SXSW Film Festival Unveils 2014 Lineup


Sarah-Violet Bliss and Charles Rogers' Fort Tilden.

The South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Conference and Festival unveiled the lineup of its 21st edition with 115 features on tap this year. Seventy-six World, 10 North American and 7 U.S. Premieres will join this year's lineup of 68 films from first-time filmmakers. As perviously announced, SXSW Film Festival will open with filmmaker/star Jon Favreau's Chef, also starring Dustin Hoffman, Sofia Vergara, John Leguizamo and Emjay Anthony.

In addition to nine full days of film screenings, SXSW Film Conference, (Friday, March 7 – Tuesday, March 11), will feature over 150 informative and entertaining sessions, including its first-ever daily keynotes, previously announced to include Lena Dunham, Jason Blum and Casey Neistat, and major Conversations with luminaries like Alejandro Jodorowsky.

New for 2014, SXSW introduces the “Episodic” screening category, inspired by the success of previous SXSW programming, such as the world premieres of HBO's series Girls and A&E's Bates Motel. This section will feature premieres of innovative new work hitting the small screen, including HBO’s Silicon Valley, Showtime’s Penny Dreadful, AMC’s Halt and Catch Fire, Hulu’s Deadbeat, FOX’s COSMOS: A SpaceTime Odyssey and From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series, debuting on Robert Rodriguez’s El Rey Network.

"We are psyched to present this year’s slate - truly diverse in size, shape, and emotional tone and reflective of our ever-eclectic tastes. As always, we strive for the delicate balance of launching new voices, while providing equally combustible entertainment from red carpet moments and highly anticipated titles to soon-to-be-new- addictions from the small screen," said Head of SXSW Film Janet Pierson. "Getting to share this work with our adventurous, intelligent, film-loving audience is where the magic happens and the films truly come alive."

Narrative Feature Competition

Eight world premieres, eight unique ways to celebrate the art of storytelling. Selected from 1,324 films submitted to SXSW 2014.

10,000KM (Spain)

Director: Carlos Marques Marcet, Screenwriters: Carlos Marques-Marcet, Clara Roquet Autonell

A year of a long distance relationship, two computers and two cities – Los Angeles and Barcelona, can love survive 6,000 miles? 

Cast: Natalia Tena, David Verdaguer (World Premiere) 

Animals

Director: Collin Schiffli, Screenwriter: David Dastmalchian

Jude and Bobbie are a young, homeless couple who masterfully con and steal in an attempt to stay one step ahead of their addiction. They are ultimately forced to face the reality of their situation when one of them is hospitalized. 
Cast: David Dastmalchian, Kim Shaw, John Heard (World Premiere) 

Before I Disappear

Director/Screenwriter: Shawn Christensen

Based on the 2013 Academy Award-winning short film Curfew. At the lowest point of his life, Richie gets a call from his estranged sister, asking him to look after his eleven-year-old niece, Sophia, for a few hours.
 Cast: Shawn Christensen, Fatima Ptacek, Emmy Rossum, Paul Wesley, Ron Perlman, Richard Schiff (World Premiere)

Fort Tilden

Directors/Screenwriters: Sarah-Violet Bliss, Charles Rogers

It shouldn't be this hard for Allie and Harper to get to the beach.
 Cast: Bridey Elliott, Clare McNulty, Griffin Newman, Jeffrey Scaperrotta, Neil Casey (World Premiere)

The Heart Machine

Director/Screenwriter: Zachary Wigon

A man begins to suspect that his long-distance girlfriend, whom he met online but has never met in person, has been living in the same city the whole time and sets out to find her. 
Cast: John Gallagher Jr., Kate Lyn Sheil, David Call, Louisa Krauss (World Premiere)

I Believe in Unicorns

Director/Screenwriter: Leah Meyerhoff

I Believe in Unicorns follows the lyrical journey of an imaginative teenage girl who runs away from home with an older punk rock drifter, but not even unicorns can save her now.
 Cast: Natalia Dyer, Peter Vack, Julia Garner, Amy Seimetz, Toni Meyerhoff (World Premiere)

The Mend

Director/Screenwriter: John Magary

A dark comedy about rage, doubt, lust, madness and other brotherly hand-me-downs.
 Cast: Josh Lucas, Stephen Plunkett, Lucy Owen, Mickey Sumner, Austin Pendleton (World Premiere)

Wild Canaries

Director/Screenwriter: Lawrence Michael Levine
When their elderly neighbor suddenly drops dead, a young Brooklyn couple investigates signs of foul play. 
Cast: Sophia Takal, Lawrence Michael Levine, Alia Shawkat, Annie Parisse, Jason Ritter (World Premiere) 


Margaret Brown's The Great Invisible. 

Documentary Feature Competition


Selected from 892 submissions, the eight world premieres in the Documentary Feature category bring real world stories to life, demonstrating innovation, energy and bold voices. 

Beginning With The End

Director: David Marshall

Beginning With the End takes viewers on a profound, and profoundly moving, journey with a group of high school seniors working as trained hospice volunteers -- a story of beginnings and endings in a year of self-discovery and awakening. (World Premiere) 

Born To Fly

Director: Catherine Gund

Born To Fly pushes the boundaries between action and art, daring us to join choreographer Elizabeth Streb and her dancers in pursuit of human flight. (World Premiere)
*SXsports screening 

The Great Invisible

Director: Margaret Brown

Penetrating the oil industry's secretive world, The Great Invisible examines the Deepwater Horizon disaster through the eyes of oil executives, explosion survivors and Gulf Coast residents who were left to pick up the pieces when the world moved on. (World Premiere) 

The Immortalists

Directors: Jason Sussberg, David Alvarado

Two eccentric scientists struggle to create eternal youth in a world they call "blind to the tragedy of old age." As they battle their own aging and suffer the losses of loved ones, their scientific journeys ultimately become personal. (World Premiere) 

Impossible Light

Director: Jeremy Ambers

Impossible Light reveals the drama and the daring of artist Leo Villareal and a small team of visionaries who battle seemingly impossible challenges to turn a dream of creating the world’s largest LED light sculpture into a glimmering reality. (World Premiere) 

Mateo

Director: Aaron I. Naar

Mateo follows America's most notorious white mariachi singer on his misadventures in Cuba.
(World Premiere) 

Print the Legend

Directors: Luis Lopez, Clay Tweel

The 3D Printing revolution has begun. Who will make it? (World Premiere) 

Vessel

Director: Diana Whitten

A fearless sea captain, Dr. Rebecca Gomperts, sails a ship through loopholes in international law, providing abortions on the high seas, and leaving in her wake a network of emboldened activists who trust women to handle abortion on their own terms. (World Premiere)


David Gordon Green's Joe.

Headliners

Headliners bring star power to SXSW, featuring red carpet premieres & gala film events with major & rising names in cinema.

Chef

Director/Screenwriter: Jon Favreau

Chef is a rich and vibrant comedy - the story of Carl Casper (Favreau), who loses his chef job and cooks up a food truck business in hopes of reestablishing his artistic promise. At the same time, he tries to reconnect with his estranged family.
 Cast: Jon Favreau, Sofia Vergara, Scarlett Johansson, John Leguizamo, Bobby Cannavale, Dustin Hoffman, Oliver Platt, Robert Downey, Jr., Emjay Anthony (World Premiere) 

Joe

Director: David Gordon Green, Screenwriters: Larry Brown, Gary Hawkins

A gripping mix of friendship, violence and redemption erupts in the contemporary South in this adaptation of Larry Brown’s novel. 
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Tye Sheridan (U.S. Premiere)

Neighbors

Director: Nicholas Stoller, Screenwriters: Andrew J. Cohen, Brendan O'Brien

Seth Rogen, Zac Efron and Rose Byrne lead the cast of Neighbors, a comedy about a young couple suffering from arrested development who are forced to live next to a fraternity house after the birth of their newborn baby. 
Cast: Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, Rose Byrne, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Dave Franco, Ike Barinholtz, Lisa Kudrow (Worldwide Debut – work-in-progress) 

Predestination (Australia)

Directors/Screenwriters: Michael Spierig, Peter Spierig

A riveting adventure through time centered on a secret government time traveling agency designed to prevent future killers and terrorists from committing their crimes.
 Cast: Ethan Hawke, Sarah Snook, Noah Taylor (World Premiere)

Veronica Mars

Director/Screenwriter: Rob Thomas, Screenwriter: Diane Ruggiero

Years after walking away from her past as a teenage private eye, Veronica Mars gets pulled back to her hometown, an ex-boyfriend with baggage, and an unraveling murder mystery.
 Cast: Kristen Bell, Jason Dohring, Krysten Ritter, Ryan Hansen, Enrico Colantoni (World Premiere)


Diego Luna's Cesar Chavez.

Narrative Spotlight

Narrative features receiving their World, North American or US Premieres at SXSW. 

Break Point

Director: Jay Karas, Screenwriters: Gene Hong, Jeremy Sisto

Two estranged brothers reunite to make an improbable run at a grand slam tennis tournament. The mismatched pair, with some unlikely help from a precocious 11-year-old boy, re-discover their game and their brotherhood.
Cast: Jeremy Sisto, David Walton, Joshua Rush, J.K. Simmons, Amy Smart (World Premiere)
 *SXsports screening 

Cesar Chavez

Director: Diego Luna

Chavez chronicles the birth of a modern American movement led by famed civil rights leader and labor organizer, Cesar Chavez. 
 Cast: Rosario Dawson, John Malkovich, Michael Pena, America Ferrera, Gabriel Mann (North American Premiere) 

Faults
Director/Screenwriter: Riley Stearns

An expert on cults is hired by a mother and father to kidnap and deprogram their brainwashed daughter. He soon begins to suspect the parents may be more destructive than the cult he's being hired to save her from. 
Cast: Leland Orser, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Chris Ellis, Lance Reddick, Jon Gries (World Premiere)

The Frontier

Director/Screenwriter: Matt Rabinowitz, Screenwriter: Carlos Colungu

An estranged son travels back home to confront his overbearing father to see if there is any relationship left between them.
Cast: Max Gail, Coleman Kelly, Anastassia Sendyk, Katherine Cortez, Oliver Seitz (World Premiere)

Kelly & Cal

Director: Jen McGowan, Screenwriter: Amy Lowe Starbin

Kelly & Cal explores the heartfelt, somewhat absurd moments in our lives when we seek out a little bit of extra attention. 
Cast: Juliette Lewis, Jonny Weston, Josh Hopkins, Cybil Shepherd (World Premiere)

The Mule (Australia)

Directors: Angus Sampson, Tony Mahony, Screenwriters: Leigh Whannell, Angus Sampson

In 1983, a naive man is detained by Australian Federal Police with lethal narcotics hidden in his stomach. Caught, 'The Mule' makes a desperate choice...to defy his bodily functions and withhold the evidence...literally. 
Cast: Hugo Weaving, Angus Sampson, Leigh Whannell, Ewen Leslie, Geoff Morrell, Georgina Haig, Noni Hazlehurst, John Noble (World Premiere)

A Night In Old Mexico (USA / Spain)

Director: Emilio Aragón, Screenwriter: William D. Wittliff

Forced to give up his land and home, Texas rancher Red Bovie isn't about to retire quietly in a dismal trailer park. Instead he hits the road with his estranged grandson for one last adventure.
Cast: Robert Duvall, Jeremy Irvine, Angie Cepeda, Luis Tosar, Joaquín Cosio (World Premiere)

Patrick's Day (Ireland)

Director/Screenwriter: Terry McMahon

A young man with mental health issues becomes intimate with a suicidal air hostess but his obsessive mother enlists a dysfunctional cop to separate them.
Cast: Kerry Fox, Moe Dunford, Catherine Walker, Philip Jackson (World Premiere)

Sequoia

Director: Andy Landen, Screenwriter: Andrew Rothschild

Faced with stage three cancer, a young woman sets out to end her life on her own terms, in Sequoia National Park. 
Cast: Aly Michalka, Dustin Milligan, Todd Lowe, Demetri Martin, Sophi Bairley (World Premiere)

She's Lost Control

Director/Screenwriter: Anja Marquardt

Ronah's life unravels when she starts working with a new client, Johnny.
Cast: Brooke Bloom, Marc Menchaca, Dennis Boutsikaris, Laila (North American Premiere)

Take Care

Director/Screenwriter: Liz Tuccillo

After being hit by a car, a woman (Leslie Bibb) comes home to realize her friends don't really want to take care of her. Desperate for help, she turns to an unlikely source. 
Cast: Leslie Bibb, Thomas Sadoski, Betty Gilpin, Michael Stahl David, Nadia Dajani (World Premiere)

Thank You a Lot

Director/Screenwriter: Matt Muir

A struggling, two-bit music manager will lose his job unless he signs a reclusive country music singer, James Hand, who also happens to be his estranged father. 
Cast: Blake DeLong, James Hand, Robyn Rikoon, Sonny Carl Davis, Jeffery Da'Shade Johnson (World Premiere)

Things People Do

Director: Saar Klein, Screenwriters: Joe Conway, Saar Klein

Bill Scanlin loses his job and embarks on a life of crime. As Bill stays ahead of the law, he discovers that sometimes the only thing worse than getting caught is getting away with it.
Cast: Wes Bentley, Jason Isaacs, Vinessa Shaw, Haley Bennett (North American Premiere)

Two Step

Director/Screenwriter: Alex R. Johnson

Two Step is a fast-paced Texas thriller in which the lives of James, a directionless college dropout, and Webb, a career criminal with his back against the wall, violently collide. 
Cast: Beth Broderick, James Landry Hébert, Skyy Moore, Jason Douglas, Ashley Rae Spillers (World Premiere)

We'll Never Have Paris

Directors: Jocelyn Towne, Simon Helberg, Screenwriter: Simon Helberg

We'll Never Have Paris is a clumsy and at once human account of screwing up on a transcontinental level in a noble effort to win back "the one." 
Cast: Simon Helberg, Maggie Grace, Melanie Lynskey, Alfred Molina, Zachary Quinto, Jason Ritter (World Premiere)

Documentary Spotlight

New documentary features receiving their World, North American or U.S. Premieres at SXSW. 

Above All Else

Director: John Fiege

A former stuntman and high wire artist puts his family and future on the line when he rallies a group of East Texas landowners and activists to blockade the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. (World Premiere)

Butterfly Girl

Director: Cary Bell

Abbie came of age in honky tonks, defying her life threatening disease, but all the while longing for an identity of her own. Now that she is 18, how much is she willing to sacrifice for her independence? (World Premiere)

DamNation

Directors: Travis Rummel, Ben Knight

This powerful film odyssey across America explores the sea change in national attitude from pride in big dams as engineering wonders to the growing awareness that our own future is bound to the life and health of our rivers. (World Premiere)

Doc of the Dead

Director: Alexandre O. Philippe

The definitive zombie culture documentary, from the makers of The People vs. George Lucas. Doc of the Dead traces the rise and evolution of the zombie genre, its influence on pop culture, and investigates the possibility of an actual zombie outbreak. (World Premiere)

Harmontown

Director: Neil Berkeley

A comedic, brutally honest documentary following self-destructive TV writer Dan Harmon (NBC's Community) as he takes his live podcast on a national tour. (World Premiere)

Lady Valor: The Kristin Beck Story

Directors: Sandrine Orabona, Mark Herzog

A former U.S. Navy Seal seeks life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness living life as a transgender woman. (World Premiere)

The Legend Of Shorty (UK)

Directors: Angus MacQueen, Guillermo Galdos

The Legend of Shorty is the story of a man and a myth. (World Premiere)

Manny

Directors: Ryan Moore, Leon Gast

From abject poverty to international hero, Manny Pacquiao rose to fame in the boxing ring. At the height of his career, Manny entered the political arena. As history's only boxing Congressman, Manny is faced with a new challenge. (World Premiere) 
*SXsports screening

Seeds of Time

Director: Sandy McLeod

Seeds of Time follows agriculture pioneer Cary Fowler's global journey to save the eroding foundation of our food supply in a new era of climate change. (North American Premiere)

Supermensch

Director: Mike Myers

Mike Myers makes his directorial debut with this star-packed documentary about the legendary Shep Gordon, who managed the careers of Alice Cooper, Blondie, Luther Vandross, and Raquel Welch — and still had time to invent the "celebrity chef". (U.S. Premiere)

That Guy Dick Miller

Director: Elijah Drenner

That Guy Dick Miller is the incredible true story of the wannabe-writer, turned accidental character-actor. (World Premiere)

Wicker Kittens

Director: Amy C. Elliott

Every January, the country's largest jigsaw puzzle contest is held in St. Paul, Minnesota. Wicker Kittens invites you to choose your favorite team and watch them try to put the pieces back together. (World Premiere) 
*SXsports screening

[For additional SXSW 2014 film category lineups, visit their website ]

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