March 09, 2011
French Filmmaker Previews URBAN WOLF
I had an opportunity to meet URBAN WOLF director LAURENT TOUIL-TARTOUR in Los Angeles this past weekend, a French filmmaker whose new film premiered recently on Sony’s multiplatform website Crackle.
URBAN WOLF is a 15 part international mystery thriller that first premiered at last year’s Comic Con and the AFI Digifest, and won the award for Best Drama at this year’s ITV Festival. The story is told in a cutting-edge visual style with no dialogue.
URBAN WOLF is a prime example of the emergence of digital media as a platform for premium content as well as unique distribution and monetization strategy. URBAN WOLF is creating new models for production, sponsorship and content strategy for media companies and consumer brands.A few links:
March 08, 2011
Charlie Rose interview with Ray Kurzweil, Ptolemy to air March 8 and 9
The postponed Charlie Rose interview with Ray Kurzweil and director Barry Ptolemy regarding the movie Transcendent Man is scheduled to air on PBS Tuesday March 8 (check schedules here for your zip code) and on Bloomberg TV Wednesday March 9 (find showtimes in your area here).
Transcendent Man by Barry Ptolemy focuses on the life and ideas of Ray Kurzweil. It is currently available on iTunes in the United States and Canada and on DVD. Screenings in Washington, D.C. and Boston are sold out, but tickets to London and San Francisco screenings in April are available.
February 28, 2011
JetStreamHD Streams Movies, Music, Photos & Other Digital Content to the Palm of Your Hand
JetStreamHD, the world's first consumer electronics product to stream all of your digital media stored anywhere on a home computer network to the iPad, was announced today at DEMO Spring 2011.
JetStreamHD enables iPad users to instantly access and stream any video, song, or photo from their home network while traveling for business, visiting friends and family, or simply relaxing anywhere – without upfront planning, conversion headaches, download time, sync hassles, or iPad memory limits.
Consumers own an enormous and expanding volume of digital media and are increasingly using mobile devices to enjoy it. Consequently, the market potential for mobile media streaming devices is exploding: according to IDC, the global smartphone market recently surpassed the PC market, with over 100 million units sold in Q4 of 2010 alone. Research firm iSuppli forecasts cumulative sales of iPad and other mobile media tablets to exceed 600 million units by 2015, while a recent InStat survey reports that 50% of US home network users are interested in products that enable video streaming.
Using JetStreamHD, a person at a coffee shop, on the train, a business trip, or at a friend's place, can use their iPad to easily find and instantly play videos, listen to music, or show-off some photos from their home-based media collection – at the highest possible resolution without stuttering.
HOW IT WORKS:
- Plug and play setup in minutes – you simply plug the sleek, quiet JetStreamHD box into your home router and download the free app to your iPad. Within a few minutes, it discovers all of the media that resides in any format, including 1080p HD, on any computer, media server or NAS attached to your network. All of your media is immediately available for viewing on your iPad.
- Easily and quickly find any media with the beautiful iPad app – powerful search, sort and filter controls make it easy to quickly find any item in the largest of libraries. You can quickly sort and filter by movie, genre, rating, date added and much more, and JetStreamHD takes it a step further by automatically adding media cover art, plot summaries and other important data to ensure a rich viewing experience.
- Instant access to your media without any upfront work – as anyone who has worked with digital video knows, video format conversion and streaming is computationally intensive and time consuming. With JetStreamHD, just one touch on the app starts the selected media playing in the best possible resolution without stuttering.
- The best possible mobile viewing experience over any connection – JetStreamHD's powerful hardware takes care of everything automatically as it streams in real-time: converting any format to accommodate your mobile device and adaptively adjusting the streaming bit-rate to make best use of your available Wi-Fi or 3G connection strength. Unlike other solutions, you don't consume one of your home computers to act as the streaming server.
- Support for Apple TV lets you enjoy your JetStreamHD mobile media on the big screen – JetStreamHD streams any video from a home-based media library to any local Apple TV unit using AirPlay, so you can enjoy your media on the iPad or the big screen.
- Multiple iPads, music and photos all at the same time – unlike other solutions, JetStreamHD multitasks as much as you do: more than one iPad user can stream media at the same time or listen to streamed music while also viewing streamed photos or using another iPad app.
JetStreamHD for the iPad, to be priced at $199 USD, is available starting today for pre-order in Canada and the United States at the time-limited special price of $119 USD from the JetStreamHD website (www.JetStreamHD.com). Additional mobile formats will be supported and announced later this year.
Note: I am a consultant to JetStreamHD.
February 24, 2011
Swerve Connects People to Great Things To Do
At the LAUNCH Conference in San Francisco this past week, I interviewed Swerve's John Magdziarz about their iPhone app. Swerve connects people to great things to do. Serving up thousands of events in cities across the U.S., Swerve is for anyone who wants to get out and do something – a couple planning a date night, a group of friends looking for a club party, or a businessperson attending a conference or networking event.
Swerve offers listings for Music & Nightlife; Food & Drink; Speakers & Networking; Art & Museums; Get-togethers; Deals; and Facebook public events. Swerve also makes it easy to share event details and gather friends through social networking services such as Facebook and Twitter, all while on-the-go from your mobile device. John explains in the video below and shows us a demo on an iPad.
February 24, 2011 in America The Free, Arts & Creative Stuff, Entertainment/Media, Europe, Events, On Mobile & Wireless, Social Media, Travel, Videos, WBTW, Web 2.0 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
February 21, 2011
David Silverman on Animation and the Tuba
Most known as the animator for directing numerous episodes of the animated TV series The Simpsons, as well as The Simpsons Movie, David Silverman walked out onto the TEDxBerkeley stage playing a tuba last Saturday.
He gave a very funny historical summary of the tuba and why he started playing it as a teenager.
The main reason that he started playing the tuba is that he thought it would be funny.
He learned how to draw all the instruments in the orchestra and showed a number of his sketches from piano books ranging from Alfred publishing to tuba characters and Bart.
The video of his talk and tuba playing should be up on the TEDxBerkeley site sometime in the next couple of weeks.
February 16, 2011
Introducing New Film: The Economics of Happiness
The Economics of Happiness is a new movie that describes a world moving simultaneously in two opposing directions. On the one hand, an unholy alliance of governments and big business continues to promote globalization and the consolidation of corporate power. At the same time, people all over the world are resisting those policies, demanding a re-regulation of trade and finance—and, far from the old institutions of power, they’re starting to forge a very different future. Communities are coming together to re-build more human scale, ecological economies based on a new paradigm – an economics of localization.
The film shows how globalization breeds cultural self-rejection, competition and divisiveness; how it structurally promotes the growth of slums and urban sprawl; how it is decimating democracy. You will learn about the obscene waste that results from trade for the sake of trade: apples sent from the UK to South Africa to be washed and waxed, then shipped back to British supermarkets; tuna caught off the coast of America, flown to Japan to be processed, then flown back to the US. We hear about the suicides of Indian farmers; about the demise of land-based cultures in every corner of the world.
The second half of The Economics of Happiness provides not only inspiration, but practical solutions. Arguing that economic localization is a strategic solution multiplier that can solve our most serious problems, the film spells out the policy changes needed to enable local businesses to survive and prosper.
You are introduced to community initiatives that are moving the localization agenda forward, including urban gardens in Detroit, Michigan and the Transition Town movement in Totnes, UK. They explore the benefits of an expanding local food movement that is restoring biological diversity, communities and local economies worldwide. They also introduce Via Campesina, the largest social movement in the world, with more than 400 million members.
The movie shares voices from six continents, including Vandana Shiva, Bill McKibben, David Korten, Samdhong Rinpoche, Helena Norberg-Hodge, Michael Shuman, Zac Goldsmith and Keibo Oiwa. They tell us that climate change and peak oil give us little choice: we need tolocalize, to bring the economy home. The good news is that as we move in this direction we will begin not only to heal the earth but also to restore our own sense of well-being. The Economics of Happiness challenges us to restore our faith in humanity, challenges us to believe that it is possible to build a better world.
The movie features: Vandana Shiva, Bill McKibben, David Korten, Michael Shuman, Juliet Schor, Richard Heinberg, Rob Hopkins, Andrew Simms, Zac Goldsmith, Samdhong Rinpoche. The schedule of where previews will be showing is here, ranging from London, Berkeley, Portland to Ireland, Thailand, Tokyo and India.
February 13, 2011
Go Meet, Read and See The Mentalist in Las Vegas
Gerry McCambridge has been traveling the world and amazing audiences for over 25 years. He took his love for magic, and mixed it with the observational skills he learned from his father, a New York City Detective, to create the character of “The Mentalist” which is now a show that plays regularly in Las Vegas where he now lives.
I saw him perform in Las Vegas recently and was able to chat with him one-on-one after the show because a friend happened to know him.
He's an incredibly interesting yet quietly intense guy, with a warm smile, great sense of humor and an easy-going relaxed energy that puts you at ease immediately. Gerry has an uncanny way of getting into your head -- literally -- and into getting you to share personal information willingly, a gift that only some of the best personal coaches have.
He uses part magic, part intuition and part common sense - in other words, he looks for patterns that are likely to happen based on the fact that a large percentage of the time, they either DO happen or ARE LIKE THAT.
The latter can translate into him guessing people's names, ages, cities they come from in a way that only suggests that he's either performing magic or the man can really read your mind.
Gerry appeared on countless radio and TV talk shows including "Late Night with David Letterman," "The Today Show," “The Vegas Show,” “Soap Talk,” “Real Life” and "The Best Damn Sports Show Period."
February 10, 2011
39-A: Een Reisverhaal Van Eindeloos To Screen At SXSW
Filmmaker Evan Mather’s autobiographical mash-up about a family vacation to the Kennedy Space Center, will screen at SXSW this March.
The 7-minute video is an insightful autobiographical mashup of Super-8 home movies, vibrant animated cartography, and Dutch pidgin-speak, in which his family’s 1981 vacation to the Kennedy Space Center is chronicled in exquisite detail.
Initially created for the Architecture and Design Museum (Los Angeles) as part of its Summer 2010 art installation “Come In!”, the piece has screened as part of AIA San Francisco’s “Architecture and the City” Festival, as part of A+D’s inaugural OnScreen film series, and in Atlanta at DOCOMOMO Georgia.
February 07, 2011
Arianna Huffington: $300m in Cash, Hmmm, Let Me Think About That One
If you were Arianna Huffington, wouldn't you take the money, even if it meant a relocation to New York as a result? After all, with that kind of exit ($300 million of the $350 million is in cash), you can jet back and forth the 5 hour commute without that much of an inconvenience.
Besides, as part of the deal, she also gets to be in charge of Michael Arrington and his posse at TechCrunch, which should be interesting to watch from the outside -- personally and editorially.
As Kara Swisher points out in her write-up on the AOL acquisition, "the deal gives it a popular branded site that is very good at generating lots of page views and impressions very efficiently–which is the company’s whole thrust these days. That means lots more ad inventory to sell and an injection of content talent, giving AOL the scale it desperately needs."
The projections look good, so the acquisition is no surprise and frankly, many a conversation in my circles have revolved around who they'll ultimately sell out to over the past few years. They increased their ad sales from $ 31 million in 2010 to a projected $60 million this year. Sweet. I guess it was time to hand over the goods to a 'bigger power', at least on paper.
Let's face it, AOL's branding 'magic sauce' hasn't really taken a strong turn yet, so having both Huffington Post and TechCrunch under their wings, gives AOL editorial direction, identity and a sense of purpose, particularly in the eyes of readers and users who are not exactly living on the leading edge of technology.
With Arianna as Editor-in-Chief, things could get interesting....smart move on Armstrong's part. Her compelling combination of smart aggregated content with original content and celebrity names has become a winning formula others haven't been able to replicate.
As part of the deal, Tim Armstrong will take over from Huffington Post's Chief Revenue Officer Greg Coleman and the existing AOL ad sales head Jeff Levic will remain on board.
Paul Carr has an amusing and thoughtful take on the acquisition here. He talks about the potential downside of the SEO implications down the road for them (TechCrunch) and the rest of the world (readers). The other downside is that because Huffington Post doesn't remain solely independent, some things will no doubt have to give over time. Having Huffington in the editorial seat for now reduces the risk at least in the short term.
She will apparently be in charge of Engadget, Mapquest, TechCrunch and Moviefone. If its true that one reason they bought them is because their readers make up a significant number of important women with money to spend, then why not put her in charge of more brands?
Photo Credits: Planetpov.com, All Things D and Bloomberg BusinessWeek.
February 02, 2011
SXSW Film Announces 2011 Features Lineup
The South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Conference and Festival just announce the features lineup for this year’s Festival, March 11–19, 2011 in Austin, Texas. The 2011 lineup continues the SXSW tradition of tapping into the cultural zeitgeist, highlighting emerging talent and breakthrough performances and supporting first-time filmmakers. The Midnighters and SXFantastic feature sections, along with the short film program, will be announced next week.
Over the course of nine days, 130 features will screen at SXSW 2011. The program consists of 60 World Premieres, 12 North American Premieres and 16 U.S. Premieres. These films were selected from a record 1,792 feature-length film submissions composed of 1,323 U.S. and 469 international feature-length films. SXSW saw a 23% increase in its overall submissions over 2010, with a record number of nearly 4,900 total.The festival’s main competition categories once again find eight Narrative Features and eight Documentary Features, vying for their respective Grand Jury Prizes. New for 2011, films in competition will also be eligible for screenplay, editing, cinematography, music and acting awards.
The Narrative Feature Competition includes: 96 MINUTES, directed by Aimée Lagos, A Year in Mooring, directed by Chris Eyre, American Animal, directed by Matt D'Elia, Charlie Casanova, directed by Terry McMahon, FLY AWAY, directed by Janet Grillo, HAPPY NEW YEAR, directed by K. Lorrel Manning, Natural Selection, directed by Robbie Pickering and Small, Beautifully Moving Parts, directed by Annie J. Howell & Lisa Robinson.
The Documentary Feature Competition includes: A Mouthful, directed by Sally Rowe, Better This World, directed by Katie Galloway & Kelly Duane de la Vega, The City Dark, directed by Ian Cheney, DRAGONSLAYER, directed by Tristan Patterson, FIGHTVILLE, directed by Michael Tucker & Petra Epperlein, Kumaré, directed by Vikram Gandhi, LAST DAYS HERE, directed by Don Argott & Demian Fenton and Where Soldiers Come From, directed by Heather Courtney.
The final panel and conference lineup will be announced on February 15. Visit http://www.sxsw.com/film for more information and updates.
The 2011 SXSW Film Festival will feature:
Director & Writer: Aimée Lagos
Four young lives. One night. One terrifying event. These 96 minutes will change everything.
Cast: Brittany Snow, Evan Ross, Christian Serratos, J. Michael Trautmann, and David Oyelowo
A Year in Mooring
Director: Chris Eyre, Writer: Peter Vanderwall
In his first leading dramatic role, Josh Lucas walks an isolated line between solitude and redemption. This quiet cinematic journey tells a of tale grief, solace and peace. Cast: Josh Lucas, Ayelet Zurer, James Cromwell, Jon Tenney, Taylor Nichols (World Premiere)
Director & Writer: Matt D'Elia
Jimmy - eccentric, delusional, dying - feels betrayed when roommate James gets a job. During one night of drinks, drugs and women, a classic battle of wills ensues as James prepares for work and Jimmy goes mad. Cast: Matt D'Elia, Brendan Fletcher, Mircea Monroe, Angela Sarafyan
Charlie Casanova (Ireland)
Director & Writer: Terry McMahon
A ruling class sociopath knocks down a working class girl in a hit-and-run and uses a deck of playing cards to determine his fate. Cast: Emmett J. Scanlan, Leigh Arnold, Damien Hannaway, Ruth McIntyre, Tony Murphy (World Premiere)
Director & Writer: Janet Grillo
A poignant yet humor filled story about a single mother of a teenager with autism, confronting her child’s future. What will sustain her daughter, and herself? A parent/child love story, when love means letting go. Cast: Beth Broderick, Ashley Rickards, Greg Germann, JR Bourne, Reno (World Premiere)
HAPPY NEW YEAR
Director & Writer: K. Lorrel Manning
A war torn marine returns home to face his fiercest battle yet --- the one against himself.
Cast: Michael Cuomo, JD Williams, Monique Gabriela Curnen, Tina Sloan, Alan Dale (World Premiere)
Director & Writer: Robbie Pickering
When a dutiful, albeit barren, housewife discovers that her ailing husband has an illegitimate son, she sets out to find the young man and reunite him with her husband before he dies.
Cast: Rachael Harris, Matt O'Leary, Jon Gries, John Diehl (World Premiere)
Small, Beautifully Moving Parts
Directors & Writers: Annie J. Howell & Lisa Robinson
Technology-obsessed Sarah Sparks is pregnant and ambivalent, afraid she relates better to machines than to people. Looking for answers, she hits the road in search of her estranged mother, now living off the grid. Cast: Anna Margaret Hollyman, André Holland, Sarah Rafferty, Susan Kalechi Watson, Mary Beth Peil (World Premiere)
DOCUMENTARY FEATURE COMPETITION
This year’s 8 films were selected from 808 submissions. Each film is a World Premiere.
Films screening in Documentary Feature Competition are:
Director: Sally Rowe
Considered a rising star of haute cuisine, Paul Liebrandt found his career stalled in New York’s austere environment post 9/11. Paul struggles over the next decade as he tries to make his way back to the top. (World Premiere)
Better This World
Directors: Katie Galloway & Kelly Duane de la Vega
Two childhood friends from Midland, Texas cross a line that changes their lives forever. The result: eight homemade bombs, multiple domestic terrorism charges and a high stakes entrapment defense hinging on a controversial FBI informant. (World Premiere)
The City Dark
Director: Ian Cheney
The film chronicles the disappearance of darkness, following astronomers, cancer researchers, ecologists and philosophers in a quest to understand what is lost in the glare of city lights. (World Premiere)
Director: Tristan Patterson
Killer Films presents the transmissions of a lost kid, falling in love, in the suburbs of Fullerton, California. Featuring skateboarding, the usual drugs, and stray glimpses of unusual beauty.
Directors: Michael Tucker & Petra Epperlein
A documentary about the art and sport of fighting: a microcosm of life, a physical manifestation of that other brutal contest called the American Dream. (World Premiere)
Director: Vikram Gandhi
A documentary about a man who impersonates a wise Indian Guru and builds a following in Arizona. (World Premiere)
LAST DAYS HERE
Directors: Don Argott & Demian Fenton
The film follows middle-aged rocker Bobby Liebling, lead singer of the cult hard rock/heavy metal band Pentagram, as he leaves his parents' basement in search of the life he never lived.
Where Soldiers Come From
Director: Heather Courtney
From a snowy small town in Northern Michigan to the mountains of Afghanistan and back, the film follows the four-year journey of childhood friends and their town, forever changed by a faraway war. (World Premiere)
Big names, big talent: Headliners bring star power to SXSW, featuring red carpet premieres and gala film events with some major and rising names in cinema.
Films screening in Headliners are:
Director: Takashi Miike, Writers: Shoichirou Ikemiya & Daisuke Tengan
Distressed by the Lord’s murderous rampage, top Shogun official Sir Doi secretly calls on esteemed samurai Shinzaemon Shimada to assassinate the evil Naritsugu. Outraged by Lord Naritsugu’s vile acts, Shinzaemon willingly accepts the dangerous mission. Cast: Koji Yakusho, Takayuki Yamada, Yusuke Iseya, Goro Inagaki, Masachika Ichimura
Ain't It Cool News 15th Anniversary Screening
Harry Knowles will curate a surprise screening in honor of the 15th Anniversary of his popular cult website Ain't it Cool News.
Director: Jodie Foster, Writer: Kyle Killen
Two-time Academy Award® winner Jodie Foster directs and co-stars with two-time Academy Award® winner Mel Gibson in an emotional story about a man on a journey to re-discover his family and re-start his life. Plagued by his own demons, Walter Black was once a successful toy executive and family man who now suffers from depression. No matter what he tries, Walter can’t seem to get himself back on track…until a beaver hand puppet enters his life. Cast: Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster, Anton Yelchin, Jennifer Lawrence, Cherry Jones (World Premiere)
Conan O'Brien Can't Stop
Director: Rodman Flender
Did Conan O'Brien go on tour to connect with his fans or fill a void within himself? Rodman Flender’s documentary captures an artist trained in improvisation at the most improvisational time of his career. (World Premiere)
Director: Greg Mottola, Writers: Simon Pegg & Nick Frost
Simon Pegg and Nick Frost reunite as two geeks who meet an alien named Paul (Seth Rogen) on a pilgrimage to America’s UFO heartland. Their road trip will alter our universe forever. Cast: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Jason Bateman, Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader, Blythe Danner, John Carroll Lynch, with Sigourney Weaver, and Seth Rogen as Paul (North American Premiere)
Director: Duncan Jones, Writer: Ben Ripley
When soldier Captain Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal) wakes up in the body of an unknown man, he discovers he’s part of a mission to find the bomber of a Chicago commuter train. In an assignment unlike any he’s ever known, he learns he’s part of a government experiment called the “Source Code,” a computer program that enables him to cross over into another man's identity in the last 8 minutes of his life. Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga, Jeffrey Wright (World Premiere)
Director & Writer: James Gunn
In this outlandish dark comedy, James Gunn has created what is perhaps the definitive take on self-reflexive superheroes. Cast: Rainn Wilson, Ellen Page, Liv Tyler, Kevin Bacon, Michael Rooker
Director: Tom McCarthy, Writers: Tom McCarthy & Joe Tiboni
Tom McCarthy, acclaimed writer/director of The Visitor and The Station Agent, once again explores the depths and nuances of human relationships in his new film about the allegiances and bonds between unlikely characters. Cast: Paul Giamatti, Amy Ryan, Bobby Cannavale, Jeffrey Tambor, Burt Young, Melanie Lynskey, Alex Schaffer, Margo Martindale, David Thompson
Shining a light on new documentary and narrative features receiving their World, North American or U.S. Premieres at SXSW.
Films screening in Spotlight Premieres are:
A Bag of Hammers
Director: Brian Crano, Writers: Brian Crano & Jake Sandvig
An offbeat comedy about two misfit best friends incapable of growing up, whose direction is tested by an abandoned child, worn beyond his years; together they invent the family they've always needed. Cast: Jason Ritter, Jake Sandvig, Chandler Canterbury, Rebecca Hall, Carrie Preston (World Premiere)
Director: Jeff Myers
In an effort to rekindle his Christmas spirit, Jack decides to spend this season as Santa Claus, but the role of Kris Kringle is more complex than he thinks. (World Premiere)
Writer & Director: Mike Mills
When Oliver (Ewan McGregor) meets the irreverent and unpredictable Anna (Mélanie Laurent) only months after his father Hal (Christopher Plummer) has passed away, this new love floods Oliver with memories of his father who – following 44 years of marriage – came out of the closet at age 75 to live a full, energized, and wonderfully tumultuous gay life. Cast: Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer, Mélanie Laurent, Goran Visnjic, Kai Lennox (U.S. Premiere)
Bob and The Monster
Director: Keirda Bahruth
A highly compelling portrait of outspoken indie-rock hero Bob Forrest, through his life-threatening struggle with addiction, to his transformation into one of the most influential and controversial drug counselors in the US today. (World Premiere)
Director: Joseph Kahn, Writers: Joseph Kahn & Mark Palermo
A downtrodden 17-year-old girl is sent to detention where she must survive a slasher film killer and save the world in time for prom. Cast: Josh Hutcherson, Dane Cook, Shanley Caswell, Spencer Locke, Aaron David Johnson (World Premiere)
Director: Anne Buford
From a basketball academy in Senegal, to the high-pressure world of American prep schools, the film documents the extraordinary personal journeys of four particularly tall West African Muslim teenage boys with NBA dreams. (World Premiere)
Director: Sara Terry
Victims and perpetrators of Sierra Leone’s brutal war come together for the first time in an unprecedented reconciliation program of grassroots truth-telling and forgiveness ceremonies.
Fubar: Balls to the Wall (Canada)
Director: Michael Dowse, Writers: David Lawrence, Paul J. Spence
Documentarian Farrel Mitchner explores the lives of headbangers Dean Murdoch and Terry Cahill. Cast: Paul J. Spence, David Lawrence (U.S. Premiere)
Girl Walks Into a Bar
Director & Writer: Sebastian Gutierrez
A sharp-witted comedy that follows a group of apparent strangers in interlocking stories taking place in ten different bars during the course of one evening in Los Angeles. Cast: Carla Gugino, Zachary Quinto, Danny DeVito, Josh Hartnett, Rosario Dawson (World Premiere)
Director & Writer: Ti West
Hotel clerks by day, amateur ghost hunters by night, the last two employees of the historic Yankee Pedlar Inn set out to prove that their place of business is as haunted as its reputation.
Cast: Sara Paxton, Pat Healy, Kelly McGillis (World Premiere)
It's About You
Director: Kurt Markus
First-time filmmakers, photographer Kurt Markus and son, Ian, document John Mellencamp’s 2009 summer tour and recording of his latest album. This film celebrates the visual beauty and power of Super8 film and the human voice. (World Premiere)
Director & Writer: Alex Munt
A pop-art film based on the novel “Living Between Fucks” by Cry Bloxsome. It follows Goodchild, a young writer back home for his ex-girlfriend's funeral, The Dead Girl. Love, Loss & Desperation.
Cast: Toby Schmitz, Bianca Chiminello, Gracie Otto, Septimus Caton, April Rose Pengilly
The Other F Word
Director: Andrea Blaugrund Nevins
When the most anti-authoritarian among us become the ultimate authorities... we might just have to use The Other F Word. (World Premiere)
Directors: Victor Köhler & David Dworsky
The first real testimony of the digi-creative revolution. It's an 80 minute global journey capturing how digital technology and mindset has transformed the concept of art and culture.
(North American Premiere)
Directors: Dan Geller & Dayna Goldfine
Apple. Intel. Genentech. Cisco. Atari. This film tells the story of a handful of risk-takers who alongside visionary entrepreneurs created these revolutionary companies, and in the process ignited the industry known as venture capital. (World Premiere)
Director: Billy Corben
A colorful portrait of Miami's pot smugglin' scene of the 1970s, populated with redneck pirates, a ganja-smoking church, and the longest serving marijuana prisoner in American history.
Directors: Dan Lindsay & T.J. Martin
A volunteer coach helps a neglected inner-city football team in their quest to win the first playoff game in the high school's history. (World Premiere)
Yelling to the Sky
Director & Writer: Victoria Mahoney
As her family falls apart, seventeen year old Sweetness O’Hara is left to fend for herself in a neighborhood where her survival is uncertain. Cast: Zoe Kravitz, Jason Clarke, Antonique Smith, Gabourey Sidibe, Tim Blake Nelson (U.S. Premiere)
YOU INSTEAD (Scotland)
Director: David Mackenzie, Writer: Thomas Leveritt
Two rival musicians find themselves handcuffed together at the world renowned music festival, T in the Park, where they are both scheduled to perform. Cast: Luke Treadaway, Natalia Tena, Sophie Wu, Ruta Gedmintas, Kari Corbett (North American Premiere)
Innovation and creativity from new and emerging feature filmmakers, showcasing raw talent in documentary and narratives of varying premiere status.
Films screening in Emerging Visions are:
Director & Writer: Dustin Guy Defa
A humorless loner attempts to win the admiration of a drifter with his debut performance at the local comedy club. Cast: Kentucker Audley, Eléonore Hendricks, Annette Wright, Allison Baar
The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye
Director: Marie Losier
A portrait of the life and work of ground-breaking performance artist and music pioneer Genesis Breyer P-Orridge (Throbbing Gristle, Psychic TV) and his wife Lady Jaye, centered around their sexual transformations for their “Pandrogyne” project. (North American Premiere)
Director & Writer: Evan Glodell
A love story with apocalyptic stakes. Cast: Evan Glodell, Jessie Wiseman, Tyler Dawson, Rebekah Brandes, Vincent Grashaw
The Catechism Cataclysm
Director & Writer: Todd Rohal
Father William Smoortser drops his bible into a toilet at a rest stop just before embarking on a day-long canoe trip, breaking loose all glorious hell. Cast: Steve Little, Robert Longstreet, Walter Dalton, Miki Ann Maddox, Koko Lanham, Rico
Caught Inside (Australia)
Director: Adam Blaiklock, Writers: Adam Blaiklock & Matt Tomaszewski
A surfing holiday turns deadly when a group of friends fight over a beautiful woman. Cast: Ben Oxenbould, Daisy Betts, Sam Lyndon, Simon Lyndon, Peter Phelps (North American Premiere)
Director: Jarred Alterman
Artist Christiaan Zwanikken resurrects deceased wildlife by reanimating the skeletal remains with servomotors and robotics. He breeds these new species in a 400-year-old monastery in Portugal, restored from ruins and converted into his laboratory. (North American Premiere)
The Dish & The Spoon
Director: Alison Bagnall, Writers: Alison Bagnall, Andrew Lewis
In this poignant comedy, Rose (Greta Gerwig), reeling from her husband's affair, collides and forms an unexpected bond with a marooned teenager from England (exciting newcomer Olly Alexander) in a boarded-up Delaware beach town. Cast: Greta Gerwig, Olly Alexander, Eleonore Hendricks, Amy Seimetz, Adam Rothenberg (World Premiere)
Fuck my life (Chile)
Director & Writer: Nicolás López
Love in the times of Facebook is worst than love in the times of cholera.
Cast: Ariel Levy, Lucy Cominetti, Andrea Velasco, Paz Bascuñan, Leonor Varela (U.S. Premiere)
Director & Writer: Sophia Takal
An intimate friendship between two women dissolves as they are drawn into an irrational, destructive spiral of jealousy and paranoid fantasy in this haunting examination of the female psyche.
Cast: Kate Lyn Sheil, Sophia Takal, Lawrence Michael Levine (World Premiere)
THE KEY MAN
Director & Writer: Peter Himmelstein
Bobby Scheinman is an insurance salesman struggling to provide for his family. Enter Vincent and Irving, two con men who convince Bobby to join them for a moneymaking scheme that quickly spirals out of control. Cast: Jack Davenport, Hugo Weaving, Brian Cox, Judy Greer, Ben Shenkman
Director: R. Alverson, Writers: R. Alverson & Colm O'Leary
Ike (Will Oldham), an Evangelical Christian, befriends Sean, an Irish immigrant, and attempts to ensure his salvation. A meditation on the allure and limitations of modern utopian belief. Cast: Will Oldham, Colm O'Leary, Thomas Bowles, Walter Scott, Roxanne Ferris (North American Premiere)
No Matter What
Director & Writer: Cherie Saulter
The story of Nick and Joey, two best friends living in the crumbling landscape of rural Florida, whose lives and friendship are changed by the journey to find Joey’s mother. Cast: Matt Webb, Waylan Gross, Amy Seimetz (World Premiere)
Our Day Will Come (France)
Director: Romain Gavras, Writers: Romain Gavras & Karim Boucherka
Two outcast redheads set off on a roadtrip of hate, violence and self-destruction. The time for revenge has come... Cast: Vincent Cassel, Olivier Barthelemy (U.S. Premiere)
Director: Gustavo Pizzi, Writers: Gustavo Pizzi & Karine Teles
What's the importance of luck in life? Is luck part of the craft? Cast: Karine Teles, Camilo Pellegrini, Dany Roland, Otavio Muller (North American Premiere)
Director & Writer: Michael Tully
A reclusive sports hustler returns home to his family farm after years of absence to reunite with his two eccentric, unhinged and emotionally damaged brothers. Cast: Robert Longstreet, Onur Tukel, Michael Tully, Rachel Korine, Mark Darby Robinson
Director & Writer: Joe Swanberg
Filmmaking and life converge around a werewolf film. Cast: Kate Lyn Sheil, Ti West, Amy Seimetz, Joe Swanberg, Jane Adams (North American Premiere)
Director: Dave Boyle, Writers: Dave Boyle, Joel Clark, & Goh Nakamura
Musician Goh Nakamura is hired to teach TV actor Danny Turner how to walk and talk like a rock star for his new movie. Cast: Goh Nakamura, Chadd Stoops, Lynn Chen, Mary Cavett, Joy Osmanski (World Premiere)
Director & Writer: Kyle Smith
Ten friends gather to play an annual game of touch football in this real-time comedy.
Cast: Morgan Beck, Adam Benic, Kerry Bishé, Troy Buchanan, Tom DiMenna (World Premiere)
Director & Writer: Andrew Haigh
A one-night stand that becomes something else, something important - a (sort of) love story between two guys trying to take control of their lives. Cast: Tom Cullen, Chris New (World Premiere)
LONE STAR STATES
Texas proud! Documentaries and Narratives with a special connection to the Lone Star State.
Films screening in Lone Star States are:
Director: Aaron Rottinghaus, Writers: Aaron Rottinghaus & Josh Danziger
Young love is derailed by a rare psychological disorder known as icd-10 F24. Cast: Olesya Rulin, Josh Danziger, Michael Bowen, Bruce McGill, Joey Lauren Adams (World Premiere)
Director & Writer: Aaron Burns
Sad, fat, black, latino, nerd. It doesn't get any worse than that. Cast: Austin Marshall, Devyn Ray, Tiger Sheu, Danny Trejo, Jeff Fahey (World Premiere)
Director: Turk Pipkin
Filmmaker Turk Pipkin’s promise to help build the first high school for a remote African community connects Americans and Kenyans in this true story. (World Premiere)
Five Time Champion
Director & Writer: Berndt Mader
A film about love, hope, petty theft, adultery, and the boundless opportunities presented by science. Cast: Betty Buckley, Dana Wheeler Nicholson, Jon Gries, Ryan Akin, Robert Longstreet
INCENDIARY: The Willingham Case
Directors: Steve Mims & Joe Bailey, Jr.
Cameron Todd Willingham: A martyr for anti-death penalty activists, a 'monster' for right-wing politicians and a flash point for an astonishing twenty-first century fight between science and folklore. (World Premiere)
Inside America (Austria)
Director & Writer: Barbara Eder
A portrait of six teenagers during their senior year at Hanna High School in Brownsville and “a relentless, downbeat but convincing indictment of a small Texas high school.” Cast: Raul Juarez, Aimeé Lizette Saldivar, Zuleyma Jaime, Luis De Los Santos, Carlos Benavides, Patty Barrera
My Sucky Teen Romance
Director & Writer: Emily Hagins
In a culture that is currently overrun with romanticized vampires, it is up to four geeky teenagers to defend their friend and beloved sci-fi convention from a group of very real, blood-thirsty vampires.
Cast: Elaine Hurt, Patrick Delgado, Santiago Dietche, Lauren Lee, Tony Vespe (World Premiere)
Otis Under Sky
Director: Anlo Sepulveda, Writers: Anlo Sepulveda, Anis Mojgani, Roberta Colindrez
Otis is a socially inept web artist who struggles to connect with people. He falls into unrequited love with Ursula, and his world is turned upside down. Cast: Anis Mojgani, Roberta Colindrez, Tony Jackson, Jacqueline Leal, Ruth Sepulveda (World Premiere)
Director & Writer: Clay Liford
A high school teacher is severely beaten by his own students. Too embarrassed to inform the authorities, he plots his own revenge. Cast: Nate Rubin, Alicia Anthony, Alex Karpovsky, Jonny Mars, Tony Hale (World Premiere)
24 BEATS PER SECOND
Showcasing the sounds, culture and influence of music and musicians, with an emphasis on documentary.
Films screening in 24 Beats Per Second are:
Benda Bilili! (France)
Directors: Renaud Barret & Florent de La Tullaye
Ricky dreams of making Staff Benda Bilili the best band in Congo Kinshasa. Roger wants to join these stars of the ghetto. Together, they must avoid the pitfalls of the street and believe in music. (U.S. Premiere)
Director: James Moll
The definitive documentary of the last great American rock n’ roll band: chronicling Foo Fighters’ 16 year history from their first club gigs to the recording of their new album in Dave Grohl's garage.
Le Tigre: On Tour
Director: Kerthy Fix
A concert film that follows a feminist electronic band across 4 continents and 10 countries and provides an unusual peek behind the curtain of the contemporary pop machine. (World Premiere)
Live at Preservation Hall: Louisiana Fairytale
Director: Danny Clinch
The film documents the collaboration between New Orleans's legendary Preservation Hall Jazz Band and American rock band My Morning Jacket, demonstrating the power of Preservation Hall to inspire a whole new generation of musicians. (World Premiere)
Love Shines (Canada)
Director: Douglas Arrowsmith
Love Shines follows Canadian singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith as he makes his latest studio album with legendary producer Bob Rock. (U.S. Premiere)
NYMAN IN PROGRESS (Germany/England)
Director: Silvia Beck
A documentary about composer and artist Michael Nyman, who at 65, surprises the world with a new insight into his creativity. (U.S. Premiere)
Outside Industry: The Story of SXSW
Director: Alan Berg
Four guys living on next to nothing created a music event in the hopes of giving bands a way of connecting with music insiders. The result was the biggest music industry event in the world.
Sound It Out (England)
Director: Jeanie Finlay
A documentary portrait of the very last record shop in Teesside. A distinctive, funny and intimate film about men, the North of England and the irreplaceable role of music in our lives. (World Premiere)
Taken By Storm: The Art of Storm Thorgerson and Hipgnosis
Director: Roddy Bogawa
Real? Surreal? Iconic? Impossible? The album art of Storm Thorgerson is so far deeply embedded into our psyche, it’s hard to believe it all came from one mind. (World Premiere)
UPSIDE DOWN: THE CREATION RECORDS STORY (England)
Director: Danny O'Connor
The definitive and fully authorized documentary of the highs and lows of the UK's most inspired and dissolute independent record label - Creation Records. (North American Premiere)
A diverse panorama of international filmmaking talent, including premieres, interactive documentaries and shorts.
Films screening in SX Global are:
Director & Writer: Assaf Tager
In a post-industrial world people are no longer able to dream. Sarah, the single surviving dreamer, sets out to the only place that can provide answers to her strange night visions: the dream factory.
Cast: Sarah Adler, David Fire, Liron Levo, Nicole Veronica (North American Premiere)
Director: Janus Metz
Following a group of Danish solders on a 2009 tour of Afghanistan, Janus Metz’s acclaimed documentary is a gripping, visually stunning probe into the psychology of young men in the midst of a senseless war.
Beats of Freedom (Poland)
Directors: Leszek Gnoinski & Wojciech Slota
A captivating film about the birth of rock music in Poland.
El Ambulante (Argentina)
Directors & Writers: Eduardo de la Serna, Lucas Marcheggiano and Adriana Yurcovich
A traveler arrives at a village and proposes to make a feature film - but only the villagers will act in the film.
El Bulli - Cooking in Progress (Germany)
Director: Gereon Wetzel
The starred chef Ferran Adrià is known as the best, most innovative and craziest cook in the world. Every year, the restaurant closes for six months and Adrià and his creative team retire to their cooking laboratory in Barcelona, to create a new menu for the following season. Everything is allowed – except copying themselves.
Heaven Hell (Czech Republic)
Director: David Calek
A documentary film dealing with human diversity that doesn't necessarily lead to hell even though it might seem like that from the outsider's point of view. (U.S. Premiere)
IDFA DocLab presents: New Documentary Narratives
For the third year in a row, SXSW has invited IDFA DocLab (www.idfa.nl/doclab) to organize a panel and a special live cinema screening. IDFA DocLab is the new media program of the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam. Since 2008, IDFA DocLab showcases the many new and unexpected forms of documentary storytelling made possible by digital technology. In Europe, the program has become a platform for transmedia and multiplatform projects, ranging from interactive webdocs to documentary media art.
My Life With Carlos (Chile/Germany/Spain)
Director: German Berger-Hertz
The film chronicles the journey of a son (director German Berger-Hertz) trying to learn the truth about his father, who was killed in 1973 in Pinochet's Chile.
Reindeer Spotting (Finland)
Director: Joonas Neuvonen
Without moralizing the film shows the real life of a group of friends in the Arctic Circle, dabbling in petty crime and hard drugs. Disturbing, brutal and beautifully honest. Trainspotting in Santa Land.
(North American Premiere)
Self Made (England)
Director: Gillian Wearing
A diverse group of British people respond to an ad from artist Gillian Wearing. Taking part in an experiment with Method acting, they find themselves for the first time confronting their innermost personal truths.
Viva Riva! (Democratic Republic of Congo)
Director & Writer: Djo Tunda Wa Munga
The first major film out of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the story follows fast-living hustler Riva. While being pursued by Kinshasa’s dangerous underworld, Riva finds himself inextricably drawn to a gangster’s seductive, kept woman. Cast: Patsha Bay, Manie Malone, Hoji Fortuna, Marlene Longage, Diplome Amekindra, Alex Herabo (U.S. Premiere)
WAY OF THE MORRIS (England)
Directors: Tim Plester & Rob Curry
Filmmaker Tim Plester journeys from the English village green to the killing fields of The Somme, in search of a connection with the much-maligned native dance traditions that run deep in his blood. (World Premiere)
Acclaimed standouts and selected previous premieres from festivals around the world.
Films screening in Festival Favorites are:
Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey
Director: Constance A. Marks
Elmo is one of the most beloved characters among children across the globe. Meet the unlikely man behind the puppet - the heart and soul of Elmo - Kevin Clash. Narrated by Whoopi Goldberg, this documentary includes rare archival footage and offers a behind-the-scenes look at Sesame Street and the Jim Henson Workshop.
CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS (France)
Director: Werner Herzog
Filming in 3D, Herzog captures the wonder and beauty of one of the most awe-inspiring sites on earth.
Director & Writer: Max Winkler
Sam Davis convinces his former best friend to spend a weekend with him to rekindle their friendship at an elegant beachside estate but he is forced to realize how complicated love and friendship can be. Cast: Michael Angarano, Uma Thurman, Reece Thompson, Lee Pace, Jake Johnson
The First Movie (Canada/England)
Director: Mark Cousins
What’s it like to be a child in war – not when the conflict is raging, but when the war tide is out, as it were, when kids are telling stories or playing games?
Director: Spencer Susser, Writers: Spencer Susser & David Michôd
Loud music. Pornography. Burning shit down – just a few of Hesher’s favorite things. And it’s just this kind of anarchy that’s needed to shake the burdens of sorrow from a boy and his father.
Cast: Natalie Portman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Rainn Wilson, Devin Brochu, Piper Laurie
How to Die in Oregon
Director: Peter D. Richardson
The film tells the complex stories of terminally ill Oregonians, their families, doctors and friends, as they decide whether to end their life by lethal overdose under Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act.
In a Better World (Denmark)
Director: Susanne Bier, Writer: Anders Thomas Jensen, based on a story by Susanne Bier and Anders Thomas Jensen
Golden Globe® Award winner and Academy Award® nominee for Best Foreign Language Film, and told from the two very different worlds of an idyllic Danish town and an African refugee camp, a doctor and his family are faced with conflicts that force them to make difficult choices between revenge and forgiveness. Cast: Mikael Persbrandt, Trine Dyrholm, Ulrich Thomsen, Markus Rygaard, William Jøhnk Nielsen
Director & Writer: Denis Villenueve
Academy Award® nominee for Best Foreign Language Film and adaptation of Wajdi Mouawad’s acclaimed play, Incendies tells the story of two siblings who set out to the Middle East to understand the life of their deceased enigmatic mother, who has left them with a mystery only they can piece together. Cast: Lubna Azabal, Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin, Maxim Gaudette, Rémy Girard
Page One: A Year Inside The New York Times
Director: Andrew Rossi
Unprecedented access to the New York Times newsroom yields a complex view of a media landscape fraught with both peril and opportunity.
POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold
Director: Morgan Spurlock
Morgan Spurlock (Oscar nominee, Super Size Me) explores the world of product placement, marketing and advertising in POM Wonderful Presents: THE GREATEST MOVIE EVER SOLD, a film fully financed through product placement.
ROAD TO NOWHERE
Director: Monte Hellman, Writer: Steven Gaydos
Illusion is the First of all Pleasures. Cast: Shannyn Sossamon, Tygh Runyan, Dominique Swain, Cliff De Young, Waylon Payne
Sound of My Voice
Director: Zal Batmanglij, Writers: Zal Batmanglij and Brit Marling
A young couple infiltrate a cult that meets in the San Fernando Valley. Cast: Brit Marling, Christopher Denham, Nicole Vicius
Director: Errol Morris
Errol Morris further redefines and pushes the boundaries of documentary film with the tale of Joyce McKinney and the infamous “Case of the Manacled Mormon."
Director: Azazel Jacobs, Writer: Patrick deWitt
A moving and often funny film about a big kid in a small town that doesn’t seem to have room for anyone who is different. Cast: Jacob Wysocki, John C. Reilly, Creed Bratton, Olivia Crocicchia, Bridger Zadina
Wasted on the Young (Australia)
Director & Writer: Ben C. Lucas
An incident at a high school party sets off a dramatic chain of events and two brothers must place their lives at the mercy of popular opinion. Cast: Oliver Ackland, Adelaide Clemens, Alex Russell
Live Soundtracks, cult re-issues and much more. Our Special Events section offers unusual, unexpected and unique film event one-offs.
Films screening in Special Events are:
Directors: Edward Sedgwick & Buster Keaton, Writer: Clyde Bruckman
Buster Keaton plays a bumbling street photographer who tries his hand as a newsreel cameraman to impress a girl. Austin jazz/rock band Bee vs. Moth plays their original score live. Presented in partnership with the Alamo Drafthouse. Cast: Buster Keaton, Marceline Day, Harold Goodwin, Sidney Bracey, Harry Gribbon
Director: Michael Dowse, Writers: Dave Lawrence, Paul J. Spence, Michael Dowse
SXSW presents the cult classic Fubar to celebrate the screening of SXSW 2011 Official Selection, Fubar: Balls to the Wall. Cast: Dave Lawrence, Paul J. Spence, Gordon Skilling, Andrew Sparacino, Tracy Lawrence
The National Parks Project (Canada)
A stunning collection of short films that represents the breadth of Canada's artistic talent and diversity of the country’s landscape, as it’s never been seen before. Cast: Sarah Harmer, Cadence Weapon, Bry Webb, Melissa Auf der Maur, Sam Roberts (U.S. Premiere)
Red Riding Hood - Special Screening
Director: Catherine Hardwicke, Writer: David Leslie Johnson
Catherine Hardwicke will be present for Q&A following this special screening of her latest film, on Thursday, March 10 at midnight. In the film, a werewolf terrorizes a small village, especially when the people discover that, by day, the beast could be anyone. And one young woman discovers that she has a unique connection to the wolf that makes her both suspect…and bait.
Cast: Amanda Seyfried, Gary Oldman, Billy Burke, Shiloh Fernandez, Max Irons
The Rime of the Modern Mariner (England)
Director & Writer: Mark Donne
A documentary set to a spellbinding live musical score - which examines the nature of relationship between a nation state and the seas in a globalized world. Cast: Mark Donne, Carl Barat (The Libertines), Anthony Rossomando (The Klaxons) (U.S. Premiere)