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Card-counting drama '21' to open 15th festival

Columbia Pictures' fact-based gambling drama "21," starring Kate Bosworth, Jim Sturgess, Kevin Spacey and Laurence Fishburne, will open the 15th annual South by Southwest Film Conference & Festival in Austin.

Robert Luketic's feature, tentatively slated to make its debut at the festival, revolves around a group of students who studied card counting and won a small fortune playing blackjack. It's 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."

The fest also will unveil two documentary world premieres: Steve James and Peter Gilbert's wrongful execution study "At the Death House Door" and "Dreams With Sharp Teeth," Erik Nelson's profile of sci-fi author Harlan Ellison. "Wild Blue Yonder," Celia Maysles' documentary portrait of her late documentarian father, David Maysles, will have its North American premiere.

David Schwimmer's Picturehouse comedy "Run, Fatboy, Run," starring Simon Pegg, and Michael Radford's period heist film "Flawless," starring Michael Caine and Demi Moore, will have their regional premieres at the festival.

SXSW, which runs March 7-15, will unveil its remaining film slate early next month.