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SXSW To Premiere Mel Gibson Film


Mel Gibson may be slightly persona non grata in Hollywood, but Austin, Texas is rolling out the red carpet for him come March. Gibson's newest film, THE BEAVER, in which he co-stars with the film's director Jodie Foster, will receive its World Premiere at the South by Southwest Film Festival (SXSW) in mid March prior to its theatrical release later that month by producer/distributor Summit Entertainment.

In the drama, Ms. Foster's third film as a director, Gibson stars as a depressed toy executive who gets his life back on track with the help of a beaver hand puppet (huh?). "The quality of the film is what pushed the decision to include THE BEAVER", SXSW film honcho Janet Pierson was quoted in the New York Times. She praised the performances (which include the first for Jennifer Lawrence since her breakout role in the sure to be Oscar-nominated WINTER'S BONE) and the importance of the film's director Jodie Foster, a two-time Oscar winner herself who has become a force in independent filmmaking since her debut helming of LITTLE MAN TATE in 1991 (the same year as her Oscar winning performance in THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS). Ms. Foster has also produced several highly regarded films in the past two decades, including NELL (1994), WAKING THE DEAD (2000), THE DANGEROUS LIVES OF ALTAR BOYS (2002) and THE BRAVE ONE (2007).  She was last seen on screen in the fantasy film NIM'S ISLAND in 2009 and has a high profile role in the screen adaptation of the Tony Award-winning play GOD OF CARNAGE later this year.

Gibson has kept a low profile in the past few months after damaging phone rants he aimed at his ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva. He is waging a very bitter custody battle over their child that will threatens to uncover domestic violence and extortion charges by both parties. Gibson will be all over the tabloids which made be behind the decision to drop his cameo role in the planned sequel to the successful buddy comedy THE HANGOVER. While Jodie Foster is expected to attend the SXSW Festival, it is still uncertain if the reclusive Mr. Gibson will make an appearance.


SXSW, which is second only to the Sundance Film Festival in its reputation for launching American indie titles (its big winner from last year, TINY FURNITURE, was one of the big indie hits of the season), plans to screen about 125 features from March 11 to 19. The Festival also presents an exhaustive filmmaker conference that looks at all matters of production, financing, distribution and new trends. It takes place parallel to the SXSW Music Conference, which brings recognized and fledgling musical groups to the city of Austin, as well as programs devoted to interactive media. Already announced on the Festival's program are the films CONAN O'BRIEN CAN'T STOP directed by Rodman Flender; THE INNKEEPERS, directed by Ti West; IT'S ABOUT YOU by Kurt and Ian Markus; and PAUL, the latest from indie darling Greg Mottola.

For more information on SXSW, visit their website:

Sandy Mandelberger,  Festival Circuit Editor




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About Festival Circuit

Mandelberger Sandy
(International Media Resources)

Coverage of the world of film festivals on the international film festival circuit.

New York

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