The Austin Film Festival & Writers Conference has set its full lineup for the 25th anniversary edition that runs October 25-November 1. The full slate includes 23 world, North American and U.S. premieres, and features awards-season slots for Steve McQueen’s Widows, Peter Farrelly’s Green Book, Mike Leigh’s Peterloo and Paul Dano’s Wildlife, joining the previously announced likes of Boy Erased, The Favourite and closing-night film The Front Runner. Ben is Back, the drama starring Julia Roberts and Lucas Hedges, is bowing as AFF’s Centerpiece selection, with writer-director Peter Hedges in attendance. Meanwhile, the festival’s retrospective series this year will feature Tony Gilroy presenting his 1995 film Dolores Claiborne, Graham Yost presenting 1994’s Speed, and writer Mick Garris in attendance for a Halloween presentation of Hocus Pocus. Gilroy and Yost will be part of the annual Writers Conference schedule, which will take place the first four days of the festival. The TV program includes the Season 2 premieres of Netflix’s Friends From College and Starz’s Counterpart.
Tim Sutton’s Donnybrook starring Jamie Bell, Frank Grillo, Margaret Qualley and James Badge Dale has won the main competition audience award at Fantastic Fest, which wraps Thursday in Austin. The pic stars Bell as an ex-soldier who needs to find some extra cash, fast, while his wife’s homicidal dealer (Grillo) pursues, leading him to join a bare-knuckle fighting contest with a $100,000 prize. IFC acquired the film out of Toronto. Also a winner in the main competition was Peter Strickland, named best director for In Fabric, the stylish horror pic that bowed at Toronto and was just acquired by A24. Other winners announced include Isabella Isabella Eklöf’s Holiday (best picture/director, Next Wave category) and Demián Rugna’s Terrified (Horror best picture).
The Hollywood-based Screamfest Horror Film Festival unveiled its first films for its 18th annual edition, which will feature Insidious franchise star and horror staple Lin Shaye as ambassador. Her latest film The Final Wish directed by Timothy Woodward Jr is among the first wave of films unveiled for the event, which runs October 9-18 at the TCL Chinese 6 Theaters. Other pics set include a 10th anniversary screening of Toby Wilkins’ Splinter, a multiple award winner at the fest in 2008; Daniel Farrands’ Amityville Murders; Doron and Yoav Paz’s The Golumn from Israel; and films from the U.S., Sweden, the UK, China, India and Italy.