By Sean Boelman
On January 15, the SXSW Film Festival announced the first batch of films that will be screening as a part of the 27th edition of the festival, which happens March 13-22, 2020 in Austin, Texas. Although this is only a partial glimpse at what the festival programmers have in store, the many exciting titles that have already been announced prove that this will be a festival to remember.
Perhaps the most high-profile announcement of the day was the announcement that the newest film from writer-director Judd Apatow (Knocked Up), The King of Staten Island, will be the opening night film of the festival. Starring SNL player Pete Davidson (who also co-wrote the film), the comedy is about a burnout who lives with his mother in Staten Island. The film releases in theaters in June.
Additional narrative films announced in the “Headliners” section include Bad Trip, the hidden camera comedy starring Eric André, Lil Rel Howery, and Tiffany Haddish, and The Lovebirds, a mystery-comedy directed by Michael Showalter (The Big Sick) and starring Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani. Two documentaries, Beastie Boys Story, directed by Spike Jonze, and LA Originals, an exploration of Chicano culture, were announced in the section.
Other sections that were announced today include: the Narrative Feature Competition, showcasing ten diverse narrative features, the “Spotlight Features” section, featuring high-profile features including one directed by John Leguizamo and one written by Alan Moore, the “Documentary Spotlight” and Documentary Features Competition, the “Visions” section, emphasizing innovative and creative filmmakers, the “Global” section, and the “24 Beats Per Second” section, featuring films centered around music.
Also announced today were the series that will be making their premieres in the “Episodic” section of the festival. Arguably the most anticipated of the episodic premieres is that of Snowpiercer, the long-awaited television adaptation of Bong Joon-ho’s film of the same name. More interesting premieres include Solar Opposites, a new series from Rick and Morty creators Justin Roiland and Mike McMahan, and Tales from the Loop, based on the art of Simon Stålenhag.
The rest of the program, including the films screening in the Midnighters, Festival Favorites, and Episodic Pilot Competition, in addition to some other films not yet announced, will be revealed on February 5. With the amount of films, including "Headliners", that were revealed in the second announcement last year, that is sure to be an exciting prospect for film fans everywhere.
The full announcement can be found here.
The 2020 SXSW Film Festival runs March 13-22, 2020 in Austin, TX.