Celebrating 25 Years of The Austin Film Festival

Are you ready to celebrate Austin Film Festival’s silver anniversary? We at The Wittliff are looking forward to yet another festival full of fun, interesting, and inspiring film screenings and discussion panels. In fact, the Wittliff, in collaboration with AFF staff, is putting select panel recordings from past festivals online. Hear Ed Solomon, who also wrote for Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, discuss creating the first Men in Black from a comic book. Or listen in on a Q&A with Amy Talkington, Susannah Grant, and Shane Black as audience members pick their brains on how these writers for film became directors. The Wittliff is proud to be entrusted with these materials, and plans to make more available online as they are digitized. In addition, the Wittliff maintains a strong digital preservation program, so access to the materials will be available through the next 25 years, and beyond.

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Since 1994, Austin has hosted the festival, initially named the “Heart of Film Screenwriters Conference.” Founder and Executive Director Barbara Morgan has since then grown the festival into a full week of programming, plus year-round events, summer camps, and competitions. In its early years, the small cow-town of Austin, Texas was the perfect spot for film industry writers and local writers and film industry aspirants to speak candidly—away from Hollywood, and out of earshot. Today the festival welcomes producers, directors, and actors, but the focus on the writing and the “art of the craft” remains the same. But don’t take our word for it! Register and see the full lineup at the AFF website at https://austinfilmfestival.com/. And in the meantime, head to the University’s online site to peruse audio and video recordings from past festivals.

Jim Dauterive introduces Mike Judge, Austin Film Festival, Oct. 22, 2005:

“Our culture would be much the poorer without Mr. Mike Judge. There would be no Hank Hill, no Peggy Hill, no Beavis, no Butthead, no Cornholio. There’d be no pieces of flair, the Luanne Platter would just be meat and two vegetables and loogies. We have this gentleman to my right to thank for enriching our culture so much.”

Morris Nukam introducing Matt Gross, Austin Film Festival, October 15, 1994:

“We’re happy to have all of you here, and some of the folks at the University who helped work on this are very pleased to be a part of it. And it’s great to have people in from Los Angeles and other places. Matt is, as I look over his resume, represents a real interesting profile. People are constantly calling us at the University [asking] how do I get into film business and this kind of thing, and [we] tell them what people have told you here: any number of different ways. Matt graduated from UCLA, but not from the film and TV department, with a BA in economics and business. And I think that’s indicative in itself of some of the ways that people need to think about the film industry and what you’re doing and even if you are a writer.”


If you are interested in attending this year’s Austin Film Festival go to austinfilmfestival.com and enter the following codes to get the corresponding discounts.

WITTLIFFLS – $25 off Lone Star Badges

WITTLIFF25 – $25 off Film Passes