Ron Howard to be honored at Austin fest

Writer-producer Mitchell Hurwitz also receiving award

Director Ron Howard has been chosen for special honors at this year's Austin Film Festival.

The "Apollo 13" director will receive the Extraordinary Contribution to Filmmaking Award at the fest's 16th annual event, set for Oct. 22-29. The award will be presented Oct. 24 during a luncheon at the Austin Club.

Writer-producer Mitchell Hurwitz will receive the Outstanding Television Writer Award during the ceremony.

Howard's acting, directing and producing career stretches back 50 years and includes such TV and film work as "The Andy Griffith Show," "Happy Days," "Parenthood," "A Beautiful Mind," "The Da Vinci Code," "Night Shift," "Frost/Nixon" and his latest directing effort, "Angels & Demons."

The Imagine Entertainment partner won two Oscars for 2001's "A Beautiful Mind" and in 2008 was nominated for directing and producing "Frost/Nixon." He also has produced a number of films and television series including HBO's "From the Earth to the Moon" and "Arrested Development," which Hurwitz created.

Howard and Hurwitz also will participate in a four-day series of panels and events that make up the festival's parallel screenwriters conference. Lawrence Kasdan, Damon Lindelof, Richard Linklater, Gina Prince-Bythewood, Melissa Rosenberg, Matthew Weiner, Doug Ellin, Mike White, Jessica Bendinger, Shane Black, Chris McQuarrie and Kirsten Smith are among the panelists this year.

Danny Boyle, who went on to win best director and best picture Oscars for "Slumdog Millionaire," received last year's filmmaking award after screening his film there. Oliver Stone and Sydney Pollack also are previous recipients.