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World premiere of ‘Pet Sematary’ to close SXSW 2019 in Austin

Joe Gross
jgross@statesman.com
"Pet Sematary" will screen at SXSW Film 2019. [CONTRIBUTED BY SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST]

Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer’s “Pet Sematary,” the newest version of the Stephen King classic, will close the 2019 South by Southwest Film Festival program, the festival announced Wednesday.

The fest also announced its "Midnighters," festival favorites, shorts, episodic pilot competition entries, "Virtual Cinema" entries, music videos and title design lineup, plus late-addition features.

The festival favorites include the Sundance-feted docs “Apollo 11” and “Knock Down the House,” as well as “Raise Hell: The Life & Times of Molly Ivins.”

This year’s program will screen 131 feature films, including 101 world premieres, nine North American premieres and three U.S. premieres.

Continuing for 2019, the Interactive, Film and Music badges include expanded access. Attendees receive primary entry to programming associated with their badge type, with secondary access to most other SXSW events.

MIDNIGHTERS

"7 Reasons to Run Away" (From Society) (Spain)

Directors: Esteve Soler, Gerard Quinto, David Torras, Screenwriter: Esteve Soler

7 Reasons to Run Away takes a critical look at today’s society and puts the values it transmits into question. Cast: Sergi Lopez, Emma Suarez, Lola Dueñas, Alex Brendemuhl, Alain Hernandez, Francesc Orella (World Premiere)

Body At Brighton Rock

Director/Screenwriter: Roxanne Benjamin

An inexperienced park employee discovers a body on a remote mountain trail and must stay with it overnight in the wilderness, facing her darkest fears in the process. Cast: Karina Fontes, Casey Adams, Emily Althaus, Brodie Reed, Martin Spanjers, John Getz, Miranda Bailey, Susan Burke, Matt Peters (World Premiere)

"Boyz in the Wood" (United Kingdom, U.S.)

Director/Screenwriter: Ninian Doff

When four city-bred schoolboys embark on a traditional Duke of Edinburgh Award camping trip that takes them deep into the Scottish Highlands, they find themselves chased by a deranged masked couple with aims of culling this teenaged “wildlife". Cast: Eddie Izzard, Kate Dickie, James Cosmo, Kevin Guthrie, Jonathan Aris, Alice Lowe, Samuel Bottomley, Viraj Juneja, Rian Gordon, Lewis Gribben (World Premiere)

"Daniel Isn't Real"

Director: Adam Egypt Mortimer, Screenwriters: Brian DeLeeuw, Adam Egypt Mortimer

Troubled Luke suffers a violent family trauma and resurrects his childhood imaginary friend to help him cope. Charismatic and full of manic energy, "Daniel" helps Luke to achieve his dreams, before pushing him into a desperate fight for his own soul. Cast: Patrick Schwarzenegger, Miles Robbins, Sasha Lane, Hannah Marks, Mary Stuart Masterson (World Premiere)

"Darlin'"

Director/Screenwriter: Pollyanna McIntosh

In this visually inventive sequel to The Woman, a feral teenage girl is taken into strict Catholic care and prepared for her First Holy Communion. Cast: Lauryn Canny, Bryan Batt, Nora-Jane Noone, Cooper Andrews, Pollyanna McIntosh (World Premiere)

"Girl On The Third Floor"

Director/Screenwriter: Travis Stevens

Don Koch tries to renovate a rundown house with a sordid history for his growing family, only to learn that the house has other plans. Cast: Phil Brooks, Trieste Kelly Dunn, Sarah Brooks, Elissa Dowling, Karen Woditsch, Travis Delgado, Marshall Bean, Anish Jethmalani, Bishop Stevens, Tonya Kay (World Premiere)

"I See You" (United Kingdom, U.S.)

Director: Adam Randall, Screenwriter: Devon Graye

Strange occurrences plague a small town detective and his family as he investigates the disappearance of a young boy. Cast: Helen Hunt, Jon Tenney, Judah Lewis, Owen Teague, Libe Barer, Greg Alan Williams, Erika Alexander, Allison King (World Premiere)

"Snatchers"

Directors: Stephen Cedars, Benji Kleiman, Screenwriters: Stephen Cedars, Benji Kleiman, Scott Yacyshyn

After a popular teen has sex for the first time, she finds herself pregnant — with an alien. With no one to turn to but her nerdy ex-best-friend, she’ll have to risk her neck — and social status — to fight the freaky extraterrestrial threat. Cast: Mary Nepi, Gabrielle Elyse, Austin Fryberger, JJ Nolan, Nick Gomez, Ashley Argota, Amy Arburn, Amy Landecker, Rich Fulcher (World Premiere)

"Tales from the Lodge" (United Kingdom)

Director/Screenwriter: Abigail Blackmore

When a group of old friends spend the night telling stories of murders, ghosts, zombies and possessions they soon become aware of another tale unfolding around them. And this one is real. Cast: Mackenzie Crook, Dustin Demri-Burns, Laura Fraser, Sophie Thompson, Johnny Vegas, Kelly Wenham (World Premiere)

"Tone-Deaf"

Director/Screenwriter: Richard Bates, Jr.

Two generations collide with terrifying results in this home invasion horror film that is also a darkly comedic critique of the bizarre cultural and political climates in the United States. Cast: Amanda Crew, Robert Patrick, Kim Delaney, Hayley Marie-Norman, Ray Wise, Johnny Pemberton, Keisha Castle-Hughes, AnnaLynne McCord, Nelson Franklin, Ronnie Gene-Blevins (World Premiere)

FESTIVAL FAVORITES

Acclaimed standouts and selected premieres from festivals around the world.

"Apollo 11"

Director: Todd Douglas Miller

A look at the Apollo 11 mission to land on the moon led by commander Neil Armstrong and pilot Buzz Aldrin.

"Aquarela" (Germany, United Kingdom)

Director:Victor Kossakovsky, Screenwriters: Victor Kossakovsky, Aimara Reques

Aquarela is a deeply cinematic journey through the transformative beauty and raw power of water. Filmed at 96 frames per second, it's a visceral wake-up call that humans are no match for the sheer force and will of Earth’s most precious element.

"Greener Grass"

Directors/Screenwriters: Jocelyn DeBoer, Dawn Luebbe

A deliciously twisted comedy set in a demented, timeless suburbia where every adult wears braces on their straight teeth, couples coordinate meticulously pressed outfits, and coveted family members are swapped in more ways than one in this competition for acceptance. Cast: Jocelyn DeBoer, Dawn Luebbe, Beck Bennett, Neil Casey, Mary Holland, D'Arcy Carden, Dot-Marie Jones, Janicza Bravo, Jim Cummings, Lauren Adams

"Her Smell"

Director/Screenwriter: Alex Ross Perry

A self-destructive punk rocker struggles with sobriety while trying to recapture the creative inspiration that led her band to success. Cast: Elisabeth Moss, Cara Delevingne, Dan Stevens, Amber Heard, Agyness Deyn, Gayle Rankin, Ashley Benson, Eric Stoltz, Dylan Gelula

"The Hottest August" (Canada, U.S.)

Director: Brett Story

A film about climate change, disguised as a portrait of collective anxiety.

The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley

Director/Screenwriter: Alex Gibney

Elizabeth Holmes was once the world's youngest self-made billionaire, heralded as the next Steve Jobs. Then, overnight, her $10-billion-dollar company dissolved. The rise and fall of Theranos is a window into the psychology of fraud.

"Knock Down the House"

Director: Rachel Lears Screenwriters: Rachel Lears, Robin Blotnick

Four women run for Congress, overcoming personal adversity to battle powerful political machines across the country. One of their races will change the country forever.

"Little Monsters" (Australia)

Director/Screenwriter: Abe Forsythe

A washed-up musician teams up with a plucky schoolteacher and a despicable kid’s show personality to protect a Kindergarten class from a sudden outbreak of zombies. Cast: Lupita Nyong'o, Alexander England, Josh Gad

"Maiden" (United Kingdom)

Director/Screenwriter: Alex Holmes

In a moving portrait of resilience, Alex Holmes chronicles the unprecedented journey of 24-year-old Tracy Edwards and the first all-female sailing crew to enter the Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race.

"The Mountain"

Director: Rick Alverson, Screenwriters: Rick Alverson, Dustin Guy Defa, Colm O’Leary

A well known physician, in the decline of his career, takes a young man on a desperate tour of rural mid-century hospitals, advocating for a new controversial procedure. Cast: Tye Sheridan, Jeff Goldblum, Hannah Gross, Denis Lavant, Udo Kier

"Pahokee"

Directors: Ivete Lucas, Patrick Bresnan

In a small agricultural town in the Florida Everglades, hopes for the future are concentrated on the youth. Four teens face heartbreak and celebrate in the rituals of an extraordinary senior year.

"Raise Hell: The Life & Times of Molly Ivins"

Director: Janice Engel, Screenwriters: Janice Engel, Monique Zavistovski

Six-feet of Texas trouble, Molly Ivins, a legendary journalist and a warrior for the Bill of Rights, fought Good Old Boy corruption with razor-sharp wit that left both sides of the aisle laughing and craving ink in her columns. Raise Hell y’all!

"Sister Aimee"

Directors/Screenwriters: Samantha Buck, Marie Schlingmann

After faking her own death, America’s most famous evangelist finds herself on a wild road trip towards Mexico, haunted not only by the police but by her own persona. Cast: Anna Margaret Hollyman, Michael Mosley, Andrea Suarez Paz, Julie White, Amy Hargreaves, Macon Blair, Lee Eddy, Blake Delong, John Merriman, Nathan Zellner

"Them That Follow"

Directors/Screenwriters: Britt Poulton, Dan Madison Savage

Set deep in the wilds of Appalachia, where believers handle death-dealing snakes to prove themselves before God, Them That Follow tells the story of a pastor's daughter who holds a secret that threatens to tear her community apart. Cast: Olivia Colman, Kaitlyn Dever, Alice Englert, Jim Gaffigan, Walton Goggins, Thomas Mann, Lewis Pullman

"The Weekend"

Director/Screenwriter: Stella Meghie

A comedian hauls the baggage of her defunct relationship on a weekend getaway with friends, which happens to include her ex-boyfriend and his new girlfriend. Cast: Sasheer Zamata, Tone Bell, Dewanda Wise, Y'Lan Noel, Kym Whitley

Additional features added to the lineup:

HEADLINERS

"The Curse of La Llorona"

Director: Michael Chaves, Screenwriters: Mikki Daughtry, Tobias Iaconis

In 1970s Los Angeles, La Llorona is stalking the night…and the children. Ignoring the eerie warning of a troubled mother, a social worker is soon drawn into a terrifying supernatural realm, with the lives and souls of her own kids at stake. Cast: Linda Cardellini, Raymond Cruz, Patricia Velasquez, Marisol Ramirez, Sean Patrick Thomas, Jaynee-Lynne Kinchen, Roman Christou (World Premiere)

"Pet Sematary"

Directors: Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer, Screenwriter: Jeff Buhler

Based on the seminal horror novel by Stephen King. The new Pet Sematary trailer premieres online tomorrow! Click here to be one of the first to see it. Cast List: Jason Clarke, Amy Seimetz, Jeté Laurence, Hugo Lavoie, Lucas Lavoie and John Lithgow

"Stuber (Work-in-Progress)"

Director: Michael Dowse, Screenwriter: Tripper Clancy

When a mild-mannered Uber driver (Kumail Nanjiani) picks up a cop (Dave Bautista) hot on the trail of a brutal killer, he's thrust into a harrowing ordeal where he has to keep his wits, his life and his five-star rating. Cast: Kumail Nanjiani, Dave Bautista, Iko Uwais, Natalie Morales, Betty Gilpin, Jimmy Tatro, with Mira Sorvino and Karen Gillan

DOCUMENTARY SPOTLIGHT

"I Am Richard Pryor"

Director/Screenwriter: Jesse James Miller

I Am Richard Pryor tells the life story of the legendary performer and iconic social satirist, who transcended race and social barriers by delivering his honest irreverent and biting humor to America's stages and living rooms until his death at 65. (World Premiere)

"Salvage"

Director: Amy C. Elliott

The Yellowknife dump, and its massive, unrestricted salvage area, has long played a central role in this remote Canadian city’s civic and social life. Can a colorful group of thrifty locals save it from city bureaucrats determined to close it down? (World Premiere)

"State of Pride"

Directors/Screenwriters: Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman

Fifty years after the Stonewall uprising, Oscar winning filmmakers Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman travel to three diverse communities – Salt Lake City, San Francisco, and Tuscaloosa, Alabama – for an unflinching look at LGBTQ Pride. (World Premiere)

24 BEATS PER SECOND

Showcasing the sounds, culture and influence of music and musicians, with an emphasis on documentary.

"Iris: A Space Opera by Justice" (France)

Directors: Andre Chemetoff, Armand Beraud

Iris is a film adaptation of Justice’s Woman World Wide live show from 2017-2018, which is widely regarded as the greatest live electronic concert created. Recorded in an empty and invisible space, Iris focuses on the impressive production and music. (World Premiere)

SPECIAL EVENTS

"Broad City" Finale Screening

Created by, written by and starring Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer, the critically acclaimed Broad City follows Abbi and Ilana as they navigate life in New York, capturing their hookups, relationships, crappy jobs, and, ultimately, their badass friendship. In the final season, Ilana starts her own business and learns about her ancestors, while Abbi turns 30 and...tries to pull off a hat. And finally, we say goodbye to Abbi, Ilana and this iconic series. Join Abbi and IIana for a special sneak screening of the final three episodes of the series. Cast: Abbi Jacobson, Ilana Glazer, Arturo Castro, John Gemberling, Hannibal Buress, Paul W. Downs, Susie Essman

"Cobra Kai" Season 2 Outdoor Screening

We are proud to present a special screening of the second season of Cobra Kai, the hit YouTube Premium Original Series, starring Ralph Macchio and William Zabka. Exclusively premiering at SXSW, YouTube and Sony Pictures Television will screen the first two episodes of the second season followed by a Q&A panel with series stars Ralph Macchio (Daniel LaRusso), William Zabka (Johnny Lawrence) and Martin Kove (Kreese) along with the Cobra Kai series creators and executive producers Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg.

Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate SXSW Event

Showrunner and best-selling author Neil Gaiman is joined by director Douglas Mackinnon and cast including Michael Sheen, David Tennant, and Jon Hamm to give attendees the most in-depth look at Good Omens to date and watch never-before-seen exclusive clips from the entire series. The six-episode series coming to Amazon Prime Video is based on the beloved satirical novel Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. Good Omens is a dark, comedic story set in modern-day Britain that centers on a fussy angel Aziraphale (played by Sheen) and the loose-living demon Crowley (played by Tennant) as they join forces to prevent the coming of the Apocalypse.

EPISODIC PILOT COMPETITION

A pilot showcase introducing fresh work from bright new talent, many with an eye towards finding production, completion funds, or a release platform.

"Baby Love"

Director: Deena Adar, Screenwriters: Danielle Weeks, Miranda Kent

A single camera ½ hour comedy about two besties since childhood, one a struggling artist, the other an idealistic professional, both unlucky in love and fertility, who decide to stop waiting for Mr. Right and have a baby together. (World Premiere)

"A Cure For Fear"

Director: Lana Wilson

A doctor has come up with a way to knock out phobias and trauma overnight. But what if being afraid is a fundamental part of who we are?

"East of La Brea"

Director: Sam Bailey, Screenwriters: Sameer Gardezi, Halima Lucas, Tanha Dil, Nia Malika Dixon, Thandisizwe Chimurenga

East of La Brea follows the stories of two twenty-something working class Muslim women, Aisha and Farha, as they struggle to navigate the changing landscape of their native Los Angeles home. (World Premiere)

"Hammerhead"

Director/Screenwriter: Dean Imperial

An ambitious, driven and deceptively cunning young man -- with a deformed forehead -- leaves home after graduate school determined to become a success in New York City -- and find a mate -- against all odds.

"M" (Argentina)

Director: Javier Devitt, Screenwriters: Mateo Ingouville, Ezequiel Schmoller

A young American couple travels to Patagonia to search for his father, but as they enter the woods with the help of a local con man, they soon discover that something supernatural is lurking… (North American Premiere)

"Maggie"

Director/Screenwriter: Sasha Gordon

A struggling new mom ditches her dreary postpartum group for the stand up class next door.

"Moderately Put Together"

Director: Leigh Ann Biety, Screenwriter: Erin Alexis

A charmingly messy woman in her 30's comes face to face with reality when she discovers that both of her biological parents are looking for her. (World Premiere)

"Queering"

Director: Leticia De Bortoli

Queering is a LGBTQ comedy web series that follows Harper, who is ready to live the best phase of her lesbian life until the tables turn when her mom unexpectedly comes out as queer.

"Rainbow Ruthie"

Director/Screenwriter: Ruthie Marantz

Now in her mid-thirties, an ex-teen star from Manhattan public access television in the 90s decides to relive her glory days. (U.S. Premiere)

"Revenge Tour"

Directors: Andrew Carter, Kahlil Maskati, Screenwriter: Kahlil Maskati

Derek “Milkshake” Qamar is angry. He’s been dumped, living in a friend’s living room, and stuck at a dead-end job. But one night he finds an unlikely stress-reliever...rapping.

"Sterling"

Director: Ryan Zaragoza, Screenwriters: Bryce Ahart, Stephanie McFarlane

A small West Texas town struggles to pick up the pieces after a devastating mass shooting at their local high school. (World Premiere)

"Who You Are"

Director: Joel Jay Blacker, Screenwriter: Samuel Roots

The accidental invention of an asshole AI spells trouble for a tech startup in the late '80s.

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