SXSW Announces First Wave of 2015 Programming, Including Russell Brand Documentary
It’s approximately -10,000 degrees in New York City today, so there are few things that sound more appealing right now than a week in sunny, warm Austin, Texas surrounded by cinephiles, barbecue, and, of course, the movies of the South by Southwest Film Festival. As if in answer to our prayers for some kind of relief (or as a cruel prank from an uncaring diety who knows we’re still two months of winter away from March), SXSW unveiled their first wave of 2015 programming today, including several very intriguing titles.
Opening night at SXSW 2015 will belong to actor and comedian Russell Brand, who is the subject of the new documentary ‘BRAND: A Second Coming,’ directed by Ondi Timoner (‘Dig!’). Other films making their premiere at the festival include ‘Ex Machina,’ ‘28 Days Later’ writer Alex Garland’s sci-fi thriller (and directorial debut), and ‘Hello, My Name is Doris’ from director Michael Showalter (and featuring Sally Field as “an isolated 60-year-old woman” who falls for a younger co-worker).
There are still plenty more films left to announced, but you can read about everything that’s been made public so far below. SXSW 2015 runs from March 13 to 21 in Austin, Texas. I just went to give you an updated temperature reading from outside, but when my hand hit the arctic air, it froze and fell off like the T-1000 when it gets covered in liquid nitrogen. South By, you can’t get here soon enough.
The 2015 SXSW Film Festival Lineup (So Far)
‘BRAND: A Second Coming’ (World Premiere)
Director: Ondi Timoner
‘BRAND: A Second Coming’ follows comedian/author Russell Brand’s evolution from addict & Hollywood star to unexpected political disruptor & newfound hero to the underserved. Brand is criticized for egomaniacal self-interest as he calls for revolution.
‘A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story’ (World Premiere)
Director: Sara Hirsh Bordo
From the producers of the most viewed TEDWomen event of 2013 comes ‘A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story,’ a documentary following the inspiring journey of 25-year-old, 58-pound Lizzie from cyber-bullying victim to anti-bullying activist.
‘Ex Machina’ (North American Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Alex Garland
Alex Garland, writer of ‘28 Days Later’ and ‘Sunshine,’ makes his directorial debut with the stylish and cerebral thriller ‘Ex Machina,’ starring Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac and Alicia Vikander. Cast: Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac, Alicia Vikander
‘Hello, My Name is Doris’ (World Premiere)
Director: Michael Showalter, Screenwriters: Michael Showalter, Laura Terruso
An isolated 60-year-old woman is motivated by a self-help seminar to romantically pursue a younger coworker, causing her to stumble into the spotlight of the Brooklyn hipster social scene. Cast: Sally Field, Max Greenfield, Beth Behrs
‘The Invitation’ (World Premiere)
Director: Karyn Kusama, Screenwriters: Phil Hay, Matt Manfredi
A reunion of old friends turns into a nightmare when one guest, a haunted man whose ex-wife is among the hosts, begins to fear that the night is part of a terrifying agenda. Cast: Logan Marshall-Green, Tammy Blanchard, Michiel Huisman, Emayatzy Corinealdi, Lindsay Burdge
‘Mavis!’ (World Premiere)
Director: Jessica Edwards
Her family group, the Staple Singers, inspired millions and helped propel the civil rights movement with their music. After 60 years of performing, legendary singer Mavis Staples’ message of love and equality is needed now more than ever.
‘Son of the Congo’ (World Premiere / SXsports screening)
Director/Screenwriter: Adam Hootnick
Serge Ibaka’s improbable journey has taken him from the violence of Congo to the top of the NBA. In ‘Son of the Congo,’ Ibaka returns home, hoping his basketball success can help rebuild a country and inspire a new generation to dream of a better life.