SXSW Announces Zal Batmanglij and Brit Marling’s THE EAST As Closing Night Film

And the schedule is live!

Today South By Southwest announced The East, Zal Batmanglij and Brit Marling's follow-up to Sound of My Voice, as its closing night film. Devin and I both saw the film at Sundance, and while I liked it better than Devin (read his review here), I still found it a disappointingly standard effort after SOMV. Still, it's a solid thriller with some great performances, and it'll make for a good closer of a great festival. (You can read the features lineup here and the midnighters here.)

The festival also announced some really cool panels today, including talks with Danny Boyle, Rob Zombie, Joss Whedon and the cast of Much Ado and more. I'm still marveling at how terrific this year's SXSW film lineup has proven to be. I honestly can't wait. The schedule was released today, so you can get out your multi-color highlighters (surely I'm not the only one who does this?) and get to planning here

Read on for the press release!

Austin, Texas – February 13, 2013 – The South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Conference and Festival announced the return of alumni Zal Batmanglij and Brit Marling with their new film, The East, for the 2013 Closing Night event, as well as additional features and shorts. SXSW also announced the complete Film Conference lineup, Convergence and Digital Domain sessions, and programming for the all-new tracks Meet the Insiders, Film Startup Alley and Come & Capture Film Factory. SXSW Film will open on Friday, March 8, 2013 with the world premiere of Don Scardino’s The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, and run through Saturday, March 16 in Austin, Texas. The schedule, complete with both screening and conference dates and times, is now available at

An additional 15 features and 3 shorts have been announced, and descriptions follow below. With these additions, the 2013 SXSW Film Festival will host a total of 133 features, consisting of 78 World Premieres, 13 North American Premieres and 9 U.S. Premieres, with 76 first-time directors. 109 shorts will screen as part of 10 overall shorts programs.  The nearly 250 films were selected from a record number of overall submissions, over 5,700, comprised of approximately 2,100 features and 3,600 shorts, with an overall increase of 7% over 2012.

The SXSW Film Conference features over 150 sessions and runs Friday, March 8 - Tuesday, March 12, 2013.  A sampling of key Featured Sessions follows below, as well as the complete panel breakdown, by date and title. New for 2013, SXSW Film launched Meet the Insiders, Startup Alley and the Come & Capture Film Factory as Conference initiatives, joining the Digital Domain programming, returning for its second year. Also announced were Convergence sessions, open to all Film, Interactive, Gold and Platinum Badges, and taking place in two locations for 2013 – The Long Center and Room 18ABCD of the Austin Convention Center.

Featured Sessions announced for the 2013 SXSW Film Conference include:

  • A Conversation with Danny Boyle

Join Danny Boyle in a thought-provoking discussion about his groundbreaking work in film production and how he brings his unique vision to audiences around the world. As part of the conversation, Boyle will present footage from his upcoming release Trance.

(Saturday March 9 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM -- Vimeo Theatre, Austin Convention Center)

  • A Conversation with Rob Zombie

An auteur filmmaker with unlimited vision, join Rob Zombie in Conversation about how he has established a unique voice that has gained him unparalleled recognition across the mediums of film, music and publishing.

(Tuesday March 12 3:30 PM - 4:30 PM -- Room 16AB, Austin Convention Center)

  • Break it Down: Harmony Korine & His Spring Breakers

From visionary director Harmony Korine, comes a bold new vision of the seasonal American ritual known as spring break. Korine, joined by his cast, will discuss what it was to film amidst real-life revelers and create one of the most unique cinematic experiences in years.

(Monday March 11 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM -- Vimeo Theatre, Austin Convention Center)

  • Much Ado About Much Ado

Directly following the SXSW U.S. Premiere of Joss Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing in the Vimeo Theatre, join cast members Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof, Nathan Fillion, Clark Gregg, and the director himself as they discuss the unconventional process of shooting the film in 12(!) days and the challenges and excitement of bringing Shakespeare to the screen for a modern audience.

(Saturday March 9 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM -- Vimeo Theatre, Austin Convention Center)

  • JASH: A Comedy Platform with Full Creative Autonomy (Convergence Session)

Sarah Silverman, Tim & Eric, Michael Cera, and Reggie Watts discuss working with the YouTube platform and the artistic freedom that comes with this new frontier.

(Sunday March 10 3:30 PM - 4:30 PM -- Dell Hall, Long Center)

  • State Of Creative Independence

Kickstarter Co-Founder and Head of Community Yancey Strickler leads a conversation on the state of creativity: what brought us here, and where will we go next.

(Monday March 11 3:30 PM - 4:30 PM -- Room 16AB, Austin Convention Center)

  • Vimeo Presents:  It's Such a Beautiful Day by Don Hertzfeldt +


Vimeo is thrilled to present the newly remastered and expanded version of It's Such a Beautiful Day, which brings together the entire tragicomic story of a troubled man named Bill by Academy Award-nominated animator and self-distribution pioneer Don Hertzfeldt. Following the screening, join Don and the Vimeo Staff for a discussion of what it means to be both a filmmaker and your own distributor. Vimeo will also make a very special announcement, so make sure you stay until the end!

(Tuesday March 12 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM -- Vimeo Theatre, Austin Convention Center)

The panels released today join over 40 previously announced sessions for the 2013 SXSW Film Conference, including A Conversation with Matthew McConaughey, Downloaded: The Digital Revolution, Humanizing Heroes: Storytelling Beyond Sports, Bates Motel: Story to Screen with Carlton Cuse, SXSW Presents: The New York Times's Op-Docs and the return of Jeffrey Tambor’s Acting Workshop among others. For full panel descriptions and participants, browse the schedule at