SXSW Film Fest announces lineup: Joss Whedon’s ‘Much Ado…’, Green Day, ‘Evil Dead’

Joss Whedon’s “Much Ado About Nothing” adaptation to a horror film about a demon baby growing in a man’s colon are among the movies that made the slate that the 2013 South By Southwest film festival. The event — which runs in conjunction with the rest of the music, interactive, education and comedy conference — will screen the dozens of selected films over March 8-16 in Austin, Texas. 

Among the other 109 feature-length flicks on the topline are John Sayles’ “Go For Sisters,” Stephen Finnigan”s Stephen Hawking documentary “Hawking,” the Green Day doc “¡Cuatro!” and the previously announced appearance of “Evil Dead.”

Sundance faves like “Before Midnight,” “Don Jon’s Addiction,” “Upstream Color” and “Sound City” will be heading to the Texas capitol, as is some A-list talent with premieres. “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone” features Steve Carell, Jim Carrey and Steve Buscemi; Joe Swanberg’s “Drinking Buddies” stars Olivia Wilde, Anna Kendrick and Ron Livingston; and Rose Byrne, Anna Faris and Simon Baker headline “I Give It a Year,” the directorial debut from writer Dan Mazer (“Bruno” and “Borat”). Harmony Korine’s previously bowed and ballyhoed “Spring Breakers” bounds on board with Selena Gomez, James Franco, Vanessa Hudgens and more.

Of the 1,100+ films submitte, eight were selected for the Narrative Feature Competition, each being a premiere: “Awful Nice,” “Burma,” “Improvement Club,” “LICKS,” “The Retrieval,” “Short Term 12,” “Swim Little Fish Club” and This Is Where We Live.” Descriptions for each — plus the descriptions of Documentary Competition films — are below.

Considering SXSW’s roots in music, as well, there were several films selected for their 24 Beats Per Second music-oriented category. Those include “¡Cuatro!” and another Green Day focused project “Broadway Idiot”; Jared Leto’s 30 Seconds to Mars film “Artifact”; movies on the artists like Death, the Gourds and Snoop Dogg; Sundance pick “Twenty Feet From Stardom” ; several punk flicks and more.

Read more on all the feature films selected via the SXSW website.

SXSW 2013 Narrative Feature category

    Awful Nice
    Director/Screenwriter: Todd Sklar, Screenwriter: Alex Rennie
    Estranged brothers Jim and Dave must travel to Branson together when their father dies and leaves them the lake home. A series of hilarious mishaps and costly misadventures follow as they attempt to restore the house and rebuild their relationship. Cast: Alex Rennie, James Pumphrey, Christopher Meloni, Brett Gelman, Keeley Hazell (World Premiere)

    Director/Screenwriter: Carlos Puga
    On the eve of an annual sibling reunion, a troubled young writer is sent reeling with the arrival of an unexpected guest. Cast: Christopher Abbott, Gaby Hoffmann, Chris McCann, Dan Bittner, Emily Fleischer (World Premiere)

    Improvement Club
    Director/Screenwriter: Dayna Hanson
    When their big gig falls through, a ragtag, avant-garde performance group with a political message struggles to find their audience-and the motivating force behind their work.
    Cast: Magge Brown, Dave Proscia, Wade Madsen, Jessie Smith, Pol Rosenthal (World Premiere)

    Director/Screenwriter: Jonathan Singer-Vine, Screenwriter: Justin “Hongry” Robinson
    The story of a young man, D, as he returns to his Oakland neighborhood after two years served in prison for a robbery gone wrong… Cast: Stanley “Doe” Hunt, Koran Jenkins, Tatiana Monet, Devon Libran, Les “DJ Upgrade” Aderibigbe (World Premiere)
    The Retrieval
    Director/Screenwriter: Chris Eska
    On the outskirts of the Civil War, a boy is sent north by a bounty hunter gang to retrieve a wanted man. Cast: Ashton Sanders, Tishuan Scott, Keston John, Bill Oberst, Jr., Christine Horn, Alfonso Freeman (World Premiere)

    Short Term 12
    Director/Screenwriter: Destin Daniel Cretton
    The film follows Grace, a young supervisor at a foster-care facility, as she looks after the teens in her charge and reckons with her own troubled past. An unsparingly authentic film, full of both heart and surprising humor.
    Cast: Brie Larson, John Gallagher Jr., Kaitlyn Dever, Rami Malek, Keith Stanfield (World Premiere)

    Swim Little Fish Swim (USA, France)
    Director/Screenwriter: Ruben Amar, Lola Bessis
    Between surrealism, unusual characters, art and magic tricks, Swim Little Fish Swim is a dreamlike journey from childhood to adulthood. Cast: Dustin Guy Defa, Anne Consigny, Brooke Bloom, Lola Bessis, Olivia Durling Costello (World Premiere)

    This Is Where We Live
    Directors: Josh Barrett, Marc Menchaca, Screenwriter: Marc Menchaca
    A struggling family”s dynamics are challenged and a unique friendship is born when a small-town Texas handyman becomes caregiver to their son with cerebral palsy.
    Cast: Ron Hayden, CK McFarland, Marc Menchaca, Tobias Segal, Frankie Shaw (World Premiere)

SXSW 2013 Documentary Feature category:

    12 O’Clock Boys
    Director: Lotfy Nathan
    Pug, a young boy growing up on a combative West Baltimore block, finds solace in a gang of illegal dirt bike riders known as The 12 O”Clock Boys. (World Premiere)

    Big Joy: The Adventures of James Broughton
    Directors: Stephen Silha, Eric Slade
    A documentary about embracing your passions and becoming the person of your dreams, disguised as an inspiring biopic about pioneering filmmaker and poet James Broughton (1913-1999).
    (World Premiere)

    Hey Bartender
    Director: Douglas Tirola
    The story of the bartender in the era of the craft cocktail. (World Premiere)

    Los Wild Ones
    Director: Elise Salomon
    Wild Records is an indie label reminiscent of the early days of Sun Records. The label is based in LA and run by Reb Kennedy aka Mr. Wild Records and is comprised of young Latin musicians who write and perform 50s Rock n Roll. (World Premiere)
    The Short Game
    Director: Josh Greenbaum
    Each year, the world”s best 7-year-old golfers descend on Pinehurst, North Carolina to determine the next “world champion” and who might become golf”s next phenom. The Short Game follows 9 young golfers on their quest for greatness. (World Premiere)

    Director: Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi
    With unprecedented access and dynamic 16mm cinematography, Touba reveals a different face of Islam by chronicling Sufi Muslims’ annual pilgrimage to the city of Touba. (World Premiere)

    We Always Lie To Strangers
    Directors: AJ Schnack, David Wilson
    A story of family, community, music and tradition set against the backdrop of Branson, Missouri, the remote Ozark Mountain town that is one of the biggest tourist destinations in America.
    (World Premiere)

    Director: Ben Nabors
    William Kamkwamba builds a windmill from scrap to rescue his family from famine, transforming his life and launching him onto the world stage. His success leads to new opportunities and complex choices, distancing him from the life he once knew. (World Premiere)