The esteemed South by Southwest Film Conference and Festival will begin on Mar. 9 this year, starting things off with a film that has garnered a heavy sum of anticipation: The Cabin in the Woods. SXSW has announced that the movie, directed by Drew Goddard and co-written by Goddard and Joss Whedon, will play as the 2012 Opening Night Film.
Along with to getting to see what promises to be a striking takedown of the horror/thriller genre, attendees will be graced with a Key Conversation panel with Whedon, who also serves as a producer of the film. The Cabin in the Woods will star Chris Hemsworth, Kristen Connolly, Anna Hutchison, Fran Kranz, Jesse Williams, Richard Jenkins, Bradley Whitford, Brian J. White, Amy Acker and Tom Lenk.
In addition to The Cabin in the Woods, another exciting new project will be showcased at the conference: GIRLS, the new HBO comedy series created by, written/directed by and starring Lena Dunham, and executive produced by Judd Apatow. The series focuses on twenty-something Hannah (Dunham) and her friends facing the comical hardships of New York City life. SXSW is premiering the first three episodes of the series, and Dunham and Apatow will both be present, along with other members of the production team, for a GIRLS panel to follow the screening.
More in SXSW news includes new film announcements for the festival:
Beauty is Embarrassing (World Premiere)
Director: Neil Berkeley
A funny, irreverent and insightful look into the life and times of one of America’s most important artists, Wayne White.
The Cabin in the Woods (World Premiere)
Director: Drew Goddard, Writers: Joss Whedon & Drew Goddard
Five friends go to a remote cabin in the woods. Bad things happen. If you think you know this story, think again. From fan favorites Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard comes The Cabin in the Woods, a mind-blowing horror film that turns the genre inside out.
Cast: Kristen Connolly, Fran Kranz, Anna Hutchison, Chris Hemsworth, Jesse Williams, Richard Jenkins, and Bradley Whitford
CITADEL (World Premiere)
Director & Writer: Ciarán Foy
An agoraphobic father teams up with a renegade priest to save his daughter from the clutches of a gang of twisted feral children.
Cast: Anuerin Barnard, James Cosmo, and Wumni Mosaku, Jake Wilson, Amy Shiels
GIRLS (World Premiere)
Director & Writer: Lena Dunham
Created by and starring Lena Dunham (Tiny Furniture), the HBO show is a comic look at the assorted humiliations and rare triumphs of a group of girls in their early 20s.
Cast: Lena Dunham, Allison Williams, Jemima Kirke, Zosia Mamet, Adam Driver
MARLEY (North American Premiere)
Director: Kevin Macdonald
The definitive documentary on the life, music, and legacy of Bob Marley.
The Oyster Princess (1919) with original live score by Bee vs. Moth (World Premiere)
Director: Ernst Lubitsch, Writers: Hanns Kraly & Ernst Lubitsch
The Oyster Princess is Ernst Lubitsch’s tart 1919 silent comedy that parodies the rich and the spoiled. Austin jazz/rock band Bee vs. Moth performs their original score live with the film for the first time.
Small Apartments (World Premiere)
Director: Jonas Åkerlund, Writer: Chris Millis
When Franklin Franklin accidentally kills his landlord, he must hide the body; but, the wisdom of his beloved brother and the quirks of his neighbors, force him on a journey where a fortune awaits him.
Cast: Matt Lucas, Billy Crystal, James Caan, Johnny Knoxville, Juno Temple, James Marsden, Dolph Lundgren, Saffron Burrows, Rosie Perez, DJ Qualls
The complete festival lineup will be announced in early February 2012.
The 19th Annual South by Southwest Film Conference and Festival runs Mar. 9-17, 2012 in Austin, Texas.