By Ziyad Saadi | Indiewire March 12, 2014 at 10:53AM
The 2014 South by Southwest Film Conference and Festival has narrowed a record 2,215 feature-length film submissions to a lucky 115 films. SXSW has officially released this year's features lineup and plans to screen the films over the course of nine days from March 7-15.
Among the chosen few are the highly anticipated "Veronica Mars" movie starring Kristen Bell, Jason Bateman's directorial debut, the aptly-named comedy "Bad Words," Richard Linklater's "Boyhood," which premiered at Sundance to rave reviews, and the Zellner brothers' "Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter."
Some lesser-known titles that are bound to receive more recognition include Diego Luna's biographical drama "Cesar Chavez" starring John Malkovich, America Ferrera and Rosario Dawson; the off-beat comedy "Kelly and Cal" starring Juliette Lewis and Cybil Shepherd; an adaptation of the Larry Brown novel "Joe" starring Nicolas Cage; and "Manny," a documentary detailing the life of boxer-turned-Congressman Manny Pacquiao.
The 2014 SXSW Film Festival will also introduce the "Episodic" screening category this year, which will feature premieres of innovative new work hitting the small screen, including HBO's "Silicon Valley," Showtime's "Penny Dreadful," AMC's "Halt and Catch Fire," Hulu's "Deadbeat," and FOX's "COSMOS: A SpaceTime Odyssey" and "From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series," debuting on Robert Rodriguez's El Rey Network.
Below are the announced features (synopses courtesy of SXSW):
Eight world premieres, eight unique ways to celebrate the art of storytelling. Selected from 1,324 films submitted to SXSW 2014. Films screening in Narrative Feature Competition are:
Director: Carlos Marques Marcet, Screenwriters: Carlos Marques-Marcet, Clara Roquet Autonell
A year of a long distance relationship, two computers and two cities – Los Angeles and Barcelona, can love survive 6,000 miles?
Cast: Natalia Tena, David Verdaguer (World Premiere)
Director: Collin Schiffli, Screenwriter: David Dastmalchian
Jude and Bobbie are a young, homeless couple who masterfully con and steal in an attempt to stay one step ahead of their addiction. They are ultimately forced to face the reality of their situation when one of them is hospitalized.
Cast: David Dastmalchian, Kim Shaw, John Heard (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Shawn Christensen
Based on the 2013 Academy Award-winning short film Curfew. At the lowest point of his life, Richie gets a call from his estranged sister, asking him to look after his eleven-year-old niece, Sophia, for a few hours.
Cast: Shawn Christensen, Fatima Ptacek, Emmy Rossum, Paul Wesley, Ron Perlman, Richard Schiff (World Premiere)
Directors/Screenwriters: Sarah-Violet Bliss, Charles Rogers
It shouldn't be this hard for Allie and Harper to get to the beach.
Cast: Bridey Elliott, Clare McNulty, Griffin Newman, Jeffrey Scaperrotta, Neil Casey (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Zachary Wigon
A man begins to suspect that his long-distance girlfriend, whom he met online but has never met in person, has been living in the same city the whole time and sets out to find her.
Cast: John Gallagher Jr., Kate Lyn Sheil, David Call, Louisa Krauss (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Leah Meyerhoff
I Believe in Unicorns follows the lyrical journey of an imaginative teenage girl who runs away from home with an older punk rock drifter, but not even unicorns can save her now.
Cast: Natalia Dyer, Peter Vack, Julia Garner, Amy Seimetz, Toni Meyerhoff (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: John Magary
A dark comedy about rage, doubt, lust, madness and other brotherly hand-me-downs.
Cast: Josh Lucas, Stephen Plunkett, Lucy Owen, Mickey Sumner, Austin Pendleton (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Lawrence Michael Levine
When their elderly neighbor suddenly drops dead, a young Brooklyn couple investigates signs of foul play.
Cast: Sophia Takal, Lawrence Michael Levine, Alia Shawkat, Annie Parisse, Jason Ritter (World Premiere)
Selected from 892 submissions, the eight world premieres in the Documentary Feature category bring real world stories to life, demonstrating innovation, energy and bold voices. Films screening in Documentary Feature Competition are:
With The End
Director: David Marshall
Beginning With the End takes viewers on a profound, and profoundly moving, journey with a group of high school seniors working as trained hospice volunteers -- a story of beginnings and endings in a year of self-discovery and awakening. (World Premiere)
Born To Fly
Director: Catherine Gund
Born To Fly pushes the boundaries between action and art, daring us to join choreographer Elizabeth Streb and her dancers in pursuit of human flight. (World Premiere)
Director: Margaret Brown
Penetrating the oil industry's secretive world, The Great Invisible examines the Deepwater Horizon disaster through the eyes of oil executives, explosion survivors and Gulf Coast residents who were left to pick up the pieces when the world moved on. (World Premiere)
Directors: Jason Sussberg, David Alvarado
Two eccentric scientists struggle to create eternal youth in a world they call "blind to the tragedy of old age." As they battle their own aging and suffer the losses of loved ones, their scientific journeys ultimately become personal. (World Premiere)
Director: Jeremy Ambers
Impossible Light reveals the drama and the daring of artist Leo Villareal and a small team of visionaries who battle seemingly impossible challenges to turn a dream of creating the world’s largest LED light sculpture into a glimmering reality. (World Premiere)
Director: Aaron I. Naar
Mateo follows America's most notorious white mariachi singer on his misadventures in Cuba.
Directors: Luis Lopez, Clay Tweel
The 3D Printing revolution has begun. Who will make it? (World Premiere)
Director: Diana Whitten
A fearless sea captain, Dr. Rebecca Gomperts, sails a ship through loopholes in international law, providing abortions on the high seas, and leaving in her wake a network of emboldened activists who trust women to handle abortion on their own terms. (World Premiere)