4 items from 2014
“Ava DuVernay’s career evolution is fascinating,” said SXSW film chief Janet Pierson. “She began directing independent films while running her own successful marketing firm before expanding into distribution and now, she is helming a groundbreaking studio picture. Her passion, fearlessness, and excellence are extraordinary.”
Pierson also said, “RZA may seem like a somewhat out-of-the-box choice for a film keynote given his prominence as a musician. What is inspiring is how his love of film has informed his entire career and creativity. We’re intrigued by his increasing work as a multi-hyphenated filmmaker, actor and curator.”
- Dave McNary
Richard Linklater’s 1991 film “Slacker” put Austin, Texas, on the indie film map. And while that movie’s motley crew of wayward dreamers, cafe philosophers and conspiracy theorists may have little to do with today’s South by Southwest Film Conference and Festival, the spirit of “Slacker” and its director still resonates.
“Rick really did set the tone,” says SXSW film honcho Janet Pierson. “He’s a nice guy, he’s a great filmmaker and he’s always working.”
Indeed, no one can say SXSW is slacking off either. Last year, the event reached record levels of attendance (upward of 75,000) and premiered several breakout movies, including “Drinking Buddies” and “Short Term 12.” It’s just the stakes in Austin aren’t as high as in Park City, and the way of life, as Pierson says, “is down several notches from New York or L.A.”
While there is no such »
- Anthony Kaufman
Funny or Die friends Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, and Dave Franco are bringing their brand of humor to the SXSW Film festival this year in Neighbors, directed by The Muppets scribe Nick Stoller. Neighbors is about a young couple (Rogen and Rose Byrne) who are forced to live next to a fraternity house after the birth of their newborn baby. The comedy joins already announced films including Jon Favreau’s food truck sendup Chef and the much-anticipated premiere of the Veronica Mars movie at this year’s fest. The full lineup includes 68 films from first-time filmmakers, 76 world premieres, 10 North American premieres, »
- Laura Hertzfeld
The South by Southwest Film Conference and Festival has announced its full features lineup, including a new episodic section highlighting the influence of smallscreen programming.
Five films will headline SXSW, including Universal’s work-in-progress comedy “Neighbors” with Seth Rogen and Zac Efron, David Gordon Green’s Nicolas Cage starrer “Joe” and previously announced pics “Chef,” directed by and starring Jon Favreau and the crowd-funded “Veronica Mars.”
The episodic section will debut six shows destined for the smallscreen, both for television and online, including Robert Rodriguez’s “From Dusk Till Dawn” series. Last year, the festival premiered the pilot of A&E’s “Bates Motel,” while the year before it debuted the first three episodes of Lena Dunham’s “Girls.”
The smallscreen programming sidebar joins a hefty selection competition entries, higher-profile Spotlight titles, experimental-flavored entries in the Visions section and Global titles.
The fest’s juried competition includes eight titles each in docu and narrative sections, »
- Alexandra Cheney
4 items from 2014
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