By Nigel M Smith | Indiewire January 9, 2014 at 2:59PM
The South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Conference and Festival has announced Jon Favreau's "Chef" as its opening night film. The comedy -- starring Favreau, Sofia Vergara, Scarlet Johansson, John Leguizamo and Dustin Hoffman -- will world premiere Friday, March 7. "Chef" marks Favreau's return to indie filmmaking following his first two "Iron Movies" in the blockbuster franchise. His last indie was the crime comedy "Made" (2001), starring Favreau and Vince Vaughn.
SXSW also revealed a handful of other titles set to premiere at the event, including the world premiere of Rob Thomas' "Veronica Mars," and "Creep," a twisted thriller starring Mark Duplass.
"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 complete festival lineup will be revealed Jan. 30. The 21st SXSW Film Festival runs March 7-15 in Austin, Texas.
The 2014 SXSW Film Festival will feature:
Break 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.
Cast: 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.
Cast: Sofia Vergara, Scarlett Johansson, John Leguizamo, Bobby Cannavale, Dustin Hoffman, Oliver
Platt, Robert Downey, Jr. and young actor Emjay Anthony.
Creep (World Premiere)
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 seems.
Cast: Mark Duplass, Patrick Brice
COSMOS: 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 -- scale.
Executive Produced by Ann Druyan, Seth MacFarlane,
Brannon Braga and Mitchell Cannold.
Doc 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.
Leave 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)
Veronica 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.
Cast: 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 Casey Neistat.
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 midnight 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.