Brian Helgeland to receive AFF honor

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La_confidentialScreenwriter Brian Helgeland will receive the Austin Film Festival’s Distinguished Screenwriter honor this year, joining Outstanding Television Writer winner Norman Lear.

Helgeland wrote and directed “Legend,” “42,” the eternally underknown and underrated “A Knight’s Tale” and “Payback.” a-knights-tale.154-30078Helgeland’s writing credits include “L.A Confidential” (for which he won an Oscar) “Man on Fire,” “The Taking of Pelham 123” and “Mystic River,” for which he was nominated for an Oscar.

Previous screenwriter award recipients include James L. Brooks, Lawrence Kasdan, Callie Khouri, Frank Pierson and Harold Ramis

AFF will present two live script readings. The first is a reading of “Guess Who Died?,” an unproduced teleplay by Norman Lear; no word yet on who will direct.

Alex Timbers, co-creator of “Mozart in the Jungle,” will direct a reading of writers Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber’s unproduced screenplay “Rosaline to the Festival,” a script based on “When You Were Mine” by Rebecca Serle and Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.”

New panel additions include “Little Miss Sunshine” and “Toy Story 3” writer Michael Arndt, “Killer of Sheep” writer Charles Burnett, and “12 Years a Slave” writer John Ridley.


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