Austin Film Fest Lands Oscar Hopefuls ‘I Saw the Light,’ ‘Youth’ and More

Austin Film Fest Lands Oscar Hopefuls 'I Saw the Light,' 'Youth' and More
Austin Film Fest Lands Oscar Hopefuls 'I Saw the Light,' 'Youth' and More

The Austin Film Festival announced today the first slate of films in its 2015 lineup, with the full program expected to hit around mid-September. Guests expected to attend include James Franco, Jason Reitman (for his Hulu series “Casual,” first premiering in Toronto), Anthony LaPaglia and more.

The Austin festival has landed an impressive array of Oscar contenders, including “Carol,” “I Saw the Light” (starring Tom Hiddleston as country crooner Hank Williams, who often toured in Texas) and “Youth.”

Here are the first 10 AFF films, with language courtesy of the festival.

Texas Premiere

Writer: Phyllis Nagy; Director: Todd Haynes
In an adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s seminal novel The Price of Salt, Carol follows two women from very different backgrounds who find themselves in an unexpected love affair in 1950s New York. Starring Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Sarah Paulson, Kyle Chandler, Jake Lacy and Cory Michael Smith.

New Series from Hulu
Creator/Executive Producer Zander Lehmann; Executive Producer/Director Jason Reitman
A comedy series about a bachelor brother and his newly divorced sister living under one roof again. Together, they coach each other through the crazy world of dating while raising her teenage daughter.
In attendance: Creator/Executive Producer Zander Lehmann; Executive Producer/Director Jason Reitman; Executive Producer Helen Estabrook; Executive Producer Liz Tigelaar; Cast Tommy Dewey, Michaela Watkins, and Tara Lynne Barr

Fallen Stars

World Premiere
Writer/Director: Brian Jett
A poignant drama that chronicles the unexpected friendship that develops between Cooper, a melancholy bartender, who at thirty-six, still isn’t sure what he wants to do with his life, and Daisy, an extremely bright but socially awkward girl in her early twenties.
In attendance: Writer/Director Brian Jett; Cast Ryan O’Nan, Michelle Ang; Producer Stephanie Marin

I Saw the Light
Texas Premiere
Writer/Director: Marc Abraham
I Saw the Light tells the story of the iconic, tormented singer-songwriter who revolutionized country music with his raw charisma, haunting voice and original songs, most of which are considered American standards today and have been recorded many times over by pop, rock and country artists alike. Starring Tom Hiddleston, Elizabeth Olson, David Krumholtz, and Bradley Whitford.

World Premiere
Writer/Directors: Vladamir de Fontenay, Nina Ljeti
Ivan Cohen is a young boy living in Palo Alto, California. Unsatisfied by his slacker group of friends, his love for a girl who doesn’t know he exists, and a dysfunctional family life, he is struggling to find his place in the world. Starring Sam Dillon, Thomas Mann, Keith Stanfield, and James Franco.
In attendance: Writers/Directors Vladamir de Fontenay, Nina Ljeti; Cast James Franco, Sam Dillon

North American Premiere
Writer/Director: Kai Berry
When a rookie operative’s mistake costs the lives of his entire team, he’s forced on the run and must piece together the truth by re-creating the events of the ill-fated mission with only the audio recording to guide him.
In attendance: Writer/Director Kai Berry; Cast Anthony LaPaglia

The Night is Young
World Premiere
Writer/Directors: Matt Jones, Dave Hill
Over one night, two guys meet two girls and explore what it’s really like to have a drink in LA. Or two drinks… or three… or more.
In attendance: Writer/Directors/Cast Matt Jones, Dave Hill; Cast Eloise Mumford, Kelen Coleman

World Premiere
Writer/Director: Adam Bowers
A pizza cook who’s never left his college town meets the girl of his dreams before finding out there’s a huge roadblock to them being together.
In attendance: Writer/Director Adam Bowers

The Teller and the Truth
World Premiere
Director: Andrew Shapter
The Teller and the Truth uncovers the truth surrounding the disappearance of Francis Wetherbee, a beautiful young bank teller who’s been missing since a 1974 bank robbery in Smithville, Texas.
In attendance: Director Andrew Shapter; All Cast and Crew

Texas Premiere
Writer/Director Paolo Sorrentino
Youth explores the lifelong bond between two friends vacationing in a luxury Swiss Alps lodge as they ponder retirement. Starring Michael Caine, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz, Paul Dano and Jane Fonda.

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