The South by Southwest Film Conference and Festival will open on March 8 with the world premiere of “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone,” starring funnymen Steve Carell, Steve Buscemi and Jim Carrey. The festival is celebrating its 20th anniversary March 8-16 in Austin, Texas.
“Burt Wonderstone” also stars Olivia Wilde, Alan Arkin and James Gandolfini, and is directed by Don Scardino. It will debut in theaters March 15.
The synopsis is below. Fest producer Janet Pierson states, “Though this is just a taste of what SXSW 2013 will have to offer, what better way to get the party started than with ‘The Incredible Burt Wonderstone,’ which had us laughing our heads off, despite an 8am Monday viewing.”
The story follows superstar magicians Burt Wonderstone (Steve Carell) and Anton Marvelton (Steve Buscemi), who have ruled the Las Vegas strip for years, raking in millions with illusions as big as Burt’s growing ego. But lately the duo’s greatest deception is their public friendship, while secretly they’ve grown to loathe each other. Facing cutthroat competition from guerilla street magician Steve Gray (Jim Carrey), whose cult following surges with each outrageous stunt, even their show looks stale. But there’s still a chance Burt and Anton can save the act—both onstage and off—if Burt can get back in touch with what made him love magic in the first place.
SXSW also reveals a handful of other titles that will be screening at the festival, including fest regular Joe Swanberg’s “Drinking Buddies,” Alex Winter’s doc about the rise and fall of Napster, Harmony Korine’s Sundance entry “Spring Breakers,” Fede Alvarez’s remake of “Evil Dead,” Ryan White’s doc “Good Ol’ Freda,” about the Beatles’ secretary, and the UK directing collective Jones’ “Everyone’s Going to Die.” Details below.
SXSW will also house 150 Conversations, panels, workshops and mentor sessions. Among them is a Conversation with Texas native Matthew McConaughey, “Humanizing Heroes: Storytelling Beyond Sports,” “Bates Motel: Story to Screen with Carlton Cuse” and Jeffrey Tambor’s Acting Workshop.
The majority of the lineup will be announced January 31, with Midnight features and Shorts set to be announced February 6.
“Downloaded” (World Premiere)
Director: Alex Winter
Downloaded is a documentary that explores the rise and fall of Napster and the birth of the digital revolution. It’s about the teens that helped start this revolution, and the artists and industries who continue to be impacted by it.
“Drinking Buddies” (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Joe Swanberg
Weekend trips, office parties, late night conversations, drinking on the job, marriage pressure, biological clocks, holding eye contact a second too long… you know what makes the line between “friends” and “more than friends” really blurry? Beer.
Cast: Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson, Anna Kendrick, Ron Livingston
“Everyone’s Going to Die” (World Premiere)
A modern British story about coming home, getting by and the redemptive power of feeling you’re not alone. A story where porn hotlines rub shoulders with sexy beavers on rollerskates; where the past is laid to rest, two lives are changed and nobody, finally, is going to die.
Cast: Nora Tschirner, Rob Knighton, Kellie Shirley, Madeline Duggan (United Kingdom)
“Evil Dead” (World Premiere)
Director: Fede Alvarez, Screenwriter: Fede Alvarez & Rodo Sayagues
Five friends, holed up in a remote cabin, discover a Book of the Dead that unwittingly summons up dormant demons, which possess the youngsters in succession until only one is left to fight for survival.
Cast: Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, Lou Taylor Pucci, Jessica Lucas, Elizabeth Blackmore
“Good Ol’ Freda” (World Premiere)
Director: Ryan White
Good Ol’ Freda tells the story of Freda Kelly, a shy Liverpudlian teenager asked to work for a young local band hoping to make it big: The Beatles. Their loyal secretary from beginning to end, Freda tells her tales for the first time in 50 years.
“The Incredible Burt Wonderstone” (World Premiere)
Director: Don Scardino, Story by Chad Kultgen & Tyler Mitchell and Jonathan Goldstein & John Francis Daley. Screenplay by Jonathan Goldstein & John Francis Daley
When superstar Vegas magicians Burt and Anton let their act grow as stale as their friendship, an ambitious rival with a cutting-edge delivery swoops in for the kill. Cast: Steve Carell, Steve Buscemi, Olivia Wilde, with Alan Arkin, James Gandolfini and Jim Carrey
“Spring Breakers” (U.S. Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Harmony Korine
Four college girls who land in jail after robbing a restaurant in order to fund their spring break vacation find themselves bailed out by a drug and arms dealer who wants them to do some dirty work. Cast: James Franco, Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson, Rachel Korine