2021 Fantastic Fest: programming slate announced

September 9, 2021

Agathe Rousselle in “Titane” (Photo by Carole Bethuel/Neon)

The following is a combination of press releases from Fantastic Fest:

Mechanophilia, possessed nuns, possessed children, hallucinations, ghostly hauntings, time travel, exorcism, cerebral expansion, heavy metal, friendship, yakuza, canine trauma, multiple serial killers, coprophagia, cannibalism, tender embraces, vampires, copious bodily fluids, superheroes, warm laughs, disco-dancing firemen and more, more, more!  Yes, this can only mean one thing: Fantastic Fest is back. After 18 months of isolation and uncertainty, this year’s “Post-Apocalyptic” edition of Fantastic Fest is here to remind us of the joy of cinema, community, and weird and wonderful movies.  The first wave of films is headlined by the truly extraordinary 2021 Palme D’Or winner “Titane” from “Parasite” distributor Neon. It might not have seemed possible to top her staggering debut “Raw” (Fantastic Fest 2016), but Julia Ducournau has somehow done just that. A poignant study on loneliness, isolation and gender identity wrapped in a constantly surprising world of body horror, muscle cars, violence, and disco-dancing firemen. Fantastic Fest is so proud to share this singular vision. Fantastic Fest 2021’s opening night party will be dedicated to the instantly iconic visuals of “Titane.” Muscle cars will be on hand, and metallic-themed or “French firefighter” costumes are highly encouraged. “Titane” opens in US cinemas on October 1. 

Mondo Records is also celebrating its 10 year anniversary at Fantastic Fest this year and will be on-hand with a very special “Titane” soundtrack giveaway ahead of the official Mondo vinyl release later this year. Additionally, on opening night there will also be a Mondo Records pop-up featuring rarities from the vault. Additional studio premieres include A24’s “Lamb,” winner of the Un Certain Regard Prize of Originality at Cannes (opening in theaters on October 8); “Bingo Hell,” part of the Amazon Studios and Blumhouse Television “Welcome to the Blumhouse” series; and Netflix’s “The Trip,” starring Noomi Rapace in a delightfully twisted Norwegian mind-bender.

“We’re thrilled at how the program is coming together,” says Fantastic Fest Director of Programming Annick Mahnert. “For this Post-Apocalyptic edition, we’ve scoured the four corners of the globe to find weird, silly, terrifying, entertaining and fantastic movies directed by established and emerging filmmakers. Opening this year’s fest with a Palme d’Or winner from a Fantastic Fest alum is a real treat.

As always, we also try to find unforgettable repertoire titles, and we couldn’t be happier about hosting the US Premiere of the new restoration of Andrzej Zulawski’s “Possession.” This first wave is but the tip of the iceberg and we cannot wait to unveil the rest of the program to y’all!” 

Sidebar Programming

“Master of the Flying Guillotine”

The first sidebar will launch Lars Nilsen and Kier-La Janisse’s epic tome “Warped and Faded: Weird Wednesday and the Birth of the American Genre Film Archive. To celebrate the book, Nilsen and Janisse will present 35mm screenings of some of their all-time favorite exploitation classics, including “Snakes” and “The Visitor.” The second classic film sidebar comes courtesy of authors Grady Hendrix and Chris Poggiali, who will be in attendance to debut their new book “These Fists Break Bricks: How Kung Fu Movies Swept America and Changed The World.” Hendrix and Poggiali will premiere two of their favorite kung fu classics – Kino Lorber’s and the 3-D Film Archive’s brand new 3D DCP of “Dynasty 3D” as well as the rarely seen Jackie Chan-choreographed “Dance of Death.” They’ll also host a brand new event called “BingoDome” with the crown jewel of Bruceploitation films, 1977’s “The Dragon Lives Again.” As Bruce Lee inexplicably fights against Popeye, Clint Eastwood, James Bond, the Godfather and undead zombies in purgatory, participants mark matching squares on their bingo cards to win fabulous prizes, including signed copies of the new book! 

Also supporting the release, 36 Cinema is presenting “Master of the Flying Guillotine,” with live commentary by RZA, who provided the intro to “These Fists Break Bricks.” This event will be live-streamed for global audiences online to enjoy. 36 Cinema brings together film screening with live in-depth commentary with directors, actors, critics and fans. RZA will be joined by film programmer and historian Dan Halsted to dive deep into one of the greatest kung fu movies of all time. The Press Room will also be live-printing “Master of the Flying Guillotine” posters after the event. BingoDome is only the beginning of the movie-themed fun. Fantastic Fest will continue the time-honored tradition of daytime entertainment in The Highball including board game parties and podcast recordings.

As each day of movies comes to a close, The Highball really fires up its engines for eight days of raucous parties — live music, karaoke, 100 Best Kills, Fantastic Feud, Scripts Gone Wild, TriviaDome, Nerd Rap, feasts, games, disco-dancing firemen and more, more, more are all being crafted for your delight by the crack Fantastic Fest events team.  

“The Black Phone” (Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures)

Leading the studio titles in the announce is the World Premiere of “The Black Phone,” penned by Scott Derrickson (“Doctor Strange,” “Sininister” franchise) and Austin screenwriter C.

Robert Cargill (“Doctor Strange,” “Sininister” franchise), based on the short story by Joe Hill. Universal Pictures, Blumhouse and Crooked Highway’s much-buzzed-about horror film reunites director Derrickson and four-time Oscar nominee Ethan Hawke (“Sininister”) in one of the most terrifying Blumhouse films ever.

Additional studio titles include the U.S. Premieres of IFC’s “A Banquet,” a chilling psychological horror where a mother’s love for her daughter is pushed to the limits, and “The Innocents” (Cannes – Un Certain Regard 2021), a stunning Norwegian drama about children with supernatural powers that will shake you to the core. World Premieres include Netflix’s “There’s Someone Inside Your House,” a bloody and highly entertaining slasher from director Patrick Brice (“Creep”), and SYFY’s “Slumber Party Massacre.” a contemporary and fun reimagining of the 1982 slasher cult classic directed by Fantastic Fest alumna Danishka Esterhazy (“Level 16”).

Last but not least, Fantastic Fest is thrilled and excited to close the festivities with the U.S. Premiere of Camille Griffin’s pitch-black comedy “Silent Night,” starring Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode and Roman Griffin Davis (“Jojo Rabbit”). In sync with this year’s festival theme, you’re invited to witness the strangest holiday celebration of the year, when a family gathers for a high-stakes Christmas dinner in Griffin’s directorial debut.

This final wave of Fantastic Fest films presents 37 feature film titles and 56 short film selections, showcasing world, US and regional premieres, and one pre-fest screening.

We are excited to offer a special pre-fest presentation on September 22 of Utopia’s brand new 35th anniversary restoration of RAD, with star Bill Allen in attendance. Arrive early and check out a radical pre-screening bike stunt outside the theater featuring the riders of Austin’s 512 Wheelie Crew along with some surprise guests, sponsored by Rambler Sparkling Water.

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema has partnered with GroundUp Music to present seven silent film classics reimagined by five different artists from the label. The festival will World Premiere the 1924 Soviet silent classic AELITA: QUEEN OF MARS with a new score by Snarky Puppy’s Chris Bullock. Four additional film pairings will play on Fantastic Fest @HOME: House of Waters with the three shorts MENILMONTANT (1926), LE VOYAGE DANS LA LUNE (1902), and BALLET MECANIQUE (1923); PRD Mais with WAXWORKS (1924); Sirintip with THE LOST WORLD (1925); and Bob Lanzetti with NOSFERATU (1922). All seven titles will then be available on Alamo On Demand. Select projects will be presented as live score events at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema’s soon-to-be-opened Manhattan theater later this year.

After a successful virtual event in 2020, the decision to go hybrid in 2021 was a no-brainer. Fantastic Fest @HOME will take place 9/30-10/11 on Alamo On Demand. Rev.com will be sponsoring our new accessibility initiative.

“The first step to creating access was offering a virtual option with an affordable badge price,” says Ahbra Perry, Head of Alamo On Demand. “With help from our friends at Rev.com we’re going to be able to provide Closed Captions for the films and shorts playing virtually that can’t provide their own. That is a big step in the right direction and hopefully just the beginning.”

Over 30 films from the current festival lineup will be available virtually, including “Alone With You,” :uzifer,” “After Blue,” and “Baby Assasssins.” Badge holders will have access to films for 48-hour windows. We are also excited to include a special curation of Fantastic Fest films from years past, many of them hard to find, that will be available for the full duration of the virtual festival, and a virtual closing night party hosted by Fantastic Fest @ Home sponsor Alter.

COVID Safety Protocols Update

While we strongly prefer proof of vaccination, by state order, the festival will now also accept a negative COVID test from a state-approved test provider taken within 24 hours of each day’s screenings. Festival staff will check for either vaccine cards or test results as attendees enter the theater for all Fantastic Fest screenings. Attendees with a vaccine card will be given a wristband to make this process more efficient for attending multiple screenings. Additionally, masks must be worn at all times indoors when not eating or drinking.

FILM LINEUP

“After Blue”

AFTER BLUE (DIRTY PARADISE)

France, 2021

US Premiere, 130 min

Director – Bertrand Mandico

On a mysterious new planet populated entirely by women, teenager Roxy and her mother undergo a fantastical journey in pursuit of a murderous criminal.

AGNES

USA, 2021

Texas Premiere, 93 min

Director – Mickey Reece

Fantastic Fest favorite Mickey Reece is back with his most ambitious production yet, the story of a headstrong young nun accused of possession and her best friend who’s left to grapple with the aftermath.


ALONE WITH YOU

USA, 2021

World Premiere, 83 min

Directors – Emily Bennett & Justin Brooks

As a young woman painstakingly prepares a romantic homecoming for her girlfriend, their apartment begins to feel more like a tomb when voices, shadows, and hallucinations reveal a truth she has been unwilling to face.

BARBARIANS

United Kingdom, 2021

World Premiere, 90 min

Director – Charles Dorfman

An alpha male social media influencer and his beta brother meet for an explosive dinner with their significant others – one where secrets are revealed, lives are ruined, and chaos reigns (fox included).

THE BETA TEST

USA, 2021

Texas Premiere, 93 min

Directors – Jim Cummings & PJ McCabe

Jim Cummings is back as co-director and star in this pitch black film biz satire. Cummings revels in the full spectrum of bad behavior, leaving you laughing and gasping in equal measure.

BEYOND THE INFINITE 2 MINUTES

Japan, 2021

North American Premiere, 70 min

Director – Junta YamaguchiKato is a cafe owner in Kyoto who suddenly finds his bedroom computer screen linked to the one in his cafe, showing him exactly what’s going on downstairs – two minutes in the future. Things get really absurd when his friends find out and devise a way to go … BEYOND THE INFINITE 2 MINUTES.

BINGO HELL

USA, 2021

World Premiere, 85 min

Director – Gigi Saul Guerrero

The big, steel-toed boot of gentrification won’t stop one determined locally-grown advocate as a new building owner offers Bingo as a portal to financial prosperity – but the price is something far more sinister and much less liberating.

CANNON ARM AND THE ARCADE QUEST

Denmark, 2021

US Premiere, 97 min

Director – Mads Hedegaard

Kim Cannon Arm sets out to shatter records by playing Gyruss for 100 hours straight on a single coin and he can’t do it on his own in this funny and philosophical documentary about the importance of friends and community.

DANCE OF DEATH

Taiwan, Hong Kong, 1976

Repertory Screening, 90 min

Director – Chi-Hwa Chen

At the nexus point where Jackie Chan’s star began to rise and Angela Mao’s (ENTER THE DRAGON) was waning, they collaborated on this wild, rarely seen gem. Channeling Chan’s own acrobatic style, Mao avenges the defeat of her teachers using a powerful “dancing girl” kung fu style inspired by the gyrations of brothel attendants.

DEAD & BEAUTIFUL

The Netherlands, Taiwan, 2021

North American Premiere, 98 min

Director – David Verbeek

Five wealthy, fashionable friends wake up from a wild night in Taipei to find they’ve become vampires in David Verbeek’s aesthetically gorgeous thriller.

DYNASTY

Taiwan, Hong Kong, 1977

Repertory Screening, 92 min

Director – Chang Mei-chung

Now! DYNASTY! On the surface it looks like just another indie kung fu flick from Taiwan, but within minutes this crazy train has picked up a full head of steam and is on its way to a Never Never Land of wild weapons, mass mutilation, and major mayhem … all in 3-D!!!

THE EXORCISM OF GOD

USA, Mexico, Venezuela, 2021

World Premiere, 98 minDirector – Alejandro Hidalgo

When children in a small Mexican town start dying of demonic possession, the inhabitants seek the help of Father Peter Williams, a priest haunted by a past exorcism gone sinfully wrong. What follows is an epic battle between good and evil.

THE FOUND FOOTAGE PHENOMENON

United Kingdom, 2021

US Premiere, 102 min

Directors – Sarah Appleton & Phillip Escott

Whip out your phone cams and prepare to get immersive: Sarah Appleton and Phillip Escott’s THE FOUND FOOTAGE PHENOMENON is a documentary-shaped crash course on the wobbliest horror films out there.

HELLBENDER

USA, 2021

US Premiere, 82 min

Directors – Toby Poser, Zelda Adams & John Adams

Fantastic Fest favorite filmmaking family Toby Poser, John Adams, and Zelda Adams return with their newest creative endeavor HELLBENDER, a witchy, heavy metal coming-of-age thriller.

IKÉ BOYS

USA, 2021

World Premiere, 88 min

Director – Eric McEver

Two self-proclaimed geeks and a live-in Japanese foreign exchange student procure a long-lost anime classic that inadvertently turns them into superheroes … just in time for a Y2K-era Kaiju face-off!

KING CAR

Brazil, 2021

US Premiere, 97 min

Director – Renata Pinheiro

A young man’s ability to surreally “be one” with cars sparks a revolution that could save transport in his community. When his invention inadvertently accelerates the underlying problems, our hero’s quest must grow bigger than his own personal ambitions.

KNOCKING

Sweden, 2021

Texas Premiere, 78 min

Director – Frida Kempff

Molly seems to be the only one who hears strange knocking day and night in her apartment. But she won’t be deterred by unbelievers until she’s discovered the cause of the noises tormenting her.

LAMB

Iceland, Sweden, Poland, 2021

US Premiere, 107 minDirector – Valdimar Jóhannsson

On a remote farm in Iceland, a couple that experienced recent loss is caring for their flock of sheep. One day, one of their sheep gives birth to a very peculiar lamb that will change their lives forever.

LAST OF THE WOLVES

Japan, 2021

Texas Premiere, 139 min

Director – Kazuya Shiraishi

A hard-won truce between rival yakuza gangs threatens to erupt into bloody violence when a psychopathic hoodlum is released from prison and vows to avenge the death of his boss.

LET THE WRONG ONE IN

Ireland, 2021

World Premiere, 97 min

Director – Conor McMahon

Sibling rivalry takes on a whole new meaning when one brother is turned into a vampire and has to rely on his younger brother to protect him. Will brotherly love win out or is someone getting staked?

LIMBO

Hong Kong, 2021

Texas Premiere, 118 minDirector – Soi Cheang

A burnt-out cop and a by-the-book young detective team up to catch a vicious serial killer lurking in the garbage-filled alleys of Hong Kong in Soi Cheang’s grimy monochrome masterpiece.

MAD GOD

USA, 2021

US Premiere, 83 min

Director – Phil Tippett

An adventurer descends into a pit reaching the bowels of the Earth, searching for a spot on a crumbling map. On his journey in an apocalyptic world, he meets and fights monsters and creatures out of your worst nightmares in this passion project from stop-motion legend Phil Tippett.

THE MARCO EFFECT

Denmark, 2021

North American Premiere, 125 min

Director – Martin Zandlivet

When Marco, a Romani kid without papers, is caught at the Danish border with the passport of a man who went missing, Detective Carl Mørck from Department Q unknowingly opens Pandora’s Box on what was supposedly a simple case.

MASTER OF THE FLYING GUILLOTINE presented by 36 Cinema

Taiwan, Hong Kong, 1975

Repertory Screening, 93 min

Director – Jimmy Wang Yu

A blind assassin armed with a vicious flying guillotine is out to kill the legendary one-armed boxer (martial arts superstar Jimmy Wang Yu). 36 Cinema presents MASTER OF THE FLYING GUILLOTINE with live commentary by RZA!

MIDNIGHT

South Korea, 2021

Texas Premiere, 103 min

Director – KWON Oh-seung

Discover the twisted nighttime alleys of Seoul in the tense and thrilling MIDNIGHT, the gripping tale of a Deaf woman and the serial killer who has underestimated his opponent.

MOTHER SCHMUCKERS

Belgium, 2021

Texas Premiere, 70 min

Director – Lenny Guit & Harpo Guit

Issachar and Zabulon are two not-so-bright brothers who never manage to do anything right. When they lose Jacques-Janvier, their mom’s beloved dog, she gives them a day to find him … or else. And of course nothing goes smoothly.

NAME ABOVE TITLE

Portugal, 2020

North American Premiere, 59 min

Director – Carlos Conceição

A serial killer is propelled into fame after he kisses a dying woman who has just thrown herself off a balcony. Viewed by the world as an act of kindness, that gesture may well be hiding something far more sinister.

ONCE UPON A TIME IN UGANDA

USA, Uganda, 2021

World Premiere, 94 min

Director – Cathryne Czubek & Hugo Perez

Documenting the rise of Uganda’s Tarantino and his complex relationship with a middle-aged white dude from New York, ONCE UPON A TIME IN UGANDA tells the amazing story of a micro-film industry making $200 action films that have traveled the world, and how it happened almost by accident.

POSSESSION

France, Germany, 1981

US Premiere of 4K Restoration, 124 min

Director – Andrzej Zulawski

It took 30 years for people to catch up to POSSESSION’s bizarre, gelatinous majesty, and now it graces the Fantastic Fest screen in a breathtaking 4K restoration.

POUPELLE OF CHIMNEY TOWN

Japan, 2020

US Premiere, 100 min

Director – Yusuke Hirota

In this animated adventure, a young chimney sweep meets a sentient pile of junkyard scrap one Halloween night, raising questions about the world outside the isolated, walled-off community the boy has known his entire life.

PREMAN

Indonesia, 2021

Texas Premiere, 91 min

Director – Randolph Zaini

After Pandu witnesses a murder by a local gang – the unsavory mini-mob that his father works for – Deaf criminal Sandi has to turn against his own crew and flee town to protect him. Unfortunately, his boss Guru is not about to let go so easily.

THE SADNESS

Taiwan, 2021

US Premiere, 99 min

Director – Rob Jabbaz

As Taiwan succumbs to a viral pandemic that transforms ordinary peaceful citizens into sadistic, bloodthirsty maniacs, a young couple must battle to be reunited before they too become infected in this gleefully gory, morally reprehensible late-night splatterfest.

SHE WILL

United Kingdom, 2021

North American Premiere, 95 min

Director – Charlotte Colbert

After a double mastectomy, actress Veronica Ghent travels to a remote place in Scotland in order to recuperate. However, the land around the retreat radiates with a dark power that will ultimately help liberate her from a traumatic past.

SNAKES

USA, 1974

Repertory Screening, 83 min

Director – Art Names

An exceedingly odd rural snake revenge movie — made on a zilch budget and scored by electronic music pioneer Suzanne Ciani — that will make you question your relationship with reality, relativity, and reptiles.

THIS IS GWAR

USA, 2021

World Premiere, 110 min

Director – Scott Barber

GWAR is the galaxy’s greatest rock ‘n roll band, an intergalactic troupe of marauders who crash-landed in Antarctica and are committed to rocking your face off. But they’re also a bunch of amazing artists from Virginia determined to put on the wildest, bloodiest show you’ve ever seen. This is how.

TITANE 

France, Belgium, 2021

US Premiere, 108 min

Director – Julia Ducournau

A car accident irreparably changes the course of one woman’s life, sending her down a bizarre, twisted path in the search for love and acceptance.

THE TRIP

Norway, 2021

International Premiere, 113 min

Director – Tommy Wirkola

A married couple travels to their isolated cabin in the woods for some peace and quiet, with the husband planning to murder his wife. Of course, nothing goes as planned, and things only get worse from there ….

THE VISITOR

Italy, USA, 1979

Repertory Screening, 108 min

Director – Michael J. Paradise

This Italian-made horror/soap-opera/psychedelic light show was made to scoop up any stray dollars that THE OMEN and THE EXORCIST may have left on the table. Featuring an amazing will-work-for-food cast that includes John Huston as a kind of cosmic child pimp for the lord, Shelley Winters, Lance Henriksen, Sam Peckinpah (!!!), and of course Franco Nero as Jesus Christ.

YELLOW DRAGON’S VILLAGE

Japan, 2021

International Premiere, 67 min

Director – Hugo Sakamoto

And now for something completely different: Cannibal cultists and vengeful martial artists lead the way as found footage horror gets a cult film makeover courtesy of Hugo Sakamoto’s inventive and spirited debut.

ATTEND:

FAN Badges, 2ND HALF Badges, and MIDNIGHT Badges for Fantastic Fest 2021 are available for purchase here. The all-new FANTASTIC FEST @ HOME Badges are also available and provide access to the fest’s new virtual event which takes place from 9/30 – 10/11.

For the latest developments, visit the Fantastic Fest official site www.fantasticfest.com and follow us on Facebook & Twitter.


About Fantastic Fest

Fantastic Fest is the largest genre film festival in the U.S., specializing in horror, fantasy, sci-fi, action and just plain fantastic movies from all around the world. In years past, the festival has been home to the world and US premieres of PARASITE, JOJO RABBIT, BONE TOMAHAWK, JOHN WICK, FRANKENWEENIE, THERE WILL BE BLOOD, APOCALYPTO, ZOMBIELAND, RED, SPLIT, HALLOWEEN, BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE, MID 90s, and SUSPIRIA while the guest roster has included such talent as Tim Burton, Nicolas Winding-Refn, Lilly and Lana Wachowski, Bong Joon-Ho, Taika Waititi, Robert Rodriguez, Rian Johnson, Bill Murray, Keanu Reeves, Martin Landau, Winona Ryder, Edward Norton, Ryan Reynolds, Patrick Wilson, Matthew Fox, Karl Urban, Josh Hartnett, The RZA, Dolph Lundgren, Paul Rudd, Bill Pullman, Paul Thomas Anderson, Kevin Smith, Jon Favreau, George Romero, Darren Aronofsky, Mike Judge, Karyn Kusama, M. Night Shyamalan, James McAvoy, Vince Vaughn, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jonah Hill, Barbara Crampton and Jessica Harper.

Fantastic Fest also features world, national, and regional premieres of new, up-and-coming genre films. Fantastic Fest has seen the acquisition of many titles, including BULLHEAD, KILL LIST, MONSTERS, KLOWN, THE FP, PENUMBRA, HERE COMES THE DEVIL, NO REST FOR THE WICKED, VANISHING WAVES, COMBAT GIRLS, I DECLARE WAR, THE PERFECTION, and TIGERS ARE NOT AFRAID. Fantastic Fest is held each year at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Austin, Texas. Alamo Drafthouse has been named the best theater in the country by Entertainment Weekly, Wired, and TIMEVariety included Fantastic Fest in a list of “10 Film Festivals We Love” and was also named one of the “25 coolest film festivals” by Moviemaker Magazine.

About Alamo Drafthouse

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema was founded in 1997 as a single-screen mom and pop repertory theater in Austin, TX. Twenty-four years later, with 38 locations and counting, Alamo Drafthouse has been called “the best theater in America” by Entertainment Weekly and “the best theater in the world” by Wired. Alamo Drafthouse has built a reputation as a movie lover’s oasis not only by combining food and drink service with the movie-going experience, but also introducing unique programming and high-profile, star-studded special events. Alamo Drafthouse created Fantastic Fest, a world-renowned film festival dubbed “The Geek Telluride” by Variety. Fantastic Fest showcases eight days of genre cinema from independents, international filmmakers, and major Hollywood studios. Alamo Drafthouse’s collectible art gallery, Mondo, offers breathtaking, original products featuring designs from world-famous artists based on licenses for popular TV and movie properties including Star Wars, Star Trek & Universal Monsters. Alamo Drafthouse continues to expand its brand in new and exciting ways, including the American Genre Film Archive, a non-profit film archive dedicated to preserving, restoring and sharing film, and Alamo On Demand, a new VOD platform boasting a growing and carefully curated library of entertainment for rental or purchase.

2020 Fantastic Fest: programming slate announced

September 10, 2020

“The Boy Behind the Door” (Photo courtesy of Fantastic Fest)

The following is a press release from Fantastic Fest:

Fantastic Fest has gone virtual for a celebration of everything we love about the annual event: live online versions of classics like “Fantastic Feud” and “100 Best Kills,” badass repertory rediscoveries, and world premieres of the finest genre cinema 2020 has to offer. To make the party accessible to loyal fans and newbies alike, all new features and live events will be available FREE to view on the Alamo On Demand platform for anyone in the United States.

“Despite the many hardships 2020 has thrown our way, the Fantastic Fest team knew we needed to stick to our mission of celebrating and championing genre films from bold, diverse voices – new filmmakers and treasured alumni alike.” says Fantastic Fest programmer Logan Taylor. “While we have a much smaller selection than in previous years, we’re delighted to showcase 15 films that express our brand loudly and proudly.”
The festival will be bookended by unique spins on the werewolf film: opening with the charming and irreverent TEDDY by France’s Boukherma brothers and closing with Amelia Moses’s haunting thriller BLOODTHIRSTY (on the night of the full moon, no less)! If you’re still hungry for more werewolves after that one-two punch, join us for the Texas Premiere of Jim Cummings’ newest, THE WOLF OF SNOW HOLLOW, on October 8th at Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter Lane!

While this year’s slate may be more modest in scope, every film captures the spirit of Fantastic Fest in its own unique way. Featuring 5 world premieres (with an additional 2 world premiere restorations) and 4 shorts blocks featuring 36 short films, the lineup amplifies talented female, queer, and racially diverse creatives from all over the globe. We might all be stuck on the couch, but we are still excited to bring a sampling of world-class films you’ve come to expect from Fantastic Fest directly to your home.

Quite fittingly and presciently, a theme of isolation and its transformational effects plays heavily throughout the lineup. So, in the spirit of Fantastic Fest and this theme, let’s make the most of the strange world we’re living in, come together through a virtual celebration, and enjoy some damn fine cinema!

All new features will be available FREE on our Alamo On Demand Platform for fans in the United States. Repertory titles will be available at special rates throughout the week-long celebration. We will also be presenting two exclusive in-theater-only screenings, Brandon Cronenberg’s highly anticipated POSSESSOR on September 23rd and Jim Cummings’ THE WOLF OF SNOW HOLLOW on October 8th. The festival is also excited to welcome back Fantastic Fest alum Mickey Reece with a new documentary short MICKEY REECE’S BELLE ÎSLE screening in the the SHORTS WITH LEGS short film sidebar – stay tuned for an upcoming Alamo On Demand announcement following the premiere of the short about a collection of his films to be made available for the first time.

The Celebration of Fantastic Fest will be offering a number of interactive virtual film screenings with Scener, a watch party platform that enables millions of participants to simultaneously enjoy films together over immersive live video chat. This integration is built into the Alamo On Demand platform that will go live at Fantastic Fest and remain in partnership with AOD, providing public or private co-watching parties that are synchronized in real-time and paired with video, audio and text chat. Fantastic Fest interactive screenings will be taking viewers from preshow to a hosted intro, through the film, and all the way to the Q&A for a fully synced and effortless experience participants.

FEATURE FILMS

Secret Screening

World Premiere of the 4K Restoration

A special re-discovery of an explosive, death-defying, bullet-riddled, grenade-launching, flame-broiled, anti-human megattack. Free to view during the live secret screening and available for Virtual Cinema rental on Alamo On Demand afterwards.

Bloodthirsty

Canada, 2020

World Premiere, 82 min

Director: Amelia Moses

When indie singer Grey struggles to write her sophomore album, she teams up with a mysterious producer at his secluded cabin. Though their bond strengthens her music, it also starts to irreparably alter Grey’s body and mind.

The Boy Behind the Door

USA, 2020

World Premiere, 88 min

Directors: David Charbonier and Justin Powell

After Bobby and his best friend Kevin are kidnapped and taken to a strange house in the middle of nowhere, Bobby manages to escape. But as he starts to make a break for it, he hears Kevin’s screams for help and realizes he can’t leave his friend behind.

Cyst

USA, 2020

World Premiere, 69 min

Director: Tyler Russell

George Hardy (TROLL 2) stars as an overly-ambitious and just-a-little-crazy doctor who accidentally unleashes a giant, man-eating cyst that terrorizes the office in this horrifically funny deluge of gooey special effects.

Daughters of Darkness

Belgium/France/West Germany, 1971

World Premiere of the 4K Restoration from Blue Underground, 87 min

Director: Harry Kümel

The classic lesbian vampire tale reignites the screen as the lives of a young newlywed couple take a dramatically sexy turn after their paths cross with Elizabeth Báthory in a deserted Belgian hotel.Special Event: An interview with director Harry Kümel, moderated by Kat Ellinger.

Girl

USA, 2020

US Premiere, 92 min

Director: Chad Faust

When Girl (Bella Thorne) sets out to a no-name small town to track down her deadbeat father, she finds herself wrapped up in a situation far more dangerous and twisted than she expected.


How to Deter a Robber

USA, 2020

World Premiere, 81 min

Director: Maria Bissell

Two teens playing amateur detectives get more than they bargained for when they investigate the wrong cabin in this darkly comedic romp.


Laughter

Canada, 2020

International Premiere, 124 min

Director: Martin Laroche

Léane Labrèche-Dor gives an unforgettable performance as a woman who struggles with survivor guilt following a civil war in Quebec.

The Old Man Movie

Estonia, 2019

US Premiere, 87 min

Directors: Mikk Mägi & Oskar Lehemaa

Three children must aid their deranged grandfather in recovering his prized cow to prevent a rural cataclysm in this surreal and hysterically scatalogical stop-motion comedy.

Possessor

UK, Canada 2020

Texas Premiere, 103 min

Director: Brandon Cronenberg

In Brandon Cronenberg’s latest gore soaked sci-fi thriller, identity theft takes on a new meaning as corporate assassins can virtually take over other people to carry out their kills. Special Event: Join us before our official celebration for a special in-theater premiere September 23rd


The Queen of Black Magic

Indonesia, 2019

North American Premiere, 99 min

Director: Kimo Stamboel

Childhood friends Hanif, Jefri, and Anton take their families on a trip to the orphanage where they grew up to pay their final respects to the man who raised them. But they’ll soon discover that the secrets from their past refuse to stay buried.


The Stylist

USA, 2020

World Premiere, 105 min

Director: Jill Gevargizian

Few things in life hold more promise than a new hairstyle. But the women who visit stylist Claire’s chair get more than they bargained for, bringing a whole new meaning to the phrase “extreme makeover” in Jill Gevargizian’s first feature film, based on her acclaimed 2016 short.

Teddy

France, 2020

International Premiere, 88 min

Directors: Ludovic Boukherma & Zoran Boukherma

In a rural French town, twenty-something Teddy is scratched by an unknown beast and slowly undergoes frightening changes

AGFA presents Triple Fisher: The Lethal Lolitas of Long Island

USA, 2012

Austin Premiere of HD Restoration

Director: Dan Kapelovitz

Drew Barrymore, Alyssa Milano, and Noelle Parker are Amy Fisher in this meta-melodramatic mashup of three TV movies that would make Brian De Palma proud.

The Wolf of Snow Hollow

USA, 2020

Texas Premiere, 84 min

Director: Jim Cummings

A small mountain town full of quirky characters is thrown into chaos when dead bodies start piling up after every full moon in Jim Cummings’ supremely fun foray into horror.

Special Event: Join us after our official celebration for a special in-theater premiere, October 8th at Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter Lane.

SHORT FILMS

FANTASTIC SHORTS

A celebration of some of the year’s most fantastic short film offerings, spanning a myriad of genres and sensibilities.

Blocks 

Dir. Bridget Moloney, USA

Forbidden to See Us Scream in Tehran 

Dir. Farbod Ardebili, Iran/USA, World Premiere

I Love Your Guts 

Dir. David Janove, USA, Texas Premiere

Jack and Jo Don’t Want Die 

Dir. Kantú Lentz, USA, Texas Premiere

Please Hold

 Dir. KD Davila, USA, World Premiere

Solution For Sadness 

Dir. Marc Martínez Jordán & Tuixén Benet Cosculluela, Spain, World Premiere

(You’ll Make It In) Florida 

Dir. Phil Chemyak, USA, Texas Premiere


SHORT FUSE

A parade of short-form horror in all its permutations, from “Boo!” to “Eww!”

Abracitos 

Dir. Tony Morales, Spain, US Premiere

Blitzkrieg 

Dir. Alexander Lemus Gadea, Spain, World Premiere

Fish Whiskers 

Dir. Roney, Canada, World Premiere

Great Choice 

Dir. Robin Comisar, USA

Heat 

Dir. Thessa Meijer, The Netherlands, Texas Premiere

Milk Teeth 

Dir. Felipe Vargas, USA, Texas Premiere

Mime 

Dir. Ruwan Heggelman, The Netherlands, Austin Premiere

Mourn 

Dir. Joanna Tsanis, Canada, World Premiere

Otttie Dir. Paola Ossa, USA, Texas Premiere

Stuck Dir. David Mikalson, USA, World Premiere

The Three Men You Meet at Night 

Dir. Beck Kitsis, USA, Texas Premiere

SHORTS WITH LEGS

The experimental and the esoteric; shorts that upset conventions and defy expectations.

Düsseldorf 

Dir. Mike Lars White, USA, Texas Premiere

Emergency Action Plan 

Dir. Dylan Redford, USA, Texas Premiere

Hipolita Dir. Everardo Felipe, Mexico, World Premiere

How to Re-Caulk Your Tub 

Dir. Sean Pierce, USA, Austin Premiere

Lusty Crest Dir. Kati Skelton, USA

Mickey Reece’s Belle Île 

Dir. Mickey Reece, USA, World Premiere

They Salivate Dir. Arianne Boukerche, France, Austin Premiere

Unfinished Business 

Dir. Mary Dauterman, USA, Texas Premiere

DRAWN AND QUARTERED

After a 6-year hiatus, Fantastic Fest’s animation showcase returns!

Ghost Dogs 

Dir. Joe Cappa, USA, US Premiere

Homo ErecTattoos 

Dir. Tae-woo KIM, South Korea, US Premiere

Jimi 

Dir. Joren Cull, Canada, World Premiere

A Night in Camp Heebie Jeebie 

Dir. Dylan Chase, USA, Texas Premiere

Pilar 

Dir. Yngwie Boley, J.J. Epping & Diana van Houten, The Netherlands/Belgium, US Premiere

Routine: The Prohibition 

Dir. Sam Orti, Spain, US Premiere

The Shawl 

Dir. Sara Kiener, USA

Star Crossed 

Dir. Jon Frier, USA, Texas Premiere

Thin Blue Variety Show 

Dir. Gretta Wilson, USA, Texas Premiere

Tomorrow I Will Be Dirt: Scenes From the Afterlife of Lothar Schramm 

Dir. Robert Morgan, UK, North American Premiere

PARTIES AND EVENTS

“Fantastic Fest’s special events, parties and amiable mayhem are among the things that set it apart from any other festival,” says Zack Carlson, Creative Producer. “Any celebration of FF absolutely needs to include those traditions, and though the cold fist of 2020 may prohibit us from having a food fight or demolition derby, we’re still here to bring the good-natured chaos.”

Master Pancake: Invasion of the Bee Girls

USA, 1973

Director: Denis Sanders

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Master Pancake, John Erler, Owen Egerton and friends are revising one of the very first films they ever roasted back in the year 2000.

100 Best Kills: Decapattack!

FF’s life-defying clip show returns from the grave with a dazzling onslaughter of the 100 finest decapitations in the nation!

Fantastic Fest Triviadome

The Drafthouse’s beloved movie trivia night returns just for Fantastic Fest! Start coming up with your clever team name now and study up! Featuring a round in honor of Fantastic Fest tradition Nerd Rap, written and performed by superstars of years past.

Fantastic Feud

Filmmakers, journalists and various other movie megamasters collide in this no-holds-barred deathride of useless cinematic information and on-screen in(s)anity, all masterminded by Triviadome’s teeny-tiny host Maxim Pozderac.

King of Movies: The Leonard Maltin Game Challenge

Beat the Hollywood screenwriters and win glory and an exclusive Mondo Prize Pack! Enter to play against a trio of Fantastic Fest Favorite writers in Mondo’s brand new game KING OF MOVIES.

For 51 years, Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide served as the film geek’s Holy Bible, an annually updated softcover brick of a reference book, packed with thoughtful, witty, and occasionally weird capsule reviews of thousands of films. Those synopses are at the heart of King of Movies: The Leonard Maltin Game, a tabletop casual party game of creative invention and hilarious deception.

In King of Movies, it doesn’t matter if you’ve seen every film ever made or if you’ve never seen a movie in your life. The fun is in the fibbing. One player reads a movie title and the other players invent a short synopsis in Leonard Maltin’s unique style, with the goal being to trick the other players into thinking theirs is the real Maltin review. If you choose the real Maltin or you fool another player, you score.

IMMERSIVE SHOWCASE

Harkening back to the Satanic Panic Escape Room, VR debuts and Mondo Games First Looks of years past, this year features hand-picked selections of the best virtual escape rooms from around the world, curated by Cara Mandel (Story Experience Producer, Meow Wolf and Co-founder/CEO, Interwoven Immersive, Inc.) and Rachel Walker (Head of Programming & Creative, Drafthouse LA).

“As someone who was on track to completing 120 physical escape rooms, I was initially skeptical of how this beloved artform could be adapted to virtual play.” Says Mandel, “but I can now confidently say that these remote escape rooms are emerging as an exciting new artform unto itself. It has opened up this world to players internationally and is proving that innovative creators will thrive in any format. I’m so excited to be able to shine a spotlight on just a handful of the many wonderful online experiences available right now.”

Adds Walker, “The five selected experiences represent how escapes have adapted to the virtual space, in many cases providing an experience that simply could not be replicated in a physical room alone. It’s a thrill to be able to highlight them and support an industry going so outside of the box with narrative storytelling.”

All rooms will be keeping Fantastic Fest only scoreboards, with top times announced each day.                        

How to book: At 10:00 AM PST on Sept 11th, anyone who purchased a 2020 Fantastic Fest Badge prior to cancellation of our badged event will be sent an email with instructions on how to book the rooms at a discounted rate and have 72 hours to book. After 72 hours, instructions will be posted on FantasticFest.com and on Fantastic Fest socials. After another 48 hours, the Fantastic Fest holds on those slots will be opened up to the general public. Tickets will be booked directly through the rooms’ individual ticketing sites, so 100% of the ticket price will be going straight to the creators.

EVIL DEAD 2 REMOTE ESCAPE ROOM

Created by Hourglass Escapes (Washington)

Synopsis: You get a strange email from your paranormal investigation group “Gnostic Research of the Occult, Omens, Vampires, and Yetis” aka G.R.O.O.V.Y. Seems your leader decided to break into the old Knowby cabin and can’t escape…You and your team must guide him via his ghost gear technology through this misadventure so he can escape and find a way return the evil dead to their realm and escape before the cabin is sucked into the time-space vortex forever.                                                                                   

THE TRUTH ABOUT EDITH                                                      

Created by Mad Genius Escape Rooms (Oregon)

Synopsis: ​You may recognize Edith Humphreys, your sweet neighbor with 24 cats. You may have even helped her out, snooped around her apartment. But there’s something about Edith that doesn’t quite add up… she looks way younger than she is, she says she was born in 1902 but that she’s 97 years young… and she lives at a business called Mad Genius Escapes?! What is going on here…The Truth About Edith is an hour-long, cooperative, timed adventure sprinkled with interactive theater and a good dose of humor! This game is an eccentric mix of a video game, an escape room, and a great who-done-it story.         

EXORCIST ONLINE

Created by: Emergency Exits (Manchester, UK)

Synopsis: Exorcist Online will take you deep into the history of Crowley manor which was last owned by the infamous Aleister Crowley. You will join your tour guide via remote feed and control them on this haunted adventure. The real excitement is the history of Crowley’s mysteries and puzzles. This house has been famous throughout history as there have been many disappearances over the years. It is said that Aleister Crowley is still trying to trick and trap his victims from beyond the Grave. Enjoy the tour but DO NOT out-stay your welcome.

PROJECT AVATAR

Created by Legendary Quest (Ukraine)

Synopsis: Avatar is a traveler of worlds, whose vocation is to maintain a balance of good and evil on earth. Having traveled into a parallel realm, Avatar needs help from the support team (you!) to complete the mission and survive! This fascinating interactive live- action race against the clock is stylized as a video game, complete with cut scenes and a HUD, reminiscent of titles like Duke Nukem, Half Life and Tomb Raider. Players use voice commands to navigate the hero across a 2000 square foot warehouse, and complete tasks that appear along the way. Non-linear gameplay allows for over 100 different variations of adventure.

PURSUIT OF THE ARTIST ASSASSIN

Created by: Omescape (California)

Synopsis: In Pursuit of the Assassin Artist, you will be teaming up with a secret agent to discover the secrets of the world-famous modern artist. A live-action room created just for the virtual space, Pursuit employs a unique function of your character being able to die and come back to life with all the knowledge acquired previously. This allows for unpredictable gameplay, keeping both your team and the live actors on their toes. Filled with innovative puzzles and easter eggs that win you achievements, this brand new room is a shining example of how to create a truly immersive experience for a virtual audience.                         

THE BEST OF FANTASTIC FEST SIX PACK ON ALAMO ON DEMAND

We have curated a collection of over 120 (and growing) of our favorite Fantastic Fest films on Alamo on Demand. The programming team has curated six of our favorite films from this collection and for the duration of September, we are offering this “Best of Fantastic Fest Six Pack” for 25% off purchase or rental. Check out the six pack and the complete collection here.
 

ATTEND: This year’s Celebration of Fantastic Fest is open to anyone within the United States, no badge necessary. The majority of films and events are FREE to access, though some have limited capacity and will require an RSVP in advance. Instructions for accessing these films and events will be provided closer to the event.

For a complete listing of films, events, and pricing details when applicable, simply visit www.fantasticfest.com and click on the film or event link.

For the latest developments, visit the Fantastic Fest official site www.fantasticfest.com and follow the festival on Facebook &Twitter.

2020 SXSW Conference and Festivals cancelled because of coronavirus concerns

March 6, 2020

by Carla Hay

Roger Waters

The 34th annual South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference and Festivals has been cancelled. The event was scheduled to take place from March 13 to 22, 2020, in Austin, Texas. A public health state of emergency has also been declared in the city of Austin. SXSW includes festivals for music, film and live comedy, as well as a conferences for technology, education and gaming.

Days before the cancellation, several companies pulled of out participating in the event this year, including Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Intel, Lionsgate, Starz, TikTok, Twitter, Vevo and WarnerMedia.

Keynote speakers who were announced for SXSW 2020 included Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters, Bumble founder/CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd, The Blackstone Group’s Jon Korngold, “CBS This Morning” co-host Gayle King, DJ/producer Diplo, Emerson Collective founder Laurene Powell Jobs​ and LightShed founder/creative director Gabo Arora.

Featured speakers were to include T Bone Burnett, Troy Carter, Anil Dash, Vince Gilligan, Peter Gould, Steven Levy, Bob Odenkirk, Maria A. Ressa, Susan Rogers, Angela Roseboro, Jerry Saltz, Rhea Seehorn, M. Night Shyamalan, Nicole Wong, Stephen Colbert, Jack Dorsey, Samantha Bee, Bob Chapek, Jonathan Van Ness, Tarana Burke, Dr. Brené Brown, Dr. Werner Vogels, Lynn Shelton and Jen Wong.

Movies that were supposed to have their world premieres at the 2020 SXSW Film Festival included Paramount Pictures’ “The Lovebirds” (starring Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani), A24’s “The Green Knight” (starring Dev Patel) and Universal Pictures’ “The King of Staten Island,” starring Pete Davidson. The SXSW Film Festival announced that it will still give awards this year in the jury-voted categories. The films in competition are being made available online to jurors. Winners will be announced online and not at an awards ceremony.

Participants in the SXSW Comedy Festival were to include Judd Apatow, Davidson, Samantha Bee, Hannibal Buress, Joel Kim Booster, Thomas Middleditch and Horatio Sanz. And the cancellation of the SXSW Music Festival means that hundreds of upcoming artists will no longer be performing at the event this year.

The cancellation of SXSW is the largest entertainment event so far to be shut down due to coronavirus concerns. SXSW is one of Austin’s biggest sources of revenue, bringing in an estimated $355.9 million in 2019. Approximately 417,400 people attended SXSW in 2019. Over the past 10 years, the festival’s attendance and revenue had continued to grow. However, the costs of a coronavirus outbreak would be much more devastating to people’s health and well-being. Austin is not taking that risk.

Here is SXSW’s full statement about the cancellation:

“The City of Austin has cancelled the March dates for SXSW and SXSW EDU. SXSW will faithfully follow the City’s directions.

“We are devastated to share this news with you. “The show must go on” is in our DNA, and this is the first time in 34 years that the March event will not take place. We are now working through the ramifications of this unprecedented situation.

“As recently as Wednesday [March 4, 2020], Austin Public Health stated that ‘there’s no evidence that closing SXSW or any other gatherings will make the community safer.’ However, this situation evolved rapidly, and we honor and respect the City of Austin’s decision. We are committed to do our part to help protect our staff, attendees, and fellow Austinites.

“We are exploring options to reschedule the event and are working to provide a virtual SXSW online experience as soon as possible for 2020 participants, starting with SXSW EDU. For our registrants, clients, and participants we will be in touch as soon as possible and will publish an FAQ.

“We understand the gravity of the situation for all the creatives who utilize SXSW to accelerate their careers; for the global businesses; and for Austin and the hundreds of small businesses – venues, theatres, vendors, production companies, service industry staff, and other partners that rely so heavily on the increased business that SXSW attracts.

“We will continue to work hard to bring you the unique events you love. Though it’s true that our March 2020 event will no longer take place in the way that we intended, we continue to strive toward our purpose – helping creative people achieve their goals.”

Click here for an updated list of other corona virus-related cancellations and postponements in the entertainment industry.

2019 Fantastic Fest: second wave of films announced

August 20, 2019

Knives Out
Don Johnson, Jamie Lee Curtis, Chris Evans, K. Callan, Ana de Armas, Christopher Plummer, Michael Shannon, Jaeden Martell, Riki Lindhome, Toni Collette and Katherine Langford in “Knives Out” (Photo by Claire Folger/Lionsgate)

The following is a press release from Fantastic Fest:

Fantastic Fest is proud to announce its second wave of programming, led by a closing night screening of writer-director Rian Johnson’s hotly anticipated new Lionsgate and MRC mystery KNIVES OUT. A tribute to the work of Agatha Christie, KNIVES OUT stars Daniel Craig as debonair Detective Benoit Blanc, sent to investigate the death of a renowned crime novelist played by Christopher Plummer. KNIVES OUT will be Fantastic Fest 2019’s closing night film with Johnson in attendance for a special presentation at Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar in Austin, TX on Thursday, September 26th.

“Rian Johnson is a consistently thrilling and brilliant director whose work has enthralled Fantastic Fest audiences for the past 15 years,” said Fantastic Fest Creative Director Evrim Ersoy. “The chance to close out the festival with his unique and ingenious murder mystery was too good an offer to pass up!”

Cannes Palme d’Or winner PARASITE will also play this year’s Fantastic Fest with director Bong Joon-ho (SNOWPIERCER, OKJA) in attendance. Reaping near-universal acclaim around the world, PARASITE is a darkly comic tale of two very different families who find their lives inexplicably intertwined.

A celebration of Mexican genre film

This year, Fantastic Fest celebrates the rich and varied history of Mexican genre film with a trio of rarely seen repertory titles, programmed in association with Mexico City’s Mórbido Film Fest. In THE BLACK PIT OF DR. M (MISTERIOS DE ULTRATUMBA), two doctors make an unholy bet to discover just what’s in the afterlife; in THE SHIP OF MONSTERS (LA NAVE DE LOS MONSTRUOS), two extraterrestrials traverse the universe collecting sample species to repopulate their planet resulting in the wildest spaceship ever with a wide array of characters from singing cowboys to Martian princes and other otherworldly beings starring none other than the brilliant Lorena Velázquez; and finally, TRAMPA INFERNAL (a.k.a. HELL’S TRAP) sees a group of young people go after a bear, only to find themselves terrorized by a crazed Vietnam vet in a mannequin mask and Freddy Krueger glove, combining the best of slasher traditions with an incredible visual style and ‘80s fashions galore! A dedicated shorts program exploring up and coming young Mexican filmmakers will be presented as part of the program, as well, which will be announced at a later date.

Mórbido Film Fest’s head of programming Abraham Castillo Flores will give a lecture titled “The Mórbido Crypt’s Guide to Mexican Fantasy and Horror Cinema,” a co-presentation with The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies, founded by film writer/programmer/producer Kier-La Janisse. The sidebar is also supported by Cine Las Americas, the Mexican Film Institute (IMCINE), the Consulate General of Mexico in Austin, Fundación Televisa, Alameda Films, and Grupo Galindo.

Flores says: “As Mórbido continues its primal mission to promote Mexican fantasy and horror cinema throughout the world, we are proud to collaborate with Fantastic Fest to highlight three unique films that represent peculiar moments in our complex national film history.”

LGBTQ+ programming

Fantastic Fest shows its full (rainbow) colors with a sidebar dedicated to LGBTQ+ representation in genre cinema, including the US Premiere of SCREAM, QUEEN! MY NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, a documentary focusing on the journey Mark Patton’s life took from actor to activist after starring in A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 2: FREDDY’S REVENGE, as well as a rep screening of that seminal title with the cast in attendance. There will be a very special presentation of Norman J. Warren’s PREY (1977), which focuses on the disintegration of a relationship amidst a very real alien threat. The sidebar wraps up with a screening of LYLE with director Stewart Thorndike in attendance, where the grief of a mother turns to abject paranoia when she suspects her neighbors of being part of a satanic cult.

“The two most unwavering pieces of my identity – my queerness and my love of horror – come together in some fascinating and unexpected ways over the course of film history,” says Fantastic Fest programmer Brian Kelley. “I can’t think of a better group of people to explore and celebrate some of the crazy, frequently daring and often challenging films that make up the universe of queer horror with than my Fantastic Fest family.”

Fantastic Fest’s LGBTQ+ sidebar is proudly sponsored by Shudder and co-presented by community partners aGLIFF and OUTsider, the Horror Queers podcast, and drag horror titans Peaches Christ and Louisianna Purchase, who along with Die Felicia will slay at an epic BYOW (Bring Your Own Wig) party in The Highball.

The witching hour arriveth at Fantastic Fest and with it brings titles that promise the audience all those forbidden sights that the daytime can’t handle. In the World Premiere of Joe Begos’ VFW, a group of veterans find themselves in a deadly showdown against a gang of punk mutants dead-set on killing them. Also from Begos is BLISS, where a creative mental block threatens to tip an artist into uncontrollable bloodbath in a very special 35mm screening. Seth Ickerman expands the unique vision of a neon sci-fi universe first presented within his astounding short TURBO KILLER and teams up once again with synth master Carpenter Brut in the North American premiere of BLOOD MACHINES. And Richard Stanley recruits the help of Nicolas Cage to explore just what mysteries THE COLOR OUT OF SPACE holds in an adaptation of the seminal Lovecraft story in the US premiere of the highly-anticipated title.

Science fiction and visions of the future are represented at the festival with a trio of titles that run the gamut of all fears. Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson return to the festival for the US Premiere of their newest fever-dream SYNCHRONIC starring Anthony Mackie and Jamie Dornan as a pair of paramedics in the throes of a losing battle against a brand new designer drug. Jesse Eisenberg and Imogen Poots are a couple who find themselves moving into their dream house, only to discover a trap in Lorcan Finnegan’s Cannes hit VIVARIUM. And in a small town in 1950s New Mexico, a mysterious radio signal sends a pair of teenagers on an exciting journey to discover its source in the masterful debut THE VAST OF NIGHT from director Andrew Patterson.

Cinema itself is explored at Fantastic Fest with a duo of documentaries that focus on wildly varied subjects. Gilles Penso & Alexandre Poncet’s PHIL TIPPETT – MAD DREAMS AND MONSTERS takes an extensive look at the great genius behind the visual effects of films such as ROBOCOP, STAR WARS and JURASSIC PARK while IRON FISTS AND KUNG FU KICKS explores the history of kung fu cinema from 1960s Hong Kong through ‘70s 42nd Street and beyond with the help of experts, historians, kung fu stars and more! Prior to the festival, Alamo Drafthouse will be running a series to prep for the screening titled Fists of Iron, Wheels of Steel where Texas DJs will be live-scoring some of the most beloved Kung Fu classics, including MASTER OF THE FLYING GUILLOTINE with DJ Jester the Filipino Fist, POLICE STORY with DJ Catwalk, and more!

The world at large is explored through a genre lens with films that take aim at topical subjects. In the US Premiere of Karl Markovics’ NOBADI, the unlikely friendship between an old German man and a migrant worker will show them the true horror of their existence, while the US Premiere of THE PLATFORM sees society use a very new and unique punishment for criminals and those in need. In ABOU LEILA, two men hunt for a vicious terrorist leader while trying to hide from the bloodstains in their soul, and in the US Premiere of Orçun Behram’s THE ANTENNA, a sinister government broadcast in Turkey corrupts the very nature of everything it touches.

Worldwide, weird and wonderful genre films return with a selection of titles that refuse to be categorized. In Martin Krejčí’s THE TRUE ADVENTURES OF WOLFBOY, an unusual young man goes on a journey of discovery with a roster of eccentric characters in a film that mixes the best of fairy-tales and Czech magical realism. In VHYES, the discovery of a video camcorder leads a 12-year-old boy to create a unique time capsule. In PATRICK, a young man goes to extreme lengths to find his lost hammer in his father’s nudist colony. Finally, in BUTT BOY, a man discovers he has a fetish of the most extraordinary kind during a routine prostate examination.

More FF alumni return to the festival with new and exciting titles. Mickey Reece uses the cold backdrop of a New England winter to explore a homecoming of a very weird kind in the astounding CLIMATE OF THE HUNTER. In Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz’s THE LODGE, the relationship between two children and their stepmother gets strained to its murderous limit when the trio are trapped in a cabin. And Mattie Do explores the power of mistakes, choices, and consequences in the stunning and unique Laotian science-fiction exploration THE LONG WALK.

SECOND WAVE FILM LINEUP BELOW:

ABOU LEILA
Algeria, France, Qatar, 2019
North American Premiere, 139 min
Director – Amin Sidi-Boumédiène

In the midst of the Algerian Civil War, Lotfi ventures into the desert with his lifelong friend S., who hopes to find and kill the elusive, dangerous terrorist Abou Leila.

THE ANTENNA
Turkey, 2019
US Premiere, 115 min
Director – Orçun Behram

Somewhere within an unnamed city in Turkey, the residents of an apartment block await the installation of their new antenna as ordered by the central government. No one can prepare them for the evil that will be unleashed.

THE BLACK PIT OF DR. M
Mexico, 1959
Repertory Screening, 82 min
Director – Fernando Méndez

Two doctors make a pact on behalf of science: Whichever one dies first will return to share the secrets of the afterlife. This pact will not end well.

BLISS
USA, 2019
Texas Premiere, 80 min
Director – Joe Begos

While trying to complete her latest painting, a starving artist facing a lack of inspiration spirals out of control in a blaze of blood-soaked, drug-fueled glory.

BLOOD MACHINES
France, USA, 2019
North American Premiere, 50 min
Director – Seth Ickerman

The wild sequel to the Carpenter Brut music video, “Turbo Killer,” shoots you into a turbulent psychedelic adventure of galactic hunters tracking down the soul of a spaceship set to a killer synthwave soundtrack.

BUTT BOY
USA, 2019
World Premiere, 100 min
Director – Tyler Cornack

In attendance – Director Tyler Cornack

Writer/director/comedian Tyler Cornack’s BUTT BOY introduces us to Chip, a middle-aged man whose first prostate exam stirs feelings deep inside leading to an addiction that can only be shown to Fantastic Fest audiences.

CLIMATE OF THE HUNTER
USA, 2019
World Premiere, 90 min
Director – Mickey Reec

The “Soderbergh of the Sticks,” Mickey Reece, returns to Fantastic Fest with his 27th feature. Two beautiful sisters vie for the affections of a man who may or may not be a vampire.

COLOR OUT OF SPACE
USA, 2019
US Premiere, 111 min
Director – Richard Stanley

Unimaginable terrors befall the Gardner family after a meteorite lands on their front lawn in Richard Stanley’s entrancing, horrific adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s short story.

IRON FISTS AND KUNG FU KICKS
Australia, 2019
North American Premiere, 107 min
Director – Serge Ou

From the Shaw Brothers to THE MATRIX, this wild documentary tells the story of how kung fu films conquered the world from the 1960s to now.

KNIVES OUT
USA, 2019
Special Presentation, 130 min
Director – Rian Johnson

In attendance – Director Rian Johnson

From acclaimed writer, director Rian Johnson comes KNIVES OUT, a fresh and modern take on the classic “whodunnit” mystery genre.

THE LODGE
USA, 2019
Texas Premiere, 108 min
Directors – Veronika Franz & Severin Fiala

Five years after GOODNIGHT MOMMY stunned Fantastic Fest audiences, Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala are back with another disturbing psychological twister about a brother and sister spending Christmas with their shadowy soon-to-be stepmother.

THE LONG WALK
Laos, Spain, Singapore, 2019
US Premiere, 115 min
Director – Mattie Do

In attendance – Director Mattie Do

An old Laotian hermit discovers that the ghost of a road accident victim can transport him back in time fifty years to the moment of his mother’s painful death..

LYLE
2014, USA
Repertory Screening, 65 min
Director – Stewart Thorndike

In attendance – Director Stewart Thorndike

After the loss of her child, a young woman begins to suspect that her neighbors might be part of a satanic cult and that she might be their next target.

A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 2: FREDDY’S REVENGE
USA, 1985
Repertory Screening, 87 min
Director – Jack Sholder

In attendance – Actors Mark Patton and Kim Myers

Jesse (Mark Patton) is the new kid on Elm Street and Freddy Krueger might not be the only monster in the closet in this much discussed but under-appreciated queer horror classic.

NOBADI
Austria, 2019
US Premiere, 90 min
Director – Karl Markovics

In a retirement allotment in Vienna, a crabby 91-year-old finds both himself and his humanity when he hires an Afghani refugee to help him in Karl Markovics’ remarkable and poignant third feature.

PARASITE
South Korea, 2019
Texas Premiere, 131 min
Director – Bong Joon-ho

In attendance – Director Bong Joon-ho

Bong Joon-ho’s seventh feature — about an unemployed Korean family conning their way out of their basement apartment — is a roller coaster ride of laughs, gasps, horror, tears, and perfection.

PATRICK
Belgium, 2019
North American Premiere, 97 min
Director – Tim Mielant

Patrick is not having an easy time. First his domineering father passed away and now his favorite hammer is missing. Before the day is out, Patrick’s search will lead him to discover answers to the questions he didn’t even know existed.

PHIL TIPPETT – MAD DREAMS AND MONSTERS
France, 2019
International Premiere, 80 min
Directors – Gilles Penso & Alexandre Poncet

After their documentary CREATURE DESIGNERS – THE FRANKENSTEIN COMPLEX, French journalist Alexandre Poncet and filmmaker Gilles Penso deliver an in-depth, sad, and beautiful documentary about the stop motion and VFX artist Phil Tippett, a man who changed the landscape of visual effects in film.

THE PLATFORM
Spain, 2019
US Premiere, 90 min
Director – Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia

In attendance – Director Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia

Somewhere in the future exists THE PLATFORM, a vertically tiered prison where the upper levels have access to exquisite food and the lower levels fight for survival. Level assignments are random, but how long can a prisoner’s luck hold? One man is about to find out.

PREY
1977, United Kingdom
Repertory Screening, 78 min
Director – Norman J. Warren

Jessica and Josephine find more than their relationship at stake when they’re chosen by a shape-shifting alien as his target for an observational study.

SCREAM, QUEEN! MY NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET
USA, 2019
US Premiere, 100 min
Directors – Roman Chimienti & Tyler Jensen

In attendance – Directors Roman Chimienti and Tyler Jensen

More than thirty years after its release and his departure from Hollywood, Mark Patton (star of A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 2: FREDDY’S REVENGE), sets the record straight on the famously queer horror sequel in this fabulous, surprising, and eye-opening documentary.

THE SHIP OF MONSTERS
Mexico, 1960
Repertory Screening, 81 min
Director – Rogelio A. González

Two Venusian women and their robot servant are on a mission to find suitable candidates to repopulate their planet. Soon their ship is filled with bizarre specimens from across the universe, leading to an adventure like no other!

SYNCHRONIC
USA, 2019
US Premiere, 96 min
Directors – Justin Benson & Aaron Moorhead

In attendance – Directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead

Two paramedics find their world ripped apart when they start encountering deaths linked to the otherworldly effects of a new designer drug called Synchronic.

TRAMPA INFERNAL
Mexico, 1989
Repertory Screening, 77 min
Director – Pedro Galindo III

In Mexico’s most notorious unseen video-era masterblast, a crew of toxically masculine bear murderers runs afoul of a forest-dwelling war veteran wearing a mannequin mask and Freddy Krueger glove. Entertainment ensues!!

THE TRUE ADVENTURES OF WOLFBOY
USA, 2019
North American Premiere, 88 min
Director – Martin Krejčí

Suffering from hypertrichosis — which covers him with animal-like fur — Paul knows he’s not like other kids. But a seemingly random package from his estranged mother will send him on a journey of self-discovery alongside extraordinary characters.

THE VAST OF NIGHT
USA, 2019
Texas Premiere, 90 min
Director – Andrew Patterson

A rural 1950s radio DJ and a telephone operator uncover a strange signal that could change everything in this stunning science fiction debut feature.

VFW
USA, 2019
World Premiere, 92 min
Director – Joe Begos

In attendance – Director Joe Begos

In the near future, a new drug called Hype has turned America into a war zone. The addicted are more mutant than human, and they’ve set their sights on assaulting a VFW post in Joe Begos’ star-studded latest.

VHYES
USA, 2019
World Premiere, 71 min
Director – Jack Henry Robbins

In attendance – Director Jack Henry Robbins

This bizarre retro comedy, shot entirely on VHS and Beta, takes us back to when 12-year-old Ralph, over one formative week, mistakenly records home videos and his favorite late night shows over his parents’ wedding tape.

VIVARIUM
Ireland, Belgium, Denmark, 2019
US Premiere, 98 min
Director – Lorcan Finnegan

When young couple Gemma (Imogen Poots) and Tom (Jesse Eisenberg) drive out to a maze of temptingly affordable houses in the suburbs, they find themselves unable to leave.

ATTEND:

FAN Badges, 2ND HALF Badges, and MIDNIGHT Badges for Fantastic Fest 2019 are available for purchase here.

For the latest developments, visit the Fantastic Fest official site www.fantasticfest.com and follow us on Facebook & Twitter.

2019 Fantastic Fest: first wave of films announced

July 30, 2019

Fantastic Fest

Boyd Holbrook in “In the Shadow of the Moon”

The following is a press release from Fantastic Fest:

The 15th edition of Fantastic Fest blasts off with the widest selection of weird and wonderful films gathered from across the world to screen in Austin, TX, from September 19 – 26, 2019, featuring an opening night with the US Premiere of highly anticipated new Taika Waititi film JOJO RABBIT with the director in attendance plus the World Premieres of Netflix titles, including Jim Mickle’s brilliant new sci-fi thriller IN THE SHADOW OF THE MOON, Vincenzo Natali’s adaptation of eponymous novella by Stephen King & Joe Hill IN THE TALL GRASS, Brad Anderson’s tense and unrelenting FRACTURED, Takashi Miike in person, and much, much more.

Reaching the milestone of fifteen years, Fantastic Fest continues to champion groundbreaking international genre films, bringing a diverse array of global filmmakers to Austin in a highly-controlled explosion of curated cinematic mayhem.

Opening the festival will be the US Premiere of the brilliant Taika Waititi’s hilarious and tender anti-hate satire JOJO RABBIT, in which a lonely young boy growing up in World War II Germany finds his world-view turned upside down when he discovers his single mother is hiding a young Jewish girl in their attic. Aided only by his idiotic imaginary friend, Adolf Hitler, Jojo must confront his blind nationalism. With Taika himself playing the phantom Fuhrer and a terrific cast, including Roman Griffin Davis, Thomasin McKenzie, Rebel Wilson, Stephen Merchant, Alfie Allen, with Sam Rockwell and Scarlett Johansson.

Also coming in is the new World Premiere from returning alum Jim Mickle. IN THE SHADOW OF THE MOON is a mind-bending sci-fi film starring Boyd Holbrook as a Philadelphia police officer who begins tracking a serial killer who mysteriously resurfaces every nine years, defying all scientific explanation. Joining Mickle will be Vincenzo Natali, who returns to the big screen with an adaptation of Stephen King & Joe Hill’s bone-chilling novella IN THE TALL GRASS, starring the ever-amazing Patrick Wilson as one of the unfortunates discovering what horrors hide in the tall grass, as well as Brad Anderson’s latest FRACTURED, starring Sam Worthington as a desperate father trying to find his family at any cost after they mysteriously disappear in a hospital.

“Our fifteenth year is a one-of-a-kind of celebration of the cinema we champion: brilliant and out-there,” the festival’s Creative Director Evrim Ersoy said. “It’s a 15-year-long love letter to the wide spectrum of daring, crazy films, filmmakers, and audience members whom we host in Austin each September. It’s an ode to the independent spirit of cinema that allows us to showcase the diversity of the world at large and helps us to understand it better!”

Flying into Austin to celebrate the US Premiere of his brilliant, hypnotic, and violently hilarious new film FIRST LOVE will be none other than Japan’s unmatched movie maestro Takashi Miike, giving the audience the opportunity to join the director in person to discover the film that had Cannes audiences screaming in their seats with pure joy.

Fantastic Fest will continue to bring the best of Cannes to Austin with the US Premiere of alumni Quentin Dupieux’s newest droll and gory wonder DEERSKIN, starring the ever-amazing Jean Dujardin; the US Premiere of the Romanian noir masterpiece (with a funny streak) THE WHISTLERS from director Corneliu Porumboiu; as well as one of the best discoveries of the year: the magical and highly charged S&M romantic wonder DOGS DON’T WEAR PANTS.

Traveling across the globe to seek out the best of the best, Fantastic Fest will host the most unusual, challenging, interesting, and wonderful films of the year, including the World Premiere of Peter Van Goethem’s NIGHT HAS COME from Belgium which tells of a dystopian future using only archival footage. From Germany comes the North American premiere of Fatih Akin’s searing and brutal examination of a psychopath in ‘70s Hamburg in THE GOLDEN GLOVE. And Argentina delivers the North American Premiere of powerhouse high concept thriller 4X4, pitting a petty thief against an inescapable SUV.

A focus on global female filmmakers provides a quartet of mind-bending features. From Greece, Rinio Dragasaki brings the World Premiere of the shockingly whimsical and brilliantly odd COSMIC CANDY. Austria’s Kelly Copper and Pavol Liska tell the story of a very different zombie invasion in the North American Premiere of DER KINDER DER TOTEN. Italian filmmaker Sara Summa explores the final day of a family in devastating detail in THE LAST TO SEE THEM. And finally, from the USA, Jennifer Reeder brings her singular vision of a high school torn apart by a missing cheerleader in the thrilling KNIVES AND SKIN.

Documentaries make a splash at Fantastic Fest with the World Premiere of WRINKLES THE CLOWN, where your greatest real-life nightmares come true… in big, floppy shoes. The World Premiere of Michael Paszt’s NAIL IN THE COFFIN: EL VAMPIRE CANADIENSE takes an in-depth look at the man behind the El Vampiro Lucha Libre grease paint, plus Alexandre Philippe’s masterful autopsy of the classic movie ALIEN in MEMORY: THE ORIGINS OF ALIEN, and the often-hilarious examination of the history of SHOWGIRLS in YOU DON’T NOMI.

Twisted genre comes together in a trifecta of Fantastic Fest films to make you scream. The North America/World premiere of THE CLEANSING HOUR sees a fake exorcist confronted by some very real demons in a highly charged adaptation from the short of the same name; an Argentinian family literally goes to war over their inheritance in the North America Premiere of the black-as-night comedy ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS; and a man finds himself trapped in the deep end while facing a giant alligator in the perfect midnight movie THE POOL.

Fantastic Fest alumni are represented in a blitz of titles this year. Ant Timpson returns with his directorial debut COME TO DADDY, starring Fest friend Elijah Wood as a man with some severe father issues. Daniel Scheinert explores the meltdown of two men over the death of their friend in the hilarious and strangely moving DEATH OF DICK LONG. And Jeremy Gardner along with co-director Christian Stella ask just what is behind the door in the uneasy and masterful blend of genres SOMETHING ELSE.

Finally, AGFA celebrates fifteen years of Fantastic Fest with a beautifully expanded program! Each day of the festival will be treated to a NEW AGFA screening, including the World Premiere of restorations of such outrageous classics as BLOODY BIRTHDAY. THE MCPHERSON TAPE, REFLECTIONS OF EVIL, as well as the 4K Restoration of the “gore cut” of the once-seen-never-forgotten TAMMY AND THE T-REX and a new transfer of Tina Krause’s brilliant and unseen horror nightmare LIMBO.

FIRST WAVE FILM LINEUP

4X4
Argentina, Spain, 2019
North American Premiere, 93 min
Director – Mariano Cohn

A 4×4 car will be the battleground between a brash thief trapped inside and the mysterious man who will do anything to keep him imprisoned.

BLOODY BIRTHDAY: Presented by AGFA + Arrow Films
USA, 1981
World Premiere of Restoration, 85 min
Director – Ed Hunt

The classic Killer Kids slasher, newly restored by Arrow Films and presented by AGFA.

THE CLEANSING HOUR
USA, 2019
World Premiere, 95 min
Director – Damien LeVeck

Reverend Max and his best friend Drew have a hit web show where they make a pretty good living faking exorcisms for hundreds of thousands of fans until the evening a real demon takes over and terrorizes their crew.

COME TO DADDY
New Zealand, Canada, Ireland, 2019
Texas Premiere, 94 min
Director – Ant Timpson

When 30-year-old Norval receives a letter from his estranged dad begging him to visit, he is set on a weird path of discovery, unusual encounters… and a lot of violence.

COSMIC CANDY
Greece, 2019
World Premiere, 95 min
Director – Rinio Dragasaki

Anna, an eccentric supermarket cashier with an obsessive taste for a trippy treat called Cosmic Candy, undergoes a quirky transformation when forced to care for a ten-year-old neighbor girl.

THE DEATH OF DICK LONG
USA, 2019
Austin Premiere, 107 min
Director – Daniel Scheinert

Dick is dead but no one knows how, and Zeke and Earl are desperate enough to go to any lengths to stop anyone from finding out the reason… but a small town in Alabama is not the kind of place where secrets can stay buried for long. Soon all hell breaks loose, engulfing the two men in a reckoning they had never even considered.

DEERSKIN
France, 2019
North American Premiere, 77 min
Director – Quentin Dupieux

When Georges buys himself a deerskin jacket, he will find his life on a collision course with madness, crime, and the desire to be the only man wearing an overgarment.

DIE KINDER DER TOTEN
Austria, 2019
North American Premiere, 90 min
Directors – Kelly Copper & Pavol Liška

In this experimental adaptation of an epic Elfriede Jelinek novel, a group of Austrian tourists is killed in a traffic accident before reanimating as zombies and terrorizing a local pub.

DOGS DON’T WEAR PANTS
Finland, Latvia, 2019
US Premiere, 105 min
Director – Jukka-Pekka Valkeapää

A heartbroken heart surgeon is introduced to the dark and extreme when his daughter gets her tongue pierced, sending him down a path of pain, dreams, life, love, death, and awakenings.

FIRST LOVE
Japan, 2019
US Premiere, 108 min
Director – Takashi Miike

When aspiring boxer Leo discovers that he may not have long to live, he goes all out to help drug-addicted call girl Monica, facing down gangsters, assassins, corrupt cops, and much more over the course of one long night.

FRACTURED
USA, 2019
World Premiere, 100 min
Director – Brad Anderson

An unfortunate accident at a truck stop means Ray has to rush his daughter to the nearest hospital for a broken arm, but when his family disappears, he soon finds himself in a frantic fight to discover what happened.

THE GOLDEN GLOVE
Germany, 2019
North American Premiere, 110 min
Director – Fatih Akin

Based on true events that transpired in the grimy slums of 1970s Hamburg, loner-turned-murderer Fritz Honka stalks his local drinking spot, The Golden Glove, in search of his next victim.

HAPPY FACE
Canada, 2018
Texas Premiere, 97 min
Director – Alexandre Franchi

In Attendance – Director Alexandre Franchi and Actor E. R. Ruiz

An attractive teenager infiltrates a support group for those with facial differences in hopes of learning how to connect with his cancer-stricken mother in Alexandre Franchi’s (THE WILD HUNT) deeply personal, often hilarious, and powerfully inclusive sophomore feature.

IN THE SHADOW OF THE MOON
USA, Canada, 2019
World Premiere, 115 min
Director – Jim Mickle

In 1988, a Philadelphia police officer doggedly hunts a serial killer whose crimes seemingly follow no pattern, but he hasn’t considered how far the repercussions of his hunt may go.

IN THE TALL GRASS
Canada, 2019
World Premiere, 90 min
Director – Vincenzo Natali

Adapted from the eponymous novella by Stephen King and Joe Hill, IN THE TALL GRASS follows siblings Cal and Becky who find themselves trapped within a vast field of tall grass when they venture in to answer the cries of a young boy.

JOJO RABBIT
USA, 2019
US Premiere, 108 min
Director – Taika Waititi

In Attendance – Director Taika Waititi

Writer director Taika Waititi (THOR: RAGNAROK, HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE), brings his signature style of humor and pathos to his latest film, JOJO RABBIT, a World War II satire that follows a lonely German boy (Roman Griffin Davis as JoJo) whose world view is turned upside down when he discovers his single mother (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a young Jewish girl (Thomasin McKenzie) in their attic. Aided only by his idiotic imaginary friend, Adolf Hitler (Taika Waititi), Jojo must confront his blind nationalism.

KNIVES AND SKIN
USA, 2019
Texas Premiere, 109 min
Director – Jennifer Reeder

The disappearance of popular teenager Carolyn Harper has a profound ripple effect across her small Midwest town in Jennifer Reeder’s hypnotic musical mystery.

KOKO-DI KOKO-DA
Sweden, Denmark, 2019
Texas Premiere, 86 min
Director – Johannes Nyholm

When a disconnected couple take a camping trip in an attempt to mend their marriage after tragedy, they find themselves tormented by a peculiar band of misfits.

THE LAST TO SEE THEM
Germany, 2019
Texas Premiere, 79 min
Director – Sara Summa

One summer evening in rural Italy, the Durati family is murdered during a home robbery. THE LAST TO SEE THEM chronicles the previous — and final — day of their lives.

LIMBO: Presented by AGFA + Bleeding Skull!
USA, 1999
Texas Premiere of Restoration, 55 min
Director – Tina Krause

Tina Krause’s unseen and unreal shot-on-video horror movie, newly preserved by AGFA + Bleeding Skull!

THE MCPHERSON TAPE: Presented by AGFA + Bleeding Skull!
USA, 1989
World Premiere of Restoration, 63 min
Director – Dean Alito

The world’s first found footage horror movie, newly preserved by AGFA + Bleeding Skull!

MEMORY: THE ORIGINS OF ALIEN
USA, 2019
Texas Premiere, 93 min
Director – Alexandre O. Philippe

Following up his deconstruction of PSYCHO’s shower scene in 78/52, documentarian Alexandre O. Philippe is back with his analysis of ALIEN, its origins, and the impact of Ridley Scott’s classic sci-fi shocker.

NAIL IN THE COFFIN: EL VAMPIRO CANADIENSE
Canada, 2019
World Premiere, 88 min
Director – Michael Paszt

In Attendance – Director Michael Paszt

An intimate and heartfelt look at professional wrestler Vampiro’s past, and his new life navigating the management of a lucha libre federation in Mexico, while raising his teenage daughter in Canada.

NIGHT HAS COME
Belgium, 2019
World Premiere, 56 min
Director – Peter Van Goethem

In Attendance – Director Peter Van Goethem

In a dystopian society, the population is threatened by a virus eating its way through the brain, erasing memories. After developing a treatment to store and classify memories, the State requires citizens to comply.

THE PEANUT BUTTER SOLUTION: Presented by AGFA + Severin Films
Canada, 1985
World Premiere 2K Restoration, 93 min
Director – Michael Rubbo

The Canadian children’s oddity takes youthful fantasy to strange new places in a brand new 2K restoration.

THE POOL
Thailand, 2018
Texas Premiere, 90 min
Director – Ping Lumprapleng

When a dog trainer and his pet finish their commercial gig, it’s time to head home and enjoy a lazy afternoon floating in the pool… until he wakes up to the pool being drained and no way out.

REFLECTIONS OF EVIL: Presented by AGFA
USA, 2002
World Premiere of Restoration, 137 min
Director – Damon Packard

The new ground zero for gonzo horror surrealism in the 21st century, newly preserved by AGFA.

ROCK, PAPER, AND SCISSORS
Argentina, 2019
North American Premiere, 83 min
Directors – Macarena García Lenzi & Martín Blousson

When Magdalena returns to Argentina to confront her half-siblings about her share of the inheritance, the stage is set for a family reunion both bloody and brilliant.

SHE MOB: Presented by AGFA + Something Weird
USA, 1968
World Premiere 2K Restoration, 82 min
Director – Harry Wuest

A gang of lesbian prison escapees kidnaps a gigolo in a 2K preservation of this sexploitation classic.

SOMETHING ELSE
USA, 2019
Texas Premiere, 83 min
Directors – Jeremy Gardner & Christian Stella

In Attendance – Directors Jeremy Gardner & Christian Stella

When Hank’s longtime girlfriend Abby leaves him, he spirals into a cycle of drinking and depression. But it’s the monster that shows up every night that’s really driving him crazy.

SON OF THE WHITE MARE
Hungary, 1981
US Premiere 4K Restoration, 81 min
Director – Marcell Jankovics

A psychedelic animated cult classic is back on the big screen in this brand-new restoration. Three brothers join forces to restore order in their kingdom, encountering bizarre and mind-bending challenges along the way.

SWALLOW
USA, 2019
Texas Premiere, 94 min
Director – Carlo Mirabella-Davis

Beautiful newlywed Hunter has a perfect home, perfect life, and perfect husband. When the pressure to maintain that perfection builds after the announcement of her pregnancy, she develops an unusual craving: swallowing random household objects.

TAMMY AND THE T-REX: Presented by AGFA + Vinegar Syndrome
USA, 1994
World Premiere of Restoration, 91 min
Director – Stewart Raffill

Fully restored and ready to tear your head off. Literally.

THE WAVE
United States, 2019
World Premiere, 87 min
Director – Gille Klabin

Frank (Justin Long), a bored corporate lawyer, decides to shake it up with a wild night out. In the process, he takes a mysterious drug that launches him into a mind-bending time travel adventure.

THE WHISTLERS
Romania, 2019
US Premiere, 97 min
Director – Corneliu Porumboiu

Corneliu Porumboiu mixes Romanian New Wave with Hollywood noir beats as he follows a corrupt detective who helps a wealthy criminal escape from jail by learning the ancient, secret language of silbo whistling.

WHY DON’T YOU JUST DIE!
Russia, 2019
Texas Premiere, 100 min
Director – Kirill Sokolov

In Attendance – Director Kirill Sokolov

After agreeing to kill his girlfriend’s father, Matvei gets in way over his head when he arrives at her parents’ apartment to learn her dad’s a cop.

WRINKLES THE CLOWN
USA, 2019
World Premiere, 78 min
Director – Michael Beach Nichols

In Attendance – Director Michael Beach Nichols

Pennywise isn’t real. But Wrinkles is. This documentary explores the story of the infamous freaky clown from Naples, Florida, who makes a living being hired by parents to terrorize their naughty children.

YOU DON’T NOMI
USA, 2019
Texas Premiere, 94 min
Director – Jeffrey McHale

In Attendance – Director Jeffrey McHale

Using cleverly edited clips of Paul Verhoeven’s genre-spanning filmography, Jeffrey McHale’s video essay explores the decidedly un-titillating and delightfully inexplicable SHOWGIRLS and its continued, ever-expanding legacy.

ATTEND:
FAN Badges, 2ND HALF Badges, and MIDNIGHT Badges for Fantastic Fest 2019 are available for purchase here.
For the latest developments, visit the Fantastic Fest official site www.fantasticfest.com and follow us on Facebook & Twitter.
Fantastic Fest is the largest genre film festival in the U.S., specializing in horror, fantasy, sci-fi, action and just plain fantastic movies from all around the world. In years past, the festival has been home to the world premieres of BONE TOMAHAWK, JOHN WICK, FRANKENWEENIE, MACHETE KILLS, RED DAWN, THERE WILL BE BLOOD, APOCALYPTO, ZOMBIELAND, RED, SPLIT, HALLOWEEN, BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE, MID 90s, and SUSPIRIA while the guest roster has included such talent as Tim Burton, Nicolas Winding-Refn, Lilly and Lana Wachowski, Robert Rodriguez, Rian Johnson, Bill Murray, Keanu Reeves, Martin Landau, Winona Ryder, Edward Norton, Ryan Reynolds, Patrick Wilson, Matthew Fox, Karl Urban, Josh Hartnett, The RZA, Dolph Lundgren, Paul Rudd, Bill Pullman, Paul Thomas Anderson, Kevin Smith, Jon Favreau, George Romero, Darren Aronofsky, Mike Judge, Karyn Kusama, M. Night Shyamalan, James McAvoy, Vince Vaughn, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jonah Hill, Barbara Crampton and Jessica Harper. Fantastic Fest also features world, national, and regional premieres of new, up-and-coming genre films. Fantastic Fest has seen the acquisition of many titles, including BULLHEAD, KILL LIST, MONSTERS, KLOWN, THE FP, PENUMBRA, HERE COMES THE DEVIL, NO REST FOR THE WICKED, VANISHING WAVES, COMBAT GIRLS, I DECLARE WAR, THE PERFECTION, and TIGERS ARE NOT AFRAID. Fantastic Fest is held each year at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Austin, Texas. Alamo Drafthouse has been named the best theater in the country by Entertainment Weekly, Wired, and TIME. Variety included Fantastic Fest in a list of “10 Film Festivals We Love” and was also named one of the “25 coolest film festivals” by Moviemaker Magazine.

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema was founded in 1997 as a single-screen mom and pop repertory theater in Austin, TX. Twenty-two years later, with 40 locations and counting, Alamo Drafthouse has been called “the best theater in America” by Entertainment Weekly and “the best theater in the world” by Wired. Alamo Drafthouse has built a reputation as a movie lover’s oasis not only by combining food and drink service with the movie-going experience, but also introducing unique programming and high-profile, star-studded special events. Alamo Drafthouse created Fantastic Fest, a world-renowned film festival dubbed “The Geek Telluride” by Variety. Fantastic Fest showcases eight days of genre cinema from independents, international filmmakers, and major Hollywood studios. Alamo Drafthouse’s collectible art gallery, Mondo, offers breathtaking, original products featuring designs from world-famous artists based on licenses for popular TV and movie properties, including Star Wars, Star Trek, and Universal Monsters. Alamo Drafthouse continues to expand its brand in new and exciting ways, including Birth.Movies.Death., an entertainment content platform for movie lovers, and the American Genre Film Archive, a non-profit film archive dedicated to preserving, restoring, and sharing film.

2019 SXSW Film Festival: winners announced

March 18, 2019

The South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference & Festivals (held every year in Austin, Texas) is arguably the best-known event in the U.S. that combines music, film, interactive and convergence programming. The 33rd annual SXSW event took place from March 8 to March 17, 2019.

The 2019 SXSW Film Festival screened 133 features, consisting of 102 World Premieres, 9 North American Premieres, and 3 US Premieres, with 62 first-time filmmakers. There were 101 shorts and music videos that screened as part of 12 curated shorts programs, plus two episodic pilot programs. The 256 films were selected from 8,496 overall submissions, including approximately 2,361 features and 4,734 shorts.

Here are the winners of the 2019 SXSW Film Festival:

FEATURE FILM GRAND JURY AWARDS

NARRATIVE FEATURE COMPETITION

Emilie Piponnier in “Alice” (Photo by Loll Willems)

Winner:​ ​”Alice”

Director: Josephine Mackerras

Natalia Dyer in “Yes, God, Yes”

Special Jury Recognition for Best Ensemble: ​”Yes, God, Yes”

Director: Karen Maine

“Saint Frances”

Special Jury Recognition for Breakthrough Voice: ​”Saint Frances”

Director: Alex Thompson

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE COMPETITION

Waad al-Kateab in “For Sama” (Photo by Waad al-Kateab)

Winner:​ “For Sama”

Directors: ​Waad al-Kateab, Edward Watts

Joe Smarro and Ernie Stevens in “Ernie & Joe” (Photo by Matthew Busch)

Special Jury Recognition for Empathy in Craft : “​Ernie & Joe”

Director: ​Jenifer McShane

Diana Kennedy in “Nothing Fancy: Diana Kennedy” (Photo by Elizabeth Carroll)

Special Jury Recognition for Excellence in Storytelling: “​Nothing Fancy: Diana Kennedy”

Director: ​Elizabeth Carroll

SHORT FILM GRAND JURY AWARDS

Presented by Vimeo, an all-in-one video platform that provides creative professionals and businesses with tools technology they need to succeed with video– from hosting, to collaborating, to distributing and monetizing.

NARRATIVE SHORTS

Milagros Gilbert and Alexandra Jackson in “Liberty” (Photo by Alex Harris)

Winner: ​”Liberty”

Director: ​Faren Humes

Kauan Alvarenga in “The Orphan” (Photo by Pepe Mendes)

Special Jury Recognition: ​”The Orphan”

Director: Carolina Markowicz

DOCUMENTARY SHORTS

“Exit 12”

Winner:​ “Exit 12”

Director: Mohammad Gorjestani

“All Inclusive” (Photo by Nikola Ilić)

Special Jury Recognition: ​”All Inclusive”

Director: Corina Schwingruber Ilić

MIDNIGHT SHORTS

Winner: ​”Other Side of the Box”

Director: Caleb J. Phillips

ANIMATED SHORTS

“Guaxuma” (Photo by Les Valseurs)

Winner: ​”Guaxuma”

Director: Nara Normande

“Slug Life” (Image by Sophie Koko Gate)

Special Jury Recognition: ​”Slug Life”

Director: ​Sophie Koko Gate

MUSIC VIDEOS

Winner: ​”Pa’Lante” – Hurray for the Riff Raff

Director: Kristian Mercado

Special Jury Recognition: ​”Quarrel” – Moses Sumney

Directors: Allie Avital, Moses Sumney

TEXAS SHORTS

“I Am Mackenzie” (Photo by Sarah Hennigan)

Winner: ​”I Am Mackenzie”

Director: Artemis Anastasiadou

“A Line Birds Cannot See” (Image by Steve West)

Special Jury Recognition: ​”A Line Birds Cannot See”

Director: Amy Bench

TEXAS HIGH SCHOOL SHORTS

“Fifteen”

Winner:​ “Fifteen”

Director: Louisa Baldwin

“Double Cross” (Image by Amiri Scrutchin)

Special Jury Recognition:​ “Double Cross”

Director: Amiri Scrutchin

EPISODIC PILOT COMPETITION

“Maggie”

Winner: ​”Maggie”

Director: Sasha Gordon

Omar Maskati in “Revenge Tour.” (Photo by Patrick Ouziel)

Special Jury ​Recognition:​ ​”Revenge Tour”

Directors: Andrew Carter, Kahlil Maskati

SXSW FILM DESIGN AWARDS 

EXCELLENCE IN POSTER DESIGN

“Daniel Isn’t Real”

Winner: ​”Daniel Isn’t Real”

Designer: Jock

Design Company: 4twenty limited

EXCELLENCE IN TITLE DESIGN

“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” (Image courtesy of Sony Pictures)

“Winner: ​Spider Man: Into the Spider-Verse”

Directors: Brian Mah, James Ramirez 

“The Darkest Minds” (Image courtesy of 20th Century Fox)

Special Jury Recognition:​ ​”The Darkest Minds”

Director: Michelle Dougherty

SXSW SPECIAL AWARDS

SXSW Karen Schmeer Film Editing Fellowship

The Karen Schmeer Film Editing Fellowship is a year-long experience that encourages and champions the talent of an emerging documentary editor. Awarded annually, the fellowship was created to honor the memory of gifted editor Karen Schmeer.

Winner:​ “Victoria Chalk”

Vimeo Staff Picks Award

“Milton”

Winner:​ “Milton”

Director: Tim Wilkime

ZEISS Cinematography Award

MG Calibre in “Amazonia Groove” (Photo by Jacques Cheuiche)

Winner: ​”Amazonia Groove”

Director: Bruno Murtinho

SXSW Louis Black “Lone Star” Award

To honor SXSW co-founder/director Louis Black, a jury prize was created in 2011 called the Louis Black “Lone Star” Award, presented to a ​feature film world premiering at SXSW that was shot primarily in Texas or directed by a current resident of Texas​. (Opt-in Award)

“The River and the Wall'” (Photo by The River and the Wall)

Winner: ​”The River and the Wall”

Director: Ben Masters

SXSW Adam Yauch Hörnblowér Award

In honor of a filmmaker whose work strives to be wholly its own, without regard for norms or desire to conform. The Adam Yauch Hörnblowér Award is presented to a filmmaker from our Visions screening category.

Grace Glowicki in “Tito” (Photo by Christopher Lew)

Winner:​ ​”Tito”

Director: Grace Glowicki

CherryPicks Female First Feature Award

“CherryPicks created the first feature by a female team award to support its mission to shine a spotlight on female voices. We hope to encourage women and audiences alike to create and support the stories women tell.”

Emilie Piponnier in “Alice” (Photo by Loll Willems)

Winner: ​”Alice”

Director: Josephine Mackerras

“Days of the Whale” (Photo by David Correa Franco)

CherryPicks Special Recognition: “Days of the Whale”

Director: Catalina Arroyave Restrepo

AUDIENCE AWARD WINNERS

NARRATIVE FEATURE COMPETITION

“Saint Frances”

Audience Award Winner: ​”Saint Frances”

Director:​ ​Alex Thompson

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE COMPETITION

Waad al-Kateab in “For Sama” (Photo by Waad al-Kateab)

Audience Award Winner: ​”For Sama”

Directors: Waad al-Kateab, Edward Watts

NARRATIVE SPOTLIGHT

Shia LaBeouf, Dakota Johnson, and Zack Gottsagen in “The Peanut Butter Falcon” (Photo by Nigel Bluck)

Audience Award Winner: ​”The Peanut Butter Falcon”

Directors: Tyler Nilson, Michael Schwartz

DOCUMENTARY SPOTLIGHT

Beto O’Rourke in “Running With Beto” (Photo by Charlie Gross)

Audience Award Winner: ​”Running With Beto”

Director: David Modigliani

VISIONS

Carlie Guevara in “The Garden Left Behind” (Photo by Koshi Kiyokawa)

Audience Award Winner: ​”The Garden Left Behind”

Director: Flavio Alves

MIDNIGHTERS

“Boyz in the Wood” (Photo by Patrick Meller)

Audience Award Winner: “​Boyz in the Wood”

Direct​or: Ninian Doff

EPISODIC PREMIERES

Ramy Youssef in “Ramy” (Photo courtesy of Hulu)

Audience Award Winner​: ​”Ramy”

Showrunner: Bridget Bedard

GLOBAL

“Cachada: The Opportunity”

Audience Award Winner: ​”Cachada: The Opportunity”

Director: Marlén Viñayo

FESTIVAL FAVORITES

“Raise Hell: The Life & Times of Molly Ivins” (Photo by Robert Beddell)

Audience Award Winner:​ “Raise Hell: The Life & Times of Molly Ivins”

Director: Janice Engel

HEADLINERS

Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen in “Long Shot” (Photo by Hector Alvarez)

Audience Award Winner:​ “Long Shot”

Director: Jonathan Levine

24 BEATS PER SECOND

Patrice Pike in “Nothing Stays the Same: The Story of the Saxon Pub”( Photo courtesy of Nothing Stays the Same: The Story of the Saxon Pub)

Audience Award Winner:​ “Nothing Stays the Same: The Story of the Saxon Pub”

Director: Jeff Sandmann

EXCELLENCE IN TITLE DESIGN

“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” (Image courtesy of Sony Pictures)

Audience Award Winner:​ “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”

Directors: Brian Mah, James Ramirez

2019 South by Southwest: What to expect at this year’s SXSW event

March 6, 2019

by Carla Hay

SXSW 2019

The “Ready Player One” activation at SXSW 2018 (Photo by Alexa Gonzalez Wagner)

The South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference & Festivals (held every year in Austin, Texas) is arguably the best-known event in the U.S. that combines music, film, interactive and convergence programming. The 33rd annual SXSW event takes place from March 8 to March 17, 2019.

Here are some of the anticipated highlights of the festival:

Keynote and Featured Speakers

The lineup of SXSW keynote speakers includes:

  • Actress/filmmaker Olivia Wilde
  • Grammy- and Oscar-winning singer/songwriter T Bone Burnett
  • Quibi co-founders Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman
  • Beastie Boys co-founders Adam Horovitz and Michael Diamond
  • Shirley Manson​ (lead singer of Garbage) and ​Lauren Mayberry​ (lead singer of Chvrches) in a keynote conversation
  • Kevin Systrom​ (co-founder/CEO of Instagram) with ​Josh Constine (editor-in-chief of TechCrunch) in a keynote conversation
  • BuzzFeed co-founder/CEO Jonah Peretti
  • Marti Noxon (writer/producer, whose credits include HBO’s “Sharp Objects” and Bravo’s “Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce”)
  • William Morris Endeavor chief marketing officer Bozama Saint John and supermodel Ashley Graham in a keynote conversation
  • Emmy- and Grammy-winning comedian Kathy Griffin
  • Tech entrepreneur Joseph Lubin

Featured speakers include:

  • Oscar-winning actress Jodie Foster
  • Emmy-winning actress Elisabeth Moss in conversation with Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Brandi Carlile
  • Movie/TV producer Jason Blum
  • Grammy-winning musician Wyclef Jean
  • U.S. Congresswoman Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez
  • TV journalist Katie Couric,
  • Former Starbucks chairman/CEO Howard Schultz
  • BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) founder Bjarke Ingels​,
  • Singer/songwriter David Byrne
  • #MeToo activist Susan Fowler,
  • Singer/songwriter Amanda Palmer
  • Actress/filmmaker Zoe Saldana
  • Sci-fi writer/producer Neil Gaiman
  • ABBA co-founder Björn Ulvaeus
  • Emmy-winning actor Henry Winkler
  • Georgia politician Stacey Abrams
  • Singer/producer Lance Bass
  • Author/journalist Malcolm Gladwell
  • Upworthy co-founder Eli Pariser​
  • BenevolentAI CEO Joanna Shields
  • Future Today Institute founder Amy Webb
  • Author/journalist Michael Pollan

Music Performances

Khalid performs onstage at Sony Event during SXSW at Trinity Warehouse on March 15, 2018 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Hutton Supancic/Getty Images for SXSW)

There are about 2,000 artists who perform at SXSW every year. In 2019, some of the biggest names include Khalid, Billie Eilish, Bully, Dan the Automator, Dreezy, Lizzo, Laura Jane Grace and Lukas Nelson.

Movie and TV Premieres

Winston Duke, Lupita Nyong’o and Evan Alex in “Us” (Photo by (Claudette Barius/Universal Pictures)

SXSW has a wide variety of feature-length and short films. Here are some of the more high-profile feature films that will have their world premieres at the festival:  the horror movie “Us,” from writer/director Jordan Peele and starring Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke; the stoner comedy “The Beach Bum,” starring Matthew McConaughey, Zac Efron and Snoop Dogg; the teen comedy “Booksmart,” the feature directorial debut of actress Olivia Wilde; the drama “The Peanut Butter Falcon,” starring Shia LeBeouf and Dakota Johnson; and the comedy “Long Shot,” starring Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen. Documentary films that will have their world premieres at SXSW 2019 include “Running With Beto,” about Texas politician’s Beto O’Rourke’s U.S. Senate campaign in the 2018 mid-term elections; the concert film “Kathy Griffin: A Hell of a Story”; and “I Love You, Now Die: The Commonwealth vs. Michelle Carter,” which reports on the controversial case of a teenager who pressured her boyfriend to commit suicide.

TV shows that will have episodes premiering at SXSW 2019 include Taika Waititi’s “What We Do in the Shadows,” a FX vampire comedy series based on his 2014 film of the same name; the final three episodes of Comedy Central’s “Broad City”; the premiere episode of Hulu’s “Shrill,” starring “Saturday Night Live” cast member Aidy Bryant; and the premiere episode of OWN’s “David Meets Man,” the first TV project from Oscar-winning “Moonlight” screenwriter Tarell Alvin McCraney.

Comedy Performances and Q&As

Kathy Griffin in “Kathy Griffin: A Hell of a Story” (Photo by Tanne Willow)

Participants in the 2019 SXSW Comedy Festival include Kathy Griffin; Trevor Noah and other stars of “The Daily Show”; Doug Benson; Todd Glass;  Busy Phillips; Ricky Velez; Upright Citizen’s Brigade​ co-founder Matt Besser; and “Broad City stars” Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer.

Showcases include “The New Negroes with Baron Vaughn and Open Mike Eagle,” ​a new stand-up and musical series which premieres on Comedy Central this spring. There will also be the musical comedy showcase Riffs and Riff Raff with Nick Thune & Friends. Paul F. Tompkins ​will host the variety show “​Dynasty Typewriter Presents That’s Enchantertainment!​,” and there will be another Roast Battle this year.

2019 SXSW Conference and Festivals: SXSW Film Festival main programming announced

January 16, 2019

SXSW 2019 logo

The following is a press release from SXSW Conference and Festivals:

South by Southwest® (SXSW®) Conference and Festivals announced the features and episodic premieres lineup for the 26th edition of the Film Festival, running March 8-17, 2019 in Austin, Texas. The acclaimed program draws thousands of fans, filmmakers, press, and industry leaders every year to immerse themselves in the most innovative, smart and entertaining new films of the year. Jordan Peele’s “Us” was previously announced as the Festival’s Opening Night film, while Olivia Wilde, Jessica Brillhart and Marti Noxon have been announced as this year’s Film Keynotes.

The 102 features and episodics in this release will be shown across the nine days of SXSW, with dozens of additional titles to be announced February 6. The complete SXSW Film Festival program typically includes between 320 and 340 total projects. The 2019 program was selected from 2,351 feature-length film submissions, with a total of 8,490 films submitted this year. “As we head into our 26th edition, we couldn’t be more excited to once again share a completely fresh SXSW 2019 slate with our uniquely smart and enthusiastic SXSW audience,” said Janet Pierson, Director of Film. “As always, we looked for a wide range of work, contemplating scale, style, tenor and tone. We hope that this year’s outstanding array of films from accomplished to emerging talent will entertain, surprise, and provoke.” Interactive, Film, and Music badges include expanded access to more of the SXSW Conference and Festivals experience. With one unified conference that spans 25 tracks of programming SXSW offers more opportunities for networking, learning, and discovery than ever before.

SXSW’s next registration deadline is January 18, 2019 at 11:59pm PT. Early registrants benefit from discounted rates. Platinum badges give primary access to all SXSW programming.

Feature films in the SXSW lineup screen in the following categories: Narrative Feature Competition; Documentary Feature Competition; Headliners; Narrative Spotlight; Documentary Spotlight; Visions; Midnighters; 24 Beats Per Second; Global; Festival Favorites; and Special Events. The Episodic program consists of Episodic Premieres and the Episodic Pilot Competition.

Films screening in Festival Favorites, Midnighters, Shorts, Virtual Cinema, Episodic Pilot Competition, Title Design Competition, Music Videos and late-breaking Features will be announced on February 6.

All categories, with the exception of Special Events, will be eligible for section-specific Audience Awards. A selection of feature highlights include: “The Beach Bum,” directed by Harmony Korine; “Booksmart,” directed by Olivia Wilde; “Breakthrough,” directed by Bill Haney; “The Garden Left 1 Behind,” directed by Flavio Alves; “The Gift: The Journey of Johnny Cash,” directed by Thom Zimny; “Good Boys,” directed by Gene Stupnitsky; “I Love You, Now Die: The Commonwealth Vs. Michelle Carter,” directed by Erin Lee Carr; “J.R. ‘Bob’ Dobbs and The Church of the SubGenius,” directed by Sandy K Boone”; “Pink Wall,” directed by Tom Cullen; “Sakawa,” directed by Ben Asamoah; Untitled Seth Rogen/Charlize Theron Comedy, directed by Jonathan Levine; and “Us,” directed by Jordan Peele.

Episodic premiere highlights: “David Makes Man,” directed by Michael Francis Williams; “NOS4A2,” directed by Kari Skogland; “Shrill,” directed by Jesse Peretz and Carrie Brownstein; “Ramy,” created by Ramy Youssef, Ari Katcher and Ryan Welch; and “What We Do In the Shadows,” directed by Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement.

The Narrative Feature Competition includes: “Alice,” directed by Josephine Mackerras; “Extra Ordinary,” directed by Mike Ahern and Enda Loughman; “Go Back to China,” directed by Emily Ting; “Mickey and the Bear,” directed by Annabelle Attanasio; “Ms. White Light,” directed by Paul Shoulberg; “Pig Hag,” directed by Sam Probst and Colby Holt; “Porno,” directed by Keola Racela; “Saint Frances,” directed by Alex Thompson; “South Mountain,” directed by Hilary Brougher; and “Yes, God, Yes,” directed by Karen Maine.

The Documentary Feature Competition includes: “Ernie & Joe,” directed by Jenifer McShane; “For Sama,” directed by Waad al-Khateab and Edward Watts; “Museum Town,” directed by Jennifer Trainer; “Nothing Fancy: Diana Kennedy,” directed by Elizabeth Carroll; “Stuffed,” directed by Erin Derham; Tread directed by Paul Solet; “Vision Portraits,” directed by Rodney Evans; “We Are The Radical Monarchs,” directed by Linda Goldstein Knowlton; “Well Groomed,” directed by Rebecca Stern; and “Why Can’t I Be Me? Around You,” directed by Harrod Blank and Sjoerd Dijk.

Eighteen Midnighters, Festival Favorites, Shorts, Episodic Pilot Competition, Virtual Cinema, Music Videos and Title Sequence Competition will be announced on Wednesday, February 6, 2019. SXSW is proud to be an official qualifying festival for the Academy Awards® Short Film competition. The Best Narrative Short, Best Documentary Short and Best Animated Short winners become eligible for the Academy Awards.

The 2019 SXSW Film Festival will include:

NARRATIVE FEATURE COMPETITION

Ten world premieres, ten unique ways to celebrate the art of storytelling. Selected from 1,346 narrative feature submissions in 2019.

Emilie Piponnier in “Alice” (Photo by Loll Willems)

Alice (France)
Director/Screenwriter: Josephine Mackerras
She did everything right until it all went wrong. Cast: Emilie Piponnier, Martin Swabey, Chloe Boreham (World Premiere)

Extra Ordinary (Belgium)
Directors/Screenwriters: Mike Ahern, Enda Loughman
Rose, a mostly sweet and mostly lonely small-town driving instructor, must use her supernatural talent to save the daughter of Martin (also mostly sweet and lonely), from a washed-up rockstar who is using her in a satanic pact that will reignite his fame. Cast: Maeve Higgins, Barry Ward, Will Forte, Claudia Doherty (World Premiere)

Go Back to China (China, U.S.)
Director/Screenwriter: Emily Ting
After spoiled rich girl Sasha Li (Anna Akana) blows through half of her trust fund, she is cut off by her father (Richard Ng) and forced to go back to China and work for the family toy business. Cast: Anna Akana, Richard Ng, Lynn Chen, Kelly Hu, Kendy Cheung, Aviva Wang (World Premiere)

Mickey and the Bear
Director/Screenwriter: Annabelle Attanasio
A headstrong Montana teenager navigates a loving but volatile relationship with her single, veteran father. In a desperate search for independence and her own identity, she risks family, heartbreak and her standing in the only place she can call home. Cast: Camila Morrone, James Badge Dale, Calvin Demba, Ben Rosenfield, Rebecca Henderson (World Premiere)

Ms. White Light
Director/Screenwriter: Paul Shoulberg
Lex Cordova’s business is dying. She has a unique ability to connect with her clients that are terminally ill. It’s just everyone else that she has a problem with. Valerie is a no bullshit woman who loves living her life. Her only way out is thru Lex. Cast: Roberta Colindrez, John Ortiz, Judith Light, Carson Meyer, Zachary Spicer (World Premiere)

Pig Hag
Directors: Sam Probst, Colby Holt, Screenwriter: Colby Holt
Jodie, a woman in her mid-thirties, struggles with the pressure to find a partner and have children. When she attends a Guns N’ Roses concert, she thinks she may have met a potential match — until he immediately ghosts on her. Cast: Anna T Schlegel, Tony Jaksha, Pete Zias, Michael Henry, Nate Stoner, Maxwell Esposito, Amanda DeSimone, Alex Myerchin, Andrew Kudla (World Premiere)

Porno
Director: Keola Racela, Screenwriters: Matt Black, Laurence Vannicelli
When a group of naive teens working at a movie theater in a small Christian town discover a mysterious film hidden in its basement, they unleash an alluring succubus who gives them a sex education…written in blood. Cast: Evan Daves, Larry Saperstein, Jillian Mueller, Glenn Stott, Robert Tann, Bill Phillips, Katelyn Pearce, Peter Reznikoff (World Premiere)

Saint Frances
Director: Alex Thompson, Screenwriter: Kelly O’Sullivan
At the start of the summer, Bridget has an abortion just as she lands a much-needed job in affluent Evanston, Illinois — nannying a six-year old. Cast: Ramona Edith-Williams, Kelly O’Sullivan, Lily Mojekwu, Charin Alvarez, Jim True-Frost, Max Lipchitz, Mary Beth Fisher, Francis Guinan, Bradley Grant Smith (World Premiere)

South Mountain
Director/Screenwriter: Hilary Brougher
When her teenagers head off to camp and her husband abruptly leaves her to begin a new family, Lila is left to her own curious and chaotic devices for a summer in her rural home in the Catskill mountains. Cast: Talia Balsam, Scott Cohen, Andrus Nichols, Michael Oberholtzer, Naian Gonzalez, Midori Francis, Macaulee Rusnak Cassaday, Isis Masoud, Violet Rea, Guthrie Mass (World Premiere)

Yes, God, Yes
Director/Screenwriter: Karen Maine
After an innocent AOL chat turns racy, a Catholic teenager in the early 00s discovers masturbating and struggles to suppress her urges in the face of eternal damnation. Cast: Natalia Dyer, Timothy Simons, Wolfgang Novogratz, Francesca Reale, Susan Blackwell, Parker Wierling, Alisha Boe, Donna Lynne Champlin (World Premiere)

Narrative Feature Competition Jury: Barbara Chai, Senior Editor for the Wall Street Journal; Ira Madison III, Writer and Host of the podcast Keep It!; Jada Yuan, Inaugural 52 Places Traveler for the New York Times.

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE COMPETITION

Ten world premieres: 10 real world stories that demonstrate innovation, energy and bold voices. Selected from 1,005 feature documentary submissions in 2018.

Joe Smarro and Ernie Stevens in “Ernie & Joe” (Photo by Matthew Busch)

Ernie & Joe
Director: Jenifer McShane
Ernie & Joe follows two officers with the San Antonio Police Department mental health unit who are diverting people away from jail and into mental health treatment — one 911 call at a time. (World Premiere)

For Sama (United Kingdom)
Directors: Waad al-Khateab, Edward Watts
For Sama tells the epic story of a young woman’s journey through love, war and motherhood across five years of the uprising in Aleppo, Syria. (World Premiere)

Museum Town
Director: Jennifer Trainer, Screenwriters: Noah Bashevkin, Pola Rapaport, Jennifer Trainer
From the ashes of a deserted factory, an ambitious center for contemporary art has emerged. With MASS MoCA, a familiar story of deindustrialization in a rural American town finds an unconventional route to recovery. (World Premiere)

Nothing Fancy: Diana Kennedy (United Kingdom, U.S.)
Director: Elizabeth Carroll
Award-winning cookbook author, diehard environmentalist and feisty British nonagenarian Diana Kennedy reflects on an unconventional life spent mastering the cuisines of Mexico. (World Premiere)

Stuffed (Canada, U.S.)
Director: Erin Derham
Stuffed is a documentary feature film about the surprising world of taxidermy and the passionate artists across the world who see life where others only see death. (World Premiere)

Tread
Director: Paul Solet
Pushed to his breaking point, a master welder in a small town at the foot of the Rocky Mountains quietly fortifies a bulldozer with 30 tons of concrete and steel and seeks to destroy those he believes have wronged him. (World Premiere)

Vision Portraits
Director/Screenwriter: Rodney Evans
A feature-length documentary that chronicles the creative paths of blind and visually impaired artists including a photographer (John Dugdale), dancer (Kayla Hamilton), writer (Ryan Knighton) and the film’s director, Rodney Evans. (World Premiere)

We Are The Radical Monarchs
Director: Linda Goldstein Knowlton
Meet the Radical Monarchs, a group of young girls of color at the front lines of social justice. Set in Oakland, the film documents the journey of the group as they form, grow, and earn badges for units like “Black Lives Matter” and “Radical Beauty” (World Premiere)

Well Groomed
Director/Screenwriter: Rebecca Stern
Well Groomed travels the humorous, visually stunning world of Competitive Creative Dog Grooming alongside the colorful women transforming their beloved poodles into living sculptures. (World Premiere)

Why Can’t I Be Me? Around You
Directors/Screenwriters: Harrod Blank, Sjoerd Dijk
Rusty, a male race enthusiast, decides at 53 to get breasts. His father cuts his pay, his motorcycle friends abandon him and the women he dates all reject him. Rusty pursues her new identity and only hopes to gain acceptance from others. (World Premiere)

Documentary Feature Competition Jury: Karen Han, Entertainment Reporter at Polygon; Adam B. Vary, Senior Film Reporter for BuzzFeed News; Katie Walsh, Film Critic for the Tribune News Service

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.

Matthew McConaughey and Snoop Dogg in “The Beach Bum” (Photo courtesy of Neon/Vice)

The Beach Bum
Director/Screenwriter: Harmony Korine
The Beach Bum follows the hilarious misadventures of Moondog (Matthew McConaughey), a rebellious rogue who always lives life by his own rules. Co-starring Snoop Dogg, Zac Efron, and Isla Fisher, The Beach Bum is a refreshingly original and subversive. Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Snoop Dogg, Isla Fisher, Stefania Lavie Owen, Jimmy Buffett, Zac Efron, Martin Lawrence (World Premiere)

Booksmart
Director: Olivia Wilde, Screenwriters: Emily Halpern, Sarah Haskins, Susanna Fogel, Katie Silberman
On the eve of graduating high school, two academic superstars and best friends realize they should have worked less and played more. Determined to not fall short of their peers, the girls set out on a mission to cram four years of fun into one night. Cast: Kaitlyn Dever, Beanie Feldstein, Jessica Williams, Will Forte, Lisa Kudrow, Jason Sudeikis (World Premiere)

Good Boys
Director: Gene Stupnitsky, Screenwriters: Lee Eisenberg, Gene Stupnitsky, Beth Stelling, John Phillips
The writers of Superbad and the producers of Sausage Party take on sixth grade in Universal Pictures’ Good Boys, an R-rated comedy about three friends on an epic one-day odyssey of bad decisions. Cast: Jacob Tremblay, Keith L. Williams, Brady Noon, Molly Gordon, Midori Francis, Josh Caras (World Premiere)

The Highwaymen
Director: John Lee Hancock, Screenwriter: John Fusco
Texas Ranger Frank Hamer reflects on what made him a great lawman as he comes out of retirement to hunt down Bonnie and Clyde. Cast: Kevin Costner, Woody Harrelson, Kathy Bates, Kim Dickinson (World Premiere)

Untitled Seth Rogen/ Charlize Theron Comedy
Director: Jonathan Levine, Screenwriter: Dan Sterling
An ambitious diplomat with a spotless reputation and a hard-partying journalist hilariously redefine “international relations” as they try to keep their red-hot romance under wraps. Cast: Seth Rogen, Charlize Theron, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Andy Serkis, June Diane Raphael, Ravi Patel and Alexander Skarsgård (World Premiere)

Us
Director/Screenwriter: Jordan Peele
An original nightmare from Oscar-winner Jordan Peele (Get Out), starring Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke, Us pits an average American family against a terrifying opponent: doppelgängers of themselves. Cast: Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Elisabeth Moss, Tim Heidecker, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Anna Diop, Evan Alex, Shahadi Wright-Joseph, Madison Curry, Cali Sheldon (World Premiere)

NARRATIVE SPOTLIGHT

High profile narrative features receiving their World, North American or U.S. premieres at SXSW.

Ethan Hawke in “Adopt a Highway” (Photo by Nolwen Cifuentes)

Adopt a Highway
Director/Screenwriter: Logan Marshall-Green
After being released from prison following a 20-year sentence for a minor offense, an ex-con must learn to navigate the world while coming to terms with his own life which has moved on — all while caring for an abandoned baby he finds in a dumpster. Cast: Ethan Hawke, Elaine Hendrix, Diana Gaeta Marshall-Green, Betty Gabriel, Mo McRae, Chris Sullivan, Nate Mooney, Christopher Heyerdahl, Anne Marie Johnson (World Premiere)

The Art of Self-Defense
Director/Screenwriter: Riley Stearns
The Art of Self-Defense stars Jesse Eisenberg and is set in the world of karate. Eisenberg plays a man who is attacked on the street and enlists in a local dojo, led by a charismatic Sensei (Nivola), in an effort to learn how to defend himself. Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Alessandro Nivola, Imogen Poots (World Premiere)

Come As You Are
Director: Richard Wong, Screenwriter: Erik Linthorst
Three young men with disabilities embark on a road trip to a brothel in Montreal catering to people with special needs to lose their virginity and embrace their independence. Inspired by a true story and remake of the Belgian film Hasta La Vista. Cast: Grant Rosenmeyer, Hayden Szeto, Ravi Patel, Gabourey Sidibe, Janeane Garofalo, C.S. Lee, Jennifer Jelsema, Martha Kuwahara, Delaney Feener, Asta Philpot (World Premiere)

The Day Shall Come (United Kingdom, U. S.)
Director: Chris Morris, Screenwriters: Chris Morris, Jesse Armstrong
An impoverished preacher who brings hope to the Miami projects is offered cash to save his family from eviction. He has no idea his sponsor works for the FBI who plan to turn him into a criminal by fueling his madcap revolutionary dreams. Cast: Marchánt Davis, Anna Kendrick, Danielle Brooks, Denis O’Hare (World Premiere)

Frances Ferguson
Director: Bob Byington, Screenwriter: Scott King
A small town’s reaction to scandal. Cast: Kaley Wheless, Nick Offerman, Keith Poulson, David Krumholtz (World Premiere)

I’m Just F*cking With You
Director: Adam Mason, Screenwriters: Gregg Zehenter, Scott Barkan
A young man and his sister endure a night of increasingly frightening practical jokes while spending the night at a secluded motel. Cast: Keir O’Donnell, Hayes MacArthur, Jessica McNamee (World Premiere)

Mother’s Little Helpers
Director/Screenwriter: Kestrin Pantera
When Joy Pride, a groovy 70’s burn-out on the caboose of the flower power movement learns she has weeks to live, her estranged children come together to do right by a mother who always did them wrong. Cast: Breeda Wool, Melanie Hutsell, David Giuntoli, Sam Littlefield, Kestrin Pantera (World Premiere)

Olympic Dreams
Director: Jeremy Teicher, Screenwriters: Alexi Pappas, Jeremy Teicher, Nick Kroll
In the Athlete Village at the Olympic Winter Games, Penelope (Alexi Pappas), a cross-country skier, befriends Ezra (Nick Kroll), a volunteer dentist, after a disappointing finish in her race. Penelope and Ezra share a special but limited time together. Cast: Nick Kroll, Alexi Pappas, Gus Kenworthy, Morgan Schild, Jamie Anderson (World Premiere)

The Peanut Butter Falcon
Directors/Screenwriters: Tyler Nilson, Michael Schwartz
A young man with Down syndrome runs away from the retirement home where he lives to chase his dream of becoming a professional wrestler. Cast: Shia LaBeouf, Dakota Johnson, Zack Gottsagen, John Hawkes, Bruce Dern, Thomas Haden Church, Jon Bernthal, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, Mick Foley (World Premiere)

Pink Wall (United Kingdom)
Director/Screenwriter: Tom Cullen
Six scenes. Six years. Six moments that shaped the relationship of Jenna and Leon. Pink Wall examines what defines us, the pressures of gender expectations, and our perpetual struggle between life and ambition. Cast: Tatiana Maslany, Jay Duplass (World Premiere)

Run This Town (Canada)
Director/Screenwriter: Ricky Tollman
A political aide tries to corral his brash, outspoken boss when a young researcher at a newspaper gets word of a scandal that could make or break both of their careers. Cast: Ben Platt, Nina Dobrev, Mena Massoud, Damian Lewis, Jennifer Ehle, Scott Speedman (World Premiere)

Sword of Trust
Director: Lynn Shelton, Screenwriters: Lynn Shelton, Mike O’Brien
A curmudgeonly pawnshop owner and his man-child sidekick team up with an out of town couple to cash in on a family heirloom: a sword believed by alt history conspiracy nuts to be proof that the South won the Civil War. Cast: Marc Maron, Jon Bass, Michaela Watkins, Jillian Bell, Toby Huss, Dan Bakkedahl, Tim Paul, Whitmer Thomas (World Premiere)

Villains
Directors/Screenwriters: Dan Berk, Robert Olsen
When a pair of amateur criminals break into a suburban home, they stumble upon a dark secret and two sadistic homeowners who will do anything to keep it from getting out. Cast: Bill Skarsgard, Maika Monroe, Kyra Sedgwick, Jeffrey Donovan (World Premiere)

The Wall of Mexico (U.S., Mexico)
Directors: Zachary Cotler, Magdalena Zyzak, Screenwriter: Zachary Cotler
A young white handyman, hired by a wealthy Mexican-American family to upkeep their ranch, finds himself caught between disgruntled locals and the family’s outrageously decadent daughters and discovers that something quite unusual is happening at the ranch. Cast: Jackson Rathbone, Esai Morales, Marisol Sacramento, Carmela Zumbado, Alex Meneses, Moises Arias, with Mariel Hemingway, and Xander Berkeley (World Premiere)

DOCUMENTARY SPOTLIGHT

Shining a light on new documentary features receiving their World, North American or U.S. premieres at SXSW.

No photo credit given
A scene from “Any One of Us”

Any One Of Us
Director: Fernando Villena
Through the inspiring journey of a recovering athlete, Any One of Us offers an unprecedented glimpse into the traumatic world of spinal cord injuries. (World Premiere)

Autonomy
Director: Alex Horwitz
A feature documentary about the emerging technology of self-driving vehicles and the big questions they raise: what is control and who do we become as we relinquish it to machines? (World Premiere)

Bellingcat — Truth in a Post-Truth World (Netherlands)
Director/Screenwriter: Hans Pool
Bellingcat — Truth in a Post-Truth World explores the exclusive world of Bellingcat, a highly-skilled and controversial collective of “citizen investigative journalists” dedicated to redefining breaking news in the 21st century. (North American Premiere)

Breakthrough
Director/Screenwriter: Bill Haney
Breakthrough tells the story of a renegade, blues-playing, Nobel prize-winning Texas scientist who created a cure for the world’s deadliest disease. Narrated by Woody Harrelson with a country-blues soundtrack. (World Premiere)

Building the American Dream
Director: Chelsea Hernandez
In Texas, construction workers face the deadliest conditions in the country. Building the American Dream follows three immigrant families who are rising up to seek justice and equality in an industry rife with exploitation. (World Premiere)

Community First, A Home for the Homeless
Director: Layton Blaylock
Community First, A Home for the Homeless, is a feature documentary about a totally unique concept for mitigating homelessness. Conceived and created in Austin, Texas, Community First! Village is truly transforming the lives of homeless people. (World Premiere)

Human Nature
Director: Adam Bolt, Screenwriters: Adam Bolt, Regina Sobel
A once-in-a-lifetime scientific discovery called CRISPR gives us the power to change what it means to be human. Now it’s up to us to decide how far we should go. (World Premiere)

I Love You, Now Die: The Commonwealth Vs. Michelle Carter
Director: Erin Lee Carr
Teen Michelle Carter’s actions shocked a nation — but what really happened behind closed doors? This HBO special showcases the prosecution’s point of view and alternately the defense’s. Which side do you fall on? (World Premiere)

It Started As a Joke
Directors: Julie Smith Clem, Ken Druckerman
It Started As a Joke documents the decade-long run of the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival. The film celebrates Eugene’s unique brand of humor and reminds us of the healing properties of comedy – even in the most challenging of life’s circumstances. (World Premiere)

Jump Shot
Director: Jacob Ryan Hamilton
Jump Shot uncovers the inspiring true story of Kenny Sailors, the developer of the modern day jump shot in basketball, and how he defined the game, but why the game never defined him. (World Premiere)

Kathy Griffin: A Hell of a Story
Director: Troy Miller, Screenwriter: Kathy Griffin
In her first ever comedy concert film, Comedian Kathy Griffin details the aftermath of lost work and being the subject of a federal investigation following the release of her now infamous photo depicting President Donald J Trump. (World Premiere)

Qualified
Director: Jenna Ricker
In the world of motorsports, the Indianapolis 500 has long been considered the only race. In May 1977, Janet Guthrie — the first woman to attempt Indy — earned herself a spot in the prestigious field of 33. (World Premiere)

Red Dog
Directors: Casey Pinkston, Luke Dick
In the early 1980’s, the only family that toddler Luke knew were the strippers, bouncers, and outcasts that made OKC’s rowdiest strip club their home. (World Premiere)

The River and the Wall
Director: Ben Masters
Five friends venture into the unknown wilds of the Texas borderlands to document the environment before a wall is built. As the wilderness gives way to the bustling Rio Grande Valley, they encounter the unexpected and enter uncharted emotional waters. (World Premiere)

Running with Beto
Director: David Modigliani
Follow Beto O’Rourke behind the scenes of his breakaway campaign to unseat Ted Cruz in the US Senate. With intimate access to the candidate, his family and team, the film captures Beto’s rise from a virtual unknown to a national political sensation. (World Premiere)

Sunset over Mulholland Drive (Germany)
Director: Uli Gaulke, Screenwriters: Uli Gaulke, Marc Pitzke
The vital power of creativity — a behind the scenes look into Hollywood’s retirement home. (North American Premiere)

VISIONS

Visions filmmakers are audacious, risk-taking artists in the new cinema landscape who demonstrate raw innovation and creativity in documentary and narrative filmmaking.

A scene from “Becoming Leslie” (Photo by Tim Pipe)

Becoming Leslie
Director: Tracy Frazier, Screenwriters: Sandra Guardado, Tracy Frazier
Becoming Leslie reveals the inner and bizarre world of Leslie Cochran, a cross-dressing homeless misfit who became the most iconic and unlikely civic symbol of Austin, Texas. (World Premiere)

The Garden Left Behind
Director: Flavio Alves, Screenwriters: John Rotondo, Flavio Alves
A Mexican trans woman struggles to build a life for herself as an undocumented immigrant in New York City. Cast: Michael Madsen, Ed Asner, Carlie Guevara, Danny Flaherty, Alex Kruz, Anthony Abdo, Dawn Young, Tamara M. Williams, Miriam Cruz, Brock Yurich (World Premiere)

J.R. “Bob” Dobbs and The Church of the SubGenius
Director: Sandy K Boone, Screenwriters: Sandy K Boone, Jason Wehling
This film explores the underground movement that has galvanized the imaginative, the artistic, the nerdy, even the deranged – to examine the simmering dystopia in their culture, and do absolutely nothing about it… except, maybe, poke fun at it all. (World Premiere)

Jezebel
Director/Screenwriter: Numa Perrier
A true story. In the last days of her mother’s life, 19-year-old Tiffany crashes with five family members in a Las Vegas studio apartment. In order to make ends meet, her sister, a phone sex operator, introduces her to the world of fetish cam girls. Cast: Tiffany Tenille, Numa Perrier, Stephen Barrington, Bobby Field, Brett Gelman, Rockwelle Dortch, Zoe Tyson, Dennis Jaffee, Jessa Zarubica (World Premiere)

Leave the Bus Through the Broken Window (Hong Kong, U.S.)
Director: Andrew Hevia
A broken-hearted filmmaker navigates an unfamiliar city, an international art fair and his personal baggage in this intimate, playful and unexpectedly comedic documentary. (World Premiere)

One Man Dies a Million Times (Belarus)
Director/Screenwriter: Jessica Oreck
Set in the future, a story about seeds and genetic diversity, about growth and decay, about love and war, and about hunger of all kinds. Cast: Alyssa Lozovskaya, Maksim Blinov (World Premiere)

Red 11
Director: Robert Rodriguez, Screenwriters: Robert Rodriguez, Racer Rodriguez
Rob, an independent filmmaker, loses his investor’s money only to find out his investors are the Cartel. He checks himself into a medical research facility to pay off his debt, but quickly realizes it won’t be that easy. Cast: Roby Attal, Lauren Hatfield, Carlos Gallardo, Alejandro Rose Garcia, Rebel Rodriguez, Racer Rodriguez, Eman Esfandi, Steven Brudniak, Brently Heilbron, Pierce Foster Bailey (World Premiere)

Romantic Comedy (United Kingdom)
Director: Elizabeth Sankey
Musician and writer Elizabeth Sankey investigates the past, present and future of romantic comedies, assisted by a chorus of critics, actors and filmmakers. (World Premiere)

Sakawa (Belgium, Netherlands)
Director/Screenwriter: Ben Asamoah
What human story lies behind the phenomenon of ‘internet fraud’? In Sakawa we meet three Ghanaian youngsters who, out of desperation, turn to internet scamming with the help of black magic. (North American Premiere)

Tito (Canada)
Director/Screenwriter: Grace Glowicki
A desperate man seeks refuge from the predators hunting him by befriending a cheerful intruder. Cast: Grace Glowicki, Ben Petrie (World Premiere)

EPISODIC PREMIERES

Presenting world premieres of prestige serials slated for release and accompanied by show-runners, directors and cast members featuring extended Q&As.

No photo credit given
Aidy Bryant in “Shrill”

David Makes Man
Showrunner: Dee Harris-Lawrence, Screenwriter: Tarell Alvin McCraney
A richly layered, deeply personal work about a 14-year-old prodigy from the projects who is haunted by the death of his closest friend. Set in South Florida, the series is inspired by events in McCraney’s own life, exploring childhood trauma and the power of imagination. Cast: Akili McDowell, Nathaniel McIntyre, Isaiah Johnson, Ade Chike Torbert, Cayden Williams, Jordan Bolger, Travis Coles, Phylicia Rashad, Alana Arenas (World Premiere)

NOS4A2
Showrunner/Screenwriter: Jami O’Brien
NOS4A2 introduces Vic, a young woman who has a supernatural ability to find lost things. This ability puts her on a collision course with the evil and immortal Charlie Manx, a supernatural villain who feeds off the souls of children. Cast List: Zachary Quinto, Ashleigh Cummings, Jahkara J. Smith, Olafur Olafsson, Virginia Kull, Ebon Moss-Bachrach (World Premiere)

Ramy
Showrunner: Bridget Bedard, Screenwriter: Ramy Youssef
Ramy, a first generation American Muslim on a spiritual journey, explores the challenges of being caught in between an Egyptian community that thinks life is moral a test, and a millennial generation that thinks life has no consequences. Cast: Ramy Youssef, Mohammed Amer, Hiam Abbass, Amr Waked, May Calamawy, David Merheje, Laith Nakli, Steve Way (World Premiere)

Shrill
Showrunner: Alexandra Rushfield, Screenwriters: Alexandra Rushfield, Lindy West and Aidy Bryant
From Executive Producers Lorne Michaels and Elizabeth Banks comes Shrill, a comedy series starring Aidy Bryant (Saturday Night Live) as Annie, a fat young woman who wants to change her life — but not her body. Annie is trying to start her career while juggling bad boyfriends, a sick parent, and a perfectionist boss. Cast: Aidy Bryant, Lolly Adefope, Luka Jones, Ian Owens, John Cameron Mitchell (World Premiere)

What We Do in the Shadows
Showrunners: Jemaine Clement, Paul Simms, Screenplay: Jemaine Clement
Based on the feature film of the same name from Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi, FX’s new comedy What We Do in the Shadows follows vampire roommates who have lived together for hundreds and hundreds of years. Cast: Matt Berry, Kayvan Novak, Natasia Demetriou, Harvey Guillén, Mark Proksch (World Premiere)

24 BEATS PER SECOND

Showcasing the sounds, culture and influence of music and musicians, with an emphasis on documentary.

Dona Onete in Amazonia Groove (Photo by Jacques Cheuiche)

Amazônia Groove
Director/Screenwriter: Bruno Murtinho
Leaving Belem and crossing much of the Para State Amazon region, its towns and riverside villages, Amazônia Groove reveals artists and their traditions, faith and mysticism, music and life that pound in the northern region of Brazil. (North American Premiere)

Bluebird
Director: Brian Loschiavo
Discover the origin stories of megastars like Garth Brooks and Taylor Swift while following emerging singer-songwriters as they chase their dreams inside The Bluebird Cafe, Nashville’s accidental landmark that has altered the course of music history. (World Premiere)

The Boy Band Con: The Lou Pearlman Story
Director: Aaron Kunkel
The Boy Band Con: The Lou Pearlman Story charts the life and crimes of boy band impresario Lou Pearlman. The film tracks his life from discovering NSYNC and Backstreet Boys, to his perpetration of one of the largest ponzi schemes in US history. (World Premiere)

Boy Howdy! The Story of CREEM Magazine
Director: Scott Crawford, Screenwriters: Scott Crawford, Jaan Uhelszki
Ripping back the curtain on legendary rock rag CREEM Magazine’s wild and disruptive newsroom; a dysfunctional band of unruly outsiders who weren’t all that different from the artists they covered. (World Premiere)

Brainiac: Transmissions After Zero
Director: Eric Mahoney
The film explores the seminal 90’s band Brainiac from Dayton, OH and its creative force Tim Taylor. Just days before signing a major record contract Taylor was killed in a bizarre auto accident leaving his family and bandmates to pick up the pieces. (World Premiere)

Carmine Street Guitars (Canada)
Director: Ron Mann, Screenwriter: Len Blum
Five Days in the life of Greenwich Village guitar shop Carmine Street Guitars.

The Chills: The Triumph and Tragedy of Martin Phillipps (New Zealand)
Director: Julia Parnell, Rob Curry
New Zealand music genius Martin Phillipps fights his creative demons, conquers the music world, inspires a generation, and then retreats into depression, addiction and anonymity. (World Premiere)

David Crosby: Remember My Name
Director: A.J. Eaton
David Crosby reflects on his life of music stardom, while forging new paths to relevancy at his age of 77 in this deeply personal documentary. (World Premiere)

Everybody’s Everything
Directors: Sebastian Jones, Ramez Silyan
Everybody’s Everything is the story of artist Lil Peep (Gustav Ahr) from his birth in Long Island and meteoric rise as a genre blending pop star & style icon, to his death due to an accidental opioid overdose in Arizona at just 21 years of age. (World Premiere)

The Gift: The Journey of Johnny Cash
Director: Thom Zimny, Screenwriter: Warren Zanes
Johnny Cash stands among the giants of 20th century American life. But his story remains tangled in mystery and myth. This documentary brings Cash the man out from behind the legend. (World Premiere)

Mr. Jimmy
Director: Peter Michael Dowd
Dowd Akio Sakurai has dedicated his life to honoring Jimmy Page. For 30 years he recreated vintage Zeppelin concerts note-for-note in small Tokyo clubs. Moving to L.A. to pursue his tribute dream, cultures clash and Akio’s idyllic vision meets reality. (World Premiere)

Nothing Stays The Same: The Story of The Saxon Pub
Director: Jeff Sandmann, Screenwriters: Jeff Sandmann, Jeffrey Brown, Lisa Kay Pfannenstiel
Nothing Stays the Same celebrates the last 30 years of live music in Austin, while also examining the challenges faced by musicians and music venues in one of the fastest-growing cities in the country, all through the lens of the legendary Saxon Pub. (World Premiere)

Show Me The Picture: The Story of Jim Marshall (United Kingdom)
Director: Alfred George Bailey
Jim Marshall was a maverick with a camera. An outsider who captured the heights of Rock’N’Roll music and the seismic changes of an era, from the Beatles and Jimi Hendrix, to the civil rights movements and some of the most iconic moments of the 60’s. (World Premiere)

Strange Negotiations
Director: Brandon Vedder
A documentary exploring the existential, artistic and family life of musician and former evangelical, David Bazan (Pedro The Lion), set against America’s own crisis of faith highlighted during the 2016 presidential election. (World Premiere)

Teen Spirit (United Kingdom)
Director/Screenwriter: Max Minghella
The film follows Violet, a shy teenager who enters an international singing competition with the help of an unlikely mentor. Driven by a pop-fueled soundtrack, Teen Spirit is a visceral and stylish spin on the Cinderella story. Cast: Elle Fanning (U.S. Premiere)

Who Let The Dogs Out (Canada)
Director: Brent Hodge, Screenwriters: Brent Hodge, John Diemer, Jasleen Kaur
The origin story of the smash hit “Who Let the Dogs Out” goes back further than anyone could have imagined; steeped in legal battles, female empowerment and artist integrity, which beckons the question: will we ever know who let the dogs out? (World Premiere)

Wild Rose (United Kingdom)
Director: Tom Harper, Screenwriter: Nicole Taylor
A musician from Glasgow dreams of becoming a Nashville star. Cast: Jessie Buckley, Julie Walters, Sophie Okonedo (U.S. Premiere)

GLOBAL

A diverse selection of international filmmaking talent, featuring innovative narratives, artful documentaries, premieres, festival favorites and more.

No photo credit given
Tihana Lazović in “Aleksi”

Aleksi (Serbia)
Director/Screenwriter: Barbara Vekarić
A character piece about funny and troubled girl in her 20s, forced to move back in with her overbearing family. Cast: Tihana Lazović, Goran Marković, Sebastian Cavazza, Nataša Janjić, Jason Mann, Aljoša Vučović, Neda Arnerić, Leon Lučev (North American Premiere)

Aurora (Finland)
Director/Screenwriter: Miia Tervo
Aurora, a commitment-phobic party animal, meets Iranian Amir one night at a hot-dog stand in Lapland. Amir is running from death and Aurora is running from love. They need each other in order to finally stop running. Cast: Mimosa Willamo, Amir Escandari, Oona Airola, Hannu-Pekka Björkman, Miitta Sorvali (North American Premiere)

Being Impossible (Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of)
Director: Patricia Ortega, Screenwriters: Patricia Ortega, Enmanuel Chávez
A young woman discovers she was submitted to several surgeries to correct her intersexual body as a baby. She has to find her own self outside gender binaries. (North American Premiere)

Cachada: The Opportunity (El Salvador)
Director/Screenwriter: Marlén Viñayo
Five Salvadoran saleswomen want to take their cruel life stories to the stage. During the rehearsal process of their play, they’ll discover themselves as victims and victimizers in a cycle of violence that has plagued their families for generations. (World Premiere)

Days of the Whale (Colombia)
Director/Screenwriter: Catalina Arroyave Restrepo
Two young graffiti artists of Medellín defy a criminal gang when they decide to paint the mural of a whale over a threat written in a wall. Cast: Laura Tobón, David Escallón, Carlos Fonnegra, Christian Tappan, Julián Giraldo, Natalia Castaño, Margarita Restrepo (World Premiere)

La Mala Noche (Ecuador, Mexico)
Director/Screenwriter: Gabriela Calvache
She is the perfect woman until she decides to be free. Cast: Nöelle Schönwald, Cristian Mercado, Jaime Tamariz, Ariana Freire (World Premiere)

Vai (New Zealand)
Directors: Nicole Whippy, ‘Ofa-Ki-Levuka Guttenbeil-Likiliki, Matasila Freshwater, Amberley Jo Aumua, Mīria George, Marina Alofagia McCartney, Dianna Fuemana, Becs Arahanga
Vai is a portmanteau feature film by nine Polynesian directors and filmed on seven different pacific islands. It is about the journey of empowerment through culture, over the lifetime of one woman, Vai. (World Premiere)

X&Y (Denmark, Sweden)
Director: Anna Odell, Screenwriters: Anna Odell, Jakob Beckman
Swedish director and visual artist, Anna Odell (The Reunion), conducts a social experiment in which she aims to challenge the gender roles that men and women have in the society of today. Cast: Anna Odell, Mikael Persbrandt, Trine Dyrholm, Vera Vitali, Shanti Roney, Sofie Gråbøl, Jens Albinus, Thure Lindhardt (North American Premiere)

SPECIAL EVENTS

Live soundtracks, cult re-issues & much more. Our Special Events section offers unusual, unexpected and unique one-off film events.

Joe Bob Briggs (Photo by Tracy Vonder Brink)

How Rednecks Saved Hollywood with Joe Bob Briggs
Director/Screenwriter: Joe Bob Briggs
America’s drive-in movie critic uses 200 video clips and photos to tell the 500-year history of the American redneck in a multimedia comedy performance.

Love, Death & Robots
Showrunners: David Fincher, Tim Miller, Josh Donen, Jennifer Miller
Love, Death & Robots, an animated anthology series presented by Tim Miller and David Fincher, is a genre orgy of Not-Suitable-For-Mainstream shorts. (World Premiere)
Followed by extended Q&A with with Tim Miller and David Fincher.

Ra: Path of the Sun God
Director: Lesley Keen
Austin based electronic and experimental label Holodeck Records is partnering with Austin Film Society for a special live re-score screening of the 1990 animated film Ra: Path of the Sun God, a beautiful re-telling of one of Ancient Egypt’s most famous myths.

Rebel Without A Crew: Filmmaking Master Class with Robert Rodriguez
Join Robert Rodriguez as he gives a master-class in micro-budget guerilla filmmaking, featuring behind the scenes moments from his new $7,000 film, RED 11. The event will be followed by the World Premiere of RED 11.

Untitled Rick Rubin Project ( Work-in-Progress)
Directors: Morgan Neville, Jeff Malmberg
An intimate look at the creative process through the lens of legendary music producer Rick Rubin.

True Stories
Director: David Byrne, Screenwriters: Stephen Tobolowsky, Beth Henley, David Byrne
David Byrne’s 1986 musical comedy, inspired by theater director Robert Wilson, tabloid newspapers, and filmmakers Robert Altman and Federico Fellini, remains a unique artistic vision that celebrates the singular citizens of a fictional Texas town. David Byrne will appear in-person for Q&A following screening of new 4K restoration.

About SXSW

SXSW dedicates itself to helping creative people achieve their goals. Founded in 1987 in Austin, Texas, SXSW is best known for its conference and festivals that celebrate the convergence of the interactive, film, and music industries. An essential destination for global professionals, the event features sessions, showcases, screenings, exhibitions, and a variety of networking opportunities. SXSW proves that the most unexpected discoveries happen when diverse topics and people come together. SXSW 2019 will take place March 8-17, 2019. For more information, please visit sxsw.com. To register for the event, please visit sxsw.com/attend. SXSW 2019 is sponsored by Capital One, Mercedes-Benz, Bud Light, and The Austin Chronicle.

2018 Fantastic Fest: final wave of programming announced

September 12, 2018

The following is a press release from Fantastic Fest:

Fantastic Fest promises an explosive grand finale with the Texas Premiere of Drew Goddard’s outrageously entertaining mystery-thriller BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE. Seven strangers, each with a secret to bury, meet at Lake Tahoe’s El Royale, a rundown hotel with a dark past. Over the course of one fateful night, everyone will have a last shot at redemption… before everything goes to hell. Jeff Bridges, Chris Hemsworth, Jon Hamm, Dakota Johnson and Cynthia Erivo lead an all-star cast in BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE.

Karyn Kusama will be in attendance alongside screenwriter/producer Phil Hay to present their gritty noir thriller DESTROYER starring Nicole Kidman in an astonishing role as detective Erin Bell, as well as the U.S. Premiere of Jonah Hill’s directorial debut MID90S with the writer/director Jonah Hill in attendance.

Also debuting at the festival is the North American Premiere of Terry Gilliam’s long awaited THE MAN WHO KILLED DON QUIXOTE, with Adam Driver as the world-weary ad man taken on a fantastical journey by Jonathan Pryce’s Don Quixote. And David Robert Mitchell’s Cannes sensation slacker-noir UNDER THE SILVER LAKE, starring Andrew Garfield and Riley Keough, will have its U.S. Premiere at the Festival.

Fantastic Fest deepens its cornucopia of genre titles from across the globe, including the World premiere of Quarxx’s visually hypnotic ALL THE GODS IN THE SKY, the International premiere of Polish-children-vs-rabid-dogs thriller WEREWOLF, and the North American Premiere of Venice Critics Week closer DACHRA, the first-ever horror film to come out of Tunisia.

Further additions to the program include the World Premiere of the new thrill ride from Nicolas Cage and Franka Potente, BETWEEN WORLDS, the World Premiere of the brilliant documentary AFTER THE SCREAMING STOPS about the iconic ’80s musicians Matt & Luke Goss and the band Bros, and the U.S. Premiere of the terrifying frontier horror masterwork THE WIND.

“2018 has been one of the most challenging programs to put together for Fantastic Fest, with a plethora of quality titles turning up at every stage,” said Fantastic Fest Creative Director Evrim Ersoy. “Even as we try to lock our program, we are confronted with brilliant, outstanding cinema and are determined to cram all of it into our program and dazzle Austin.”

With HALLOWEEN debuting on opening night, it was inevitable that we’d champion the most important of all holidays with an omega-powerful Halloween-themed costume/music/sugar/dance party. Candy buffet! Apple bobbing! Ghoulish bands! And more more will shake the walls of The Highball, with legitimately major prizes given out for the best and most horrific outfits, so dress to distress!

Tenacious D will appear IN PERSON (!!!) at the festival to premiere their six-part animated series TENACIOUS D IN POST-APOCALYPTO, hand drawn by none other than Jack Black himself! True to its title, the series finds Tenacious D thrust into a world of complete and utter destruction! See them battle for the survival of the human race! Then watch them perform LIVE in a post-screening pre-apocalyptic music set that will shake the pillars of the universe!

The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies will be at hand at this year’s Fantastic Fest to present a one-off special lecture by academic and scholar Alexandra Heller-Nicholas titled “Ghouls to the Front: Rethinking Women’s Horror Filmmaking” where she will be exploring examples from around the world from 1898 to 2018 of women’s horror filmmaking finding ways we can collectively rethink the history of horror more broadly to be more inclusive, more representative, and more fun.

Fantastic Fest is also delighted to announce the Jury Presidents for the four competition categories for the 2018 edition of Fantastic Fest. Co-president and co-founder of Sony Pictures Classics Michael Barker will be overseeing the Main Competition Jury, academic and writer Alexandra Heller-Nicholas will be the head of Horror Competition Jury, Toronto International Film Festival programming associate Dorota Lech will lead the Next Wave Jury, and director/animator Don Hertzfeldt will be heading the Shorts Competition Jury. Further details can be found at: https://fantasticfest.com/jury.

Fantastic Fest is also happy to announce the addition of Maya Perez to its advisory board. Maya Perez is a writer and producer. Her work has appeared in Electric Literature, The Masters Review, Misadventures Magazine, and she is co-editor of the books On Story – Screenwriters and Their Craft, On Story – Screenwriters and Filmmakers on Their Iconic Films, and On Story – The Golden Ages of Television, all from the University of Texas Press. She is also a producer on the television series Austin Film Festival’s On Story, now in its eighth season on PBS. Maya is a 2018 recipient of a SFFILM Westridge Grant and teaches screenwriting at the University of Texas at Austin.

FINAL WAVE FILM LINEUP BELOW:

AFTER THE SCREAMING STOPS
United Kingdom, 2018
World Premiere, 97 min
Directors – Joe Pearlman & David Soutar
In Attendance – Directors Joe Pearlman and David Soutar
Matt and Luke Goss were part of Bros, one of the biggest bands of the 1980s. With a number one album and sold out concerts at stadiums across the world, the rise of the band was meteoric… sharply followed by their downfall. Now, the two brothers reunite for the gig of a lifetime, facing fractured relationships, a new musical landscape, and the changes that time brings. Can they rekindle the magic and make Bros come alive once again?

ALL THE GODS IN THE SKY
France, 2018
World Premiere, 98 min
Director – Quarxx
In Attendance – Director Quarxx
Simon lives in an old house in the countryside with his severely disabled sister. He takes care of her day after day, hoping that “they” will come to ease their pain. The date of “their” arrival approaches.

BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE
USA 2018
Texas Premiere, Run time not final
Director – Drew Goddard
Seven strangers, each with a secret to bury, meet at Lake Tahoe’s El Royale, a rundown hotel with a dark past. Over the course of one fateful night, everyone will have a last shot at redemption… before everything goes to hell. Jeff Bridges, Chris Hemsworth, Jon Hamm, Dakota Johnson and Cynthia Erivo lead an all-star cast in BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE.

BETWEEN WORLDS
USA, 2018
World Premiere, 90 min
Director – Maria Pulera
Nicolas Cage plays Joe, a lonely trucker whose new girlfriend’s daughter is possessed with the spirit of Joe’s recently deceased wife, creating a love triangle no synopsis can do justice to.

THE BLOOD OF WOLVES
Japan, 2018
Regional Premiere, 126 min
Director – Kazuya Shiraishi
In the neon-soaked streets of 1988 Hiroshima , experienced detective Ogami Shogo is forced to partner with greenhorn Hioka Shuichi to investigate a routine disappearance case. Soon they’re in the midst of a full-blown yakuza war that threatens to destroy all that the two men hold dear.

THE BOUNCER
France, Belgium, 2018
North American Premiere, 82 min
Director – Julien Leclercq
Representing the moody, grimy, realistic return of JCVD to more dramatic roles, THE BOUNCER wows with a taut, contained approach to crime and violence, and one father’s fight to save his daughter.

CLOSE ENEMIES
France, 2018
US Premiere, 111 min
Director – David Oelhoffen
A gangster film with heart, CLOSE ENEMIES refers to Driss and Manuel, childhood friends now on either side of the law, who discover the sacrifices both are willing to make in the name of family in this Paris-set contemporary thriller.

DACHRA
Tunisia, 2018
North American Premiere, 113 min
Director – Abdelhamid Bouchnak
Come for Tunisia’s first horror film, following three students’ filmed investigation of weird rumors in a remote village, and stay for the sickening madness, macabre witchcraft, ghastly beheadings, and gory cannibalism.

DEADWAX
USA, 2018
Regional Premiere, 110 min
Director – Graham Reznick
A young woman is pulled into a murder investigation revolving around a curious vinyl record which has driven those who possess it mad, and killed anyone who dared to listen to it.

DESTROYER
USA, 2018
Texas Premiere, 123 min
Director – Karyn Kusama
In Attendance – Director Karyn Kusama and Screenwriter/Producer Phil Hay
Nicole Kidman gives the performance of a lifetime as LAPD detective Erin Bell, a human weapon of escalating vengeance, in the brilliantly grounded new drama-action-thriller from Karyn Kusama.

FLASH GORDON
United Kingdom, USA, The Netherlands, 1980
Repertory Screening, 111 min
Director – Mike Hodges
He’s here to save every one of us! Heroic earthling Flash Gordon protects the world from the nefarious Ming the Merciless in this lavish, majestically camp adaptation of Alex Raymond’s legendary sci-fi comic strip.

FOLKLORE: MONGDAL
Malaysia, Korea, Singapore, 2018
World Premiere, 49 min
Director – Lee Sang Woo
Lee Sang-Woo turns his camera on an unusual child and his mother in a visually striking and scary episode of HBO FOLKLORE.

FOLKLORE: TOYOL
Malaysia, Korea, Singapore, 2018
World Premiere, 49 min
Director – Ho Yuhang
Ho Yuang explores a strange and frightening relationship between a politician with a problem and a shaman who promises the solution in an episode of HBO FOLKLORE that’s deeply rooted in Malaysian legends.

I USED TO BE NORMAL: A BOYBAND FANGIRL STORY
Australia, 2018
US Premiere, 96 min
Director – Jessica Leski
In Attendance – Producer Rita Walsh
The lives of four women from across the globe are radically changed by their deep love of boy bands in this fascinating, joyful exploration of intense fandom.

LEVEL 16
Canada, 2018
World Premiere, 102 min
Director – Danishka Esterhazy
In Attendance – Writer/Director Danishka Esterhazy and Producers Judy Holm and Michael McNamara
The teenage girls of Vestalis Academy are meticulously trained in the art of being “clean girls,” practicing the virtues of perfect femininity. But what exactly are they being trained for? Vivien intends to find out.

LIFE AFTER FLASH
United Kingdom, 2018
Texas Premiere, 94 min
Director – Lisa Downs
In Attendance – Director Lisa Downs and Actor Sam J. Jones
Celebrating the iconic FLASH GORDON and focusing on the fascinating, unusual, and untold story of actor Sam J. Jones, the man behind the sparkly suit, LIFE AFTER FLASH is a celebration, an exploration, and a joyful scream all at once!

LORDS OF CHAOS
USA, 2018
Texas Premiere, 112 min
Director – Jonas Åkerlund
Based on the biography of the same name, LORDS OF CHAOS is the tale of an Oslo teenager who launches Norwegian black metal, setting off a chain of events that have made his band, Mayhem, infamous for decades.

THE MAN WHO KILLED DON QUIXOTE
Spain, France, Belgium, Portugal, 2018
North American Premiere, 132 min
Director – Terry Gilliam
Once-ambitious advertising man Toby finds himself revisiting a student film he made long before his world became monochrome. Re-teaming with the Spanish cobbler he cast in the film who genuinely believes he’s Don Quixote, Toby embarks on a soul-searching journey of magical proportions.

MID90S
USA, 2018
US Premiere, 84 minutes
Director – Jonah Hill
In Attendance – Writer/Director Jonah Hill
Written and directed by Jonah Hill, Mid90s follows Stevie, a thirteen-year-old in 90s-era LA who spends his summer navigating between his troubled home life and a group of new friends that he meets at a Motor Avenue skate shop.

MODEST HEROES: PONOC SHORT FILMS THEATRE, VOL. 1
Japan, 2018
North American Premiere, 53 min
Directors – Hiromasa Yonebayashi & Yoshiyuki Momose & Akihiko Yamashita
Delve into the world of Studio Ponoc and discover a trio of brilliant creations: lost crab siblings, a bizarre allergy to eggs, and an invisible man having an unusual day.

THE QUAKE
Norway, 2018
Texas Premiere, 105 min
Director – John Andreas Anderson
This sequel to THE WAVE follows the same family, off to Oslo where the earth will shake again. The experts warned that it would! Expect death, drama, and awesome SFX. ‘Nuff said.

SHADOW
China, 2018
US Premiere, 116 min
Director – Zhang Yimou
Zhang Yimou returns to the screen with an explosive tale of intrigue and action set within the warring Three Kingdoms. A wild and ambitious ruler, his loyal but cunning commander, and a double he’s set up as insurance play games of deceit as war rages through their kingdom.

SLUT IN A GOOD WAY
Canada, 2018
Texas Premiere, 89 min
Director – Sophie Lorain
Charlotte and her best friends Mégane and Aube must navigate their first times, first jobs, and first loves in this hilarious and touching Quebecois sex comedy.

STRIKE, DEAR MISTRESS, AND CURE HIS HEART
USA, 2018
World Premiere, 71 min
Director – Mickey Reece
Inspired by Ingmar Bergman’s AUTUMN SONATA and conjured by a remarkably prolific obscure auteur who’s been averaging two feature films a year since 2008, this offbeat and oft-chilling indie discovery depicts the uncanny psychological duress endured by the newlywed proprietors of an ancient hotel following the arrival of an estranged matriarch.

UNDER THE SILVER LAKE
USA, 2018
US Premiere, 139 min
Director – David Robert Mitchell
From the dazzling imagination that brought you It Follows comes a delirious neo-noir fever dream about one man’s search for the truth behind the mysterious crimes, murders, and disappearances in his East L.A. neighborhood.

WEREWOLF
Poland, The Netherlands, Germany, 2018
International Premiere, 88 min
Director – Adrian Panek
In a makeshift orphanage forgotten by most, a group of children who just survived the Holocaust find themselves preyed upon by a pack of wolf dogs. Their fight for freedom has only just begun.

WHITE FIRE
France, Turkey, United Kingdom, 1984
North American Premiere of 2K Restoration, 98 min
Director – Jean-Marie Pallardy
A small team of diamond smugglers stumbles upon the location of the supernatural white fire diamond, but competing criminals pose deadly challenges in this forgotten and truly bizarre gem from 1985.

THE WIND
USA, 2018
US Premiere, 89 min
Director – Emma Tammi
In Attendance – Director Emma Tammi
In Emma Tammi’s narrative debut THE WIND, the forces of nature in the isolated prairies of the American Wild West are playing tricks on Lizzy. Her paranoia only grows with the arrival of a mysterious young woman.
THE WORLD IS YOURS
France, 2018
Regional Premiere, 100 min
Director – Romain Gavras
Nothing goes as planned when a Parisian mid-level dealer must complete one last delivery to escape the drug life and open a Mr. Freeze franchise in Romain Gavras’ (OUR DAY WILL COME) instant heist-comedy classic.

YOU MIGHT BE THE KILLER
USA, 2018
World Premiere, 92 min
Director – Brett Simmons
In Attendance – Director Brett Simmons
Counselors are being killed off at summer camp, and Sam (Fran Kranz) is stuck in the middle of it. Instead of contacting the cops, he calls his friend and slasher-film expert (Alyson Hannigan) to discuss his options.

ATTEND:

FAN Badges, 2ND HALF Badges, and MIDNIGHT Badges for Fantastic Fest 2018 are available for purchase here.

New this year, the MIDNIGHT Badge guarantees admission to the movie of your choice for the final screening round of the fest (Thursday 9/20 – Wednesday 9/26), which typically begin between 11pm and 12am, and also includes access to all non-ticketed Fantastic Fest events such as the Highball bashes, Debates, and opening and closing night parties!

For the latest developments, visit the Fantastic Fest official site www.fantasticfest.com and follow on Facebook & Twitter.

About Fantastic Fest
Fantastic Fest is the largest genre film festival in the U.S., specializing in horror, fantasy, sci-fi, action and just plain fantastic movies from all around the world. In years past the festival has been home to world premieres of BONE TOMAHAWK, JOHN WICK, FRANKENWEENIE, MACHETE KILLS, RED DAWN, THERE WILL BE BLOOD, APOCALYPTO, ZOMBIELAND, RED and SPLIT, while the guest roster has included such talent as Tim Burton, Nicolas Winding-Refn, Lilly and Lana Wachowski, Robert Rodriguez, Rian Johnson, Bill Murray, Keanu Reeves, Martin Landau, Winona Ryder, Edward Norton, Ryan Reynolds, Patrick Wilson, Matthew Fox, Karl Urban, Josh Hartnett, The RZA, Dolph Lundgren, Paul Rudd, Bill Pullman, Paul Thomas Anderson, Kevin Smith, Jon Favreau, George Romero, Darren Aronofsky Mike Judge, M. Night Shyamalan, James McAvoy and Vince Vaughn. Fantastic Fest also features world, national and regional premieres of new, up-and-coming genre films. Fantastic Fest has seen the acquisition of many titles, including BULLHEAD, KILL LIST, MONSTERS, KLOWN, THE FP, PENUMBRA, HERE COMES THE DEVIL, NO REST FOR THE WICKED, VANISHING WAVES, COMBAT GIRLS and I DECLARE WAR. Fantastic Fest is held each year at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Austin, Texas. Alamo Drafthouse has been named the best theater in the country by Entertainment Weekly, Wired and TIME. Variety included Fantastic Fest in a list of “10 Film Festivals We Love,” and was also named one of the “25 coolest film festivals” by Moviemaker Magazine.

About Alamo Drafthouse
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema was founded in 1997 as a single-screen mom and pop repertory theater in Austin, TX. Twenty-one years later, with 36 locations and counting, Alamo Drafthouse has been called “the best theater in America” by Entertainment Weekly and “the best theater in the world” by Wired. Alamo Drafthouse has built a reputation as a movie lover’s oasis not only by combining food and drink service with the movie-going experience, but also introducing unique programming and high-profile, star-studded special events. Alamo Drafthouse created Fantastic Fest, a world renowned film festival dubbed “The Geek Telluride” by Variety. Fantastic Fest showcases eight days of genre cinema from independents, international filmmakers and major Hollywood studios. Alamo Drafthouse’s collectible art gallery, Mondo, offers breathtaking, original products featuring designs from world-famous artists based on licenses for popular TV and Movie properties including Star Wars, Star Trek & Universal Monsters. Alamo Drafthouse continues to expand its brand in new and exciting ways, including Birth.Movies.Death., an entertainment content platform for movie lovers, and the American Genre Film Archive, a non-profit film archive dedicated to preserving, restoring and sharing film.

2019 South by Southwest Festival: Garbage singer Shirley Manson, Instagram CEO Kevin Nystrom among keynote speakers

September 20, 2018

The following is a press release from the South by Southwest Conference & Festivals:

SXSW kicks off the 2019 season strong with the reveal of our first wave of Keynotes and Featured Speakers showcasing industry titans, creative visionaries, and change-makers working towards a more connected future.

Keynotes announced today include Instagram CEO and co-founder Kevin Systrom, interviewed by TechCrunch Editor-At-Large Josh Constine; and a Keynote Conversation between Shirley Manson, lead vocalist of the critically-acclaimed alternative rock band Garbage, and singer-songwriter Lauren Mayberry of the Scottish electronic pop band Chvrches; and writer, producer, and director Marti Noxon.

“We’re excited about the addition of our Keynotes — Kevin Systrom, who as the co-founder of Instagram has redefined the culture of the modern internet and the way that we connect with others; Marti Noxon, whose prolific career and dedication to her craft has created some of the most beloved and acclaimed series of the past two decades; and Shirley Manson with Lauren Mayberry, two talented musicians whose passion, continued experimentation and career evolution are values we celebrate at SXSW,” said Hugh Forrest, Chief Programming Officer. “As a premier destination for innovation and creative discovery, SXSW is proud to begin our 2019 season by announcing a strong and dynamic group of leaders, storytellers, and visionaries holding important conversations about the challenges and opportunities ahead of us.”

Among the Featured Speakers announced today are Jason Blum in conversation with John Pierson; writer and 2017 Time Person of the Year Susan Fowler; world-renowned architect Bjarke Ingels; artist and musician Amanda Palmer; co-founder of Upworthy and Fellow at the New America Foundation Eli Pariser; New York Times bestselling author Michael Pollan; media theorist and author Douglas Rushkoff; BenevolentAI CEO Joanna Shields; futurist and author Amy Webb; and more listed below.

Get inspired by these diverse thought leaders and fuel your own creativity and career aspirations this March 8-17 in Austin, TX! The only way to take part in this exciting programming is to register to attend SXSW 2019 – do so through Thursday, September 13 for the biggest savings of the season and the best selection of hotel booking options.

And we’ve only just begun – stay tuned as SXSW continues to release programming for the 2019 SXSW Conference & Festivals throughout the season (Hint: SX forecasts a shower of programming in October). Read on to meet the first group of 2019 Keynotes and Featured Speakers.

Keynotes

Kevin Systrom with Josh Constine (Interactive Keynote) — Kevin Systrom is the CEO and co-founder of Instagram, a social networking platform that was acquired by Facebook in 2012. Instagram has grown into a global community of over one billion and a family of apps including Instagram, IGTV, Direct, Boomerang, Layout, and more. The company’s mission is to bring you closer to the people and things you love. Systrom is responsible for Instagram’s overall vision and strategy as well as day-to-day operations. Systrom will be in conversation with Josh Constine, Editor-At-Large for TechCrunch, whose scope of coverage includes social networks, streaming music, and early-stage companies.

Shirley Manson and Lauren Mayberry (Music Keynote) — Join vocalist Shirley Manson and singer-songwriter Lauren Mayberry for a Keynote Conversation in association with PRS Foundation’s Keychange program. Shirley Manson is lead vocalist of critically-acclaimed, alternative rock band Garbage. She has been an active song writer and recording artist for over 30 years. During the course of their award-winning career, Garbage have sold over 12 million records and now run their own independent record label, Stun Volume. Last year they released an autobiographical coffee-table book titled This Is The Noise That Keeps Me Awake and earlier this year Manson won the coveted NME Icon Award in recognition of her long musical career and her general outspokenness. Garbage are currently on tour in celebration of the 20th anniversary of their multi-Grammy nominated record, Version 2.0. They will be spending the first half of 2019 in the studio working on their yet untitled 7th record. Lauren Mayberry is a singer-songwriter and front-woman of the Scottish electronic pop band Chvrches. The band have released three critically-acclaimed and commercially successful albums, and have toured the world numerous times. As an artist, Mayberry has continuously challenged stereotypes and been unafraid to speak out on the role and treatment of female artists in the music industry.

Marti Noxon (Film Keynote) — With hundreds of hours of television under her belt, Marti Noxon is one of the most prolific writer-producers in television today. Noxon’s most recent projects include the high-profile prestige series Dietland for AMC and Sharp Objects for HBO, both of which she serves as creator and showrunner for. Also among her recent television offerings are Bravo’s Girlfriends’ Guide to DivorceCode Black for CBS, and the Peabody Award winning UnREAL at Lifetime. Over the course of her impressive career Noxon has worked on some of the most beloved and critically acclaimed series of the past two decades, including Buffy the Vampire SlayerMad MenGrey’s AnatomyBrothers & Sisters, and Glee. Additionally, Noxon made her feature directorial debut in 2017 with the powerful film To The Bone, which she also penned the screenplay for. Loosely based on her own personal experience with eating disorders, the film premiered in competition at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival to strong reviews and quickly sold to Netflix for $8 million, making it one of the highest sales to come out of this year’s festival. Noxon’s previous screenwriting credits include, I Am Number Four and Fright Night.

Featured Speakers

The following speakers represent a blend of Interactive, Film, and Music affiliated Conference Tracks – dive in to learn more.

Jason Blum with John Pierson (Entertainment Influencers) — In 1993, John Pierson — a big shot who helped launch a number of first time American independent filmmakers including Spike Lee, Michael Moore, Richard Linklater, Kevin Smith, Rose Troche and Guin Turner — met Jason Blum, a kid fresh out of college, when they worked on a forgotten feature called My Life’s In Turnaround together. 25 years later, Jason and his company Blumhouse Productions have conquered the universe. Blum is a two-time Academy Award-nominated and two-time Emmy and Peabody Award-winning producer. His multi-media company is known for pioneering a new model of studio filmmaking: producing high-quality micro-budget films. How the hell did he get from there to here and how do these two view that evolution?

Susan Fowler (Tech Industry & Enterprise) — Susan Fowler is the Technology Editor of the New York Times Opinion section as well as a central figure in the #MeToo movement. Named Timemagazine’s Person of the Year 2017 as one of the silence breakers, Fowler is the former Uber engineer whose viral blog post ignited an ongoing, worldwide conversation. The Financial Timesnamed her Person of the Year as well — her actions, the paper writes, hold “the potential to improve the way women are treated at work permanently.” That’s Fowler’s public narrative so far. But her personal story — a homeschooled science nerd, a successful woman in STEM against incredible odds — is equally fascinating. She tackles a variety of topics in uplifting talks, including how regular people can effect positive change on a global and personal scale.

Bjarke Ingels (Design) — Bjarke Ingels is the founder of BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group). Ingels defines architecture as the art and science of making sure our cities and buildings fit with the way we want to live our lives. Through careful analysis of various parameters from local culture and climate, ever changing patterns of contemporary life, to the ebbs and flows of the global economy, Ingels believes in the idea of information-driven design as the driving force for his design process. Named one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World by Time magazine in 2016, Bjarke has designed and completed award-winning buildings around the world.

Amanda Palmer (Making & Marketing Music) — Amanda Palmer is a singer, songwriter, playwright, pianist, and blogger who embraces and explodes traditional frameworks of music, theatre, and art. She emerged as half of the Boston­-based punk cabaret duo The Dresden Dolls, earning global applause for their wide­-ranging theatricality and inventive song craft. Her solo career has proven equally boundless, including such groundbreaking works as the fan­-funded Theatre Is Evil. Palmer is again joining forces with producer John Congleton to release her first solo album in seven years in Spring 2019.

Eli Pariser (Social & Global Impact) — Eli Pariser has dedicated his career — as an author, an online organizer, and a co-founder of Upworthy — to figuring out how technology can elevate important topics in the world. Currently, Pariser is an Omidyar Fellow at the New America Foundation, studying how platforms can effectively promote civic good.

Michael Pollan (Health & MedTech) — Michael Pollan is the author of eight books, including most recently How to Change Your Mind, a number one New York Times Bestseller. Previous books include The Omnivore’s DilemmaThe Botany of Desire; and In Defense of Food. Pollan teaches journalism at Berkeley and Harvard. In 2010, Time magazine named him to its list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World.

Douglas Rushkoff (Intelligent Future) — Douglas Rushkoff is a media theorist, author, documentarian, and world-renowned public intellectual. Rushkoff has spent his prolific career thinking about how new media and technology are impacting culture, business, and the economy. Named one of the world’s 10 most influential thinkers by MIT, Rushkoff has written 15 bestselling books and coined such concepts as “viral media,” “social currency,” and “digital natives.”

Joanna Shields (Intelligent Future) — Joanna Shields is a digital entrepreneur, experienced executive, and prominent leader in the global technology industry with a track record in helping to grow some of the world’s best-known transformational companies. She is currently CEO of BenevolentAI, the global leader in the development and application of AI for scientific innovation. Most recently, Joanna served as the UK Minister for Internet Security & Safety, a Special Advisor to the UK Government on the Digital Economy, and Chair & CEO of TechCityUK.

Ari PaulKyle SamaniLinda Xie with Robert Hackett (Blockchain & Cryptocurrency) — Join Kyle Samani (Managing Partner, Multicoin Capital), Linda Xie (Managing Director, Scalar Capital), Ari Paul (CIO, Blocktower), and moderator Robert Hackett (Editor, Fortune) for a conversation with managers from Scalar Capital, BlockTower, and Multicoin Capital as they elucidate their investment approaches and predict the future of blockchain for users around the world.

Amy Webb (Tech Industry & Enterprise) — Amy Webb is a quantitative futurist. She is a professor of strategic foresight at the NYU Stern School of Business and the Founder of the Future Today Institute, a leading foresight and strategy firm that helps leaders and their organizations prepare for complex futures. Webb will deliver her Emerging Tech Trends Report, where she’ll provide a data-driven analysis for the emerging tech trends that need to be on your radar in 2019 – and she’ll draw on those trends to show you scenarios for the future of business, governing, and society.

Join Us at SXSW 2019

Explore new opportunities during 10 days of sessions, screenings, showcases, exhibitions, networking, and beyond at SXSW 2019. With expanded access to events for all registrants, attendees will receive primary access to programming associated with their badge type but also enjoy secondary entry to most other SXSW events. Register before Thursday, September 13 at 11:59pm PT for the biggest savings of the season.

SXSW Conference programming is organized into 25 Tracks divided between Interactive, Film, Music, and Convergence, presented in a variety of session formats. Take the Tracks Quiz to generate the perfect badge for you.

Make your hotel reservations through SXSW Housing & Travel for access to the best available rates and locations. SXSW attendees using SXSW Housing’s contracted hotel rates save between 35%-50% compared to online travel agencies and direct bookings.

To stay in the SX know, sign up for SXSW Event Updates and follow us in all the usual social spots for daily updates – TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.

Get ready to help us write the next chapter of SXSW during March 8-17, 2019.