Horton Foote documentary highlights early Austin Film Festival lineup

It will be the world premiere of the film from director Anne Rapp


The Austin Film Festival has announced the first wave of films that will be screening at this year’s virtual festival, and one of the biggest titles for Texas film lovers is “Horton Foote: The Road to Home,” a documentary from director Anne Rapp, documenting the creative life of the Texas literary legend.

Throughout his career, the Wharton native penned three of the greatest screenplays of the 20th century: the 1962 adaptation of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” the original 1983 screenplay of “Tender Mercies” and 1985’s “The Trip to Bountiful,” with Geraldine Page in one of her finest performances.

“Mockingbird” and “Mercies” won Oscars for the Texan, who died in 2009. Foote also won the 1995 Pulitzer Prize in drama for his play, “The Young Man from Atlanta.”

Most of Foote’s work centered on the small town of Harrison, but it wasn’t much of a stretch to know that he was drawing on his childhood experiences of growing up in Wharton.

Rapp, who is best known as a screenwriter, has been a script supervisor for many Lawrence Kasdan films. She is also know for the writing the screenplay for 1999’s “Cookie’s Fortune,” director by Robert Altman.

The festival begins Oct. 22 and runs through Oct. 29.

In addition to the world premiere of the Foote documentary, the festival announced the following titles.

  • “Paper Tiger,” director by Paul Kowalski. This world premiere deals with an immigrant mother who fears that her son is turning into a school shooter.
  • “Open Field,” directed by Kathy Kuras. The festival’s description says: “She plays by NFL rules in NFL stadiums. She wins world championships. She’s at the top of her game. What does she have to do to level the playing field?” World premiere.
  • “Reboot Camp,” directed by Ivo Raza. A guy named Seymour loses his life savings and his wife to a self-help guru. So Seymour decides to become one, too. World premiere.
  • “The Catch,” directed by Matthew Ya-Hsiung Balzer. A young woman in coastal Maine decides to make some money by messing with the local drug runners. World premiere.
  • “The Get Together,” directed by Will Bakke. “A recent college post-grad, a soon-to-possibly-be-engaged couple and a failing musician all deal with the realities of growing up as their three stories intersect over the course of one night at a house party in Austin.”
  • “Wake Show,” directed by Aldo Miyashiro. Leonardo Oviedo is an ambitious theater director who writes a play for four characters; a one-performance only, where all actors have to die onstage. His choices for those four actors cause a stir. World premiere.
  • “Blinders,” directed by Tyler Savage. This North American premiere focuses on a guy who relocates to Los Angeles and has lots of trouble setting up a new network of friends. And one of them becomes unhinged.
  • “Fugitive Dreams,” directed by Jason Neulander. A couple of lost souls take a long road trip across America. A U.S. premiere.
  • “Death of a Telemarketer,” directed by Khaled Ridgeway. This Texas premiere looks at the twisted test of ethics a telemarketer must pass if he wants to keep his job.

The festival will announce more titles in the coming weeks. To read more and purchase badges, visit austinfilmfestival.com.

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

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