At this year’s SXSW film festival, magic will be in the air.
“The Incredible Burt Wonderstone,” a comedy starring Steve Carell and Steve Buscemi as Las Vegas illusionists who are forced to step up their game after a street magician played by Jim Carrey begins to make waves, has been chosen as the Austin festival’s opening night selection. Directed by big-time TV helmer Don Scardino (“30 Rock,” “Royal Pains”) and also starring Olivia Wilde, Alan Arkin and James Gandolfini, the film will make its world premiere on March 8, 2013.
Included in SXSW’s “Wonderstone” announcement are six other films slated to make either their world or U.S. premieres at the festival, including Fede Alvarez’s ultra-gory “Evil Dead” remake (set visit); Harmony Korine’s unconventional crime dramedy “Spring Breakers” starring Selena Gomez and James Franco; the Alex Winter documentary “Downloaded,” which charts the rise and fall of Napster; writer-director Joe Swanberg’s romantic dramedy “Drinking Buddies” starring Jake Johnson, Olivia Wilde and Anna Kendrick; “Everyone’s Going to Die”, the first feature from the British filmmaking collective Jones; and “Good Ol’ Frieda,” a documentary about the Beatles’ longtime secretary Freda Kelly that was directed by Ryan White (“Pelada”).
In addition to these announced premieres (the rest of the lineup, with the exception of Shorts and Midnighters, will be announced on Jan. 31), several new panel discussions and workshops have been added to the festival’s schedule, including A Conversation with Matthew McConaughey (guess what that entails) and a presentation that will include a first look at the pilot for A&E’s upcoming “Psycho” prequel series ‘Bates Motel.”
After perusing all the details below, let us know which films and panels you’re interested in checking out in the comments.
The SXSW Film Conference and Festival runs from March 8-16 in Austin, Texas.
Downloaded (World Premiere)
Director: Alex Winter
Downloaded is a documentary that explores the rise and fall of Napster and the birth of the digital revolution. It’s about the teens that helped start this revolution, and the artists and industries who continue to be impacted by it.
Drinking Buddies (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Joe Swanberg
Weekend trips, office parties, late night conversations, drinking on the job, marriage pressure, biological clocks, holding eye contact a second too long… you know what makes the line between “friends” and “more than friends” really blurry? Beer.
Cast: Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson, Anna Kendrick, Ron Livingston
Everyone’s Going to Die (World Premiere)
A modern British story about coming home, getting by and the redemptive power of feeling
you’re not alone. A story where porn hotlines rub shoulders with sexy beavers on rollerskates; where the past is laid to rest, two lives are changed and nobody, finally, is going to die.
Cast: Nora Tschirner, Rob Knighton, Kellie Shirley, Madeline Duggan (United Kingdom)
Evil Dead (World Premiere)
Director: Fede Alvarez, Screenwriter: Fede Alvarez & Rodo Sayagues
Five friends, holed up in a remote cabin, discover a Book of the Dead that unwittingly summons up dormant demons, which possess the youngsters in succession until only one is left to fight for survival.
Cast: Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, Lou Taylor Pucci, Jessica Lucas, Elizabeth Blackmore
Good Ol’ Freda (World Premiere)
Director: Ryan White
Good Ol” Freda tells the story of Freda Kelly, a shy Liverpudlian teenager asked to work for a young local band hoping to make it big: The Beatles. Their loyal secretary from beginning to end, Freda tells her tales for the first time in 50 years.
The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (World Premiere)
Director: Don Scardino, Story by Chad Kultgen & Tyler Mitchell and Jonathan Goldstein & John Francis Daley. Screenplay by Jonathan Goldstein & John Francis Daley
As superstar Vegas magicians and former best friends Burt and Anton grow to secretly loathe each other, their long-time act implodes, allowing an ambitious rival street performer the big break he”s been waiting for.
Cast: Steve Carell, Steve Buscemi, Olivia Wilde, with Alan Arkin, James Gandolfini and Jim Carrey
Spring Breakers (U.S. Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Harmony Korine
Four college girls who land in jail after robbing a restaurant in order to fund their spring break vacation find themselves bailed out by a drug and arms dealer who wants them to do some dirty work.
Cast: James Franco, Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson, Rachel Korine
Newly-added panels and workshops:
A Conversation with Matthew McConaughey – An in-depth discussion with the
incredibly fascinating actor, whose career continues to evolve in exciting and
unexpected ways, including his bold choices with recent projects like Magic Mike, Killer
Joe, Bernie and Mud.
Humanizing Heroes: Storytelling Beyond Sports – The leading authorities behind
some of today’s most notable sports films, Connor Schell (ESPN Films), Ken Rodgers
(NFL Films) and Ross Greenburg (Ross Greenburg Productions), discuss the evolution
of storytelling in sports filmmaking, its influence on pop culture and its continued
resonance across all cultures and backgrounds.
Bates Motel: Story to Screen with Carlton Cuse – In a Special Event combining the
SXSW Film Festival and Conference in one, attendees will get an exclusive first look at
the pilot of Bates Motel, the thrilling new series from A&E. Following the
screening, Executive Producer Carlton Cuse (Lost) will sit down with A&E Marketing
EVP Guy Slattery for an inside look and Q&A on the process for bringing this
contemporary prequel to life.
Jeffrey Tambor”s Acting Workshop – Jeffrey Tambor continues the tradition of his
much loved acting and life workshop by returning to SXSW Film 2013. Part one-man
show, part seminar, part question and answer and endlessly entertaining, Jeffrey”s
hilarious and empowering presentation inspires the viewer to discover the artist within.