May 27, 2017

Austin programs “Kevin,” “Albert Nobbs” – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell “Albert Nobbs,” “We Need to Talk About Kevin,” and a regional premiere of DreamWorks’ anticipated animated sequel “Puss in Boots” are the highlights of the first wave of programming for the Austin Film Festival, which were announced this morning.

The first two films harbor serious awards aspirations, and will stop in Austin after screening at such prestigious festivals as Cannes and Toronto.

The 2011 film lineup includes several world, U.S., and regional premieres in all genres ranging from comedy to horror, documentary to drama. Filmmakers from around the world and Texas alike will showcase everything from obscure indie films to big-budget Oscar-bound productions.

This year’s festival runs October 20-27 in Austin, Texas.

The complete list of films screening at AFF this year, including short films and competition titles, will be announced in mid-September. Cast and crew attendance is subject to change and based on permitting schedules


Writers: Glenn Close, John Banville
Director: Rodrigo Garcia (in attendance)
Cast: Glenn Close, Mia Wasikowska, Aaron Johnson, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Brendan Gleeson
Glenn Close stars as a woman who must disguise herself as a male butler in order to find work in 19th century Ireland.

Director: Vanessa Roth
Narrator: Matt Damon
Regional Premiere
Weaving interviews of policy experts and startling facts with the lives and careers of four teachers, Matt Damon narrates the collective story by and about those closest to the issues in our educational system‹the 3.2 million teachers who spend every day in classrooms across the country.

Writer: Bruce Wilkinson
Director: Martin Guigui (in attendance)
Cast: Dennis Quaid, Tony Oller, Aimee Teegarden, Stephen Lunsford, Brett Cullen (entire cast listed will be in attendance)
World Premiere
After watching their best friend get murdered, a group of teens struggle to expose a local hero (Dennis Quaid) as the psychopathic killer and keep from becoming his next victims.

Director: Adam Cornelius
World Premiere
This video game documentary brings world-record-holding Tetris players together for the 2010 Classic Tetris World Championship. Witness the Masters as they reveal their secrets, recount their obsession with the game, and enter the transcendental state required to reach the highest levels known as the ‘Ecstasy of Order’.

Writer: Matt Besser
Directors: Matt Besser, Neil Mahoney
Cast: Michael Cassady, Megan Heyn, Amy Poehler, Matt Besser, Ian Roberts, Matt Walsh, Tim Meadows, Andy Daly, Horatio Sanz
World Premiere
The Upright Citizens Brigade unleash their unique take on the dance film with this funky, epic dance floor battle, featuring several past and present members of the popular sketch comedy group.

Writer/Director: Keith Wright
Cast: Stan Rowe, Sarah Spencer, Andy Pandini, Lee Thompson, Richard Harrison, Phil Gascoyne
US Premiere
Lonely pensioner, Harold Gimble, has become the first man to suffer from a new neurological disease that is slowly turning him into a zombie-like state. Harold¹s hermit-like existence is shaken up when a vivacious nurse, Penny Rudge, is sent along to alleviate his stiffness.

Writers/Directors: Jay Duplass, Mark Duplass
Cast: Jason Segel, Ed Helms, Susan Sarandon, Judy Greer, Rae Dawn Chong
Regional Premiere
Jeff (Jason Segel) is living in his mother¹s (Susan Sarandon) basement and waiting for destiny to fall right into his lap. When he goes out on a simple errand, he runs into his estranged brother (Ed Helms) and starts to see the signs that may point him toward a new life.

Writers: Brian Lynch, David H. Steinberg, Tom Wheeler, Jon Zack
Director: Chris Miller
Cast: Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Zach Galifianakis, Billy Bob Thornton, Amy Sedaris
Regional Premiere
Way before Puss (Antonio Banderas) ever met Shrek, our suave and furry feline hero goes on a swashbuckling ride, as he teams with mastermind Humpty Dumpty (Zach Galifianakis) and the street-savvy Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek) to steal the famed Goose that lays the Golden Eggs.

Writer/Director: Jeremiah Jones
Cast: Christopher Denham, Connor Hill, Michael Mosley, Marianna Palka, Ivan Sandomire
Regional Premiere
A mother deals with emotional and physical abuse from her mentally unstable husband as the narrative twists and turns in this thrilling Southern Gothic tale.

Writers: Lynne Ramsay, Rory Kinnear
Director: Lynne Ramsay
Cast: Tilda Swinton, John C. Reilly, Ezra Miller
Regional Premiere
Two parents (Tilda Swinton and John C. Reilly) try to come to terms with the horrifying atrocities committed by their young son in this wrenching drama from acclaimed filmmaker Lynne Ramsay.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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