Austin Film Festival is upon us once again. From October 25 to November 1, the city will be celebrating filmmakers telling the stories they’re passionate about. The lineup of feature films this year is impressive, from the much-buzzed-about “Boy Erased” and “Widows” to lesser-known films like “Clara” and “In Reality.” As usual, there will be something for everyone at the festival, but we have a handful of picks we’d like to highlight:
“And Breathe Normally”
Written and directed by award-winning Icelandic filmmaker Isold Uggadottir, “And Breathe Normally” is about the bond between two women who are brought together by circumstance. Kristin Haraldsdottir and Babetida Sadjo star, the former as an Icelandic mother and the latter as an asylum seeker from Guinea-Bissau. Though on the rise, stories written and directed by a woman and starring women are still relatively rare. This drama is sure to be touching, heart-wrenching and original.
Are you tired of boxing movies? “Tiger” just might be the new take you need on a popular subgenre. The movie is written by Michael Pugliese and Prem Singh, and directed by Alister Grierson. Inspired by a true story, “Tiger” is about a practicing Sikh man, Pardeep Singh Nagra (Prem Singh), who was banned from the sport of boxing due to his religious beliefs. The movie showcases the racism that Nagra experienced while he was fighting for his right to participate in the sport he loves. Moreover, the story is less than 20 years old, showing just how much further we have to go for equal rights.
This is a film for people who love a good cult movie. Jeffrey DeMunn and Melora Walters star as Richard and Lilly Kendrick, a wealthy couple who move to a ‘utopia’ where elders go to live out their final years. Sounds sketchy, right? It turns out that Richard is loving the benefits of Amaranth, while Lilly…is kind of disturbed by what’s going on. “The Amaranth,” written by Eileen Shields and directed by Albert Chi, is sure to be a great, mysterious thriller.
“Waiting for the Miracle to Come”
This movie stars the one and only Willie Nelson! As part of the festival’s lineup of Texas Independent Features, nothing could be more fitting. Written and directed by Lian Lunson, this movie sounds charming: Adeline (Sophie Lowe) is an aspiring trapeze artist who finds a letter from her late father that leads her to a mysterious town in a California desert. There she meets retired vaudeville stars Jimmy and Dixie Riggs (Nelson and Charlotte Rampling), who she gets to know over the course of the film. This seems like an enjoyable feel-good movie for anyone who is looking for something a little more lighthearted.
“The Long Dumb Road”
No, not a Beatles song. Written by Hannah Fidell and Carson Mell (and directed by Fidell), this film takes place in Texas – great start, right? A college-bound teen named Nat (Tony Revolori) offers a ride to a 30-something mechanic named Richard (Jason Mantzoukas) in small-town Texas. The idea of a road trip with these two funny guys, in addition to the promise that there will be some serious personal conversations, is something to look forward to. Even better is the fact that this movie also stars Taissa Farmiga, Ron Livingston, Grace Gummer and Casey Wilson.
We’d love to hear what you’re most looking forward to at the 2018 Austin Film Festival, so leave us comments here and tweet at us @shuffleonline. Stay tuned for more coverage of this year’s fest.
Originally hailing from Pennsylvania, Jackie has called Austin home since choosing to attend the University of Texas, where she graduated with a degree in multimedia journalism. She loves spending time with her dogs, writing about pop culture in all its forms and spending time with friends – eating, drinking and doing trivia.