Although we’re two weeks away from this year’s Sundance Film Festival, Austin, Texas’ own South by Southwest Film Festival looms shortly after. Already, they’ve announced that Richard Linklater’s Boyhood follow-up, Everybody Wants Some, will open the festivities, and now they’ve started teasing more of their lineup with a handful of exciting premieres.
One whopper is Paul Reubens’ highly anticipated return to his sacred cult hero in Pee-wee’s Big Holiday, which was directed by John Lee and produced by Judd Apatow. Another head turner is Jeff Nichols’ sci-fi drama Midnight Special, starring our recent Performance of the Year winner Michael Shannon, in addition to Joel Edgerton and Kirsten Dunst.
Other notable highlights include the first episode premiere of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s AMC series Preacher; Joe Berlinger’s documentary Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru; and Irene Taylor Brodsky’s creepy expose on one of today’s most terrifying Internet memes, Beware the Slenderman.
“Though we are still in the thick of programming, each year we release a handful of films to provide an early peek into the festival,” Janet Pierson, Head of SXSW Film, said in the press release. “These smart, stylish, and diverse offerings from some of the most exciting talent working today reflect what the SXSW audiences have come to expect: great stories, well told.”
Consult the rest of the titles below, and stay tuned for the rest of the feature lineup, due out February 2nd.
Beware the Slenderman (World Premiere)
Director: Irene Taylor Brodsky
In this horrifyingly modern fairytale lurks an online Boogeyman and two 12-year-old girls who would kill for him. The entrance to the internet quickly leads to its darkest basement. How responsible are our children for what they find there?
Director: Athina Rachel Tsangari, Screenwriters: Efthimis Filippou, Athina Rachel Tsangari
Six men on a fishing trip on a luxury yacht decide to play a game to compete. Things will be compared. Things will be measured. Songs will be butchered, blood will be tested. Friends will become rivals and rivals will become hungry. (Greece)
Cast: Yorgos Kentros, Panos Koronis, Vangelis Mourikis, Makis Papadimitriou, Yorgos Pirpassopoulos, Sakis Rouvas
Midnight Special (North American Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Jeff Nichols
A father goes on the run to protect his young son and uncover the truth behind the boy’s special powers in the sci-fi thriller Midnight Special, a film as supernatural as it is intimately human.
Cast: Michael Shannon, Joel Edgerton, Kirsten Dunst, Adam Driver, Jaeden Lieberher, Sam Shepard
Pee-wee’s Big Holiday (World Premiere)
Director: John Lee, Screenwriters: Paul Reubens, Paul Rust
In Pee-wee’s Big Holiday, a fateful meeting with a mysterious stranger inspires Pee-wee Herman to take his first-ever holiday in this epic story of friendship and destiny.
Cast: Paul Reubens, Joe Manganiello, Jessica Pohly, Alia Shawkat, Stephanie Beatriz
Preacher (World Premiere)
Directors: Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, Screenwriter: Sam Catlin
Preacher is a supernatural, twisted and darkly comedic drama that follows a West Texas preacher named Jesse Custer, who – along with his ex-girlfriend Tulip and an Irish vagabond named Cassidy – is thrust into a crazy world, much bigger than he is.
Cast: Dominic Cooper, Ruth Negga, Joseph Gilgun, Ian Colletti, W. Earl Brown, Lucy Griffiths
Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru (World Premiere)
Director: Joe Berlinger
Granted unprecedented access, Berlinger captures renowned life and business strategist Tony Robbins behind the scenes of his mega seminar Date with Destiny, pulling back the curtain on this life-altering and controversial event, the zealous participants and the man himself.