Festivals - Austin Film Festival 2020 : AFF2020 Opening, centerpiece and closing night announcement
Austin Film Festival (AFF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to furthering the art, craft and business of writers and filmmakers and recognizing their contributions to film, television and new media. AFF champions the work of aspiring and established writers and filmmakers by providing unique cultural events and services, enhancing public awareness and participation, and encouraging dynamic and long-lasting community partnerships. AFF is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department and the Texas Commission on the Arts. All attendees and events are based on permitting schedules and are subject to change and/or cancellation without notice. For media credentials, please contact Lauren Kelcher Stevenson at email@example.com. Virtual Badges and Film Passes are available for purchase online or by phone at 1-800-310-FEST.
Austin Film Festival & Writers Conference (AFF), the premier film festival recognizing the writers’ contributions to film, television, and new media, announced today the spotlight Marquee films scheduled for the 27th annual Festival, this October 22-29, to round out its full program. The Opening Night feature Nine Days, will screen October 22, 2020 hailing from writer/director Edson Oda, with cast members Winston Duke and Zazie Beetz on hand for a post-screening Q&A. WWE Network Documentaries will also bring the World Premiere of Brothers of Destruction to the festival’s Closing Night slate, which chronicles the legacy of the iconic legends, Undertaker and Kane. AFF’s Centerpiece slot will be occupied by the IFC Films standout Farewell Amor, following the story of an Angolan immigrant reuniting with his wife and daughter after 17 years apart. IFC Films will also be bringing Stardust (directed/co-written by Gabriel Range) to the Festival’s Closing Night programming.
Previously announced marquee titles include the US Premiere of director Jonah Malak’s Dave Not Coming Back, and Utopia title Golden Arm written by Ann Marie Allison and Jenna Milly, and directed by Maureen Bharoocha. All films will be screened through the Festival’s virtual catalog available through the Eventive platform and are subject to geoblocking restrictions at the sole discretion of the distributors involved. Location accessibility or restrictions for the titles are listed on their specific film pages which can be accessed here.
Austin Film Festival also released they will return to the Paramount Theatre on Saturday, October 24th for two live, socially-distanced film presentations. Anne Rapp’s Horton Foote: The Road to Home will premiere at 1:30PM CDT, and Will Bakke’s The Get Together will premiere at 6:00pm CDT at the historic Paramount theatre in downtown Austin. The historic venue will have safety guidelines in place, including required masks, touchless temperature checks before entry, a healthcare professional onsite, and full theatre sanitation before films. Local virtual badge and virtual film pass holders will have the option to RSVP on a first come, first served basis beginning the week of the Festival. Both titles will be available on the festival’s virtual platform on Sunday, October 25th.
Additionally, the annual Writers Conference, which runs the first five days of the Festival, will feature over 30 panels on the art, craft, and business of screenwriting including conversations with Mara Brock Akil (Girlfriends), Gillian Flynn (Utopia), Howard Gordon (Homeland), Damon Lindelof (Watchmen), John Logan (Penny Dreadful), Gina Prince-Bythewood (The Old Guard), and Kevin Willmott (Da 5 Bloods).
Nine Days (USA, 124 min)– Opening Night film
Writer/director: Edson Oda
Cast: Winston Duke, Zazie Beetz, Bill Skarsgard, Tony Hale, Benedict Wong, Geraldine Hughes
Will (Winston Duke) spends his days in a remote outpost watching the live Point of View (POV) on TV’s of people going about their lives, until one subject perishes, leaving a vacancy for a new life on earth. Soon, several candidates—unborn souls—arrive at Will’s to undergo tests determining their fitness, facing oblivion when they are deemed unsuitable. But Will soon faces his own existential challenge in the form of free-spirited Emma (Zazie Beetz), a candidate who is not like the others, forcing him to turn within and reckon with his own tumultuous past. Fueled by unexpected power, he discovers a bold new path forward in his own life. Making his feature-film debut after a series of highly acclaimed and award-winning short films and music videos, Japanese Brazilian director Edson Oda delivers a heartfelt and meditative vision of human souls in limbo, aching to be born against unimaginable odds, yet hindered by forces beyond their will…
Golden Arm (USA, 90 min)
Writer: Ann Marie Allison, Jenna Milly
Director: Maureen Bharoocha
Cast: Mary Holland, Betsy Sodaro, Olivia Stambouliah, Eugene Cordero, Dot-Marie Jones, Dawn Luebbe, Ron Funches
Melanie is a baker in a small town, struggling with debt and a major case of the blahs caused by her failed marriage. When her ex demands half her grandmother’s bakery in their divorce, Melanie has no other choice but to take her best friend Danny’s advice—to enter the Ladies Arm Wrestling Championship. It just might work if Melanie can toughen up and take down the reigning champ, Danny’s arch nemesis, Brenda “The Bonecrusher” Smith!
Dave not coming back (Canada, 92 min)
Director: Jonah Malak
Two friends, Don and Dave, broke a world record for depth in the cave of Boesmansgat: 283 meters. Right before surfacing up, Dave finds a body. They decide to come back and retrieve it.
Farewell Amor-(USA, 95 min) Centerpiece film
Writer/director: Ekwa Msangi
Cast: Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine, Zainab Jah, Jayme Lawson, Joie Lee, Marcus Scribner, Nana Mensah
Reunited after 17 years apart, an Angolan immigrant welcomes his wife and daughter into his tiny Brooklyn apartment. Now strangers, they find common ground in their shared love of dance.
Stardust (UK, 109 min) – Closing night film
Writer: Christopher Bell, Gabriel Range
Director: Gabriel Range
Cast: Johnny Flynn, Jena Malone, Marc Maron, Aaron Poole, Anthony Flanagan, Olivia Carruthers, Jimmy Star
Stardust will chronicle the young David Bowie’s first visit to the US in 1971—a trip that inspired the invention of his iconic alter ego Ziggy Stardust.
Brothers of destruction (USA, 60 min) (Closing night film)
Director: Kieran Bent
Producer: Brian Decker
Executive Producers: Ben Houser, Brian Pellegatto
Forever linked as two of sports entertainment’s most enigmatic and popular Superstars, Undertaker and Kane shed their on-screen personas for a historic conversation at Austin’s Zach Theatre as part of WWE’s “30 Years of The Deadman” celebration commemorating Undertakers 30th anniversary in WWE. With more than three decades as one of the industry’s biggest box office draws, The Undertaker’s rise to stardom is forever connected to his mysterious counterpart from the dark side, Kane. Both in the ring and off screen, Mark Calaway and Glenn Jacobs developed a deep friendship revealed in this film. “Brothers of Destruction,” the latest presentation from WWE Network Documentaries, brings the audience behind the curtain with untold stories and rare footage of this unbreakable bond.
Marquee Features :
Dave Not Coming Back (US Premiere) - Director: Jonah Malak
Golden Arm (Texas Premiere) - Writer: Ann Marie Allison, Jenna Milly, Director: Maureen Bharoocha
Narrative features :
The Catch (World Premiere) - Writer/Director: Matthew Ya-Hsiung Balzer
Paper Tiger (World Premiere) - Writer/Director: Paul Kowalski
Wake Show (World Premiere) - Writer: Aldo Miyashiro, Érika Villalobos, Abril Cárdenas, Director: Aldo Miyashiro
Vagabonds (Texas Premiere) - Writer: Philippe Dajoux, Rebecca Bitan, Director: Philippe Dajoux
Good (World Premiere) - Writer: Justin Etheredge, Nathan Allen, Director: Justin Etheredge
The Badger (North American Premiere) - Writer/Director: Kazem Mollaie
Two Deaths of Henry Baker (World Premiere) - Writer: Sebastian Pigott, Director: Felipe Mucci
Hard Luck Love Song (World Premiere) - Writer: Justin Corsbie, Craig Ugoretz, inspired by the song “Just Like Old Times” by Todd Snider, Director: Justin Corsbie
Comedy Vanguard Features :
Death of a Telemarketer (Texas Premiere) - Writers/Director: Khaled Ridgeway
Reboot Camp (World Premiere) - Writer/Director: Ivo Raza
Film Fest (World Premiere) - Writer: Marshall Cook, Paul Alan Cope, Director: Marshall Cook
Standard (North American Premiere) - Writer/Director: Fernando González Gómez
Murder Bury Win (Texas Premiere) - Writer/Director: Michael Lovan
Time for Love (World Premiere) - Writer/Director: Miguel Velez
Dark Matters Features :
Blinders (North American Premiere)- Writer: Tyler Savage, Dash Hawkins, Director: Tyler Savage
The Blue Orchid (North American Premiere) - Writer: Carl Marott, Hans Frederik Jacobsen, Director: Carl Marott
The Arbors (Texas Premiere) - Writer: Clayton Witmer, Chelsey Cummings, Director: Clayton Witmer
The Eagle’s Nest (US Premiere) - Writer/Director: Olivier Assoua
Documentary Features :
Open Field (World Premiere) - Director: Kathy Kuras
Re-Inventing The Wheel (Texas Premiere) - Director: Chelsea McEvoy
The Book Keepers (World Premiere) - Director: Phil Wall
Kusasa (Texas Premiere) - Director: Shane Vermooten
Wildflower (Texas Premiere) - Director: Matt Smukler
Baato (Texas Premiere) - Director: Lucas Millard
ALE (World Premiere) - Director: O’Neil Bürgi
Texas independent features :
The Get Together (World Premiere) - Writer: Will Bakke, Michael B. Allen, Director: Will Bakke
Horton Foote: The Road To Home (World Premiere) - Director: Anne Rapp
Fugitive Dreams (US Premiere) - Writer: Jason Neulander, Caridad Svich, Director: Jason Neulander
Queens of Pain (World Premiere) - Director: Cassie Hay, Amy Winston
(Source : press release)