Crime thrillers, gay-straight families, international journeys, genre-bending horror flicks, and foul-mouthed banter between Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum are some of the highlights of the 2012 SXSW Film Festival, which announced its full line-up today for the eight-day event, running from March 9 - 17 in Austin, Texas. 21 Jump Street will have its world premiere at the festival as the Centerpiece film, and the music doc Big Easy Express – which chronicles a train ride with Mumford & Sons, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, and Old Crow Medicine Show – will close the festival on March 17.
“This year we have this sense that there’s a lot of bold, risk-taking films,” festival producer Janet Pierson tells EW. “There’s a lot of in-your-face, edgy stuff.” Pierson says this year she and her staff waded through 5,243 submissions looking for films that focus on “taking chances, finding things that are culturally relevant, looking for stuff that’s not easy or too safe or too” — she pauses for a moment — “pleasant.” She laughs. “Although we have some pleasant, easy, audience-pleasing films in the line up. But we look for the unpredictable. When you actually see the films, it’s not like everything has been reinvented. A lot of these films are films you’ve seen: People in the woods, a relationship film, people in a house, starlets finding their way, having a baby. But we’re still looking for films that tell their stories in a fresh way.”
The festival previously announced that The Cabin in the Woods – from producer Joss Whedon and director Drew Goddard – will launch the festival. Also making their world premieres: The first three episodes of the HBO series Girls, from Lena Dunham (Tiny Furniture) and exec producer Judd Apatow (the first time SXSW has showcase a television show); The Babymakers, a comedy about a man (Paul Schneider) who, unable to get his wife pregnant, attempts to rob a sperm bank holding his previously donated sperm; In Our Nature, starring Zach Gilford (Friday Night Lights) and John Slattery (Mad Men) as a son and father who serendipitously end up at a vacation house with their girlfriends (Jena Malone and Gabrielle Union); and Small Apartments, from director Jonas Åkerlund (of Lady Gaga and Madonna music video fame), which sports the most eclectic cast in many a moon (Matt Lucas, Billy Crystal, James Caan, Johnny Knoxville, Juno Temple).
Also screening at the fest: Will Ferrell’s Spanish-language comedy Casa de mi Padre and Richard Linklater’s true-crime dark comedy Bernie, starring Jack Black, Matthew McConaughey, and Shirley MacLaine.
Click through to the next page for highlights from the line-up, and head over to the official SXSW Film Festival website for the full list of movies.