John Singleton and Chris Cooper will receive the Extraordinary Contribution to Film and Acting Awards, respectively, at the 2015 Awards Luncheon at the 22nd Austin Film Festival & Screenwriters Conference (AFF). The festival runs October 29-November 5.
Singleton will present a retrospective screening of Boyz n the Hood at the 2015 AFF, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay in 1991. Cooper will be in attendance for the AFF “Heart of Film” screening of Coming Through the Rye, where he plays the reclusive, renowned author JD Salinger.
Singleton and Cooper join previously announced honorees Outstanding Television Writer Norman Lear and Distinguished Screenwriter Brian Helgeland. Past recipients of the Extraordinary Contribution to Film & Acting awards include Johnny Depp, Susan Sarandon, Jonathan Demme, Ron Howard, Danny Boyle, Oliver Stone, Sydney Pollack, and others.
Academy Award® winner Helgeland (L.A. Confidential, Mystic River) will present Legend (pictured in main image above), the 2015 Opening Night Film of the Austin Film Festival. Written and directed by Helgeland, Legend is the true story of the rise and fall of London’s most notorious gangsters, Reggie and Ronnie Kray, both portrayed by Tom Hardy in a powerhouse double performance. Legend is a classic crime thriller taking us into the secret history of the 1960s and the extraordinary events that secured the infamy of the Kray twins. The film will be released in New York and Los Angeles on Friday, November 20. It will expand to additional U.S. markets on November 25 and further on December 11.
AFF’s Centerpiece Film, Burning Bodhi, will have its World Premiere on Sunday, November 1, with featured cast Andy Buckley, Kaley Cuoco, Cody Horn, Landon Liboiron, Sasha Pieterse, and Eli Vargas in attendance. From writer/director Matthew McDuffie, Burning Bodhi is about a group of friends who reunite after high school when word goes out on Facebook that the most popular among them has died.
Additional Marquee titles include Go With Me (with Julia Stiles and director Daniel Alfredson in attendance), Miss You Already (with director Catherine Hardwicke in attendance), Last Days in the Desert (with writer/director Rodrigo Garcia in attendance), Man Up (with writer Tess Morris in attendance), By Sidney Lumet (with director Nancy Buirski in attendance), Remember, Brooklyn, Mojave, The Adderall Diaries, and the World Premieres of Until 20, A Single Frame, and We’re Still Here: Johnny Cash’s Bitter Tears Revisited, all with filmmakers in attendance.
Other films making their World Premiere in the 2015 slate are Baby Baby Baby (with Adrianne Palicki and writer/director/actor Brian Klugman in attendance), Jack’s Apocalypse (from AFF alum and Austinite Will Moore), Mully (with director Scott Haze in attendance), Of Dogs and Men (a documentary on the rise of domestic dog shootings by police), Since: The Bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 (a chronicle of the terrorist bombing of 1988), Tear Me Apart (a post-apocalyptic thriller), and Two Lunes (a poignant, dual-sided narrative on the struggles of immigration).
Austin Film Festival also revealed their full Screenwriters Conference schedule, which will take place the first four days of the Festival, October 29-November 1. The Conference features a roster of prominent screenwriters in film and television, including Michael Arndt, Amy Berg, Shane Black, Jack Burditt, Charles Burnett, Helen Estabrook, Rodrigo Garcia, John Lee Hancock, Mark Heyman, Angela Kang, Todd Kessler, Simon Kinberg, Jenny Lumet, Kelly Marcel, Karen McCullah, Scott Neustadter, Nicole Perlman, Issa Rae, Jason Reitman, John Ridley, Phil Rosenthal, Gary Ross, Kirsten Smith, David Wain, Andrew Kevin Walker, Michael H. Weber, and many more.