February 3, 2023

Austin Film Festival announces second wave of films, with two big movies

‘The Whale’ and ‘Armageddon Time’ are prestigious fall offerings


The Austin Film Festival announced its second wave of programming Friday, including Darren Aronofsky’s “The Whale” and James Gray’s “Armageddon Time.”

Both are coming off successful runs at other festivals. “The Whale” focuses on a severely obese man (Brendan Fraser) who tries to reconnect with his estranged daughter. It’s based on the play by Samuel D. Hunter.

“The Whale” recently screened at the Venice Film Festival, where Fraser got Oscar buzz for his performance. Hunter will attend the festival, which is known for highlighting the writers behind the films. “The Whale” will be the opening-night film.

“Armageddon Time,” which premiered earlier this year at the Cannes Film Festival, is a semi-autobiographical tale about the strength of family — and the complexity of having a privileged life while growing up in 1980s New York. The movie stars Jeremy Strong, Anthony Hopkins and Anne Hathaway

Gray will get the festival’s Bill Wittliff Award for Screenwriting and will attend.

The festival will also screen Israeli filmmaker Jonathan Dekel’s “Checkout” and host the world premiere of Austin filmmaker Riley Cusick’s “The Wild Man.”

Other screenings include Patricia E. Gillespie’s “The Fire That Took Her,” Sylvia Caminer’s “Follow Her,” Cara Consilvio’s “For the Love of Friends” and “Golden Delicious,” directed by Jason Karman.

It should be noted that the first wave of films at the Austin Film Festival included Sarah Polley’s “Women Talking,” which recently screened at the Telluride Film Festival. It got a rave review from A.O. Scott of The New York Times.

The Austin Film Festival takes place Oct. 27 through Nov. 3. The Film and Food Fundraising Party will be at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 26.

More films and conference events will be announced in late September. For more information, visit

Charles Ealy
Charles Ealy
Charles Ealy is a former movies editor for The Dallas Morning News and Austin American-Statesman.

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