The bulk of the 2016 South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival lineup has been announced, and we have the highlights for you here, which include the world premiere of Cinemax’s upcoming “Outcast” (joining the previously announced “Preacher” in the fest’s “Episodic” category) plus Another Evil, I Am Not a Serial Killer, The Alchemist Cookbook, American Fable, and a few others that seem to fall on the horror side of the fence (or at least are horror-ish enough to grab our attention).
During the nine days of SXSW Film (running March 11-19, 2016, in Austin, Texas), 139 features will be shown, with additional titles forthcoming. The complete lineup will consist of 89 World Premieres, 13 North American Premieres, and 8 U.S. Premieres, selected from over 2,450 feature-length submissions. First-time filmmakers account for 52 films, continuing the SXSW tradition of showcasing independent discoveries from up-and-coming directors.
Among the films set to premiere during the festival, you’ll discover an eclectic mix of emerging and established talent in a range of genres from comedy, thrillers, docs, and international gems.
To see the full lineup, visit SXSW.com.
NARRATIVE FEATURE COMPETITION
collective:unconscious (World Premiere)
Directors: collective:unconscious (Lily Baldwin, Frances Bodomo, Daniel Patrick Carbone, Josephine Decker, Lauren Wolkstein), Screenwriters: Jamal Batts, Lily Baldwin, Frances Bodomo, Daniel Patrick Carbone, Mariama Diallo, Lauren Wolkstein, Concept by: Dan Schoenbrun
A man and his grandmother hide out from an ominous broadcast. The Grim Reaper hosts a TV show. The formerly incarcerated recount and reinterpret their first days of freedom. A suburban mom’s life is upturned by the beast growing inside of her. And a high school gym teacher runs drills from inside a volcano. What happens when five of independent film’s most adventurous filmmakers join together to literally adapt each other’s dreams for the screen? Featuring new works by Lily Baldwin, Frances Bodomo, Daniel Patrick Carbone, Josephine Decker, and Lauren Wolkstein, COLLECTIVE: UNCONSCIOUS will transport you to a place in-between sleep and consciousness. Welcome to our dream state.
Midnight Special (North American Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Jeff Nichols
In the sci-fi thriller MIDNIGHT SPECIAL, writer/director Jeff Nichols proves again that he is one of the most compelling storytellers of our time, as a father (Michael Shannon) goes on the run to protect his young son, Alton (Jaeden Lieberher), and uncover the truth behind the boy’s special powers. What starts as a race from religious extremists and local law enforcement quickly escalates to a nationwide manhunt involving the highest levels of the Federal Government. Ultimately, his father risks everything to protect Alton and help fulfill a destiny that could change the world forever, in this genre–defying film as supernatural as it is intimately human.
Another Evil (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Carson D. Mell
After encountering a ghost in their vacation home, Dan (Steve Zissis) and his wife Mary (Jennifer Irwin) consult an exorcist. Unsatisfied with the verdict, Dan goes behind his wife’s back to seek a second opinion and secretly hires Os (Mark Proksch), who promises to get rid of the beings. Os and Dan spend a week together in the vacation home exorcising the “EFD” (Evil Fully Determined) beings, but Dan soon realizes that ridding the home of evil won’t be as simple as it seems.
I Am Not a Serial Killer (Ireland/UK) (World Premiere)
Director: Billy O’Brien, Screenwriters: Billy O’Brien, Chris Hyde
Fifteen-year old John Cleaver is dangerous, and he knows it. He’s obsessed with serial killers but really doesn’t want to become one. Terrible impulses constantly tempt him, so for his own sake, and the safety of those around, he lives by rigid rules to keep himself “good” and “normal.” However, when a real monster shows up in his town, he has to let his dark side out in order to stop it – but without his rules to keep him in check, he might be more dangerous than the monster he’s trying to kill.
The Master Cleanse (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Bobby Miller
Down, out, and heartbroken, Paul attends a spiritual retreat to cleanse himself and fix his broken life but soon discovers that the cleanse releases more than everyday toxins… a lot more. The feature debut from Bobby Miller (TUB), THE MASTER CLEANSE is a trippy and fantastic journey that examines how we deal with the things that weigh us down in life, ultimately asking the all-important question: Given the opportunity to literally face your demons, what would you do?
The Waiting (World Premiere)
Director: Kasra Farahani, Screenwriters: Mark Bianculi, Jeff Richard
Ethan Fleming and Sean Turner have concocted an intriguing “psychological experiment” — to use modern technology to convince their neighbor Harold Grainey that his house is haunted. Blind to the fact that they’re violating the laws of ethics and of the United States, Ethan and Sean delight in manipulating the old man’s emotions and don’t see that they’re edging their way towards provoking a tragedy…
The Alchemist Cookbook (World Premiere)
Director: Joel Potrykus
Young outcast Sean has isolated himself in a trailer in the woods, setting out on alchemic pursuits with his cat, Kaspar, as his sole companion. Filled with disdain for authority, he’s fled the daily grind and holed up in the wilderness, escaping a society that has no place for him. But when he turns from chemistry to black magic to crack nature’s secret, things go awry; and he awakens something far more sinister and dangerous.
American Fable (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Anne Hamilton
Set against the 1980s Midwestern rural crisis that killed the tradition of the family farm, AMERICAN FABLE tells the dark and magical tale of 11-year-old Gitty, who is thrown into a dilemma of epic proportions. When Gitty discovers that her father, Abe, a good and beloved farmer, is holding a wealthy man hostage in their abandoned silo in order to save their suffering farm, she befriends the captive in secret. As the truth unfolds about who he is and what will happen if he escapes, Gitty chooses to confront the thin line between reality and fiction in this fairy tale thriller, all in a mad race to save the disappearing land that she calls home.
“Outcast” (World Premiere)
Director: Adam Wingard, Screenwriter: Robert Kirkman, Showrunner: Chris Black
“OUTCAST,” based on the Skybound/Image comic title by creator Robert Kirkman and artist Paul Azaceta, follows Kyle Barnes, a young man who has been plagued by demonic possession all his life. Now, with the help of the Reverend Anderson, a preacher with personal demons of his own, Kyle embarks on a journey to find answers and regain the normal life he lost. But what Kyle discovers could change his fate — and the fate of the world — forever.
Following the screening at the Vimeo Theater at 1:15 p.m., a panel will be moderated by Kumail Nanjiani (HBO’s “Silicon Valley”). Panelists include: creator and executive producer Robert Kirkman, showrunner and executive producer Chris Black, cast member Patrick Fugit, and pilot director Adam Wingard.