SXSW ’18 adds Jason Outenreath doc; unveils doc shorts lineup

The Austin-set SXSW Film Festival has unveiled the remainder of its film festival program, including the documentary shorts tract and a new project from budding director Jason Outenreath. Outenreath’s They Live ...
February 8, 2018

The Austin-set SXSW Film Festival has unveiled the remainder of its film festival program, including the documentary shorts tract and a new project from budding director Jason Outenreath.

Outenreath’s They Live Here, Now (pictured), which documents the people living in one of the most prominent refugee houses in the U.S., has been added to screen in competition at the nine-day film festival. Check out a trailer below:

The 25th edition of the festival, running March 9-18 in Texas, will also see 118 short films, indie episodics, and music videos added to its all-encompassing slate, selected from 5,410 submissions.

Included in the Documentary Shorts program will be Marshall Curry‘s A Night at The Garden, in which thousands of Americans gathered at New York’s Madison Square Garden ahead of World War II to support Nazism; and Garrett Bradley’s The Earth is Humming, profiling the earthquake preparedness industry in Japan.

In addition, SXSW has expanded its Virtual Cinema section. The 26 projects emphasize storytelling, ingenuity and also showcase how other industries are embracing this new medium.

“After last year’s successful launch of our Virtual Cinema, we are doubling its footprint so that even more of our attendees can see this amazing work,” said Blake Kammerdiener, VR programmer, in a statement. “The industry leaders and independent creators working in the immersive arts will change your perspective on what storytelling means.”

A comprehensive list of the Documentary Short program, plus late-addition documentary features and non-fiction episodics, follows below.

Shining a light on new documentary features receiving their World, North American or U.S. premieres at SXSW.

They Live Here, Now
Director/Screenwriter: Jason Outenreath
Austin based refugee house, Casa Marianella, is one of the most prominent refugee houses in the United States, providing life saving services for thousands of immigrants each year. Meet the people who live here now. (World Premiere)

Showcasing the sounds, culture and influence of music and musicians, with an emphasis on documentary.

Being Frank: The Chris Sievey Story (United Kingdom)
Director/Screenwriter: Steve Sullivan
The hilarious and bizarre story of Frank Sidebottom, the cult British comedian in a papier mâché head, and the secretive life of Chris Sievey, the artist trapped inside. (World Premiere)

Slices of life from across the documentary spectrum.

The Earth is Humming
Director: Garrett Bradley
In Japan, earthquake preparedness is a way of life — and a full-blown industry. (World Premiere)

The Coffin Club (New Zealand)
Director: Briar March, Screenwriter: Kim Harrop, Nick Ward, Briar March
A group of rebellious, creative Kiwi seniors give death the finger, one crazy coffin at a time. (North American Premiere)

Dead. Tissue. Love. (United Kingdom)
Director: Natasha Austin-Green
Dead. Tissue. Love. is an intimate experimental documentary exploring the character of a female necrophile, as she recounts her life experiences and sexual awakening. (U.S. Premiere)

Death Metal Grandma
Director: Leah Galant, Screenwriters: Sean Weiner, Leah Galant
Death Metal Grandma follows 97-year-old Holocaust survivor, Inge Ginsberg, who has decided to break out as a singer of Death Metal music. (World Premiere)

Lonesome Willcox
Directors: Ryan Maxey, Zack Wright
Willcox, Arizona is a country music town that isn’t what it used to be. The town’s only radio station has but one employee – a local pariah who lives in the studio, and has a complicated and difficult relationship with the music he plays every day. (World Premiere)

My Dead Dad’s Porno Tapes (Canada)
Director: Charlie Tyrell, Screenwriters: Josef Beeby, Charlie Tyrell
Filmmaker Charlie Tyrell seeks to better understand his emotionally distant late-father through the random objects he left behind, including a stack of tacky, 1980s VHS pornography.

A Night at The Garden
Director: Marshall Curry
Months before the start of World War II, 22,000 Americans gathered in New York’s Madison Square Garden to rally in support of Nazism.

On My Way Out: The Secret Life of Nani and Popi (Canada)
Directors: Brandon Gross, Skyler Gross
Ruth (Nani) and Roman (Popi) are Holocaust survivors married for 65 years. After six decades of marriage, a painful truth tests their enduring union. Brandon and Skyler Gross’ moving portrait of their grandparents raises more questions than it answers. (U.S. Premiere)

Roadside Attraction
Directors: Patrick Bresnan, Ivete Lucas
Palm Beach International Airport’s newest snowbird has become one of the fastest growing roadside attractions in the United States.

Santa Ana
Director: César Pesquera, Screenwriters: Kako Mendez, Christian Lopez, César Pesquera
Part art-film, part documentary, Santa Ana aims to elucidate the link between evil and the famed Santa Ana winds, extremely dry down-slope winds in Southern California supposedly responsible for a tense, uneasy, wrathful mood among the people.

Sister Hearts
Director: Mohammad Gorjestani
Maryam Uloho spent thirteen years in prison in Louisiana. After her release in 2013, she was homeless and lived as a squatter for over 2 years. This experience led her to discover her lifelong mission: To help incarcerated women re-enter society. (World Premiere)

The Terrorist Hunter (Canada, United States)
Director/Screenwriter: Ann Shin
The Terrorist Hunter follows controversial spy Rita Katz, lauded by some for her work fighting terrorism, and criticized by others who say she creates terrorist plots where none exist. The film explores how fear and terror play out in our society. (World Premiere)

Xavier Corbero: Portrait of an Artist in Winter (Spain, United Kingdom)
Director: Nathalie Biancheri
The first and last glimpse into the universe of iconic Spanish sculptor Xavier Corberó. A kaleidoscopic life and career that traversed a turbulent moment of Spanish history. (World Premiere)

An assortment of stories told using traditional animation, computer-generated effects, stop-motion, and everything in-between.

People of Color
Director: Raghav Arumugam
An animated documentary about race and perception in America. (World Premiere)

Innovative and new independent web series, pilots and docs aimed squarely at the small screen.

Directors/Screenwriters: Flora Birnbaum, Sarah Scarlett Downing
A jaded Los Angeles thirty-something goes on a magical juice cleanse to fix her life. (World Premiere)

Hold To Your Best Self
Director/Screenwriter: Emily Hagins
Over the course of a prom night, young adults tackle big questions concerning identity, relationships, self-esteem, and the future – their adolescent ideas and expectations are fundamentally challenged by high school coming to an end. (World Premiere)

She’s the Ticket
Director: Nadia Hallgren
Five different women from around the country see Donald Trump get elected to the presidency on November 8th, 2016 and decide to do something about it. Run for office.

The immersive arts are finding new ways to enhance our ability to perceive the world that surrounds us, and in many instances they are redefining how we experience the world. The 27 projects presented in our new Virtual Cinema emphasize storytelling, ingenuity and also showcase how other industries are embracing this new medium.

Discover an ever-changing virtual landscape created by Viacom NEXT and Isobar (with Tilt Brush art by Danny Bittman), where a volumetric 3D model of two-time Grammy award winning artist Billy Corgan sings and plays the piano to his single Aeronaut. (World Premiere)

The Atrium
Director: Brian Solomon, Screenwriters: Brian Solomon, James Longmire
The Atrium, Meow Wolf’s first mixed reality installation, builds on the story of the acclaimed immersive exhibition, House of Eternal Return. Voyage through the surreal lullaby of the multiverse — and unravel a mystery spanning multiple dimensions. (World Premiere)

Awake: Episode One (Australia, United States)
Director: Martin Taylor, Screenwriters: Martin Taylor, Mike Jones, Christian Cantamessa
Harry is a prisoner in his own house, obsessed with discovering the truth behind a recurring dream and a cryptic message within it. The arrival of a new presence promises to save Harry from his darkness and unlock the potential of humanity’s future. (World Premiere)

Beethoven’s Fifth (United Kingdom, United States)
Director: Jessica Brillhart, Screenwriters: Jessica Brillhart, Esa-Pekka Salonen
Journey into interstellar space with a performance of Beethoven’s Fifth by the Philharmonia Orchestra, London – conducted by Principal Conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen. The film was inspired by content on Voyager’s Golden Record, launched by NASA in 1977. (U.S. Premiere)

Director: Tyler Hurd
Transform into fantastical female warriors in this social virtual reality experience. Six people can band together to battle evil in this epic journey of empowerment, all orchestrated to the song “Chorus” by Justice. (World Premiere)

Dinner Party
Director: Angel Manuel Soto, Screenwriters: Charlotte Stoudt, Laura Wexler
Dinner Party, the pilot episode for a true-life supernatural anthology series The Incident, is a 3D virtual reality experience based on the true story of Betty and Barney Hill, an interracial couple who in 1961 reported the first known UFO abduction.

Everything Flows (China, United States)
Director: Yumeng Du
Everything Flows is a VR film experience that presents time and space in an artistic way. It invites you to a journey of Director’s hometown, Wuhan, China. It is a mixture of painting, video capture, sounds, dreaming, memory, and reality. (World Premiere)

The Evolution of Testicles (United States, Ireland, United Kingdom)
Director: Ryan Hartsell
A testicular romp through the evolution of man told via CGI, a giant testicle-shaped hot air balloon, and narrator Chris O’Dowd—all in the name of bringing awareness to male cancer prevention. (World Premiere)

The Four Worlds (United States, Australia)
Directors: Jonathan Zawada, Mark Pitchard
The Four Worlds consists of four installations comprised of looping VR experiences augmented with extra sensory stimulation IRL. Each scene is a microcosm of a different environment, accompanied by an exquisite soundtrack by Mark Pritchard. (World Premiere)

Director: Michael Jacobs
An immersive 360 experimental film that offers a first-person experience of going on a date with a sex worker. (World Premiere)

Greenland Melting
Directors: Catherine Upin, Nonny de la Peña, Screenwriters: Catherine Upin, Nonny de la Peña, Julia Cort, Caitlin Saks, Carla Borras
NASA scientists are studying a troubling cause, Greenland is melting faster and faster. Using cutting edge VR technology, people can experience standing in front of a glacier, traveling underwater, and flying over some of the world’s stunning scenery. (North American Premiere)

Hold The World (United Kingdom)
Director: Dan Smith
Hold the World (“HTW”) is a world-first interactive VR entertainment experience hosted by Sir David Attenborough at the London’s Natural History Museum. (North American Premiere)

The Journey (United States, Chad, Ethiopia, South Sudan, United Kingdom)
Director: Charlotte Mikkelborg
The Journey through childhood in three of the toughest environments on Earth. Our three children will take you on a sensory journey into their worlds – where not only sight and sound but taste, smell and touch immerse you in their past present and future. (World Premiere)

Living With Jaguars (Canada)
Directors: Patrick McGuire, Jeff Orlowski, Screenwriter: Kate Lunau
Living With Jaguars is an interactive virtual reality film documenting wild jaguars in Brazil. Users explore the complex and interconnected perspectives of four key stakeholders: jaguars, ranchers, conservation researchers, and ecotourism operators. (World Premiere)

MONO – Blackwater
Director: Ben Wolstenholme, Screenwriters: Ben Wolstenholme, Felipe Marino, Anthony Brock
MONO, the former assassin to the queen and legendary ape-man, returns from exile to save his daughter, and reluctantly, Mankind. (World Premiere)

One Eighty (United States, India)
Director: Eren Aksu
One Eighty is the story of an Indian mother, Vijai Kumari, who spent 20 years behind bars, and her son, Kanhaiya Kumari, who was born in prison…and their quest to clear their names and live in freedom. (World Premiere)

Parragirls Past, Present – unlocking institutional memories of ‘care’ (Australia)
Directors: Media artists and Parragirls, Parragirls/Parramatta Female Factory Precinct Memory Project, Screenwriters: Bonney Djuric, Lily Hibberd, Jenny McNally
Parragirls Past, Present is a deeply moving immersive experience presenting former residents’ contemporary visions of Parramatta Girls Home to unlock memories of institutional ‘care’ within the punitive Australian child welfare system. (North American Premiere)

RONE (Australia)
Director: Lester Francois
A distinctive portrait in VR of street artist Rone, whose stunning large-scale portraits are often seen in forgotten spaces. A mix of 360′ video and a virtual art gallery to explore, RONE will draw you into the world of street art like never before. (North American Premiere)

Sanctuaries of Silence
Directors: Adam Loften, Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee
Sanctuaries of Silence is an immersive listening journey into Olympic National Park, one of the quietest places in North America.

Space x Girl (Republic of Korea)
Director: Minhyuk Che
A story about a girl and her space. The girl has a special sense of feeling the heart of the space. One day the space of the girl begins a conversation. It is about her memories that she was not aware of. (World Premiere)

Spheres: Songs of Spacetime
Director/Screenwriter: Eliza McNitt
Dive into the heart of a black hole and uncover the hidden songs of the cosmos. In this VR experience, the breakthrough discovery of gravitational waves transforms how we see the Universe. Fall into the darkness, and you will find the light.

Summation of Force (Australia)
Directors: Trent Parke, Narelle Autio, Matthew Bate, Screenwriters: Trent Parke, Narelle Autio In a moonlit suburban backyard, two brothers battle one another in an otherworldly game of cricket in this stunning black and white live-action study of the motion, physics, and psychology of sport. Created by photographers Trent Parke and Narelle Autio, in collaboration with filmmaker Matthew Bate, this VR artwork offers a cosmic, darkly beautiful, and dreamlike metaphor for life.

Sun Ladies VR
Directors: Celine Tricart, Christian Stephen
In 2014, ISIS invaded Iraq and targeted the Yazidi community. The men were killed, and the women taken as sex slaves. Some of the ones who escaped decided to join the Kurdistan army and started a female-only fighting unit called the Sun Ladies.

Tiniest Tremor
Directors: Nicholas Manting Brewer, Megan Simon
An emotionally immersive and visually poetic journey into the issue of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome through the story of a woman who suffered from substance abuse disorder to Opioids and her child. (World Premiere)

Director: Terrence Malick
Together is a VR experience about the power of human connection. The piece fuses dance and technology, putting the viewer in the middle of an emotional narrative about breaking down barriers and bringing people closer. (World Premiere)

We’re Still Here
Director: Jesse Ayala
Aiden Short Cloud, a Two-Spirit artist and historian in Boise, Idaho, struggles to preserve and revive his heritage in a race against time. (World Premiere)

Wonderful You VR (United Kingdom)
Director: John Durrant
Wonderful You VR, a Virtual Reality experience narrated by Academy Award nominee Samantha Morton, is a journey through the strange world of your developing senses: sight, sound, touch, taste and smell. (North American Premiere)

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