The 2015 SXSW Film Festival begins Friday March 13th with a wide variety of indies to enjoy between your tacos, Alamo Drafthouse beers and flash mobs. Here are 12 films that grabbed my attention, all World or North American premieres:
Funny Bunny by Alison Bagnall
A serious comedy about a friendless anti-obesity crusader and a trust fund manchild who vie for the heart of a reclusive animal activist, releasing her demons and forming an unlikely ‘family’ in the process.
Kentucker Audley stars and co-edited this feature with a bizarre synopsis. Bagnall directed the highly regarded The Dish & The Spoon. Great cast all around including Anna Margaret Hollyman and Josephine Decker.
God Bless The Child by Robert Machoian and Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck
After their mother leaves at dawn, Harper, 13, spends the day looking after her four younger brothers, uncertain whether or not her mother will return.
Machoian and Ojeda-Beck have created intimate portraits of every day life in their shorts, web series and first feature Forty Years From Yesterday. I’m excited to see their latest, almost entirely performed by five young children.
The Boy by Craig Macneill
An intimate portrait of a 9-year-old sociopath’s growing fascination with death.
Great cast including Mike Vogel, Rainn Wilson and David Morse set in 1989.
Raiders! by Jeremy Coon and Tim Skousen
In 1982, two 11 year-olds in Mississippi set out to remake Raiders of the Lost Ark. After seven turbulent years, they finished every scene except one. 30 years later, they attempt to finally finish their fan film and realize their childhood dream.
The home movie remake has garnered a cult following so this should be quite entertaining.
One & Two by Andrew Droz Palermo
Two siblings discover a supernatural escape from a troubled home, but find their bond tested when reality threatens to tear their family apart.
Narrative feature debut for Palermo, who directed the incredible doc Rich Hill and has been the cinematographer of numerous films including another SXSW premiere, 6 Years. Premiered in Berlin.
6 Years by Hannah Fidell
A young couple bound by a seemingly ideal love begins to unravel as unexpected opportunities spin them down a volatile and violent path and threaten the future they had always imagined.
Fidell showed a lot of promise with her directorial debut A Teacher.
Sailing a Sinking Sea by Olivia Wyatt.
Experimental doc exploring the culture of one of the smallest ethnic minority groups in Asia, the Moken of Thailand and Burma.
Based on the trailer, this promises to be a beautiful tapestry of a little-known seafaring tribe.
Uncle Kent 2 by Todd Rohal
In a desperate search to create a follow-up to Joe Swanberg’s 2011 film Uncle Kent, Kent Osborne travels to a comic convention where he confronts the end of the world.
This unlikely sequel and meta exploration of real-life Adventure Time writer/animator sounds just ridiculous enough to be awesome.
Tab Hunter Confidential by Jeffrey Schwarz
In the 1950s, Tab Hunter was number one at the box office and on the music charts. Nothing, it seems, can damage his skyrocketing career. Nothing, that is, except for the fact that Tab Hunter is secretly gay.
Given how many gay actors have had to keep their sexuality a secret, this doc should be a revelation.
The Invitation by Karyn Kusama
While attending a dinner party at his former home, a man thinks his ex-wife and her new husband have sinister intention for their guests.
Intriguing genre flick considering Kusama’s previous features are Aeon Flux, Jennifer’s Body and Girlfight.
Manson Family Vacation by J. Davis
The story of two brothers: one who’s devoted to his family, the other who’s obsessed with the Manson Family.
Intriguing premise and a rare opportunity to see Jay Duplass on-screen.
Barge by Ben Powell
Dry land’s misfits find purpose and direction twenty-eight days at a time as the steady hands of a towboat due for the port of New Orleans.
I watch barges roll down the Mississippi every day and I’ve always pondered life on the river.