12 Films Not to Miss at SXSW Film Festival 2015: Part Two


It’s just two days until the SXSW Film Festival kicks off in Austin, Texas – and it’s hard to know where to begin with the absolutely incredible lineup that – as usual – fills its program. Last year, both Boyhood and The Grand Budapest Hotel had premiere screenings at the festival and went on to win a myriad of Oscars and other prizes! So it’s certainly a festival that everyone has their eye on. Here are the final six films we’ll be keeping a close eye on during the festival… if you missed the first part of this article, check it out HERE.


Film: “Mania Days”
Director: Paul Dalio
Cast: Katie Holmes, Luke Kirby, Christine Lahti, Griffin Dunne, Bruce Altman

Executive produced by the one and only Spike Lee, this film marks the Directorial debut of Paul Dalio, and the pitch is that the film – starring Katie Holmes and Luke Kirby as Carla and Marco – is about manic depressives. Everything we’ve seen about this film so far makes it look like an impressive production – and with Spike Lee behind it, you’d surely expect no less. But we’ll have to wait until Monday to find out!

The world premiere takes place at Alamo Lamar B at 9.15pm on Monday, March 16th.


Film: “Turbo Kid”
Director: RKSS Collective
Cast: Michael Ironside, Munro Chambers, Laurence Leboeuf, Edwin Wright, Aaron Jeffrey

This post-apocalyptic action comedy looks like it may just be the coolest film in the SXSW lineup, to say the least. Watch the trailer and see for yourself:

Screens on Tuesday, March 17 at 11.59pm at the Alamo Ritz


Film: “Deathgasm”
Director: Jason Lei Howden
Cast: Milo Cawthorne, James Blake, Kimberley Crossman, Stephen Ure

The synopsis sells itself in this New Zealand film: “Highschool can be hell. Metal-thrashing Brodie is an outcast in a small town until he meets a kindred spirit in metalhead Zakk. After starting their own band, Brodie and Zakk’s resentment of the suburban wasteland leads them to a mysterious piece of sheet music said to grant Ultimate Power to whoever plays it. But the music also summons an ancient evil entity known as Aeloth The Blind One, who threatens to tear apart existence itself. It’s up to Brodie, Zakk and their mates to stop a force of pure evil from devouring mankind.” Amazing.

The world premiere of Deathgasm will be held at 11.45pm at the Alamo Ritz on Saturday, March 14


Film: “Danny Says”
Director: Brendan Toller

Working with The Doors, Lou Reed, Nico, Judy Collins. Managing groundbreaking artists like the Stooges, MC5, and the Ramones. Hanging out in Andy Warhol’s Silver Factory. There’s no question that Danny Fields is a legend of the music industry. But chances are you don’t know that much about him. Brendan Toller tells the story of Danny in this insightful documentary – meeting with plenty of the legends of the industry along the way – from Iggy Pop to Alice Cooper – capturing a very different time in the music industry and delivering some stories about the legends that were born at the time that you may not have known…

The World Premiere will take place at Alamo Lamar B on Saturday, March 21st at 12pm (Noon)


Film: “All Things Must Pass”
Director: Colin Hanks
Cast: Russ Solomon, Michael Solomon, Heidi Cotler, Mark Viducich, Stan Goman, Bob Delanoy, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, David Geffen, Dave Grohl

In 1999, Tower Records made $1 billion. In 2006, the company filed for bankruptcy. Director Colin Hanks looks at the history of Tower Records – its rise and fall – interviewing luminaries of the music industry along the way. The film doesn’t just attempt to answer the question “What Went Wrong?”, but highlight just how important and powerful the company was at the height of CD sales in the late 90s.

The World Premiere is taking place at the Alamo Slaughter (Satellite Venue) on Thursday, March 19th at 7.15pm


Film: “He Never Died”
Director: Jason Krawczyk
Cast: Henry Rollins, Steven Ogg, Kate Greenhouse, BooBoo Stewart, Jordan Todosey

Henry Rollins in a film described as a “violent tale of personal responsibility”. We really don’t need to know anything more about the film than that. Sure to be one of the most intense performances of the festival, if Rollins’ general behaviour is anything to go by!

The world premiere takes place on Tuesday, March 17th at 11.45pm at the Stateside Theatre

Of course, this is only the tip of the proverbial cinematic iceberg, and the list of must see films goes well beyond the 12 films we’ve highlighted here. From the anticipated documentary Mavis! about the legendary Mavis Staples, to the finale in Hal Hartley’s trilogy with Ned Rifle and what looks to be an incredible documentary in The Last Man on the Moon… not to mention highly anticipated screenings of the likes of Lost River, Get Hard and Spy, the list goes on and on….

Stay tuned to The Iris for live coverage from SXSW Film Festival all week – and for more details about all the films above and more, head to http://www.sxsw.com/film


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Larry Heath

Founding Editor and Publisher of the AU review. Currently based in Toronto, Canada. You can follow him on Twitter @larry_heath or on Instagram @larryheath.