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Austin music scene movie starring Ryan Gosling to open 2017 SXSW Film


Terrence Malick’s “Song To Song” will open the 2017 South by Southwest Film Conference and Festival, it was announced Jan. 5.

Malick partially filmed the drama in and around Austin over the course of a few years. The movie is described as a “modern love story set against the Austin, Texas music scene” and stars Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara, Michael Fassbender and Natalie Portman.

Mara, Gosling and Fassbender could be spotted at Fun Fun Fun Fest in 2012.

Other movies and shows announced for SXSW Film include “Spettacolo,” Jeff “Marwencol” Malmberg and Chris Shellen’s lyrical portrait of a tiny hill town in Tuscany; “Signature Move” starring Fawzia Mirza, a coming-of-age Muslim melodrama from first-time filmmaker Jennifer Reeder; and “Residente,” Latin American director René Pérez Joglar’s chronicle of his global exploration of his genetic roots.

Also look for the world premiere of Neil Gaiman’s TV show “American Gods,” based on his massively successful novel of the same name.

The almost-complete film festival lineup will be announced Jan. 31. Midnighter features and Short Films will be announced Feb. 7.

Here is the official list so far:

“American Gods” (world premiere)

Director: David Slade. Screenwriters: Bryan Fuller, Michael Green

Adapted from Neil Gaiman’s award-winning novel, “American Gods” follows Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle) and Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane) in a magical world where a battle is brewing between the Old Gods and the New Gods.

“The Melody of Dust” (world premiere)

Director: Viacom NEXT

A musical journey for the HTC Vive. Explore a mysterious world where every object contains a unique melody. Featuring original musical compositions by Hot Sugar, this experience brings you inside the tortured mind of a musician.

“Residente” (world premiere)

Director: René Pérez Joglar

After taking a DNA test, Latin America’s most decorated artist, Rene Perez (aka Residente), embarks on a global adventure to trace the footsteps of his ancestors and record his latest album.

“Signature Move” (world premiere)

Director: Jennifer Reeder. Screenwriters: Fawzia Mirza, Lisa Donato

A secret new romance with Alma forces Zaynab to confront her complicated relationship with her recently widowed mother. In this coming-of-age Muslim melodrama, Zaynab copes by taking up Lucha-style wrestling. Starring Fawzia Mirza, Shabana Azmi, Sari Sanchez, Audrey Francis, Charin Alvarez, Mark Hood, Molly Brennan

“Small Town Crime” (world premiere)

Directors/screenwriters: Eshom Nelms, Ian Nelms

Ex-cop Mike Kendall finds the body of a young woman and, in an act of self-redemption, becomes hellbent on finding the killer. While his uncouth, quirky detective style helps break the case, his dogged determination puts his family in danger. Starring John Hawkes, Anthony Anderson, Octavia Spencer, Robert Forster, Clifton Collins Jr.

“Song To Song” (world premiere)

Director: Terrence Malick

In this modern love story set against the Austin music scene, two entangled couples — struggling songwriters Faye and BV, and music mogul Cook and the waitress whom he ensnares — chase success through a rock ‘n’ roll landscape of seduction and betrayal. Starring Rooney Mara, Ryan Gosling, Michael Fassbender, Natalie Portman

“Spettacolo” (world premiere)

Directors: Jeff Malmberg, Chris Shellen. Screenwriter: Chris Shellen

For the past 50 years, the villagers of a tiny hill town in Tuscany have turned their lives into a play that the entire town writes and performs. “Spettacolo” is a portrait of this tradition through the eyes of the last man trying to keep it alive.

Colin Hyer named Austin Film Festival conference director

Colin Hyer has been named new conference director for the Austin Film Festival. Colin served as AFF’s Young Filmmakers Program Coordinator for the past year and has a background rich with teaching storytelling through film.

Former conference director Erin Halligan is leaving after five years to launch a multi-disciplinary arts bar and venue called Story Bar.

The 2017 AFF takes place Oct. 26 to Nov. 2.



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