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SXSW 2015 Reveals Opening Night Film, First Wave of Lineup

SXSW 2015 Reveals Opening Night Film, First Wave of Lineup

The South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Conference and Festival will open with the world premiere of Ondi Timoner’s “BRAND: A Second Coming,” a documentary on comedian, author and activist Russell Brand on Friday, March 13.

The film follows Brand’s evolution from addict to Hollywood star, raconteur and political noisemaker. (His Guardian postmortem on Philip Seymour Hoffman is a must-read.)

SXSW also divulged its first wave of titles today, including the North American premiere of “28 Days Later” writer Alex Garland’s highly anticipated directorial debut “Ex Machina” starring Oscar Isaac, and a new film from Michael Showalter of comedy trio “Stella.” Most of the lineup will be announced February 3, with Midnighters and Shorts sections dropping February 10.

As previously announced, Mark Duplass and Ava DuVernay are among this year’s SXSW keynote speakers. The fest goes down from March 13 to March 21 in Austin, Texas. This year’s edition will include:

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.       

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