The following was issued:
OCTOBER 15, 2020 – AUSTIN, TX – 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 postscreening 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 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. Will Bakke’s The Get Together will premiere at 1:30PM CDT, and Anne Rapp’s Horton Foote: The Road to Home 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 – OPENING NIGHT FILM (USA, 124 min) 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 – CENTERPIECE FILM (USA, 95 min) 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 – CLOSING NIGHT FILM (UK, 109 min) 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 – CLOSING NIGHT FILM (USA, 60 min) 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.