Belfast Telegraph

Texas event debut for Gibson film

Mel Gibson's return to the big screen will begin at the South by Southwest festival in March.

Organisers announced The Beaver is one of five films that will have their international premiere at the multimedia film festival known as SXSW held annually in Austin, Texas.

The debut will be on March 16, roughly a week before the film's limited general release.

A SXSW spokeswoman said The Beaver director and star Jodie Foster will attend the premiere, but it remains unclear whether Mel will also attend.

His publicist said he did not yet know whether the 55-year-old actor-director will make an appearance.

In the film Mel stars as a troubled family man who uses a beaver puppet he wears on his hand to help him cope.

Its release had been delayed as the actor dealt with bad publicity from a public break-up with his ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva.

Their split has spawned a bitter custody fight over their daughter, as well as investigations into claims of physical abuse by the actor-director and extortion by the Russian musician.

Los Angeles prosecutors are still mulling whether to press charges against either Mel or Oksana.

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