Stephen Frears’ Lance Armstrong film “The Program” will close AFF

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MV5BNDMzMzY3NTIyM15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMjAwNTY1NjE@._V1_SX214_AL_Stephen Frears’ “The Program,” his feature film version of the Lance Armstrong story, will close the 22nd annual Austin Film Festival.

Written by John Hodge (“Trainspotting”), “The Program” stars Ben Foster as the noted Austinite, Jesse Plemons as Floyd Landis, and Lee Pace and Bill Stapleton (come on, all three are just ingenious casting).

A few new marquee titles:

Jessie Nelson’s “Love the Coopers” stars Alan Arkin, John Goodman, Ed Helms, Diane Keaton, Jake Lacy, and Anthony Mackie in a holiday story about multiple generations of a family coming together for Christmas. (Alan Arkin cast as a guy who celebrates Christmas?) (And shouldn’t there be a comma in the title?)

“The 33” stars Antonio Banderas and Juliette Binoche in a thriller based on the true story of the 33 Chilean miners who were buried alive in a mine for for 69 days in 2010. Probably less light-hearted than “Love the Coopers.”

AFF’s Extraordinary Contribution to Film – Actor award recipient, Chris Cooper, will present a retrospective screening of John Sayles’s still-fantastic “Lone Star.”

The full retrospective series at the Festival will play host to John Singleton presenting “Boyz n the Hood,” Gary Ross presenting “Pleasantville,” Angelo Pizzo presenting “Rudy,” Charles Burnett presenting “The Southerner,” and Phil Rosenthal and Leon Vitali presenting a Halloween screening of “The Shining.”

Mary Kay Place (“Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman”) will present AFF’s 2015 “Outstanding Television Writer” award to Norman Lear

Kristen Connolly (“House of Cards”) joins the cast for the staged script reading of “Rosaline,” an unproduced screenplay written by YA-adapters Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber (Paper Towns, The Fault in Our Stars)

“Boyz n the Hood” producer Steve Nicolaides will present the 2015 “Extraordinary Contribution to Film” award to John Singleton

“Thirteen” writer/director Catherine Hardwicke will present the marquee selection “Miss You Already,” and lead a directors workshop at AFF’s Screenwriters Conference

Screenwriter Caroline Thompson (“Edward Scissorhands,” “The Nightmare Before Christmas”) will participate as a panelist in the Screenwriters Conferenc

There will also be a Skype conversation with Carl Reiner, focusing on his work on “The Dick Van Dyke Show” on Oct. 31.

The full Film and Conference schedule can be found here.


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