AP Photo/Denis Poroy

If you held a very large weapon to our head and asked us what our favorite film festival was, we'd probably have to tinkle in our pants. And then we'd answer: the South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin, Texas. Warmer than Sundance and weirder than Cannes, it exemplifies Austin's easygoing vibe and serious commitment to all sorts of cinema, from genre movies to documentary features and everything in between. It's just the best. And from the looks of the early announcements, this year's festival is going to be as wonderful as ever.

The festival has announced that Jon Favreau's long-awaited return to independent cinema, "Chef," will open the festival on March 7. The movie also stars Favreau as a chef who quits his job at a prominent LA eatery and moves to Miami to start up a food truck. In terms of movies that have opened South by Southwest, we hope this one is more "Cabin in the Woods" and less "The Incredible Burt Wonderstone" (which opened the festival last year).

Additionally, the festival has announced some early screenings, including the world premieres of "Creep" (formerly "Peachfuzz"), an indie horror movie from Mark Duplass (who co-writes and stars) and "Paranormal Activity" producer Jason Blum; "Doc of the Dead," the definitive documentary on zombie culture from the makers of "The People vs. George Lucas;" "Leave the World Behind," a documentary charting the final tour of the electronic music outfit Swedish House Mafia; and last but certainly not least, "Veronica Mars," the Kickstarter-funded resurrection of the beloved cult TV series.

"Jon Favreau's wonderfully entertaining return to independent filmmaking works beautifully as our 2014 Opening Night Film, with his sharp and funny take on the world of food, artistry, and family in the age of social media," said Head of SXSW Film Janet Pierson in a prepared statement. "We're equally excited to share a few more highly anticipated projects and premieres with you in advance of our full slate, as well as reveal some terrific new discoveries."

The film portion of South by Southwest runs from March 17 - 15. We'll see you there!
Veronica Mars Movie Poster
Veronica Mars
Based on 35 critics

With her graduation from law school imminent, Veronica Mars (Kristen Bell) is interviewing with prestigious... Read More