The Austin Film Festival & Writers Conference has set its full lineup for the 25th anniversary edition that runs October 25-November 1. The full slate includes 23 world, North American and U.S. premieres, and features awards-season slots for Steve McQueens Widows, Peter Farrellys Green Book, Mike Leighs Peterloo and Paul Danos Wildlife, joining the previously announced likes of Boy Erased, The Favourite and closing-night film The Front Runner. Ben is Back, the drama starring Julia Roberts and Lucas Hedges, is bowing as AFFs Centerpiece selection, with writer-director Peter Hedges in attendance. Meanwhile, the festivals retrospective series this year will feature Tony Gilroy presenting his 1995 film Dolores Claiborne, Graham Yost presenting 1994s Speed, and writer Mick Garris in attendance for a Halloween presentation of Hocus Pocus. Gilroy and Yost will be part of the annual Writers Conference schedule, which will take place the first four days of the festival. The TV program includes the Season 2 premieres of Netflixs Friends From College and Starzs Counterpart.
Tim Suttons Donnybrook starring Jamie Bell, Frank Grillo, Margaret Qualley and James Badge Dale has won the main competition audience award at Fantastic Fest, which wraps Thursday in Austin. The pic stars Bell as an ex-soldier who needs to find some extra cash, fast, while his wifes homicidal dealer (Grillo) pursues, leading him to join a bare-knuckle fighting contest with a $100,000 prize. IFC acquired the film out of Toronto. Also a winner in the main competition was Peter Strickland, named best director for In Fabric, the stylish horror pic that bowed at Toronto and was just acquired by A24. Other winners announced include Isabella Isabella Eklöfs Holiday (best picture/director, Next Wave category) and Demián Rugnas Terrified (Horror best picture).
The Hollywood-based Screamfest Horror Film Festival unveiled its first films for its 18th annual edition, which will feature Insidious franchise star and horror staple Lin Shaye as ambassador. Her latest film The Final Wish directed by Timothy Woodward Jr is among the first wave of films unveiled for the event, which runs October 9-18 at the TCL Chinese 6 Theaters. Other pics set include a 10th anniversary screening of Toby Wilkins Splinter, a multiple award winner at the fest in 2008; Daniel Farrands Amityville Murders; Doron and Yoav Pazs The Golumn from Israel; and films from the U.S., Sweden, the UK, China, India and Italy.