Organizers of the 2011 South by Southwest Film Conference and Festival (SXSW) have revealed this year’s complete features line-up, including eight documentaries that will vie for the Grand Jury Prize and editing, cinematography, and music awards.
The nine-day film fest will showcase 130 feature films, including 60 world premieres and 49 documentaries, and is heavy on emerging directing talent. The eight docs screening in the competition were chosen from 808 submissions and all are world premieres. Across all categories, this year’s submissions were up 23% over 2010 with just under 4,900 in total.
Here is the listing of the eight documentaries screening in competition at this year’s festival, with descriptions provided by SXSW:
Director: Sally Rowe
Considered a rising star of haute cuisine, Paul Liebrandt (pictured above) found his career stalled in New York’s austere environment post 9/11. Paul struggles over the next decade as he tries to make his way back to the top.
Better This World
Directors: Katie Galloway & Kelly Duane de la Vega
Two childhood friends from Midland, Texas cross a line that changes their lives forever. The result: eight homemade bombs, multiple domestic terrorism charges and a high stakes entrapment defense hinging on a controversial FBI informant.
The City Dark
Director: Ian Cheney
The film chronicles the disappearance of darkness, following astronomers, cancer researchers, ecologists and philosophers in a quest to understand what is lost in the glare of city lights.
Director: Tristan Patterson
Killer Films presents the transmissions of a lost kid, falling in love, in the suburbs of Fullerton, California. Featuring skateboarding, the usual drugs, and stray glimpses of unusual beauty.
Directors: Michael Tucker, Petra Epperlein
A documentary about the art and sport of fighting: a microcosm of life, a physical manifestation of that other brutal contest called the American Dream.
Director: Vikram Gandhi
A documentary about a man who impersonates a wise Indian Guru and builds a following in Arizona.
Last Days Here
Directors: Don Argott & Demian Fenton
The film follows middle-aged rocker Bobby Liebling, lead singer of the cult hard rock/heavy metal band Pentagram, as he leaves his parents’ basement in search of the life he never lived.
Where Soldiers Come From
Director: Heather Courtney
From a snowy small town in Northern Michigan to the mountains of Afghanistan and back, the film follows the four-year journey of childhood friends and their town, forever changed by a faraway war.
The films are among 49 documentary features screening in the Headliners, Spotlight Premieres, Emerging Visions, Lone Star States, 24 Beats Per Second, IDFA DocLab presents New Documentary Narratives, SX Global and Festival Favorites programs.
Rodman Flender’s Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop, about the beleaguered talk show host’s year on the stand-up circuit following his public dismissal from The Tonight Show is the lone doc in the Headliners program.
A handful of Sundance 2011 titles are in the Festival Favorites program, including Constance Marks’ Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey; Morgan Spurlock’s The Greatest Movie Ever Sold; Andrew Rossi’s Page One: A Year Inside The New York Times and Grand Jury Prize winner How To Die In Oregon. Werner Herzog’s Cave of Forgotten Dreams, Errol Morris’ Tabloid and Mark Cousin’s The First Movie are also screening.
For the complete SXSW 2011 film program, visit the festival’s website. The festival takes place March 11 – 19, 2011 in Austin, Texas.