The North American premiere of Wes Anderson’s highly-anticipated and somewhat controversial stop-motion animated film“Isle of Dogs” will close the 2018 South By Southwest Film Festival, it was announced Wednesday.
Starring the voices of Bryan Cranston, Koyu Rankin, Edward Norton, Bob Balaban, Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Kunichi Nomura, Akira Takayama, Greta Gerwig, Frances McDormand, Akira Ito, Scarlett Johansson and a kabillion more , the Rankin-Bass-looking "Isle of Dogs” concerns, well, an garbage dump island full of dogs exiled there by Mayor Kobayashi of Megasaki City.
Atari Kobayashi,the mayor’s 12-year-old ward, sets off alone in a miniature Junior-Turbo Prop and flies to Trash Island in search of his bodyguard-dog, Spots.
SXSW Film also revealed the genre-based Midnighters slate.
Featuring 10 genre films, including six world premieres, the slate includes dark comedies, thrillers, Sci-Fi, mystery and slasher horror from a mix of established and first-time filmmakers.
For example, making its world premiere at the festival is local writer/director/etc. Owen Edgerton’s “Blood Fest.”
The much-hyped “Hereditary” is also screening.
The Midnighters, as well as 12 additional films, are included in the 132 total features now to be screened at SXSW 2018 Film.
A total of 175 short films, independent episodics, and virtual cinema projects were selected from 5,711 submissions. The shorts will screen as part of 14 curated shorts programs.
There are also 38 Virtual Cinema (VR) projects, twice as many as last year.
Platinum and Film badge holders can also look for an opening night party for Robert Rodriguez’s “Alita: Battle Angel” was filmed. SXSW Platinum and Film badge holders Attendees will be picked up in front of the Hilton Hotel on 5th Street in Downtown Austin by “Alita: Battle Angel” branded shuttles and will be transported to the futuristic Iron City movie set. From 9:30 pm to 12:30 am March 9, guests will enjoy cocktails, bites from local food trucks and great music, all within an immersive film set, featuring props from the film.
Here are the Midnighters and a few more films
Director: Katsuyuki Motohiro, Screenwriter: Kouji Seko
Endless battle between human being and immortal demi-human “Ajin”. A stunning, strikingly original action masterpiece! Cast: Takeru Satoh, Go Ayano, Tetsuji Tamayama, Yu Shirota, Yudai Chiba, Rina Kawaei, Minami Hamabe (North American Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Owen Egerton
In Blood Fest, fans flock to a festival celebrating the most iconic horror movies, only to discover that the charismatic showman behind the event has a diabolical agenda. Cast: Robbie Kay, Jacob Batalon, Seychelle Gabriel, Tate Donovan, Barbara Dunkelman, Nick Rutherford, Zachary Levi (World Premiere)
Untitled Blumhouse-Bazelevs Film
Director/Screenwriter: Stephen Susco
A 20-something finds a cache of hidden files on his new laptop and is thrust into the deep waters of the dark web. From the makers of Unfriended, this thriller unravels in real-time, entirely on a computer screen. A warning for the digital age. Cast: Colin Woodell, Betty Gabriel, Rebecca Rittenhouse, Andrew Lees, Conor del Rio, Stephanie Nogueras, Savira Windyani (World Premiere)
“Field Guide to Evil” (Austria, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Poland, Turkey, U.S.)
Directors: Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala, Peter Strickland, Agnieszka Smoczynska, Katrin Gebbe, Can Evrenol, Calvin Reeder, Ashim Ahluwalia, Yannis Veslemes
They are known as dark folklore. Created to give logic to mankind’s darkest fears, these stories and others laid the foundation for what we now call the horror genre. (World Premiere)
“Ghost Stories” (United Kingdom)
Directors/Screenwriters: Jeremy Dyson, Andy Nyman
An arch skeptic debunker of the supernatural embarks upon a terror filled quest when he stumbles across a long lost file containing details of three cases of inexplicable 'hauntings'. Adapted from the Olivier Award Winning hit stage play. Cast: Martin Freeman, Alex Lawther, Jill Halfpenny, Andy Nyman, Paul Whitehouse (North American Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Ari Aster
When Ellen, the matriarch of the Graham family, passes away, her daughter’s family begins to unravel cryptic and increasingly terrifying secrets about their ancestry. Cast: Toni Collette, Gabriel Byrne, Ann Dowd, Alex Wolff, Milly Shapiro
“A Prayer Before Dawn” (United States, France)
Director: Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire, Screenwriters: Jonathan Hirschbein, Nick Saltrese
Based on the international best-seller, A Prayer Before Dawn is the true story of Billy Moore, a troubled young British boxer sent to one of Thailand's most notorious jails. Cast: Joe Cole, Vithaya Pansringar, Panya Yimmumphai, Nicolas Shake (North American Premiere)
Director: Jenn Wexler, Screenwriters: Jenn Wexler, Giaco Furino
Teen punks, on the run from the cops and hiding out in the woods, come up against the local authority—an unhinged park ranger with an axe to grind. Cast: Chloë Levine, Granit Lahu, Jeremy Pope, Bubba Weiler, Amanda Grace Benitez, Jeremy Holm, Larry Fessenden (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Leigh Whannell
In a utopian near-future when technology controls everything, a technophobe avenges his wife's murder and his own paralysis-causing injury with the help of an experimental computer chip implant - STEM - that turns out to have a mind of its own. Cast: Logan Marshall-Green, Betty Gabriel, Harrison Gilbertson, Benedict Hardie (World Premiere)
“What Keeps You Alive” (Canada)
Director: Colin Minihan, Screenwriters: Colin Minihan, Brittany Allen
Majestic mountains, a still lake and venomous betrayals engulf a female married couple attempting to celebrate their one-year anniversary. Cast: Hannah Emily Anderson, Brittany Allen, Martha Macisaac, Joey Klein, Charlotte Lindsay Marron (World Premiere)
“Isle of Dogs” (United States, United Kingdom)
Director/Screenwriter: Wes Anderson
Set in Japan, Isle of Dogs follows a boy's odyssey in search of his dog. Cast: Bryan Cranston, Koyu Rankin, Edward Norton, Bob Balaban, Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Kunichi Nomura, Akira Takayama, Greta Gerwig, Frances McDormand, Akira Ito, Scarlett Johansson, Harvey Keitel, F. Murray Abraham, Yoko Ono, Tilda Swinton, Ken Watanabe, Mari Natsuki, Fisher Stevens, Nijiro Murakami, Liev Schreiber, Courtney B. Vance (North American Premiere)
“Brother’s Nest” (Australia)
Director: Clayton Jacobson, Screenwriter: Jaime Browne
With their Mother dying of cancer, intent on changing her will to benefit her “new” husband before she dies, two brothers go to extreme and deadly lengths to protect their inheritance from being signed away before it’s too late. Cast: Shane Jacobson, Clayton Jacobson, Lynette Curran, Kim Gyngell, Sarah Snook (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Melanie Laurent
After surviving a setup by his criminal boss, a hitman rescues a young prostitute and flees with her to Galveston, Texas, where the two find strength in each other as dangerous pursuers and the shadows of their pasts follow close behind. Cast: Ben Foster, Elle Fanning, Beau Bridges, Adepero Aduye, Robert Aramayo, Lili Reinhart, Maria Valverde (World Premiere)
“Most Likely To Murder”
Director: Dan Gregor, Screenwriters: Dan Gregor, Doug Mand
Billy, the coolest kid in high school, comes back to his hometown 15 years later to find he's no longer cool and the girl he still has feelings for now dates the former town outcast. Billy becomes obsessed with proving the outcast is a murderer. Cast: Adam Pally, Rachel Bloom, Vincent Kartheiser, John Reynolds, Didi Conn, Ethan Phillips, Doug Mand, Hasan Minhaj, Rebecca Naomi Jones, Julia Goldani Telles (World Premiere)
"They Live Here, Now”
Director/Screenwriter: Jason Outenreath
Austin based refugee house, Casa Marianella, is one of the most prominent refugee houses in the United States, providing life saving services for thousands of immigrants each year. Meet the people who live here now. (World Premiere)
“Being Frank: The Chris Sievey Story” (United Kingdom)
Director/Screenwriter: Steve Sullivan
The hilarious and bizarre story of Frank Sidebottom, the cult British comedian in a papier mâché head, and the secretive life of Chris Sievey, the artist trapped inside. (World Premiere)
“Hearts Beat Loud”
Director: Brett Haley, Screenwriters: Brett Haley, Marc Basch
A father and daughter become an unlikely song writing duo before she leaves for college. Cast: Nick Offerman, Kiersey Clemons, Ted Danson, Toni Collette, Blythe Danner, Sasha Lane
“Jeannette, The Childhood of Joan of Arc” (France)
Director/Screenwriter: Bruno Dumont
France, 1425. In the midst of the Hundred Years’ War, the young Jeannette, at the still tender age of 8, looks after her sheep in the small village of Domremy. Cast: Lise Leplat Prudhomme, Jeanne Voisin, Lucile Gauthier, Victoria Lefebvre, Aline Charles (U.S. Premiere)
Director: Carlos Lopez Estrada, Screenwriters: Rafael Casal, Daveed Diggs
Lifelong friends Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal co-wrote and star in this timely and wildly entertaining story about the intersection of race and class set against the backdrop of a rapidly gentrifying Oakland. Cast: Daveed Diggs, Rafael Casa, Janina Gavankar, Jasmine Cephas Jones
Directors: Cristina Costantini, Darren Foster, Screenwriters:
Director/Screenwriter: Alexa Lim Haas
A Chinese manicurist attempts to describe feelings she doesn't have the words for in a language she does not speak. (World Premiere)
Check out sxsw.com for a full list of shorts, independent episodics and VR projects.