SXSW is less than a month away and this year’s film festival lineup has been revealed. The massive list of films include over 130 features and runs from March 9th to the 17th. Last year some of the feature films included Baby Driver, Fire Fight and the highly acclaimed Disaster Artist to name a few.
It’s no secret SXSW has been known for their impressive and eclectic array of films, featuring both indie films and mainstream.
One of the headliners set to premiere at the festival is Blockers, which stars Leslie Mann and John Cena is about a group of parents attempting to “block” their daughters from losing their virginity at prom. Also featured is You Can Choose Your Family, starring comedian Jim Gaffigan as a father with a secret family. Boundaries, starring Christopher Plummer, who recently starred in All The Money In The World, is about a grandfather who deals pot.
Some of my favorite films to come out of the festival last year were part of SXSW’s list of Midnighters. This year’s Midnighters include Hereditary, which was recently praised at Sundance as one of the scarier horror films in recent years. The film marks Ari Aster’s directorial debut and stars Toni Collette and Alex Wolff. Check out the trailer below.
Regarding the Midnighter films, SXSW Senior Film Programmer Jarod Neece stated, “It is the highlight of my year to get to dive into the yearly pool of genre film submission and see what wild and devilish ideas these filmmakers have brought to life. This year’s Midnighters, made both by veteran filmmakers and many first-timers, are sure to delight and terrify lucky SXSW audiences. And if they can survive the onslaught they will be treated to the fantastical world of Wes Anderson’s latest stop-motion masterpiece, SXSW Closing Night Film Isle of Dogs.”
Several Netflix Films will be represented at the festival, including First Match, 6 Balloons and the comedic film, The Legacy of a Whitetail Deer Hunter to name a few. The Legacy of a Whitetail Deer Hunter is from the team who brought us Eastbound and Down and stars Danny McBride and Josh Brolin.
The Festival is also expected to bring some heavy hitters to it’s episodic section as we will be seeing the return of Tracy Morgan in the The Last O.G., the latest project from Jordan Peele. Speaking of SNL alumni, Bill Hader’s Barry will also be premiered at the festival. There will be 118 short films, independent episodic and music videos included.
“After five years of breaking ground in our Episodic section, we’re thrilled to incorporate the exceptional work happening in the Independent Episodics space and welcome more of those creators into our community this year.” said Claudette Godfrey, Senior Film Programmer, “Year after year, I get fired up and inspired by the sense of discovery and boundary pushing in our shorts program, and we’re especially proud that over half of the films across our Shorts Programs, Music Videos, and Independent Episodics are directed by women.”
Check out some highlights of the 2018 schedule below along with a description of what fans can expect. You can also check out the full list of films on the official SXSW website.
Let’s start with the Headliners:
A Quiet Place (World Premiere)
Director: John Krasinski, Screenwriters: Bryan Woods, Scott Beck, and John Krasinski, Producers: Platinum Dunes
If they can’t hear you, they can’t hunt you. Cast: Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Noah Jupe, and Millicent Simmonds.
Blockers (World Premiere)
Director: Kay Cannon, Screenwriters: Brian Kehoe & Jim Kehoe, Jon Hurwitz & Hayden Schlossberg, Eben Russell
When three parents discover their daughters’ pact to lose their virginity at prom, they launch a covert one-night operation to stop the teens from sealing the deal. Cast: Leslie Mann, Ike Barinholtz, John Cena, Kathryn Newton, Geraldine Indira Viswanathan, Gideon Adlan.
Boundaries (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Shana Feste
Laura and her troubled son Henry are forced to drive her estranged, pot-dealing, carefree father Jack across country after being kicked out of a nursing home. Cast: Vera Farmiga, Christopher Plummer, Lewis MacDougall, Bobby Cannavale, Kristen Schaal, Dolly Wells, Yahya Abdul-Mateen , Christopher Lloyd, Peter Fonda.
PARADOX (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Daryl Hannah
A loud Poem. A whimsical western tale of music and love. Cast: Neil Young, Lukas Nelson, Micah Nelson, Corey McCormick, Anthony LoGerfo, Tato Melgar, Willie Nelson, Charris Ford, Dulcie Clarkson Ford.
Final Portrait (United Kingdom, United States) (North American Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Stanley Tucci
Final Portrait is the story of the touching and offbeat friendship between world renowned artist Alberto Giacometti and American writer and art-lover James Lord, based on Lord’s memoir. Cast: Geoffrey Rush, Armie Hammer, Clémence Poésy, Tony Shalhoub, Sylvie Testud.
Isle of Dogs (North American Premiere) (United States, United Kingdom)
Director/Screenwriter: Wes Anderson
Set in Japan, Isle of Dogs follows a boy’s odyssey in search of his dog. Cast: Bryan Cranston, Koyu Rankin, Edward Norton, Bob Balaban, Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Kunichi Nomura, Akira Takayama, Greta Gerwig, Frances McDormand, Akira Ito, Scarlett Johansson, Harvey Keitel, F. Murray Abraham, Yoko Ono, Tilda Swinton, Ken Watanabe, Mari Natsuki, Fisher Stevens, Nijiro Murakami, Liev Schreiber, Courtney B. Vance.
What are midnighter films? Well, it’s exactly what it sounds like. Scary, funny, sexy, controversial – provocative after-dark features for night-owls and the terminally curious.
Ajin: Demi-Human (North American Premiere)
Director: Katsuyuki Motohiro, Screenwriter: Kouji Seko
Endless battle between human being and immortal demi-human “Ajin”. A stunning, strikingly original action masterpiece! Cast: Takeru Satoh, Go Ayano, Tetsuji Tamayama, Yu Shirota, Yudai Chiba, Rina Kawaei, Minami Hamabe.
Blood Fest (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Owen Egerton
In Blood Fest, fans flock to a festival celebrating the most iconic horror movies, only to discover that the charismatic showman behind the event has a diabolical agenda. Cast: Robbie Kay, Jacob Batalon, Seychelle Gabriel, Tate Donovan, Barbara Dunkelman, Nick Rutherford, Zachary Levi.
Untitled Blumhouse-Bazelevs (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Stephen Susco
A 20-something finds a cache of hidden files on his new laptop and is thrust into the deep waters of the dark web. From the makers of Unfriended, this thriller unravels in real-time, entirely on a computer screen. A warning for the digital age. Cast: Colin Woodell, Betty Gabriel, Rebecca Rittenhouse, Andrew Lees, Conor del Rio, Stephanie Nogueras, Savira Windyani.
Field Guide to Evil (World Premiere) (Austria, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Poland, Turkey, U.S.)
Directors: Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala, Peter Strickland, Agnieszka Smoczynska, Katrin Gebbe, Can Evrenol, Calvin Reeder, Ashim Ahluwalia, Yannis Veslemes
They are known as dark folklore. Created to give logic to mankind’s darkest fears, these stories and others laid the foundation for what we now call the horror genre.
Ghost Stories (United Kingdom) (North American Premiere)
Directors/Screenweriters: Jeremy Dyson, Andy Nyman
An arch skeptic debunker of the supernatural embarks upon a terror filled quest when he stumbles across a long lost file containing details of three cases of inexplicable ‘hauntings’. Adapted from the Olivier Award Winning hit stage play. Cast: Martin Freeman, Alex Lawther, Jill Halfpenny, Andy Nyman, Paul Whitehouse.
Director/Screenwriter: Ari Aster
When Ellen, the matriarch of the Graham family, passes away, her daughter’s family begins to unravel cryptic and increasingly terrifying secrets about their ancestry. Cast: Toni Collette, Gabriel Byrne, Ann Dowd, Alex Wolff, Milly Shapiro.
A Prayer Before Dawn (North American Premiere) (United States, France)
Director: Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire, Screenwriters: Jonathan Hirschbein, Nick Saltrese
Based on the international best-seller, A Prayer Before Dawn is the true story of Billy Moore, a troubled young British boxer sent to one of Thailand’s most notorious jails. Cast: Joe Cole, Vithaya Pansringar, Panya Yimmumphai, Nicolas Shake
The Ranger (World Premiere)
Director: Jenn Wexler, Screenwriters: Jenn Wexler, Giaco Furino
Teen punks, on the run from the cops and hiding out in the woods, come up against the local authority—an unhinged park ranger with an axe to grind. Cast: Chloë Levine, Granit Lahu, Jeremy Pope, Bubba Weiler, Amanda Grace Benitez, Jeremy Holm, Larry Fessenden.
Upgrade (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Leigh Whannell
In a utopian near-future when technology controls everything, a technophobe avenges his wife’s murder and his own paralysis-causing injury with the help of an experimental computer chip implant – STEM – that turns out to have a mind of its own. Cast: Logan Marshall-Green, Betty Gabriel, Harrison Gilbertson, Benedict Hardie.
What Keeps You Alive (World Premiere) (Canada)
Director: Colin Minihan, Screenwriters: Colin Minihan, Brittany Allen
Majestic mountains, a still lake and venomous betrayals engulf a female married couple attempting to celebrate their one-year anniversary. Cast: Hannah Emily Anderson, Brittany Allen, Martha Macisaac, Joey Klein, Charlotte Lindsay Marron.
Live soundtracks, cult re-issues & much more. Our Special Events section offers unusual, unexpected and unique one-off film events.
The Atomic Café (World Premiere)
Director: Kevin Rafferty, Jayne Loader & Pierce Rafferty
The Atomic Cafe is a cult classic documentary from 1982. This is the 4K digital restoration.
Cartoon Network Screening at SXSW
For the third year in a row, Cartoon Network presents a fun-filled family event open to all fans. Be among the first to watch upcoming adventure series, Craig of the Creek plus catch brand new episodes of favorite shows Ben 10 and Unikitty! And fans are in for a special treat with a never-before-seen look at Teen Titans Go! to the Movies, coming to theaters this summer.
Doug Benson Master Pancake and Doug Loves Movies Podcast
Doug Benson returns in the continuing tradition of our annual St. Patrick’s Day screening of the Leprechaun series. On March 17 we present Leprechaun 5: In The Hood, directed by Rob Spera.
This Is Us (World Premiere)
Everyone has a family. And every family has a story. This grounded, life-affirming dramedy reveals how the tiniest events in our lives impact who we become, and how the connections we share with each other can transcend time, distance and even death. Cast: Milo Ventimiglia, Mandy Moore, Chrissy Metz, Sterling K. Brown, Justin Hartley.
20th Century Fox Presents Alita: Battle Angel SXSW Opening Night Party
For the first time ever, 20th Century Fox welcomes SXSW Platinum and Film badgeholders to Iron City, the movie set where Alita: Battle Angel was filmed. SXSW Platinum and Film badgeholders are invited to join the cast and filmmakers at Robert Rodriguez’s Troublemaker Studios for the 2018 SXSW Opening Night Party in celebration of the upcoming Alita: Battle Angel. Attendees will be picked up at the 5th Street side entrance of the Hilton Hotel in Downtown Austin by Alita: Battle Angel branded shuttles and will be transported to the futuristic Iron City movie set. From 9:30pm to 12:30am on Friday March 9, guests will enjoy cocktails, bites from local food trucks and great music, all within an immersive film set, featuring props from the film.
High profile narrative features receiving their World, North American or U.S. premieres at SXSW.
6 Balloons (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Marja Lewis Ryan
Over the course of one night, a woman drives across LA with her heroin addict brother in search of a detox center, with his two year old daughter in tow. Cast: Abbi Jacobson, Dave Franco, Charlotte Carel, Madison Carel, Jane Kaczmarek, Dewan Owens, Tim Matheson, Jen Tullock, Maya Erskine, Heidi Sulzman.
All Square (World Premiere)
Director: John Hyams, Screenwriter: Timothy Brady
A down-on-his-luck bookie befriends an ex-girlfriend’s son and gets the bright idea to take bets on hi(Noerth American Premiere)s youth league baseball games; only to realize he’s killed what’s pure about the sport as the games turn ugly when money is on the line. Cast: Michael Kelly, Josh Lucas, Pamela Adlon, Tom Everett Scott, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Harris Yulin, Yeardley Smith, Jesse Ray Sheps, Jay Larson, Craig Walker.
Anchor and Hope (Spain) (North American Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Carlos Marques-Marcet
When the best friend of a bohemian lesbian couple agrees to be their surrogate, the three friends set out on an unconventional journey to start a family. Cast: Natalia Tena, Oona Chaplin, David Verdaguer, Geraldine Chaplin.
A Bluebird in My Heart (Belgium, France) (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Jérémie Guez
Attempting to lead a quiet reformed life, an ex-con finds refuge in a motel run by a single mother and her daughter Clara. The peace and freedom he has found in this safe haven disappears when Clara is assaulted, forcing him to face his old demons Cast: Roland Moller, Veerle Baetens, Lola Le Lann, Lubna Azabal.
The Breaker Upperers (New Zealand) (World Premiere)
Directors/Screenwriters: Jackie van Beek, Madeleine Sami
Two women run a business breaking up couples for cash but when one develops a conscience their friendship unravels. Cast: Jackie van Beek, Madeleine Sami, Celia Pacquola, James Rolleston, Ana Scotney.
Brother’s Nest (World Premiere) (Australia)
Director: Clayton Jacobson, Screenwriter: Jaime Browne
With their Mother dying of cancer, intent on changing her will to benefit her “new” husband before she dies, two brothers go to extreme and deadly lengths to protect their inheritance from being signed away before it’s too late. Cast: Shane Jacobson, Clayton Jacobson, Lynette Curran, Kim Gyngell, Sarah Snook.
Fast Color (World Premiere)
Director: Julia Hart, Screenwriters: Julia Hart, Jordan Horowitz
In this genre-bending supernatural drama, a woman is forced to go on the run when her extraordinary abilities are discovered. Years after having abandoned her family, the only place she has left to hide is home. Cast: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Lorraine Toussaint, Saniyya Sidney, Christopher Denham, David Strathairn.
First Light (Canada) (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Jason Stone
A close encounter with mysterious lights sends two teens on the run after one discovers she has extraordinary but dangerous powers. Cast: Stefanie Scott, Theodore Pelerine, Said Taghmaoui.
Galveston (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Melanie Laurent
After surviving a setup by his criminal boss, a hitman rescues a young prostitute and flees with her to Galveston, Texas, where the two find strength in each other as dangerous pursuers and the shadows of their pasts follow close behind. Cast: Ben Foster, Elle Fanning, Beau Bridges, Adepero Aduye, Robert Aramayo, Lili Reinhart, Maria Valverde.
The Legacy of a Whitetail Deer Hunter (World Premiere)
Director: Jody Hill
The great hunter Buck Ferguson (Josh Brolin) and his trusted cameraman Don (Danny McBride) set out for an epic weekend adventure to reconnect with Buck’s young son (Montana Jordan). Cast: Josh Brolin, Danny McBride, Scoot McNairy, Montana Jordan.
Most Likely To Murder (World Premiere)
Director: Dan Gregor, Screenwriters: Dan Gregor, Doug Mand
Billy, the coolest kid in high school, comes back to his hometown 15 years later to find he’s no longer cool and the girl he still has feelings for now dates the former town outcast. Billy becomes obsessed with proving the outcast is a murderer. Cast: Adam Pally, Rachel Bloom, Vincent Kartheiser, John Reynolds, Didi Conn, Ethan Phillips, Doug Mand, Hasan Minhaj, Rebecca Naomi Jones, Julia Goldani Telles.
Neurotic Quest for Serenity (Brazil) (North American Premiere)
Directors/Screenwriters: Paulinho Caruso, Teodoro Poppovic
Kika is going through a lot. She’s a famous actress. She has millions of fans. She’s about to star in a post apocalyptic soap opera. And she has obsessive compulsive disorder. Cast: Tatá Werneck, Vera Holtz, Bruno Gagliasso, Daniel Furlan.
Outside In (U.S. Premiere)
Director: Lynn Shelton, Screenwriters: Lynn Shelton, Jay Duplass
An ex-con struggling to readjust to life in his small town forms an intense bond with his former high-school teacher. Cast: Jay Duplass, Edie Falco, Kaitlyn Dever, Ben Schwartz.
Support The Girls (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Andrew Bujalski
The general manager at a highway-side ‘breastaurant’ has her incurable optimism and faith–in her girls, her customers, and herself–tested over the course of a long, strange day. Cast: Regina Hall, Haley Lu Richardson, Shayna McHayle, James LeGros, Dylan Gelula, AJ Michalka, Brooklyn Decker, Lea DeLaria, Jana Kramer, John Elvis.
Unlovable (World Premiere)
Director: Suzi Yoonessi, Screenwriters: Charlene deGuzman, Sarah Adina Smith, and Mark Duplass
A sex- and love-addicted woman learns what real intimacy is when she starts making music with a reclusive man. Cast: Charlene deGuzman, John Hawkes, Melissa Leo, Paul James, Ellen Geer, Gigette Reyes.
A Vigilante (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Sarah Daggar Nickson
A once abused woman, Sadie (Olivia Wilde), devotes herself to ridding victims of their domestic abusers while hunting down the husband she must kill to truly be free. Cast: Olivia Wilde, Morgan Spector, Kyle Catlett, CJ Wilson, Tonye Patano, Chuck Cooper, Betsy Aidem, Judy Marte.
Who We Are Now (U.S. Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Matthew Newton
Beth, recently released from prison, tries to get custody of her son again and find her way back into the outside world, along the way realizing who she is isn’t about where she’s been, it’s about where she’s going. Cast: Julianne Nicholson, Emma Roberts, Zachary Quinto, Jess Weixler, Jimmy Smits, Jason Biggs, Lea Thompson, Scott Cohen, Octavia Chavez-Richmond, J. Mallory McCree.
Wild Nights With Emily (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Madeleine Olnek
Molly Shannon plays Emily Dickinson in Wild Nights With Emily, a humorous drama. This independent film explores her vivacious, irreverent side that was covered up for years — most notably Emily’s lifelong romantic relationship with another woman.Cast: Molly Shannon, Amy Seimetz, Susan Ziegler, Brett Gelman, Jackie Monahan, Kevin Seal, Dana Melanie, Sasha Frolova, Lisa Haas, Al Sutton.
WILDLING (World Premiere)
Director: Fritz Bohm, Screenwriters: Fritz Bohm, Florian Eder
A blossoming teenager uncovers the dark secret behind her traumatic childhood. Cast: Bel Powley, Brad Dourif, Liv Tyler, Collin Kelly-Sordelet, James Le Gros, Troy Ruptash, Arlo Mertz, Aviva Winick.
You Can Choose Your Family (World Premiere)
Director: Miranda Bailey, Screenwriter: Glen Lakin
A seventeen-year-old boy blackmails his father after discovering his secret second family. Cast: Jim Gaffigan, Logan Miller, Anna Gunn, Samantha Mathis, Alex Karpovsky, Hayes MacArthur, Michelle Hurd.