‘The Same Storm’ To Open Austin Film Festival; Animation Is Film Sets Lineup – Deadline

On Thursday, the Austin Film Festival unveiled its 2021 lineup, comprising 26 World, North American, and US Premieres, setting Oscar nominee Peter Hedges’ The Same Storm as its Opening Night Film.

The feature examining the tumult of the Covid-19 pandemic boasts a stacked cast, with Noma Dumezweni, Mary-Louise Parker, Sandra Oh, Elaine May, Raúl Castillo, Ato Blankson-Wood, Corey Michael Smith, Rosemarie DeWitt, Ron Livingston and Alison Pill amongst its ensemble.

Austin Film Festival

Other marquee titles to look out for at the 28th edition of the festival, taking place from October 21-28, include Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch, Mike Mills’ latest A24 pic C’mon C’mon, led by Joaquin Phoenix, Joanna Hogg’s The Souvenir Part II, starring Honor Swinton Byrne, Tilda Swinton and more, and Joachim Trier’s Neon festival favorite The Worst Person in the World.

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Spencer King’s Dark Star Pictures title Time Now will make its World Premiere alongside Gabriele Fabbro’s Covid era thriller The Grand Bolero, Rachel Lambert’s I Can Feel You Walking, The Time of the Fireflies, Torao and other films. Writer-director Chung-ryoul Lee’s Cicada is among the titles set to make their U.S. Premiere.

Also unveiled today was the lineup for the festival’s Writer’s Conference, which will host conversations with Oscar nominee Will Berson (Judas and the Black Messiah) Mare of Easttown creator Brad Ingelsby, Westworld co-creator and Reminiscience writer-director Lisa Joy, and Linda Yvette Chavez, co-creator of Netflix comedy series Gentefied. This year, the festival will also present the inaugural Writing for Video Games Track, with creators Susan O’Connor, Lucas Loredo, Evan Narcisse, Erin Firestine, Donald Harris, and Frank Barbiere in attendance for panels.

For more information on the festival and to purchase tickets, click here.


This week, Animation Is Film also got a lineup, with 12 features in competition.

The venerable L.A. festival’s fourth edition (and first since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic) will open on October 22, with a screening of Patrick Imbert’s Netflix pic The Summit of the Gods, based on the manga by Jirô Taniguchi and Baku Yumemakura.

Oscar nominee Mamoru Hosoda’s GKIDs title Belle will be its Centerpiece film, with Neon’s Flee closing it out on October 24. The latter documentary-animation hybrid, from director Jonas Poher Rasmussen, won the 2021 Sundance Film Festival’s World Cinema Documentary Grand Jury Prize, and here makes its West Coast Premiere.

Animation Is Film

Other titles on the festival’s competition lineup include Florence Miailhe’s The Crossing, Masahi Ando and Masayuki Miyaji’s The Deer King, Ayumu Watanabe’s Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko, Haipeng Sun’s I Am What I Am, Aurel’s Josep, German Acuña’s Nahuel and the Magic Book, Takayuki Hirao’s Pompo the Cinephile, Yusuke Hirota’s Poupelle of Chimney Town and Ari Folman’s Where Is Anne Frank.

In its in-person return to Hollywood’s TCL Chinese 6 Theatres, AIF will also offer a behind-the-scenes presentation centered on Walt Disney Animation’s Encanto, and a Special Event Screening of Kenji Nagasaki’s My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission, along with the third annual showcase “Best of Annecy: Spotlight on Women Directors,” highlighting the best animated shorts directed by women in 2021.

The festival, founded by GKIDS and the Annecy International Animation Film Festival, also unveiled a lineup titled Studio on the Big Screen, which will offer a theatrical release to major animated titles denied one during the pandemic, including Enrico Casaro’s Luca (Pixar), Kirk DeMicco and Brandon Jeffords’ Sony feature Vivo, Sony Pictures and Netflix’s The Mitchells vs the Machines, directed by Michael Rianda and Jeff Rowe, and more.

To purchase tickets and find out more about the festival, click here.

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