Favreau, VERONICA MARS, Zombies Lead SXSW First Wave Announcement

Ryland Aldrich, Festivals Editor



Sundance has yet to kick off but our friends in Texas ain't waiting around to start ticking off their films for March's SXSW Film Fest. Just announced are the seven films that makeup the "first wave" of programming for the festival which runs March 7-15 in Austin. Included on the docket is Jon Favreau's opening nighter Chef which stars the actor/director as a food truck entrepreneur alongside Sofia Vergara, Scarlett Johansson, John Leguizamo, Bobby Cannavale, Dustin Hoffman and Robert Downey Jr.

Also in this announcement, the much anticipated Veronica Mars feature world premiere, a docu about zombie fandom by The People vs. George Lucas-director Alexandre O. Philippe called Doc of the Dead, Swedish House Mafia docu Leave the World Behind, the Mark Duplass-starring Creep directed by Patrick Brice, Neil deGrasse Tyson-hosted TV series Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey, and Jay Karas's tennis drama Break Point.

We are looking forward to more announcements in the weeks to come. In the meantime, here is the full release:

Service! We're pleased to reveal the mouthwatering first wave of programming for SXSW Film 2014. Leading the charge, our Opening Night Film is the world premiere of Chef, Jon Favreau's return to his indie roots.

Favreau wrote, directed and stars in the comedy that also features Sofia Vergara, Scarlett Johansson, John Leguizamo, Bobby Cannavale, Dustin Hoffman and Robert Downey Jr. Favreau plays Carl, a chef who loses his job and decides to launch a food truck business, while attempting to reunite his estranged family.

Rounding out this initial tasting menu, we're equally delighted to announce six more premieres:

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

Creep (World Premiere)
Director: Patrick Brice, Screenwriter: 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

We're also pleased to reveal stellar conference content, in the shape of A Conversation with Alejendro Jodorowsky. The iconoclastic filmmaker behind psychedelic cult films El Topo, The Holy Mountain and Santa Sangre, and the upcoming The Dance of Reality, his first film in nearly 25 years, will attend SXSW. Moderated by Hitfix's Drew McWeeny, we're confident this unique session will deliver some of the great insight and curveball ideas we've come to expect from the master surrealist.

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.
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