Documentaries on Johnny Winter, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, A$AP Rocky and the soul music of Memphis will make their world premieres at the SXSW Film Festival while the Jimi Hendrix movie featuring OutKast’s Andre Benjamin will make its U.S. premiere.
Fourteen films that chronicle music and musicians are among the 76 world premieres at the festival running March 7 to 15. The world premieres in the 24 Beats per Second category are:
Adam Kahan’s film on the blind jazz musician Rahsaan Roland Kirk, “The Case of the Three Sided Dream”; Dennis Scholl and Marlon Johnson’s “Deep City” about the early days of soul music in South Florida; Greg Olliver’s “Johnny Winter: Down & Dirty” and “SVDDXNLY,” director David Laven’s look at the life of A$AP Rocky and the A$AP Mob.
Christian Larson follows the the break-up of Swedish House Mafia and EDM scene in “Leave The World Behind”; Gary Fortin chronicles how Austin, Texas, became the Live Music Capital of the World, starting in 1835 in “Road To Austin”; legends from Stax Records and Memphis mentor new artists during a recording in Martin Shore’s “Take Me to the River”; and Beth Harrington covers two country music dynasties, the Carters and the Cashes, in “The Winding Stream.”
Two interviews with John Lennon and Yoko Ono are reconstructed in Jon Lefkovitz’s “Rubber Soul”; George Hencken’s “Soul Boys of the Western World” takes a trip to the 1980s with Spandau Ballet; and Alex Steyermark connects modern musicians with recording techniques of the 1930s in “The 78 Project Movie.”
Doris Dörrie enters the world of mariachi through women’s eyes in “Que Caramba es la Vida”; Florian Habicht directs “Sheffield: Sex City”; and Gruff Rhys co-directs “American Interior” with Dylan Goch.
Having appeared elsewhere are the musical “God Help the Girl,” the directorial and writing debut of Belle and Sebastian’s Stuart Murdoch, which hits SXSW after premiering at Sundance, and Jeff Broadway’s documentary on an avant garde label, “Our Vinyl Weighs A Ton (This Is Stones Throw Records),” playing on the heels of festivals in Los Angeles and Barcelona.
In addition, Mike Myers’ look at Shep Gordon, manager of Alice Cooper, Blondie and Luther Vandross, “Supermensch,” will screen in the Narrative Spotlight section. It is Myers’ directorial debut. “Mateo,” Aaron I. Naar’s film on the notorious white mariachi singer traveling in Cuba, is in the documentary competition.
John Ridley’s “Jimi: All Is By My Side” comes to SXSW after playing the Toronto International Film Festival. Benjamin portrays the guitarist in 1966-67 as he is on the verge of becoming a rock legend.
“Frank,” starring Michael Fassbender and Maggie Gyllenhaal, comes into SXSW after considerable praise at Sundance. The film is a comedy about a young wannabe musician and a band of eccentrics.
SXSW is introducing this year an Episodic screening category for TV shows such as HBO’s “Silicon Valley” and “From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series,” debuting on Robert Rodriguez’s El Rey Network.
The Midnighters feature section and the Short Film program will be announced on Feb. 5; the complete conference lineup and schedule follows on Feb. 12.