You will be redirected back to your article in seconds
Back to IndieWire

SXSW 2020 Unveils Features and Episodic Premieres, Including Apatow’s ‘King of Staten Island’ and ‘Snowpiercer’

The March festival will play home to new offerings from Apatow, Amy Seimetz, Spike Jonze, Michael Showalter, Kris Rey, and at least one (very) long-gestating series.

"The Green Knight"

“The Green Knight”

A24

UPDATED, March 3: David Lowery’s “The Green Knight” has joined the SXSW lineup. The film will celebrate its world premiere at the festival and follows “Sir Gawain (Dev Patel), King Arthur’s reckless and headstrong nephew, who embarks on a daring quest to confront the eponymous Green Knight, a gigantic emerald-skinned stranger and tester of men. Gawain contends with ghosts, giants, thieves, and schemers in what becomes a deeper journey to define his character and prove his worth in the eyes of his family and kingdom by facing the ultimate challenger. “

The 2020 edition of SXSW has announced its features and episodic premieres for the 27th edition of the film festival, running March 13 – 22 in Austin. The 102 features and episodics in this release will be shown across the nine days of SXSW. The 2020 program was selected from 2,316 feature-length film submissions, with a total of 8,362 films submitted this year.

As has become its tradition, the festival will open with a highly anticipated studio crowdpleaser. Judd Apatow’s “The King of Staten Island,” his first feature directorial outing since 2015’s “Trainwreck,” stars Pete Davidson in a lightly fictionalized version of the “SNL” star’s own life story. The film is set for a June release from Universal Pictures.

Popular on IndieWire

Apatow has been a regular at SXSW, where “Knocked Up” and “Trainwreck” both launched to strong reactions, but this is his first time opening the festival. “It’s a great film,” SXSW Director of Film Janet Pierson said in an interview with IndieWire. “I think this is an evolution in his own career in terms of nuance and complexity of emotional response. It’s not one-note. It’s really moving in all different ways. It’s not a laugh riot, it’s not like ‘Knocked Up.’ This has more different kinds of emotions. There are comedic elements — Pete Davidson is remarkable, such a strong character — but the film is so human. It’s a real singular vision.”

Another anticipated premiere is Kitao Sakurai’s “Bad Trip,” which starring Eric Andre (who also wrote the film’s script alongside Sakurai, Dan Curry, Kathryn Borel, and Jenna Park), Lil Rel Howery, and Tiffany Haddish. The wacky road trip comedy with hidden camera pranks might sound like familiar terrain, but Pierson called it “kind of revolutionary in terms of what it’s doing and how it does it. I don’t want to spoil it. The filmmaking approach is done differently than I’ve seen before.” The movie opens theatrically April 24.

Other notable selections in this year’s film lineup include Michael Showalter’s “The Lovebirds,” a romcom co-starring Kumail Nanjiani and Issa Rae, and Frank Oz’s return to the festival with “In & Of Itself,” a magician-focused story based on an off-Broadway play. “BlacKkKlansman” co-writer Kevin Willmott’s “The 24th” tells the story of the all-black Twenty-Fourth United States Infantry Regiment, John Leguizamo makes his directorial debut with “Critical Thinking,” and Kris Rey — formerly Kris Swanberg —  will premiere her third feature, “I Used to Go Here,” which stars Jemaine Clement and Kate Micucci, among others.

Significant music-themed documentaries include Spike Jonze’s documentary tribute “Beastie Boys Story” and Alex Winter’s “Zappa.” RZA returns to the festival as a filmmaker with his crime-centric third feature, “Cut Throat City,” which Pierson deemed “a heartfelt attempt at a serious film.” The Wu-Tang Clan member’s third film is poised to push him into new spaces — his debut “The Man With the Iron Fists” was a marital arts-infused actioner, while his sophomore feature “Love Beats Rhymes” is a more introspective musical — and features a cast that includes Wesley Snipes, Terrence Howard, Rob Morgan, Ethan Hawke, and Eiza González, all in the hunt for an unexpected heist.

Pierson also singled out the return of filmmaker Amy Seimetz with “She Dies Tomorrow,” her first feature since her debut “Sun Don’t Shine” premiered at the festival in 2012. “‘Sun Don’t Shine’ was one of my favorite premieres we had,” Pierson said. “You can feel it’s the same filmmaker but it’s a very different film. The cast is kind of wild. You can definitely see resonance with her other work.” Seimetz directed the secret project — which seemingly has a zombie-related twist — over the past year, and first brought it to the festival’s attention while attending for 2019 closing entry “Pet Sematary.”

Meanwhile, all but one of the narrative competition entries come from first-timers and feature potentially explosive subject matter, from the raucous college comedy “Shithouse” to the Pakistani thriller “I’ll Meet You There.” “It’s a sensibility,” Pierson said. “We’re looking for a strong filmmaker POV. There are equally interesting films throughout the program.”

The episodics section will include the debut of Nasim Pedrad’s wacky “Chad,” which features the former “SNL” star as a pubescent Persian boy (yes, you read that right). The section also includes the much-anticipated and long-gestating “Snowpiercer” series from Graeme Mason, again set to air on TNT after years of back and forth.

Additional lineup announcements, including the Midnighters, Festival Favorites, Shorts, Episodic Pilot Competition, Virtual Cinema, Music Videos and Title Sequence Competition picks, will be released in the coming weeks. For now, check out the current SXSW Film Festival lineup below, with synopses provided by the festival.

Headliners

Big names, big talent: Headliners bring star power to SXSW, featuring red carpet premieres and gala film events with major and rising names in cinema.

“Bad Trip”
Director: Kitao Sakurai, Screenwriters: Eric André, Dan Curry, Kitao Sakurai
From a producer of ​Jackass​ and ​Bad Grandpa,​ this hidden camera comedy follows two best friends as they go on a cross-country road trip full of hilarious, inventive pranks, pulling its real-life audience into the mayhem. ​Cast: Eric Andre, Lil Rel Howery, Tiffany Haddish, Michaela Conlin ​(World Premiere)

“Beastie Boys Story”
Director: Spike Jonze
Beastie Boys, Mike Diamond and Adam Horovitz, tell you an intimate, personal story of their band and 40 years of friendship in this live documentary experience directed by their longtime friend and collaborator, and their former grandfather, filmmaker Spike Jonze. (World Premiere)

“The King of Staten Island”
Director: Judd Apatow, Screenwriters: Judd Apatow, Pete Davidson, Dave Sirus
Filmmaker Judd Apatow directs ​Saturday Night Live​ breakout Pete Davidson in a bracing comedy about a burnout stuck living with his mom (Oscar® winner Marisa Tomei) on Staten Island. ​Cast: Pete Davidson, Marisa Tomei, Bill Burr, Bel Powley, Maude Apatow ​(World Premiere)

“LA Originals​” (Argentina)
Director: Estevan Oriol, Screenwriters: Brian Maya, Omar Quiroga
An exploration of the culture and landmarks of the chicano and street art movement that cemented Mister Cartoon and Estevan Oriol’s status as behind-the-scenes hip hop legends.(World Premiere)

“The Lovebirds”
Director: Michael Showalter
A young couple (Issa Rae & Kumail Nanjiani) is pulled into a bizarre (and hilarious) murder mystery. Working to clear their names and solve the crime, they need to figure out how they, and their relationship, can survive the night. ​Cast: Kumail Nanjiani, Issa Rae, Paul Sparks, Anna Camp, Kyle Bornheimer​ (World Premiere)

Narrative Feature Competition

Ten world premieres, ten unique ways to celebrate the art of storytelling. Selected from 1,305 narrative feature submissions in 2020.

“Holler:
Director/Screenwriter: Nicole Riegel
To pay for her education, and the chance of a better life, a young woman joins a dangerous scrap metal crew. ​Cast: Jessica Barden, Gus Halper, Austin Amelio, Grace Kaiser, Pamela Adlon, Becky Ann Baker (​World Premiere)

“I’ll Meet You There”​ (Pakistan, United States)
Director/Screenwriter: Iram Parveen Bilal
A Muslim policeman goes undercover at his estranged father’s mosque while his daughter hides her passion for a forbidden dance, uncovering a shocking family secret. ​Cast: Faran Tahir, Nikita Tewani, Muhammad Qavi Khan, Sheetal Sheth, Shawn Parsons, Andrea Cirie, Nitin Madan, Michael Pemberton ​(World Premiere)

“Lapsis”
Director/Screenwriter: Noah Hutton
Delivery man Ray Tincelli is struggling to support himself and his ailing younger brother. He turns to quantum cabling, a strange new corner of the gig economy, and faces a pivotal choice to either help his fellow workers or to get rich and get out. ​Cast: Dean Imperial, Madeline Wise, Babe Howard, Dora Madison, Ivory Aquino, James McDaniel, Frank Wood, Arliss Howard, Pooya Mohseni, Portia (​World Premiere)

“Pink Skies Ahead”
Director/Screenwriter: Kelly Oxford
Life unravels for a wild young woman after dropping out of college, moving in with her parents, and being diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. ​Cast: Jessica Barden, Marcia Gay Harden, Michael McKean, Henry Winkler, Rosa Salazar, Odeya Rush, Lewis Pullman, Devon Bostick, Mary J. Blige, Evan Ross (​World Premiere)

“Really Love”
Director: Angel Kristi Williams, Screenwriters: Felicia Pride, Angel Kristi Williams
Set in a gentrifying Washington DC, a rising Black painter tries to break into a competitive art world, while balancing a whirlwind romance he never expected. ​Cast: Kofi Siriboe, Yootha Wong-Loi-Sing, Uzo Aduba, Mack Wilds, Naturi Naughton, Suzzanne Douglas, Jade Eshete, Blair Underwood, Michael Ealy (​World Premiere)

“Shithouse”
Director/Screenwriter: Cooper Raiff
A homesick college freshman goes to a party at Shithouse and ends up spending the night with his sophomore RA who’s had a shitty day and wants someone to hang out with. ​Cast: Dylan Gelula, Cooper Raiff, Amy Landecker, Logan Miller (​World Premiere)

“Shiva Baby”
Director/Screenwriter: Emma Seligman
A young woman struggles to keep up different versions of herself when she runs into her sugar daddy and her ex-girlfriend at a shiva with her parents. ​Cast: Rachel Sennott, Polly Draper, Molly Gordon, Danny Deferrari, Dianna Agron, Fred Melamed, Glynis Bell, Sondra James, Jackie Hoffman (​World Premiere)

“Teenage Badass”
Director: Grant McCord, Screenwriters: Matthew D. Dho, Grant McCord
Set in 2006, ​Teenage Badass​ follows a band when they score a shot to play on the local news. But as all of their dreams start to become a reality, the band’s egocentric singer/songwriter threatens to make them lose everything. ​Cast: Mcabe Gregg, Evan Ultra, Madelyn Deutch, Dillon Lane, Elsie Hewitt, Karsen Liotta, Julie Ann Emery, Kevin Corrigan, James Paxton, Jim Adkins (​World Premiere)

“Topside”
Directors/Screenwriters: Celine Held, Logan George
A five year-old girl and her mother live in a community inhabiting the tunnels beneath New York City, when a sudden police eviction forces them into the world above, throwing their lives into chaos. ​Cast List: Zhaila Farmer, Celine Held, Jared Abrahamson, Fatlip​ (World Premiere)

“Violet”
Director/Screenwriter: Justine Bateman
A film development executive realizes that “guiding voice” inside her head has been lying to her about everything. ​Cast: Olivia Munn, Luke Bracey, Justin Theroux, Bonnie Bedelia, Zach Gordon, Erica Ash, Rob Benedict, Dennis Boutsikaris, Todd Stashwick, Laura San Giacomo (World Premiere)

Documentary Feature Competition

Ten world premieres: ten real world stories that demonstrate innovation, energy and bold voices. Selected from 1,011 feature documentary submissions in 2020.

“The Boy Who Sold The World”
Director: Adam Barton
At age 15, Ben Pasternak dropped out of high school and moved to NYC. Leaving behind his family in Australia, Ben sacrificed his childhood to pursue his dream of changing the world through innovation. But things didn’t quite go according to plan. (World Premiere)

“Bulletproof”
Director: Todd Chandler
What does it mean to be safe in school in the United States? Safe from what, and from whom? Bulletproof​ poses and complicates these questions through a provocative exploration of fear and American violence. (World Premiere)

“The Donut King”
Director: Alice Gu, Screenwriters: Alice Gu, Carol Martori
The rise, fall, and rise again of a Cambodian refugee who escaped genocide and overcame poverty to build a life for himself and hundreds of other immigrant families by baking America’s favorite pastry and building an unlikely empire of donut shops. (World Premiere)

“An Elephant in the Room​” (Denmark)
Director: Katrine Philp
At Good Grief in New Jersey, groups of children meet to understand the passing of a parent or a sibling through play. Death may come suddenly or slowly, violently or peacefully, but it leaves a pain that the child has never felt before. (World Premiere)

“Finding Yingying”
Director: Jiayan “Jenny” Shi
After a young Chinese student is kidnapped on a university campus, her family travels to the US for the first time, first hoping to unravel the mystery of her disappearance, and then to seek justice, find closure and reclaim their daughter. (World Premiere)

“For Madmen Only”
Director: Heather Ross, Screenwriters: Heather Ross, Adam Samuel Goldman
Del Close, the hidden architect of modern comedy, sets out to smash open the creative process by writing an autobiographical comic book. (World Premiere)

“Kenny Scharf: When Worlds Collide”
Directors/Screenwriters: Malia Scharf, Max Basch
Kenny Scharf is surveyed through the eyes of his daughter — revealing a private struggle for identity and acceptance through the ups and downs of a prolific career driven by a passion for making his fantastical inner worlds a very public reality. (World Premiere)

“Lights Camera Uganda”
Directors: Cathryne Czubek, Hugo Perez
When “Africa’s Tarantino” casts a New York film nerd as his next action hero, it’s the beginning of a friendship that makes their no-budget studio world famous. But as their success grows, tensions flare and threaten everything they built. (World Premiere)

“Red Heaven”
Directors: Lauren DeFilippo, Katherine Gorringe
Six people live for a year on “Mars” in a NASA experiment studying what happens to humans when they are isolated from Earth. (World Premiere)

“We Don’t Deserve Dogs”
Director: Matthew Salleh
A contemplative odyssey across our planet, looking at the simple and extraordinary ways that dogs influence our daily lives. People need dogs, and perhaps they need us, but what do humans do to deserve the unconditional love they provide? (World Premiere)

Narrative Spotlight

High profile narrative features receiving their World, North American or U.S. premieres at SXSW.

“The 24th”
Director: Kevin Willmott, Screenwriters: Kevin Willmott, Trai Byers
The 24th​ is based on the true story of the all-black Twenty-Fourth United States Infantry and the Houston Riot of 1917. The night of violence led to the largest murder trial in American History. Cast: Trai Byers, Aja Naomi King, Bashir Salahuddin, Mo McRae, Tosin Morohunfola, Mykelti Williamson, Thomas Haden Church (​World Premiere)

“Archive​” (United Kingdom)
Director/Screenwriter: Gavin Rothery
2048: George Almore is working on a true human-equivalent AI. His latest prototype is almost ready. But his true goal must be hidden at all costs. ​Cast: Theo James, Stacy Martin, Rhona Mitra, Peter Ferdinando, Richard Glover, Lia Williams, Toby Jones (​World Premiere)

“Best Summer Ever”
Directors: Michael Parks Randa, Lauren Smitelli, Screenwriters: Michael Parks Randa, Will Halby, Terra Mackintosh, Andrew Pilkington, Lauren Smitelli
A fresh and exhilarating take on the beloved teen musical genre featuring eight original songs and a fully integrated cast and crew of people with and without disabilities. ​Cast: Shannon DeVido, Rickey Wilson Jr., MuMu, Jacob Waltuck, Emily Kranking, Bradford Hayes, Eileen Grubba, Holly Palmer, Ajani A.J. Murray, Lawrence Carter-Long (​World Premiere)

“Castle In The Ground​” (Canada)
Director/Screenwriter: Joey Klein
A grieving teenager befriends the troubled woman across the hall just as the opiate epidemic takes hold of their small town in 2012. Cast: Alex Wolff, Imogen Poots, Neve Campbell, Tom Cullen, Keir Gilchrist, Kiowa Gordon, Star Slade (U.S. Premiere)

“Critical Thinking”
Director: John Leguizamo, Screenwriter: Dito Montiel
Based on a true story from 1998, five Latin and Black teenagers from the toughest underserved ghetto in Miami fight their way into the National Chess Championship under the guidance of their unconventional but inspirational teacher. ​Cast: John Leguizamo, Michael Kenneth Williams, Rachel Bay Jones, Jorge Lendeborg Jr., Angel Bismark Curiel, Will Hochman, Corwin Tuggles, Jeffry Batista, Zora Casebere, Ramses Jimenez (​World Premiere)

“Cut Throat City”
Director: RZA, Screenwriter: Paul Cuschieri
Cut Throat City​ is a powerful and hard-hitting heist drama by RZA, set in New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward following Hurricane Katrina. ​Cast: Shameik Moore, Tip ‘T.I.’ Harris, Demetrius Shipp Jr., Kat Graham, Rob Morgan, Keean Johnson, Denzel Whitaker, Sam Daly, Isaiah Washington, Wesley Snipes, Terrence Howard, Eiza Gonzalez, Ethan Hawke​ (World Premiere)

“I Used to Go Here”
Director/Screenwriter: Kris Rey
Following the launch of her new novel, 35-year-old writer Kate Conklin (Gillian Jacobs) is invited to speak at her alma mater by her mentor and former professor (Jemaine Clement). ​Cast: Gillian Jacobs, Jemaine Clement, Josh Wiggins, Hannah Marks, Zoe Chao, Jorma Taccone, Forrest Goodluck (​World Premiere)

“The Outpost”
Director: Rod Lurie, Screenwriter: Paul Tamasy, Eric Johnson
Based on the Battle of Kamdesh in Afghanistan, where fifty four U.S. soldiers held off 400 Taliban insurgents in the deadliest military outpost in the world. ​Cast: Scott Eastwood, Caleb Landry Jones, Orlando Bloom, Jack Kesy, Cory Hardrict, Milo Gibson, Jacob Scipio, Taylor John Smith ​(World Premiere)

“The Quarry”
Director: Scott Teems, Screenwriters: Scott Teems, Andrew Brotzman
A mysterious fugitive kills a traveling preacher and assumes his identity, hiding out in a desolate Texas town. The congregation is quickly drawn to the man’s unorthodox sermons, but so is the local police chief, who has his suspicions. ​Cast: Shea Whigham, Michael Shannon, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Bobby Soto, Bruno Bichir, Alvaro Martinez​ (World Premiere)

“The Racer​” (Ireland)
Director: Kieron J. Walsh, Screenwriter: Ciaran Cassidy, Kieron J. Walsh
As the 1998 Tour de France kicks off its first three stages in Ireland, one rider faces what could be the last stage of his own career during what became known as the notorious “Tour de Dopage.” ​Cast: Louis Talpe, Tara Lee, Matteo Simoni, Iain Glen, Karel Roden ​(World Premiere)

“The Show​” (United Kingdom)
Director: Mitch Jenkins, Screenwriter: Alan Moore
A new mystery from the extraordinary mind of legendary comic book writer Alan Moore, creator of ​Watchmen, V for Vendetta​ and ​The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen​. ​Cast: Tom Burke, Ellie Bamber, Siobhan Hewlett, Sheila Atim, Alan Moore (​World Premiere)

“Small Engine Repair”
Director/Screenwriter: John Pollono
Blue collar childhood buddies Frank, Swaino and Packie meet off-hours one night in Frank’s out-of-the-way repair shop for suspicious reasons only he seems to have a handle on. ​Cast: Jon Bernthal, Shea Whigham, Jordana Spiro, Ciara Bravo, Spencer House, John Pollono (​World Premiere)

“Uncorked”
Director/Screenwriter: Prentice Penny
Elijah (Mamoudou Athie) must find a way to balance his dream of becoming a master sommelier with his father’s expectations for him to carry on the family’s popular Memphis barbeque joint. Cast: Mamoudou Athie, Courtney B. Vance, Niecy Nash, Matt McGorry, Sasha Compere, Gil Ozeri, Kelly Jenrette, Bernard David Jones, Meera Rohit Kumbhani ​(World Premiere)

Documentary Spotlight

Shining a light on new documentary features receiving their World, North American or U.S. premieres at SXSW.

“9 to 5: The Story of A Movement”
Directors: Julia Reichert, Steve Bognar
In the 1970s, America’s secretaries took to the streets, fed up with on-the-job abuse. They created a movement called 9to5, which later inspired Jane Fonda to make a movie and Dolly Parton to write a song. This is the untold story of their fight. (World Premiere)

“The Alpinist”
Directors: Peter Mortimer, Nicholas Rosen
An elusive young climber explores the limits of solo mountaineering. (World Premiere)

“And We Go Green”
Directors: Fisher Stevens, Malcolm Venville, Screenwriter: Mark Monroe
Professional drivers on the international Formula E circuit race for victory across 10 cities in this white-knuckle documentary from filmmaker Malcolm Venville, Oscar-winning director Fisher Stevens (The Cove), and producer Leonardo DiCaprio. (U.S. Premiere)

“Baby God”
Director: Hannah Olson
For more than 30 years, Dr. Quincy Fortier covertly used his own sperm to inseminate his fertility patients. Now his secret is out. ​Baby God​ follows his children as they seek the truth about his motives and try to make sense of their own identities.(World Premiere)

“Clerk​” (Canada, United States)
Director: Malcolm Ingram
A documentary on the career of filmmaker and raconteur Kevin Smith. (World Premiere)

“Console Wars”
Directors: Jonah Tulis, Blake J. Harris
In 1990, Sega assembled a team of misfits to take on the greatest video game company in the world, Nintendo. ​Console Wars​ goes behind the scenes to meet the men and women who fought for both sides in this epic battle that defined a generation. (World Premiere)

“Crazy, Not Insane”
Director: Alex Gibney
Dr. Dorothy Lewis is a psychiatrist who’s spent her career examining violent people. Through the use of chilling never-before-seen inmate interviews, ​Crazy, Not Insane​ looks into the mind of a killer in an attempt to understand why people kill. (U.S. Premiere)

“The Dilemma of Desire”
Director: Maria Finitzo
The Dilemma of Desire​ explores the clash between the external power of gender politics and the equally powerful imperative of female sexual desire. How different would the world look if women’s libidos were taken as seriously as men’s?(World Premiere)

“Hamtramck, USA”
Directors: Razi Jafri, Justin Feltman
Through the exploration of daily life and democracy in America’s first Muslim-majority city, Hamtramck, USA examines the benefits and tensions of multiculturalism.(World Premiere)

“Hood River”
Director: Steven Cantor
In a small Oregon community, a high school soccer team struggles to overcome class and racial divide in a quest for team success. They are torn between their individual commitment to the team and the expectations of the town itself. (World Premiere)

“Insert Coin”
Director: Joshua Tsui
The oral history of a team of geeks and misfits in the back of a Chicago factory creating the biggest video games (​Mortal Kombat,​ ​NBA JAM​, and others) of all time. (World Premiere)

“M For Magic”
Director: Alexis Manya Spraic
M for Magic​ is the never-told story of the royal family of magic – four generations of the legendary Larsen family – and their tireless endeavor to save the art of magic with a private club for magicians – the world famous Magic Castle in Hollywood. (World Premiere)

“One Man and His Shoes​” (United Kingdom)
Director: Yemi Bamiro
One Man and His Shoes​ tells the story of Air Jordan sneakers, depicting their social, cultural and racial significance, showing how ground-breaking marketing strategies created a multi-billion-dollar business. (World Premiere)

“A Secret Love”
Director: Chris Bolan, Screenwriters: Chris Bolan, Alexa L. Fogel, Brendan Mason
A moving and triumphant love story about two trailblazing women who break barriers and conventional norms, coming out to their conservative families as they face the difficulties of aging. (World Premiere)

“We Are As Gods”
Directors/Screenwriters: Jason Sussberg, David Alvarado
“We are as gods and might as well get good at it,” Stewart Brand wrote in ‘68. The legendary pioneer of LSD, cyberspace, futurism, and modern environmentalism now urges people to use our god-like powers to fight extinction by reviving lost species. (World Premiere)

“You Cannot Kill David Arquette”
Directors: David Darg, Price James
In 2000, actor David Arquette infamously became the world wrestling champion as a promotion for his movie ​Ready to Rumble​. He wasn’t prepared for the backlash. 20 years later, Arquette seeks redemption by returning to the ring… for real this time. (World Premiere)

Visions

Visions filmmakers are audacious, risk-taking artists in the new cinema landscape who demonstrate raw innovation and creativity in documentary and narrative filmmaking.

“Crestone”
Director: Marnie Ellen Hertzler, Screenwriters: Marnie Ellen Hertzler, Corey Hughes
In the desert of Crestone, Colorado, a group of SoundCloud rappers live in solitude, growing weed and making music for the internet. When an old friend arrives to make a movie, reality and fiction begin to blur. (World Premiere)

“Drunk Bus”
Directors: Brandon LaGanke, John Carlucci, Screenwriter: Chris Molinaro
A directionless, young campus bus driver and a punk rock, Samoan security guard named Pineapple form an unlikely kinship as they navigate the unpredictable late shift shit show known as the “drunk bus.” Together, they break out of their endless loop. ​Cast: Charlie Tahan, Kara Hayward, Pinapple Tangaroa, Tonatiuh, Zach Cherry, Sarah Mezzanotte, Jay Devore, Dave Hill, Martin Pfefferkorn (​ World Premiere)

“Echoes of the Invisible​” (Poland, United States)
Director: Steve Elkins
Daring explorers embark upon seemingly impossible journeys into the most extreme environments on Earth to find the connective tissue between all things seen and unseen. (World Premiere)

“Freeland”
Directors/Screenwriters: Kate McLean, Mario Furloni
Forced to go legal, an outlaw pot farmer fights to preserve her way of life. ​Cast: Krisha Fairchild, Frank Mosley, Lily Gladstone, John Craven, Ryan Tasker, Cameron James Matthews, Michelle Maxson, Robert Parsons, George Psarras ​(World Premiere)

“Golden Arm”
Director: Maureen Bharoocha, Screenwriters: Ann Marie Allison, Jenna Milly
Golden Arm​ is a female buddy comedy about a wimpy baker who gets roped into the world of ladies arm wrestling by her truck driving best friend. ​Cast: Mary Holland, Betsy Sodaro, Olivia Stambouliah, Eugene Cordero, Aparna Nancherla, Dawn Luebbe, Ron Funches, Ahmed Bharoocha, Dot-Marie Jones, Kate Flannery​ (World Premiere)

“In & Of Itself”
Director: Frank Oz, Screenwriter: Derek DelGaudio
Storyteller and Conceptual Magician Derek DelGaudio attempts to understand the illusory nature of identity and answer one deceptively simple question: Who am I?​ ​Cast: ​Derek DelGaudio​ ​(World Premiere)

“I Will Make You Mine”
Director/Screenwriter: Lynn Chen
Three women wrestle with life’s difficulties while confronting their past relationships with the same man. ​Cast: Lynn Chen, Yea-Ming Chen, Ayako Fujitani, Goh Nakamura, Joy Osmanski, Mike Faiola, Tamlyn Tomita, Ayami Riley Tomine ​(World Premiere)

“Make Up​” (United Kingdom)
Director/Screenwriter: Claire Oakley
After Ruth moves in with her boyfriend in a remote holiday park, tensions rise as she makes an unsettling discovery that lures her into a spiral of obsession. ​Cast: Molly Windsor, Joseph Quinn, Stefanie Martini (​ North American Premiere)

“Rare Beasts​” (United Kingdom)
Director/Screenwriter: Billie Piper
An anti rom-com about Mandy, a career-driven single mother, who falls in love with the charming traditionalist Pete. ​Cast: Billie Piper, Leo Bill, David Thewlis, Kerry Fox, Toby Woolf, Lily James ​(North American Premiere)

“Selfie” ​(France)
Directors: Marc Fitoussi, Thomas Bidegain, Screenwriters: Giulio Callegari, Noé Debré, Hélène Lombard, Julien Sibony, Bertrand Soulier
Five interconnected stories explore the extremities of human behavior in the digital age. ​Cast: Blanche Gardin, Elsa Zylberstein, Finnegan Oldfield, Manu Payet, Sébastien Chassagne, Max Boublil, Julia Piaton, Alma Jodorowsky (​World Premiere)

“She Dies Tomorrow”
Director/Screenwriter: Amy Seimetz
Amy thinks she’s dying tomorrow…and it’s contagious. ​Cast: Kate Lyn Sheil, Jane Adams, Kentucker Audley, Chris Messina, Katie Aselton, Tunde Adebimpe, Jennifer Kim, Josh Lucas, Olivia Taylor Dudley, Michelle Rodriguez ​(World Premiere)

“TFW NO GF”
Director/Screenwriter: Alex Lee Moyer
A generation of disaffected young men searches for meaning in the dark corners of the internet. TFW NO GF​ offers an intimate portrait of five such individuals- as shared through the metaphor of an iconic meme. (World Premiere)

Episodic Premieres

Presenting world premieres of prestige serials slated for release and accompanied by show-runners, directors and cast members featuring extended Q&As.

“Central Park”
Showrunner: Loren Bouchard
Central Park​ tells the story of how a family of caretakers, who live and work in Central Park, end up saving the park, and basically the world.​ Cast: Josh Gad, Leslie Odom, Jr., Titus Burgess, Kristen Bell, Stanley Tucci, Daveed Diggs, Kathryn Hahn (​ World Premiere)

“Chad”
Showrunner: Nasim Pedrad
A pubescent Persian boy navigates high school. His friendships and sanity are pushed to the limits as he uses every tactic at his disposal to befriend the cool kids, while enduring his mother’s dating life and reconciling with his cultural identity. ​Cast: Nasim Pedrad, Jake Ryan, Ella Mika, Saba Homayoon, Paul Chahidi, Alexa Loo ​(World Premiere)

“Cursed Films​” (Canada)
Showrunner: Jay Cheel
Cursed Films is a five-part documentary series which explores the myths and legends behind some of Hollywood’s notoriously cursed horror film productions. (World Premiere)

“Hightown”
Showrunner/Screenwriter: Rebecca Cutter
Set in the world of beautiful but bleak Cape Cod, ​Hightown ​follows one woman’s journey to sobriety, overshadowed by an unfolding murder investigation. ​Cast: Monica Raymund, James Badge Dale, Riley Voelkel, Shane Harper, Amaury Nolasco, Atkins Estimond, Dohn Norwood (World Premiere)

“Home”
Showrunners: Joe Poulin, Matt Weaver, Bruce Gersh, Ian Orefice, Doug Pray, Collin Orcutt, Matt Tyrnauer, Corey Reeser
Home​ is a nine-part series that explores extraordinary interpretations of domestic architecture and the concept of “home.” The first season features homes in six different countries and was filmed in eight countries and 16 cities around the world. (World Premiere)

“Motherland: Fort Salem”
Showrunner/Screenwriter: Eliot Laurence
The series is set in an alternate, present-day America where witches ended their persecution just over 300 years ago by cutting a deal with the burgeoning government to fight for and protect their country. ​Cast: Ashley Nicole Williams, Taylor Hickson, Jessica Sutton, Amalia Holm, Demetria McKinney (​ World Premiere)

“Outcry”
Showrunner: ​Pat Kondelis
In a small Texan town in 2014, star football player, Greg Kelley, was convicted of a child sexual assault case. In an outpour of support, his community bands together to prove his innocence and rectify a crime that ruined lives. (World Premiere)

“Snowpiercer”
Showrunner/Screenwriter: Graeme Manson
Set after the world has become a frozen wasteland, TNT’s ​Snowpiercer ​centers on the remnants of humanity who inhabit a perpetually moving train that circles the globe, dealing with class warfare, social injustice and the politics of survival. ​Cast: Jennifer Connelly, Daveed Diggs, Alison Wright, Mickey Sumner, Susan Park, Iddo Goldberg, Katie McGuinness, Annalise Basso, Sam Otto, Roberto Urbina, Sheila Vand, Jaylin Fletcher​ (World Premiere)

“Solar Opposites”
Showrunners/Screenwriters: Justin Roiland, Mike McMahan
From the minds behind ​Rick & Morty​, Justin Roiland & Mike McMahan, ​Solar Opposites​ centers around a family of aliens from a better world who must take refuge in middle America. They disagree on whether this is awful or awesome. ​Cast: Thomas Middleditch, Sean Giambrone, Justin Roiland, Mary Mack ​(World Premiere)

“Tales From the Loop”
Showrunner/Screenwriter: Nathaniel Halpern
From executive producer Matt Reeves and based on the acclaimed art of Swedish artist Simon Stålenhag, Tales from the Loop explores the town and people who live above “The Loop” a machine built to unlock and explore the mysteries of the universe.  ​Cast: Rebecca Hall, Paul Schneider, Duncan Joiner, Daniel Zolghardi, Jonathan Pryce ​(World Premiere)

“Upload”
Showrunner: Greg Daniels
Upload​ is a ten-episode half-hour sci-fi comedy from the Emmy winning writer, Greg Daniels, starring Robbie Amell and Andy Allo. It takes place in the future, where people who are near death can be “Uploaded” into a virtual afterlife of their choice. ​Cast: Robbie Amell, Andy Allo, Allegra Edwards, Zainab Johnson, Kevin Bigley ​(World Premiere)

24 Beats Per Second

Showcasing the sounds, culture and influence of music and musicians, with an emphasis on documentary.

“American Rap Star”
Director: Justin Staple
American Rapstar chronicles the rise of a subculture of young rappers who utilized the SoundCloud streaming platform to disrupt the traditional norms of the music industry with their distinct self expression and rebellious approach. (World Premiere)

“Biography: The Nine Lives of Ozzy Osbourne”
Director: R. Greg Johnston

Biography: The Nine Lives of Ozzy Osbourne
Director: R. Greg Johnston
A&E’s Biography: The Nine Lives of Ozzy Osbourne celebrates the life of rock icon and Godfather of heavy metal Ozzy Osbourne and features interviews with Sharon Osbourne, Rick Rubin, Ice-T, Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie, Jonathan Davis and Post Malone. (World Premiere)

“Le Choc du Futur​” (France)
Director: Marc Collin
In the Paris of 1978, old formulas do not charm listeners anymore and new music must arise. In a male-dominated industry, Ana uses her electronic gadgets to create a new sound that will mark the decades to come: the music of the future. Cast: Alma Jodorowsky, Philippe Rebbot, Laurent Papot, Elli Medeiros, Clara Luciani, Teddy Melis, Corine(North American Premiere)

“Lydia Lunch – The War Is Never Over”
Director: Beth B
Lydia Lunch – The War is Never Over​ by Beth B is the first career-spanning documentary retrospective of Lydia Lunch’s confrontational, acerbic and always electric music and art.

“The Mojo Manifesto: The Life and Times of Mojo Nixon”
Director: Matt Eskey
On a bicycle trip across the country, a young Neill Kirby McMillan Jr. experiences The Mojo Revelation. After teaming up with the enigmatic Skid Roper, he unexpectedly finds mainstream success but makes a decision that could jeopardize his career. (World Premiere)

“My Darling Vivian”
Director: Matt Riddlehoover
Director Matt Riddlehoover traces the dizzying journey of Vivian Liberto, Johnny Cash’s first wife and the mother of his four daughters. Featuring unseen footage and photographs, the film was produced by Dustin Tittle, Vivian and Johnny’s grandson. (World Premiere)

“The Nowhere Inn”
Director: Bill Benz, Screenwriters: Carrie Brownstein, Annie Clark
St. Vincent sets out to make a documentary about her music, but when she hires a close friend to direct, notions of reality, identity, and authenticity grow increasingly distorted and bizarre. Cast: Annie Clark, Carrie Brownstein

“Rockfield: The Studio on the Farm​” (United Kingdom)
Director: Hannah Berryman
The unlikely tale of two Welsh brothers who turned their dairy farm into one of the most successful recording studios of all time. This is a story of rock and roll dreams intertwined with a family business’ fight for survival. (World Premiere)

“Tomboy”
Director: Lindsay Lindenbaum
Tomboy​ shines a light on four women drummers, in a field that was once the exclusive domain of men. The narratives of these trailblazing musicians interweave, launching a dialogue on gender and artistry, which extends far beyond the musical sphere. (World Premiere)

“We Are The Thousand​” (Canada, Italy)
Director/Screenwriter: Anita Rivaroli
Fan of rock music, Fabio wants to convince the Foo Fighters to perform in his little village in Italy. To do that he gathered 1,000 musicians to play their song together… He created a huge community who became the biggest rock band on Earth. (World Premiere)

“Without Getting Killed or Caught”
Directors: Tamara Saviano, Paul Whitfield, Screenwriters: Tamara Saviano, Bart Knaggs
Guy Clark, the dean of Texas songwriters, struggles to write poetic songs while balancing a complicated marriage with wife Susanna, and a deep friendship with legendary songwriter Townes Van Zandt, on whom Susanna forges a passionate dependence. (World Premiere)

“Zappa”
Director: Alex Winter
The first all-access documentary on the life and times of Frank Zappa. (World Premiere)

Global

A diverse selection of international filmmaking talent, featuring innovative narratives, artful documentaries, premieres, festival favorites and more.

“Cargo​” (India)
Director/Screenwriter: Arati Kadav
Prahastha, a lonely devil astronaut has been working in a spaceship for many years. His spaceship comes close to Earth every morning and Cargos start arriving at the arrival station. These Cargos are people who have just died on Earth. ​Cast: Vikrant Massey, Shweta Tripathi, Nandu Madhav (​ North American Premiere)

“Cat In The Wall​” (Bulgaria)
Directors/Screenwriters: Mina Mileva, Vesela Kazakova
Cat In The Wall​ tells the true story of how a cat, stuck in a wall, changes the lives of aspirational migrants, benefit fraudsters and gentrified Brexiteers. ​Cast: Irina Atanasova, Angel Genov, Orlin Asenov, Gilda Waugh, Chinwe A Nwokolo, Kadisha Gee Camara, Jon-jo Inkpen, John Harty (North American Premiere)

“La Mami” ​(Mexico, Spain)
Director/Screenwriter: Laura Herrero Garvín
Night after night, La Mami, in charge of the women’s restroom at the mythical Cabaret Barba Azul offers care to the women who work there dancing.

“Gunpowder Heart​” (Guatemala)
Director/Screenwriter: Camila Urrutia
In a chaotic Guatemala City two naive girlfriends have to make a radical decision on how to cope with the events of a fateful night: is violence the solution, or are there other ways? ​Cast: Andrea Henry, Vanessa Hernández ​(North American Premiere)

“Marygoround​” (Poland)
Director: Daria Woszek, Screenwriters: Daria Woszek, Sylwester Piechura, Aleksandra Swierk Mary is a lonely, small-town, grocery store worker, living a carefree life. On the eve of her 50th birthday, Mary’s life soon begins to take on a totally unexpected turn for the better – becoming an awesome revelation. ​Cast: Grazyna Misiorowska, Helena Sujecka, Sylwester Piechura, Janusz Chabior, Magdalena Kolesnik, Barbara Kurzaj, Agnieszka Wosinska, Michal Majnicz, Pawel Smagala, Katarzyna Nosowska (​World Premiere)

“Medida Provisória​” (Brazil)
Director: Lázaro Ramos
In a near future Brazil, the federal government has decided to send the black population back to Africa. Three individuals try to resist and fight for their rights. (World Premiere)

“Scales”
Director/Screenwriter: Shahad Ameen (Iraq, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates)
Set in a dystopian landscape, ​Scales​ is the story of a young girl who stands alone against her family and overturns the village tradition of sacrificing the female children. ​Cast: Ashraf Barhoum, Yagoub AlFarhan, Fatima Al Taei, Haifa AlAgha, Hafssa Faisal, Abdulaziz Shtian, Basima Hajjar

Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

This Article is related to: Film and tagged ,