Austin Film Festival features important industry panels, several dramatic films

Alex Pelham

Directors, screenwriters and general film-lovers will flock to the 22nd annual Austin Film Festival, which runs Friday through Nov. 5. The event features several domestic and foreign films, as well as a large number of high-profile panels, script-readings and parties. While a Conference or Lone Star badge is required to attend all panels and a film pass is required to attend all the films, attendees can purchase $12 single-event tickets 20 minutes before showtime, provided that seats are available. Attendees have many options, but these are some high-profile films and panels to consider: 

“A Conversation with Gary Ross” (Panel)
Saturday, Oct. 31, 9 a.m., The Driskill Hotel – Ballroom 

Gary Ross, director of “Hunger Games” and writer of “Big,” promises to talk about his career as a renowned director and screenwriter. Ross will tell stories of his craft and how he helped create several memorable films still cherished by audiences today. Fans of his other hit films such as “Pleasantville” will be eager to hear him talk about his past in Hollywood and what lies ahead. 

“Script-to-Screen: Black Swan” (Panel)
Saturday, Oct. 31, 4:30 p.m., The Driskill Hotel – Maximilian Room

Mark Heyman, co-writer of Academy Award-nominated hit “Black Swan,” will host a panel detailing how the film’s screenplay was successfully translated onto the big screen. Heyman plans to take attendees on a journey of how he explored the psychological horror aspect of the movie and the pitfalls he had to work through to complete it. He will be going through specific scenes and explain what parts of the script had to be cut or altered in order to make it into the finished motion picture. 

“ENDINGS: The Good, the Bad, and the Insanely Great with Michael Arndt” (Panel)
Sunday, Nov. 1, 1:15 p.m., InterContinental Stephen F Austin – Ballroom

Michael Arndt, the Academy Award-winning screenwriter of “Little Miss Sunshine,” will talk extensively about the importance of film endings. He will discuss what separates a bad ending from a good one, and will also give tips on how to make endings become memorable. Analyzing different endings from a selection of renowned films, Arndt seeks to help screenwriters master those dreaded final pages.

“Brooklyn” (Film)
Monday, Nov. 2, 7:30 p.m., Paramount Theater

“Brooklyn” follows the story of a young immigrant who works to adjust to life in 1950s America. Determined to achieve the American Dream, she finds herself caught in a romance and must choose between her new life in Brooklyn and her past life in Ireland. Director John Crowly seeks to explore themes of identity and home in this dramatic period piece. The film stars Saoirse Ronan and Domhnall Gleeson.

“Everything Will Be Fine” (Film)
Tuesday, Nov. 3, 9:45 p.m., State Theater

“Everything Will Be Fine” tells a story of a complex relationship that forms after a car accident links together the lives of several people. Director Wim Wenders uses this German drama to explore the tragic theme of loss. Starring acting powerhouses James Franco and Rachel McAdams, attendees looking to satisfy a taste for foreign films won’t have to look much further. The film also stars Charlotte Gainsbourg and Marie-Josée Croze.

“Coming Through the Rye” (Film)
Wednesday, Nov. 4, 4:30 p.m., Galaxy Highland

“Coming Through the Rye” offers a look at how a generation was captured by author J.D. Salinger’s revolutionary novel “Catcher in the Rye.” The film centers on boarding school student Jamie , who believes it’s his destiny to fill the shoes of the famous literary character Holden Caulfield, and has gone as far as to adapt “Catcher” into a theatrical production. Now, Jamie goes on a search for Salinger in this quirky coming-of-age drama. The movie stars Alex Wolff, Stefania Owen and Chris Cooper.