Judd Apatow, Edgar Wright, Michael Winterbottom all part of SXSW 2017 features line-up

New films from Judd Apatow, Edgar Wright, Ben Wheatley join such previously announced flicks from Terrence Malick and Jennifer Reeder and the “American Gods” TV show  as part of South by Southwest Film’s features line-up, which was announced today.

The 24th edition of the Film Festival runs March 10 to 19.

During the nine days of SXSW 125 features will be shown, with additional titles yet to be announced.

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Eleanore Pienta, Will Rogers and Matt Jones star in “A Bad Id Gone Wrong” (photo: Nathan Smith)

The full lineup will include 51 films from first-time filmmakers, 85 world premieres, 11 North American premieres and five U.S. premieres.

The films were selected from 2,432 feature-length film submissions, with a total of 7,651 films submitted this year.

New for 2017, the Interactive, Film, and Music badges will now include expanded access to more of the SXSW Conference and Festivals experience. Attendees will still receive primary entry to programming associated with their badge type, but badges from other areas will now be able to stand in line with wristband holders.

Feature films in the SXSW lineup screen in 12 sections: Narrative Feature Competition, Documentary Feature Competition, Headliners, Narrative Spotlight, Documentary Spotlight, Visions, Midnighters, Episodic, 24 Beats Per Second, Global, Festival Favorites, and Special Events.

Midnighters (aka genre films), the Short Film and Virtual Reality Program will be announced Feb. 7.

All feature categories, with the exception of Special Events, will be eligible for category specific Audience Awards.

The 2017 SXSW Film Festival will include:

 NARRATIVE FEATURE COMPETITION

Ten world premieres selected from 1,407 narrative feature submissions in 2017.

“A Bad Idea Gone Wrong”

Director/Screenwriter: Jason Headley

Two would-be thieves forge a surprising relationship with with an unexpected housesitter when they accidentally trap themselves in a house they just broke into. Cast: Matt Jones, Eleanore Pienta, Will Rogers, Jonny Mars, Sam Eidson, Jennymarie Jemison (World Premiere)

 

“A Critically Endangered Species” (Poland, United States)

Directors/Screenwriters: Zachary Cotler, Magdalena Zyzak

An internationally respected poet announces she is going to kill herself and needs an heir and executor. Young writers drive up the mountain to compete for the position and are challenged intellectually, emotionally, and erotically. Cast: Lena Olin, Rosanna Arquette, Jordan Gavaris, Alexander Koch, Nathan Keyes, Chris Voss (World Premiere)

 

“Dara Ju”

Director/Screenwriter: Anthony Onah

A young Nigerian-American financier struggles with love, family, and a prescription drug dependency as his ambitions steer him down a criminal path. Cast: Aml Ameen, Lucy Griffiths, Michael Hyatt, Peter Vack, Hope Olaidé Wilson, Souléymane Sy Savané, Craig muMs Grant, Bill Sage (World Premiere)

 

“Fits and Starts”

Director/Screenwriter: Laura Terruso

A struggling writer can’t seem to escape his wife’s literary success. When a road trip to a publisher’s salon takes an unexpected turn, he has to face his own creative shortcomings and find a way to regain control of his life and work. Cast: Wyatt Cenac, Greta Lee, Maria Dizzia, Alex Karpovsky, Ben Sinclair, Onur Turkel, John Rothman, Louis Cancelmi, Larry Murphy, Sam Seder (World Premiere)

 

“La Barracuda”

Directors: Julia Halperin, Jason Cortlund, Screenwriter: Jason Cortlund

A strange woman comes to Texas to meet her half-sister and stake a claim to the family music legacy—one way or another. Cast: Allison Tolman, Sophie Reid, JoBeth Williams, Luis Bordonada, Larry Jack Dotson, Butch Hancock, Bob Livingston, The Mastersons (World Premiere)

 

“The Light of the Moon”

Director/Screenwriter: Jessica M. Thompson

After her world is irrevocably changed, a successful New York City architect struggles to regain intimacy and control in her life. Cast: Stephanie Beatriz, Michael Stahl-David, Conrad Ricamora, Catherine Curtin, Olga Merediz, Cindy Cheung, Susan Hayward, Craig Walker, Cara Loften, Michael Cuomo (World Premiere)

 

“Like Me”

Director/Screenwriter: Rob Mockler

A reckless loner, desperate for human connection, sets out on a crime spree that she broadcasts on social media. Her reality quickly splinters into a surreal nightmare as her exploits spiral out of control. Cast: Addison Timlin, Ian Nelson, Larry Fessenden, Jeremy Gardner, Stuart Rudin, Nicolette Pierini (World Premiere)

 

“MFA”

Director: Natalia Leite, Screenwriter: Leah Mckendrick

The accidental death of her rapist sets an art student on a course for justice, fueling the inspiration for her thesis exhibition. Cast: Francesca Eastwood, Clifton Collins Jr, Peter Vack, Leah Mckendrick, Marlon Young, David Sullivan, Michael Welch (World Premiere)

 

“Most Beautiful Island” (Spain, United States)

Director/Screenwriter: Ana Asensio

An undocumented young woman struggling to begin a new life in New York City is offered an opportunity she can’t pass up. But as day turns to night she discovers she’s been lured to the center of a dangerous game. Cast: Ana Asensio, Natasha Romanova, David Little, Nicholas Tucci, Larry Fessenden, Caprice Benedetti (World Premiere)

 

“The Strange Ones”

Directors: Lauren Wolkstein, Christopher Radcliff, Screenwriter: Christopher Radcliff Mysterious events surround the travels of two brothers as they make their way across a remote American landscape. On the surface all seems normal, but what appears to be a simple vacation soon gives way to dark and complex truths. Cast: Alex Pettyfer, James Freedson-Jackson, Emily Althaus, Gene Jones (World Premiere)

 

 

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE COMPETITION

Ten world premieres selected from 973 feature documentary submissions in 2017.

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Bill Frisell form “Bill Frisell, A Portrait” (photo: Emma Franz)

“Bill Frisell, A Portrait” (Australia)

Director/Screenwriter: Emma Franz

An intimate, behind-the-music portrait of one of the most unassuming yet influential creative artists of our time, guitarist Bill Frisell. Frisell said of the film, “It’s like the inside of my brain!” (World Premiere)

 

“The Blood is at the Doorstep”

Director: Erik Ljung   After Dontre Hamilton, a black, unarmed man diagnosed with schizophrenia, was shot 14 times and killed by police in Milwaukee, his family embarks on a quest for answers, justice and reform as the investigation unfolds. (World Premiere)

 

“Dealt”

Director: Luke Korem, Screenwriters:  Bradley Jackson, Luke Korem

Sixty-two year old Richard Turner is renowned as one of the world’s greatest card magicians, yet he is completely blind.  This is an in-depth look at a complex character who is one of magic’s greatest hidden treasures. (World Premiere)

 

“I Am Another You”

Director/Screenwriter: Nanfu Wang

Through the eyes of a young drifter who rejects society’s rules and intentionally chooses to live on the streets, Chinese filmmaker Nanfu Wang explores the meaning of personal freedom – and its limits. (World Premiere)

 

“Let There Be Light” (Canada)

Director/Screenwriter: Mila Aung-Thwin

Let There Be Light follows the story of dedicated scientists working to build a small sun on Earth, which would unleash perpetual, cheap, clean energy for mankind. After decades of failed attempts, a massive push is now underway to crack the holy grail of energy. (World Premiere)

 

“Maineland” (China, United States)

Director: Miao Wang

Chinese teenagers from the wealthy elite, with big American dreams, settle into a boarding school in small-town Maine. As their fuzzy visions of the American dream slowly gain more clarity, their relationship to home takes on a poignant new aspect. (World Premiere)

 

“Mommy Dead and Dearest”

Director: Erin Lee Carr

Child abuse, mental illness, and forbidden love converge in this mystery involving a mother and daughter who were thought to be living a fairy tale life that turned out to be a living nightmare. (World Premiere)

 

“Served Like A Girl”

Director: Lysa Heslov

Five women veterans who have endured unimaginable trauma in service create a shared sisterhood to help the rising number of stranded homeless women veterans by entering a competition that unexpectedly catalyzes moving events in their own lives. (World Premiere)

“The Secret Life of Lance Letscher”

Director: Sandra Adair

Witness the collision of memory, color, and chaos in this unprecedented journey through the visionary mind of collage artist Lance Letscher. (World Premiere)

 

“The Work”

Directors: Jairus McLeary, Gethin Aldous

Set entirely inside Folsom Prison, The Work follows three men during four days of intensive group therapy with convicts, revealing an intimate and powerful portrait of authentic human transformation that transcends what we think of as rehabilitation. (World Premiere)

 

HEADLINERS

aka stuff by and often containing famous folks

 “Baby Driver”

Director/Screenwriter: Edgar Wright

A talented, young getaway driver relies on the beat of his personal soundtrack to be the best in the game. But after being coerced into working for a crime boss, he must face the music when a doomed heist threatens his life, love and freedom. Cast: Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey, Lily James, Jon Bernthal, Eiza González, Jon Hamm, Jamie Foxx (World Premiere)

 

“Free Fire” (UK)

Director: Ben Wheatley, Screenwriters: Ben Wheatley, Amy Jump

Bold, breathless and wickedly fun, Free Fire is an electrifying action comedy about an arms deal that goes spectacularly and explosively wrong. Directed by Ben Wheatley. Starring Brie Larson, Armie Hammer, Cillian Murphy, Sharlto Copley, Jack Reynor. Cast: Sharlto Copley, Armie Hammer, Brie Larson, Cillian Murphy, Jack Reynor, Babou Ceesay, Enzo Cilenti, Sam Riley, Michael Smiley, Noah Taylor (U.S. Premiere)

 

“On The Road” (UK)

Director/Screenwriter: Michael Winterbottom

Michael Winterbottom follows acclaimed British rock band and Grammy nominees Wolf Alice on their tour, recording their gigs as well as the romance and routine of their daily life backstage. (North American Premiere)

 

“Song to Song”

Director: Terrence Malick

In this modern love story set against the Austin, Texas music scene, two entangled couples — struggling songwriters Faye and BV, and music mogul Cook and the waitress whom he ensnares — chase success through a rock ‘n’ roll landscape of seduction and betrayal. Cast: Rooney Mara, Ryan Gosling, Michael Fassbender, Natalie Portman, Cate Blanchett (World Premiere)

 

 

NARRATIVE SPOTLIGHT

High profile narrative features receiving their World, North American or U.S. premieres at SXSW.

 

“The Archer”

Director: Valerie Weiss, Screenwriter: Casey Schroen

Archer champion Lauren Pierce escapes a corrupt juvenile correctional facility with Rebecca, a fierce but alluring inmate and together they must survive a desperate warden who is bow-hunting his prey to make sure his secret stays buried. Cast: Bailey Noble, Bill Sage, Jeanine Mason, Michael Grant Terry, Kurt Fuller, Dendrie Taylor, Grace Victoria Cox, Andrew Caldwell (World Premiere)

 

“The Ballad of Lefty Brown”

Director/Screenwriter: Jared Moshé

Aging sidekick Lefty Brown (Bill Pullman) has ridden with Eddie Johnson (Peter Fonda) his entire life. But when a rustler kills Eddie, Lefty is forced from his partner’s shadow and must confront the ugly realities of frontier justice. Cast: Bill Pullman, Kathy Baker, Jim Caviezel, Tommy Flanagan, Peter Fonda, Joe Anderson, Diego Josef, Michael Speers, Lewis Pullman, Joseph Anderson (World Premiere)

 

“Daphne” (UK)

Director: Peter Mackie Burns, Screenwriter: Nico Mensinga

Daphne is London. Daphne is the crowd of faceless strangers we brush past everyday. Daphne is being young and always searching for more. Daphne is life, an unpredictable mixture of comedy and tragedy. Cast: Emily Beecham, Geraldine James, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, Nathaniel Martello-White (World Premiere)

 

“Easy Living”

Director/Screenwriter: Adam Keleman

Sherry Graham, a self-destructive makeup saleswoman, hopes a new man and business venture will provide her a fresh start. After her plans are foiled, she takes control of her life in a dramatic turn of events. Cast: Caroline Dhavernas, McCaleb Burnett, Elizabeth Marvel, Charlie Hofheimer, Jen Richards, Daniel Eric Gold, C.J. Wilson, Taylor Richardson, Mary Catherine Garrison (World Premiere)

 

“Gemini”

Director/Screenwriter: Aaron Katz

A heinous crime tests the complex relationship between a tenacious personal assistant and her Hollywood starlet boss. As the assistant unravels the mystery, she must confront her own understanding of friendship, truth, and celebrity. Cast: Lola Kirke, Zoë Kravitz, John Cho, Greta Lee, Michelle Forbes, Nelson Franklin, Reeve Carney, Ricki Lake, Jessica Parker Kennedy, James Ransone (World Premiere)

 

“Going to Brazil” (France)

Director: Patrick Mille, Screenwriters: Julien Lambroschini, Sabrina Amara, Patrick Mille Four childhood friends are reunited at a wedding in Rio. But when they accidentally kill a young man during a party that gets out of hand, they are forced to flee the city in a crazy adventure. Cast: Alison Wheeler, Vanessa Guide, Margot Bancilhon, Philippine Stindel, Patrick Mille (International Premiere)

 

“Hot Summer Nights”

Director: Elijah Bynum

Hot Summer Nights is a dark coming-of-age story set in Cape Cod, Massachusetts during the sweltering heat of summer 1991. Cast: Timothee Chalamet, Maika Monroe, Alex Roe, Maia Mitchell, William Fichtner, Thomas Jane, Emory Cohen (World Premiere)

 

“Hounds of Love” (Australia)

Director/Screenwriter: Ben Young

In the mid 1980’s seventeen-year-old Vicki Maloney is randomly abducted from a suburban street by a disturbed couple. As she observes the dynamic between her captors she quickly realizes she must drive a wedge between them if she is to survive. Cast: Ashleigh Cummings, Emma Booth, Stephen Curry, Susie Porter, Damian de Montemas, Harrison Gilbertson, Fletcher Humphrys (North American Premiere)

 

“Lane 1974”

Director: SJ Chiro, Screenwriters:  SJ Chiro, Clane Hayward

At 13 years old and the eldest of three kids, Lane struggles to keep her family together as her iconoclast mother moves without warning through the communes and dusty back woods of Northern California. Cast: Sophia Mitri Schloss, Katherine Moennig, Sara Coats, Linas Phillips, Jasmin Savoy Brown, Sarah-Eve Gazitt, Annette Toutonghi, Harry Curtis, Ronin West, Shayla Timbermoon (World Premiere)

 

“Madre” (Chile)

Director/Screenwriter: Aaron Burns

A pregnant woman, who is taking care of her son with development problems, is at her breaking point when a caregiver from the Philippines steps into her life. Diana suspects that she’s using voodoo against her after the quick improvements of her son. Cast: Daniela Ramirez, Cristobal Tapia Montt, Aida Jabolin, Matias Bassi, Ignacia Allamand, Nicolás Durán (North American Premiere)

 

“Most Hated Woman In America”

Director: Tommy O’Haver, Screenwriters: Tommy O’Haver, Irene Turner

Darkly funny, true story of the rise and untimely demise of Madeline Murray O’Hair—crank, swindler, iconoclast, and America’s most outspoken atheist. Cast: Melissa Leo, Adam Scott, Juno Temple, Vincent Kartheiser, Josh Lucas, Peter Fonda (World Premiere)

 

“Mr. Roosevelt”

Director/Screenwriter: Noël Wells

After a death in her family, struggling LA-based comedian Emily Martin returns to Austin. There she finds herself in the awkward position of staying with her ex and his new girlfriend until the funeral, while trying to close old doors from her past. Cast: Noël Wells, Nick Thune, Britt Lower, Daniella Pineda, Andre Hyland, Doug Benson, Armen Weitzman, Sergio Cilli (World Premiere)

 

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Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as “Joe Denton” in Small Crimes (photo: Yan Turcotte)

“Small Crimes”

Director: Evan Katz, Screenwriters: Evan Katz, Macon Blair

Small Crimes is a delightfully suspenseful, blackly comic tale that follows a disgraced former cop, fresh off a six-year prison sentence for attempted murder, who returns home looking for redemption but winds up trapped in the mess he left behind. Cast: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Jacki Weaver, Robert Forster, Gary Cole, Molly Parker, Macon Blair, Pat Healy (World Premiere)

 

“Small Town Crime”

Directors/Screenwriters: Ian Nelms, Eshom Nelms

Ex-cop, Mike Kendall, finds the body of a young woman and, in an act of self-redemption, becomes hellbent on finding the killer.  While his uncouth, quirky detective style helps break the case, his dogged determination puts his family in danger. Cast: John Hawkes, Anthony Anderson, Octavia Spencer, Robert Forster, Clifton Collins, Jr., Michael Vartan, James Lafferty, Daniel Sunjata, Caity Lotz, Jeremy Ratchford (World Premiere)

 

“This Is Your Death”

Director: Giancarlo Esposito, Screenwriters: Kenny Yakkel, Noah Pink

This Is Your Death is an unsettling look at reality T.V. where a disturbing hit game show has its contestants ending their lives for the public’s enjoyment. It captures the sad truths about the world’s desire to be famous. Cast: Josh Duhamel, Famke Janssen, Giancarlo Esposito, Sarah Wayne Callies, Caitlin Fitzgerald, James Franco (World Premiere)

 

“Us and Them” (UK)

Director/Screenwriter: Joe Martin

Working class Danny aims to kick start a revolution by turning the tables on the establishment with a deadly game of chance. Cast: Jack Roth, Tim Bentinck, Andrew Tiernan, Daniel Kendrick, Sophie Colquhoun, Paul Westwood, Carolyn Backhouse, Louis Dempsey (World Premiere)

 

“Win It All”

Director: Joe Swanberg, Screenwriters: Joe Swanberg, Jake Johnson

Small time Chicago gambler, Eddie Garrett, agrees to watch a duffel bag for an acquaintance who is heading to prison. When he discovers cash in the bag, he hatches a plan to win big, against the advice of his gambling sponsor and his brother. Cast: Jake Johnson, Aislinn Derbez, Joe Lo Truglio, Keegan-Michael Key (World Premiere)

 

 

DOCUMENTARY SPOTLIGHT

“Barbecue” (Australia)

Director: Matthew Salleh

Barbecue is about more than grilling a piece of meat. It’s a ritual performed religiously across the world. For some it’s a path to salvation. It is the pride of nations. And the stories told around the fires become a way to bring the world together. (World Premiere)

 

“Bill Nye: Science Guy”

Directors/Screenwriters: David Alvarado, Jason Sussberg

A famous television personality struggles to restore science to its rightful place in a world hostile to evidence and reason. (World Premiere)

 

“Disgraced”

Director: Pat Kondelis

The untold story of the summer of 2003 at Baylor University that exposes the attempted cover-up, and the corruption that became the most bizarre scandal in college sports history. (World Premiere)

 

“Kim Dotcom: Caught in the Web” (New Zealand)

Director: Annie Goldson

Discover the story of the most wanted man online. (North American Premiere)

 

“Meth Storm: Arkansas USA”

Directors: Craig Renaud, Brent Renaud

With unparalleled access on both sides of the law, METH STORM: Arkansas USA is a thrilling non-fiction cops and robbers drama told from inside the American drug war.

(World Premiere)

 

“Muppet Guys Talking – Secrets Behind the Show the Whole World Watched”

Director: Frank Oz

Five of the original Muppet performers come together for the first time ever to share behind-the-scenes secrets of the Muppets. Includes rare performance footage, surprising stories and insights into how Jim led his team to produce legendary work. (World Premiere)

 

“Pornocracy” (France)

Director: Ovidie

Never before have we watched as much porn as today yet the traditional porn industry is dying. The arrival of web sites showing amateur clips has transformed the way porn is made and consumed. Behind this transformation lies one opaque multinational. (World Premiere)

 

“Spettacolo”

Directors: Jeff Malmberg, Chris Shellen, Screenwriter: Chris Shellen

Once upon a time there was a tiny hill town in Tuscany that found a remarkable way to confront their issues – they turned their lives into a play. (World Premiere)

 

“Stranger Fruit”

Director/Screenwriter: Jason Pollock

What happened on August 9th, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri? On that hot summer day, Officer Darren Wilson killed 18-year-old Michael Brown. Stranger Fruit is the unraveling of what took place that day, told through the eyes of Mike Brown’s family. (World Premiere)

 

“Todrick Hall Documentary”

Director: Katherine Fairfax Wright

After building an empire on YouTube, Todrick Hall leaps beyond his comfort zone and deep within his own backstory to create his most dazzling and vital work yet, but with only a few weeks and a few coins, will he crush it or will it crush him? (World Premiere)

 

“The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin”

Director: Jennifer M. Kroot

The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin celebrates one of the world’s most beloved storytellers, following his evolution from a conservative son of the Old South into a gay rights pioneer whose novels inspired millions to reclaim their lives. (World Premiere)

 

“Walk With Me” (UK)

Directors: Max Pugh, Marc J. Francis

Narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch, Walk With Me is a cinematic journey into the world of a monastic community who practice the art of mindfulness with Zen Buddhist master Thich Nhat Hanh. (World Premiere)

 

 

VISIONS

aka stuff by folks who are less well known or that maybe defy easy category and are not in competition

 

“Assholes”

Director/Screenwriter: Peter Vack

Adah and Aaron are recovering addicts who are struggling to stay sober. After meeting in their psychoanalyst’s waiting room, they fall in love, relapse on poppers, and become the biggest assholes in New York City. Cast: Betsey Brown, Jack Dunphy, Peter Vack, Patrick LaBella, Jane Brown, Ron Brown, Eileen Dietz (World Premiere)

 

“Becoming Bond”

Director/Screenwriter: Josh Greenbaum

The stranger-than-fiction true story of George Lazenby, a poor Australian car mechanic who, through an unbelievable set of circumstances, landed the role of James Bond despite having never acted a day in his life. (World Premiere)

 

“California Dreams”

Director: Mike Ott

A look at how the American Dream and Hollywood affect those they touch. Cast: Cory Zacharia, Patrick Llaguno, Neil Harley, Kevin Gilger aka K-Nine Dog the Impersonator, Carolan J. Pinto, Mark Borchardt (North American Premiere)

 

“DRIB” (Norway)

Director/Screenwriter: Kristoffer Borgli

The inside story of how Amir (29) scammed his way to viral fame, fooled an advertising agency, and almost became the international face of a well-known energy drink – before everything went wrong. Cast: Amir Asgharnejad, Brett Gelman, Adam Pearson, Annie Hamilton, Alexandra Marzella, Hugo Armstrong, Joe Hartzler, Andrew Lauer (World Premiere)

 

“Flesh and Blood”

Director/Screenwriter: Mark Webber

Mark Webber boldly explores family dynamics using his real family as the cast and real-life situations for the story. Combining reality with fiction he exposes a disturbing truth: his family tree is full of broken branches that may never be repaired. Cast: Mark Webber, Cheri Honkala, Guillermo Santos, Madeline Brewer (World Premiere)

 

“Infinity Baby”

Director: Bob Byington, Screenwriter: Onur Tukel

A comedy about babies that don’t age. Cast: Kieran Culkin, Trieste Kelly Dunn, Nick Offerman, Martin Starr, Kevin Corrigan, Megan Mullaly, Noel Wells, Stephen Root (World Premiere)

 

“Inheritance”

Directors/Screenwriters: Laura E. Davis, Jessica Kaye

A woman learns her estranged father has died and returns with her brother and new lover to her childhood home of Belize, where she must face her past while fighting for intimacy in the present. Cast: Jessica Kaye, Daniel Ahearn, Mark Webber, Shamira Gill-Card, Myrna Manzanares, Louis Oberlander (World Premiere)

 

“Lucky”

Director: John Carroll Lynch, Screenwriters: Logan Sparks, Drago Sumonja

Lucky follows the spiritual journey of a 90 year old atheist (Harry Dean Stanton), having outlived and out smoked his contemporaries, as he comes to terms with his own mortality, and searches for ever elusive enlightenment. Cast: Harry Dean Stanton, David Lynch, Ron Livingston, Ed Begley Jr., Tom Skerritt, Beth Grant, James Darren (World Premiere)

 

“Paa Joe & The Lion” (Ghana, United Kingdom)

Director: Benjamin Wigley

A true story about the art of love and death.  A thought provoking and cinematic documentary film rooted in the universal themes of love, death and legacy set against one of the most beautiful art-forms in the world – Ghana’s very own fantasy coffin. (North American Premiere)

 

“Rat Film”

Director/Screenwriter: Theo Anthony

Across walls, fences, and alleys, rats not only expose our boundaries of separation but make homes in them. “Rat Film” is a feature-length documentary that uses the rat—as well as the humans that love them, live with them, and kill them. (U.S. Premiere)

 

“The Relationtrip”

Directors: Renée Felice Smith, C.A. Gabriel, Screenwriters: C.A. Gabriel, Renée Felice Smith, Dana Scanlon

After bonding over their mutual disinterest in relationships, self-proclaimed loners, Beck and Liam, decide to go away together on a ‘friend’ trip where things get weird. Really, really weird. Cast: Renée Felice Smith, Matt Bush, Eric Christian Olsen, Linda Hunt, Nelson Franklin, Brandon Kyle Goodman, Sally Struthers, Georgia Mischak, Owain Rhys Davies (World Premiere)

 

“Signature Move”

Director: Jennifer Reeder, Screenwriters: Fawzia Mirza, Lisa Donato

A secret new romance with Alma forces Zaynab to confront her complicated relationship with her recently widowed mother. In this coming-of-age Muslim melodrama, Zaynab copes by taking up Lucha-style wrestling. Cast: Fawzia Mirza, Shabana Azmi, Sari Sanchez, Audrey Francis, Charin Alvarez, Mark Hood, Molly Brennan (World Premiere)

 

“Sylvio”

Directors: Albert Birney, Kentucker Audley, Screenwriters: Albert Birney, Kentucker Audley, Meghan Doherty

A small town gorilla joins a local TV program and a series of on-air mishaps threaten to shatter his identity, sending him on an adventure of self-discovery where reality and fantasy start to blend. Cast: Albert Birney, Kentucker Audley, Tallie Medel, Meghan Doherty (World Premiere)

 

 

EPISODIC

aka TV stuff

 

“American Gods”

Director: David Slade, Screenwriters:  Bryan Fuller, Michael Green

Adapted from Neil Gaiman’s award-winning novel, American Gods follows Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle) and Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane) in a hidden world where a battle is brewing between Old Gods and New. Cast: Ricky Whittle, Ian McShane, Emily Browning, Pablo Schreiber, Bruce Langley, Yetide Badaki, Jonathan Tucker, Mousa Kraish, Betty Gilpin, Gillian Anderson (World Premiere)

 

“Dear White People”

Director/Screenwriter: Justin Simien

Based on the critically-acclaimed 2014 film by the same name, Dear White People is a send-up of the now post “post-racial” America that weaves together a universal story of finding one’s own identity, as told from a biting millennial point of view. Cast: Logan Browning, Brandon P. Bell, Antoinette Robertson, DeRon Horton, John Patrick Amedori

 

“I LOVE BEKKA & LUCY”

Director/Screenwriter: Rachael Holder

Two inseparable and idiosyncratic best friends face the evolution of their friendship when one of them gets engaged. Cast: Jessica Parker Kennedy, Tanisha Long, Alexis Denisof, Christopher Nicholas Smith (World Premiere)

 

“I’m Dying up here”

Director: Jonathan Levine, Screenwriter: Dave Flebotte

Set in L.A.’s celebrated, infamous stand-up comedy scene of the 1970s, this new series delves into the inspired and damaged psyches that inhabit the hilarious, but complex business of making an audience laugh. Executive produced by Jim Carrey. Cast: Melissa Leo, Ari Graynor, Clark Duke, Michael Angarano, Andrew Santino, Stephen Guarino, Erik Griffin, RJ Cyler, Al Madrigal, Dylan Baker (World Premiere)

 

“Nobodies”

Showrunner, Director: Michael McDonald, Pilot Director: Ben Falcone, Screenwriters: Hugh Davidson, Larry Dorf, Rachel Ramras

The series is inspired by the real lives of Hugh Davidson, Larry Dorf and Rachel Ramras, who watched as their friends from The Groundlings went on to star in blockbuster comedies and win Oscars, while they were waiting for their one big break. Cast: Hugh Davidson, Larry Dorf, Rachel Ramras (World Premiere)

 

“The Son”

Director: Tom Harper

Based on the New York Times best-selling and Pulitzer Prize finalist novel, The Son is a sweeping family saga that spans 150 years and three generations of the McCullough family. Cast: Pierce Brosnan, Jacob Lofland, Henry Garrett, Paola Nunez, Carlos Bardem, Zahn McClarnon, Jess Weixler, David Wilson Barnes, Sydney Lucas (World Premiere)

 

24 BEATS PER SECOND

Showcasing the sounds, culture and influence of music & musicians, with an emphasis on documentary.

 

“As I Walk Through The Valley”

Directors: Ronnie Garza, Charlie Vela

As I Walk Through The Valley is a journey into the underground music scene of Texas’ southernmost border-region. Follow four generations of Valley musicians as they struggle to find a voice of their own in the land of charro beans and Tejano legends.   (World Premiere)

 

“G-Funk”

Director/Screenwriter: Karam Gill

G-Funk is the untold story of three childhood friends from East Long Beach who helped commercialize hip hop by developing a sophisticated and melodic new approach – merging Gangsta Rap with elements of Motown, Funk, and R&B. (World Premiere)

 

“Give Me Future (aka Incoming Transmission)” (United States, Cuba)

Director: Austin Peters Cuba as you have never seen it before.

 

“A Life in Waves”

Director: Brett Whitcomb, Screenwriter:  Bradford Thomason

A Life in Waves explores the life and innovations of composer and electronic music pioneer, Suzanne Ciani. (World Premiere)

 

“Long Strange Trip”

Director: Amir Bar-Lev

Emerging from the Bay Area’s vibrant 1960s counterculture, the Grateful Dead were a motley crew whose unique sound sprang from an eclectic blend of influences: bluegrass, folk ballads, R&B, free-form jazz, classical, and jug band.

 

“May It Last: A Portrait of the Avett Brothers”

Directors: Judd Apatow, Michael Bonfiglio

An intimate portrait of the acclaimed North Carolina band the Avett Brothers, as they create their hit album “True Sadness.” (World Premiere)

 

“Patti Cake$”

Director: Geremy Jasper

Straight out of Jersey comes Patricia Dombrowski, a.k.a. Killa P, a.k.a. Patti Cake$, an aspiring rapper fighting through a world of strip malls and strip clubs on an unlikely quest for glory. Cast: Danielle Macdonald, Bridget Everett, Siddharth Dhananjay, Mamoudou Athie, Cathy Moriarty

 

“Residente” (Armenia, Burkina Faso, China, Georgia, Mongolia, Niger, Russian Federation, USA)

Director: René Pérez Joglar

After taking a DNA test, Latin America’s most decorated artist – Rene Perez (AKA Residente), embarks on a global adventure, to trace the footsteps of his ancestors and record his latest album. (World Premiere)

 

“Thank You, Friends: Big Star’s Third Live… and More”

Director: Benno Nelson

A celebration of the musical legacy of Memphis’ best-known secret – Big Star – performed by a collective featuring members of Big Star, the dB’s, Let’s Active, the Posies, R.E.M., Semisonic, Wilco and Yo La Tengo with the Kronos Quartet and more. (World Premiere)

 

 

GLOBAL

A diverse selection of international filmmaking talent, featuring innovative narratives, artful documentaries, premieres, festival favorites and more.

 

“Bad Lucky Goat” (Colombia)

Director/Screenwriter: Samir Oliveros

After accidentally killing a bearded goat with their father’s pick-up truck, two incompatible siblings in their teenage years, embark on a journey of reconciliation. Cast: Honlenny Huffington, Kiara Howard, Elkin Robinson, Michel Robinson, Ambrosio Huffington, Jean Bush (World Premiere)

 

“The Challenge” (France, Italy)

Director/Screenwriter: Yuri Ancarani

In The Challenge, the director crosses the Persian Gulf to accompany a falconer to an important competition. Among SUVs, Lamborghini, private jets and Mad Max-like dune bashing contests, the film tells the story of an intense weekend in the desert. (North American Premiere)

 

“The Cloud Forest” (Mexico)

Director/Screenwriter: Mónica Álvarez Franco

A small community in Veracruz is the guardian of one of the ecosystems facing the most risk: the cloud forest. By redesigning their needs, education and relationship with other people and with nature, they search for a simpler and sustainable life. (World Premiere)

 

“Divine Divas” (Brazil)

Director: Leandra Leal, Screenwriters: Carol Benjamin, Leandra Leal, Lucas Paraizo, Natara Ney

Eight iconic performers of the first generation of Brazilian transvestite artists go on stage to celebrate their 50th career jubilee. The film depicts the human, personal dimension behind these icons, deconstructing gender stereotypes. (North American Premiere)

 

“Inflame” (Turkey)

Director/Screenwriter: Ceylan Ozgun Ozcelik

Her nightmare is reality, and the reality is a nightmare. Cast: Algi Eke, Ozgur Cevik, Kadir Cermik, Asiye Dincsoy, Selen Ucer, Ipek Turktan Kaynak (North American Premiere)

 

“Satan Said Dance” (Poland)

Director/Screenwriter: Kasia Roslaniec

Satan Said Dance is an Instagram film in times of the selfie. A kaleidoscope of moments from life of Karolina – a scandalous writer obsessed with parties, drugs, sexuality and complex relationships, on her way to self-destruction. Cast: Magdalena Berus, Lukasz Simlat, Tygo Gernandt, Hanna Koczewska, Marta Nieradkiewicz, Danuta Stenka (North American Premiere)

 

“Tormentero” (Colombia, Dominican Republic, Mexico)

Director: Rubén Imaz, Screenwriters: Fernando del Razo, Rubén Imaz

Romero Kantún is a retired fisherman, who lives mired in nostalgia, but feels that it is time to reclaim what he lost decades ago, when he discovered the great oilfield that ended fishing on his island and won him the fishermen’s rejection. Cast: José Carlos Ruiz, Gabino Rodríguez, Mónica Jiménez, Waldo Facco (U.S. Premiere)

 

“Win By Fall” (Germany)

Director: Anna Koch, Screenwriters: Anna Koch, Julia Lemke

At the age of 12, Janny, Lisa, Debby and Michelle leave their home for a sports school in the East German province to become wrestlers. A documentary about coming-of-age between boarding school corridors, wrestling gyms and boy band posters. (North American Premiere)

 

 

FESTIVAL FAVORITES

aka stuff what has played at other festivals.

 

78/52″

Director/Screenwriter: Alexandre O. Philippe

A feature-length documentary about the iconic shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s PSYCHO, 78/52 takes an unprecedented look at the ‘man behind the curtain’ and the screen murder that profoundly changed the course of world cinema.

 

“The Big Sick”

Director: Michael Showalter, Screenwriters: Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani

A couple deals with their cultural differences as their relationship grows. Cast: Kumail Nanjani, Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter, Ray Romano, Anupani Euler, Zienobia Sfiroff, Adeel Akfitar, Bo Burnhani, Mary Aidy Bryant, Kurt Braunohler

 

“Chasing Coral”

Director: Jeff Orlowski, Screenwriters: Davis Coombe, Vickie Curtis, Jeff Orlowski

Coral reefs around the world are vanishing at an unprecedented rate. A team of divers, photographers and scientists set out on a thrilling ocean adventure to discover why and to reveal the underwater mystery to the world.

 

“Colossal”

Director/Screenwriter: Nacho Vigalondo

An unapologetic party girl (Anne Hathaway) dreams of a fresh start only to discover a mysterious and fantastical connection between herself and a city-wrecking monster on the other side of the globe. Cast: Anne Hathaway, Jason Sudeikis, Dan Stevens, Austin Stowell, Tim Blake Nelson

 

“GORAN” (Croatia)

Director: Nevio Marasović, Screenwriter: Gjermund Gisvold

Some good news lead to chaos. Cast: Franjo Dijak, Nataša Janjić, Janko Popović Volarić, Goran Bogdan, Milan Štrljić (U.S. Premiere)

 

“The Hero”

Director: Brett Haley, Screenwriters: Brett Haley, Marc Basch

The Hero tells the story of movie star Lee Hayden whose career high as Western film icon is now several decades in the past. Cast: Sam Elliott, Laura Prepon, Krysten Ritter, Nick Offerman, Katharine Ross

 

“Lemon”

Director: Janicza Bravo, Screenwriters: Janicza Bravo, Brett Gelman

A man watches his life unravel after he is left by his blind girlfriend. Cast: Brett Gelman, Judy Greer, Michael Cera, Nia Long, Shiri Appleby, Rhea Perlman, Fred Melamed, Gillian Jacobs, Martin Starr, David Paymer

 

“Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press”

Director/Screenwriter: Brian Knappenberger

The trial between wrestler Hulk Hogan and Gawker Media pitted privacy rights against freedom of the press, but ended up as a case study in how big money can silence media through legal means. An examination of the free press in an age of inequality.

 

“Prevenge” (UK)

Director/Screenwriter: Alice Lowe

Alice Lowe (Sightseers) is a triple threat as the writer, director and star of this pitch-black comedy about a pregnant woman whose unborn child spurs her on to murder. Cast: Alice Lowe, Dan Renton Skinner, Jo Hartley, Tom Davis, Leila Hoffman, Kate Dickie, Kayvan Novak, Mike Wozniak, Tom Meeten, Gemma Whelan

 

“The Transfiguration”

Director/Screenwriter: Michael O’Shea

This atmospheric New York tale about love, loss, and vampires follows Milo, a 14-year-old boy with a dark secret. The surprise of the Cannes Film Festival 2016. Cast: Eric Ruffin, Chloe Levine, Aaron Moten, Carter Redwood, Danny Flaherty, Larry Fessenden, Lloyd Kaufman (North American Premiere)

 

“Unrest”

Director: Jennifer Brea

When Harvard PhD student Jennifer is struck down at 28 by a fever that leaves her bedridden, doctors tell her it’s “all in her head.” Determined to live, she turns her camera on herself and a hidden world of millions confined to their homes.

 

“Walking Out”

Directors/Screenwriters: Andrew Smith, Alex Smith

Based on the masterpiece, American short story, Walking Out, follows David (Josh Wiggins), a typical teenage urbanite as he travels to rural Montana to go hunting with his estranged, ‘off the grid’ father, Cal (Matt Bomer). Cast: Matt Bomer, Josh Wiggins, Bill Pullman, Alex Neustaedter, Lily Gladstone, Ken White, Scott McMillion

 

SPECIAL EVENTS

One-offs and the like

“Alien”

Director: Ridley Scott, Screenwriter: Dan O’Bannon

In space, no one can hear you scream. Cast: Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm, Yaphet Kotto

 

Cartoon Network Screening

Join Cartoon Network for fun, games and NEW, NEW, NEW, NEW episodes of “The Amazing World of Gumball,” “We Bare Bears,” “Ben 10” and “Teen Titans Go!” But don’t go anywhere before the big surprise!! (U.S. Premiere)

 

“Earth” (with live score by DakhaBrakha) (Ukraine)

Director: Alexander Dovzhenko

Earth. This 1930’s silent film tells the story of farmers resisting Stalin’s plan to collectivize their farms. This performance features DakhaBrakha playing their own live score for this classic of Soviet cinema.

 

“Ghost in the Shell”

Director: Mamoru Oshii

Ghost in the Shell questions human existence in the fast-paced world of the information age, this award-winning, cyber-tech thriller has established itself as one of the leading Japanese animation films of all time. Cast: Atsuku Tanaka, Akio Otuska, Koichi Yamadera, Yukaka Nakano, Tamio Oki, Tessho Genda, Namaki Masakazu, Iemasa Kayumi

 

“Hype!: 20th Anniversary Screening”

Director: Doug Pray

Hype! rocks the definitive story of the birth and explosion of the Pacific NW music scene known globally as “grunge.” With humor and intense live performances, “Hype!” immerses you in the vibrant subculture and media madness of early ‘90s Seattle.

 

“Le Ride”

Director: Phil Keoghan, Screenwriters: Phil Keoghan and Louise Keoghan

Television personality Phil Keoghan retraces the 1928 Tour de France riding an original vintage bicycle, with no gears, as he tells the forgotten ‘underdog’ story about the first English speaking team to take on the toughest sporting event on earth.

 

 

 

Nicolas Cage stuns Alamo Drafthouse fans by popping by ‘C4GED’

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Nicholas Cage reading “The Tell-Tale Heart” because Austin (Photo: Heather Kennedy)

 

Sunday, Alamo Drafthouse attendees had their wigs pushed back when actor/noted Superman aficionado Nicolas Cage popped in on “C4GED,” the Drafthouse’s 4th annual marathon of Nicolas Cage movies to celebrate the month of his birth.

During the opening happy birthday song, Nicolas Cage walked out on stage and launched immediately into a reading of “The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allen Poe.” Yes, this actually happened.

Then, Cage spent the next 12 hours watching Nicolas Cage films that he personally programmed with Drafthouse programmer Greg MacLennan, who was quoted as saying, ” “This is and will always be the greatest day of my life, I apologize to my unborn future child.”

The line-up: “Bangkok Dangerous, “Joe” (which is a great movie by Austin director David Gordon Green), “Bringing Out the Dead,” “Army of One” and “Lord of War.”

Austinite Macon Blair’s “I don’t feel at home in this world anymore” takes Sundance U.S. Grand Jury Prize

"I don't feel at home in this world anymore"
“I don’t feel at home in this world anymore”

Austin filmmaking reasserted itself in dramatic fashion Saturday night when River City actor/writer/director Macon Blair’s “I don’t feel at home in this world anymore” took the Sundance Film Festival’s Grand Jury Prize for U.S. feature. It is Blair’s directorial debut.

Blair, a native of Northern Virginia, directed Austinite Elijah Wood, Melanie Lynskey (“Togetherness”) and former Austin resident/Scratch Acid/Jesus Lizard frontman David Yow (whose acting career seems to be growing by the second) in the thriller about a burglarized woman who tries to track down the thieves and finds herself over her head. Blair shot the film last year in Portland, Ore.

Blair can be seen in a small role in Stephan Gaghan’s “Gold” with Matthew McConaughey and was terrific in a very hard part in the last year’s terrifying “Green Room,” which was directed by Blair’s longtime friend and collaborator Jeremy Saulnier, who also directed Blair in the well-regarded “Blue Ruin.”

“I don’t feel at home in this world anymore” will be available Feb. 24 on Netflix.

Check out the full list of Sundance winners here.

 

Dana Holgorsen is a good sport about Matthew McConaughey’s hair in ‘Gold’

As a longtime fan of people who take their jobs seriously but do not take themselves seriously, I am now officially in the tank for Dana Holgorsen.

In an interview published in the American-Statesman, Austin spirit animal Matthew McConaughey noted that he looked to the West Virginia head coach for his character Kenny Wells’ hair in “Gold,” which opens Friday.

636206386471967975-gold-3-lgAs our sister site Hook ‘Em pointed out, Holgorsen can get a little animated during games (and has had choice words for the Longhorns in the past).

Word got around Wednesday about Matthew and his hair. This was Holgorsen’s exceptionally classy response:

Holgorsen fans (and WVU) quickly went to work.

To wit, here is the poster for “Gold”:

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Which was followed by West Virginia fan Brian W. making this:

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Well done, everybody.

Don’t ever call Matthew McConaughey ‘Matt.’ Just don’t.

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The guy on the right? Don’t ever call him “Matt” or his mom’ll getcha.
On Tuesday, Austin spirit animal McConaughey hit the couch on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” to discuss his upcoming movie “Gold,” which opens Friday. He also told Kimmel about why he never, ever goes by Matt. (Hint: It has something to do with his mother.)

Matthew McConaughey looked to the Big 12 for his hair in ‘Gold’

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Bryce Dallas Howard and Matthew McConaughey in “Gold.” Contributed

Sure, Matthew McConaughey reportedly put on more than 40 pounds to get into character as Kenny Wells, the somewhat sketchy fellow at the heart of “Gold.” He hit the cheeseburgers, and he hit them hard.

But what really jumps out at you is his hair, a comb-over with that sort of half-halo thing about the back that some men get. It is … not the most flattering look. It is extremely unexpected to see on a movie star.

So where did this look come from? The UT Longhorns superfan told the Statesman in an interview:

“I haven’t told anyone else this. I went to the hair lady, said, ‘It’s this guy’s hair,’ and handed her a picture of Dana Holgorsen,” McConaughey said, laughing uproariously.

Dana Holgorsen. Contributed by WVU
Dana Holgorsen. Contributed by WVU

Holgorsen, for those not versed in the ins and outs of college football, is the current head coach at West Virginia. He did time in various offensive coordinator gigs at Oklahoma State, Houston and Texas Tech.

“Gold” opens in Austin theaters Jan. 27.

READ THE FULL INTERVIEW: Matthew McConaughey talks about his dad, poor shooting conditions and why Wells is his favorite character he’s ever played.

Five things we learned from the 2017 Oscar nominations

This image released by Lionsgate shows Ryan Gosling, right, and Emma Stone in a scene from, "La La Land." The Writers Guild of America announced its nominees for the best screenplays of the year on Wednesday. Best original screenplay nominees include; “Manchester By The Sea,” “Moonlight”, “La La Land," “Hell or High Water” and “Loving.” (Dale Robinette/Lionsgate via AP)
Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling in “La La Land,” which received a record-tying 14 Oscar nominations on Tuesday. Dale Robinette/Lionsgate via AP)

Nominations for the 89th annual Academy Awards were revealed Tuesday in a pre-recorded short film that had, as a friend put it, “all the charm of the videos they show you before jury duty.”

In the future, Academy, we the people expect to see two live Hollywood types, at 5:18 a.m. Pacific time, reading from a teleprompter, looking like they were unhooked from an IV of coffee 30 seconds before air-time. #OscarsSoLazy!

Here are a few things we learned:

Black people exist: Unlike last year’s horrifyingly white nominee slate, talent of color and films directly relating to the African-American experience were decently represented this year. “Hidden Figures,” “Moonlight” and “Fences” all received best picture nods.

Director Barry Jenkins was nominated for “Moonlight.”  Ruth Negga nabbed a best actress nomination for “Loving.” Denzel Washington and Viola Davis both received acting nominations for “Fences,” while the brilliant Mahershala Ali (for “Moonlight”) and British-Indian actor Dev Patel (for “Lion”) received best supporting actor noms. Other supporting actress nominees included Naomie Harris (for “Moonlight”) and Octavia Spencer (for “Hidden Figures”). #OscarsSoWoke?

The Academy really, really liked “La La Land:” The musical landed 14 nominations, which ties it with “All About Eve” (1950) and movie-that-made-Leo-DiCaprio “Titanic” (1997). The Damien Chazelle-directed ode to “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg” (and, yes, fine, old Hollywood musicals) received nods in every major category, including best picture, best director, best actor, best actress, best cinematography, best costume, best original score, TWO for best original song an best original screenplay. #OscarSoIntoSlightlyFlatRyanGosling

The heady sci-fi picture “Arrival” and the emotionally ravishing “Moonlight” each nabbed eight nominations. “Hacksaw Ridge,” “Lion” and “Manchester by the Sea” got six each.

Loving (rather than merely liking) “La La Land” (and people not actually seeing “Moonlight”) has become such a thing that it was made fun of on Saturday Night Live.

RELATED: IN ‘MOONLIGHT,’ UT GRAD TREVANTE RHODES FINDS A BREAKOUT ROLE

Streaming services are players: Kenneth Lonergan’s “Manchester By the Sea,” produced by Amazon Studios, picked up six nominations (best picture, best director, Casey Affleck for lead actor, Lucas Hedges for supporting actor, Michelle Williams for supporting actress, and best original screenplay).  Never before has a streaming service gotten a best picture nomination. #OscarsSoIntoNetflixAndChill

The documentary category remains incredibly strong:  Speaking of streaming (and African-American talent, for that matter), the Netflix-produced “The 13th” from Ava DuVernay, a stunning look at how slavery morphed into the prison-industrial complex, picked up a nomination, as did “I Am Not Your Negro,” the award-winning “Fire at Sea,” the autism journey “Life, Animated,” and the epic, essential “OJ: Made in America.”

Not a lot of love for “Loving:” There was a bit of Oscar buzz last year for Austin filmmaker Jeff Nichols’ “Loving.” It picked up exactly one nomination, a best actress nod for Ruth Negga’s performance as Mildred Loving. Dang.

The Oscars will air Feb. 26 on ABC.

RELATED: WEST TEXAS-SET ‘HELL OR HIGH WATER’ GETS SEVERAL OSCAR NODS, INCLUDING BEST PICTURE — READ OUR REVIEW

Revealed! ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ is the title of Episode VIII

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Disney revealed today that “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” is the title of Episode VIII in the Star Wars saga.

This, naturally, prompted many fans to ask: Of whom is the title speaking?

Is it Luke, who certainly seemed to be the last Jedi standing after “Return of the Jedi?” Last we saw him, a bearded Luke was hanging out on an island all by himself, recently tracked down by Rey. But wasn’t he training new Jedi when he went into exile?

Is it Rey, who is clearly Force-sensitive? Rey’s parentage has been the subject of fan debate since “The Force Awakens” came out in 2015. Is she Luke’s daughter? Is she Han and Leia’s? Or is neither true?

Is it Kylo Ren, the artist formerly known as Ben Solo? He was last seen reppin’ hard for the First Order and murdering his father. He certainly seems Jedi-like but is more of a Sith fellow, what with his allegiance to the Knights of Ren and all.

Whom do YOU think is the last Jedi?

 “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” is written and directed by Rian Johnson and is scheduled for release December 15, 2017. 

SXSW Film wristbands on sale now!

Wristbands for the 2017 South by Southwest film festival went on sale at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday for Austin-area residents.

One can buy wristbands for a full week or a half-week of films at this year’s SXSW, scheduled from March 10-18.

This year, wristbands are $95 for all film screenings, all nine days of the fest, or $65 for the beloved-by-locals second half of the film festival, March 14-18.

Here is the new wrinkle: In keeping with SXSW’s idea of conference convergence, music and interactive badge holders can now get in line with film wristband holders. Which means film badge holders get top priority, then wristbands/music and interactive badge holders.

To the extent that this diminishes the value of the wristband, nobody can yet say. But if you plan carefully, don’t expect to get into marquee stuff can utilize the screens that are not downtown and can go to movies all five days, the film wristband is still a decent deal and the second half wristband remains one of the great bargains in Austin.

.Visit wristbands.sxsw.com for more information.

wristbands-site

SXSW wristbands on sale at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday for Austin-area residents

Wristbands for the 2017 South by Southwest film festival went on sale at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday for Austin-area residents.

One can buy wristbands for a full week or a half-week of films at this year’s SXSW, scheduled from March 10-18.

This year, wristbands are $95 for all film screenings, all nine days of the fest, or $65 for the beloved-by-locals second half of the film festival, March 14-18.

Here is the new wrinkle: In keeping with SXSW’s idea of conference convergence, music and interactive badge holders can now get in line with film wristband holders. Which means film badge holders get top priority, then wristbands/music and interactive badge holders.

To the extent that this diminishes the value of the wristband, nobody can yet say. But if you plan carefully, don’t expect to get into marquee stuff can utilize the screens that are not downtown and can go to movies all five days, the film wristband is still a decent deal and the second half wristband remains one of the great bargains in Austin.

.Visit wristbands.sxsw.com for more information.

UPDATE: This post has been updated from an earlier version to reflect correct film wristband prices.

wristbands-site