Wednesday, July 18, 2018
  • Thursday, Jan. 5, 2017
SXSW Film Festival To Open With Terrence Malick's "Song To Song"
Pictured (l-r) are Rooney Mara, Michael Fassbender, and Ryan Gosling in Terrence Malick’s “Song To Song,” a Broad Green Pictures release (photo by Van Redin/courtesy of Broad Green Pictures)
  • NEW YORK (AP)
  • --

Terrence Malick, whose films have regularly made gala premieres at the top European film festivals, will debut his latest in his Texas hometown of Austin.

Malick’s long-awaited Song to Song, recently retitled from Weightless, will open the 24th South by Southwest Film Festival on March 10, the festival announced Thursday. The film, starring Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara, Michael Fassbender and Natalie Portman, is a modern love story set against the Austin music scene.

The Austin-based Malick, whose films were once typically spaced by several years, released two films in 2016: Knight of Cups and the IMAX movie Voyage of Time.

Broad Green pictures will release “Song to Song” on March 17.

SXSW also unveiled select titles to premiere at the 2017 event, showcasing the diverse range of styles that together embody the unique spirit of SXSW culture. Festival highlights just announced include Eshom and Ian Nelms’ hybrid action thriller with dark humor, Small Town Crime; Jeff Malmberg and Chris Shellen’s lyrical portrait of a tiny hill town in Tuscany, Spettacolo, their second feature after their award-winning Marwencol; first time filmmaker Jennifer Reeder’s coming-of-age Muslim melodrama Signature Move starring Fawzia Mirza, and Latin American phenomenon René Pérez Joglar’s chronicle of his global exploration of his genetic roots in Residente

In SXSW’s Episodic section will be the world premiere of American Gods, directed by David Slade. The first of many projects in SXSW Film’s new VR/AR strand is Viacom NEXT’s The Melody of Dust, an invitation inside the tortured mind of an artist.

Janet Pierson, SXSW's director of film, said, “Terrence Malick is a world class revered cinematic poet. His work is a treasure trove of talented actors and vision. Set in the Austin music scene, Song to Song couldn’t be a more perfect Opening Night film for SXSW. While these titles are just a taste of what SXSW 2017 will offer, they reflect the range of work we are known for, from newcomers and auteurs to pop entertainment in traditional cinema, episodics and now VR.”

The complete film festival lineup will be announced Tuesday, January 31, with the exception of Midnighter features, which will be revealed with the Short Film and VR Program on Tuesday, February 7.

The 2017 SXSW Film Festival will feature:

American Gods (World Premiere)
Director: David Slade, Screenwriters/Showrunners: 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.
Cast: 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.
Cast: 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, Texas 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.
Cast: 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.

Now in its 24th year, SXSW Film brings together creatives of all stripes over nine days to experience a diverse lineup and access to thousands of Conference sessions with visionaries from all corners of the entertainment and media industries. Previously announced Keynotes and Featured Speakers include Lee Daniels, Gareth Edwards, Kathryn Hahn, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, Jill Soloway and more. 

Founded in 1987 in Austin, Texas, SXSW is best known for its conference and festivals that celebrate the convergence of the interactive, film and music industries. SXSW 2017 will take place March 10-19, 2017.

SXSW is an official qualifying festival for the Academy Awards® Short Film Competition. The Best Narrative Short, Best Documentary Short and Best Animated Short winners become eligible for the Academy Awards.

Category: