Shot at Garland High, Clay Liford's WUSS Among Titles at South by Southwest Film Fest

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In coming days, writer-director Clay Liford will have other bits of big, breaking news to share concerning film-fest invites and a major film rep who, fingers crossed, will find his latest offering an ever larger audience. But for now, all he can comment on is today's announcement that his new movie WUSS has been accepted into the South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin, where Liford now spends much of his time directing, among other things, commercials for Whole Foods.

"So that's two for two for me," says Liford, whose 2010 film Earthling played last year's SXSW. "But this is my first South By as an Austin resident, and I know what to do there now. Hopefully, we'll get a lot of good stuff out of it." The fest runs March 11-19.

WUSS -- which was shot at Garland High School last summer and which Liford describes as "the story of a high school teacher who faces constant ridicule after he's repeatedly beaten up by several of his own students" -- boasts an impressive cast that includes Alex Karpovsky and Arrested Development's Tony Hale. And it could be the breakout Earthling wasn't -- if only because that movie was a sci-fi head-scratcher that wasn't necessarily aimed at the multiplex masses.

Nevertheless, says Liford, SXSW helped get that movie into "30, 40 other film festivals" that took note of its inclusion in Austin. And, says Liford, "it was the first major debut, and I was able to make more changes because of audience feedback from South By. We honed in on more things we wanted to do with the film, and since then it's played all over the world, and I don't doubt for a second that South By was a huge part of that."

A clip follows, as does the fest's list of all this year's entries.


SXSW_2011 Features Annc

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8 comments
G_David
G_David

Tony Hale was the unsung hero of Arrested Development, which was itself the unsung hero of all television comedies. I'm watching the 3 seasons on DVD for the third time, and they still crack me up.

LaceyB
LaceyB

Any news if this will be at DIFF this year? Certainly he and James Faust are besties? I think he did one of the two intros that run before the 10,000 movies last year.

LaceyB
LaceyB

Alex Karpovsky!! Finally, a reason to see this movie. He was just downright awesome in "Hole Story", "Beeswax", and even "Tiny Furniture" (highly overrated, but a few lol's). Can't wait for this guy to get a Greta Gerwig-style breakout. Nice & gracious in real life, too.

LaceyB
LaceyB

Buster was my absolute favorite as well on AD. I've rewatched all 3 seasons countless times (esp. Season 1).

Lemme say, tho, that I heard that Tony Hale has a REALLY SMALL part in this film. It would be like going to see "Blue Valentine" ONLY for the scene that ALMOST made it NC-17. You'd be disappointed.

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

I have no doubt it'll be in DIFF. Though, hard to say -- I would say it depends if the film lands in other, bigger fests, many of which have all kinds of can't-screen-there-if-you-wanna-play-here clauses.

LaceyB
LaceyB

I'm sorry, but that pretentiousness makes me blow chow. Pretty much the only US festival that has exclusivity is Tribeca.

But then there's Cannes, Venice, Deauville...from one who knows and has been on the fugly fest circuit (award-winning, tyvm).

Am I close??

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