SXSW Film Goes to A Quiet Place
Over 100 films and 43 world premieres fill a noisy nine days
As SXSW Film celebrates its 25th year, the festival has unleashed a massive wave with the announcement of 132 films, including a scary opening night title. John Krasinski has been putting The Office behind him with action fare like Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan, but now he launches into high-concept horror as star, director and co-writer of A Quiet Place. SXSW Director of Film Janet Pierson said, "Not only do we love its originality, suspense, and amazing cast, we love seeing artists stretch and explore."
Even with the Midnighters and shorts still to come, the slate is already packed in the 11 categories announced so far. Here's just a few of the highlights from the Fest (running March 9-18):
Narrative Feature Competition: 10 specially curated world premieres, including SNL's Kate McKinnon in Family, and rising star Hannah Marks' feature directorial debut Shotgun.
Documentary Feature Competition: 10 more world premieres, touching on creativity (Garry Winogrand: All Things Are Photographable), Instagram fame (Social Animals), the fight over transgender service personnel (TransMilitary), Nicaragua's female revolutionaries (¡Las Sandinistas!), and holy drag (The Gospel of Eureka).
Headliners: Aside from A Quiet Place, two more films by actors-turned-directors: Paradox, by Daryl Hannah, and Final Portrait, Stanley Tucci's artistic biopic. Plus the R-rated comedy slot goes to John Cena in Blockers.
Narrative Spotlight: Austinite Andrew Bujalski returns to SXSW with workplace comedy Support the Girls. Other SXSW veterans include Lynn Shelton (Humpday) going Outside In, and Julia Hart (Miss Stevens) with supernatural drama Fast Color.
Documentary Spotlight: Clashing figures in Antifa/neo-Nazi doc Alt-Right: Age of Rage; meanwhile Daughters of the Sexual Revolution: The Untold Story of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders will put a new spin on dancer den mother Suzanne Mitchell.
Visions: Radical art collective Meow Wolf gets a retrospective in Meow Wolf: Origin Story, while longtime Richard Linklater associate Tommy Pallotta creates his own electronic replacement in More Human Than Human.
Episodic: The small screen goes big with first looks at Bill Hader's new hit man comedy Barry; the latest Superman-without-Superman story, Krypton; and Oscar nominee Jordan Peele puts the resurgent Tracy Morgan as an ex-con facing freedom in The Last O.G.
24 Beats Per Second: With Priscilla Presley confirmed as a speaker about HBO's new documentary Elvis Presley: The Searcher, the two-part film screens alongside Austin native Ethan Hawke's Blaze Foley biopic Blaze, coming home after a rousing debut at Sundance, and global hip-hop meditation Rapture.
Global: Theatre of War heals mental scars from the Falklands War. Rush Hour commutes in three very different working days in Mexico, the U.S., and Turkey, while Danish drama Team Hurricane throws out the rules about growing up punk.
Festival Favorites: Fresh out of Sundance, conference speaker Spike Lee brings his surprise Waiting for Godot riff Pass Over, then everyone's inner kid asks Won't You Be My Neighbor?, celebrating Mr. Rogers' quest for kindness.
Special Events: Fans of NBC's smash success This Is Us get a first glimpse at new episodes, while mordantly humorous documentary The Atomic Cafe emerges from the Library of Congress for a rare screening.
For the full list of titles, and more news about film, interactive, music, and more, visit austinchronicle.com/sxsw.