The Austin Film Festival has announced new additions to its 2021 lineup, including the Kristen Stewart-starring “Spencer” and Stephen Karam’s “The Humans.” The festival will take place in Austin, Texas and online from Oct. 21-28.
“Spencer” will be the festival’s closing night piece. Directed by Pablo Larraín and written by Steven Knight, the biopic follows Princess Diana (Stewart) as she processes her decision to end her marriage to Prince Charles.
As the culmination of AFF’s writers’ conference, the centerpiece film will be “The Humans,” written and directed by Karam and adapted from his Pulitzer-winning play of the same name. “The Humans” takes place on Thanksgiving as a family comes together despite hidden secrets, past trauma and nightmares coming to life. Beanie Feldstein, Amy Schumer, Steven Yeun, Richard Jenkins, Jayne Houdyshell and June Squibb star.
The inaugural spotlight film slot will showcase the North American premiere of “Down With the King,” featuring rapper Freddie Gibbs’ debut acting performance. The lineup will also include psychological horror film “Cram,” coming-of-age tale “Don’t Go To School Tomorrow,” science fiction flick “Spaghetti Junction,” “Little Red Riding Hood”-inspired thriller “Briefly” and historical drama “Unsilenced.”
AFF also announced that Channing Godfrey Peoples will be the recipient of the 2021 new voice award for her work as the writer, director and producer of 2020’s “Miss Juneteenth.”
“We are thrilled to welcome Channing Godfrey Peoples and the team behind ‘Down With the King’ to our 28th celebration of storytelling and writing. This is a further exciting evolution of our mission to support and promote storytellers, while also providing a platform for richly talented underrepresented voices in front of, and behind the camera,” said Barbara Morgan, executive director of AFF.
These lineup additions come after last month’s announcement that the festival would open with Peter Hedges’ pandemic drama “The Same Storm” and feature the U.S. premiere of “Cicada,” along with marquee presentations of Wes Anderson’s “The French Dispatch,” Cambodian sci-fi “Karmalink” and writer-director Ali El Arabi’s “Captains of Za’atari.”