October 21, 2021

Austin Film Festival to host Wes Anderson’s ‘The French Dispatch’

Other big titles include ‘The Same Storm’ and ‘The Worst Person in the World’

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After having its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, Wes Anderson’s “The French Dispatch” is headed to Austin, the Austin Film Festival announced today.

Anderson’s love letter to journalists — starring Tilda Swinton, Benicio del Toro and Adrien Brody — will be one of the highlights of the annual festival that focuses on screenwriters. And it will be joining the opening-night film “The Same Storm” by. Oscar nominee Peter Hedges. It stars Noma Dumezweni, Mary-Louise Parker, Sandra Oh and Elaine May.

The announcements today complete the film and conference lineup for the festival, which kicks off Oct. 21 and continues through Oct. 28.

The festival’s feature film slate also includes the world premiere of “Time Now,” written and directed by Spencer King and starring Eleanor Lambert, Claudia Black and Xavier Polk. “CICADA,” written and directed by Chung-ryoul Lee, will have its world premiere at the fest.



Also scheduled are the Cambodian sci-fi “Karmalilnk,” by writers Jake Wachtel and Christopher Larsen, and “Captains of Za’atari,” from writer/director Ali El Arabi. It chronicles friends in a refugee camp in Jordan who dream of becoming professional football players.

Other films in the lineup announced today are:

    • “C’MON C’MOM,” from director Mike Mills and starring Joaquin Phoenix, Gaby Hoffmann and Scoot Mcnairy.
    • “The Souvenir Past II,” Joanna Hogg’s take on a young woman’s formative years and starring Honor Swinton Byrne, Tilda Swinton and Ariane Labed.
    • “The Worst Person in the World,” a rom-con stunner from Joachim Trier starring Renate Reinsve and Anders Danielsen Lie.
    • “The Grand Bolero,” a world premiere about a middle-aged pipe organ restorer to is attracted to her new 20-year-old mute assistant.
    • “I Can Feel You Walking,” a world premiere about two people who struggle with depression and addiction but find solace in each other one night.
    • “”The Time of the Fireflies,” dealing with a man from Mexico who tries to stay connected to his family there during a pandemic.
    • “TORAQ,” about a college student who stumbles upon an old detective and tries to help him solve a cold case.

The festival also announced participants in its Writers Conference. Conversations will be held with Oscar nominee Will Person, co-writer of “Judas and the Black Messiah,” and Brad Ingelsby, creator of “Mare of Easttown.”

Other participants include Lisa Joy, co-creator of HBO’s “Westworld,” and Linda Yvette Chavez, co-creator of Netflix’s “Gentefied.”

The festival will also hold an inaugural Writing for Video Games Track for the Writers’ Conference. The Track will include conversations with Susan O’Connor, Lucas Loredo, Evan Narcisse, Erin Firestine, Donald Harris and Frank Barbiere.

The conference will also include programming featuring the perviously announced winner of the 2021 Polly Platt Award for Producing, Stephanie Allain; Scott Frank, who will get the Bill Wittliff Award for Screenwriting; and Michael Schur, the Outstanding Television Award recipient.

Tickets and passes are on sale at austinfilmfestival.com. The site also includes the enhanced safety protocols because of the pandemic.


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

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