By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood January 12, 2012 at 3:00PM
Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard's horror production "The Cabin in the Woods" (Lionsgate, April 13) will open the 2012 South by Southwest Film Festival, which runs March 9 – 17, 2012 in Austin, Texas. Whedon will also participate in a key Conversation at the conference on March 10. And SXSW will premiere the first three episodes of SXSW discovery Lena Dunham's ten-part HBO series "Girls" (April) along with a March 13 panel on the series featuring producer Judd Apatow and writer-director-actress Dunham.
Produced and co-written by genre writer Whedon, "The Cabin in the Woods" is "Lost" and "Alias" writer Drew Goddard’s directing debut--and deconstruction of the horror paradigm as five young adults embark on a party weekend at an abandoned country cabin. The film stars Kristen Connolly, Fran Kranz, Anna Hutchison, Chris Hemsworth, Jesse Williams, Richard Jenkins, and Bradley Whitford.
Additional SXSW films include Kevin Macdonald’s Bob Marley documentary, "Marley"; "Small Apartments," a dark comedy from music video director Jonas Åkerlund; Neil Berkeley’s doc "Beauty is Embarrassing," about artist Wayne White; and Ernst Lubitsch's silent comedy "The Oyster Princess" (1919) will screen with an original live score by Bee vs. Moth.
“We're especially thrilled to have such a smart, unpredictable and highly entertaining headliner like 'The Cabin in the Woods' as our Opening Night film,” said SXSW Film Conference and Festival Producer Janet Pierson. “We're also happy to offer a peek at a handful of wonderful films that demonstrate the breadth and range of terrific work we plan to show at SXSW Film 2012.”
The fest will announce its full lineup and panels in addition to conversations with Cliff Martinez ("Drive" composer) and Kevin Smith in early February 2012.
The 2012 SXSW Film Festival will feature:
Beauty is Embarrassing (World Premiere)
Director: Neil Berkeley
A funny, irreverent and insightful look into the life and times of one of America's most important artists, Wayne White.
The Cabin in the Woods (World Premiere)
Director: Drew Goddard, Writers: Joss Whedon & Drew Goddard
Five friends go to a remote cabin in the woods. Bad things happen. If you think you know this story, think again. From fan favorites Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard comes The Cabin in the Woods, a mind-blowing horror film that turns the genre inside out. Cast: Kristen Connolly, Fran Kranz, Anna Hutchison, Chris Hemsworth, Jesse Williams, Richard Jenkins, and Bradley Whitford
CITADEL (World Premiere)
Director & Writer: Ciarán Foy
An agoraphobic father teams up with a renegade priest to save his daughter from the clutches of a gang of twisted feral children. Cast: Anuerin Barnard, James Cosmo, and Wumni Mosaku, Jake Wilson, Amy Shiels
GIRLS (World Premiere)
Director & Writer: Lena Dunham
Created by and starring Lena Dunham (Tiny Furniture), the HBO show is a comic look at the assorted humiliations and rare triumphs of a group of girls in their early 20s. Cast: Lena Dunham, Allison Williams, Jemima Kirke, Zosia Mamet, Adam Driver
MARLEY (North American Premiere)
Director: Kevin Macdonald
The definitive documentary on the life, music, and legacy of Bob Marley.
The Oyster Princess (1919) with original live score by Bee vs. Moth (World Premiere)
Director: Ernst Lubitsch, Writers: Hanns Kraly & Ernst Lubitsch
The Oyster Princess is Ernst Lubitsch’s tart 1919 silent comedy that parodies the rich and the spoiled. Austin jazz/rock band Bee vs. Moth performs their original score live with the film for the first time.
Small Apartments (World Premiere)
Director: Jonas Åkerlund, Writer: Chris Millis
When Franklin Franklin accidentally kills his landlord, he must hide the body; but, the wisdom of his beloved brother and the quirks of his neighbors, force him on a journey where a fortune awaits him. Cast: Matt Lucas, Billy Crystal, James Caan, Johnny Knoxville, Juno Temple, James Marsden, Dolph Lundgren, Saffron Burrows, Rosie Perez, DJ Qualls