A Chet Baker biopic starring Ethan Hawke, a Las Vegas drug thriller co-starring Nicolas Cage and Sky Ferreira and a Korean documentary about karaoke addiction are just three of the several dozen movies that SXSW added to their previously announced lineup Tuesday. Famous for premiering both huge blockbusters (Bridesmaids) and beloved indies (Short Term 12), the 2016 edition of Austin’s premiere pop culture showcase highlights a wide variety of potential breakout hits.
The Narrative Feature Competition culls 10 world premieres from a list of 1,442 different movies. In Miss Stevens, the directorial debut of The Keeping Room screenwriter Julia Hart, Lily Rabe plays a grieving schoolteacher forced to chaperone three teenager students at a weekend drama competition. In collective:unconscious, five of the country’s most promising young filmmakers adapt each other’s dreams.
Music fans, who SXSW always has in mind, will flock to Documentary Feature Competition entry Goodnight Brooklyn — The Story of Death by Audio, which explores the effects of gentrification on a dearly departed music venue in Brooklyn. The 24 Beats Per Second section once again offers its own array of music-oriented cinema, spiked by Born to Be Blue, in which Ethan Hawke plays impossibly cool jazz icon Chet Baker.
Things get weird in the Visions section, where standout titles from this year’s crop include unauthorized North Korea doc Under the Sun and Spaceship, a British film about a girl who fakes her own alien abduction and forces her father “to search for her in a strange teenage world of unicorns and black holes.”
As usual, the most anticipated premieres come from the Narrative and Documentary Spotlight sections. In I Am Not a Serial Killer, Where the Wild Things Are star Max Records plays a homicidal Midwestern teen who has to kill a mass murderer in order to stop becoming one himself. On a lighter note, Sophie Goodhart’s My Blind Brother is a star-studded comedy about a beefy blind swimmer (Adam Scott) and his dorky kid brother (Nick Kroll) who fall in love with the same woman (Jenny Slate).
Elsewhere in the mix is The Trust, in which pop star Sky Ferreira squares off against Elijah Wood and Nicolas Cage in a thriller about police officers who plan to steal a huge shipment of drugs. The festival will also feature new movies from The Guard director John Michael McDonagh, The Innkeepers director Ti West and a documentary about Burt Reynolds and Hal Needham in the Seventies.
The SXSW Film Festival takes place March 11th through 20th, 2016, with films playing in the Midnighters, Fest Faves, Special Events and Shorts sections announced on February 9th. Visit SXSW’s official site to see the full list of films scheduled for this year’s fest.