This year, the Austin Film Festival will celebrate 20 years of its groundbreaking film and screenwriting conference with a strong program of films already garnering Oscar buzz, as well as independent productions waiting to be discovered.
The festival has released its full 2013 film lineup with more than 70 features and 100 short films to play on Austin screens.
This year, the distinction of being AFF’s Centerpiece Film goes to Inside Llewyn Davis, the latest from esteemed brethren Joel and Ethan Coen. The film follows a young folk singer navigating the vibrant music scene in Greenwich Village in 1961.
Inside Llewyn Davis received the prestigious Grand Prix at the 2013 Cannes International Film Festival, so it already has a head start on awards season. While the talented Coen brothers will not be attending the festival, the film’s star, Oscar Isaac, will make an appearance alongside legendary music producer T Bone Burnett, whose collaboration on the soundtrack is his fourth with the duo.
Other films slated to be screened include: 12 Years a Slave from English director Steve McQueen; biopic Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, starring Idris Elba; James Franco’s Child of God; and Nebraska, starring former Saturday Night Live cast member Will Forte, who will also be attending the festival.
Other film stars you can expect to see in Austin? The cast of the Jack Kerouac-inspired Big Sur, including Josh Lucas, Jean Marc-Barr and John Robbins, as well as the cast of Winter in the Blood, an adaptation of the novel by Native American author James Welch.
As usual at AFF, a writers conference featuring panels of screenwriters and producers will be entertaining and enlightening audiences with unique insights into the world of filmmaking and storytelling. Among the many highlights is Elaine May, a screenwriter, director and actress who gained notoriety performing sketch comedy with Mike Nichols and with work in such films as The Heartbreak Kid, Tootsie and Ishtar. She will take part in a panel on comedy writing with Everybody Loves Raymond creator Phil Rosenthal.
May is also serving as a contributing guest programmer at AFF, alongside other industry luminaries such as Breaking Bad showrunner Vince Gilligan, Thelma & Louise screenwriter Callie Khouri, director Johnathan Demme and screenwriter/director Shane Black.
Austin Film Festival hits downtown October 24-31. For more information on badges, passes and all events, head over to festival’s official website.