You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Free’ reigns over SXSW film festival

'AMERICANese' wins fest's audience pick

Helming duo Andy Robin and Gregg Kavet’s “Live Free or Die” won the top jury prize at the Southwest Film Conference & Festival at Tuesday night’s kudos ceremony.

Fest, which runs through Saturday at the Austin Convention Center, hands out prizes at its midway point.

Offbeat comedy “Live Free” stars Aaron Stanford, Paul Schneider, Zooey Deschanel, Michael Rapaport and Judah Friedlander in the story of a would-be criminal struggling to escape the dreariness of a northern New Hampshire town.

Helmer Eric Byler’s “AMERICANese” was the SXSW audience’s pick for best film, and also grabbed a special jury prize for ensemble cast. Pic follows the breakup of an Asian-American couple with different backgrounds.

In the nonfiction category, “Jam,” by Mark Woollen took the top docu honor. Pic follows the history of the American Roller Derby League. “Maxed Out” by James Scurlock, an exploration of America’s credit card debt woes, grabbed a special jury award.

Both “Maxed” and “Jam” are being repped here by the Submarine sales banner, which specializes in docs.

“Darkon,” Andrew Neel and Luke Meyer’s look at a world of role-playing gamers who take a realistic, intricate battle game to extremes, was named SXSW’s aud award winner in the docu category.

Helmer Matthew Swanson’s “Hiro” won the jury prize for short.

Alt rockers Sleater-Kinney played the awards night after-party at an Austin warehouse on the eve of SXSW’s music confab kickoff.

In acquisitions news at SXSW, Cinetic Media sold the docu “Patriot Act” to Showtime and Hart Sharp Video. Pic, by Friars Club roastmaster Jeffrey Ross, follows the funnyman as he travels to Iraq on a USO tour, using Bob Hope as an inspiration. Drew Carey, Blake Clarke and Kathy Kinney all make appearances.

Showtime said it will air the pic on Memorial Day. Hart Sharp takes DVD rights in the deal.

Buyers were circling docus including “Jam,” “Darkon,” “Maxed Out” and Annabelle Gurwitch’s “Fired!”

More Film

  • 'Who Will Write Our History' Review:

    Film Review: 'Who Will Write Our History'

    The most famous diarist of the Holocaust, Anne Frank, began to write down the drama of her daily life with no ulterior motive (apart from her teenage ambition to write fiction). But in March 1944, the year before she died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, she heard a radio broadcast by a member of the [...]

  • Spider-Man: Far From Home trailer

    Film News Roundup: 'Spider-Man: Far From Home' Trailer Sets Sony Pictures Record

    In today’s film news roundup, “Spider-Man: Far From Home” sets a studio record, Chris Meledandri and Glenn Close are honored, an art-house streaming service is unveiled, and “Cliffs of Freedom” gets a release. TRAILER STATS The first “Spider-Man: Far From Home” trailer has set a record as the biggest digital launch in Sony Pictures history [...]

  • Frank Grillo Hell on the Border

    Frank Grillo to Star in the Thriller 'Hell on the Border'

    Frank Grillo is set to star in the action-thriller “Hell on the Border” with Wes Miller directing. Miller also penned the script with Curtis Nichouls, Henry Penzi, and Sasha Yelaun producing. Ron Perlman is also on board to co-star. Plot details are unknown at this time. Production is currently underway in Birmingham, Ala. Grillo has [...]

  • Lee Unkrich Variety Oscars Nominees Lunch

    'Toy Story 3,' 'Coco' Director Lee Unkrich to Exit Pixar After 25 Years

    Lee Unkrich, who won Academy Awards for “Toy Story 3” and “Coco,” is departing Pixar Animation Studios after 25 years to spend more time with his family. Unkrich joined Pixar in 1994 after working as an assistant editor in television on “Silk Stalkings” and “Renegade.” He served as editor on Pixar’s first feature, 1995’s “Toy [...]

  • Velvet Buzzsaw trailer

    Netflix Original Movies: What to Look Forward To in 2019

    Following the biggest fourth-quarter worldwide subscriber gain ever and some controversy around increased prices in the U.S., Netflix looks to keep its momentum going into 2019. From Jan. 18 through March, the streaming site will release 10 original films, including action-packed thrillers, a post-apocalyptic sci-fi, quirky comedies, inspirational dramas, an artistic horror movie and a viral [...]

  • Third 'Fantastic Beasts' Production Start Pushed

    Third 'Fantastic Beasts' Production Start Pushed Back Several Months

    Warner Bros. is pushing back the production start date of its third “Fantastic Beasts” movie several months from July to the late fall, a spokesperson said Friday. Actors have been notified about the change in dates. The untitled third “Fantastic Beasts” movie has not yet set a release date. “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find [...]

  • The Beatles Eight Days a Week

    Imagine's Documentary Arm Sets First-Look Pact With Apple (EXCLUSIVE)

    Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s Imagine Documentaries has set a first-look pact with Apple to develop non-fiction features and series. The deal comes as Imagine is investing heavily in the premium non-fiction arena. The company in June recruited RadicalMedia veteran Justin Wilkes to head Imagine Documentaries as president. The deal suggests that Apple sees docu [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content