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SXSW Film Fest to Open with “The Lookout”

SXSW Film Fest to Open with "The Lookout"

The world premiere of writer/director Scott Frank‘s “The Lookout” will open the the South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Conference & Festival at the Paramount Theater in Austin March 9, the organization announced Tuesday. Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Isla Fisher, Matthew Goode, and Jeff Daniels, the new film is described by SXSW as “a crime thriller with a twist.” Levitt plays a small-town athlete who becomes the unlikely and unpredictable addition to a bank heist after he suffers a haunting physical debilitation. Frank received a best screenplay Oscar nomination in 1999 for “Out of Sight” (directed by Steven Soderbergh). Miramax plans to release the film nationally March 23.

“We’ve been big fans of Scott Frank’s screenwriting for years, so it’s a true pleasure to launch his impressive and gripping debut as a director,” commented SXSW Film Festival producer Matt Dentler in a statement. “The Lookout is the kind of film that packs a punch and should get audiences excited for the films that will be unveiled at this year’s festival.”

In addition to “The Lookout,” SXSW announced seven titles that will screen during the festival that is slated for March 9 – 17. The descriptions are provided by the festival:

638 Ways to Kill Castro,” directed by Dollan Cannell
This documentary examines the incredible and controversial story of 638 alleged plots to kill Cuban leader Fidel Castro. From CIA agents to Cuban exiles, exploding cigars to femme fatales, the film also provides a startling glimpse into the evolution of Cuban politics. (North American Premiere)

Black Sheep,” written and directed by Jonathan King
Starring: Nathan Meister, Danielle Mason, Tammy Davis.
Peter Jackson’s Weta Workshop injects dazzling effects in this New Zealand black comedy about a herd of mutant sheep on the rampage in a quest for human blood. (US Premiere)

Hannah Takes the Stairs,” directed by Joe Swanberg, written by Swanberg, Greta Gerwig, and Kent Osborne. Starring: Greta Gerwig, Kent Osborne, Andrew Bujalski, Mark Duplass, Ry Russo-Young, Todd Rohal.
Acclaimed filmmaker Swanberg returns to SXSW with his most accomplished feature yet. A group of Chicago writers are e mbedded in a tempestuous love triangle when Hannah inadvertently steals the hearts and minds of two close friends. (World Premiere)

The Last Days of Left Eye,” directed by Lauren Lazin
Oscar-nominated filmmaker Lazin delivers her latest documentary story with the sad tale of Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, from platinum-selling pop act TLC. Weaving video-diary footage of Lopes’ last days before dying in an automobile accident, with the story of her personal and professional roller-coaster ride, this new film is both a memorable music doc and a personal account of the fragilities in fame. (North American Premiere)

Manufacturing Dissent,” directed by Debbie Melnyk and Rick Caine.
Featuring: Noam Chomsky, Janeane Garofalo, Ben Hamper, Christopher Hitchens, Harlan Jacobson, Dave Marsh, Albert Maysles, Michael Moore, Errol Morris, Ralph Nader, John Pierson, Roger Smith.
A documentary that seeks to separate fact, fiction and legend tracks Michael Moore on tour during the release of the explosive Fahrenheit 9/11, all the while chronicling the politically supercharged climate in America that has fueled Moore’s transition from mere filmmaker to icon of the political left. (World Premiere)

Suffering Man’s Charity,” directed by Alan Cumming, written by Thomas Gallagher Starring: Alan Cumming, David Boreanaz, Henry Thomas, Anne Heche.
Alan Cumming’s latest directorial effort features a stellar cast in this darkly funny portrayal of unrequited love and unfulfilled artistic ambition. (World Premiere)

What Would Jesus Buy?” directed by Rob Vanalkemade
From producer Morgan Spurlock comes this entertaining and enlightening documentary look at the commercialization of the Christmas season. The famous Reverend Billy and his Church of Stop Shopping serve as the anchor for a disturbing and humorous portrayal of the way Christmas has evolved over centuries in America.

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