The South by Southwest Film Festival unveiled its midnight movie and short-film lineup on Wednesday, mixing features from horror mastermind Adam Wingard with shorts about robots and pig farmers.
Wingard, one of the directors of horror hit “V/H/S,” has two films in the midnighters section — “V/H/S 2,” on which he is one of several directors, and “You’re Next,” a home-invasion horror flick. Other films include “Kiss of the Damned,” the directorial debut of Xan Cassavetes, daughter of John Cassavetes and Gena Rowlands, and “The Lords of Salem” from musician-turned-director Rob Zombie.
The shorts section includes narrative, documentary, animated and midnight categories, as well as shorts from Texas high-school students. There are 106 in all. The winner of the Grand Jury Prize in both narrative and animated will be eligible for an Oscar nomination in those two categories.
The South by Southwest film festival takes place at the same time as the music festival in Austin, and the film side always works music into its lineup. On top of its music-themed film section, the festival also screens a series of music videos as part of its shorts lineup.
This year’s crop includes Daniel Garcia and Harry Teitelman’s video for “Reagan,” a song by Atlanta rapper Killer Mike, and a DANIELS video for “Houdini,” the sixth single from Foster the People’s debut album “Torches.”
Here’s the full list of selections:
Scary, funny, sexy, controversial – provocative after-dark features for night owls and the terminally curious.
“Big Ass Spider!”
Director: Mike Mendez, Screenwriter: Gregory Gieras When a giant alien spider escapes from a military lab and rampages across the city of Los Angeles, it is up to one clever exterminator and his security guard sidekick to kill the creature before the city is destroyed. Cast: Greg Grunberg, Lombardo Boyar, Clare Kramer, Ray Wise, Lin Shaye, Patrick Bauchau (World Premiere)
Director: E.L. Katz, Screenwriters: Trent Haaga, David Chirchirillo Recently fired and facing eviction, the married father of a newborn has his life turned upside down when he meets a wealthy couple who offer a path to financial security…but at a price. Cast: Pat Healy, Ethan Embry, Sara Paxton, David Koechner, Amanda Fuller (World Premiere)
Haunter (Canada) Director: Vincenzo Natali, Screenwriter: Brian King Lisa Johnson is one day shy of her 16th birthday and will be forever. She and her family are doomed to repeat the fateful day before they were all killed in 1985. Cast: Abigail Breslin, Stephen McHattie, Peter Outerbridge, Michelle Nolden, David Hewlett (World Premiere)
Kiss of the Damned
Director/Screenwriter: Xan Cassavetes Beautiful vampire Djuna tries to resist the advances of human screenwriter Paolo, but eventually gives in to their passion. When her sister Mimi comes to visit, Djuna’s love story is threatened, and the whole vampire community becomes endangered… Cast: Joséphine de la Baume, Milo Ventimiglia, Roxane Mesquida, Anna Mouglalis, Michael Rapaport, Riley Keough, Ching Valdes-Aran (U.S. Premiere)
The Lords of Salem
Director/Screenwriter: Rob Zombie From the singular mind of horror maestro Rob Zombie comes a chilling plunge into a nightmare world where evil runs in the blood. Cast: Sheri Moon Zombie, Bruce Davison, Jeff Daniel Phillips, Ken Foree, Patricia Quinn (U.S. Premiere)
Director: Dennis Iliadis, Screenwriter: Bill Gullo When the party of the decade is disrupted by a supernatural phenomenon, the night soon descends in to chaos. Cast: Rhys Wakefield, Logan Miller, Ashley Hinshaw, Natalie Hall (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Calvin Lee Reeder After being released from prison, a man known as The Rambler stumbles upon a strange mystery as he attempts a dangerous journey through treacherous back roads and small towns en route to reconnecting with his long lost brother. Cast: Dermot Mulroney, Lindsay Pulsipher, Natasha Lyonne, James Cady, Scott Sharot
Directors: Adam Wingard, Gareth Evans, Screenwriters: Simon Barrett, Timo Tjahjanto, Gareth Evans, Jamie Nash, Jason Eisener, John Davies Searching for a missing student, two private investigators break into his abandoned house and find another collection of mysterious VHS tapes. In viewing the horrific contents of each cassette, they realize there may be terrifying motives behind the student’s disappearance.
Cast: Adam Wingard, Lawrence Levine, L. C. Holt, Kelsy Abbott, Hannah Hughes
Director: Adam Wingard, Screenwriter: Simon Barrett A fresh twist on home-invasion horror. A gang of masked murderers descend upon a family reunion, and the victims seem trapped…until an unlikely guest proves to be the most talented killer of all. Cast: Sharni Vinson, Nicholas Tucci, Wendy Glenn, AJ Bowen, Joe Swanberg
A selection of original, well-crafted films that take advantage of the short form and exemplify distinctive and genuine storytelling. The winner of our Grand Jury Award in this category is eligible for a 2014 Academy Award nomination for Best Narrative Short.
Director: Celia Rowlson-Hall A young woman auditions for the role of "Clipboard Woman"
Director: Kat Candler After a career spent mining his music from the shadows, the actions of one fan creates a chain reaction for the lead singer of a black metal band.
Director: Frances Bodomo An African family, lost in America, travels to a Louisiana church to find a cure for its problem child.
Director: Steven Schardt An alcoholic father, recently served restrictive custody papers, kidnaps his son to go on a road trip.
Chiralia (Germany) Director: Santiago Gil Around an isolated lake, the experience of a tragedy travels like a wave through space and time, from person to person, from memory to imagination.
Dotty (New Zealand) Directors: Mick Andrews, Brett O'Gorman A stubborn old lady struggles to send a text message to her daughter.
Ellen Is Leaving (New Zealand) Director: Michelle Savill On the eve of departing overseas, Ellen makes the fateful decision to gift her boyfriend a new girlfriend.
Indoor (UK) Directors: Simon Atkinson, Adam Townley An eleven year old boy, unable to fly his kite alone, befriends a peculiar girl who can not leave her caravan.
It's Not You, It's Me
Director: Matt Spicer A young woman's relationship takes a dark turn when every sound her boyfriend makes starts to annoy her.
Directors: Nathan Honnold, Alex Zhuravlov Kelly, a female entrepreneur, gives personal advice and insight into business and beauty. She finds inspiration in her personal experiences and in her role model Mary Kay.
Directors: Nathan Honnold, Alex Zhuravlov An elderly couple finds excitement in breaking and entering.
MOBILE HOMES (USA/France) Director: Vladimir de Fontenay MOBILE HOMES tells the story of a young woman, trapped in sex trafficking, and her son who explores an unlikely way out.
MOUSSE (Sweden) Director: John Hellberg What could be easier than robbing a small bookie place on the outskirts of town?
Director: Jeremy Hersh Rachel, a young Manhattanite, is so in love with her girlfriend's Native American roots that she begins to lose sight of their relationship.
Directors: Kyle Bogart, Cliff Bogart A friendship is tested as two Black Metal bandmates lose hope that they will ever achieve their ultimate goal: To be the most evil band in the world.
Directors: Jillian Mayer, Lucas Leyva #PostModem is a comedic satirical sci-fi pop-musical based on the theories of Ray Kurzweil and other futurists. It's the story of two Miami girls and how they deal with the technological singularity, told in a series of cinematic tweets.
Director: Sarah Gertrude Shapiro Behind the scenes of a hit reality TV show, a jaded producer and a spurned beauty queen face off in mental mortal combat. One driven by cash rewards and ambition, the other clinging to her last shred of dignity. Only one can leave victorious.
Director: Jed Cowley John, a stubborn shale pit owner, and his once dutiful wife, Sheila, have a grave confrontation after months of separation.
Si Nos Dejan
Director: Celia Rowlson-Hall If they let us, we will love each other all our lives.
Director: Jordana Spiro A child taxidermist, an outsider in his small town, is entranced by a girl who finds his work beautiful. But just as their relationship begins to progress, he does something that drastically changes everything.
Director: Jason B. Kohl A pig farmer tests his unemployed son's resolve to join the family business.
Social Butterfly (France/USA) Director: Lauren Wolkstein A 30-year-old American woman enters a teenage party in the South of France. Some of the guests wonder who she is and what she is doing there.
Director: Aaron David DeFazio When Ron, a high powered hedge fund manager, finds out that his biggest investor may be pulling out of the fund, his world begins to collapse on him, as he juggles fatherhood, his ex-wife, and one very big secret.
Directors: Dustin Bowser, Brie Larson A relationship ends.
When We Lived in Miami
Director: Amy Seimetz Filmed in Miami during Hurricane Isaac, When We Lived in Miami is a hypnotic short about the lengths one woman will go to keep her family from falling apart.
Unfiltered slices of life, from across the documentary spectrum.
After (UK) Director: Lukasz Konopa ‘After’ is a film about contemporary life in Auschwitz. In an observation from dusk till dawn, it portrays the theatre of everyday life around the grim confines and captures the energies and activities of a world fascinated by this former concentration camp.
Contents of C______'s Box, in no particular order
Director: Ian Berry An exploration of a failed relationship through a box of mementos.
Endless Day (Germany) Director: Anna Frances Ewert This film is about an insomniac's inner journey through a sleepless night.
Flutter (USA/Canada) Director: Dara Bratt “Flutter” is a short observational documentary about an ordinary man obsessed with the extraordinary.
Directors: David White, Paul Wedel The kindest slaughter: a short documentary about one man's bloody job.
Director: Roger Hayn A character portrait of a debt-ridden man with a violent past in pursuit of a fresh start.
The Knife Maker
Director: Keith "keef" Ehrlich Writer turned knife maker Joel Bukiewicz discusses the human element of craft–the potential for a skill to mature into an art. In sharing his story, he alights on the real meaning of handmade—a movement whose riches are measured in people, not cash.
KRS ONE: Brooklyn to the Bronx
Directors: Brimstone, Joshua Moise Hip Hop pioneer, KRS-One, takes us through his years as a homeless teenager in New York City. Traveling from Brooklyn to the Bronx, he begins to visualize his steps to becoming an MC.
Magnetic Reconnection (Canada) Director: Kyle Armstrong A short documentary film contrasting the Northern Lights with the harsh landscapes and decaying manmade debris littered throughout the northern Canadian town of Churchill, Manitoba.
The Other Dave
Director: Pasquale Greco Life changes people; especially when it involves 1 billion volts of electricity. "Super Dave" Manning, was on his way to a pro golf career when lightning struck and permanently changed his perception of reality.
Recollections (Japan) Director: Nathanael Carton A community of tsunami survivors hold onto their existence through pictures recovered from the debris.
Directors: Ewan McNicol, Anna Sandilands A black man with hip-hop and zydeco roots hard-grafts through the local, all-white rodeo circuits in the Deep South as he dreams of competing in the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.
Director: Josh Izenberg Depressed and frustrated with his life, Dr. John Kitchin abandons his career as a neurologist and undergoes a radical transformation into SLOMO, trading his lab coat for a pair of rollerblades and his IRA for a taste of divinity.
The Village (Brazil) Director: Liliana Sulzbach The daily life of the dwellers of a microtown in the the south of Brazil which is about to vanish.
Vladimir Putin In Deep Concentration
Directors: Dana O'Keefe, Sasha Kliment Vladimir Putin is the most powerful man in the world
An assortment of stories told using a mix of traditional animation, computer-generated effects, stop- motion, and everything in-between. The winner of our Grand Jury Award in this category is eligible for a 2014 Academy Award nomination for Best Animated Short.
The Blue Umbrella
Director: Saschka Unseld It is just another evening commute until the rain starts to fall, and the city comes alive to the sound of dripping rain pipes, whistling awnings and gurgling gutters. And in the midst, two umbrellas—one blue, one not—fall eternally in love.
Director: Mauricio Baiocchi Cicadas spend a long time planning…
The Event (USA/UK) Director: Julia Pott Love and a severed foot, at the end of the world.
The Gold Sparrow
Director: Daniel Stessen In a black and white world artists must defend their color.
Director: Chris Mars In Hanford is artist Chris Mars's fantastic exploration of real incidents in Hanford, Washington, where the local environment was poisoned as a result of cold war era nuclear arms manufacture.
Kishi Bashi – ''I Am The Antichrist To You''
Director: Kishi Bashi A surreal stop motion collaboration between avante-pop/violinist Kishi Bashi and acclaimed animator Anthony Scott (Coraline, Paranorman). An abandoned puppy awakes in a post-apocalyptic world with vivid memories of his love and all that he lost.
Marcel, King of Tervuren
Director: Tom Schroeder Greek tragedy enacted by Belgian roosters.
Oh Willy… (Belgium/France/ Netherlands/Luxembourg) Directors: Emma De Swaef, Marc James Roels Forced to return to his naturist roots, Willy bungles his way into noble savagery.
Director: Leah Shore For more than 20 years Charles Manson has refused to communicate directly with the outside world. Until Now.
The Places Where We Lived
Director: Bernardo Britto A man wakes up with a weird feeling. His parents are selling his childhood home.
Shelved (New Zealand) Director: James Cunningham Two loser robots discover they are being replaced… by humans
Bite-sized bits for all of your sex, genre, and hilarity needs.
Director: Andrew Zuchero Four uninspired friends try to come up with a terrific idea of how to spend their Saturday afternoon. The Apocalypse.
Director: Hugo Vargas-Zesati A man disturbed by a dream awakens to realize his unconscious has called his self-awareness into question. When confronting himself, misfortune brings the temporal world into perspective.
Director: Michael Reich A master groomer explains the sensual methods of dog grooming to his young and beautiful apprentice. Her mind begins to wander into a profane dream that melds the grossness of dog bathing with voyeuristic and domineering sexuality.
Child Eater (USA/Iceland) Director: Erlingur Thoroddsen A simple night of babysitting takes a horrifying turn when Helen realizes the boogeyman really is in little Lucas' closet.
Dance Till You Drop
Directors: Eric M. Levy, Juan Cardarelli She thought the house was safe, but under the right circumstances, anything can be dangerous. Even a dance montage.
Director: Owen Egerton Follow is a dark thriller centered on a young couple's dangerous bedroom games.
Director: Joe Nicolosi Hell No is a new type of terror, a reality-based horror film that pits real smart people in terrifying horror situations…
Director: Brandon LaGanke Harold's crumbling family is bound only by his unconditional love for them.
Director: Caleb Johnson A young woman has an affair that leaves a hideous mark. Her attempts to remove it only make it worse.
Two Fingers – 'Vengeance Rhythm' (UK) Director: Chris Ullens This is the story of a very angry teddy bear.
Under the Lion Crotch (Hong Kong) Director: Wong Ping Daily life living in Hong Kong.
A range of classic, innovative, and stylish work showcasing the scope of music video culture.
∆ (Alt-J) – ''Breezeblocks''
Director: Ellis Bahl
CHRISTEENE – "Big Shot"
Director: PJ Raval
Daniel Bedingfield – ''Secret Fear''
Director: Daniel Bedingfield
Flying Lotus – ''Until The Quiet Comes''
Director: Kahlil Joseph
Foster The People – ''Houdini''
HEALTH – ''Tears''
Directors: David Altobelli, Jeff Desom
Keaton Henson – ''Small Hands''
Director: Joseph Mann
Killer Mike – ''Reagan''
Directors: Daniel Garcia, Harry Teitelman
Lushlife – "Magnolia"
Directors: Jesse Lamar High, Nik Harper
Mikhael Paskalev – ''I Spy''
Director: André Chocron
Modeselektor – “Evil Twin”
Moones – ''Better Energy"
Director: Peter Sluszka
Righchus – ''Stroker's Row''
Director: Taylor Engel
Rudimental – ''Feel The Love''
Director: Bob Harlow
Slugabed – ''Sex''
Director: Chris Ullens
Sóley – “Bad Dream”
Directors: Ellen Ragnarsdóttir, Raam Reddy
Starcadian – ''HE^RT''
Directors: Rob O'Neill, Starcadian
The Shoes – ''Time To Dance''
Director: Daniel Wolfe
Wax Tailor Feat Aloe Blacc – “Time To Go”
Directors: Darcy Prendergast, Seamus Spilsbury
Vitalic – ''Stamina''
Director: Saman Keshavarz
Wild Belle – ''Keep You''
Director: Melina Matsoukas
Willow – ''Sweater''
Director: Filip Sterckx
TEXAS HIGH SCHOOL SHORTS
Texas High School students offer a glimpse of a bright future for Texas filmmaking.
Adam Mosley – Who I Am
Director: Jake Wangner Adam Mosley is an amateur Fort Worth skateboarder. He spends his days rolling across the pavement learning new tricks. Take a quick look into his daily life.
Director: Jade Basinski, Pearl Basinski A sweet lullaby.
Director: Alina Vega Everything's coming apart at the seams.
Directors: Sophia Haid, Ivan Kumamoto The can man can.
Directors: Kyle Matthew, Hirsh Elhence What did you do to mom?
The Cigarette Burns Slowly
Director: Connor Clift Two individuals who work the night shift together decide to take a cigarette break. Chemistry unfolds.
Don't Be Afraid Ashley
Director: Makena Buchanan Don't be afraid Ashley, It's just a dark empty theater, there's no one here but your friends.
Director: Zenzele Ojore "Drop" is an experimental narrative that tells the story of a young drowning victim, her journey through the “in-between” and the many memories of her past to reach her alternate peace.
Director: Conner Miller A man on the run–but from what?
Director: Louis J. Zylka One night, a robbery took place at a museum and someone got murdered. It's up to Detective Bones to solve this crime.
Director: Andrew Haworth Gas Giant is a stop motion animated short about a man who wakes up on his lawn and realizes he's 50 feet tall.
Director: Atheena Frizzell More than anything else in the world, Reese wants a gay best friend. She sets out to get one but her plan goes terribly awry.
The Magic Lasso
Director: Amy Harvie The Magic Lasso is a thriller about a young girl who wakes up from a coma in a post-apocalyptic hospital and the abandoned characters she discovers there.
Director: Stephen Mendoza Obsession is a thriller about a disturbed young woman who finally has the evening she has been dreaming of with the object of her affection.
Director: Maddison Lopez What would the average high school student do to survive a zombie apocalpyse?
Directors: James Bradford, Max Montoya Girl, you'll be a woman soon.
Robert Cossman, Deceased
Director: Alexander Marking The story around a mysterious briefcase
Sir Gawain & the Green Knight
Directors: Callan Harrison, Aidan Anders Sir Gawain & the Green Knight is a hand cut paper animation chronicling the adventures of Sir Gawain and his attempts to uphold the code of chivalry.
Skin To Bone
Directors: Taha Dawoodbhoy, Brandon Torio Skin To Bone is a fan made music video to the song "Skin To Bone" by Linkin Park. The video delves into the dark meeting behind the song.
TRAPPED (A Slenderman Short Film)
Directors: Jonathan Munoz, Kyle Curtis An adaptation to the Slenderman urban legend. Inspired by the hit PC game SLENDER
Director: Miles Andres Based on a true story.
Director: Rachel Davis A girl find a body and a zipper catches her attention….