Crossover Sensation: Texas Book Festival and Austin Film Festival join forcesnext weekend
Next weekend is going to be upon us quicker than you know. And if you're crazy enough (like we are), you'll be in festival heaven, bopping back and forth between the Austin Film Festival and the Texas Book Festival to see all your favorite authors, screenwriters, celebrities at your favorite downtown venues.
These two festivals don't usually overlap. But this year—because of some UT Football scheduling or something?—the two giant festivals will be sharing Austin's downtown. Will this town be big enough for the both of them?
The quick answer is: of course! With smart planning and open communication, the two festival's programming directors (TBF's Clay Smith and AFF's Stephen Jannise) not only played nicely with one another but are co-hosting several panels throughout the weekend. AFF is known as "a screenwriter's conference," so it only makes sense that this shared art form be celebrated with this unique opportunity.
What this means for many lucky attendees is that they will get to see their favorite cross-genre writers like Chuck Palahniuk and Tom Perotta appear at both festivals, discussing the challenges of converting novels into screenplays and the differences between the two genres.
Here's a quick list of the exciting cross-over panels that we've marked down on our AFF/TBF 2011 itinerary:
Since AFF starts on Thursday, we'd like to check in with documentarian turned science fiction wonderchild Ernest Cline at the “Roundtable: The Creative Side” panel at St. David's Episcopal Church at 1pm.
Cline is a self-proclaimed "nerd poet" who created the amazing film Fanboys, which honestly and lovingly captures the extremes in fandom in the Star Wars universe. Cline then went on to become a New York Times bestselling author with his novel Ready Player One, which is revolutionizing the way many authors and readers see the genre, is about a dystopian world's online treasure hunt that combines elements of The Sims with Charlie in the Chocolate Factory. Clearly, he's got a lot to say about creativity.
This multi-talented writer will then be appearing Saturday at the State Capitol Senate Chambers for a panel about robots and video games and imagination with fellow sci-fi writer Daniel H. Wilson, whose book Robopacolypse is a dystopian look at what happens when our programmable friends we rely upon rise up against us.
For fans of forensics novels and the popular FOX Television series Bones, the writers of the original series of novels will be joining the lead writers for what is sure to be a lively discussion on Saturday morning in the Driskill Hotel Ballroom. Bones novel writer Kathy Reichs will appear on a panel with Bones teleplay writer Hart Hanson to discuss the collaboration process, of bringing her characters to life on weekly television instead of the big screen.
Reichs will also have a solo panel in the Capitol's Senate Chambers Saturday afternoon at 3:45pm to discuss her series of novels as well as her new young adult series, Virals. Hanson will also later be seen when he is honored at “The Art of Storytelling with the 2011 Awardees” panel held in the Driskill Hotel on Sunday morning.
Another exciting novel to screen team-up panel happens Saturday morning at 9am when novelist Chuck Palahniuk joins screenwriter Jim Uhls to discuss the script-to-screen uphill battle that eventually became the ultra-violent cult classic Fight Club, about a bored, crazy individual who makes life better by welcoming in a shitload of danger to the routine.
Chuck Palahniuk is never apologetic in his approaches to subversive topics and characters, and he'll be a dynamic presence that you can also catch Saturday night at the Scoot Inn during the TBF Lit Crawl. And getting the greenlight to make this film took some unimaginably creative screenwriting and deft Hollywood finagling. Jim Uhls was the screenwriter insane enough to take on the process, and his story is sure to be a crowd pleaser.
It's worth noting that both Russell Banks and Tom Perotta—novelists with impressive screen adaptations—will be in town for the AFF and TBF. Banks is the author of the beautiful novels that became beautiful indie films Affliction and The Sweet Hereafter, which he gave over to other screenwriters to produce. Perotta is the versatile author of the books Election and Little Children, the latter of which he co-wrote the screenplay.
AFF sells a festival badge you can either buy in advance or on site. You can also buy individual tickets to screenings. TBF is always free and open to the public. So take advantage of the celebrated writers that are going to be at your disposal, and plan ahead. See you at the Festivals!