Timoner’s Russell Brand doc to open SXSW

Dig! director Ondi Timoner's documentary on British comedian and activist Russell Brand (pictured) is to open the SXSW Film Festival in March.
January 8, 2015

Dig! director Ondi Timoner‘s documentary on British comedian and activist Russell Brand (pictured) is to open the SXSW Film Festival in March.

Titled Brand: A Second Coming, the opening night film will focus on the comedian as he “grapples with fame, influence and where we are as a 21st century society,” according to the festival.

The Austin, Texas-based event has also revealed three additional documentary titles set to premiere at the festival, including the first feature doc from Grantland Features – the online publication’s film division.

Titled Son of the Congo, the Adam Hootnick-directed doc – set to bow at the fest on March 14 – will follow Oklahoma City Thunder basketball star Serge Ibaka as he returns to his native Congo and recounts his youth and eventual journey to the U.S.

Following the film’s SXSW premiere, it will run as a five-part series online on Grantland from March 23 to 27, and will also air on ESPN on April 17 at 8 p.m. EST/PST.

Also enjoying world premieres at the festival are Sara Hirsh Bordo’s A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story, which follows the 25-year-old, 58-pound Velazquez as she transforms from cyber-bullying victim to anti-bullying activist, as well as Jessica Edwards’ Mavis!, on the American gospel singer Mavis Staples.

The SXSW Film Festival runs from March 13 to 21.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.