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SXSW announces midnight, shorts lineup

Festival starts March 8; 106 shorts set to screen

South by Southwest has unveiled nine films for its Midnighters section including Rob Zombie’s “Lords of Salem” along with more than 100 short films for its 20th edition, starting March 8.

“Full of scares, sex, madness, laughs, chills and major mind f*cks, we hope there’s a little something for everyone,” said senior programmer Jarod Neece.

Adam Wingard landed a pair of pics in the Midnighters with “You’re Next” and on “V/H/S/2,” which he co-directed with Gareth Evans. The Midnighters lineup includes Mike Mendez’s “Big Ass Spider!,” E.L. Katz’ “Cheap Thrills,” Vincenzo Natali’s “Haunter,” Xan Cassavetes’ “Kiss of the Damned,” Dennis Iliadis’ “Plus One” and Calvin Lee Reeder’s “The Rambler.”

A total of 106 short films were selected from a record 3,597 short film submissions, up 8% over 2012.

“Every year my admiration for shorts filmmakers grows,” said programmer Claudette Godfrey. “We are continually lucky to share the results of the extreme commitment and heart that goes into the creation of these short films. It was harder than ever to narrow down our final program, but this year’s selections beautifully capture, in a multitude of ways, the essence of existence in this very specific moment, while still managing to provide a much wider and relatable commentary across time.”

South by Southwest unveiled its competition linueps last week as part of announcing 110 features that will screen — including 68 films from first-time filmmakers and 70 world premieres. SXSW will launch March 8 with the previously announced “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone” as its opening night film and one of its five Headliners gala events along with “Spring Breakers,” the rebooted “Evil Dead,” Stephen Finnigan’s doc “Hawking,” a look at the life of Stephen Hawking; and Tim McCanlies’ Christmas comedy “When Angels Sing” with Harry Connick Jr., Willie Nelson, Lyle Lovett and Kris Kristofferson.

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