21 To Open 2008 SXSW Film Festival

Matt Dentler just sent out the first batch of announced titles for the 2008 South by Southwest Film Festival. The MIT/Vegas gambling heist adaptation 21 will open the fest. Other films include Dreams With Sharp Teeth, a doc about sci-fi author Harlan Ellison, Michael Radford's (The Post Man) Flawless starring Michael Caine and Demi Moore, the David Schwimmer directed Simon Pegg comedy Run Fatboy Run which premiered at Toronto, Wild Blue Yonder and At the Death House Door. Read the full press release after the jump.

'21' To Open 15th SXSW Film Festival

First Batch of Confirmed Titles Also Announced

Austin, TX – January 2nd, 2008 â€" Columbia Pictures' highly anticipated film, 21, will open the 15th edition of the South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Conference & Festival on March 7, 2008. The film, directed by Robert Luketic from a script by Peter Steinfeld and Allan Loeb, is scheduled to open in theaters on March 28. Based on Ben Mezrich's popular book, Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six M.I.T. Students Who Took Vegas for Millions, the film stars Jim Sturgess, Kate Bosworth, Kevin Spacey, and Laurence Fishburne. It will screen at Austin's Paramount Theater, on Friday, March 7 to launch nine days of SXSW film screenings, parties, panel sessions, and trade show.

"We're thrilled to have 21 screen as the Opening Night Film of SXSW 2008," says Festival Producer Matt Dentler. "With a great story, as well as fantastic talent in front of and behind the camera, we're willing to bet that audiences will be just as excited."

21 joins a roster of recently announced titles, slated to screen at the 2008 SXSW Film Festival, March 7-15. Some of the other titles include:

At the Death House Door, directed by Steve James and Peter Gilbert. A sobering and powerful story of the wrongful execution of Carlos DeLuna and the Death House Chaplain, Pastor Carroll Pickett, who spent the last day of DeLuna's life with him.

Dreams With Sharp Teeth, directed by Erik Nelson. A documentary portrait of acclaimed author Harlan Ellison, as he looks back on his fabled and influential career as one of the world's top science fiction writers.

Flawless, directed by Michael Radford. In 1960s London, a talented but overlooked diamond executive (Demi Moore) is convinced to participate in a jewelry heist when a veteran janitor (Michael Caine) hatches a plan.

Run Fatboy Run, directed by David Schwimmer. An out-of-shape divorced father (Simon Pegg) makes one last attempt to win back the respect of his son, his ex-wife (Thandie Newton), and the community around him. All he has to do is finish his first marathon.

Wild Blue Yonder, directed by Celia Maysles. Celia Maysles had no idea her father and his brother Albert were pioneers of verite documentary filmmaking. Determined to uncover the secrets surrounding her background, Celia sets out on a quest to rediscover her father by using his own artistic process.

SXSW will announce the complete lineup of 2008 features and shorts, in early February.