SXSW 2013 Preview: Headliners and Competition Slates

Ryland Aldrich, Festivals Editor


It's SXSW time once again and Austin is about to fill up with that wonderfully weird combination of film geeks, music geeks, and just plain traditional geeks. Never fear, Twitch will be by your side throughout! We start our preview series today with a look at a few of the star-driven Headliners, both the Narrative and Documentary competitions, and a few films from the Special Events section. Check back tomorrow when we dive even deeper into the catalog.

Headliners



THE INCREDIBLE BURT WONDERSTONE
SXSW kicks off with another star-studded comedy (last year it was 21 Jump Street). This one casts Steve Carell, Steve Buscemi, Olivia Wilde, Jim Carey, Alan Arkin, and James Gandolfini in the world of Vegas magicianery.


EVIL DEAD
Expectations are somewhat high for Fede Alvarez's remake of the 1981 classic considering it is Alvarez's first feature. Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, Lou Taylor Pucci, and Jessica Lucas star.


THE EAST
Zal Batmanglij reteams with Brit Marling in his Sundance premiering follow-up to Sound of My Voice. The story of infiltrating an eco-terror cell may sound slightly similar, but the film is most definitely a studio picture.
Read Ryland's Review


SPRING BREAKERS
Spriiiiiiiiing Breaaaaaaaak. Just go see it.
Read Ryland's Review

Narrative Competition



AWFUL NICE
This Branson, MO brotherly road trip comedy looks to follow up on the laughs from director Todd Sklar's first feature Box Elder and hilarious short '92 Skybox Alonzo Mourning Rookie Card.


SHORT TERM 12
Brie Larsen plays a caretaker at a shelter for troubled teens in Destin Daniel Cretton's much anticipated and rather quick follow-up to Sundance 2012 Nexter I Am Not a Hipster. With some high powered producers that include the good folks at both Traction Media and Animal Kingdom, this is likely to be one of the most talked about films of the competition slate.


BURMA
With a flaming hot cast that includes Christopher Abbot (Girls) and Gaby Hoffman (Crystal Fairy), this debut feature from MTV True Life veteran director Carlos Puga has all the signs of a stand out drama.


IMPROVEMENT CLUB
We'll be in good shape if Dayna Hanson's debut feature hybrid narrative/mockumentary about Pacific Northwest dance-ctivists is half as funny as that premise promises.


THE RETRIEVAL
Chris Eska's follow-up to his 2007 LA Film Fest and Independent Spirit Cassavetes Award winning August Evening is this Civil War period drama of a boy, a bounty hunter, and a wanted man.

Documentary Competition



THE SHORT GAME
Award-winning writer Josh Greenbaum turns to documentary filmmaking with this look inside the ultra-competitive world of seven and eight year old golf.


12 O'CLOCK BOYS
Much praised young filmmaker Lotfy Nathan makes his feature directorial debut with this fascinating looking documentary about urban dirt bike gangs of Baltimore and the young kids looking to join in.


LOS WILD ONES
Producer Elise Salomon (Paper Heart, Smashed) makes her directorial debut with this look inside an LA indie music label that seems stuck in the 1950s.


WE ALWAYS LIE TO STRANGERS
Veteran filmmaker AJ Schnack (Kurt Cobain About a Son) teams with first time feature director David Wilson for this trip deep inside the tourist community of Branson, Missouri.


BIG JOY: THE ADVENTURES OF JAMES BROUGHTON
Take a trip into the gnarly nude world of pre-beat San Francisco spiritual leader and weirdo wild man James Broughton.

Special Events



SOUND CITY
Dave Grohl brings his analog love fest roadshow to Austin with his Sundance premiering docu about the legendary recording studio.


TPB AFK: THE PIRATE BAY AWAY FROM KEYBOARD
It may already be free to download on the 'net, but that doesn't stop the good people at SXSW from exhibiting Simon Klose's look inside one of the most notorious file sharing sites online.


LINSANITY
You gotta think Houston Rocket Jeremy Lin will be on hand for the Texas debut of this Sundance docu about his meteoric rise to fame.

Around the Internet:
  • mightyjoeyoung

    "TPB AFK: THE PIRATE BAY AWAY FROM KEYBOARD
    It may already be free to download on the 'net, but that doesn't stop the good people at SXSW from exhibiting Simon Klose's look inside one of the most notorious file sharing sites online."
    Its been shown on TV here in Sweden......uneven, flawed, but it´s Klose´s first doc feature......I shouldn´t be so hard on him, looking forward to the review.
    Thnaks for the list, Mr Aldrich.

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