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Jeff Nichols’ latest film, Loving, will open the Austin Film Festival in October.
The film from Nichols, who is the Austin-based filmmaker behind Mud and Midnight Special, had its world premiere in Cannes in May, and also is heading to the Toronto Film Festival in September. It’s based on the true story of Richard and Mildred Loving (Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga), an interracial couple who spent nine years fighting for the right to live as a family in their Virginia hometown.
The Austin Film Festival, which runs Oct. 13-20, announced several other films in its lineup, including Garth Davis’ Lion starring Dev Patel, Rooney Mara and Nicole Kidman.
The complete list of programming at the 23rd annual AFF, including short films, competition titles and Conference panels, will be announced mid-September.
See the latest additions to the lineup below (* implies the talent will attend).
Opening Night Film
Writer-Director: Jeff Nichols*
Cast: Joel Edgerton, Ruth Negga, Marton Csokas, Nick Kroll, and Michael Shannon
Loving celebrates the real-life courage and commitment of an interracial couple, Richard and Mildred Loving (Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga), who married and then spent the next nine years fighting for the right to live as a family in their hometown. Their civil rights case, Loving v. Virginia, went all the way to the Supreme Court, which in 1967 reaffirmed the very foundation of the right to marry — and their love story has become an inspiration to couples ever since.
The Big Spoon
Writers: Mallory Culbert*, Carlyn Hudson*
Director: Carlyn Hudson
Cast: Zach Knighton,* Nick Stevenson*
Long-term couple Mallory and Ben plan to enjoy a romantic weekend alone in Mallory’s house, but their plans are ruined when Elle, Mallory’s flighty roommate, shows up with a surprise lover. As tensions rise, each couple is forced to question the strength of their relationship.
The Harvest Run
Writer-Directors: Steven Balvanz,* Aaron McAdams*
The Colbys, a third-generation farming family, gear up for the annual Harvest Run — a demanding, seven-month journey that is essential to producing America’s annual yield of wheat and corn. Faced with the insurmountable hardships of the American economy and climate change, the year’s run proves more challenging than ever.
Writer-Director: Jake Goldberger*
Cast: Freddie Highmore, Odeya Rush, Haley Joel Osment, Christopher Meloni
Mid-twenties, unmotivated and still living at home with his mother and stepfather, Charlie Brenner (Freddie Highmore) is given a surprising boost of confidence when he meets Amber (Odeya Rush), a local barista. As they become close, the line between friendship and intimacy is blurred, and the situation forces both of them to examine where they are in their respective lives. Charlie’s situation is further complicated by the sudden appearance of his estranged father.
Writer: Luke Davies
Director: Garth Davis
Cast: Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman, Rooney Mara
Adapted from the nonfiction book A Long Way Home, Lion follows the challenges a young Indian boy faces after taking the wrong train, being separated from his family and being adopted by Australians. Twenty-five years later, armed only with sparse information and Google Earth, he sets out to find his lost family.
The Man Who Was Thursday
North American Premiere
Writer-Director: Balazs Juszt*
In a mind-bending metaphysical thriller, after his local parish is disgraced, Father Smith is called to Rome for spiritual rehabilitation. Upon Smith’s arrival, his spiritual mentor, Charles, tasks him with a mission to go underground to ascertain the mysterious leader of an archaist group of renegades.
Writers: J.D. Singer, Nicholas Zafonte*
Director: Nicholas Zafonte*
Fifteen years after graduating college, two college friends reconnect at a weekend writers’ retreat. As they struggle to attempt one last shot at a creative lifestyle, the drama of old regrets, insecurity and unfinished romantic business takes its toll.
Writer: Ryan Colucci*
Directors: Ryan Colucci,* Dragan Roganovic
Cast: Frank Raducz Jr,* Alandrea Martin,* Louie Iaccarino,* Matty Finochio,* Jeff Newman*
In this gritty story based on real events, a Long Island drug dealer find himself in over his head once one of his soldiers robs a dealer with a connection to ruthless Serbian gangsters. Now responsible for the debt, he is forced to take drastic measures.
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