The South by Southwest Film Festival has announced that the Opening Night Film of the 2005 edition will be THE WENDELL BAKER STORY. Directed by Luke and Andrew Wilson, THE WENDELL BAKER STORY is an all-star comedy featuring Luke Wilson, Owen Wilson, Eva Mendes, Eddie Griffin, and many more.
“As film fans and fellow Texans, we have nothing but admiration for the Wilson brothers,” says Matt Dentler, Festival Producer for SXSW. “I can’t think of a better idea than having their directorial debut launch this year’s festival. You want to give audiences a great time, and this is a fantastic way to do it.”
THE WENDELL BAKER STORY will premiere on Opening Night, March 11, 2005, at the Paramount Theater in downtown Austin. It will help kick-off nine days of nearly 200 short and feature films from around the globe.
In addition, SXSW has announced “A Conversation with Todd Solondz” to take place on Sunday, March 13. The panel discussion, to be moderated by Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly, will focus on Solondz’s acclaimed career. Later that evening, the festival will host a special screening of his newest film, PALINDROMES, featuring Ellen Barkin and Jennifer Jason Leigh.
“Todd Solondz is a great filmmaker and there’s always a desire to discuss his work, so we’re thrilled to have him involved,” adds Dentler.
Other panel topics include: “Movie Piracy and You” featuring a discussion by the MPAA, “Acquired Taste” featuring acquisitions reps from leading distribution companies, “Meet the Film Press” featuring members of the film journalism world, and “DVD Futures” featuring discussions from reps about the controversial HD DVD vs. Blu-ray debate.
Meanwhile, music documentaries will have an even brighter spotlight at the music-friendly film festival. Some of the music documentaries lined up early include: BE HERE TO LOVE ME: A FILM ABOUT TOWNES VAN ZANDT, the “Wild Man” Fischer documentary DERAILROADED, THE DEVIL AND DANIEL JOHNSTON, the Flaming Lips documentary THE FEARLESS FREAKS, the Robert Randolph documentary PRESS ON, and the Roky Erickson documentary YOU’RE GONNA MISS ME, among many others.
That’s only the tip of the iceberg, kids. SXSW will be announcing their complete line-up of films in early February, with the schedule to follow shortly thereafter.
Check it out at the SXSW website.