Writer/director Jody Hill’s “Observe and Report” will screen as the Centerpiece event at the SXSW Film Festival and Conference, taking place in Austin, TX March 13 – 21. The Warner Bros. Pictures release is described as a “dark comedy starring Seth Rogen (‘Pineapple Express,’ ‘Knocked Up’) as Ronnie Barnhardt, a deluded, self-important head of mall security who squares off in a turf war against the local cops. Opening wide on April 10, 2009, the film also stars Anna Faris, Michael Pena and Ray Liotta.
Rogen previously attended the 2007 Festival with the world premiere of “Knocked Up,” which went on to gross nearly $150 million in its domestic release.
Also joining this year’s line up is SXSW alum Gary Hustwit’s (“Helvetica”) “Objectified,” which documents the creative processes of some of the world’s most influential industrial designers. Fellow SXSW alum Andrew Neel will take “New World Order” to the festival. The film spotlights conspiracy theorists is a behind the scenes look at the underground anti-globalist movement. The film chronicles celebrity radio host and underground cult hero Alex Jones, (of “Waking Life” and “A Scanner Darkly”), and other conspiracy theorists on their ceaseless quests to expose the ‘massive global conspiracy’ that they believe threatens the future of humanity.
Ben Steinbauer’s “Winnebago Man,” meanwhile turns the lens on Jack Rebney, described as “the most famous man you’ve never heard of,” who became an Internet superstar after cursing his way through a Winnebago sales video. Web activist and filmmaker Brett Gaylor also joins the roster with “RiP: A Remix Manifesto,” which explores issues of copyright in the information age, mashing up the media landscape of the 20th century and shattering the wall between users and producers. Gaylor’s documentary features artists like Girl Talk, who employ mash-up techniques, mixing samples of existing music into new songs. Interviews with additional artists, lawmakers, companies and consumers are interspersed with animation, archive footage and collages.
The SXSW Film Festival will open on March 13th with a screening of “I Love You, Man,” directed by John Hamburg and starring Paul Rudd, Jason Segel and Rashida Jones. Previously announced panelists for the 2009 SXSW Film Conference & Festival include acclaimed writer/directors Todd Haynes and Richard Linklater in conversation together, longtime Stanley Kubrick producer Jan Harlan, as well as Col Needham, Vice President of IMDb.com Service Limited. The complete festival lineup will be announced in early February.