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2015 SXSW Film Festival

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Photo courtesy of SXSW

Friday starts the SXSW Film Festival, and I will be there to cover it. Over the past few years SXSW Film Festival, held March 13 - 20th in Austin, Texas has become one of the most important film festivals for low budget and independent films. Its become the place where your film can be discovered and picked up by one of the studios for distribution. Movies such as "Bridesmaids" and "Spring Breakers" got the attention of the film world at this festival.

Here are a few of the films that will be playing at the festival that I hope to see:

Photo courtesy of 20 Century Fox

"Spy" (2015)

This film reunites "Bridesmaids" writer / director Paul Feig with Melissa McCarthy for the third time in this comedy about a desk-bound CIA analyst who volunteers to go undercover to catch an arms dealer who is planning on creating a global disaster. The film is one of the most anticipated comedies of the spring and boasts an outstanding supporting cast in Jude Law, Allison Janney, Jason Statham and Rose Byrne.

"Steve Jobs: Man in the Machine" (2015)

Documentary that explores the legendary Apple founder Steve Jobs, showing both his genius and his short comings → shortcomings. The film is told through interviews with friends and co-workers. Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney has made a lot of noise this past year with his documentary on Scientology called "Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief."

"Love & Mercy" (2015)

Paul Dano plays Beach Boys songwriter / lead Brian Wilson in this bio-pic directed by Bill Pohlad, producer of "Wild" and "12 Years a Slave." The film follows Wilson during his early successful days when the Beach Boys crashed on the musical stage with a unique sound that Wilson had developed. Wilson was a troubled soul and after success of the band got to him, he had a nervous breakdown and had to be treated by controversial therapist Dr. Eugene Landy (Paul Giamatti). John Cusack plays Wilson in his later years.

salt of the earth
Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

"The Salt of the Earth" (2014)

Wim Wenders directs this documentary about the world famous Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado. Salgado has used photography to document through pictures some of the biggest conflicts around the world. The film explores the man and his work, a work that he cares deeply about.

"Manson Family Vacation" (2015)

Two brothers, Nick (Jay Duplass) and Conrad (Lina Philips) could be more different. Nick is a nice, normal family man, and Conrad is a homeless drifter with an obsession about Charles Manson. The two brothers go an unlikely choice for a vacation, a tour of the Manson Family murder sites. J. Davis, a frequent collaborator of the Duplass brothers, is making is feature film directorial debut.

Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures

"Trainwreck" (2015)

Standup comedian Amy Schumer was written and stars in this film directed by Judd Apatow, about a life-long single person (Schumer) who must re-think her stand on love and commitment, when she meets a the man of her dreams (Bill Hader). The impressive supporting cast includes Tilda Swinton, Vanessa Bayer, Daniel Radcliffe and LeBron James.

"Wild Horses" (2015)

Robert Duvall directs this modern-day Western. A female Texas Ranger (Adriana Barraza) reopens a 15-year-old missing person's investigation, convinced that there is a murder behind the mystery. Duvall hasn't directed a drama since his well-received 1997 film "The Apostle."

iZombie — ©2014 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

There are a number of special screenings of classic films and current TV shows. A re-mastered print will showcase the 30th anniversary of the John Hughes classic "The Breakfast Club" with Aly Sheedy and Molly Ringwald in attendance. There will be a screening of George Miller's legendary Sci-Fi classic "The Road Warrior" with Miller doing a Q & A after the film. And just a few days before its premiere on The CW, the cast of "iZombie," including Rose McIver and Malcolm Goodwin, will be walking down the "Red Carpet" before airing a sneak preview of the highly anticipated series.

The SXSW Film Festival is part of SXSW (March 13 - 22), which also includes an Interactive conference and the world-famous SXSW Music Festival. The SXSW Film Festival is March 13 - 20 in Austin Texas. Be sure to check the ATLCW website for my reviews and interviews from the Festival.

For more information about the SXSW, go to

For more of Mike's reviews and interviews click here

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