Austin Film Festival will kick off this year’s 27th edition of the Festival, on October 22, 2020 with Nine Days from writer/director Edson Oda, with cast members Winston Duke and Zazie Beetz on hand for a post-screening Q&A. WWE Network Documentaries will 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 film is IFC Films’ Farewell Amor, following the story of an Angolan immigrant reuniting with his wife and daughter after 17 years apart. IFC Films will also be bringing Stardust (directed/co-written by Gabriel Range) to the Festival’s Closing Night programming.
Austin Film Festival will return to the Paramount Theatre on Saturday, October 24th for two live, socially-distanced film presentations. Anne Rapp’s Horton Foote: The Road to Home and Will Bakke’s The Get Together will premiere at the historic Paramount theatre in downtown Austin.
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…
(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.