The Austin Film Festival has unveiled “Boy Erased,” “Little Woods” and “Shoplifters” as part of its first wave of titles for its 25th anniversary program taking place Oct. 25 to Nov. 1, Variety has learned exclusively.
Other films revealed Tuesday include the regional premiere of “Can You Ever Forgive Me?,” starring Melissa McCarthy as controversial celebrity biographer Lee Israel; horror/thriller “The Black String,” which stars Frankie Muniz as a lonely store clerk who believes he is the target of a sinister occult plot; cult drama “Fishbowl”; faith-grappling drama “Speaking in Tongues”; and “The Long Dumb Road,” starring Tony Revolori, Jason Mantzoukas, Taissa Farmiga and Ron Livingston.
High school football documentary “Fathers of Football,” directed by Austin local Bradley Beesley, has also been scheduled. As part of its continuing retrospective series, AFF will host a screening of Roger Corman’s 1957 cult classic “Rock All Night,” presented by Robert Rodriguez and Corman himself, already announced as the festival’s Extraordinary Contribution to Filmmaking honoree this year.
“Boy Erased,” starring Lucas Hedges, Russell Crowe, Nicole Kidman and Joel Edgerton, centers on Hedges’ character being outed as gay and forced to attend a conversion therapy program — or be permanently exiled and shunned by his family, friends, and faith. The Focus Features title, directed by Edgerton, will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and open on Nov. 2.
Nia DaCosta’s “Little Woods” stars Tessa Thompson and Lily James as sisters in an oil boomtown. Neon acquired distribution rights following the April premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival.
Hirokazu Koreeda’s “Shoplifters,” which won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in May, stars Lily Franky, Ando Sakura and Matsuoka Mayu. It centers on a family living in poverty who decide to adopt a homeless little girl.