Our Top Picks for SXSW Film 2018

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SXSW Film starts Friday (3/9). There will be hundreds of submissions, but these are the eight our writers are looking forward to seeing the most!

A Quiet Place (By Daniel Fullmer):

Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures© 2017 Paramount Pictures. All rights reserved.

A Quiet Place is a passion project created by the beloved John Krasinski, who is mostly known for his work on The Office. Barriers are ready to be broken as he continues to develop his skills behind-the-scenes as a director, writer and producer alongside his incredibly talented wife, Emily Blunt. Krasinski has always hoped for opportunities to work with Blunt on-screen and now they have their chance. The film’s trailer casts a wide net of thrills and chills that should leave viewers with a strong sense of unfettered terror. A film based completely around silence may end up being the most deafening thriller of the year.

Blockers (By Daniel Fullmer):

Credit: Universal Pictures

It’s time to prepare for an assault of raunchy comedy with Blockers! This film proposes a contemporary spin on the genre by focusing on a group of co-parents who face their worst fears when their daughter heads towards their worst nightmare – prom night. Featuring the meme-worthy king and WWE superstar, John Cena, and the comedic genius, Leslie Mann, we have the potential for a tidal wave of hilarious hijinks that will go just far enough to appease those with a twisted and honest sense of humor for parents and teenagers alike. Prepare for a galvanized look at kids growing up in the age of social media.  

6 Balloons (By Daniel Fullmer):

6 Balloons is a film about a woman attempting to manage a terribly uncomfortable situation. Her brother has relapsed into a heroin addiction and has a 2-year old daughter in his care who she is desperately trying to help. Directed by Marja-Lewis Ryan, this dramatic feature looks to deliver an impactful and affecting view of a family dealing with the woes of addiction and the continuing struggles that both remain and develop. Starring Abbi Jacobson and Dave Franco, this feature may be a power house of emotion full of subject matter that many can potentially relate to.

First Light (By Daniel Fullmer):

Credit: David Jones

After spending most of his career working in television, Director Jason Stone has created another film, First Light, which focuses on a high school senior who encounters a mysterious and life-altering “light” over her small town that grants her abilities she never dreamed of having. Without control and on the run, what options does she have and who else wants to gain her newfound abilities for themselves? Starring Stefani Scott, Kristin Booth and Saïd Taghmaoui, this film is sure to offer several thrills for anyone interested in the sci-fi genre with a twist.

All Square (By Matthew Fullmer):

Credit: Jordan Foley

All Square, John Hyams’s entry into this year’s narrative spotlight, appears to have no qualm in challenging our identification with man versus the heart of society. A dark line is crossed with an idea of the town bookie colluding with a little-leaguer within America’s pastime. It turns any sense of a buddy movie on it’s head, as the adolescent wingman bears the ultimate risk of becoming victim. Known for his polished character performances in House of Cards and Black Mirror, Michael Kelly is an intriguing choice to take the reigns as a lead. And baseball, recognized as a kid’s game and the pride of a community, stands to be an interesting template to showcase the dark repercussions when one tinkers with innocence or glory that we all cherish.  If you’ve ever participated in youth sports or dabbled in a gamble, how could you not want to see where this goes?

The World Before Your Feet (By Matthew Fullmer):

Credit: Michael Berman

The World Before Your Feet is a boldly personal documentary by Matt Green who looks to capture the sheer strangeness and bliss of what it is to wander the world in search of “who knows what.” No justification, no definition…simply walking and absorbing the labyrinth of boroughs and blocks we call New York City. It will be compelling to see Green’s own actions as a lone wanderer on display and how they illustrate the fascinations of exploration and human connection. The purpose you may ask? The purpose is ambiguous and the answers are all awaiting their chance to be revealed to anyone daring enough to walk alongside.

Take Your Pills (By Matthew Fullmer):

Alison Klayman’s Take Your Pills stands to be an insightful bearer of bad news as it sifts through the fallout of Adderall and other elixirs conveniently weaponized through modern society’s pressure upon the everyman. Her last film, 11/8/16, shed light upon the day of Donald Trump’s surprise win.  Now Klayman tackles pharmaceuticals and their game-changing ascendancy within modern society’s never-ending search for an edge.  Our constant quest to do better, feel better, BE better, can now be dealt through one simple swallow.  But at what price?

Don’t Leave Home (By Matthew Fullmer):

Credit: Wyatt Garfield

Michael Tully’s Don’t Leave Home, assembles a dark expedition into the source of myth and lore. Known for his past projects that focus upon nostalgic tours down memory lane including Septien and Ping Pong Summer, Tully’s new rendition braves the search into something more nefarious in its roots.  Stepping from the safety of home, where urban legends are only spoke of, what are the costs of engaging them head-on within the far-reaching realm of the unknown? As a nominee in the Visions section of the festival, this origins story is sure to examine just that, as well as challenge our desire for truth and one’s curiosity to know all.  

Danny and Matt are two brothers who spent a substantial part of their youth watching classics from the 1980s and beyond. As they have grown older, both brothers have continued to push each other to branch out as far as possible into any, and all, genres of film. Matt majored in film studies at the University of Santa Barbara and Danny has spent several years working as a film reviewer for international cinema. Both have an appreciation for the nostalgic memories granted to them by the films of their childhood and are always looking for more.