According to Collider, the 2011 South by Southwest Film Festival will feature three highly-anticipated films among its list of screenings–Paul, Conan O’Brien and The Beaver–however each one are anticipated for very different reasons.

The anticipation for the sci-fi comedy Paul has already given the movie a bit of a cult status, partially due to the cast, which includes Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Seth Rogen. The story, also written by Frost and Pegg, involves two buddies traveling across America who happen to find an alien trying to escape from the top-secret base at Area 51.

Conan O’Brien: Can’t Stop is a continuation of the fantastic year the television host has been having. The documentary chronicles the stretch of time that O’Brien embarked on his “Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour”, an event that came to be due to his nasty public split from longtime employer, NBC. Directed by Rodman Flender, the documentary sheds insight into what O’Brien was going through during this time period.

The Beaver is one that everyone is waiting to hear about, due to star Mel Gibson’s personal life. The film, directed and also starring Jodie Foster, is about a man who aims to redirect his life after suffering from depression. The only way he can express his feelings is through a intermediary–in this case, a plush beaver puppet. Also in the film are Anton Yelchin and ┬áJennifer Lawrence.

For a full listing of films being shown at the festival, check out sxsw.com.

Mel Gibson in The Beaver
Mel Gibson in The Beaver

By Monique Jones

Monique Jones blogs about race and culture in entertainment, particularly movies and television. You can read her articles at Racialicious, and her new site, COLOR . You can also listen to her new podcast, What would Monique Say.

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