The hits just keep coming from the folks over at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival. This morning they’ve shared with us news that they’ve added two events to the 2010 fest that are sure to jump right to the top of everyone’s high-priority list. First, Austin’s most famous local filmmaker Robert Rodriguez will be showing off a special “first look” at Predators, which was shot here in Austin and is the next chapter in one of the most beloved action franchises of all-time. Rodriguez and director Nimród Antal will be on hand to present footage from the film and take part in a Q&A.

“My director Nimród Antal and I are excited to bring this first look at Predators to Austin’s SXSW Film Festival,” Rodriguez said in a press release. “An event that’s become vital to the filmmaking scene.  Austin is my home and I’m proud that Predators was conceived and filmed here.”

Here is the official synopsis for Predators:

“A bold new chapter in the Predator universe, Predators was shot on location under Rodriguez’s creative auspices at the filmmaker’s Austin-based Troublemaker Studios, and is directed by Nimród Antal.  The film stars Adrien Brody as Royce, a mercenary who reluctantly leads a group of elite warriors who come to realize they’ve been brought together on an alien planet… as prey.  With the exception of a disgraced physician, they are all cold-blooded killers – mercenaries, Yakuza, convicts, death squad members – human “predators” that are now being systemically hunted and eliminated by a new breed of alien Predators. In addition to Adrien Brody, the film stars Topher Grace, Alice Braga, and Laurence Fishburne.  Co-starring are Walton Goggins, Danny Trejo, Oleg Taktarov and Mahershalalhashbaz Ali.

The special presentation of Predators will take place on March 12 at the Alamo Ritz Theater in downtown Austin, at 10:15pm. Doors open at 9:45pm, and the special event is only open to SXSW Badge-holders on a first-come, first-served basis. An audience Q&A follows the unveiling.

Also, they’ve announced the Super Secret TBA for the SX Fantastic midnight series, programmed by Alamo Drafthouse chief Tim League and his team of genre-loving all-stars. The will be bringing in Géla Babluani’s 13, a remake of the 2005 French film 13 Tzameti, also directed by Babluani, which stars Jason Statham, Mickey Rourke, Ben Gazzara, and Alexander Skarsgard. The thriller follows the story of Vince, who unwittingly becomes involved in a degenerate, clandestine world of mental chaos behind closed doors. The special screening of 13 will take place at Midnight on Saturday, March 13 at the Alamo South Lamar Theater.

As I mentioned, both of these film events are sure to pique the interest of many a SXSW attendee. Personally, I couldn’t be more excited about this year’s slate. The addition of Predators and 13 seems to be icing on a cake that is already baked to perfection. The line-up looks solid from top to bottom, competition films to premieres. And thus far, I’ve seen several films — all of which were not previously on my radar — and every single one of them has been great. It’s early to predict that festival director Janet Pierson and her team of programmers have delivered one of the best SXSW slates in years, but I will certainly say that they’re on their way. Let the final countdown and our SXSW 2010 preview continue…


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