×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

SXSW Opening With Russell Brand Documentary

South by Southwest has set the world premiere of Ondi Timoner’s Russell Brand documentary “Brand: A Second Coming” as its opening-night film on March 13.

SXSW also announced half a dozen titles for its lineup — Michael Showalter’s comedy “Hello, My Name Is Doris,” starring Sally Field; Karyn Kusama’s thriller “The Invitation”; Jessica Edwards’ Mavis Staples documentary “Mavis!”; Grantland Features’ first film “Son of the Congo,” following NBA star Serge Ibaka’s return to his homeland; Sara Hirsh Bordo’s documentary “A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story”; and the North American premiere of Alex Garland’s directorial debut “Ex Machina,” starring Oscar Isaac.

“Firebrand Ondi Timoner’s bold and lively documentary on Russell Brand knocked us out with its humor, insight and raw energy, pulling back the curtain on a truly passionate figure as he grapples with fame, influence and where we are as a 21st century society,” said SXSW head of film Janet Pierson. “We are thrilled for the film to kick off our event and excited to see our audiences embrace it with the same enthusiasm that shines out of Brand himself.”

In recent years, Brand has shifted his focus from entertainment to serious issues and called for “revolution.” He launched the YouTube series “The Trews: True News with Russell Brand” last February.

The complete SXSW festival lineup will be announced Feb. 3 with the exception of Midnighter features, which will be revealed with the Short Film Program on Feb. 10.

Last year’s festival opened with the world premiere of Jon Favreau’s comedy “Chef.”

SXSW, which is in its 22nd year, will run March 13-21 in Austin, Texas.

Garland’s “Ex Machina” also stars Domhnall Gleeson and Alicia Vikander. A24 is releasing the film in the U.S. on April 10.

“Hello, My Name is Doris” will receive its world premiere at SXSW. Showalter directed from a script he wrote with Laura Terruso about an isolated 60-year-old woman motivated by a self-help seminar to romantically pursue a younger coworker. Max Greenfield and Beth Behrs star with Field.

“The Invitation” is also making its world premiere. Kusama directed from a script by Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi in which a reunion of old friends turns into a nightmare when one guest, a haunted man whose ex-wife is among the hosts, begins to fear that the night is part of a terrifying agenda. The cast includes Logan Marshall-Green, Tammy Blanchard, Michiel Huisman, Emayatzy Corinealdi and Lindsay Burdge.

 

More Film

  • Shailene Woodley probation Dakota Pipeline protest

    Cannes: Infotainment China Media Snaps Up "Misanthrope"

    Chinese sales and distribution company Infotainment China Media has bought the China rights to “Misanthrope,” the new serial killer thriller starring Shailene Woodley, from FilmNation Entertainment at Cannes. Woodley (“Big Little Lies”, the “Divergent” franchise”) will play a cop recruited by the FBI to hunt down a murderer. Damian Szifron (“Wild Tales”) and Jonathan Wakeham [...]

  • Watch Karen O & Danger Mouse’s

    Watch Karen O & Danger Mouse’s ‘Encounter With Lux Prima’ Documentary (EXCLUSIVE)

    Karen O & Danger Mouse’s “Lux Prima” is one of the year’s best albums so far — but it’s more than an album. “An Encounter with Lux Prima – The Art of Collaboration,” a short documentary chronicling the 18-month development of their multisensory art installation “An Encounter With Lux Prima” premieres today exclusively on Variety. [...]

  • Willem Dafoe Talks 'The Lighthouse' and

    Willem Dafoe on His New Films 'The Lighthouse' and 'Tommaso,' Robert Pattinson as Batman

    Willem Dafoe has spent the last two awards seasons on the campaign trail. The actor earned back-to-back Oscar nominations for his work in 2017’s “The Florida Project” and for last year’s “At Eternity’s Gate.” And if the critical reaction to “The Lighthouse” is any indication, he’ll be back on it soon. “The Lighthouse” is director [...]

  • Official First Look at the Women

    'Terminator: Dark Fate': Linda Hamilton, Arnold Schwarzenegger Return in First Trailer

    The Resistance’s war against Skynet rages on with the sixth installment of the “Terminator” series, “Terminator: Dark Fate.” The first trailer for the latest movie dropped on Thursday. The clip opens with two franchise newcomers, Mackenzie Davis and Natalia Reyes, as they’re being pursued by a Terminator (Gabriel Luna), one that seems to have some [...]

  • Malcom McLaren’s Son Joe Corré Preps

    Malcom McLaren’s Son Joe Corré Preps ‘Wake Up Punk’ Feature Doc (EXCLUSIVE)

    Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood’s son Joe Corré has voiced his opposition to a Sex Pistols feature film in the works, and is about to launch his own project, “Wake Up Punk.” The feature documentary will follow events after his decision to burn punk memorabilia worth millions of pounds. John Lydon has already tweeted that [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content