Austin Film Festival (AFF) will close out the 2021 festival with the highly anticipated Kristen Stewart stunner, Spencer, directed by Pablo Larraín and written by Academy Award Nominee Steven Knight. The Writers Conference’s annual celebration of some of the industry’s most talented wordsmiths will culminate with a Centerpiece screening of A24’s The Humans by Tony Award winner and Pulitzer Prize finalist Stephen Karam.
AFF will honor producer, writer, and director Channing Godfrey Peoples as the recipient of the New Voice Award for 2021. Godfrey Peoples’ 2020 directorial debut, Miss Juneteenth, has earned universal praise for its authentic storytelling, intimate point-of-view, and timely narrative. Most recently, Godfrey Peoples was recognized by the National Board of Review with their Best Directorial Debut award on behalf of Miss Juneteenth.
Adding to this year’s stellar film lineup, Down with the King will be honored in the inaugural Spotlight Film slot for the title’s North American Premiere. The 2021 Spotlight Film, works to highlight exemplary filmmaking feats by rising creators behind and/or in front of the camera. Down with the King, produced by Breaker Studios, is written and directed by Diego Ongaro, featuring an extraordinary debut from Grammy nominated rapper and songwriter Freddie Gibbs.
Further additions to the feature film slate include five world premieres and a number of feature debuts such as CRAM, a psychological horror twisted with a compelling narrative of a college student trying to finish his final paper; Diego Barragan’s Don’t Go To School Tomorrow, a wonderfully bittersweet crafted story that captures the plight of two young boys growing up in a turbulent time; Kirby McClure also makes his feature debut with a genre mashup of SciFi and coming of age in Spaghetti Junction; Briefly, a riveting thriller that repurposes the classic story of Red Riding Hood; and Unsilenced, writer/director Leon Lee highlights personal courage in his characters as they resist oppression in China during the 1990s.