Film and TV

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

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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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky