Austin Film Festival Reveals Programming & Talent For Inaugural Playwriting Track

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Austin Film Festival (AFF), the premier film festival recognizing writers’ and filmmakers’ contributions to film, television, and new media, announced today new programming for its inaugural Playwriting Track. Held during AFF’s Writers Conference, this October 13-16, the Playwriting Track will feature discussions that delve into the art and craft of dramatic writing and how these techniques can serve to inform storytelling for both the stage and screen.

As part of the track, playwright and screenwriter Beau Willimon will present a staged script reading of his unproduced play War Story which follows two soldiers, two bankers, a war overseas and a war at home. The play explores how people navigate the battlefields of their past while confronting an uncertain future.

An AFF Alum and confirmed 2016 Panelist, Willimon earned an Academy Award® nomination for his work on The Ides of March, adapted from his play Farragut North, and made his first foray into television as the creator and showrunner of the Emmy and Golden Globe winning House of Cards. Through his company Westward Productions, he is currently producing several films. 

"AFF is one of the few festivals in the country that focuses on writing, and it's wonderful that they're expanding their program to include playwriting,” commented Willimon. “There's been a close relationship between theater and film since the invention of cinema. Like many of my peers, I began my career in the theater and have worked with many theater artists on my film and TV projects. I'm honored to be participating in this inaugural expansion of AFF's staged reading series."

Additional playwright and film/television hybrids confirmed for the Conference include Stephen Falk (creator You’re the Worst),Monica Macer (writer Nashville), Melanie Marnich (writer The Affair), Mark Medoff (writer Children of a Lesser God), Elizabeth Meriwether (creator The New Girl), Nicole Perlman (writer Guardians of the Galaxy), Edward Ricourt (writer Jessica Jones),Jose Rivera (writer The Motorcycle Diaries), Tom Szentgyorgyi (writer The Mentalist), Alexander Woo (writer True Blood),Linda Woolverton (writer The Lion King), and others. The Playwriting Track will play host to panels such as “Shakespeare Inspired”, “Stage to Screen”, “Playwrights in the Writers Room”, “Dialogue”, “Subtext and Beats”, “Breaking in as a Playwright”, and more.

AFF also unveiled a new Playwriting Competition, to open in the 2017 season. An extension of its renowned Screenplay Competition which has been responsible for launching numerous writing careers, AFF will accept full-length stage plays and provide aspiring playwrights exposure to a wide array of theatre professionals. Writers who place in the competition and seek to transition into film and television will be given access to special programming and networking opportunities through the annual Writers Conference. More information and specifics will be available when the competition opens in early 2017.

AFF’s 2016 Writers Conference will be held October 13-16, with the Film Festival continuing through October 20. The full schedule will be released mid-September; more information and confirmed programming can be found at www.austinfilmfestival.com.

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