Austin Film Festival Executive Director and Co-Founder Barbara Morgan exclusively shares what film festival-goers can look forward to this year.
AUSTIN, Texas – The second wave of releases for the 29th Annual Austin Film Festival (AFF) was announced on Thursday. The release included some of the big films and talent coming to the festival next month.
The AFF recognizes the contributions of authors and filmmakers to film, television and new media. It has announced its first wave of screenings to be included in the 2022 film list, taking place from October 27th to November 3rd.
This year sees new world premieres like pandemic comedy Little Jar and Texas-produced documentary Song of the Cicada. In addition, AFF will show “Nanny” by writer/director Nikyatu Jusu, which will receive the New Voice Award 2022 along with the screening.
AFF’s first wave of screening includes:
Director/Writer: Sarah Polley
Synopsis: Based on the bestselling book by Miriam Toews, WOMEN TALKING follows a group of women in a remote religious colony as they struggle to reconcile their beliefs with a series of sexual assaults committed by the colony’s men.
Present: producer Dede Gardner and director Sarah Polley
Director/Writer: Nikyatu Jusu
Synopsis: In this psychologically complex fable of expulsion with supernatural horror, Aisha (Anna Diop), a woman who recently emigrated from Senegal, is hired to look after the adorable daughter of a mismatched white couple (Michelle Monaghan and Morgan Spector). who lives in New York’s Tribeca neighborhood. Increasingly unsettled by the family’s unsteady personal life, while desperately trying to earn enough money to bring her young son home from Senegal, Aisha begins to unravel and finds that her life in America is more of a nightmare than a nightmare dream is.
Present: writer/director Nikyatu Jusu
Director/Writer: Dominic López
Produced/Written by: Kelsey Gunn
Synopsis: Ainsley is a misanthrope who hates people, but when she suddenly finds herself isolated and without anyone to talk to, she realizes how much she misses the connection. Enter Ulysses, a dead mouse in a jar. With a little solitude, a dash of imagination and a mouse-sized tuxedo, Ulysses becomes her training wheel in this newfound world of friendship.
Director/Writer: Ryan White
Synopsis: Tells the inspirational true story of Opportunity, a rover that was sent to Mars on a 90-day mission but ended up surviving 15 years. The film follows Opportunity’s groundbreaking journey on Mars and the remarkable bond forged between a robot and its humans millions of miles away.
Director/Writer: Charlotte Wells
Synopsis: In a fading resort town, 11-year-old Sophie cherishes the rare time she spends with her loving and idealistic father, Calum (Paul Mescal). As a world of puberty comes into view, behind her eye, Calum struggles under the weight of life outside of fatherhood. Twenty years later, Sophie’s fond memories of her most recent vacation become a powerful and heartbreaking portrait of their relationship as she tries to reconcile the father she knew with the man she didn’t know in Charlotte Wells’ magnificent and searingly emotional debut film .
Written by: Ryan Love & Laurel Toupal
Synopsis: During a weekend getaway in Vegas, Haley, an aimless young woman, and her book-loving brother Mac embark on an impromptu road trip to Portland to rediscover a time capsule they buried as children. Inside is Haley’s birth mother’s bracelet.
Co-Directors: Aaron Weiss & Robert Weiss
Synopsis: In the coastal town of Galveston, Texas, Dale Carter lives as a undertaker in his Victorian home with his protégé and friend. Over the course of a decade, this observational documentary chronicles his daily life with friends, family, and strangers alike as he navigates the funeral profession and his attempts to fulfill his dream of renovating a historic home in Beaumont, Texas. Song of the Cicada explores the philosophies and motivations behind the macabre obsessions that define this eccentric undertaker.
Director/Writer: Hanadi Elyan
Synopsis: The film Salma’s Home, set in Jordan, revolves around three women with different personalities. SALMA (Juliet Awad) is a talented baker who lives alone in a big old house overlooking downtown Amman and runs an unprofitable home bakery. Their daughter FARAH (Sameera Asir) is a young working mother with marital problems. Her life is cut short by the death of Salma’s ex-husband. The funeral is taking place at the home of his current wife LAMIA (Rania Kurdi), a rising socialite obsessed with building her brand online. After the funeral, shocking facts emerge that lead to territorial disputes, eventually forcing the three women to accept some harsh realities and take control of their lives.
Directed by Xavier Manrique
Synopsis: Phil Schreiber, a self-serving hedge fund manager, flees to the Hamptons with his wife and son as the pandemic begins. An already tense situation is made worse by the surprise arrival of Phil’s college roommate, Charlie. A paragon of Falstaffian excess, Charlie is the keeper of some of Phil’s darkest secrets. To make matters worse for Phil, his wife and son love Charlie. As Charlie settles in, secrets are revealed that threaten to do more damage than the virus they’re all hiding from.
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