Austin Film Festival reels out full lineup for 30th anniversary edition
The 30th annual Austin Film Festival and Writers Conference, taking place October 26-November 2, will bring the goods for its landmark season, featuring a number of Oscar-hopeful feature films, short films from up-and-coming filmmakers, and screenwriters celebrating the recent end of the writer's strike.
The festival, which will have screenings at the Paramount Theatre, Stateside at the Paramount, Galaxy Theatres, and elsewhere, will feature nearly 60 feature films in total, including 18 world premieres and two North American premieres.
Among the big films aiming for glory at the festival and beyond are opening night film Saltburn from writer/director Emerald Fennell, starring Jacob Elordi, Barry Keoghan, and Rosamund Pike; The Bikeriders from writer/director Jeff Nichols, starring Jodie Comer, Austin Butler, and Tom Hardy; The Holdovers from writer/director Alexander Payne, starring Paul Giamatti; and closing night film Day of the Fight from writer/director Jack Huston, starring Michael C. Pitt, Steve Buscemi, Ron Perlman, and Joe Pesci.
Fennell, Nichols, and Huston (making his feature film debut) will be among a number of filmmakers in attendance at the festival. Other big names making appearances include Brian Helgeland, Paul Reiser, Lena Headey, and Cord Jefferson.
Other notable screenings will include a costumed retrospective of Iron Man 3, with writer/director Shane Black leading a discussion on the film’s creation post screening; and the pilot episode of the upcoming Paramount+ original series, Lawmen: Bass Reeves, from executive producers Taylor Sheridan, Chad Feehan, and star David Oyelowo.
Coming soon after the end of WGA writer's strike, the Writer's Conference portion of the festival will take on a deeper meaning this year. Sharing insight into their projects and more will be screenwriters like Reiser, Damon Lindelof, Lauren Shuler Donner, Lee Eisenberg, Celine Song, Karyn Kusama, Joanna Calo, and more.
Jefferson, who has worked on Watchmen, Succession, The Good Place, and Master of None, will be presented with the inaugural Writer’s Writer award. His new film, American Fiction, is also playing at the festival.
Short films will also be in abundance at the festival, with 16 separate programs featuring 4-10 films each. The different blocks include ones focused on animated films, those filmed in Texas, documentaries, digital shorts, and more. David Gow, Jr. (son of CultureMap's Gow Media Chairman David Gow), stars alongside writer/director Tyler Martin in the short film Candice, part of Shorts Program 3: Just You and Me.
Passes for the festival start at $80, with options all the way up to $7,000, depending on how involved you want to be. Individual screening tickets are available on a limited basis. Passes/tickets can be purchased at austinfilmfestival.com.