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SXSW to open with ‘Burt Wonderstone’

Warner Bros./New Line comedy stars Steve Carell and Jim Carrey

South by Southwest has selected “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone” as its opening night film on March 8 in Austin, marking the world premiere of the Warner Bros./New Line comedy.

The selection of “Burt,” which opens March 15, was revealed Tuesday by the fest, now in its 20th year. Don Sacrdino’s “Burt” stars Steve Carell and Steve Buscemi as Las Vegas magicians facing competition from a guerilla street magician, played by Jim Carrey; producers are Chris Bender, Steve Carell, Jake Weiner and Tyler Mitchell.

Last year’s opening night title at SXSW was Joss Whedon’s “Cabin in the Woods.”

Fest announced half a dozen additional films: Joe Swanberg’s comedy “Drinking Buddies,” Alex Winter’s Napster documentary “Downloaded,” Harmony Korine’s “Spring Breakers,” Fede Alvarez’ “Evil Dead,” Ryan White’s doc “Good Ol’ Freda” about The Beatles’ secretary Freda Kelly and “Everyone’s Going to Die,” the first feature from UK directing collective Jones.

The SXSW showings will be the world premieres except for “Spring Breakers” which will be its U.S. premiere.

The complete lineup will be announced Jan. 31 excluding Midnighter features, which will be announced with the shorts lineup on Feb. 6.

“Everyone knows that we like have a good time at SXSW, and our 20th year is already well on track with smart, stylish and highly entertaining work,” said SXSW topper Janet Pierson. “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 8 a.m. Monday viewing.”

SXSW also disclosed several panels: “A Conversation with Matthew McConaughey”; “Humanizing Heroes: Storytelling Beyond Sports”; “Bates Motel: Story to Screen with Carlton Cuse” and “Jeffrey Tambor’s Acting Workshop.”

The Startup Alley section will feature a panel with Franklin Leonard, founder and CEO of The Black List.

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