As at most film festivals, the documentary features at the South By Southwest Film Festival and Conference generate strong interest from assembled buyers and programmers. The consistency of documentary programs is generally higher than their narrative brothers. So, here are the 8 documentary features, each a world premiere by an American director, debuting in Austin that will most assuredly find their way to the international film festival circuit and on to selected screens in the months to come.
BAY OF ALL SAINTS (Annie Eastman)
As the last of the notorious water slums is demolished in Bahia, Brazil, will three single mothers face homelessness or rally for a better life?
BEWARE OF MR. BAKER (Jay Bulger)
Ginger Baker is the original rock ‘n roll madman junkie drummer superstar who everyone thought was dead but somehow survived 50+ years of drug abuse, disastrous experiments, and 4 marriages on 3 continents.
THE CENTRAL PARK EFFECT (Jeffrey Kimball)
The film reveals the extraordinary array of wild birds who grace Manhattan’s celebrated patch of green, and the equally colorful, full-of-attitude New Yorkers who schedule their lives around the rhythms of migration.
JEFF (Chris James Thompson)
A documentary about the people around serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer during the 1991 summer of his arrest for the murder of 17 men in Milwaukee.
SEEKING ASIAN FEMALE (Debbie Lum)
When an American man with “yellow fever” meets a Chinese woman half his age online, documenting their attempt to build a marriage from scratch reveals hilarious and troubling complications for the couple and the filmmaker.
THE SHEIK AND I (Caveh Zahedi)
Commissioned by a Middle Eastern Biennial to make a film on the theme of “art as a subversive act,” independent filmmaker Caveh Zahedi (I AM A SEX ADDICT) is threatened with a fatwa.
THE SOURCE (Jodi Wille & Maria Demopoulos)
The Source Family was a radical experiment in 1970s utopian living. Their popular restaurant, rock band, and beautiful women made them the darlings of Hollywood; but their outsider ideals led to their dramatic undoing.
WELCOME TO THE MACHINE (Avi Zev Weider)
Upon fathering triplets, filmmaker explores the nature of technology, seeking answers about what it means to be human.