The Austin Chronicle

NEA Backs Austin Film Festival's On Story

By Richard Whittaker, July 12, 2018, 2:41pm, Picture in Picture

On Story, the Austin Film Festival's ongoing project exploring the craft and the art of visual storytelling, has become an unmatched record of modern film and TV. That legacy has now received recognition from the National Endowment for the Arts, with the announcement that the festival has been awarded $15,000 toward the archive.

AFF originally launched On Story in 2011 as a PBS TV show, with an accompanying podcast, that pulled interviews and panels from the festival's massive archive. Starting on KLRU, it is now shown in 88% of PBS affiliated markets nationally, and won a Lone Star Emmy in 2014 for the episode concentrating on Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan. In eight seasons, the show has included talents as diverse as Greta Gerwig (Ladybird), Keenen Ivory Wayans (Hollywood Shuffle), David Simon (The Wire), Amanda Silver (Rise of the Planet of the Apes), Ted Tally (The Silence of the Lambs), Marta Kauffman (Friends), Angela Kang (The Walking Dead), and Issa Rae (Insecure),

The project has expanded to include an NPR radio show, plus two books (with a third, On Story: The Golden Ages of Television due later this year), as well as a research archive at the Wittliff Collections at Texas State University.

The grant is part of $80 million awarded to arts groups around the country in the NEA's second funding wave of the year. Celebrating the funding, AFF executive director Barbara Morgan said, "We couldn't be more thrilled for this incredible opportunity given by the NEA to help us provide these resources to the general public, free to anyone with an interest in storytelling through film, television, and new media."

Find out more about the project at

Austin Film Festival 2018 runs Oct. 25-Nov. 1. Tickets and info at

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