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SXSW 2017

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A fleet of European films sets sail for SXSW

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- A slew of European movies are scheduled for a North American premiere at the Texan festival

A fleet of European films sets sail for SXSW
DRIB by Kristoffer Borgli

The 24th edition of the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, Texas, dedicated to “the most innovative, smart and entertaining new films of the year”, is about to kick off and will run from 10-19 March. “It's exciting for us to unveil the talent reflected in this year's line-up. We intentionally curate a wide-ranging programme reflecting unique and new voices that examine, explore and celebrate the creative process, the cultural zeitgeist and glimpses of the universal through deeply personal stories,” said Janet Pierson, head of Film at SXSW. Several European movies are scattered throughout the line-up.

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Two European co-productions will be contending in the Narrative Feature Competition: the first is the Polish-American film A Critically Endangered Species [+see also:
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, written and directed by poet Zachary Cotler and novelist/producer Magdalena Zyzak, about a poet who decides to end her life but who intends to pick the executor of her estate from among young male writers before carrying out the fatal act. The second entry is the Spanish-American title Most Beautiful Island [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ana Asensio
film profile
]
, written, directed and starring Ana Asensio, a psychological thriller examining the plight of undocumented female immigrants hoping to make a life for themselves in New York. 

Two British films, Ben Wheatley’s action-comedy Free Fire [+see also:
film review
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film profile
]
 and On the Road [+see also:
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]
, a docu-fiction by Michael Winterbottom, will be introduced in the Headliners section. Daphne [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 by debuting Scottish filmmaker Peter Mackie Burns, the French film Going to Brazil [+see also:
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]
 by Patrick Mille and the British title Us and Them [+see also:
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]
, written and directed by Joe Martin, were all judged to be “high-profile narrative features” and were therefore picked for the Narrative Spotlight sidebar. Pornocracy by former feminist porn actress-turned-director Ovidie will be unveiled as a world premiere in Documentary Spotlight, along with the world premiere of Max Pugh and Marc J Francis’ Walk With Me [+see also:
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]
, which zooms in on the world of the monastic community.

Europe will also be represented in the Visions sidebar, specialising in daring cinema, by the Norwegian dramedy DRIB [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 by Kristoffer Borgli, revolving around a performance artist whose staged viral videos are mistakenly believed to be authentic, in a story “fictionalised just enough to avoid legal complications”, according to the people behind the film. Benjamin Wigley’s documentary Paa Joe & the Lion [+see also:
trailer
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]
 (UK/Ghana), about fantasy coffins, is also set to screen in Visions.

Yuri Ancarani’s documentary The Challenge [+see also:
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trailer
film profile
]
, juxtaposing the centuries-old tradition of falconry and modern Arab culture, the Polish “Instagram film in times of the selfie” Satan Said Dance [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 by Kasia Roslaniec and the German coming-of-age documentary Win by Fall, about four female wrestlers, are slated for Global, a selection showcasing international filmmaking talent. Finally, Nevio Marasović’s thriller Goran [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Nevio Marasović
film profile
]
 will be welcomed as one of the acclaimed stand-out films in the Festival Favorites section, as will the British auteur comedy-horror Prevenge [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, written, directed by and starring Alice Lowe.

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