This week, in honor of Austin Film Festival’s 25th Anniversary we’re going back into our archives to bring you conversations with writers that created two of 1993’s most remembered films. First we’ll hear from screenwriter Angelo Pizzo who wrote the inspirational football drama Rudy. And later, we’ll hear from Ron Nyswaner who wrote the Jonathan Demme directed drama Philadelphia, which starred Denzel Washington and Tom Hanks.

1993 saw the release of giant blockbuster films like Jurassic Park, classic comedies like Groundhog’s Day, Rom-Com staples like Sleepless in Seattle, and the inspirational true-life story of an undersized, dyslexic student who’s only dream was to play football for the University of Notre Dame. Rudy, written by Angelo Pizzo, has stood the test of time as a film that still resonates with an audience 25 years after its release. In 2005 the film was named one of the 25 Best Sports Movies by ESPN and one of the most-inspiring films of all time by the “AFI 100 Series”. Pizzo, who also wrote the Indiana basketball drama Hoosiers, spoke about Rudy at the 22nd Austin Film Festival in 2015.

Clips of Rudy courtesy of TriStar Pictures, Inc.

We continue our 25-year look back with a conversation with screenwriter Ron Nyswaner. In 1993, Nyswaner wrote Philadelphia, which follows an attorney who is fired from his high-powered law firm after it’s revealed that he is HIV positive. The film was one of the first mainstream Hollywood films to acknowledge HIV and homosexuality. Tom Hanks won an Academy Award® for Best actor for his portrayal of lawyer Andrew Beckett. Nyswaner is also known for adapting the W. Somerset Maugham novel The Painted Veil into the 2006 film of the same name.  Nyswaner spoke about his career and writing process at the 20th annual Austin Film Festival in 2013.

Clips of Philadelphia courtesy of TriStar Pictures, Inc.

Clip of Ray Donovan courtesy of Showtime Networks, Inc.

Clip of The Painted Veil courtesy of Bob Yari Productions & Yari Film Group Releasing


Direct download: PIZZO_NYSWANNER_REFEED.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 2:00pm CDT

Writer/director Nathan Deming presents one of the most touching and complex films in our lineup this year with his film Speaking in Tongues, that delves into hard questions of faith, love, sexuality, and community in our modern world.

Screening Times: 10/27, 6:30PM: Hideout Theatre & 10/31, 4:00PM at the Galaxy Highland 10

Direct download: NATHAN_DEMMING_2.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 3:30pm CDT

In Above the Clouds, a headstrong young girl makes a startling discovery that the man married to her mother isn't her real dad. Recruiting a homeless man whose only possession is his driving licence, she embarks on an epic road trip to track down her biological father. We spoke with Director Leon Chambers and writer Simon Lord about their collaboration and the off the cuff characters and story they’ve created.

Screening Times for Above the Clouds: 10/27, 4:45PM at St. David's Bethell Hall & 10/29, 8:30PM: Galaxy Highland 10

Direct download: ABOVE_THE_CLOUDS_FINAL.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 12:00pm CDT

One of our most compelling and challenging stories at this years festival comes from a powerful documentary titled A Girl Named C. It tells the story of 11- year who was raped in her New Jersey elementary school by another 11-year-old student. Emily Kassie, the films director spoke to us about her motivations and what drove her to champion this story.

Screening Times: 10/28, 4:00PM: St.David's Bethell Hall & 10/29, 1:00PM at Alamo Drafthouse Village


Direct download: A_GIRL_NAMED_C_FINAL.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm CDT

After years of serving as a soldier in Syria, A Soldier is suddenly called back stateside when his wife and 5 year-old son, Lawrence, are involved in a car accident. Now while faced with burying the love of his life and becoming a single parent, his young son begins to reveal secrets about the town and its residents. Writer/director Jason Noto tell us about making this hard and sincere film come to life.

Screening Times: 10/25, 7:15PM: State Theatre & 10/30, 7:00PM at the Alamo Drafthouse Village

Direct download: BEYOND_THE_NIGHT_FINAL.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 12:00pm CDT

One of America's greatest visual poets, photographer Burk Uzzle, travels America's back roads in search of hidden treasures of Americana and uses his vast archive as a guide to confront race, inequality, and injustice. Documentarian Jethro Waters spoke to us about his process of capturing and presenting his subject in his film F11 and Be There.

Screening Times: 10/28, 6:45PM: Bethell Hall & 10/30, 1:00PM at the Alamo Drafthouse Village

Direct download: F11_AND_BE_THERE_FINAL.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 12:00pm CDT

Set in the oil fields of Texas,The Iron Orchard is an authentic account of how men lived, loved and attempted to prosper in one of America’s most dangerous industries. Director Ty Roberts and writer Gerry De Leon spoke to us about this vibrant and brutal story.  


Screening Times: 10/30, 7:15PM: State Theatre & 10/27, 4:00PM at the the Galaxy Highland 10

Direct download: IRON_ORCHARD_FINAL.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 12:00pm CDT

Major Arcana is set in the backwoods of Vermont, an itinerant carpenter faces a quixotic struggle to end a legacy of alcoholism and poverty as he attempts to build a log cabin by hand. Producer and former Austinite Sarah Kolb spoke to discuss the unique challenges presented by Major Arcana.

Screening Times: 10/25, 8:00PM: Hideout Theater & 10/30, 3:15PM at the Galaxy Highland 10

Direct download: MAJOR_ARCANA_FINAL.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 12:00pm CDT

After moving to Spain for her husband, Eva, a Paraguayan woman finds herself bored, unhappy, and sexually frustrated. Korean American Writer Jean Lee spoke to us about her love for spanish telenovelas and the unique set of circumstances that led her to helm this Spanish language comedy. This is a Spanish speaking film that contains subtitles.

Screening Times: 10/25, 9:45PM: St. David’s Bethell Hall & 10/30, 5:30PM at the Galaxy Highland 10

Direct download: PECADO_ORIGINAL_FINAL.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm CDT

Though her Iranian parents long for their daughter to have the perfect Persian wedding, Nousha can’t seem to hold a relationship together long enough to ever see that through. That is, until she meets Alex, an eccentric bisexual artist who might just be the one. Writer/ Director Sarah Zandieh presents us with an amazing culture clash and familial comedy Zandieh’s script is sharp and witty and eloquent in both the language of traditional Persia and secular America.

Screening Times: 10/25, 7:10PM: Alamo Drafthouse Village & 10/30, 8:30PM at the Galaxy Highland 10

Direct download: SIMPLE_WEDDING_FINAL.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm CDT