South By Southwest (SXSW) is literally days away and a few enticing films are have recently been added to their selection. A notable distinction between the film slate of SXSW and that of other major film festivals lies in their variety. SXSW, in years past, provides a welcome environment for both art-house fare (Short Term 12 and recently Indie Spirit Award winner Krisha all premiered there) and more populist, genre-oriented films (blockbusters like Trainwreck, Spy and Furious 7 all screened last year). This year proves no different.
Festival-goers will able to see films that range from the “indier” titles including Jake Gyllenhaal’s upcoming drama Demolition and Richard Linklater’s Boyhood follow-up Everybody Wants Some as well some more mainstream titles including three films that just popped up on the roster.
SXSW will host a work-in-progress screening of the comedy Keanu starring Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele. The film, set to be released in April by Warner Bros. was directed by Key and Peele mainstay Peter Atencio from a screenplay by Peele and Alex Reubens. The riotous adventures follows two friends attempts to retrieve a stolen cat. This involves posing as drug dealers and thwarting a street gang. Will Forte (Nebraska), Jason Mitchell (Straight Outta Compton), Nia Long (The Single Mom’s Club), Rob Huebel (Horrible Bosses 2) and Luis Guzmán (We’re the Millers) co-star.
Another work-in-progress screening is set for the bawdy animated film Sausage Party. Directed by Conrad Vernon (Monsters vs. Aliens) and Greg Tiernan, this Seth Rogen-Evan Goldberg produced animated comedy centers cheekily around a sausage’s quest to discover the meaning of life. The voice talents include Rogen, Kristen Wiig (Welcome to Me), James Franco (The Interview), Jonah Hill (Hail, Caesar!), Salma Hayek (Tale of Tales), Edward Norton (Birdman), Paul Rudd (Ant-Man) and Michael Cera (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World). The surely quite R-rated film is being produced by Megan Ellison (Zero Dark Thirty).
On top of that, SXSW will also world premiere a new documentary entitled Secrets of ‘The Force Awakens’: A Cinematic Journey which will take moviegoers behind the scenes of the making of the phenomenon that is Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
The SXSW Film Festival runs March 11th-19th.