Austin Film Festival to Honor Kenneth Lonergan

Manchester by the Sea Oscar winner named Distinguished Screenwriter

Kenneth Lonergan (right) with Manchester by the Sea star Casey Affleck

The Austin Film Festival announced today that Oscar winner Kenneth Lonergan will be honored at this year’s festival and writers conference with the 2017 Distinguished Screenwriter Award. The mission of AFF? To celebrate exceptional screenwriting and the writers who do it. So, Lonergan's a bull’s-eye.

In addition to his long list of achievements in playwriting, Lonergan has written and directed three films: 2000’s You Can Count on Me, 2011’s Margaret, and 2016’s Manchester by the Sea, for which he won the 2017 Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. Other screenwriting credits include Gangs of New York, Analyze This, and an upcoming miniseries adaptation of E.M. Forster’s Howards End.

In today’s announcement, AFF also confirmed new panelists speaking at the October conference: David Simon (The Wire creator, HBO’s upcoming Times Square porn saga The Deuce co-creator), George Pelecanos (The Deuce co-creator), Misha Green (Underground co-creator), Kourtney Kang (Fresh Off the Boat writer/producer), and David Lowery (A Ghost Story writer/director), joining previously announced leading writers in film, television, theatre, fiction podcasting, and new media.

Lonergan will be recognized at the 2017 awards luncheon on Sat., Oct. 28, and also engage in the festival and conference, which runs Oct. 26-Nov. 2. The conference takes place on the first four days of the festival, Oct. 26-29.

For more info and scheduling, visit

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