There were already a couple of really good films showing down at the SXSW later next month that I wanted to see, but I have to admit, I was a little disappointed that the selection wasn’t more diverse. As it turns out, all I needed to do was wait for the festival to release their Midnight Features schedule, which is packed with some excellent sounding genre offerings, including but not limited to Xavier Gens’ “The Divide”, Jason Eisner’s “Hobo with a Shotgun”, and “Saw” guy James Wan’s “Insidious”. Here are the complete list of Midnight Features and a sea of Shorts. Also, fresh stills from Gens’ “The Divide” and Ben Wheatley’s “Kill List”.
The South by Southwest Festival commences March 11 – 19, 2011 in Austin, Texas.
Scary, funny, sexy, controversial – provocative after-dark features for night owls and the terminally curious.
Attack The Block (UK-England)
Director & Writer: Joe Cornish
A funny, frightening action adventure movie that pits a teen gang against an invasion of alien monsters. It turns a tower block into a sci-fi playground. It’s inner city versus outer space. Cast: Jodie Whittaker, John Boyega, Alex Esmail, Franz Drameh, Leeon Jones, Simon Howard, Luke Treadaway, Jumayn Hunter and Nick Frost (World Premiere)
The Divide (US-Canada)
Director: Xavier Gens, Writers: Karl Mueller & Eron Sheean
To survive the end of the world…you must first survive each other. Cast: Michael Biehn, Milo Ventimiglia, Lauren German, Rosanna Arquette, Courtney B. Vance (World Premiere)
Hobo With a Shotgun
Director: Jason Eisner, Writer: John Davies
A Hobo finds himself in an urban hell. When he witnesses a brutal robbery, he realizes the only way to deliver justice is with a shotgun. Cast: Rutger Hauer, Gregory Smith, Molly Dunsworth, Brian Downey, Nick Bateman
Director: James Wan, Writer: Leigh Whannell
Dark spirits have possessed the home of a family whose son has fallen into a coma. Trying to save him, the family moves only to realize that it was not their house that was haunted. Cast: Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Lin Shaye, Ty Simpkins, Barbara Hershey (U.S. Premiere)
Phase 7 / Fase 7 (Argentina)
Director & Writer: Nicolas Goldbart
Coco just moved to his new apartment with 7-month pregnant wife. When the building is in quarantined for a deadly flue. The neighbors became unexpected enemies. Cast: Daniel Hendler, Federico Luppi, Jazmin Stuart, Jose “Yayo” Guridi (North American Premiere)
Cold Sweat / Sudor Frio
Director: Adrián Garcia Bogliano, Writers: Adrián Garcia Bogliano, Ramiro García Bogliano, Hernán Moyano
What do you do if you are a right-wing Argentinean terrorist and your state-sanctioned organization is disbanded? We can’t say, but it involves chat rooms, bare breasts and a generous slathering of nitro-glycerine. Cast: Facundo Espinosa, Marina Glezer, Camila Velasco, Omar Musa, Noelia Vergini (International Premiere)
George the Hedgehog / Jeż Jerzy (Poland)
Director: Wojciech Wawszczyk, Writer: Rafał Skarżycki
Jez Jerzy is a skateboarding hedgehog who likes to drink beer and fondle breasts. He finds it hard to pursue his passions, however, while being tormented by neo-nazi skinheads, mad scientists and a drooling, flatulent clone of himself. Cast: Borys Szyc, Maria Peszek, Maciej Maleńczuk, Sokół, Michał Koterski (International Premiere)
KILL LIST (UK)
Director: Ben Wheatley, Writers: Ben Wheatley & Amy Jump
A dark and twisted horror from the mind of director Ben Wheatley. Cast: Neil Maskell, Michael Smiley, MyAnna Buring (World Premiere)
Little Deaths (UK)
Directors & Writers: Sean Hogan, Andrew Parkinson & Simon Rumley
A psychosexual horror anthology comprised of three separate stories dealing with the twin themes of sex and death. Cast: Kate Braithewaite, Daniel Brocklebank, Brendan Gregory, Siubhan Harrison, Jodie Jameson (North American Premiere)
Directors & Writers: Jason Trost & Brandon Trost
For years an underground war has raged for dominance over the town of Frazier Park between two clans. Dominance isn’t determined through fistfights or petty brawls, but the dancing video game Beat-Beat Revelation. Cast: Jason Trost, Lee Valamassy, Caitlyn Folley, Art Hsu, Nick Principe (World Premiere)
A selection of original, well-crafted films that take advantage of the short form and exemplify distinctive and genuine storytelling. The winner of our Grand Jury Award in this category is eligible for a 2012 Academy Award nomination for Best Narrative Short.
Director: Kire Paputts
Before Sammy, all his best friends were stuffed animals.
Director: Joshua Funk
A woman makes a big announcement to her friends.
Director: Bryan Gaynor
Two young men find themselves at a precarious crossroads during a typical afternoon of horseplay.
Director: Topaz Adizes
A 10 year old experiences a rite of passage that will forever change him.
Director: Martina Amati
Two teenage professional gymnasts are competing in a national training camp, when their friendship is put to the test.
Director: Janicza Bravo
After being locked out of her apartment, a young woman seeks the help of her lonely neighbor.
Director: Michael Mohan
He broke her heart. Then she broke his.
Director: Soham Mehta
Sparks fly as a family reunites.
Director: Christina Choe
An odd young woman paralyzed by severe OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), discovers dance as way to deal with her rituals.
Director: Eric F. Martin
A woman learns that she may have been switched at birth.
The Good Neighbor
Director: Jacob Vaughan
A man tries to surprise his neighbor with dinner and wine, but her pet guinea pig ruins everything.
Director: Michael Langan
This short documents the parallel goals of man and nature, through the most primitive and sophisticated means, to simply stay in the light.
Howling at the Moon
Directors: Jason Tippet & Elizabeth Mims
Matt’s grandmother believes that man has never set foot on the moon. Matt got a telescope for Christmas and intends to show her otherwise.
Directors: Josh Safdie & Benny Safdie
He is punch drunk (not with love) but something far more strange and lost. One can only say John’s Gone.
Join the Dots
Director: Jessica Lux
A new girl at St. Andrews University discovers a world of preppy girls who dream of strategically seducing fellow student Prince William. Isolated, she finds hope in a mysterious boy who wears a silver jacket.
Director: Edawrd Housden
Richard’s sister Millie wants to be a world famous body builder. What happens when she is a better boy than he is?
Director: Leanne Welham
Unable to sleep one night, Jody goes to the local gas station and meets a passionate young couple that will turn her night, and her life, upside down.
Directors: Carolina Giammetta & Schuman Hoque
Danielle loves her friends, but they are very, very different from anybody else’s…
Director: David Lowery
A father tells his son the most epic bedtime story ever.
Directors: Celia Rowlson Hall & Jae Song
Prom night is ritual, disco balls, expectation, corsages, dresses, holding, sweating, status, entering in twos, balloons, school gyms, dancing slow and fast.
Roosevelt’s Big Deal
Director: Craig Elrod
Don’t lose your shirt on a dinner with the coach.
Scenes From The Suburbs
Director: Spike Jonze
Director Spike Jonze teams up with Arcade Fire to create a thirty-minute short film inspired by their critically acclaimed album, The Suburbs, and its themes of war and coming of age in suburbia.
A SHORE THING
Director: Jess Manafort
A couple spends a lovely day at the beach arguing about love.
Director: Joe Cobden
A stunning slow-motion bar brawl. A woman has to literally fight her way through a Montreal ballroom just to get to a man she might want.
Director: Sean Rourke Meehan
A young woman works another night at her strange and intimate job.
The Strange Ones
Directors: Christopher Radcliff & Lauren Wolkstein
A man and a boy, traveling to an unknown destination, find respite in a motel swimming pool. On the surface all seems normal, but nothing is quite what it seems to be.
The Third One This Week
Director: Felix Thompson
A doctor only has one chance to deliver bad news… or does he?
Director: Antoine Bourges
A middle-aged woman is faced with poverty. As she struggles to find help within the system, her only option is to wait.
Director: Eric Dinkian
A man is mortally wounded by a woman. As the remaining minutes of his life keep ticking, he examines his conscience.
Unfiltered slices of life, from across the documentary spectrum.
39-A: Een Reisverhaal Van Eindeloos (A Travel Tale of Interminable)
Director: Evan Mather
In this insightful autobiographical mashup of Super-8 home movies, vibrant animated cartography, and Dutch pidgin-speak, a family’s 1981 vacation to the Kennedy Space Center is chronicled in exquisite detail.
100 Bands In 100 Days
Directors: Shout It Out Loud Music & Nick Sonderup
Come along as one music fan endures 100 consecutive nights of live music, beer and self-discovery. Let’s go binge gigging.
Director: Wing-Yee Wu
Join Wesley Pentz, a.k.a. DJ Diplo and part of Major Lazer sound system, for one day behind the scenes at the annual Philadelphia block party of record label Mad Decent.
Director: Austin Wilson
Living proof that time travelers are among us.
The High Level Bridge
Director: Trevor Anderson
Trevor drops his camera from Edmonton’s High Level Bridge in memory of those who’ve jumped.
Director: Jay Duplass
Kevin Gant was an inspired and beloved Austin musician, but in 1995 he disappeared from the scene. Who is Kevin? What happened to him? And, can he get back what he lost?
Library of Dust
Directors: Ondi Timoner & Robert James
Death becomes art when a photographer captures images of deceased patients at a mental hospital.
Director: Nadia Hallgren
This short is the story of Shoshanna, a young mother from NYC. Told through late-night phone calls on public radio, she awaits the fate of Felix, her children’s father, incarcerated and on trial.
Man & Machine: A Naked Robotic Love Story
Directors: Jesse Roesler & Jonathan Nowak
Explores the challenges and delights found in sustaining a creative identity within a romantic relationship and the controversial “new music” generated by an unconventional pair of artists in Ghent Belgium.
Director: Jason Jakaitis
A personal documentary that explores the filmmaker’s ambivalent relationship to his mother’s physical disabilities and chronicles his attempts to be at peace with her suffering and disfigurement.
My Big Red Purse
Director: Giancarlo Iannotta
In this three-minute experimental documentary, the director’s mother reminisces about a childhood memory involving her prized big red purse.
Noc u Tane ní (Night at the Dance)
Director: Annie Silverstein
A profile of the last days of a Czech dance hall in rural Texas—and the old-timers who come there to polka.
Director: Skylar Nielsen
Metal-fabricator Neil Youngberg never planned on taking over his grandfather’s business and is now faced with passing on his legacy.
RUN AND RETURN
Directors: Michael Thelin & Jose Louis Rios
This film, taken from Live at Stubb’s Vol. II, explores the Grammy-nominated artist Matisyahu’s creative philosophy and passion for music during his 2010 summer tour with his band Dub Trio.
Satan Since 2003
Director: Carlos Puga
Richmond, VA becomes a battleground for moped gangs.
Director: Jessica Edwards
An ode to the hardest working boats on the waterways and the people who pilot them.
You Cannot Learn How To Be Honest
Director: Jason Oppliger
Confronting the disturbing and incoherent Hi-8 footage he’s agreed to edit, a filmmaker attempts to find a catharsis amongst the chaos by turning the images loose on himself and his apartment.
A showcase for cutting-edge documentary shorts from around the world.
IL CAPO (Italy)
Director: Yuri Ancarani
This short describes the extraordinary way of communication used by the chief in a marble quarry: a non-conventional language of gestures and signs.
Lost Every Day (UK-Scotland)
Director: Michelle Coomber
This is a film about a woman who has a medical condition and when she wakes each morning, her walls seem to have moved overnight.
My Dream (UK-Bangladesh)
Director: Md. Rezwan Ali Khan
Sumon, a shrewd businessman, makes a decent living as a disabled beggar. He doesn’t just keep it for himself though. He has a dream.
PS Your Mystery Sender (UK-Scotland)
Director: Ben Wigley
Finding the meaning behind the unwrapped and unusual objects that Paul Smith, the fashion designer, has been receiving in the post for the last 20 years, from a mystery person.
SCREENING AT THE TATRY CINEMA (Poland)
Director: Igor Chojna
Dariusz Ambroszczyk runs one of the oldest cinemas in Łódź – Tatry.
Shave and a Haircut (Hong Kong)
Director: Lavina Tien
A coming-of-age portrait of a visit to the barber by an old man and a little boy.
Skateistan: To Live And Skate Kabul (UK)
Director: Orlando von Einsiedel
Skateboarding in Kabul.
Director: Murad Nassar
The daily routine of Wajeh, the coffee seller in Qalandiya checkpoint.
Wood If (Canada)
Director: J.B. Sugar
A cinematic meditation on the works and process of whimsical furniture designer Judson Beaumont.
An assortment of stories told using a mix of traditional animation, computer-generated effects, stop-motion, and everything in-between. The winner of our Grand Jury Award in this category is eligible for a 2012 Academy Award nomination for Best Animated short.
The Beaufort Diaries
Director: Alex Petrowsky
When you’re a dying breed in Hollywood, sometimes it’s tough to go with the floe.
Director: Leah Shore
A secretary types with her boobs.
Director: Daniel Fickle
Pily, a lovable crustacean of mixed origin struggles to escape his underwater home when it becomes threatened by pollution.
Director: Ross Butter
A short animation, showcasing the grace and poise of our prehistoric forerunners.
The Eagleman Stag
Director: Mikey Please
If you repeat the word ‘fly’ for long enough it sounds like you’re saying ‘life’. This is of no help to Peter. His answers lie in the brain of a beetle.
Get With The Program
Director: Jennifer Drummond Deutrom
The complacent inhabitants of this near-future society devise ways to adapt to the constant demands of the techno dystopia they have created.
Director: Erick Oh
An exploration of transcendence. This short presents questions through abstract metaphors and symbols, illustrated by the human heart.
A LOST AND FOUND BOX OF HUMAN SENSATION
Directors: Martin Wallner & Stefan Leuchtenberg
When his father dies unexpectedly, a young man seeking to cope with his grief goes on a powerful emotional journey through time and space.
Paths of Hate
Director: Damian Nenow
A short tale about the demons that slumber deep in the human soul and have the power to push people into the abyss of blind hate, fury and rage.
Director: Alan Dickson
Not everyone loves Christmas.
Director: Rob Munday
In a post-apocalyptic world a lemon called Teddy finds his legs.
Director: Olivia Taussig
A catalogue of nine headlines, illuminating apocalyptic undercurrents. Headlines become ironic expositions, highlighting fantastical variables and animals play.
The Wonder Hospital
Director: Beomsik Shimbe Shim
A surreal journey through a mysterious hospital that alters the perception of physical beauties.
Bite-sized bits for all of your sex, gore, and hilarity needs.
Director: Adam White
When Harold discovers he has a brain tumor he is unaware that the tumor is an independent world of it’s own, fighting to survive.
Director: Thomas Wohlford
It’s Billy’s Birthday.
Director: Brandon LaGanke
When a young child walks home from school he encounters a strange-looking man in a full bunny costume.
Directors: Natalia Provatas & Valerian Zamel
The story of five canaries, that just couldn’t take it anymore.
Christeene, “Bustin’ Brown”
Director: PJ Raval
In “Bustin’ Brown,” the fourth installment of the CHRISTEENE Video Collection, CHRISTEENE confronts the ever-present bastardization of anal sex from mainstream bourgeois heterosexuals by returning “da buh-hole” to its rightful owners.
Good Morning, Beautiful
Director: Todd Cobery
After the death of his newborn daughter, a man deals with his grief as he struggles to keep his grasp on reality.
Director: Andrew Putschoegl
A suicidal woman makes a call for help with unexpected results.
The Laying on of Hands
Director: Nick Twemlow
Martial arts death dealing meets biblical faith healing.
Director: Kelsey Stark
Ghosts just wanna have fun!
Director: Lucas Mireles
Give me one good reason to date your sister.
Director: Scott Smith
Politically incorrect foreplay helps a young couple explore the boundaries of their fantasies.
Director: Rafael De Leon Jr.
A disfigured, science fair champion invites her new friend over for dinner, but by the time dessert comes around, the two schoolmates will discover each other’s true, unpleasant natures.
An offshoot of our regular narrative shorts program, composed of work shot in, about, or somehow relating to the Lone Star state.
Directors: Julie Gould & Daniel Laabs
A daughter spends the anniversary of her father’s death with her mother.
Director: Mike Mann
Jeff Young brews beer for a living. This is why.
Chainsaw Found Jesus
Director: Spencer Parsons
A suburban fairytale about uneasy dreams, an unexpected play date, and a search for whale songs. Mistakes are made. Rocks could be thrown. Officer Schnauzer, are you gonna arrest somebody?
Director: Daniel Rigdon
When you have lost everything, what can you hope to find?
Director: John Venable
The story of two men, one black, one white, who become trapped in an elevator. With nothing but time on their hands they have a very frank discussion about race.
Director: Marko Slavnic
After a young man witnesses a brutal shooting, he is torn about what to do next.
Jeremy Messersmith, “Tatooine”
Director: Eric Power
The original Star Wars trilogy re-imagined in glorious cut paper animation!
Director: Geoff McGee
A comedic short film about a polaris pool cleaner named Neal.
Director: Allen E. Ho
A story about a troubled Asian American youth during Christmas in Los Angeles.
SHORTS SCREENING WITH FEATURES
Chief Serenbe (Narrative Short)
Director: Evan Curtis
A Neo-Realist animation about a hitchhiker.
The D Train (Narrative Short)
Director: Jay Rosenblatt
An old man reflects on his whole life in less than 5 minutes.
Guard Dog Global Jam (Animated Short)
Director: Bill Plympton
An experimental Internet recreation to Bill Plympton’s Oscar-nominated Guard Dog short, each scene re-imagined and animated by different artists from all over the world.
Mokhtar (Narrative Short)
Director: Halima Ouardiri
Based on a true story, Mokhtar recounts the tale of a young boy in a remote Moroccan village as he adopts a fallen owl.
Room 4 Rent (Narrative Short)
Director: Max Weissberg
Anna is looking for a place to rent.
Shinya Kimura (Documentary Short)
Director: Henrik Hansen
The story of Shinya Kimura, a creator of custom motorcycles which he designs with a unique philosophy of love, life and simplicity.
Two Laps (Narrative Short)
Director: Owen Trevor
Two friends. One race. Two laps. No prisoners.
Training Session (Narrative Short)
Director: Christian Lalumière
What at first appears to be a simple training routine evolves into a world where symbolic movement is explored.
This one-off Special Event returns with a second season of short films transforming today’s complex social issues into visions of America in the not too distant future.
Director: Robby Henson
In a regimented near future, an agricultural engineer learns a lesson about life and love from a renegade asparagus.
Director: Nisha Ganatra
When a conservative parent’s unborn child tests positive for the recently discovered “Gay Gene,” and she is offered the option to modify it in vitro, she conflicts with her husband over the child’s fate.
Director: Bennett Cohen
An archaeological dig trying to uncover why an ancient civilization fell in an environmental disaster leads to the unexpected discovery of faith.
Director: Barry Jenkins
In this economically polarized future, a disenfranchised family is brought back to San Francisco in an effort to replenish the working class.
That Which Once Was
Director: Kimi Takesue
A boy displaced by global warming fends for himself as an “environmental refugee” in a hostile metropolis. When he forges an unlikely friendship with a similarly displaced ice-carver, the boy learns the value of memory.
Director: A. Sayeeda Clarke
An expecting father must sacrifice his pride and his racial identity as he is forced to sell the new currency of a society radically altered by accelerated global warming.
TEXAS HIGH SCHOOL SHORTS
Texas High School students offer a glimpse of a bright future for Texas filmmaking.
Director: Chad Werner
Where technology rules communication, one girl realizes she doesn’t have a voice.
Director: David Olivares
This documentary gives a glimpse into the world of B-Boying and the different competition elements and techniques.
Chair Love: Some Strings Attached
Directors: Kara McCormack & Emily Hagins
A love struck chair must face hardships to find her long lost love.
Circuit Breaker: Episode III
Directors: Mathew Cunningham & Whitney Bennett
Tobias, a hard working robot, finds himself at odds with government thugs as he tries to woo his coworker through increasing acts of daredevil recklessness.
Director: Madeleine Mathis
A stop-motion short in which a junkyard dog chases a thieving raccoon through the forest, only to discover something about the vermin that he did not expect.
Director: Ryan Kline
There’s something wrong with this motel. All of the answers lie behind the door…
Director: Lesleigh Hammer
An eerie short film about an innocent girl searching for the meaning of a recurring nightmare.
Driving Miss Crazy
Director: Zach Prengler
A comedic short film depicting a couple pulled over for a traffic stop.
Director: Gabriel Lopez
Eggs are the objects of desire for the guy in this film. And gets them eventually, just in a way he never imagined.
Director: Sam Medley
A girl is running from people through the streets of a city.
Director: Jose Rodriguez
Get Education Today – Pursuing All Ideal Dreams
Director: Max Montoya
A narrated western film about two gunslingers known as Bill Hickins and “the kid.”
The History of Nikola Tesla – a Short Story
Director: Jeremiah Warren
Nikola Tesla: genius, scientists, inventor. This entertaining short story tells the life of the man who has been forgotten by history, and eclipsed by the inferior Edison.
Joe the Clay Guy and the Crystal Sword
Director: Jeff Novaez
An epic adventure where Joe, a clay-man, armed with his powerful toothpick sword, explores a dangerous monster-infested cave in search of the legendary Crystal Sword.
A Journey of One
Directors: Kim Hauser & Michelle McChristian
“No love, no friendship can cross the path of our destiny without leaving some marks on it forever.” –Francois Mauriac
Director: Zachary Booth
Chronicles the “stream of consciousness” of a manic depressive chunk of clay.
Never Too Late
Director: Marco Bottiglieri
It is never too late to follow your dreams. That is the message Deanne Moore is trying to get out in her music video ‘Never Too Late.’
One Last Bite
Director: Marco Bottiglieri
Matt’s friends and family have had enough with his annoying habit of never being able to finish anything he eats or drinks.
Director: Grace Kim
A girl awakens in a field and begins to question her reality.
Directors: Tiffany Giraudon & Kalen Doyle
Hunger or Love, which is stronger?
Sun and Moon
Director: JJ Rubin
A beautiful drama that examines the pain, fear and impending loss associated with Alzheimer’s.
Director: Julian Moreno-Pena
A music video created for the song “Superior” by the San Antonio band Buttercup.
Director: Maqui Gaona
How much control do we really have over our future? Do we live our lives with free will lined by predetermination? Volition challenges these theories and evokes us to question each motive of chance.
Worm War I
Director: Lydia Tallon
A humorous documentary about earthworms plotting to take over the world.
Directors: John Fernandez & Austin Loving
The story of a survivor during an outbreak of unknown origins desperately seeking the answer to the chaos caused by something only known as ‘the sickness.’