We came, we saw, we soaked up the cinema. The 2019 edition of Austin Film Festival, which began Oct. 24, ends Thursday. It’s featured an array of inside-look panels and exciting new films. A couple of those movies, "Harriet" and "Motherless Brooklyn," are in theaters this weekend. Read our reviews of other standouts — like "Marriage Story," "A Hidden Life," "Waves" and "The Report" — at austin360.com/movies-tv.


Here are a few more highlights from the festival.


DEBORAH SENGUPTA STITH


A frank conversation about "Game of Thrones": No, showrunners, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss did not provide any clarity about character arcs that went off the rails in the grand epic’s final season. They also did not give a satisfying answer to an audience question about the lack of diversity in the "GoT" writer’s room. But the show’s clunky origin story — without real world experience, the creators were often winging it in the beginning — was fascinating.


Rachel Bloom is a force of nature: The documentary "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend: Oh My God I Think It's Over" is a warm and wonderful look at the final days of the TV musical series Bloom co-created and starred in. In a talk after the movie’s festival screening, Bloom said she worked harder on the show than she’s ever worked on anything. Throughout the series, she only used a body double once, when she was filming the final episode and fighting a cold. She threw serious shade at "piece of garbage" A-list celebs who let body doubles do a lot of the heavy lifting in their films.


Going behind the scenes at "GLOW": Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch were never wrestling fans. The co-creators and showrunners of "GLOW," a Netflix series about a women’s wrestling league from the 1980s, were primarily interested in the relationships between their female characters. "How much wrestling do we really need in the show?" they wondered as they were putting it together. The answer: a lot. After putting in some deep research on wrestling and the culture surrounding it, they gained a new respect for the form and it became a fine vehicle to explore their characters’ lives.


The "Limetown" creators on forging new paths: Audio fiction podcasts weren’t really a thing when Zack Akers and Skip Bronkie started developing their mystery series, "Limetown," but the two college buddies were living on separate coasts, and writing the project became an easy way to collaborate remotely. They pitched the series to every outlet they could think of and were met with a universal hard pass. So they released the pilot themselves. When it became a sleeper hit, they frantically created the rest of the series. The story of how the project evolved from an update on the radio play into a Facebook Watch series starring Jessica Biel was inspiring.


A frank conversation about "Game of Thrones": No, showrunners, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss did not provide any clarity about character arcs that went off the rails in the grand epic’s final season. They also did not give a satisfying answer to an audience question about the lack of diversity in the "GoT" writer’s room. But the show’s clunky origin story — without real world experience, the creators were often winging it in the beginning — was fascinating.


JOE GROSS


Behind ’Chernobyl’: Craig Mazin, the creator behind the outstanding HBO miniseries "Chernobyl," gave a fascinatingly detailed account of his creative process in a wide-ranging interview with Barbara Morgan. Mazin was best known as a comedy writer when he put together the idea for a grim drama about the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. "Drama is easy to write," he said. "Comedy is brutally hard. Comedy requires an understanding of your own emotional logic and that of the audience as well. You are in an invisible dance."


He also noted that while the process required a great deal of research, he "didn’t want to ‘Ken Burns’ people. I have a phobia of people wanting to turn the TV off. I am about efficiency in storytelling. Part of being efficient is knowing the research and the other part is knowing what you know and knowing what the audience needs to know, which are two different things."


Mazin also said there were things he couldn’t put in the drama because people simply wouldn’t believe them. These things mostly had to do with the privation of the Soviet Union: "The firefighters (who were exposed to the most extreme radiation) who first responded to the explosion, many of them did not have jackets or helmets. Many fought the fire in T-shirts. Nobody would believe that if I put it on screen."


MATTHEW ODAM


A slice of life from the Kasdans: Lawrence Kasdan wrote some of the biggest blockbusters in the history of cinema — "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Raiders of the Lost Ark." What you won’t find in those masterpieces: the heartfelt sentiment in what’s likely the filmmaker’s lowest-budget movie.


"The Big Chill" scribe and his wife, Meg, had regularly dined at Ed’s Coffee Shop in the West Hollywood Design District for decades when owner Ada Blumstein announced that she would be closing the hole-in-the-wall that her parents, Ed and Sybil, opened after arriving in California in 1960. As the neighborhood changes, with design shops giving way to bougie boutiques for children, the Kasdans knew that the closing of their beloved breakfast spot marked the end of an era. They wanted to capture what the place meant to Ada, her extended family of regulars and the neighborhood, so they documented the diner’s final week with the short documentary "Last Week at Ed’s," which made its world premiere at the Austin Film Festival on Saturday.


The quick and touching 40-minute film isn’t the kind of screening that gets a red carpet rollout; in this case; it didn’t even fill the entire Stateside Theatre. But it gets at the heart of what the festival is about: storytelling. And it’s the kind of film you’ll catch at the festival due to its longtime relationship with legendary filmmakers like former festival honoree Kasdan.


The opening shot tracks Ada and her employee of more than 30 years, Jesus Rangel, as they stock the kitchen for the morning rush and write the daily menu by hand. It’s one of many intimate moments that captures the tick-tock of never-ending mundanity at the diner. The Kasdans let the film flow with the pace of the busy diner packed with locals, many of whom find out from Ada for the first time that the last day is rapidly approaching. With the change in clientele and the prices she would need to charge customers for a full breakfast to keep the diner operational, the woman who has worked at the restaurant for 30 years has reluctantly decided to call it quits.


She’s walking away not only from the job she’s held her entire adult life, but from her employees and regulars, many of whom had close relationships with her parents, truly making the group an extended family. They represent the kind of relationships rarely seen in today’s hospitality industry. The film weaves in backstory of the Blumsteins’ arrival from Montréal, using anecdotes from customers to paint a picture of a warm and hospitable Ed and a stern but loving Sybil, making the audience feel as if they’ve also been dining at Ed’s for years.


The stories of the emotional patrons detail the role Ed’s played as a safe space for the largely gay community of designers who considered the diner an extension of their own homes. It blurs the line between customer, worker and employee, as customers in their 60s share memories that intertwine with the lives of Rangel and his son, Junior, also a longtime employee.


There are no long, nicely lit shots with perfect sound of talking heads conjuring and embellishing memories for effect. "Last Week at Ed’s" gets into the space of the diner and the hearts of everyone who passes through its doors and lets the sentiment flow freely and smoothly until the door closes for the last time. It is a touching ode to family, labor and food. It won’t have a big rollout in theaters across America, but hopefully you’ll be able to find it on a streaming service in the future, and it will remind you of an Ed’s you once knew or one you still dream of finding.