A double dose of Jon Stewart? Yes, please. Austin Film Festival has announced that when Jon Stewart visits Austin in October for a series of tapings of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart at the ZACH Theatre, he’ll also present his directorial debut, Rosewater.
Barbara Morgan, executive director of AFF, says that it just "made a lot of sense" to have Stewart's film be the Closing Night Selection. "Obviously we connected it because he was going be here," Morgan explains.
Fans of The Daily Show may remember Stewart's hiatus from the program last summer. During those three months, Stewart shot Rosewater, a film adaption of journalist Maziar Bahari’s time in an Iranian prison. Stewart was not only the director; he also wrote the screenplay based on Bahair's written memoir about the entire experience. Bahari will also co-present Rosewater during the festival.
When Iran accused Bahari of espionage and subsequently incarcerated him in 2009, his appearance on The Daily Show earlier that year was used as evidence against him. He then spent 118 days in an Iranian prison where he was forced to confess to spying and brutally interrogated until his release.
Bahari is played by Mexican actor Gael García Bernal; Kim Bodnia portrays the man known as “Rosewater.”
The opening night of the festival includes the U.S. premiere of The Humbling, starring Al Pacino and written by former AFF award winner Buck Henry. Other screenings include The Homesman, The Last 5 Years and The Sound and the Fury, as well as Dawn Patrol, which originated from AFF's screenplay competition in 2008.
The 2014 Austin Film Festival runs from October 23-30. Passes and badges are still available through the AFF website.