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20th Austin Film Festival Announces First Wave of Films & Retrospectives; Jonathan Demme and Vince Gilligan To Make Appearances

20th Austin Film Festival Announces First Wave of Films & Retrospectives; Jonathan Demme and Vince Gilligan To Make Appearances

The 2013 Austin Film Festival had announced its first slate of titles, in addition to retrospectives hosted by the likes of Jonathan Demme, Vince Gilligan and others.

On the film front, Alexander Payne’s latest feature, “Nebraska,” will screen, as will several world premieres, including the dark comedy “Coffee, Kill Boss,” the horror “Innocence,” and “Speak Now,” a romantic dramedy that was shot in just three days.

Retrospective highlights include “Out of the Vault: Jonathan Demme,” which will include a screening of his latest work in progress “Fear of Falling.” “Breaking Bad” creator Vince Gilligan will present the classic crime thriller “The French Connection,” “Iron Man 3” director will be on hand to show Morrie Ryskind’s screwball comedy “My Man Godfrey,” while Payne’s long-time collaborator Jim Taylor will host a screening of Payne’s 1999’s satire “Election.”

AFF’s executive director, Barbara Morgan said, “As the Festival that honors the writer, we are thrilled to continue a program
that boasts strong narrative work, eclectic world premieres and retrospectives presented by some of the industry’s top filmmakers during
this momentous 20th

Below are the first wave of films to be announced, with synopses courtesy of the Austin Film Festival. The 20th Austin Film Festival runs October 24th-31st.

Nebraska, written by Bob Nelson and directed by Alexander Payne.
After receiving a sweepstakes letter in the mail, a cantankerous father (Bruce Dern) thinks he’s struck it
and wrangles his son (Will Forte) into taking a road trip to claim the
fortune. Shot in black and white across four states,
tells the stories of family life in the heartland of America. 

Coffee, Kill Boss
(World Premiere),
first feature film from director Nathan Marshall, follows ten executives
who secretly meet to sell off their company but instead become victims
of an outrageous murder scheme. The script,
written by Sigurd Ueland — a 2010 Austin Film Festival Screenplay
Competition Semifinalist — is a dark comic romp through the halls of
corporate America. 

Innocence (World Premiere), written and directed by Hilary Brougher (director,
Stephanie Daley), produced by Christine Vachone (Bluebird,
Boys Don’t Cry), follows
a young woman who discovers that her elite private school harbors a
dark secret. This suspenseful horror film, based on Jane
Medelsohn’s 2000 novel, explores themes of loss, love, and the supernatural.
Innocence will screen as a part of AFF’s Dark Matters Category. 

The Odd Way Home
(World Premiere),
directed by Rajeev Nirmalakhandan, co-written by Nirmalakhandan and
Jason Ronstadt, and produced by Peter Touche. The film follows Maya
(Rumer Willis), the product of
a neglected childhood, and Duncan (Chris Marquette), a slave to his
obsessions of order and pattern, as they journey through the American
Southwest, finding happiness in the unlikeliest of places. 

Siren (North American Premiere),
Television writer Jesse Peyronel’s
feature script directorial debut. Starring Vinessa Shaw (3:10 to Yuma, The Hills Have Eyes)
and Rob Kazinsky (Pacific Rim),
Siren is
a dark fairytale about a woman with an unusual curse: an alluring
scent. She is irresistible to every man she meets, but when confronted
with a man immune to her power, she is presented with the possibility
of real love. 

Speak Now (World Premiere), directed by Noah Harald and written by Erin Cardillo,
Speak Now is
a Romantic Dramedy following high school friends reuniting for a
wedding. Old offenses and newly mounting scandal plunge the group back
into a pool of high-school drama. Entirely improvised from an outline
and character studies, the whole feature was shot in three days. Speak Now
will screen as part of Austin Film Festival’s new WRITE/REC Series, focusing on the best in low-budget

Take Away One (World Premiere), the first feature film written and directed by seasoned tv editor William Lorton (Face Off, Bridezillas),
this documentary film follows Lorton’s aunt,
Mary Baratta-
Lorton, and her mysterious unsolved murder. Mary, in her short 38 years,
rose from obscurity to become one of the most famous teachers in the
US. Personally inept with math, yet placed
as a UC Berkeley student-teacher in one of the roughest inner-city
classrooms of the San Francisco Bay Area
– Mary’s intuitive strategy of teaching arithmetic with hands-on manipulative materials quickly blossomed into a nation-wide career as
an author, lecturer, and movement leader. 

Mom, Dad, I’m Muslim,
(US Premiere),
a documentary film, written and directed by Anat Tel Mendelovich and
distributed by Seventh Art Releasing, examines the trials of May
Davidovich, a 22- year old devout Muslim
searching for equilibrium between her belief in Islam and her parents
’ devotion
to Judaism. The religious conflict between May and her parents makes
for a fascinating case study on the balance between pursuing spiritual
fulfillment and inherent
family expectations. 

Sombras de Azul,
(World Premiere),
the Spanish-language feature film debut of local Austin
writer/director, Kelly Daniela Norris, who re-imagines her own
experience of bereavement following the death of
her brother by weaving together real memory and personal reflection
through the sights and sounds of Cuba.

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