By Nigel M Smith and Austin Dale | Indiewire January 12, 2012 at 3:00PM
The 2012 South by Southwest Film Conference and Festival will open March 9 with the world premiere of the mind-bending horror pic "The Cabin in the Woods," directed by Emmy-nominated writer Drew Goddard ("Lost") and co-written by Joss Whedon. Whedon will also be on hand in Austin, TX to take part in a conversation panel on March 10.
It was also revealed today that "Tiny Furniture" director Lena Dunham will return to SXSW to premiere the first three initial episodes of her anticipated HBO series "GIRLS." Dunham and executive producer Judd Apatow will take part in a panel on March 13.
Other highlights announced include the world premiere of Jonas Akerlund's new film "Small Apartments," which features an ensemble cast led by Billy Crystal, James Caan, Juno Temple and Dolph Lundgren; and a screeening of the early Ernst Lubitsch silent comedy "The Oyster Princess" with a live score by Austin band Bee vs. Moth.
Indiewire will return to SXSW this year with our Indiewire Behind the Scenes series, where we'll interview the fest's hottest film talent. For more information check out our event page on the SXSW website.
Full list of early fest highlights reprinted below:
Beauty is Embarrassing (World Premiere) Director: Neil Berkeley A funny, irreverent and insightful look into the life and times of one of America's most important artists, Wayne White.
The Cabin in the Woods (World Premiere) Director: Drew Goddard, Writers: Joss Whedon & Drew Goddard Five friends go to a remote cabin in the woods. Bad things happen. If you think you know this story, think again. From fan favorites Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard comes The Cabin in the Woods, a mind-blowing horror film that turns the genre inside out. Cast: Kristen Connolly, Fran Kranz, Anna Hutchison, Chris Hemsworth, Jesse Williams, Richard Jenkins, and Bradley Whitford
CITADEL (World Premiere) Director & Writer: Ciarán Foy An agoraphobic father teams up with a renegade priest to save his daughter from the clutches of a gang of twisted feral children. Cast: Anuerin Barnard, James Cosmo, and Wumni Mosaku, Jake Wilson, Amy Shiels
GIRLS (World Premiere) Director & Writer: Lena Dunham Created by and starring Lena Dunham (Tiny Furniture), the HBO show is a comic look at the assorted humiliations and rare triumphs of a group of girls in their early 20s. Cast: Lena Dunham, Allison Williams, Jemima Kirke, Zosia Mamet, Adam Driver
MARLEY (North American Premiere) Director: Kevin Macdonald The definitive documentary on the life, music, and legacy of Bob Marley.
The Oyster Princess (1919) with original live score by Bee vs. Moth (World Premiere) Director: Ernst Lubitsch, Writers: Hanns Kraly & Ernst Lubitsch The Oyster Princess is Ernst Lubitsch’s tart 1919 silent comedy that parodies the rich and the spoiled. Austin jazz/rock band Bee vs. Moth performs their original score live with the film for the first time.
Small Apartments (World Premiere) Director: Jonas Åkerlund, Writer: Chris Millis When Franklin Franklin accidentally kills his landlord, he must hide the body; but, the wisdom of his beloved brother and the quirks of his neighbors, force him on a journey where a fortune awaits him. Cast: Matt Lucas, Billy Crystal, James Caan, Johnny Knoxville, Juno Temple, James Marsden, Dolph Lundgren, Saffron Burrows, Rosie Perez, DJ Qualls