The 2011 SXSW film festival lineup

 
 

This March, anyone who’s everyone in the indie scene will descend upon Austin, TX for the SXSW Festival (March 11-20 in Austin, TX). Sandwiched between the media panels and the thousands of musicians is the annual film festival, and this year’s line up promises everything from big names to new talent, with a good sized dose of women.

The festival will show world and national premieres for some hundred or so feature films, including the work of over twenty female directors. Jodie Foster will be premiering her third foray into directing with The Beaver, that nutty film where Mel Gibson plays a man who learns to cope with his depression by talking through a puppet beaver. If SXSW had a WTF category, you can be sure it’d headline there.

Jodie Foster and Mel Gibson in The Beaver

Other narrative films debuting at the festival include Super, where Ellen Page joins Liv Tyler in an “outlandish dark comedy” about, well, people who turn into their superhero alter egos to deal with life. I’m kinda hoping it’ll just be like that video for “Crazy,” but with more comic books.

Ellen Page and Rainn Wilson in Super

There will also be the return of Precious star Gabourey Sidibe, who joins Zoe Kravitz and Antonique Smith in Yelling To The Sky, the story of a teenage girl, Sweetness O’Hara, who is working to survive in her neighborhood when her family fails her. The film, directed by actress-turned-director Victoria Mahoney, was apparently shot in just eighteen days.

Zoe Kravitz in Yelling To The Sky

Other women who will be lighting up the screen include Vera Farmiga, who stars in the much anticipated thriller Source Code; and Rosario Dawson, who is part of an ensemble cast for Girl Walks Into A Bar, a comedy that follows strangers who start out in ten different bars in L.A. only to eventually become entwined.

And if you’ve been waiting for some teen comedy to totally stick it to the whole vampire craze, luckily there’s My Sucky Teen Romance, where a group of teenage nerds have to defend their friend–and their sci-fi convention — from, well, vampires. Also happening in the category of Awesome Teenagers, you can find Detention, a film about a girl who has to survive a slasher killer (that’s the detention part) in time to save prom. Bring it.

My Sucky Teen Romance

In addition to dozens of narrative features, the festival will be highlighting new and award winning documentaries. Austinite Heather Courtney is premiering her doc Where Solider’s Come From, in which she travels to her hometown in Michigan to tell the stories of childhood friends who serve in Afghanistan and the transformations they all endure. A good doc to catch before bopping over to the music segment of SXSW will be Le Tigre: On Tour, the world premiere of a documentary following Kathleen Hanna, JD Samson and Johanna Fateman as they tour the world as the beloved electropop group Le Tigre.

Le Tigre: On Tour

Whatever their cinematic fancy, audiences at SXSW will be counting themselves lucky. Will you be attending?

 
 

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