The Austin Film Festival has announced the first ten films to make the 2011 lineup. The lineup includes world premieres: Bruce Wilkinson’s “Beneath the Darkness” (starring Dennis Quaid), Adam Cornelius’s Tetris pro doc “Ecstasy of Order,” and the Upright Citizen Brigade’s take on the dance film, “Freak Dance.”
Also among the list are fest favorites like the Duplass Brothers’ “Jeff Who Lives at Home” and Lynne Ramsay’s “We Need to Talk About Kevin.” The fest will also include an on-stage conversation with Pixar chief John Lasseter, the creator of “Bones,” Hart Hanson, and “Edward Scissorhands” scribe Caroline Thompson.
The event will run from October 20-27.
The festival’s full press release follows.
THE 2011 AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES THE EARLY 10 FILMS CONFIRMED TO SCREEN
INCLUDING JEFF WHO LIVES AT HOME, PUSS IN BOOTS, BENEATH THE DARKNESS, ALBERT NOBBS, HAROLD¹S GOING STIFF, ECSTASY OF ORDER: THE TETRIS MASTERS, AND MORE
FULL LINEUP COMING MID-SEPTEMBER
AUSTIN, TX (August 23, 2011) The Austin Film Festival (AFF), the premiere film festival recognizing writers’ and filmmakers’ contributions to film, television and new media, announced today the first 10 films included in the 2011 lineup of Festival film screenings October 20-27. AFF annually hosts over 170 film screenings and special events, and the Conference boasts more than 100 speakers participating in panels and roundtable discussions.
Included in the early 10 films announced are Jeff Who Lives At Home, a new comedy by the Duplass brothers starring Jason Segel; Ecstasy of Order: The Tetris Masters (world premiere), a documentary about the obsession of the masters at the 2010 Classic Tetris World Championship; Harold¹s Going Stiff (U.S. premiere), a contemporary and affecting zombie film; UCB dance film Freak Dance (world premiere); the gender-blurring tale of Albert Nobbs, starring Glenn Close, with director Rodrigo Garcia in attendance; Puss in Boots, the animated film about the swashbuckling feline; American Teacher, an inspiring documentary about U.S. educators; We Need To Talk About Kevin, a gripping drama starring Tilda Swinton and John C. Reilly; and the Southern Gothic tale Restive.
One of the films announced, Beneath the Darkness, was birthed out of the 2003 Festival when writer Bruce Wilkinson and director Martin Guigui met following a screening of Guigui¹s film Swing. This meeting at the Festival allowed Wilkinson to achieve a life dream before his passing following the film¹s completion. This will be the world premiere of Beneath the Darkness, which stars Dennis Quaid as a psychopathic killer. Quaid, along with the director and much of the cast, will be in attendance.
The 2011 film lineup includes several World, U.S., and regional premieres in all genres ranging from comedy to horror, documentary to drama. Filmmakers from around the world and Texas alike showcase everything from obscure indie films to big-budget Oscar®-bound productions.
The complete list of films screening at AFF this year, including short films and competition titles, will be announced in mid-September. Cast and crew attendance is subject to change and based on permitting schedules
AFF¹S 2011 EARLY 10 FILMS ARE:
Writers: Glenn Close, John Banville
Director: Rodrigo Garcia (in attendance)
Cast: Glenn Close, Mia Wasikowska, Aaron Johnson, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Brendan Gleeson
Glenn Close stars as a woman who must disguise herself as a male butler in order to find work in 19th century Ireland.
Director: Vanessa Roth
Narrator: Matt Damon
Weaving interviews of policy experts and startling facts with the lives and careers of four teachers, Matt Damon narrates the collective story by and about those closest to the issues in our educational system‹the 3.2 million teachers who spend every day in classrooms across the country.
BENEATH THE DARKNESS
Writer: Bruce Wilkinson
Director: Martin Guigui (in attendance)
Cast: Dennis Quaid, Tony Oller, Aimee Teegarden, Stephen Lunsford, Brett Cullen (entire cast listed will be in attendance)
After watching their best friend get murdered, a group of teens struggle to expose a local hero (Dennis Quaid) as the psychopathic killer and keep from becoming his next victims.
ECSTASY OF ORDER: THE TETRIS MASTERS
Director: Adam Cornelius
This video game documentary brings world-record-holding Tetris players together for the 2010 Classic Tetris World Championship. Witness the Masters as they reveal their secrets, recount their obsession with the game, and enter the transcendental state required to reach the highest levels known as the ‘Ecstasy of Order’.
Writer: Matt Besser
Directors: Matt Besser, Neil Mahoney
Cast: Michael Cassady, Megan Heyn, Amy Poehler, Matt Besser, Ian Roberts, Matt Walsh, Tim Meadows, Andy Daly, Horatio Sanz
The Upright Citizens Brigade unleash their unique take on the dance film with this funky, epic dance floor battle, featuring several past and present members of the popular sketch comedy group.
HAROLD¹S GOING STIFF
Writer/Director: Keith Wright
Cast: Stan Rowe, Sarah Spencer, Andy Pandini, Lee Thompson, Richard Harrison, Phil Gascoyne
Lonely pensioner, Harold Gimble, has become the first man to suffer from a new neurological disease that is slowly turning him into a zombie-like state. Harold¹s hermit-like existence is shaken up when a vivacious nurse, Penny Rudge, is sent along to alleviate his stiffness.
JEFF WHO LIVES AT HOME
Writers/Directors: Jay Duplass, Mark Duplass
Cast: Jason Segel, Ed Helms, Susan Sarandon, Judy Greer, Rae Dawn Chong
Jeff (Jason Segel) is living in his mother¹s (Susan Sarandon) basement and waiting for destiny to fall right into his lap. When he goes out on a simple errand, he runs into his estranged brother (Ed Helms) and starts to see the signs that may point him toward a new life.
PUSS IN BOOTS
Writers: Brian Lynch, David H. Steinberg, Tom Wheeler, Jon Zack
Director: Chris Miller
Cast: Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Zach Galifianakis, Billy Bob Thornton, Amy Sedaris
Way before Puss (Antonio Banderas) ever met Shrek, our suave and furry feline hero goes on a swashbuckling ride, as he teams with mastermind Humpty Dumpty (Zach Galifianakis) and the street-savvy Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek) to steal the famed Goose that lays the Golden Eggs.
Writer/Director: Jeremiah Jones
Cast: Christopher Denham, Connor Hill, Michael Mosley, Marianna Palka, Ivan Sandomire
A mother deals with emotional and physical abuse from her mentally unstable husband as the narrative twists and turns in this thrilling Southern Gothic tale.
WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN
Writers: Lynne Ramsay, Rory Kinnear
Director: Lynne Ramsay
Cast: Tilda Swinton, John C. Reilly, Ezra Miller
Two parents (Tilda Swinton and John C. Reilly) try to come to terms with the horrifying atrocities committed by their young son in this wrenching drama from acclaimed filmmaker Lynne Ramsay.
The 2011 Conference will offer registrants the opportunity to attend informative and inspiring discussions, including A Conversation with John Lasseter, Chief Creative Officer for Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios, and Academy Award®-winning director and executive-producer of Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, Ratatouille, Toy Story 3, and more. Also on tap is A Conversation with Bones and upcoming The Finder show creator Hart Hanson, as well as A Conversation with Caroline Thompson, writer of Edward Scissorhands and The Nightmare Before Christmas. There will be in-depth Script-To-Screen discussions on The Graduate with writer Buck Henry, Fight Club with writer Jim Uhls, and Veronica Mars with show creator Rob Thomas, as well as a panel on Zombies, Apes & Vampires: Breathing New Life Into Old Subjects with Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver (Rise of The Planet of The Apes, The Relic), Alvaro Rodriguez (Machete, From Dusk Till Dawn 3), and Rhett Reese (Zombieland). Full panel schedule coming soon.
This year¹s Extraordinary Contribution to Filmmaking Award recipient is John Lasseter (Chief Creative Officer of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios). Along with Distinguished Screenwriter Awardee Caroline Thompson (screenwriter of Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas) and Outstanding Television Writer Awardee Hart Hanson (creator, writer, executive producer of Bones, The Finder), they will receive their awards at the annual Award Luncheon on Saturday, October 22, 2011 at the Austin Club.
Film passes and Festival badges are currently on sale at a discounted rate until September 30th and can be purchased at http://austinfilmfestival.myshopify.com/collections/2011-badges-film-passes. Right now, Film Passes are only $42. All badges and passes grant admission to films.
For more information on the 18th annual Austin Film Festival, panels, film screenings and special events, visit the official website at www.austinfilmfestival.com or call 1-800-310-FEST (3378). For regular updates, follow AFF on Facebook at facebook.com/AustinFilmFestival and Twitter @austinfilmfest.
About Austin Film Festival
The Austin Film Festival (AFF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to furthering the art and craft of filmmaking by inspiring and championing the work of screenwriters, filmmakers, and all artists who use the language of film to tell a story.
The Austin Film Festival is funded and supported in part by the City of Austin through the Cultural Arts Division and by a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts and an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art.
Special support is provided to the Austin Film Festival by Dos Equis, KVUE, KUT 90.5 FM, United/Continental Airlines, and Esurance.