SXSW is just under two months away which means many of us and many of you are eagerly awaiting the announcements as to what films will be playing the festival. Well the wait is over! At least partially…

Austin’s second coolest film festival has just revealed a few of the films that will be appearing this year, and while the bulk of the movies remain a delicious mystery today’s announcement does include the highly anticipated Opening Night feature.

Cabin In the Woods, the Drew Goddard-directed and Joss Whedon-cowritten horror film that floored attendees at the last BNAT, will be opening SXSW on Friday, March 9th. The film is about a group of young adults who head to a remote cabin for some rest, relaxation and probable fornication. Their festivities are interrupted though when they start falling victim to an undisclosed evil. Or something. If the movie is even half as good as the script it’s guaranteed to be one of the favorites at this year’s festival.

A few other titles were revealed as well including Jonas Åkerlund’s Small Apartments, Ciarán Foy’s Citadel, and Kevin Macdonald’s look at the life and times of Bob Marley. FSR will be on the ground and in the rafters covering these and as many other movies as we can cram into our eyeballs from March 9th through the 17th. Be sure to follow along as the lovely Kate Erbland, the somewhat less lovely Jack Giroux, the impeccably dressed Neil Miller, and yours truly review the films, food, and probable fornication of SXSW 2012. Check out the full press release after the break.

Austin, Texas – January 12, 2012 – The South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Conference and Festival is pleased to announce the world premiere of Lionsgate’s The Cabin in the Woods as the 2012 Opening Night Film. In addition to premiering the film, Whedon will participate in a key Conversation panel at the SXSW Film Conference on Saturday, March 10.

Produced and co-written by iconic genre storyteller Joss Whedon, The Cabin in the Woods marks Emmy®-nominated writer Drew Goddard’s (Cloverfield, Lost, Alias) first foray into directing.  This mind-blowing horror film starts typically enough, as we join five young adults embarking on a weekend of debauchery at an abandoned cabin in the woods.  But as layer after layer of the film’s truly kaleidoscopic world is revealed, everything we know about horror is deconstructed, and everything we love is reconstructed before our eyes. The film stars Kristen Connolly, Fran Kranz, Anna Hutchison, Chris Hemsworth, Jesse Williams, Richard Jenkins, and Bradley Whitford, and will be in theaters everywhere on April 13, 2012.  For more information about the film please visit: www.discoverthecabininthewoods.com/.

SXSW also revealed a handful of exciting titles that will premiere at the 2012 event, comprised of diverse perspectives that exemplify the unique range of the SXSW program. This includes Lena Dunham’s return to SXSW with her HBO series GIRLS, which will premiere the initial three episodes publicly for the first time. Dunham, Executive Producer Judd Apatow and other key members of the GIRLS production team will also appear at the SXSW Film Conference to discuss GIRLS before it kicks off its ten-episode season in April, exclusively on HBO. Moderated by actor Alex Karpovsky (Tiny Furniture), the panel will take place on Tuesday, March 13.

Additional films announced include Academy Award-winner Kevin Macdonald’s Bob Marley documentary, MARLEY, Small Apartments, a black comedy from acclaimed music video director Jonas Åkerlund, Neil Berkeley’s doc Beauty is Embarrassing about multi-faceted artist Wayne White, special event The Oyster Princess (1919) with original live score by Bee vs. Moth and CITADEL, the psychological horror debut from writer/director Ciarán Foy. The complete festival lineup will be announced in early February 2012. The 19th annual South by Southwest Film Conference and Festival runs March 9 – 17, 2012 in Austin, Texas.

Announcing the first films of our program is always energizing, but we’re especially thrilled to have such a smart, unpredictable and highly entertaining headliner like The Cabin in the Woods as our Opening Night film,” said SXSW Film Conference and Festival Producer Janet Pierson. “We’re also happy to offer a peek at a handful of wonderful films that demonstrate the breadth and range of terrific work we plan to show at SXSW Film 2012.”

The 2012 SXSW Film Festival will feature:

Beauty is Embarrassing (World Premiere)

Director: Neil Berkeley

A funny, irreverent and insightful look into the life and times of one of America’s most important artists, Wayne White.

The Cabin in the Woods (World Premiere)

Director: Drew Goddard, Writers: Joss Whedon & Drew Goddard

Five friends go to a remote cabin in the woods. Bad things happen. If you think you know this story, think again.  From fan favorites Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard comes The Cabin in the Woods, a mind-blowing horror film that turns the genre inside out. Cast: Kristen Connolly, Fran Kranz, Anna Hutchison, Chris Hemsworth, Jesse Williams, Richard Jenkins, and Bradley Whitford

CITADEL (World Premiere)

Director & Writer: Ciarán Foy

An agoraphobic father teams up with a renegade priest to save his daughter from the clutches of a gang of twisted feral children.  Cast: Anuerin Barnard, James Cosmo, and Wumni Mosaku, Jake Wilson, Amy Shiels

GIRLS (World Premiere)

Director & Writer: Lena Dunham

Created by and starring Lena Dunham (Tiny Furniture), the HBO show is a comic look at the assorted humiliations and rare triumphs of a group of girls in their early 20s. Cast: Lena Dunham, Allison Williams, Jemima Kirke, Zosia Mamet, Adam Driver

MARLEY (North American Premiere)

Director: Kevin Macdonald

The definitive documentary on the life, music, and legacy of Bob Marley.

The Oyster Princess (1919) with original live score by Bee vs. Moth (World Premiere)

Director: Ernst Lubitsch, Writers: Hanns Kraly & Ernst Lubitsch

The Oyster Princess is Ernst Lubitsch’s tart 1919 silent comedy that parodies the rich and the spoiled.  Austin jazz/rock band Bee vs. Moth performs their original score live with the film for the first time.

Small Apartments (World Premiere)

Director: Jonas Åkerlund, Writer: Chris Millis

When Franklin Franklin accidentally kills his landlord, he must hide the body; but, the wisdom of his beloved brother and the quirks of his neighbors, force him on a journey where a fortune awaits him. Cast: Matt Lucas, Billy Crystal, James Caan, Johnny Knoxville, Juno Temple, James Marsden, Dolph Lundgren, Saffron Burrows, Rosie Perez, DJ Qualls

In addition to nine full days of film screenings, SXSW Film will ultimately feature over 100 informative and entertaining panels, workshops, mini-meetings and mentor sessions. Previously announced panels include a Conversation with Cliff Martinez, Drive composer, and The Business of Kevin Smith among others. For details on these confirmed sessions, visit www.sxsw.com/film/talks. The complete list of panels will be announced closer to the event.

SXSW runs from March 9th – 17th, 2012.


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