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Austin Film Festival will happen in-person for 2021, with a virtual option

Eric Webb
Austin 360
The marquee at  the Austin Film Festival red carpet for "Just Mercy" at the Paramount Theatre on Oct. 31, 2019.

As Austinites get their COVID-19 vaccines and start to wonder what the festival scene might look like after a year without big in-person events, the local entertainment scene is starting to fill in the calendar for 2021. The latest: Austin Film Festival & Writers Conference organizers are throwing an in-person event this fall.

The 28th edition of the festival is set for Oct. 21-28, according to an announcement this week. While AFF's screenings and panels will be held in person — that's the plan for now, though the continuing coronavirus pandemic has stymied plans before — organizers will offer a virtual badge to select programming for those unable to attend.

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Find out how to attend at austinfilmfestival.org. The festival's announcement did not include information about pandemic safety measures.

AFF also announced this year's recipient of their Bill Wittliff Award for Screenwriting: Scott Frank. His credits include "The Queen's Gambit," "Little Man Tate," "Dead Again," "Get Shorty," "Out of Sight," "Minority Report," "The Lookout," "Marley & Me," "The Wolverine," "Logan" and more. Frank will be honored at an awards luncheon on Oct. 23, and also will participate in the conference. 

Last year's AFF was held mostly online, though it was one of the few area festivals to include a few physical film screenings outside of drive-in programming in 2020.

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