WHAT I SAW* AT THE AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL

*Or wanted to see but didn't because: reasons. Next year I'll have a better plan and hopefully a couple of days off. Thanks for the request @angela3950 !
  1. •
    The Driskill Hotel
    Where I picked up my film pass. The Driskill is a beautiful historic building in downtown Austin, and the pass/badge pickup area was very well organized by helpful volunteers. However, getting in/around/out of this area is an enormous pain in the ass and can we please have an additional non-downtown pick up option @AustinFilmFest ?
  2. •
    Actress Scottie Thompson
    At the Driskill. I recognized her from her time on NCIS portraying Dr. Jeanne Benoit. Maybe next year I'll have time to hang around the hotel lobby eyeballing people.
  3. •
    Nerdland*
    "Two best friends (voiced by Paul Rudd & Patton Oswalt) make a last ditch effort to become famous, stumbling into a series of misadventures that threaten their lives & dignity." The writer, Andrew Kevin Walker, was scheduled to speak after the movie. *Badge holders get first dibs on film entry, followed by pass holders. I was sixth in the pass line, but no pass holders got in.
  4. •
    Jason Segal
    As I stood in the pass line for Nerdland, I saw a tall fella and a few others being escorted past the badge line, straight for the door. Once the group got close enough, I recognized Jason Segal. 😍 Most of the pass line let out a little gasp of delight. (Most? Okay, maybe just my immediate part of the line.) He didn't stop, and I couldn't get into his presentation of The Muppets the next day.
  5. •
    No Retreat
    For the sake of the filmmakers/writers and actor who attended and spoke after this world premiere, I wish the theatre had been more than half-full. Their talk was my second-favorite that I saw, and the film was well-acted and beautifully shot. Watching it felt like watching a play in my living room.
  6. •
    Middle Man
    Perhaps you're familiar with Jim O'Heir from his work as Garry/Jerry Gergich on Parks & Rec? Ned Crowley (Writer/Director) and Jim have been friends since their Second City days, and Ned wrote this movie with Jim in mind. Both attended the showing, and gave my favorite talk afterwards. Jim was brilliant in this role, and so cordial & funny with the crowd. The film was dark and strange, and I loved it. Pretty sure I only got in because La La Land was showing elsewhere at the same time.
  7. •
    The Tiger Hunter
    I want to be friends with Danny Pudi; he just seems so genuine and likable. And this film—while fanciful—was also full of heart. I really enjoyed it, and walked out with a smile. Sadly, no one associated with the film showed up to speak.
  8. •
    Loving.* Edge of Seventeen.* La La Land.* Jackie.* Lion.*
    *I knew all of these were coming soon to theatres near me, so I wasn't too sad to miss them.
  9. •
    Trespass Against Us
    I would probably buy a ticket to watch Fassbender simply walk around reading a phone book, and I barely got in to this film due to the crowd. I'd had a long, stressful day at work, and this movie—with its reckless driving, violence, and child endangerment—just stressed me out more. At least now I can confirm Fassbender still looks great in an ugly track suit. (As if there were any doubt.)