Friday, September 26, 2008

Music is in the air (and on screen this October)

Don't let your love of music wind down after Austin City Limits - get ready for a series of music-inspired documentaries and films at the 15th annual Austin Film Festival! For only $42 - gain access to all these movies and over 190 more screenings October 16-23.

An affordable price and air conditioning - you can't beat that!

  • Song Sung Blue - More Info
    Director: Greg Kohs Regional Premiere
    Koh’s documentary follows the alternately inspiring and tragic love story of Lightning & Thunder, a homegrown Milwaukee husband and wife singing duo that pay tribute to the music of Neil Diamond.

[THURSDAY, OCTOBER 16, 7:00PM, Alamo Ritz
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 18, 12:00PM, Landmark Dobie]

  • Crazy - More Info
    Writers: Brent Boyd, Jason Ehlers, Rick Bieber, Director: Rick Bieber
    Cast: Lane Garrison, Waylon Payne, Ali Larter

    Regional Premiere
    Inspired by the life of Hank Garland, “Crazy” is the story of a legendary guitar player who emerged from Nashville in the 1950s.

[THURSDAY, OCTOBER 16, 9:45PM, Bob Bullock IMAX
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 19, 3:00PM, Alamo Lake Creek]

  • D Tour - More Info
    Director: Jeremy Konner (in attendance)
    Featuring: Jack Black, Kyle Gass, Ben Stiller, Jon Stewart

    Regional Premiere
    A tour documentary chronicling Tenacious D’s tour in support of their film, The Pick of Destiny.

[FRIDAY, OCTOBER 17, 10:15PM, Landmark Dobie
MONDAY, OCTOBER 20, 9:45PM, Alamo Lake Creek]

  • Largo - More Info
    Directors: Mark Flanagan, Andrew van Baal (in attendance)
    Featuring: John C. Reilly, Fiona Apple, Zach Galifanakis, Paul F. Thomkins, Jon Brion, Louis C.K., Fred Armisen, Aimee Mann, Patton Oswalt, David Garza, Sarah Silverman, Colin Hay, Andrew Bird, Grant Lee Phillips, Dave Allen

    Regional Premiere
    A concert film covering the last days of the L.A. club Largo in their original location, a regular home to comedians and musicians.

[SATURDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2:30PM, Landmark Dobie
MONDAY, OCTOBER 20, 7:00PM, Alamo Lake Creek]

  • Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison - More Info
    Director: Bestor Cram (in attendance)
    World Premiere
    In January 1968, in a gray prison cafeteria in Northern California, hard men doing hard time witnessed the making of a legendary album.

[SATURDAY, OCTOBER 18, 7:15PM, Bob Bullock Spirit Theater
MONDAY, OCTOBER 20, 9:45PM, Bob Bullock Spirit Theater]

  • Noble Things - More Info
    Writers/Directors: Dan McMellen, Brett Moses (both in attendance)
    Cast: Brett Moses, Lee Ann Womack (in attendance), Michael Parks, Ryan Hurst, Tracy Bird (in attendance), Dominique Swain

    World Premiere
    Singer Jimmy Wayne Collins finds himself adrift when forced to return home to Southeast Texas to face his dying father and the demons he left behind.

[MONDAY, OCTOBER 20, 7:00PM, Bob Bullock Spirit Theater]

RESERVE YOUR FILM PASSES HERE or by calling 512-478-4795.
Out and about? Pick one up at Waterloo Records or Follett's Intellectual Property (service fees apply)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

2008 AFF Film Line-Up Announced

Announcing the 2008 Austin Film Festival Movie Line-Up!

Join the interactive B-Side community to make your custom schedule and itinerary! Visit AFF's B-Side Community for all the latest news and updates.

Over 190 films will screen during the 15th annual Austin Film Festival at 9 venues across Austin, consisting of world, U.S. and regional premieres!
Read more in the official press release, by clicking here.

*Slumdog Millionaire (Marquee Film)

*Adam Resurrected (Marquee Film)

*Bart Got a Room (Marquee Film)

*Blind Ambition (Target Family Film Series)

*Comedy Vanguard series, Dark Matters, Shorts Programs and much, much more!
(Scene from Visioneers)

  • Badges start at $95 and are available online or by phone at 512-478-4795. Badges allow priority access into theaters ahead of Film Passes and individual tickets.
  • Film Passes ($42) allow access to theaters ahead of individual tickets and are available online, by phone at 512-478-4795, at Waterloo Records (600A N. Lamar Blvd) and Follett's Intellectual Property (2402 Guadalupe). Services fees apply at retail locations.
  • Individual tickets are available if seating capacity allows day of screening, 30 minutes prior to start time at the theater box office.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Badge Discounts End Monday! Plus Announcing Danny Boyle & Charlie Kaufman!

AFF Badges will remain at their discounted prices until Monday, September 22 at midnight! Reserve your Producers badge for only $585 (full price $650)!

To help you decide what badge is right for you we created our detailed breakdown of badge benefits.


Scheduled To Appear during the Austin Film Festival:
Greg Daniels, Danny Boyle, Charlie Kaufman, Tim Kring, Jake Kasdan, David Wain, Terry Rossio, John August, Robert Townsend, Polly Platt, Shauna Cross, Melissa Rosenberg, John Lee Hancock, Dan Petrie, Jr., James V. Hart, Mark Vahradian, Shane Black, Herschel Weingrod, Bryan Bertino, Bob Fisher, Mike Fry, Matthew Gross, Kirsten Smith, Boaz Yakin, Jeff Nathanson, Phil Rosenthal, Beau Thorne and many more!

Don't miss out your opportunity to break into the business! Learn about this year's exciting and intimate panels with key screenwriters and filmmakers and a sneak preview of the film line-up (including buzz-worthy films fresh from Toronto).

Panel Highlights:
A Conversation with...Danny Boyle
Meet 2008 Extraordinary Contribution to Filmmaking Award recipient Danny Boyle, the legendary director and producer behind Slumdog Millionaire, Sunshine, 28 Days Later, Trainspotting and A Life Less Ordinary to name a few.

A Conversation with...Greg Daniels
Join Outstanding Television Writer recipient Greg Daniels at his panel and learn from the five time Emmy winner and creator, writer and director of The Office and King of the Hill.

Adapting Twilight
The record breaking Twilight series has been a landmark in the young adult novel and is now currently in production as a major fall release. Come hear from screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg on the process of translating the hit novel into a blockbuster film and watch a clip from the film.

Building a Script
How do you build a script from an original idea? What should you ask yourself before you get the story started? This panel will give you insight into how writers get their feet wet and dive into a new project. Shauna Cross, Dan Petrie Jr., Polly Platt, Greg Beal - moderator

Tell Your Story: Phil Rosenthal and Jake Kasdan
Find Phil Rosenthal and Jake Kasdan by the fireplace in the Victorian Balcony. Ask questions about comedy and join the casual conversation on the couches. Other Tell Your Story participants include: Terry Rossio, Jeff Nathanson, David Wain & more. See their discussions from Thursday - Sunday at the Conference!

Film Highlights:
(w/ Danny Boyle in attendance!)
Writer: Simon Beaufoy
Director: Danny Boyle
Cast: Dev Patel, Madhur Mittal, Freida Pinto, Anil Kapoor, Irrfan Khan

The story of Jamal Malik, an 18 year-old orphan from the slums of Mumbai, who is about to experience the biggest day of his life. With the whole nation watching, he is just one question away from winning a staggering 20 million rupees on India ’s “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?” But when the show breaks for the night, police arrest him on suspicion of cheating; how could a street kid know so much?

(w/ Charlie Kaufman in attendance!)
Writer/Director: Charlie Kaufman
Cast: Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Emily Watson, Dianne West, Michelle Williams, Samantha Morton, Tom Noonan, Catherine Keener

Theater director Caden Cotard's life in Schenectady , New York is looking bleak. His wife Adele has left him to pursue her painting in Berlin , taking their young daughter Olive with her. A new relationship with the alluringly candid Hazel has prematurely run aground. And a mysterious condition is systematically shutting down each of his body's autonomic functions. Worried about the transience of his life, he moves his theater company to a warehouse in New York City . He directs them in a celebration of the mundane, instructing each to live out their constructed lives in a growing mockup of the city outside.

Director: Kelly Reichardt
Writers: Jonathan Raymond, Kelly Reichardt
Cast: Michelle Williams, Will Patton, Larry Fessenden, Will Oldham

Wendy Carroll is driving to Ketchikan , Alaska , in hopes of a summer of lucrative work at the Northwestern Fish cannery, and the start of a new life with her dog, Lucy. When her car breaks down in Oregon , however, the thin fabric of her financial situation comes apart, and she confronts a series of increasingly dire economic decisions, with far-ranging repercussions for herself and Lucy. Wendy and Lucy addresses issues of sympathy and generosity at the edges of American life, revealing the limits and depths of people’s duty to each other in tough times.

Writer/Director: Mike Leigh
Cast: Sally Hawkins, Alexis Zegerman, Eddie Marsan

Just how hard is it to be happy? In the effervescent new comedy from director Leigh Sally Hawkins stars as Poppy, an irrepressibly free-spirited school teacher who brings an infectious laugh and an unsinkable sense of optimism to every situation she encounters, offering us a deeply life-affirming exploration of one of the most mysterious and often the most elusive of all human qualities: happiness.

Now's the time to get your badge. Producers, Conference, Weekend & Lone Star available.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

6th Film & Food Charity Party

6th Film & Food Charity Party
Benefiting Austin Film Festival's Young Filmmakers ProgramWednesday, October 15| Driskill Hotel, 604 Brazos| 7PM-10PM

Besides being a fundraiser for a more than worthy cause, the Film & Food Party is a whole barrel of delicious fun.” –

Do you like good food? Good film? Good works?

The Austin Film Festival presents Film & Food, one of the most talked about food-centric events in the city!

Driskill Grill | Eddie V's | Primizie Osteria| Ranch 616 | Roaring Fork | Ruth's Chris Steak House | Siena Ristorante Toscana | III Forks | Lambert's | Parkside | Citrus | Yume | Sagre | Starlite | Teo | ROSCAR Handcrafted Chocolates | Passion Cafe Exotic Coffee | Viking Home Appliance | Cissi's Market | Polkadots Cupcake Factory

Don't miss out on the exciting silent and live auctions or open bars located inside the historic Driskill Hotel - the food and drink will be flowing all night long, served by the top chefs from Austin's most notable restaurants.

All proceeds from the ticket sales and event auctions benefit AFF's Young Filmmakers Program which provides free programs to AISD high schools and partners with the Dell Children's Hospital to provide an annual camp retreat for patients and sponsored infusion room.

**PATRON SPONSORSHIP** Receive Two Film & Food Tickets AND Two 2008 Film Passes for $250. Think of it as dinner and a movie - times a million.

Reserve your ticket today for one of Austin's most delectable events! TICKETS: $85 (Discounted tickets available for AFF Members & Badge-holders)To purchase: Call 512.478.4795 or visit Film and Food guests must be 21 or older. IDs will be required.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Austin Film Festival Announces Outstanding Television Writer Awardee!

Remember the episode of Seinfeld where the George & Elaine fight over a stolen parking space outside of Jerry’s house? Or The Simpsons episode where Bart sells his soul to Milhouse for $5? Have you spent your week waiting for the latest episode of The Office, or Sunday evenings winding down with the second longest-running animated television show of all time, King of the Hill?

Having proved his undeniable talent as a comedy writer, producer and director – The 15th annual Austin Film Festival is proud to announce this year’s recipient of the Outstanding Television Writer award - none other than the multi-talented and award-winning Greg Daniels.

Greg Daniels began writing for the National Lampoon at Harvard University, with fellow future The Simpsons writer Conan O’Brien. His first television engagement was with the hit HBO show Not Necessarily the News, which soon became Saturday Night Live, and followed with him winning his first Emmy Award, for Outstanding Writing in a Variety Series (1989).

Daniels then continued his career by joining The Simpsons as a writer and producer. He is said to have been the creator behind “some of the most popular episodes in the history of the series”: "22 Short Films About Springfield", "Homer and Apu", "Bart Sells His Soul", and "Lisa's Wedding." He also co-wrote the legendary “The Parking Space” episode for Seinfeld, for which he received a Writer’s Guild Award nomination.

After his long, successful stint with The Simpsons, including becoming co-executive producer and winning another Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Series (1995), Daniels moved onto a new project with Mike Judge: King of the Hill. The Simpsons is the longest-running animated series in television, and with his same magical touch he made the Emmy-winning King of the Hill the second longest-running animated series in television!

His most recent project, The Office, has also been a hit and won Daniels two more Emmy-awards including Outstanding Comedy Series (2006) and Outstanding Individual Achievement in Writing for a Comedy Series (2007).

Daniels is currently working on a new series with Emmy-nominated Saturday Night Live star Amy Poehler to air on NBC in early 2009.

Want to hear the ins and outs of writing for television with Greg Daniels himself? Join us at the Austin Film Festival Conference!

Badges start at just $95 and allow access to panels, movies and networking parties – plus access to purchasing a seat at the Awards Luncheon, where you can see Daniels accept his honor alongside Distinguished Screenwriter Awardeee Sam Shepard. For more information call 1-800-310-3378 or visit

Reserve your badge today before prices go up September 22!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

How to "do" the Austin Film Festival

HOW TO "DO" THE AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL by Heather Hughes and Aadip Desai
Heather Hughes is a screenwriter and a board member of TheFilmSchool in Seattle.
Aadip Desai is a screenwriter and President of the Northwest Screenwriters Guild in Seattle.

[Below is an excerpt from Heather & Aadip's question & answer session about the Austin Film Festival. For more tips and tricks on experiencing the best of the fest - click here!]

What is the focus of the Screenwriting Conference?
As John Arends said to me in an email, "The hallmark of the Austin Film Festival is that it's a WRITER'S festival. It celebrates screenwriters and scripts like no other film festival on the planet. And that's why it's so beloved by, and attended by, so many of our writer and writer-director heroes. And that's why everyone you meet will have something of value to say about the craft of screenwriting. That's right - EVERYBODY!"

Why should I go?
Aside from being the premiere screenwriting conference in the country, the best reason to go is that all the panelists - filmmakers, agents and big screenwriters - who are the very best in the world -can't go home at night (like they can at Pitch Fest and other LA based conferences). They usually attend most of the parties and sit around the Driskill bar at night. You can listen to their wisdom during the day and hang out with them in the evening. This conference gives you unprecedented access to amazing screenwriters and filmmakers.

Which badge should I get? How much are they?
I suggest everyone get a Producer's Badge. It is pricey, but it allows you to go to all the parties. The parties are a great place to meet people, and I wouldn't buy a lesser badge because of it. The Producer's Badge is $585 until September 22nd and then goes up to $650.

If you want to do the Festival on a budget, there are some other options. The Festival offers a Conference Badge that gets you into all four days of the Conference and all the films, but only 3 parties. The Lonestar Badge gives you access to Saturday panels, the Pitch Finale Party and all the films. If you've entered the contest and advance to the "Second Round" (Austin's term for quarter-finalist) you will get a discount. As you advance in the contest, the discount becomes larger. Even if you buy a badge before you go, they will refund the added expense if you advance in the contest. It's too late to enter now, but keep it in mind for next year.

Which days should I attend?
I always arrive Wednesday night and stay until the Hair of the Dog party on Sunday.

Where does all the action happen? Where should I stay?
I love to stay at the Driskill, and this is one reason we buy our badges early. The conference helps you book discounted rooms at the Driskill and the Stephen F. Austin hotels, and the Driskill usually sells out first. The Driskill is a beautiful old hotel and it truly is where everything happens. If you can't get a room, the Stephen F. is right across the street and is very nice, and nothing prevents you from hanging out at the Driskill. The Driskill and the Stephen F are my first choices, but AFF offers a variety of discounts at downtown hotels. Check out the website for prices that best fit your budget. As I mentioned, the Driskill Bar is the place to hang out in the afternoon and evening before and after the parties.

Which events are a "must attend"?
Conference: I wouldn't miss it. See details below.

Festival: Screenwriters from Seattle tell me that the buzz of the conference is over and they felt a little lonely when they stayed. I haven't stayed for it, so I can't speak from my own experience. I have heard that if you want to stay and explore Austin that week is a perfect time to do it and watch movies starting in the afternoon. The movies during the week tend to be films that get Oscar buzz later and you never know what screenwriter will be in attendance with their film. Last year AFF screened films like: Lars and the Real Girl, Juno, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, The Savages, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead and festival circuit favorites like Shotgun Stories and In Search of a Midnight Kiss.

Parties: I love the parties, and that's saying a lot since I usually stay far away from parties. The bar-b-q is fantastic. It's outside and lots of fun. The Hair of the Dog party is at a little diner and is really great. All of them are wonderful.

Awards Luncheon: Most panelists don't think to shell out the extra $45 for the luncheon, but I've made some amazing contacts and friends there. The conference arranges that each table has at least one panelist, industry executive, filmmaker or screenwriter, so it's another great way to casually network while the screenwriters and filmmakers are receiving awards for their work. The awards luncheon is where you meet the festival's honorees. Last year Award recipients included Oliver Stone, John Milius and Glenn Gordon Caron.

How does the pitch competition work? How should I prepare?
The pitch competition is $15 per ticket with a limit of two. Judges who are AFF panelists listen to pitches and pick a winner from each round. The top 8 winners go on to pitch at the Pitch Competition Party on Saturday evening. Last year registrants had a chance to pitch in front of Terry Rossio, Robin Swicord and executives from Red Wagon, Groundswell Productions, The Montecito Pictures and many others.

How do the roundtables work? How should I prepare?
The roundtables are my favorite part of the conference. There is a conference room set up with about six round tables. When you enter you choose a seat at one of the tables. Each table has a chair with a little sign that says "speaker (or something like that, can't quite remember). When everyone is seated the speakers come in and take seats at each table. They do their spiel about their companies and what their interests are, and then there's usually time for questions. After 10 minutes or so, the moderator rings a bell and all the speakers switch tables. You don't change places, but you have each speaker come to your table. This is not a time for you to pitch your script, but often producers will say what they're looking for.
How to sign up: When you get to the conference, you must go to the second floor of the Driskill and sign up for the round-tables. You will get your pick of one roundtable and it pays to have studied the bios of the speakers. You will be given a colored dot to put on you badge and that will let you get into the round table you picked.

Any "don'ts" for attending the conference?
This goes for any conference, but DON'T hang out with your friends. You'll have paid a lot to get to the conference and you should treat it like the costly business expense that it is. You can hang out with your friends at home. Cultivate your own relationships at the conference.

To register for the Austin Film Festival call 1-800-310-FEST (3378) or visit