Jon Favreau’s restaurant comedy “Chef,” Rob Thomas’ crowd-funded “Veronica Mars” movie and a documentary about zombies in film and popular culture will premiere at the 21st edition of the South by Southwest Film Conference and Festival in Austin, Texas, organizers announced Thursday.
The festival, which runs March 7-15, also will host an event with prominent physicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, who will discuss his new Fox series “Cosmos,” as well as an hourlong conversation with surrealist filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky.
"I think the through-line is always that we feel like we're on the cultural pulse," said film conference and festival producer Janet Pierson of the eclectic mix of programming. "When we're looking, particularly at documentaries, we're looking for things about the culture, cultural moments."
"Chef," which arrives as the first film from Favreau since 2011’s “Cowboys & Aliens,” opens the festival on a comedic note, with the writer-director playing a chef who leaves behind his position at a prominent L.A. eatery to stirke out on his own in Miami operating a food truck. The ensemble cast includes Sofia Vergara, Scarlett Johansson, John Leguizamo, Bobby Cannavale, Dustin Hoffman, Oliver Platt and Robert Downey Jr.