SXSW Day Four: Deals, Panels and Who's That Teenage Filmmaker?

Day Four of the SXSW Film Festival finally brought some deals to the table. This isn't so much a fest known for its big deals as it is its big parties, but Sundance proved this was going to be a hot year for indie film acquisitions, and the heat from Park City continued to spread to Austin, Texas.

A few films that have found distribution so far include the midnight flick Kill List (IFC Midnight), El Bulli: Cooking in Progress (Kino Lorber), Undefeated (The Weinstein Co.), and Conan O'Brien Can't Stop (Magnolia). Look for more deals to hit today – we're still waiting for someone to pick up festival favorite Attack the Block for US distribution. Meanwhile, I'd personally like to see a deal for Turkey Bowl, which is a fun little comedy shot in real time about a group of friends who reunite for their annual touch football game.
Day Four was a big film panel day as well, with several panels featuring film critics talking to each other about topics like recycling news content, plagiarism and how not to act like a publicist, as well as critics talking to filmmakers, like the exceptional Directing the Dead panel featuring film critic Scott Weinberg and horror directors like James Wan (Saw, Insidious), Xavier Gens (The Divide) and Emily Hagins (My Sucky Teen Romance), among others. A particularly fun moment during that panel came when the topic of technology in horror films came up, and whether the invention of the cell phone and internet has helped or hurt horror movie storylines. The consensus: Neither.
Speaking of Emily Hagins, though, the 18-year-old star of the documentary Zombie Girl makes her SXSW debut with her third feature. Yup, she's 18 and has already directed three feature films. What were you doing at 18? Hagins' film premieres Tuesday night, and you can check out the trailer below.

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