Filmmaker In Focus: 1985, Friday’s Child, Pet Names, Science Fair, and Wobble Palace

March 2, 2018 Neha Aziz

The 2018 SXSW Film Festival is rapidly approaching and we can’t wait to have you here! Before you make your way down to Austin, TX get to know films from our lineup a little bit better with selections from Visions and Festival Favorites. Dive into our Q&A with directors of 1985, Friday’s Child, Pet Names, Science Fair, and Wobble Place below to get a behind-the-scenes look at each film and add to your personalized schedule.

1985

1985

Director/Screenwriter: Yen Tan

A young man goes home for the holidays and struggles to reveal a distressing secret to his loved ones.

Cast: Cory Michael Smith, Virginia Madsen, Michael Chiklis, Jamie Chung, Aidan Langford, Ryan Piers Williams.

Q: What motivated you to tell this story?

YT: After I graduated from college, I got a job where I interacted with people who were living with HIV/AIDS. Their collective stories, often devastating, inspired me to make this film.

Q: What do you want the audience to take away from this film?

YT: Seek truth and beauty in the darkest times.

Q: What other film/filmmaker are you excited to see at SXSW this year?

YT: Looking forward to new works from so many friends! Not playing favorites!

Add to Your Schedule

Friday’s Child

Director/Screenwriter: A.J. Edwards

Fresh out of foster care at age 18, a young drifter turns to petty crime to survive, and discovers an impossible love in an unlikely friend.

Cast: Tye Sheridan, Imogen Poots, Jeffrey Wright, Caleb Landry Jones.

Q: What motivated you to tell this story?

AJE: My greatest inspiration was this film’s cast. Their commitment and brilliance astonished me every step of the way. I was also motivated by the music of Colin Stetson, Weyes Blood, Lower Dens, and Nils Frahm. Executive Producer Gus Van Sant, and his films of alienated youth and broken families, was also integral.

Q: What do you want the audience to take away from this film?

AJE: I want the audience to feel love for the characters. I would be happy if they came away from the film feeling hope. And that mercy and forgiveness are possible.

Q: What other film/filmmaker are you excited to see at SXSW this year?

AJE: Garry Winogrand, Time Trial, and Ali & Cavett: The Tale of the Tapes.

Add to Your Schedule

Pet Names

Director: Carol Brandt, Screenwriter: Meredith Johnston

When her ill mother urges her to take a vacation from her care-taking, grad-school-dropout Leigh invites her ex along on the camping trip. The two soon find that confronting old wounds during a weekend in the woods is anything but restful.

Cast: Meredith Johnston, Rene Cruz, Stacy Parish, Chelsea Norment, Jake Bradley, Lilliana Winkworth, Christina Seo.

Q: What motivated you to tell this story?

CB: The amazing script written by the amazing Meredith Johnston.

Q: What do you want the audience to take away from this film?

CB: The ability to take a deep breath afterwards and appreciate the people close to you.

Q: What other film/filmmaker are you excited to see at SXSW this year?

CB: Augustine Frizzell and her film Never Goin Back.

Add to Your Schedule

Science Fair

Directors: Cristina Costantini, Darren Foster, Screenwriters: Jeffrey Plunkett, Darren Foster, Cristina Costantini

Nine high school students from around the globe navigate rivalries, setbacks, and of course, hormones, on their journey to compete at the international science fair. Facing off against 1,700 of the smartest, quirkiest teens from 78 different countries, only one will be named Best in Fair.

Q: What motivated you to tell this story?

CC: Our documentary Science Fair is a love letter to the subculture that saved me. As a dweeby kid growing up in a sports-obsessed high school in Wisconsin, the international science fair became my lifeboat. It validated my passion for science, taught me how to dedicate myself to a goal and set my life on a trajectory that would have otherwise been totally impossible. But most importantly, science fair is where I found my tribe. As many of our leaders turn their back on science, S​cience Fair features kids who have decided to step up and take on the considerable challenges that face our world.

Q: What do you want the audience to take away from this film?

CC: Of course we want everyone to fall in love with the world of science fair as much as we have. But we also want to challenge people to consider if we’re doing enough at every level to foster young talent. Do your local schools support science fairs? How can we do more to celebrate our science all-stars? How do we want our politicians to talk about science? We’re at a moment when the country seems to have turned its back on science, so part of the mission of this film is to restore a bit of hope. We want people to appreciate these brilliant young minds and to better understand how science fairs can be transformative for students who lack opportunities or may not excel in traditional educational environments.

Q: What other film/filmmaker are you excited to see at SXSW this year?

CC: Hair Wolf by Mariama Diallo!

Add to Your Schedule

Wobble Palace

Director: Eugene Kotlyarenko, Screenwriters: Story by Dasha Nekrasova and Eugene Kotlyarenko

A week before the 2016 election, a couple on the verge of a nervous break-up decide to split their home over the weekend and test the waters of independence.

Cast: Dasha Nekrasova, Eugene Kotlyarenko, Jack Kilmer, Paige Elkington, Caroline Hebert, Casey Jane Ellison, Vishwam Velandy, Janiva Ellis, Kim Ye, Elisha Drons.

Q: What motivated you to tell this story?

EK: All around me, I had noticed relationships turning toxic after couples began living together. This bleak trend in my personal network, combined with several larger cultural anxieties in the air, most saliently: the impending Presidential Election, public reckoning with sexual victimization, and the rise of app-assisted infidelity — made me want to explore a vitriolic relationship in the most divisive manner I could.

Q: What do you want the audience to take away from this film?

EK: That’s up to them, but I wouldn’t be upset if a few people cried at the end of this funny, scathing romp.

Q: What other film/filmmaker are you excited to see at SXSW this year?

EK: Andrew Bujalski, Wild Nights with Emily, Anchor and Hope, Relaxer, Profile, Jody Hill, Anna Margaret Hollyman, and Hereditary.

Add to Your Schedule

See You at SXSW 2018

Check out the 2018 SXSW Film Festival Lineup and start mapping out your film adventure!

Take a look at our handy Film Venues Page to figure out the quickest route to each theater.

Our Attendee Service Hub has everything you need to have a successful SXSW experience. Register to attend the 2018 SXSW Conference & Festivals from March 9-18 in Austin, TX.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and SXSW News for the latest SXSW coverage, announcements, and updates.

The post Filmmaker In Focus: 1985, Friday’s Child, Pet Names, Science Fair, and Wobble Palace appeared first on SXSW.

Read more...

Previous Article
The Omnipresent AI – 2018 SXSW Programming Trends
The Omnipresent AI – 2018 SXSW Programming Trends

Each year, different trends emerge from SXSW programming and act as identifiers for where we’re at and wher...

Next Article
New Localism, Sanctuary Cities, and Superheroes: CityLab Programming During SXSW Cities Summit
New Localism, Sanctuary Cities, and Superheroes: CityLab Programming During SXSW Cities Summit

The inaugural Cities Summit at SXSW 2018 is less than two weeks away and we’re feeling excited about the in...

Explore the latest SXSW News

Dive In