The Austin Film Festival has unveiled its 2022 lineup, which includes Bob Saget’s final movie, the Dustin Hoffman and Sissy Spacek-starrer Sam & Kate, and a filmmaking honor for Darren Aronofsky, the director of the festival’s opening night film The Whale.
This year’s slate features over 33 world, North American, U.S. and Texas premieres including Saget’s last film appearance, the Jeremy LaLonde-directed Daniel’s Gotta Die. The film also stars Jason Jones, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Carly Chaikin and Iggy Pop.
“Bob’s passing came as a shock to the entire Daniel’s Gotta Die team. He was a collaborator through and through and he really loved this film,” LaLonde said. “It’s with great sadness that he never got to see it finished. I can’t wait to see how audiences react to his final performance at Austin Film Festival with his final gift to all that loved him.”
The comedy, which follows a man named Daniel (Joel David Moore) who attempts to reconnect with his family but discovers they want to kill him for his inheritance, is written by Matthew Dressel and will world premiere at the Texas festival.
“Bob truly loved the script and took on a very fatherly role right from the start; eager to help out in any way he could. He really brought the character’s heart to the surface of the script and was intent on making sure he always got it just right. On set, he always had the script pages in-hand and spoke with me often about making sure the character was as I intended,” Dressel said. “If there’s one person who deserved to see this film it’s Bob and I will always be sad he cannot. He helped us craft a beautiful and heart-warming send-off and I think people will really appreciate it.”
Another major world premiere includes the Darren Le Gallo-written and directed family drama Sam & Kate. Starring Oscar winners Hoffman and Spacek, Le Gallo’s directorial debut is an emotional story set in a small town about two generations of two families that get a second shot at love if they can just reconcile with their past imperfections.
In the Vertical Entertainment film releasing Nov. 11, Hoffman and Spacek both star alongside their children Jake Hoffman and Schuyler Fisk, marking the first time they’ve worked with their parents. The movie is produced by Le Gallo, Orian Williams, Ben Shields Catlin, Cindy Bru and Ford Corbett, with Amy Adams, Vanessa Yao Guo, Adam Beasley, Michael Jefferson, Nathan Klingher, Stacy O’Neil, Ryan Donnell Smith and Ryan Winterstern executive producing. The Cure’s Roger O’Donnell composed the score.
Additional AFF world premieres set as part of the festival’s Marquee, Narrative Features, Documentary Features, Texas Features, Comedy Vanguard and Dark Matters selections include: Riley Cusick’s debut, The Wild Man, about a son taking care of his father with dementia; Brock Harris’ Dance Dads about a father who forms a dance team; Ryan Dickle and Abigail Horton’s Blow Up My Life, about a former pharma employee and a deadly vape conspiracy; Ryan Love and Laurel Toupal’s sibling road trip film Beauty of a Blank Space; Aaron and Robert Weiss’s Song of Cicada, which follows 10 years in the life of an eccentric Texas mortician; Gabriel Foster Prior’s comedy The Bystanders, about a world of meddling invisible immortals; What Remains, Nathan Scoggins’ portrait of a Texas pastor and the man who killed his wife; Dominic Lopez and Kelsey Gunn’s pandemic set story Little Jar; and Jonathan Dekel’s Checkout, a story of a Mossad spy.
The 29th annual event will run from Oct. 27 to Nov. 3 with the Writers Conference, which also had its full lineup announced, taking place the first four days.