Austin, Texas (August 31, 2022) – Austin Film Festival (AFF), the leading film festival recognizing the contributions of writers and filmmakers to film, television and new media, has announced its first wave of screenings to be included in its 2022 film slate, which It will take place on Thursday, October 27. , November 3.
This year includes exciting new world premieres like the pandemic comedy SMALL BOAT and documentary made in Texas SONG OF THE CICADA. In addition, AFF will evaluate BABY SISTER by writer/director Nikyatu Jusu, who will receive the 2022 New Voice Award along with the screening.
Short film by writer/director Nikyatu Jusu SUICIDE IN THE LIGHT OF THE SUN: A project financed by Through Her Lens and sponsored by the Tribeca Film Institute and Chanel, it made its debut at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, going on to a prolific festival run. BABY SISTER is Jusu’s feature film debut and was selected for the 2019 Sundance Institute Creative Production Lab, 2019 IFP Project Forum, 2020 Sundance Writers & Directors Labs. BABY SISTER won the Grand Jury Prize for Drama at Sundance 2022. In addition, BABY SISTER was one of 35 projects shortlisted for the Creative Capital Awards 2020 and shortlisted for The Black List 2020. In addition to film, Nikyatu is an assistant professor teaching fiction directing and screenwriting.
AFF FIRST WAVE:
Directed/Written by: Sarah Polley
Synopsis: Based on the best-selling novel by Miriam Toews, WOMEN TALKING follows a group of women in an isolated religious colony as they struggle to reconcile their faith with a series of sexual assaults committed by the men of the colony.
In attendance: Producer Dede Gardner and Director Sarah Polley
Directed/Written by: Nikyatu Jusu
Synopsis: In this psychologically complex scrolling fable tinged with supernatural horror, Aisha (Anna Diop), a recent émigré from Senegal, is hired to care for the adorable daughter of an unbalanced white couple (Michelle Monaghan and Morgan Spector) living in New York Tribeca neighborhood. Increasingly unsettled by the family’s volatile home life, yet desperate to earn enough money to bring their young son back from Senegal, Aisha begins to unravel, discovering that her life in America is more nightmare than dream.
Attended: Writer/Director Nikyatu Jusu
Directed/Written by: Dominic Lopez
Produced/Written by: Kelsey Gunn
Synopsis: Ainsley is a people-hating misanthropist, but when she suddenly finds herself isolated with no one to talk to, she realizes how much she misses the connection. Ulysses enters, a dead mouse in a jar. With a little solitude, a dash of imagination, and a tuxedo the size of a mouse, Ulysses becomes his training wheel in this newfound world of friendship.
good night oppy
Directed/Written by: Ryan White
Synopsis: It tells the inspiring true story of Opportunity, a rover that was sent to Mars for a 90-day mission but ended up surviving for 15 years. The film follows Opportunity’s groundbreaking journey to Mars and the remarkable bond forged between a robot and its human from millions of miles apart.
AFTER THE SUN
Directed/Written by: Charlotte Wells
Synopsis: At a vanishing resort, 11-year-old Sophie treasures an exceptional time with her loving and idealistic father, Calum (Paul Mescal). As the world of adolescence comes into view, beyond her eyes, Calum struggles under the weight of life outside of fatherhood. Twenty years later, Sophie’s fond memories of her last vacation become a powerful and heartbreaking portrait of their relationship, as she tries to reconcile the father she knew with the man she never knew, in Charlotte’s superbly poignantly emotional feature debut. Wells.
THE BEAUTY OF A BLANK SPACE
Directed by: Ryan Love
Written by: Ryan Love and Laurel Toupal
Synopsis: During a weekend getaway in Las Vegas, an aimless young woman, Haley, and her brother, Mac, embark on a spontaneous road trip to Portland to rediscover a time capsule they buried as children. Inside, she holds Haley’s biological mother’s bracelet.
SONG OF THE CICADA
Co-directed by: Aaron Weiss and Robert Weiss
Synopsis: In the seaside town of Galveston, Texas, Dale Carter lives as an undertaker in his Victorian home with his protégé and friend. Over the course of a decade, this observational documentary chronicles his daily life with friends, family, and strangers alike, as he navigates the mortuary profession and his attempts to realize his dream of renovating a historic home in Beaumont, Texas. Song of the Cicada explores the philosophies and motives behind the macabre obsessions that define this eccentric undertaker.
Directed/Written by: Hanadi Elyan
Synopsis: The film Salma’s Home, set in Jordan, revolves around three women with different personalities. SALMA (Juliet Awad) is a talented baker who lives alone in a large old house overlooking downtown Amman and runs an unprofitable home-based bakery. Ella’s daughter FARAH (Sameera Asir) is a young working mother with marital problems. Their lives are turned upside down by the death of Salma’s ex-husband. The funeral takes place at the home of her current wife, LAMIA (Rania Kurdi), an aspiring socialite who is obsessed with building her online brand. After the funeral, shocking facts come to light that lead to turf clashes and ultimately force the three women to come to terms with some harsh realities and take control of their lives.
WHO INVITED CHARLIE?
Directed by: Javier Manrique
Written by: Nicolas Schutt
Synopsis: Phil Schreiber, a selfish hedge fund manager escapes to the Hamptons with his wife and son at the start of the pandemic. Adding to an already tense situation is the surprise arrival of Charlie, Phil’s college roommate. An example of Falstaffian excess, Charlie is also the keeper of some of Phil’s darkest secrets. To make matters worse for Phil, his wife and his son love Charlie. As Charlie settles into his house, secrets are revealed that threaten to do more harm than the virus they’re hiding from.
The full lineup of the Festival lineup, including more than 100 films and hundreds of panels, will be announced in late September.
Press accreditation is now open until October 8, 2022. Press can apply at austinfilmfestival.com/contact/press-inquiries
ABOUT THE AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL:
The Austin Film Festival (AFF) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the arts, crafts, and businesses of writers and filmmakers and recognizing their contributions to film, television, and new media. AFF champions the work of aspiring and established writers and filmmakers by providing unique cultural events and services, enhancing public awareness and engagement, and encouraging dynamic and enduring community partnerships. AFF is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department and the Texas Commission on the Arts. All attendees and events are based on permitted times and are subject to change and/or cancellation without notice. For press credentials, contact Travis Broughton at [email protected]. Badges and passes are available to purchase online at www.austinfilmfestival.com or by phone at 1-800-310-FEST.
ABOUT THE NEW VOICE AWARD:
Presented in 2019, the Austin Film Festival New Voice Award honors unique and captivating new voices in film, television and new media. Previous recipients of the award include Catherine Reitman (2019) and Channing Godfrey Peoples (2021).