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TV, Marquee Screenings and Performing Animals at This Year's Austin Film Fest

KUT is a media sponsor of the Austin Film Festival.

The 21st Annual Austin Film Festival Starts today. The fest celebrates screenwriting and is equal parts conference, competition and screenings.

AFF Executive Director Barbara Morgan sat down with KUT's Laura Rice to talk about what's exciting to her about this year's fest.

On Television at the Fest:

"We have been doing television for a long time at the festival and, like everybody I think, I too, have become quite obsessed with a lot of different TV shows. We've really done a lot this year with marrying that television into both the conference and the festival. We've got panels with Noah Hawley, who created this year 'Fargo' for television - which was a really cool show. And then, of course, Cary Fukunaga of 'True Detective.'

On Marquee Screenings:

"They'll be seeing films like 'The Humbling,' which is Barry Levinson's new film, 'Black and White,' which stars Kevin Costner. We've got a thrilling closing night with 'Rosewater,' with writer/director Jon Stewart coming in with it... But there's also so many competition films that people won't know the people in them and they don't have advertising running but they should really watch out for them like 'Once Upon A Crime,' which is an incredible documentary that everybody should see."

On An International Line-Up:

"There's not a lot of foreign films that actually come through Austin anymore. We really were hoping to highlight more foreign films this year because the quality of those films is amazing - especially the ones that are coming through our doors... It's a little bit of everything, really, that's coming in from everywhere including Eastern Europe to India to Spain..."

On Free Films:

Credit "Popovich and the Voice of the Fabled American West"
"Popovich and the Voice of the Fabled American West" is one of three free films showing at the Austin Film Festival.

"We'll be showing 'Big Hero 6,' which is the new Disney movie that, if you've got kids, you've probably seen that trailer. And we've got another film, an indie film, but it's so wonderful and it's called 'Popovich' and it's about a circus performer who is homeless and he has a bunch of homeless animals that he has to save. And the animals are going to come in and they're going to perform for the kids."

The Austin Film Festival runs Oct. 23 through Oct. 30.

Laura first joined the KUT team in April 2012. She now works for the statewide program Texas Standard as a reporter and producer. Laura came to KUT from the world of television news. She has worn many different hats as an anchor, reporter and producer at TV stations in Austin, Amarillo and Toledo, OH. Laura is a proud graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia, a triathlete and enjoys travel, film and a good beer. She enjoys spending time with her husband and pets.
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