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SXSW Film Festival Will Open With Ondi Timoner’s Russell Brand Documentary; More Titles Announced

SXSW Film Festival Will Open With Ondi Timoner's Russell Brand Documentary; More Titles Announced

Ondi Timoner’s documentary on Russell Brand, “BRAND: A Second Coming,” will open this year’s South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival on March 13. It will make its world premiere at the event. 

The festival also revealed a handful of titles set to premiere in Austin, Texas this year. These titles include Michael Showalter’s comedy “Hello, My Name is Doris,” starring Sally Field, Jessica Edwards’ documentary on singer Mavis Staples, “Mavis!,” and the North American premiere of Alex Garland’s directorial debut “Ex Machina,” starring Oscar Isaac.

“Firebrand Ondi Timoner’s bold and lively documentary on Russell Brand knocked us out with its humor, insight and raw energy, pulling back the curtain on a truly passionate figure as he grapples with fame, influence and where we are as a 21st century society,” said Head of Film Janet Pierson in a statement. “We are thrilled for the film to kick off our event and excited to see our audiences embrace it with the same enthusiasm that shines out of Brand himself. Although we’re still intensely programming our final selections, we couldn’t wait to reveal a glimpse of the great films in store at SXSW Film 2015.”

The complete SXSW film lineup will be revealed on February 3, with the exception of Midnighters feature, which will be revealed with the Short Film Program on February 10. The festival runs March 13-21 in Austin, Texas.

Below are the freshly announced films: 

“BRAND: A Second Coming” (World Premiere)
Director: Ondi TimonerBRAND: A Second Coming follows comedian/author Russell Brand’s evolution from addict & Hollywood star to unexpected political disruptor & newfound hero to the underserved. Brand is criticized for egomaniacal self-interest as he calls for revolution.

“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 GarlandAlex 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 TerrusoAn 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 ManfrediA 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.

READ MORE: ‘Ex Machina’ Trailer Tricks Domhnall Gleeson Into Being a Trippy Experiment

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