The South by Southwest Film Festival and Conference announced this week that suspenseful thriller “The East,” the second collaboration between director Zal Batmanglij and writer-producer-actress Brit Marling, will serve as the festival’s closing night film. Variety called the film, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January, a “clever, involving spy drama.” The movie also stars Alexander Skarsgard, Ellen Page and Patricia Clarkson. Batmanglij and Marling previously teamed on the mysterious “The Sound of My Voice,” which played SXSW in 2011.
“The East” is one of 15 new feature titles announced by the festival. The list includes fellow Sundance alumnus “The Spectacular Now,” starring Austin-area resident Kyle Chandler (“Friday Night Lights”) and Shailene Woodley, who won a Sundance jury award for her performance; and “Linsanity,” a documentary that details the phenomenal rise of former New York Knick and current Houston Rocket point guard Jeremy Lin. Alicia Dwyer’s documentary “Xmas Without China,” an amusing but troubling examination of the amount of cheap goods American imports from China, will make its world premiere.
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