AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL'S ON STORY PODCAST (film and television)

This week’s On Story, two critically and culturally acclaimed African-American directors: John Singleton and Charles Burnett. First, Singleton discusses his career and the creation of his first film, Boyz n the Hood (1991), which earned him the Best Director nomination at the Academy Awards®, making him the first African American nominee in that category that same year. Later, Charles Burnett highlights details of his career development in narrative and documentary filmmaking, with his seminal film Killer of Sheep (1978), a definitive representation of the African American cultural experience.  

John Singleton made his filmmaking debut in 1991 as the writer-director of the groundbreaking urban drama Boys N The Hood, which he wrote and directed. The film earned him Academy Award® Nominations for Best Original Screenplay and Best Director, the latter of which made him the youngest person as well as the first African-American to enjoy that distinction. Singleton’s other films include Poetic Justice starring Janet Jackson and Tupac Shakur, Four Brothers with Mark Wahlberg, Tyrese Gibson and Andre Benjamin and Rosewood starring John Voight, Ving Rhames and Don Cheadle.

Charles Burnett’s most notable works include the films Killer of Sheep, My Brother’s Wedding and To Sleep With Anger. Killer of Sheep was Charles Burnett’s master’s thesis at UCLA and was included among the first 50 films entered in the National Film Registry for its historical importance by the Library of Congress in 1990. Charles Burnett has received numerous awards for his contribution to American cinema including a Guggenheim Fellowship and Howard University’s Paul Robeson Award.

Direct download: SINGLETON_BURNETT_REFEED_adjusted.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 8:26am CDT

On Story Episode 1707: Issa Rae from Awkward Black Girl to HBO’s Insecure

This week, web series creator-turned cable TV sensation Issa Rae on her journey from YouTube to HBO, her desire for diversity on television and her hit series Insecure. We'll also hear from comedy empresario Larry Wilmore on his work developing Insecure with Issa Ray and his perspective on diverse new voices in comedy.

With her own unique flare and infectious sense of humor, Issa Rae’s content has garnered over 25 million views and close to 200,000 subscribers on YouTube. In addition to making the Forbes 30 Under 30 list twice and winning awards for her web series “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl,” Issa Rae has worked on web content for Pharrell Williams, Tracey Edmonds and numerous others. She developed a TV series with Shonda Rhimes for ABC and most recently she developed the hit series, “Insecure” for HBO. Rae is also the New York Times Best Selling author of, “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl”.

Larry Wilmore started his career as an actor and stand-up comedian before writing and producing on the early nineties classic television shows In Living Color, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and The Jamie Foxx Show . He co-created The PJ’s with Eddie Murphy, The Bernie Mac Show and was consulting producer and guest star on the American version of The Office. Most recently, Wilmore was the host of Comedy Central’s The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore. We caught up with him by phone to discuss his work with Issa Rae and other new voices in comedy.

Direct download: ISSA_RAE_AND_LARRY_WILMORE_adjusted.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 10:52am CDT

On Story Episode 1706: Deconstructing Jane Austen

With six novels that produced over sixty adaptations for the screen, the talents of Jane Austen have lived on long past her time on earth. On this episode, the filmmakers behind Sense and Sensibility, The Jane Austen Book Club, and The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, as well as the academic behind the interactive website What Jane Saw dot org discuss how Jane Austen’s themes and stories remain so powerful today.

Studio executive Lindsay Doran has numerous credits on film and television including The Firm, Fallen Angels and of course Sense and Sensibility.

Screenwriter and Producer Robin Swicord wrote the screenplays for Little Women, Matilda, Memoirs of a Geisha and The Jane Austen Book Club.

Janine Barchas is a Professor of English at the University of Texas at Austin and the author of Matters of Fact in Jane Austen: History, Location, and Celebrity. She’s also the creator behind the digital heritage project “What Jane Saw” (www.whatjanesaw.org) and most recently, she has co-curated the exhibition “Will & Jane: Shakespeare, Austen, and the Cult of Celebrity,” at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC last year.

Bernie Su is the two-time Emmy Award-winning producer and creator behind The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, Emma Approved and Vanity.

Direct download: DECONSTRUCTING_JANE_AUSTEN_adjusted.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 5:32pm CDT

On Story Episode 1705: Sports in Cinema

This week, On Story takes a look at great sports films with the filmmakers behind Hoosiers, King Pin, The Rookie, 42 and more! John Lee Hancock, Angelo Pizzo, Aaron Covington, Bobby Farrely discuss winners, losers, underdogs and champions. Later, Brian Helgeland talks about writing and directing the Jackie Robinson biopic, 42.

Angelo Pizzo wrote and co-produced the classic basketball story Hoosiers as well as the football bio, Rudy. Hoosiers stars Gene Hackman, Barbara Hershey and Dennis Hopper and is loosely based on the Milan High School basketball team that won the Indiana state championship in 1954. 

John Lee Hancock is the filmmaker behind The Rookie and The Blind side, as well as the recent film, The Founder. The Rookie stars Dennis Quaid, Rachel Griffiths and Brian Cox and tells the real-life story if Jim Morris- the high school science teacher turned major league pitcher. The Blind Side is based on the book by Michael Lewis and depicts the late adolescence of Carolina Panthers offensive lineman Michael Oher and his path from the foster care system to the gridiron.

Aaron Covington co-wrote the screenplay for the 2015 film Creed. The film depicts the journey of Adonis Johnson into the boxing world. Johnson is the son of former heavyweight champion and Rocky Balboa opponent-turned-trainer Apollo Creed. In the film, the younger Creed, whose father died in the ring, seeks the help and guidance of aging former champion Rocky Balboa.

Bobby Farrelly and his brother Peter Farrelly are the filmmakers behind the sports comedies Kingpin and Fever Pitch. Kingpin stars Woody Harrelson as a down on his luck former professional bowler who takes on an Amish protégé played by Randy Quaid. Fever Pitch stars Jimmy Fallon as a Boston Red Sox fanatic who becomes romantically involved with a workaholic executive played by Drew Barrymore.

Academy Award winning screenwriter, film producer and director Brian Helgeland is best known for the films L.A. Confidential, Mystic River, A Knight’s Tale, Legend and of course, the Jackie Robinson biopic 42. The film stars Chadwick Boseman as Jackie Robinson and takes place in 1946 and 47, when Robinson went from the triple A Royals to The Brooklyn Dodgers, becoming the first African-American to break the color barrier in Major League Baseball.

Direct download: SPORTS_IN_CINEMA.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 4:18pm CDT

On Story Episode 1704: Awards Season

With Awards season in full swing, this week’s On Story takes a look at some of the most memorable films of 2016 including Loving, The Edge of Seventeen, The Jungle Book and more!

Loving, depicts the real-life story of interracial couple Richard and Mildred Loving who married in 1958 and were then sentenced to one year in prison for violating Virginia’s anti-miscegenation statute, the Racial Integrity Act of 1924. Their civil rights case, Loving vs Virginia, went all the way to the Supreme Court, which in 1967 determined that all race-based restrictions on marriage were unconstitutional. Loving is written and directed by Jeff Nichols, and stars Joel Edgerton, Ruth Negga and Michael Shannon. Loving has already received numerous nominations including Best Original Screenplay and Best Director from the Writers Guild of America.

The Edge of Seventeen is written and directed by Kelly Fremon Craig and produced by veteran TV and film icon James L. Brooks. This coming of age comedy drama stars Hailee Steinfeld as the film’s acerbic yet endearing protagonist and co-stars Haley Lu Richardson, Woody Harrelson and Kyra Sedgwick.

Writer-director Whit Stillman’s latest movie Love and Friendship is an adaptation of the Jane Austen novella Lady Susan and stars Kate Beckinsale and Chloe Sevigny. The film, set in the 1790s, marks Whit Stillman’s first departure from original material.

Bleed for this is the new biopic from writer-director Ben Younger. The film tells the real-life story of professional boxer Vinny Paz and his comeback to boxing after a severe spinal injury sustained in an automobile accident. The film is also a sort of parallel to Ben Younger’s career. Younger made his first film, Boiler Room in 2000 and his last film, Prime, in 2005. Bleed for this, produced by Martin Scorsese, and written and directed by Younger, represents his comeback to filmmaking.

The 2016 Disney film The Jungle Book is based on the Rudyard Kipling classic, and inspired by the 1967 animated film of the same name. The Jungle Book features an all-star cast including Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley and Idris Elba as well as newcomer Neel Sethi and was written by Justin Marks, directed by Jon Favreu. Since its release in April 2016, The Jungle Book has raked in nearly a billion dollars worldwide.

Direct download: AWARDS_SEASON_2017_adjusted.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 4:22pm CDT

On Story Episode 1703 Sci-fi Drama and Dystopian Worlds

This episode of On Story from Austin Film Festival and PRI, Arrival screenwriter Eric Heisserer, Rogue One screenwriter Gary Whitta and The Leftovers Damon Lindelof discuss sci-fi drama and dystopian worlds.

Eric Heisserer is the screenwriter behind the sci-fi drama Arrival. The film is adapted from novelist Ted Chiang’s The Story Of Your Life and was directed by Denis Vileneuve. Arrival has received high praise from critics for its sophisticated concept, exciting storytelling and riveting performances.

Film and television writer and producer Damon Lindelof is best known as the co-creator of the ABC series Lost, and as the co-writer behind the films Star Trek- Into Darkness and Prometheus. Damon Lindelof also co-created HBO’s The Leftovers with novelist Tom Perrotta.

Screenwriter, author, game designer and journalist Gary Whitta is one of a few names behind the story and screenplay for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Gary Whitta also wrote the screenplay for the 2010 film The Book of Eli.

Direct download: SCI_FI_DRAMA_AND_DYSTOPIAN_WORLDS_adjusted.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 12:46pm CDT

On Story Episode 1656: Paul Weitz and Tony Hale

This episode of On Story from Austin Film Festival and PRI, Mozart in the Jungle executive producer Paul Weitz discusses the arc of the show's three season run on Amazon and actor Tony Hale describes his work from Arrested Development to HBO's Veep.

Paul Weitz is best known for collaborations with his brother Chris Weitz on the films American Pie and About a boy, the latter of which saw the co-directing brothers nominated for an Academy Award®.

Actor and comedian Tony Hale is best known for his role as Buster Bluth on Arrested Development. Tony Hale has had numerous roles in film and television. Most recently, as Gary Walsh in the HBO series Veep, for which he’s won two Primetime Emmys for Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series.

Direct download: Paul_Weitz_and_Tony_Hale_adjusted.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 9:01pm CDT

On Story Episode 1655: The Founder and Saving Mr. Banks

On this week’s On Story, filmmaker John Lee Hancock discusses his new film, The Founder. Later, screenwriter Kelly Marcel joins John Lee Hancock as they take Saving Mr Banks from script to screen.

The Founder is directed by one of today’s guests John Lee Hancock and written by Robert Siegel. The Founder stars Michael Keaton as McDonald’s empresario Ray Kroc and Nick Offerman and John Carroll Lynch as the fast-food chain’s pre-franchise co-founders Richard and Maurice McDonald. John Lee Hancock is best known for the films The Rookie, The Blindside and Saving Mr. Banks.

Saving Mr. Banks centers around the development of the 1964 Disney classic, Mary Poppins and stars Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Paul Giamatti, Jason Schwartzman, Bradley Whitford and Colin Farrell. 

Direct download: THE_FOUNDER_AND_SAVING_MR_BANKS.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 9:30pm CDT

On Story Episode 1653: America Ferrera and June Squibb

This episode of On Story, actress and producer America Ferrera and theatre film and television actress June Squibb discuss their work in film and on television.

America Ferrera is best known for her work on the ABC comedy-drama, Ugly Betty. The role garnered her a Golden Globe, a Screen Actors Guild Award and the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding lead Actress in a Comedy Series. America Ferrera’s numerous film credits include Real Women Have Curves, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, End of Watch and How to Train Your Dragon. America Ferrera returned to television in 2015 as a regular and co-producer on the NBC comedy, Superstore.

Actress June Squibb got her start in musical theatre in the 1950’s. She made her Broadway debut as Electra in the original 1960 production of Gypsy starring Ethel Merman. June Squibb made her transition to film in the late 1980’s with Woody Allen’s Alice and went on to roles in Scent of a Woman, The Age of Innocence, Meet Joe Black, and Far From Heaven. She’s since worked twice with director Alexander Payne, first on the film About Schmidt, and later, co-starring with Bruce Dern in Nebraska, which earned her the Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Her recent credits include the critically acclaimed film I’ll See You in my Dreams with Rhea Pearlman, Mary Kay Place and Sam Elliot as well as television appearances in Getting On, Girls, Glee, The Big bang Theory and Modern Family.

Direct download: AMERICA_FERRERA_AND_JUNE_SQUIBB_adjusted.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 11:01pm CDT

On Story Episode 1652: John Patrick Shanley

On today’s episode, filmmaker and playwright, John Patrick Shanley on writing memorable characters. Shanley won the Oscar with his screenplay for Moonstruck, as well as a Pulitzer and a Tony for his play, Doubt, which he later adapted for the screen.

Filmmaker and playwright John Patrick Shanley’s credits include the stage plays Prodigal Son, Outside Mullingar (Tony nomination), Danny and the Deep Blue Sea, Savage in Limbo, Dirty Story, Defiance, and Beggars in the House of Plenty. His theatrical work is performed extensively across the United States and around the world. His play, Doubt, received both the Tony Award and the Pulitzer Prize. He later adapted and directed Doubt for the screen. The film, starring Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, and Viola Davis, was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Adapted Screenplay. Shanley’s other films include Five Corners, Alive, Joe Versus the Volcano, and of course, Moonstruck, for which he received both the Writers Guild of America Award and an Academy Award for best original screenplay.

Direct download: JOHN_PATRICK_SHANLEY_adjusted.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 9:25pm CDT