AFF to honor Pixar giant John Lasseter
It doesn't take an advanced degree in soothsaying to predict that Cars 2 will open like gangbusters on June 24. Pixar productions, as a rule, are wildly profitable, not to mention critically adored, so we're comfortable calling John Lasseter's trip to Austin this October a victory lap. That's when Lasseter – the director of Toy Story, Toy Story 2, Cars, and its summer sequel, as well as Pixar's chief creative officer – will receive the Austin Film Festival's Extraordinary Contribution to Filmmaking Award, joining the previously announced Outstanding Television Writer honoree Hart Hanson (Bones) and Distinguished Screenwriter honoree Caroline Thompson (Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas). The 2011 conference is shaping up to be a boon year for animation, in fact: Already confirmed panelists include Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger (Kung Fu Panda, Kung Fu Panda 2), Jason Eaton (Ice Age 3), and Rita Hsiao (Toy Story 2, Mulan), and the list just keeps getting longer.
The Austin Film Festival runs Oct. 20-27. Find out more – including details about discounted badges – at www.austinfilmfestival.com.