'Sound City,' 'Before Midnight' join SXSW Film lineup

Austin is set to burn up and tear up the silver screen in March. The South by Southwest Film Festival (SXSW) announced the full slate of films for the fest Thursday, adding a special Burning Love event and the Dave Grohl documentary Sound City to the lineup, amongst a slew of other films and digital projects from indie filmmakers and major stars alike.

Joining already announced films including The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, Spring Breakers, and the Evil Dead remake are over 100 films, from Sundance hits Prince Avalanche and Before Midnight to Maladies with James Franco and Catherine Keener.

“We have an incredibly unique environment,” SXSW Film Director Janet Pierson tells EW. “There is industry and press here, but also creators. Films can pop and come alive here in a substantial way.”

Several films that will be highlighted feature Texas filmmakers or show the Lone Star state as a character. Pierson says this isn’t an accident. “Texas films really dominated. We’re not a Texas event but on the other hand, to applaud and celebrate the explosive talent working here – how can you not?”

The festival also features a romantic comedy, a rarity for the fest, Pierson says, in I Give It a Year, a British film that stars Stephen Merchant, Anna Faris, and Simon Baker. Joss Whedon, who produced SXSW 2012 hit Cabin in the Woods, is returning this year as director of his Shakespeare effort, Much Ado About Nothing.

Movies to look out for:

Sound City: Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl’s documentary about how music is created, written, and recorded.

Prince Avalanche: David Gordon Greene directs this film about highway road workers who escape their city lives in 1988, starring Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch.

Before Midnight: Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy return in this third installment of director Richard Linklater’s romantic series, following Before Sunrise and Before Sunset.

Maladies: James Franco (127 Hours) and Catherine Keener (Please Give) star in a film about an actor struggling with work and personal relationships.

Much Ado About Nothing: Avengers‘ director Joss Whedon goes Elizabethan in this Shakespeare adaptation, which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in 2012, starring Whedon favorites Nathan Fillion (Castle) and Alexis Denisof (Buffy the Vampire Slayer).

Milo: Starring Ken Marino (Burning Love), this film follows a man who finds his stomach problems are caused by a demon baby growing inside him (yikes!)

Snap: Psychological thriller about the underground DJ scene, starring Nikki Reed (Twilight Saga), Scott Bakula (Quantum Leap), Jason Priestley (Beverly Hills, 90210)

The Wait: A psychic’s call sends a family into disbelief, waiting to see if their mother will be resurrected, starring Jena Malone (Sucker Punch), and Chloe Sevigny (Big Love).

Several digital film projects that integrate the web and traditional film will have an expanded presence at this year’s fest. Ken Marino’s Bachelor takeoff Burning Love is getting a larger treatment and the world premiere of its second season at SXSW. Also crossing the TV-web-film divide is Bates Motel, an upcoming series on A&E starring Vera Farmiga, that will premiere its pilot episode at the festival.

The full lineup of 109 feature films (both narrative and documentary) is available on the SXSW Film website. The SXSW Film Festival runs March 8-16 in Austin, Texas.

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