‘Lady Bird,’ ‘The Current War,’ ‘Chappaquiddick’ highlights of Austin Film Festival

12:44 p.m Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017 Austin360 Home

“Lady Bird,” “The Current War” and “Chappaquiddick” are all highlights of the Austin Film Festival and Conference schedule, which was released Tuesday.

"Lady Bird" (photo: A24)

“Lady Bird,” the opening night film, is writer/director Greta Gerwig’s solo feature directorial debut. She will be in attendance.

“The Current War,” starring Katherine Waterston, Benedict Cumberbatch, Nicholas Hoult and Michael Shannon, concerns the rivalry between Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse over alternating current and direct current, a rivalry that defined the industrial age. Director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon will be attendance.

The closing night film is “Chappaquiddick” starring Jason Clarke, Kata Mara and Ed Helms and is about the 1969 scandal involving Ted Kennedy and the death of Mary Jo Kopechne. Writers Taylor Allen and Andrew Logan will be in attendance. 

Also on tap is the sexual assault drama “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” starring Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson, which producers pulled from Fantastic Fest in light of the Alamo Drafthouse’s recent sexual harassment scandal.

Dan Rather will help present the world premiere of the documentary “Fail State,” chronicling the rise of predatory for-profit colleges.

AFF’s feature film slate includes over 25 world, North American and U.S. premieres, a retrospective series, and highly anticipated marquee titles, including the World War II drama “The Darkest Hour” featuring Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill, “The Upside” starring Bryan Cranston and Kevin Hart, and the Armie Hammer romance “Call Me By Your Name.” 

 AFF’s retrospective series this year will feature Philip D’Antoni’s 1973 drama “The Seven-Ups” presented by David Simon and George Pelecanos (”The Deuce,” “The Wire”), Jack Fisk’s 1981 film “Raggedy Man”—a tribute to Sam Shepard—presented by writer William D. Wittliff in partnership with the Wittliff Collections, and the classic 1987 action film “Predator” presented by Shane Black (”Lethal Weapon,” “The Nice Guys”) who is currently working on the film’s reboot. 

Additionally, already announced Extraordinary Contribution to Film awardee Walter Hill will present his cult classic “The Warriors.”

 In addition to the slate of more than 150 films, AFF will present premieres and retrospectives of television programming, including the season 2 premiere of Hulu’s psychic drama “Shut Eye” with executive producers Mark Johnson, Melissa Bernstein, John Shiban and Amy Berg in attendance, the premiere of YouTube Red’s new comedy series “Do You Want to See a Dead Body?” with creator Rob Huebel in attendance, and the premiere of the season finale of HBO’s drama “The Deuce” with creators David Simon and George Pelecanos in attendance. 

 Writer/producer Gale Anne Hurd ( “The Terminator,” “The Walking Dead”) will also be in attendance for AFF’s screening of documentary “Mankiller” about barrier-breaking female Cherokee leader Wilma Mankiller.

 Austin Film Festival also revealed their full screenwriters conference schedule, which will take place the first four days of the festival, Oct. 26-29. 

The conference features a roster of prominent screenwriters in film and television, including Kenneth Lonergan, Keenen Ivory Wayans, Noah Hawley, Courtney A. Kemp, Lindsay Doran and many more.

The full film and conference schedule can be found at austinfilmfestival.com.

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