21 Jump Street Film Opens At SXSW

March 11, 2012 by staff 

21 Jump Street Film Opens At SXSW, Conventional Hollywood wisdom states that films eyeing the Oscar for Best Picture must to make a splash in Toronto. The Toronto International Film Festival has helped launch winners-to-be like “American Beauty,” “The Hurt Locker” and “The King’s Speech” to awards glory, and it gave “The Artist,” which premiered at Cannes, an added push. But where should filmmakers turn if they have an R-rated comedy hoping to take the masses by storm? Try Austin’s South by Southwest Film Festival.

“In my experience, there are three amazing film cities in America: Los Angeles, New York and Austin,” said Michael Bacall, the screenwriter behind “21 Jump Street,” which will have its premiere at SXSW on Monday night before hitting theaters on March 16. “Austin may just edge out the coasts on that one. It is an amazing place to be a film lover.” It’s also an amazing place to be a comedy lover. The festival has become a bastion of funny in recent years, with an expanded podcast and stand-up lineup, in addition to the already established music and interactive portions. That growth has caused movie studios to take note. Last year, Universal screened a cut of “Bridesmaids” for SXSW attendees, which sparked the great buzz that accompanied the film through its release in May.

“It was a terrifying screening because we didn’t screen until 12:30 in the morning,” said “Bridesmaids” director Paul Feig to Moviefone. “When I got in there it was almost all dudes and it was so late at night — there was this moment of, ‘Oh boy, we might be in trouble.’” Despite a negative review in Variety following the screening — they weren’t.

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