EXCLUSIVE: In the grand tradition of Borat and recent Paramount hit Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa, prank comedy hybrid May The Best Man Win combines narrative storytelling with hidden camera stunts pulled on real folks, starring Drew Tarver of the upcoming …
First deal out of SXSW today is Lionsgate‘s purchase of the North American rights for Eduardo Sanchez‘s Bigfoot feature Exists. Sanchez co-directed the 1999 microbudget title The Blair Witch Project for $60K, which then-distributor Artisan morphed into a worldwide phenom with close to $250 million at the box office. Below is Lionsgate’s release for Exists.
(Austin, TX & Santa Monica, CA, March 8, 2014) — Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF) has acquired North American distribution rights to EXISTS, a new horror film from THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT director Eduardo Sánchez. The film played last night to a sold-out midnight screening at SXSW in Austin.
In Bigfoot’s bold return to the big screen, five friends on a camping weekend in the remote woods of East Texas struggle to survive against a legendary predator that is stronger, smarter, and more terrifying than anything they would have ever believed exists.
The film stars Chris Osborn, Dora Madison Burge, Roger Edwards, Samuel Davis, Denise Williamson and Brian Steele and is produced by Jane Fleming, Mark Ordesky, Robin Cowie and J. Andrew Jenkins. EXISTS is executive produced by George Waud, D. Todd Shepherd, Gregg Hale and Reed Frerichs, and the Sasquatch creature was designed by Spectral Motion.
EXCLUSIVE: Writer-director Mike Flanagan and Intrepid Pictures’ Trevor Macy are reteaming on the supernatural thriller Diver, setting a summer production start. Flanagan will direct a script by Diane Ademu-John and Carter Blanchard with revisions by Flanagan and writing partner Jeff Howard. Macy will produce the film, with Marc D. Evans, Asha Kurian, and Julie Wilke also serving in various producing capacities.
Diver revolves around a secret project based in New Orleans that involves a team sent to enter the minds of the recently dead to experience their final memories in order to solve the most heinous crimes. When the Divers breach the barrier between the living and the dead, they must contend with the supernatural force they unleash.
The documentary about the notorious Mexican drug lord is particularly timely now that Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman has been captured after more than a decade on the run. The Legend Of Shorty chronicles the hunt for the near mythical figure who is alternately described as a brilliant business visionary, …
EXCLUSIVE: Genre pics are a hot commodity on the fest circuit and here’s an exclusive first look at one SXSW Midnighters title to watch this week. Alexandra Essoe stars in Starry Eyes as Sarah, a wannabe starlet in L.A. who lands a lead role in a film only to find herself undergoing a series of terrifying mental and physical transformations. Pic is written and directed by longtime collaborators Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer, whose credits include 2003′s Postcards from the Future: The Chuck Palahniuk Documentary. For Starry Eyes the duo teamed up with Snowfort Pictures producer Travis Stevens (Cheap Thrills, Jodorowsky’s Dune) and turned to Kickstarter to raise funds. Amanda Fuller (Last Man Standing), Fabianne Therese (John Dies At The End), Noah Segan (Looper), Shane Coffey (Pretty Little Liars), and Pat Healy (Cheap Thrills) also star in the psychological body horror pic which will be looking to make an impression on buyers next week in Austin.
“In today’s world, people gauge their own celebrity by the amount of followers they have on Twitter, by how many ‘Likes’ they get on Facebook,” said co-director Widmyer. “We’re living in an age where everyone wants to feel famous. So we wanted to focus on a young woman caught up in that hunger, that is given an opportunity to do something horrible to attain her dreams, and she dives in head first.”
David Gordon Green directed Nicolas Cage in the adaptation of Larry Brown’s novel, about an Southern ex-con trying to stay out of trouble. Spoiler alert: He can’t, especially after befriending a hard-luck kid (Tye Sheridan) he tries to protect from an evil father. Sheridan won the Best Newcomer prize …
A keynote session with The Amazing Spider-Man 2 helmer Marc Webb leads the final lineup for the 2014 SXSW Film Conference slate which also includes chats with filmmakers Jason Bateman (Bad Words), Mike Myers (Supermensch) moderated by Jon Favreau, Ralph Steadman (For No Good Reason), and actors Robert Duvall and Tilda Swinton. The SXSW Film Festival runs March 7-15:
The Wagner/Cuban Company’s Magnet Releasing snagged U.S. rights to horror comedy musical Stage Fright, which is set to debut next month at SXSW. The Midnighters premiere from first-time feature director Jerome Sable (The Legend of Beaver Dam) stars Allie MacDonald and Douglas Smith in the tale of a starry-eyed teenager with Broadway dreams who sneaks out of kitchen duty at the snobby performing arts camp where she works to audition for the summer showcase and lands the lead, only to find herself in the middle of a bloodbath when rehearsals begin. Meat Loaf and Minnie Driver also co-star. Magnet is planning an Ultra VOD release with Stage Fright hitting iTunes/On Demand on April 3 ahead of a May 9 theatrical debut. The pic is produced by Ari Lantos and Jonas Bell Pasht of Serendipity Point Films. Original music and lyrics are by Sable and collaborator Eli Batalion, who also appears in the film as the camp’s music director. For a taste of Sable’s chops check out his 2010 Legend of Beaver Dam short which made the film fest rounds and similarly blended music, dark comedy, and children being hacked up at camp:
The final wave of programming set to unspool at SXSW next month will include Midnighter selections The Guest, starring Downton Abbey‘s Dan Stevens and directed by Adam Wingard (You’re Next), 13 Sins from Daniel Stamm (The Last Exorcism), Late Phases from Adrián García Bogliano (Here Comes the Devil), and Mike Flanagan‘s Oculus, the festival announced today. Today’s newly unveiled genre and shorts slate round out SXSW 2014′s full film lineup, which includes already-announced premieres for Universal’s Neighbors, Jon Favreau’s Chef, the Veronica Mars movie, and David Gordon Green’s Joe. Scroll down for the full Midnighters and Shorts program:
Director: Adam Wingard, Screenwriter: Simon Barrett
A soldier on leave befriends the family of a fallen comrade, only to become a threat to all around him when it’s revealed he’s hiding dangerous secrets from his past.
Cast: Dan Stevens, Maika Monroe, Leland Orser, Lance Reddick, Sheila Kelley
Director/Screenwriter: Daniel Stamm, Screenwriter: David Birke
A cryptic phone call sets off a dangerous game of risks for Elliot, a down-on-his luck salesman. The game promises increasing rewards for completing 13 tasks, each more sinister than the last.
Cast: Mark Webber, Rutina Wesley, Devon Graye, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Richard Burgi, Tom Bower, Ron Perlman (World Premiere)
Among The Living (France)
Director/Screenwriter: Julien Maury, Alexandre Bustillo
After horror favorites Inside and Livid, Maury and Bustillo pair up again for a horror-thriller at the cross roads between Stand by Me and Friday the13th. Cast: Anne Marivin, Béatrice Dalle, Francis Renaud, Fabien Jegoudez, Nicolas Giraud (World Premiere)
Director: Eduardo Sánchez, Screenwriter: Jamie Nash
Five friends on a camping weekend in the remote woods of East Texas struggle to survive against a legendary beast that is stronger, smarter and more terrifying than they would have ever believed exists. Cast: Chris Osborn, Dora Madison Burge, Roger Edwards, Denise Williamson, Samuel Davis (World Premiere)
SXSW: ‘Neighbors,’ ‘Joe,’ Wes Anderson Q&A Round Out Features Lineup; New Episodic TV Section Unveiled
Universal’s May comedy Neighbors, David Gordon Green’s Nic Cage starrer Joe, and Mike Myers’ directorial debut docu Supermensch are just a few of the newly announced titles set to screen at SXSW 2014, which debuted its full Features line-up today. They join previously announced opener Chef, from Jon Favreau, the world premiere of the Veronica Mars movie in a slate packed with over 115 features, 76 world premieres, 10 North American premieres, including the latest films from Alejandro Jodorowsky (The Dance of Reality), Jason Bateman (Bad Words), Nacho Vigalondo (Open Windows), a special screening of 1954′s original Gojira with Q&A with Godzilla remake helmer Gareth Edwards, and a rare Texas appearance by UT grad Wes Anderson who will present his new film Grand Budapest Hotel in an extended Q&A session.
In recent years SXSW has increased its television-focused programming, debuting SXSW alum Lena Dunham‘s Girls in 2012 and presenting a Bates Motel panel in 2013. This year the Austin film fest is introducing an entire Episodic programming section devoted to small screen works. In addition to a previously announced screening of Fox’s COSMOS: A SpaceTime Odyssey with Neil deGrasse Tyson, the Episodic section will include Hulu and Lionsgate TV’s supernatural comedy Deadbeat starring Tyler Labine with cast and crew Q&A, a screening of El Rey and Robert Rodriguez’s From Dusk Till Dawn pilot, AMC’s 1980s-set computer drama Halt and Catch Fire, Showtime’s John Logan-created Penny Dreadful, and HBO’s new sitcom Silicon Valley co-created by Mike Judge.