EXCLUSIVE: Filmmaker Walter Hill and comedian/filmmaker Keenen Ivory Wayans are both being honored this year in Austin at the annual Austin Film Festival & Writers Conference. Hill, whose film career goes back decades with such films as The Warriors and 48 Hrs. and HBO’s Deadwood will be honored with the Extraordinary Contribution to Film Award. Wayans, who created, launched, and hosted the landmark 1990s variety series In Living Color, will receive AFF’s Extraordinary Contribution to Television Award.
The awards will be given out during the Festival’s 24th Anniversary which runs from Oct. 26 to Nov. 2. Hill and Wayans join previously announced Distinguished Screenwriter award recipient Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester By The Sea).
Hill will participate in ‘A Conversation with Walter Hill’ moderated by writer/director Shane Black who cites Hill as an influence on his own career.
Hill began in film in 1960 as crew and then ended up becoming one of the foremost action filmmakers in Hollywood. In addition to co-producing the science fiction blockbuster Alien, Hill wrote and directed The Driver, Southern Comfort, Last Man Standing, Geronimo, Wild Bill and The Long Riders. He contributed to television as well, receiving both the Emmy and DGA Awards in 2005 for his work directing the HBO neo-western Deadwood.
Wayans’ irreverant Emmy-winning In Living Color broke racial barriers with scathing social humor while introducing other household names including Damon Wayans, Jamie Foxx, Jim Carrey, and Jennifer Lopez.
Outside of television, Wayans has had a successful career writing, directing, and acting in films. He co-wrote 1987’s Hollywood Shuffle with actor/director Robert Townsend and wrote, directed, and starred in 1989’s blaxsploitiation parody I’m Gonna Git You Sucka. More notably, he directed the successful horror spoof Scary Movie.
Hill, Wayans, and Lonergan join a roundup of panelists confirmed to speak at this year’s Writers Conference, including the writers of films A Ghost Story, Arrival, Blade Runner: 2049, Girls Trip, Kong: Skull Island, Kubo and the Two Strings, Logan,Moana, Star Trek Beyond and television shows American Gods, I Love Dick, Power, Queen Sugar, The Deuce, The Wire, This is Us, Twin Peaks, and Underground.