Austin Film Festival Announces Schedule

The 16th annual Austin Film Festival is almost here (Oct. 22nd-29th), and the long-awaited schedule has been announced! Filling the coveted opening and closing slots traditionally reserved for special celebrity invitees will be the works of new director Cheryl Hines and veteran Jason Reitman respectively.

Cheryl Hines, perhaps best known for her two-time Emmy-nominated role as Cheryl David in the hit HBO series Curb Your Enthusiasm, will be making her directorial debut with Serious Moonlight, the last screenplay written by the late Adrienne Shelley (Waitress). Serious Moonlight features a star-studded cast, with Meg Ryan, Timothy Hutton, Justin Long, and Kristen Bell as its main characters. The film follows the story of a high-powered Manhattan lawyer (Ryan) and her husband (Hutton) after his announcement that he is leaving her and ending a 13 year marriage for a younger woman. An opportunistic young gardener (Long), the impatient mistress (Bell), and a considerable amount of duct tape culminate into a chaos that forces the couple to face their past, present, and future.

Closing the festival is writer/director Jason Reitman (Thank You For Smoking, Juno) and his latest film, Up in the Air. The movie depicts the life of a corporate downsizer and frequent flyer who has lived out of a suitcase traveling from city to city in business style, firing employees. Just as he is about to reach 10 million flyer miles and has met the frequent-flyer woman of his dreams,  he is faced with the stark possibility of being permanently grounded and wonders what it might be like to have a real home. Starring George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, Anna Kendrick, Melanie Lynskey, Danny McBride, Jason Bateman, and Zach Galifianakis, the film will mark the close of the week-long conference and festival.

Serious Moonlight and Up in the Air will be joined by a full festival lineup of noteworthy international and stateside films, including buzz favorites The Messenger, Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire, The Young Victoria, Calvin Marshall, American Cowslip, Red Cliff, Little Fish, Strange Pond, Herpes Boy, The Donner Party, Love the Beast, and Harmony and Me. Both Cheryl Hines and Jason Reitman will be in attendance, along with many other esteemed directors, writers, actors, industry leaders, panelists, and award winners Ron Howard, Mitchell Hurwitz and Steven Zaillian.

For completed lists of film screenings and the 80+ panels and round-table discussions, as well as for information about the Austin Film Festival and badge purchase, check out the Austin Film Festival site.

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October 6, 2009. Uncategorized.

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