Austin Film Festival Announces First Wave of Titles

Lineup drops the latest from Todd Haynes and a Hank Williams biopic

While the Austin Film Festival's full slate of films and panels doesn't drop until mid-September, today they provided a preview by announcing 10 films to be screened at the fest known as "the writer's festival."

Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett in Carol (Courtesy of the Weinstein Company)

Included in the lineup is the Texas premiere of Todd Haynes' new film, Carol, starring Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, and Kyle Chandler. The film is based on Patricia Highsmith's novel, The Price of Salt. Can an English actor do justice to an American Country legend? We'll find out in I Saw the Light, the Hank Williams biopic starring Tom Hiddleston as the music icon and Elizabeth Olsen as his wife and duet partner. Multi-hyphenate James Franco will be attending the fest this year with the world premiere of Memoria. Directed by Vladamir de Fontenay and Nina Ljeti, the film is an adaptation of Franco's collection of short stories, Palo Alto, based on his high school experiences. Also in town this year will be director Jason Reitman, bringing his new Hulu comedy series Casual, which charts the dating life of a bachelor and his newly divorced sister. And making its Texas premiere is the new film from Paolo Sorrentino (This Must Be the Place), Youth, which sees Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel looking back on their lives in a secluded hotel in the Swiss Alps. On the local front, Austin filmmaker Andrew Shapter brings the world premiere of his haunting film The Teller and the Tale, about a bank teller gone missing in Seventies Smithville, Texas. See "Pause/Play," for a profile on Shapter. For the full announcement, see below.

The 22nd annual Austin Film Festival and Conference runs Oct. 29- Nov. 5.

Texas Premiere
Writer: Phyllis Nagy; Director: Todd Haynes
In an adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s seminal novel The Price of Salt, Carol follows two women from very different backgrounds who find themselves in an unexpected love affair in 1950s New York. Starring Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Sarah Paulson, Kyle Chandler, Jake Lacy and Cory Michael Smith.

New Series from Hulu
Creator/Executive Producer Zander Lehmann; Executive
Producer/Director Jason Reitman
A comedy series about a bachelor brother and his newly divorced sister living under one roof again. Together, they coach each other through the crazy world of dating while raising her teenage daughter. In attendance: Creator/Executive Producer Zander Lehmann; Executive Producer/Director Jason Reitman; Executive Producer Helen Estabrook; Executive Producer Liz Tigelaar; Cast Tommy Dewey, Michaela Watkins, and Tara Lynne Barr.

Fallen Stars
World Premiere
Writer/Director: Brian Jett
A poignant drama that chronicles the unexpected friendship that develops between Cooper, a melancholy bartender who, at thirty-six, still isn't sure what he wants to do with his life, and Daisy, an extremely bright but socially awkward girl in her early twenties. In attendance: Writer/Director Brian Jett; Cast Ryan O’Nan, Michelle Ang; Producer Stephanie Marin.

I Saw the Light
Texas Premiere
Writer/Director: Marc Abraham
I Saw the Light tells the story of the iconic, tormented singer-songwriter who revolutionized country music with his raw charisma, haunting voice and original songs, most of which are considered American standards today and have been recorded many times over by pop, rock and country artists alike. Starring Tom Hiddleston, Elizabeth Olsen, David Krumholtz, and Bradley Whitford.

World Premiere
Writer/Directors: Vladamir de Fontenay, Nina Ljeti
Ivan Cohen is a young boy living in Palo Alto, California. Unsatisfied by his slacker group of friends, his love for a girl who doesn't know he exists, and a dysfunctional family life, he is struggling to find his place in the world. Starring Sam Dillon, Thomas Mann, Keith Stanfield, and James Franco. In attendance: Writers/Directors Vladamir de Fontenay, Nina Ljeti; Cast James Franco, Sam Dillon

North American Premiere
Writer/Director: Kai Berry
When a rookie operative's mistake costs the lives of his entire team, he's forced on the run and must piece together the truth by re-creating the events of the ill-fated mission with only the audio recording to guide him. In attendance: Writer/Director Kai Berry; Cast Anthony LaPaglia.

The Night is Young
World Premiere
Writer/Directors: Matt Jones, Dave Hill
Over one night, two guys meet two girls and explore what it's really like to have a drink in L.A. Or two drinks ... or three ... or more. In attendance: Writer/Directors/Cast Matt Jones, Dave Hill; Cast Eloise Mumford, Kelen Coleman.

World Premiere
Writer/Director: Adam Bowers
A pizza cook who's never left his college town meets the girl of his dreams before finding out there's a huge roadblock to them being together. In attendance: Writer/Director Adam Bowers.

The Teller and the Truth
World Premiere
Director: Andrew Shapter
The Teller and the Truth uncovers the truth surrounding the disappearance of Francis Wetherbee, a beautiful young bank teller who's been missing since a 1974 bank robbery in Smithville, Texas. In attendance: Director Andrew Shapter; All Cast and Crew.

Texas Premiere
Writer/Director Paolo Sorrentino
Youth explores the lifelong bond between two friends vacationing in a luxury Swiss Alps lodge as they ponder retirement. Starring Michael Caine, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz, Paul Dano and Jane Fonda.

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Austin Film Festival, Todd Haynes, Carol, James Franco, Memoria, Hank Williams, Youth, Austin Film Festival 2015

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