SXSW saves a spot for European titles
by David González
- Kicking off tomorrow, the Austin-based festival is welcoming several films hailing from the Continent
Having recently become an unmissable event within the US independent film world, the SXSW Film Festival is ready to kick off again in Austin, Texas. From 8-16 March, the gathering is set to host the premieres of eagerly awaited US films such as Us (the new film by Jordan Peele, after his breakout Get Out), The Beach Bum (the new comedy by Harmony Korine, starring Matthew McConaughey) and Booksmart (the directorial debut by actress Olivia Wilde). However, in the midst of this US indie frenzy, a batch of European films will also be delighting audiences at the gathering.
Known for its bold, festive, genre-orientated stylistic choices, the gathering is welcoming some shining examples of this kind of cinema in the Midnighters section, such as the Spanish title 7 Reasons to Run Away (From Society) [+see also:
film profile], directed by Esteve Soler, Gerard Quinto and David Torras, an anthology film that takes a critical look at today’s society, starring Sergi López, Emma Suárez and Lola Dueñas. The UK is well represented here with Boyz in the Wood, directed by Ninian Doff, an anarchic comedy starring Eddie Izzard, Kate Dickie, James Cosmo, Kevin Guthrie and Alice Lowe, as well as I See You, a thriller helmed by Adam Randall, and Tales from the Lodge, a horror flick directed by Abigail Blackmore.
The Narrative Feature Competition, which is usually completely dedicated to US titles, has this year selected two debut features with European involvement: Ireland’s Extra Ordinary, a supernatural comedy directed by filmmaking duo Mike Ahern and Enda Loughman, and the Australian-French co-production Alice, an intimate drama directed by Josephine Mackerras.
The Documentary Feature Competition welcomes two British titles: For Sama, directed by Waad Al Khateab and Edward Watts, portraying the life of a woman over a period of five years during the uprising in Aleppo, and Nothing Fancy: Diana Kennedy by Elizabeth Carroll, about the titular author, researcher and cook.
In the Narrative Spotlight section, the directorial debut by British actor Tom Cullen (Weekend [+see also:
film profile], Downton Abbey), Pink Wall, will bring six years in a relationship between a woman and a man, as well as the pressures of the gender expectations surrounding it, to the screens. The UK-US co-production The Day Shall Come, a comedy directed by Chris Morris, is also being world-premiered in the section. The Narrative Documentary section is welcoming the Dutch title Bellingcat — Truth in a Post-Truth World by Hans Pool and the German title Sunset over Mulholland Drive by Uli Gaulke.
The Visions section, dedicated to audacious and risk-taking filmmakers, will screen the Belgian-Dutch co-production Sakawa [+see also:
film profile] by Ben Asamoah, which world-premiered at the latest IDFA, and Romantic Comedy by British filmmaker Elizabeth Sankey, as well as the Russian film One Man Dies a Million Times by Jessica Oreck.
The European contingent of feature films at the festival is rounded off by the pictures in the Global, Festival Favorites and 24 Beats per Second sections, including titles such as Barbara Vekarić’s Aleksi [+see also:
film profile], Miia Tervo’s Aurora [+see also:
interview: Miia Tervo
film profile] and Anna Odell’s X&Y [+see also:
interview: Anna Odell
Did you enjoy reading this article? Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive more stories like this directly in your inbox.