Wilson Brothers’ “The Wendell Baker Story” To Open 2005 SXSW Film Fest
by Eugene Hernandez
Luke and Andrew Wilson‘s “The Wendell Baker Story” will open the 2005 SXSW Film Festival on March 11th in Austin, TX, organizers announced Tuesday. The movie, starring Luke Wilson, Owen Wilson, Eve Mendes, Eddie Griffin and others, is about a good-hearted ex-con who gets a job at a retirement community where he joins forces with the elderly to fight corruption and win back his girlfriend. Some 200 shorts and features will screen at this year’s event according to planners.
“As film fans and fellow Texans, we have nothing but admiration for the Wilson brothers,” says SXSW fest producer Matt Dentler in a statement. “I can’t think of a better idea than having their directorial debut launch this year’s festival. You want to give audiences a great time, and this is a fantastic way to do it.”
Todd Solondz will be in Texas with a screening of his latest movie, “Palindromes” on March 13th, as well as a conversation moderated by Entertainment Weekly writer Owen Gleiberman earlier that day. The discussion will focus on Solondz career, which includes “Storytelling,” “Happiness,” and “Welcome to the Dollhouse.”
Among the films also set to screen at SXSW ’05 are a slate of music documentaries, including Margaret Brown‘s “Be Here to Love Me: A Film About Townes Van Zandt,” Josh Rubin‘s “Derailroaded” about “Wild Man” Fischer, Jeff Feuerzeig‘s “The Devil and Daniel Johnston,” Bradley Beesley‘s “The Fearless Freaks” about The Flaming Lips, Gillian Grisman‘s “Press On” about Robert Randolph, and Keven McAlester‘s “You’re Gonna Miss Me” about Roky Erickson. Other titles will be announced with the festival lineup is revealed in early February.
Panel discussions on tap include a session with the MPAA about movie piracy, a discussion with acquisitions reps from an array of companies, an exploration of the HD DVD v. Blu-ray debate, and a chat with film press.