Austin Film Festival
Dede Gardner and Stephen Merchant will be honored at the Austin Film Festival.

The Austin Film Festival will honor Dede Gardner with the Polly Platt Award for producing and Stephen Marchant with the Outstanding Television Writer Award, the festival announced Tuesday.

Gardner is an Oscar winner and co-president of Plan B Entertainment. She has produced such films as Lee Isaac Chung’s “Minari,” Barry Jenkins’ “If Beale Street Could Talk” and “Moonlight,” and Adam McKay’s “The Big Short,” among many others.

Gardner will also participate in a special screening of Oscar-nominated Sarah Polley’s “Women Talking,” based on the best-selling novel by Miriam Toews. The book and movie focus on a group of women in an isolated religious colony as they come to terms with sexual assaults committed by the men. Polley will attend the festival to present Gardner’s award.

Merchant is an Emmy, BAFTA and Golden Globe-winning actor, comedian, writer, director and producer. He co-created the BBC’s “The Office” and “Extras” and served as executive producer of the long-running U.S. adaptation of “The Office.”

Merchant currently serves as the creator, executive producer, writer, director and star of BBC/Amazon’s “The Outlaws,” which has its second season premiere Aug. 5. He co-created the series with Elgin James. It follows a group of misfit lawbreakers in a community service group.

Gardner and Merchant will be recognized at the 2022 Awards Luncheon on Saturday, Oct. 29, and will participate in the festival and conference programming. Other participants in the conference panels will be Max Borenstein (“Winning Time”), Nkechi Okoro Carroll (“All American”), Edward Neumeier (“RoboCop”), Vanessa Taylor (“The Shape of Water”) and many others.

The festival begins Oct. 27. Badges and passes are available for purchase online at or by phone at 1-800-310-FEST.