The month of many festivals concludes with the best screenwriting-focused film festival around, the Austin Film Festival.
The 17th annual festival and conference kicks off tonight and runs through Oct. 28, giving you plenty of opportunity to see some local premieres of soon-to-be awards season darlings and listen to amazingly talented writers and industry professionals during the panels.
At $650 for a producer badge that includes entry to all panels, parties and screenings, top-tier access to AFF may be out of your price range (it’s absofreakinlutely out of mine), but for a scant $50, you can buy a film pass and go see all the screenings. And just a tip for all you single ladies out there: AFF is in fact a good place to meet dudes. I first fell for my now-husband while sitting next to him during an AFF screening of that enduring classic When Zachary Beaver Came to Town, starring the human head kid from Jerry Maguire and Eric Stolz. Not such an awesome movie, but definitely an awesome dude.
Some of the cool new movies you could see at AFF months before the rest of Austin include:
The Company Men, starring (you guessed it!) a lot of men (Ben Affleck, Kevin Costner, Chris Cooper and Tommy Lee Jones) dealing with the crappy economy (Sat., Oct. 23, 6 p.m., Paramount)
127 Hours, director Danny Boyle’s latest, but no matter how much I like him and star James Franco (and even my girl Amber Tamblyn), I am way too claustrophobic to watch it, and I wish the rest of you luck (Tues., Oct. 26, 7 p.m., Paramount)
Casino Jack, featuring Kevin Spacey playing the morally ambiguous and majorly disgraced real-life lobbyist Jack Abramoff (Thurs., Oct. 28, 8 p.m., Paramount)
Find the full schedule of films (including those in competition) here.