Film festivals come in all shapes and sizes, from the high brow Cannes Film Festival to the much more audience participation friendly Fantasia to the meeting place between the public and stars like TIFF. But few have the breezy, BBQ-soaked spirit of the SXSW Film Festival. And with things kicking off in Austin in just over two months, the first wave of titles have been announced.
Organizers have revealed today that Jon Favreau‘s “indie” flick “Chef” has been given the coveted Opening Night Film. The foodie flick is a mini Marvel reunion with the “Iron Man” director taking the lead role and helming the flick, while enlisting Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and more (Sofia Vergara, John Leguizamo, Bobby Cannavale, Dustin Hoffman, Oliver Platt ) is his tale of a chef on the comeback trail.
Other early highlights include “Veronica Mars,” with the fan-funded film to make its world premiere at SXSW. Elsewhere there’s a space show hosted by Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson and produced by Seth MacFarlane, a documentary about zombies, another about Swedish House Mafia and more.
The SXSW Film Festival runs from March 7 – 15, 2014. Press release below.
Film Conference and Festival announces the world premiere of Chef as its Opening Night Film, from
director Jon Favreau, which will screen on Friday, March 7, 2014. SXSW also revealed a diverse
handful of titles that will premiere at the 2014 event, comprised of an array of topics that tap into the
buzzing pulse of SXSW culture. Additional films announced includethe hotly-anticipated world
premiere of Rob Thomas’ Veronica Mars feature, COSMOS: A
SpaceTime Odyssey, FOX’s re-launch of COSMOS, the iconic 1980 television
miniseries from Carl Sagan, and featuring a Q&A with host Neil
deGrasse Tyson, Christian Larson’s Leave the World Behind, a documentary on EDM icons Swedish
House Mafia, Creep, a twisted thriller starring Mark Duplass from Patrick Brice, first-time
feature director Jay Karas’ Break Point, a comedy set in the world of competitive tennis and screening as
part of the new SXsports, and Doc of the Dead, a definitive look at Zombie culture, directed by SXSW
Alum Alexandre O. Philippe.
The complete festival lineup will
be announced Thursday, January 30, excluding Midnighter features, which will be announced with the
Short Film lineup on Wednesday, February 5. This year marks the 21st edition of the South by Southwest
Film Conference and Festival, March 7 – 15, 2014 in Austin, Texas. For more information visit
“Jon Favreau’s wonderfully
entertaining return to independent filmmaking works beautifully as our 2014 Opening Night Film, with his
sharp and funny take on the world of food, artistry, and family in the age of social media,“ said Head of
SXSW Film Janet Pierson. “We’re equally excited to share a few more highly anticipated projects
and premieres with you in advance of our full slate, as well as reveal some terrific new discoveries.”
The 2014 SXSW Film Festival will
Point (World Premiere / SXsports screening)
Director: Jay Karas, Screenwriters:
Gene Hong, Jeremy Sisto
Two estranged brothers reunite to
make an improbable run at a grand slam tennis tournament. The mismatched pair, with some unlikely
help from a precocious 11-year-old boy, re-discover their game and their brotherhood.
Jeremy Sisto, David Walton, Joshua Rush, J.K. Simmons, Amy Smart
Chef (World Premiere)
Director: Jon Favreau, Screenplay
& Story: Jon Favreau
When Chef Carl Casper (Jon Favreau)
suddenly quits his job at a prominent Los Angeles restaurant after refusing to compromise his
creative integrity for its controlling owner (Dustin Hoffman), he is left to figure out what’s next. Finding
himself in Miami, he teams up with his ex-wife (Sofia Vergara), his friend (John Leguizamo) and his son
(Emjay Anthony) to launch a food truck. Taking to the road, Chef Carl goes back to his roots to
reignite his passion for the kitchen — and zest for life and love.
Producers are Jon Favreau and
Sergei Bespalov. Executive producers include Molly Allen and Karen Gilchrist. Open Road Films will
release Chef in May 2014.
Sofia Vergara, Scarlett Johansson, John Leguizamo, Bobby Cannavale, Dustin
Hoffman, Oliver Platt,
Robert Downey, Jr. and young actor Emjay Anthony.
Director: Patrick Brice,
Screenwriters: Patrick Brice & Mark Duplass
When a videographer answers a
Craigslist ad for a one-day job in the outer-exurbs, he finds his client is not at all what he initially
Mark Duplass, Patrick Brice
A SpaceTime Odyssey (Special Event with Neil deGrasse Tyson)
Director: Brannon Braga
As with the legendary original
series, FOX’s new COSMOS is the saga of how we discovered the laws of nature and found our coordinates
in space and time. The series is hosted by renowned astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse
Tyson and brings to life never-before-told stories of the heroic quest for knowledge, transporting viewers
to new worlds and across the universe for a vision of the cosmos on the grandest — and the smallest
Executive Produced by Ann Druyan, Seth MacFarlane, Brannon
Braga and Mitchell Cannold.
of the Dead (World Premiere)
Director: Alexandre O. Philippe
The definitive zombie culture
documentary, from the makers of The People vs. George Lucas. Doc of the Dead traces the rise and
evolution of the zombie genre, its influence on pop culture, and investigates the possibility of an
actual zombie outbreak.
the World Behind (World Premiere)
Director: Christian Larson
A documentary following the final
tour of the hugely successful band Swedish House Mafia. The film depicts the EDM scene at its peak
as well as telling a story of friendship and success. (United Kingdom)
Mars (World Premiere)
Director: Rob Thomas,
Screenwriters: Rob Thomas & Diane Ruggiero
Years after walking away from her
past as a teenage private eye, Veronica Mars gets pulled back to her hometown, an ex-boyfriend with
baggage, and an unraveling murder mystery.
Kristen Bell, Jason Dohring, Krysten Ritter, Francis Capra, Percy Daggs III,
Ryan Hansen, Gaby Hoffman,
Chris Lowell, Tina Majorino, Jerry O’Connell
In addition to nine full days of
film screenings, the SXSW Film Conference will feature over 150 informative and entertaining
sessions, including its first-ever daily keynotes, previously announced to include Lena Dunham, Jason Blum and
On Monday, March 10, SXSW Film is
proud to feature A Conversation with Alejandro Jodorowsky. One of the legends of ‘70s cinema,
a vanguard of the movie, and just as famous for
films he didn’t make as the films he did,
Jodorowsky is not an artist whose body of work can easily be described. Cineastes around the
world have been waiting for something new since the release of Santa
Sangre in 1989, and in celebration of his new feature, The Dance
of Reality, SXSW proudly presents this hour-long session
with one of the masters of surrealist cinema, and moderated by HitFix’s Drew McWeeny.
Additionally, Jeffrey Tambor
continues the tradition of his much loved acting and life workshop by returning to SXSW Film 2014 for Jeffrey
Tambor’s Acting Workshop. Part one-man show, part seminar, part question and answer
and endlessly entertaining, Jeffrey’s hilarious and empowering presentation inspires the viewer to
discover the artist within.
For more confirmed Conference
sessions, including details on programming for the all new SXsports,additional Conversations, Digital
Domain, Future 15s, Mentor Sessions, Meet the Insiders, Workshops, Startup Alley, and Come
& Capture Film Factory visit www.sxsw.com/film/sessions/about. The final Conference lineup will be
released Wednesday, February 12.
As always, to take full advantage
of the full range of sessions at SXSW Film, you must register for a Film, Gold or Platinum badge at www.sxsw.com/attend. Join us
exceptional films, exciting parties, the SXSW Trade Show and, of course, a creative and
inspirational experience that only SXSW can deliver. Be sure to register soon, and gain access to conveniently located
hotels. Register by on Friday, January 10 and save off the walk-up rate.
SXSW 2014 is sponsored by Miller
Lite, Monster Energy, Esurance, Chevrolet, AT&T, IFC and The Austin Chronicle.
Every March, creatives of all
stripes gather in
visions that will galvanize the filmmakers and ideas
of tomorrow. SXSW Film Conference & Festival champions the vitality, innovation and
opportunity that drives the entertainment and media landscape, and boldly tackles the evolution of all
aspects of “film” today, down to its very definition. A nexus of discovery and
collaborative energy, SXSW Film celebrates the art and business of the possible.