'The Truth About Charlie' premiere
Although the festival proper began Thursday, Oct. 10, the Austin Film Festival kickstarted the prior evening with the regional premiere of The Truth About Charlie, sponsored by AFF and the Austin Film Society, and benefiting the AFF's Young Filmmakers Program, formerly known as Kids 'N Film. Writer/director Jonathan Demme was present to introduce the film at the Paramount Theatre, as well as to conduct a post-screening Q&A. He waxed poetic on Charles Aznavour, the legendary French actor and singer who cameos in the film, genially fielded questions about camera technique and casting decisions, and generally charmed the pants off the audience. When one cinephile remarked upon the The Truth About Charlie's similarity to Carol Reed's beloved The Third Man, he asked Demme if it was "deliberate or parallel genius." The filmmaker initially laughed -- "Sheer dumb luck" -- then, upon further reflection, grinned, "Theft, not parallel genius."