SXSW 2020 (Cancelled)

Mar 24, 2020 | Events, Film Festivals, Past Events

https://variety.com/2020/music/news/sxsw-canceled-coronavirus-2020-austin-1203526422/

Narrative Feature Competition

Ten world premieres; ten unique ways to celebrate the art of storytelling.

Holler
Director/Screenwriter: Nicole Riegel
To pay for her education, and the chance of a better life, a young woman joins a dangerous scrap metal crew. Cast: Jessica Barden, Gus Halper, Austin Amelio, Grace Kaiser, Pamela Adlon, Becky Ann Baker (World Premiere)

I’ll Meet You There (Pakistan, United States)
Director/Screenwriter: Iram Parveen Bilal
A Muslim policeman goes undercover at his estranged father’s mosque while his daughter hides her passion for a forbidden dance, uncovering a shocking family secret. Cast: Faran Tahir, Nikita Tewani, Muhammad Qavi Khan, Sheetal Sheth, Shawn Parsons, Andrea Cirie, Nitin Madan, Michael Pemberton, Samrat Chakrabarti, Rachit Trehan (World Premiere)

Lapsis
Director/Screenwriter: Noah Hutton
Delivery man Ray Tincelli is struggling to support himself and his ailing younger brother. He turns to quantum cabling, a strange new corner of the gig economy, and faces a pivotal choice to either help his fellow workers or to get rich and get out. Cast: Dean Imperial, Madeline Wise, Babe Howard, Dora Madison, Ivory Aquino, James McDaniel, Frank Wood, Arliss Howard, Pooya Mohseni, Portia (World Premiere)

Pink Skies Ahead
Director/Screenwriter: Kelly Oxford
Life unravels for a wild young woman after dropping out of college, moving in with her parents, and being diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. Cast: Jessica Barden, Marcia Gay Harden, Michael McKean, Henry Winkler, Rosa Salazar, Odeya Rush, Lewis Pullman, Devon Bostick, Mary J. Blige, Evan Ross (World Premiere)

Really Love (Winner)
Director: Angel Kristi Williams, Screenwriters: Felicia Pride, Angel Kristi Williams
Set in a gentrifying Washington DC, a rising Black painter tries to break into a competitive art world, while balancing a whirlwind romance he never expected. Cast: Kofi Siriboe, Yootha Wong-Loi-Sing, Uzo Aduba, Mack Wilds, Naturi Naughton, Suzzanne Douglas, Jade Eshete, Blair Underwood, Michael Ealy (World Premiere)

Shithouse (Winner)
Director/Screenwriter: Cooper Raiff
A homesick college freshman goes to a party at Shithouse and ends up spending the night with his sophomore RA who’s had a shitty day and wants someone to hang out with. Cast: Dylan Gelula, Cooper Raiff, Amy Landecker, Logan Miller (World Premiere)

Shiva Baby
Director/Screenwriter: Emma Seligman
A young woman struggles to keep up different versions of herself when she runs into her sugar daddy and her ex-girlfriend at a shiva with her parents. Cast: Rachel Sennott, Polly Draper, Molly Gordon, Danny Deferrari, Dianna Agron, Fred Melamed, Glynis Bell, Sondra James, Jackie Hoffman (World Premiere)

Teenage Badass
Director: Grant McCord, Screenwriters: Matthew D. Dho, Grant McCord
Set in 2006, Teenage Badass follows a band when they score a shot to play on the local news. But as all of their dreams start to become a reality, the band’s egocentric singer/songwriter threatens to make them lose everything. Cast: Mcabe Gregg, Evan Ultra, Madelyn Deutch, Dillon Lane, Elsie Hewitt, Karsen Liotta, Julie Ann Emery, Kevin Corrigan, James Paxton, Jim Adkins (World Premiere)

Topside  (Winner)
Directors/Screenwriters: Celine Held, Logan George
A five year-old girl and her mother live in a community inhabiting the tunnels beneath New York City, when a sudden police eviction forces them into the world above, throwing their lives into chaos. Cast: Zhaila Farmer, Celine Held, Jared Abrahamson, Fatlip (World Premiere)

Violet
Director/Screenwriter: Justine Bateman
A film development executive realizes that “guiding voice” inside her head has been lying to her about everything. Cast:Olivia Munn, Luke Bracey, Justin Theroux, Bonnie Bedelia, Zach Gordon, Erica Ash, Rob Benedict, Dennis Boutsikaris, Todd Stashwick, Laura San Giacomo (World Premiere)

Headliners

Big names, big talent: Headliners bring star power to SXSW, featuring red carpet premieres and gala film events with major and rising names in cinema.

Bad Trip
Director: Kitao Sakurai, Screenwriters: Eric André, Dan Curry, Kitao Sakurai
From a producer of Jackass and Bad Grandpa, this hidden camera comedy follows two best friends as they go on a cross-country road trip full of hilarious, inventive pranks, pulling its real-life audience into the mayhem. Cast: Eric André, Lil Rel Howery, Tiffany Haddish, Michaela Conlin (World Premiere)

Beastie Boys Story
Director: Spike Jonze
Beastie Boys, Mike Diamond and Adam Horovitz, tell you an intimate, personal story of their band and 40 years of friendship in this live documentary experience directed by their longtime friend and collaborator, and their former grandfather, filmmaker Spike Jonze. (World Premiere)

The King of Staten Island
Director: Judd Apatow, Screenwriters: Judd Apatow, Pete Davidson, Dave Sirus
Filmmaker Judd Apatow directs Saturday Night Live breakout Pete Davidson in a bracing comedy about a burnout stuck living with his mom (Oscar® winner Marisa Tomei) on Staten Island. Cast: Pete Davidson, Marisa Tomei, Bill Burr, Bel Powley, Maude Apatow, Ricky Velez and Steve Buscemi (World Premiere)

LA Originals (Argentina)
Director: Estevan Oriol, Screenwriters: Brian Maya, Omar Quiroga
An exploration of the culture and landmarks of the chicano and street art movement that cemented Mister Cartoon and Estevan Oriol’s status as behind-the-scenes hip hop legends. (World Premiere)

The Lovebirds
Director: Michael Showalter, Screenwriters: Aaron Abrams, Brendan Gall
A young couple (Issa Rae & Kumail Nanjiani) is pulled into a bizarre (and hilarious) murder mystery. Working to clear their names and solve the crime, they need to figure out how they, and their relationship, can survive the night. Cast: Kumail Nanjiani, Issa Rae, Paul Sparks, Anna Camp, Kyle Bornheimer (World Premiere)

Midnighters

Scary, funny, sexy, controversial – provocative after-dark features for night-owls and the terminally curious.

Dembanger
Director: John Berardo, Screenwriters: John Berardo, Lindsay LaVanchy, Brian Frager
Ellery Scott’s world unravels when her star athlete brother is murdered on campus amidst a brewing scandal, kicking off a spree of social-media-linked slayings that leave her racing alongside the police to uncover the university’s hidden secrets. Cast: Jon Huertas, Isabella Gomez, Lindsay LaVanchy, Froy Gutierrez, Gattlin Griffith, Patrick Walker, Bart Johnson, Shireen Lai, with Yancy Butler, and Lochlyn Munro (World Premiere)

Lucky
Director: Natasha Kermani, Screenwriter: Brea Grant
Lucky follows May, a self-help book author with all the answers, who suddenly finds herself stalked by a threatening but elusive masked man, and caught in a struggle to get help from the people around her and maintain control over her own life. Cast: Brea Grant, Hunter C Smith, Kristina Klebe, Leith M. Burke, Dhruv Uday Singh, Yasmine Al-Bustami (World Premiere)

PG (Psycho Goreman) (Canada)
Director/Screenwriter: Steven Kostanski
Siblings Mimi and Luke unwittingly resurrect an ancient alien overlord. Using a magical amulet, they force the monster to obey their childish whims, and accidentally attract a rogues’ gallery of intergalactic assassins to small-town suburbia. Cast: Nita-Josée Hanna, Owen Myre, Adam Brooks, Alexis Hancey, Matthew Ninaber, Steven Vlahos, Kristen MacCulloch, Anna Tierney, Kenneth Welsh (World Premiere)

Relic (Australia)
Director: Natalie Erika James, Screenwriters: Natalie Erika James, Christian White
When Edna, the elderly and widowed matriarch of the family, goes missing, her daughter Kay and granddaughter Sam travel to their remote family home to find her. Soon after her return, they start to discover a sinister presence haunting the house and taking control of Edna. Cast: Emily Mortimer, Robyn Nevin, Bella Heathcote

Run Sweetheart Run
Director/Screenwriter: Shana Feste
In Run Sweetheart Run, a blind date turns violent and the woman has to get home on foot through Los Angeles as she’s pursued by her date. Cast: Ella Balinska, Pilou Asbaek, Clark Gregg, Aml Ameen, Dayo Okeniyi, Betsy Brandt, Shohreh Aghdashloo

The Silencing
Director: Robin Pront, Screenwriter: Micah Ranum
A reformed hunter living in isolation on a wildlife sanctuary becomes involved in a deadly game of cat and mouse when he and the local Sheriff set out to track a vicious killer who may have kidnapped his daughter years ago. Cast: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Annabelle Wallis, Hero FIennes Tiffin, Melanie Scrofano, Shaun Smyth, Zahn McClarnon (World Premiere)

The Toll
Director/Screenwriter: Michael Nader
When a young woman and her rideshare driver break down on a dark forest road, each sees the other as a threat. A strange phenomena begin occurring around them, they gradually realize they’ve become trapped in the world of a terrifying supernatural being: The Toll Man. Cast: Jordan Hayes, Max Topplin, James McGowan, Rosemary Dunsmore (World Premiere)

The Vigil
Director/Screenwriter: Keith Thomas
A man providing overnight watch to a deceased member of his former Orthodox Jewish community finds himself opposite a malevolent entity, in writer-director Keith Thomas’ electrifying feature debut. Cast: Dave Davis, Menashe Lustig, Malky Goldman, Lynn Cohen, Fred Melamed (U.S. Premiere)

Witch Hunt
Director: Elle Callahan
In a modern America where witches are real and witchcraft is illegal, a sheltered teenager must face her own demons and prejudices as she helps two young witches avoid law enforcement and cross the southern border to asylum in Mexico. (World Premiere)

Yummy (Belgium)
Director: Lars Damoiseaux, Screenwriters: Eveline Hagenbeek, Lars Damoiseaux
Yummy is an orgy of blood, violence and fun in which a young couple travels to a shabby Eastern European hospital for cheap plastic surgery, but they get stuck in the middle of a zombie outbreak. Cast: Maaike Neuville, Bart Hollanders, Clara Cleymans, Benjamin Ramon, Tom Audenaert (North American Premiere)

Festival Favorites

Acclaimed standouts & selected previous premieres from festivals around the world.

Be Water
Director: Bao Nguyen
Be Water is a layered and intimate portrait of an underdog who was able to transcend racism, colonialism, and xenophobia to become one of the most influential cultural figures of our time. Cast: Linda Lee Cadwell, Shannon Lee, Robert Lee, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Dan Inosanto, Andre Morgan

Beast Beast
Director/Screenwriter: Danny Madden
Set in a southern town, three youth deal with new and old issues of growing up, swirling with trauma, petty crimes, new love and gun violence. Cast: Shirley Chen, Will Madden, Jose Angeles, Courtney Dietz, Daniel Rashid, Kron Moore

Boys State
Directors: Amanda McBaine, Jesse Moss
A political coming-of-age story, Boys State examines the health of American democracy through an unusual experiment in which a thousand 17-year-old boys from across Texas join together to build a representative government from the ground up. Cast: Steven Garza, Rene Otero, Ben Feinstein, Robert Macdougall

Bull
Director: Annie Silverstein, Screenwriters: Annie Silverstein, Johnny McAllister
On the outskirts of Houston, a teen reeling from her mom’s incarceration and an aging bullfighter struggling to keep a foothold in the rodeo circuit, form an unlikely bond and attempt to right their own paths. Cast: Rob Morgan, Amber Havard, Yolonda Ross, Keeli Wheeler, Keira Bennett, Sara Allbright, Troy Hogan, Steven Boyd, Reece McClure, Tadarius Billy Miles

Charm City Kings
Director: Angel Manuel Soto, Screenwriter: Sherman Payne
Mouse desperately wants to join The Midnight Clique, an infamous group of Baltimore dirt bike riders who rule the summertime streets. He soon finds himself torn between the straight-and-narrow and a road filled with fast money and violence… Cast: Jahi Di’Allo Winston, Meek Mill, Will Catlett, Donielle Tremaine Hansley, Kezii Curtis, Chino, Lakeyria “Wheelie Queen” Doughty, Chandler DuPont, Tyquan Ford, Teyonah Parris

The Climb
Director: Michael Angelo Covino, Screenwriter: Michael Angelo Covino, Kyle Marvin
Kyle and Mike are best friends who share a close bond — until Mike sleeps with Kyle’s fiancée. The Climb is about a tumultuous but enduring relationship between two men across many years of laughter, heartbreak and rage. Cast: Kyle Marvin, Michael Angelo Covino, Gayle Rankin, Talia Balsam, George Wendt, Judith Godrèche

Coded Bias
Director: Shalini Kantayya
Coded Bias explores the fallout of MIT Media Lab researcher Joy Buolamwini’s startling discovery that facial recognition does not see dark-skinned faces accurately, and her journey to push for the first-ever legislation to govern against bias in the algorithms that impact us all. Cast: Joy Buolamwini, Cathy O’Neil, Zeynep Tufecki, Meredith Broussard, Safiya Umoja Noble, Silkie Carlo, Ravi Naik, Virginia Eubanks

Feels Good Man
Director: Arthur Jones
When indie comic character Pepe the Frog becomes an unwitting icon of hate, his creator fights to bring Pepe back from the darkness.

I’m Gonna Make You Love Me
Director: Karen Bernstein
Fellini meets Motown in I’m Gonna Make You Love Me, one man’s search for self-acceptance, a journey that included tabloid celebrity, Tupperware parties, and two coming outs – first as a straight woman, then as the gay man he was meant to be.

Miss Juneteenth
Director/Screenwriter: Channing Godfrey Peoples
A former beauty queen turned hardworking single mom prepares her rebellious teenage daughter for the Miss Juneteenth pageant, hoping to keep her from repeating the same mistakes in life that she made. Cast: Nicole Beharie, Kendrick Sampson, Alexis Chikaeze, Akron Watson, Lori Hayes, Marcus M. Mauldin

Mucho Mucho Amor
Directors: Cristina Costantini, Kareem Tabsch
Mucho Mucho Amor follows the iconic, gender non-conforming astrologer Walter Mercado, who mesmerized Latino viewers with his extravagance and positivity for decades. Then, one day, he vanished from the public eye.

Nine Days
Director/Screenwriter: Edson Oda
In a house distant from the reality we know, a reclusive man interviews prospective candidates — personifications of human souls — for the privilege that he once had: to be born. Cast: Winston Duke, Zazie Beetz, Bill Skarsgard, Benedict Wong, Tony Hale, David Rysdahl, Arianna Ortiz

The Reason I Jump (United Kingdom)
Director: Jerry Rothwell
Based on the book by Naoki Higashida this immersive film explores the experiences of nonspeaking autistic people around the world.

Save Yourselves!
Directors/Screenwriters: Alex Fischer, Eleanor Wilson
A young Brooklyn couple head upstate to disconnect from their phones and reconnect with themselves. Cut off from their devices, they miss the news that the planet is under attack. Cast: John Reynolds, Sunita Mani, Ben Sinclair, John Early, Johanna Day, Gary Richardson, Jo Firestone, Zenobia Shroff, Amy Sedaris

A Thousand Cuts
Director: Ramona S. Diaz
A film about the role of journalism and disinformation’s accelerating effect in the erosion of democracy under the authoritarian regime of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte as told through the story of embattled journalist Maria Ressa.

Us Kids
Director: Kim A. Snyder
Determined to turn unfathomable tragedy into action, the teenage survivors of Parkland, Florida catalyze a powerful, unprecedented youth movement that spreads with lightning speed across the country, as a generation of youth take back democracy.

Full List of Films | Full List of Winners

 

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