Austin Film Festival (AFF) will go virtual this year October 22-29. Organizers of the annual festival and writers conference changed course due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

AFF will feature world premiere screenings including vaunted writer/director Anne Rapp’s latest film Horton Foote: The Road to Home, chronicling the life and work of the legendary Academy Award winning writer of To Kill a Mockingbird. Also screening at AFF are premieres from second-round writers through the Festival’s Screenplay competitions, including the world premieres of THE CATCH starring Katia WinterBill SageKyle Gallner, and James McMenamin, by first-time director Matthew Ya-Hsiung Balzer, as well as the directorial debut of writer/director Paul Kowalski with Paper Tiger. Rounding out the Screenplay Competition alums is writer/director Khaled Ridgeway’s film with the Texas Premiere of his title Death of a Telemarketer starring Lamorne MorrisHaley Joel Osment, and Jackie Earle Haley.

AFF will spotlight Texas filmmakers and productions with this year’s North-American premiere of Blinders, directed by former Terrence Malick collaborator Tyler Savage and written by Savage & Dash Hawkins, along with the US Premiere of Fugitive Dreams, written and directed by Jason Neulander and The Get Together directed by Will Bakke and starring Johanna Braddy and Alejandro Rose-Garcia (Shakey Graves) joining the Festival slate. The Festival is also excited to announce the World Premiere of the delightful comedy Reboot Camp, written and directed by Ivo Raza, starring David LipperKeli PriceDavid KoechnerMaya StojanEd Begley Jr.Lindsey ShawChaz BonoEric Roberts, and Ja Rule. Lastly, AFF will offer World Premieres for alumnus & writer/director Aldo Miyashiros Wake Show and the feature documentary directorial debut of Open Field by Kathy Kuras.

The 2020 Writers Conference will welcome a strong roundup of prominent screenwriters in film and television including Tanya Barfield (writer Ms. America), Paul Feig (director Last ChristmasBridesmaids), Scott Frank (writer Get Shorty; writer/director Godless), John Logan (creator Penny Dreadful; writer SkyfallGladiator), Gina Prince-Bythewood (writer/director The Old GuardLove & Basketball), Kevin Willmott (co-writer BlacKkKlansmanDa 5 Bloods), and Tracey Scott Wilson (writer Respect). AFF’s Writers Conference, which will feature over 30 virtual panels on the art, craft, and business of screenwriting, will be held the first five days of the Festival (October 22–26).

AFF’s Senior Film Program Director Casey Baron is looking forward to this new format taking place this year: “We’re excited to support our selected filmmakers and continue championing such wonderful storytellers in an incredibly challenging time for our industry. It’s an added bonus that AFF will welcome back some good friends from our alumni community, and give all involved an opportunity to find their audience on an international stage.”

The complete list of programming, including over 100 films as well as this year’s panels, will be announced in late September.


KMFA Classical 89.5 is a proud sponsor of the 2020 Austin Film Festival & Writers Conference.

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  • Name: Austin Film Festival
  • Austin Film Festival (AFF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to furthering the art, craft, and business of writers and filmmakers and recognizing their contributions to film, television, and new media. AFF champions the work of aspiring and established writers and filmmakers by providing unique cultural events and services, enhancing public awareness and participation, and encouraging dynamic and long-lasting community partnerships. AFF is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department and the Texas Commission on the Arts.