The South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Conference and Festival will open with the world premiere of Ondi Timoner’s BRAND: A Second Coming, a documentary on comedian, author and activist Russell Brand, on Friday, March 13, 2015.
SXSW also divulged a handful of titles to premiere at the 2015 event, showcasing the diverse range of spirited, inspiring topics and filmmaking styles SXSW is known for. Additional films announced include Michael Showalter’s savvy comedy, Hello, My Name is Doris, starring Sally Field, award-winning filmmaker Karyn Kusama’s taut thriller, The Invitation, Jessica Edwards’ Mavis!, a roof-raising celebration of legendary singer Mavis Staples, Grantland Features’ first film, Son of the Congo, following NBA star Serge Ibaka’s return to his homeland and directed by Adam Hootnick, A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story from director Sara Hirsh Bordo tracing Lizzie’s journey from cyberbullying victim to influential activist, and the North American premiere of Alex Garland’s eagerly-awaited directorial debut, Ex Machina, starring Oscar Isaac.
The 2015 SXSW Film Festival will feature:
BRAND: A Second Coming (World Premiere)
Director: Ondi Timoner
BRAND: A Second Coming follows comedian/author Russell Brand’s evolution from addict & Hollywood star to unexpected political disruptor & newfound hero to the underserved. Brand is criticized for egomaniacal self-interest as he calls for revolution.
A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story (World Premiere)
Director: Sara Hirsh Bordo
From the producers of the most viewed TEDWomen event of 2013 comes A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story, a documentary following the inspiring journey of 25-year-old, 58-pound Lizzie from cyber-bullying victim to anti-bullying activist.
Ex Machina (North American Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Alex Garland
Alex Garland, writer of 28 Days Later and Sunshine, makes his directorial debut with the stylish and cerebral thriller Ex Machina, starring Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac and Alicia Vikander. Cast: Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac, Alicia Vikander
Hello, My Name is Doris (World Premiere)
Director: Michael Showalter, Screenwriters: Michael Showalter, Laura Terruso
An isolated 60-year-old woman is motivated by a self-help seminar to romantically pursue a younger coworker, causing her to stumble into the spotlight of the Brooklyn hipster social scene. Cast: Sally Field, Max Greenfield, Beth Behrs
The Invitation (World Premiere)
Director: Karyn Kusama, Screenwriters: Phil Hay, Matt Manfredi
A reunion of old friends turns into a nightmare when one guest, a haunted man whose ex-wife is among the hosts, begins to fear that the night is part of a terrifying agenda. Cast: Logan Marshall-Green, Tammy Blanchard, Michiel Huisman, Emayatzy Corinealdi, Lindsay Burdge
Mavis! (World Premiere)
Director: Jessica Edwards
Her family group, the Staple Singers, inspired millions and helped propel the civil rights movement with their music. After 60 years of performing, legendary singer Mavis Staples’ message of love and equality is needed now more than ever.
Son of the Congo (World Premiere / SXsports screening)
Director/Screenwriter: Adam Hootnick
Serge Ibaka’s improbable journey has taken him from the violence of Congo to the top of the NBA. In Son of the Congo, Ibaka returns home, hoping his basketball success can help rebuild a country and inspire a new generation to dream of a better life.