while following emerging singer-songwriters as they chase their dreams inside The Bluebird Cafe, Nashville’s accidental landmark that has altered the course of music history. (World Premiere)
The Boy Band Con: The Lou Pearlman Story
D: Aaron Kunkel
The 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 Magazine
D: Scott Crawford
Ripping 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 Zero
D: Eric Mahoney
The film explores the seminal 90's 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 Guitars
D: Ron Mann (Canada)
Five Days in the life of Greenwich Village guitar shop Carmine Street Guitars.
The Chills: The Triumph and Tragedy of Martin Phillipps
D: Julia Parnell, Rob Curry (New Zealand)
New 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 Name
D: A.J. Eaton
David 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)
D: Sebastian Jones, Ramez Silyan
Everybody’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 Cash
D: Thom Zimny
Johnny 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)
D: Peter Michael Dowd
Dowd Akio Sakurai has dedicated his life to honoring Jimmy Page. For 30 years he recreated vintage Zeppelin concerts note-for-note in small Tokyo clubs. Moving to L.A. to pursue his tribute dream, cultures clash and Akio's idyllic vision meets reality. (World Premiere)
Nothing Stays The Same: The Story of The Saxon Pub
D: Jeff Sandmann
Nothing Stays the Same celebrates the last 30 years of live music in Austin, while also examining the challenges faced by musicians and music venues in one of the fastest-growing cities in the country, all through the lens of the legendary Saxon Pub. (World Premiere)
Show Me The Picture: The Story of Jim Marshall
D: Alfred George Bailey (UK)
Jim 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 60's. (World Premiere)
D: Brandon Vedder
A 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)
D: Max Minghella (UK)
The film follows Violet, a shy teenager who enters an international singing competition with the help of an unlikely mentor. Driven by a pop-fueled soundtrack, Teen Spirit is a visceral and stylish spin on the Cinderella story.
Cast: Elle Fanning (U.S. Premiere)
Who Let The Dogs Out
D: Brent Hodge (Canada)
The 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)
D: Tom Harper (United Kingdom)
A musician from Glasgow dreams of becoming a Nashville star. Cast: Jessie Buckley, Julie Walters, Sophie Okonedo (U.S. Premiere)
GLOBALA diverse selection of international filmmaking talent, featuring innovative narratives, artful documentaries, premieres, festival favorites and more.
D: Barbara Vekarić (Serbia)
A character piece about funny and troubled girl in her 20s, forced to move back in with her overbearing family.
Cast: Tihana Lazović, Goran Marković, Sebastian Cavazza, Nataša Janjić, Jason Mann, Aljoša Vučović, Neda Arnerić, Leon Lučev (North American Premiere)
D: Miia Tervo (Finland)
Aurora, a commitment-phobic party animal, meets Iranian Amir one night at a hot-dog stand in Lapland. Amir is running from death and Aurora is running from love. They need each other in order to finally stop running.
Cast: Mimosa Willamo, Amir Escandari, Oona Airola, Hannu-Pekka Björkman, Miitta Sorvali (North American Premiere)
D: Patricia Ortega (Bolivarian Republic of Venezuala)
A 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 Opportunity
D: Marlén Viñayo (El Salvador)
Five 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 Whale
D: Catalina Arroyave Restrepo (Colombia)
Two 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.
Cast: Laura Tobón, David Escallón, Carlos Fonnegra, Christian Tappan, Julián Giraldo, Natalia Castaño, Margarita Restrepo (World Premiere)
La Mala Noche
D: Gabriela Calvache (Ecuador, Mexico)
She is the perfect woman until she decides to be free.
Cast: Nöelle Schönwald, Cristian Mercado, Jaime Tamariz, Ariana Freire (World Premiere)
D: Nicole Whippy, ‘Ofa-Ki-Levuka Guttenbeil-Likiliki, Matasila Freshwater, Amberley Jo Aumua, Mīria George, Marina Alofagia McCartney, Dianna Fuemana, Becs Arahanga (New Zealand)
Vai is a portmanteau feature film by nine Polynesian directors and filmed on seven different pacific islands. It is about the journey of empowerment through culture, over the lifetime of one woman, Vai. (World Premiere)
D: Anna Odell (Denmark, Sweden)
Swedish 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.
Cast: Anna Odell, Mikael Persbrandt, Trine Dyrholm, Vera Vitali, Shanti Roney, Sofie Gråbøl, Jens Albinus, Thure Lindhardt (North American Premiere)
How Rednecks Saved Hollywood with Joe Bob Briggs
D: Joe Bob Briggs
America'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.
Love, Death & Robots
Showrunners: David Fincher, Tim Miller, Josh Donen, Jennifer Miller
Love, Death & Robots, an animated anthology series presented by Tim Miller and David Fincher, is a genre orgy of Not-Suitable-For-Mainstream shorts. (World Premiere) Followed by extended Q&A with with Tim Miller and David Fincher.
Ra: Path of the Sun God
D: Lesley Keen
Austin 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 Rodriguez
Join 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-La ( Work-in-Progress)
D: Morgan Neville, Jeff Malmberg
An intimate look at the creative process through the lens of legendary music producer Rick Rubin.
D: David Byrne
David 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 screening of new 4K restoration.