SXSW 2012 Film Festival announces line-up
The South by Southwest Media Conference and Festival, aka SXSW, announced the schedule of films in the cinema portion of the 26th annual gathering of music, film and interactive technology, March 9-20.
Comedies featuring Jonah Hill and Will Ferrell and a documentary on Wikileaks are among films on the programme along with 16 narrative and documentary competition features making their world premiere at SXSW. The festival opens with Joss Whedon's horror flick The Cabin in the Woods starring Chris Hemsworth (Thor).
Hill's new action comedy 21 Jump Street, based on the television series from the 1980s starring Johnny Depp, premieres March 12 as part of the Headliners section and Ferrell's Casa de mi Padre, a Spanish-language telanovela-style Mexican Western tale, will have a special screening.
Other high-profile films include Bernie by Richard Linklater starring Jack Black and Shirley MacLaine, The Hunter by director Daniel Nettheim starring Willem Dafoe and Sam Neill, and Killer Joe by director William Friedkin starring Matthew McConaughey.
The full SXSW film programme highlights 130 features, including 51 from first-time filmmakers and 65 world premieres. Besides studio releases, the slate of movies focuses on first-time filmmakers and Texas-centric material.
Music documentaries include Beware of Mr. Baker, directed by Jay Bulger, about the legendary drummer from Cream, Kevin Macdonald's Bob Marley documentary, and Paul Simon's return to South Africa to explore his historic Graceland album.
Documentaries include Wikileaks: Secrets & Lies from director Patrick Forbes and $ellebrity by director Kevin Mazur, featuring interviews with Jennifer Aniston, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jennifer Lopez and Elton John.
The closing film, traditionally music-oriented, is Emmett Malloy's Big Easy Express, documenting a train ride with bands Mumford & Sons, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros and Old Crow Medicine Show.
The conference also includes more than 100 panels, workshops and mentor sessions with directors Whedon, Kevin Smith and Judd Apatow.
"It is clear that we are a destination film festival for submissions and for attendance," said festival producer Janet Pierson during the announcement.
Rock legend Bruce Springsteen will be the keynote speaker for the 2012 extravaganza at the Austin Convention Center on March 15. Dozens of panels and a trade show will be hosted and more than 2,000 acts from 55 countries appearing on 90 stages throughout Austin.