The big ‘dance is a mere two weeks away, and SXSW has just let slip a few of its big premieres. Via the Hollywood Reporter, the SXSW opening night film will be Robert Luketic’s "21," based on Ben Mezrich’s 2002 nonfiction book "Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six M.I.T. Students Who Took Vegas for Millions," which traced how the MIT Blackjack Team studied card counting and, backed by anonymous investors, brought in huge amounts before the Vegas casinos caught on. Kate Bosworth, Jim Sturgess, Kevin Spacey and Laurence Fishburne star. Fest producer Matt Dentler has the trailer.
Also premiering at SXSW are two docs: IFC’s own "At the Death House Door," from Peter Gilbert and "Hoop Dreams" director Steve James, and Erik Nelson’s "Dreams With Sharp Teeth," about sci-fi author Harlan Ellison, who, among many, many other things, wrote the screenplay for the "Star Trek" episode "The City on the Edge of Forever." The rest of the line-up will be released in February.
Meanwhile, Variety reports that Sean Penn is set to head up this year’s Cannes jury. "In the last few years, it seems there has been a rejuvenation of cinema building worldwide; increasingly thoughtful, provocative, moving, and imaginative films by talented filmmakers: that a new generation of filmmaking may have begun," he vagues. Last year’s jury president was Stephen Frears.