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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

SXSW Features Slate: DEAR WHITE PEOPLE, A Michael Brown Documentary, and More

As some of you already know, I'll be headed to the South by Southwest (SXSW) Festival in March, and I have already begun forming my to-watch list. Just today, an announcement from the festival unveiled the remaining films on its 2017 features slate. Eeeeek! Now I'm got 13 more films to stuff onto the list.



NARRATIVE FEATURE

Dara Ju
Director/Screenwriter: Anthony Onah
A young Nigerian-American financier struggles with love, family, and a prescription drug dependency as his ambitions steer him down a criminal path. 
Cast: Aml Ameen, Lucy Griffiths, Michael Hyatt, Peter Vack, Hope Olaidé Wilson, Souléymane Sy Savané, Craig muMs Grant, Bill Sage (World Premiere)



Like Me
Director/Screenwriter: Rob Mockler
A reckless loner, desperate for human connection, sets out on a crime spree that she broadcasts on social media. Her reality quickly splinters into a surreal nightmare as her exploits spiral out of control. 
Cast: Addison Timlin, Ian Nelson, Larry Fessenden, Jeremy Gardner, Stuart Rudin, Nicolette Pierini (World Premiere)



MFA
Director: Natalia Leite, Screenwriter: Leah Mckendrick
The accidental death of her rapist sets an art student on a course for justice, fueling the inspiration for her thesis exhibition.
Cast: Francesca Eastwood, Clifton Collins Jr, Peter Vack, Leah Mckendrick, Marlon Young, David Sullivan, Michael Welch (World Premiere)


DOCUMENTARY FEATURE



Mommy Dead and Dearest
Director
: Erin Lee Carr
Child abuse, mental illness, and forbidden love converge in this mystery involving a mother and daughter who were thought to be living a fairy tale life that turned out to be a living nightmare. (World Premiere)



Served Like A Girl
Director
: Lysa Heslov
Five women veterans who have endured unimaginable trauma in service create a shared sisterhood to help the rising number of stranded homeless women by entering a competition that unexpectedly catalyzes moving events in their own lives. (World Premiere)

NARRATIVE SPOTLIGHT



Going to Brazil (France)
Director: Patrick Mille, Screenwriters: Julien Lambroschini, Sabrina Amara, Patrick Mille Four childhood friends are reunited at a wedding in Rio. But when they accidentally kill a young man during a party that gets out of hand, they are forced to flee the city in a crazy adventure. 
Cast: Alison Wheeler, Vanessa Guide, Margot Bancilhon, Philippine Stindel, Patrick Mille (International Premiere)



Hounds of Love (Australia)
Director/Screenwriter: Ben Young
In the mid 1980’s seventeen-year-old Vicki Maloney is randomly abducted from a suburban street by a disturbed couple. As she observes the dynamic between her captors she quickly realizes she must drive a wedge between them if she is to survive. 
Cast: Ashleigh Cummings, Emma Booth, Stephen Curry, Susie Porter, Damian de Montemas, Harrison Gilbertson, Fletcher Humphrys (North American Premiere)



This Is Your Death
Director
: Giancarlo Esposito, Screenwriters: Kenny Yakkel, Noah Pink
This Is Your Death is an unsettling look at reality T.V. where a disturbing hit game show has its contestants ending their lives for the public's enjoyment. It captures the sad truths about the world's desire to be famous. 
Cast: Josh Duhamel, Famke Janssen, Giancarlo Esposito, Sarah Wayne Callies, Caitlin Fitzgerald, James Franco (World Premiere)



Us and Them (UK)
Director/Screenwriter: Joe Martin
Working class Danny aims to kick start a revolution by turning the tables on the establishment with a deadly game of chance. 
Cast: Jack Roth, Tim Bentinck, Andrew Tiernan, Daniel Kendrick, Sophie 

DOCUMENTARY SPOTLIGHT



Stranger Fruit

Director/Screenwriter: Jason Pollock
What happened on August 9th, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri? On that hot summer day, Officer Darren Wilson killed 18-year-old Michael Brown. Stranger Fruit is the unraveling of what took place that day, told through the eyes of Mike Brown’s family. (World Premiere)

EPISODIC


Dear White People
Director/Screenwriter
: Justin Simien
Based on the critically-acclaimed 2014 film by the same name, Dear White People is a send-up of the now post “post-racial” America that weaves together a universal story of finding one’s own identity, as told from a biting millennial point of view.
Cast: Logan Browning, Brandon P. Bell, Antoinette Robertson, DeRon Horton, John Patrick Amedori

FESTIVAL FAVORITES


Prevenge (UK)
Director/Screenwriter: Alice Lowe
Alice Lowe (Sightseers) is a triple threat as the writer, director and star of this pitch-black comedy about a pregnant woman whose unborn child spurs her on to murder. 
Cast: Alice Lowe, Dan Renton Skinner, Jo Hartley, Tom Davis, Leila Hoffman, Kate Dickie, Kayvan Novak, Mike Wozniak, Tom Meeten, Gemma Whelan

SXSW 2017 will take place March 10-19 in Austin, TX. For more information, visit their website.

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