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‘Beaver’ to premiere at SXSW

'Can't Stop,' 'It's About You' to also debut at fest

Jodie Foster’s drama “The Beaver,” starring Mel Gibson, will world preem March 16 at the SXSW Film Festival.

The Austin, Texas, fest announced Thursday that the event would include the world premieres of Rodman Flender’s “Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop,” Kurt and Ian Markus’ “It’s About You,” Billy Corben’s “Square Grouper” and Ti West’s “The Innkeepers.”

Summit Entertainment announced a month ago that it would open “The Beaver” in limited release March 23 before expanding April 8.

Directed by Foster from a script by Kyle Killen, “The Beaver” centers on a depressed man (Gibson) who finds comfort in a beaver hand puppet. Foster plays his wife, with Anton Yelchin and Riley Thomas Stewart portraying their sons. Jennifer Lawrence (“Winter’s Bone”) also stars; Anonymous Content’s Steve Golin and Keith Redmon produced.

SXSW previously announced that it would launch March 11 with the world premiere of director Duncan Jones’ “Source Code,” starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan and Vera Farmiga. Complete lineup will be announced in early February for the festival, which will run through March 19.

“As we continue to solidify the lineup for 2011, it’s truly exciting to be able to announce this little taste of the program,” said film conference and festival producer Janet Pierson in a statement. “Each of these films really showcases an artist stretching their wings in some way, whether it be a latenight talkshow host taking his act on the road, an actress-filmmaker carefully and beautifully tackling a heartbreaking subject in her finest work yet or a successful photographer trying out a new medium in a new landscape.”

landscape.”

“Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop” follows O’Brien on last year’s “Legally Prohibited From Being Funny on Television Tour.”

“The Innkeepers” focuses on amateur ghost hunters at a haunted historic hotel and stars Sara Paxton, Pat Healy and Kelly McGillis.

“It’s About You” documents John Mellencamp’s summer 2009 tour across America and the recording of his album, “No Better Than This.”

“Square Grouper” is a portrait of Miami’s pot-smuggling scene of the 1970s.

SXSW also said it would hold the North American premiere of Universal’s “Paul,” directed by Greg Mottola from a script by Simon Pegg and Nick Frost.

The thesps, who starred in “Hot Fuzz” and “Shaun of the Dead,” portray sci-fi geeks whose pilgrimage takes them to America’s UFO heartland.

Seth Rogen plays the titular Paul; Jason Bateman, Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader, Blythe Danner, John Carroll Lynch and Sigourney Weaver also star.

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