The anticipated 28th annual Film Festival also announces inaugural Spotlight and Centerpiece screenings as well as Channing Godfrey Peoples as the New Voice Award Recipient.

Austin, TX (October 6, 2021) – Austin Film Festival & Writers Conference (AFF), the premier film festival recognizing the writers’ contributions to film, television, and new media, announced today the Centerpiece and Closing Night films for the 28th annual Festival, October 21-28.

Closing out the festival this year is the highly anticipated Kristen Stewart stunner, Spencer, directed by Pablo Larraín and written by Academy Award Nominee Steven Knight. The Writers Conference’s annual celebration of some of the industry’s most talented wordsmiths will culminate with a Centerpiece screening of A24’s formerly announced The Humans by Tony Award winner and Pulitzer Prize finalist Stephen Karam.

AFF is pleased to honor producer, writer, and director Channing Godfrey Peoples as the recipient of the New Voice Award for 2021. Godfrey Peoples’ 2020 directorial debut, Miss Juneteenth, has earned universal praise for its authentic storytelling, intimate point-of-view, and timely narrative and stands at a 99% score on Rotten Tomatoes. Most recently, Godfrey Peoples was recognized by the National Board of Review with their Best Directorial Debut award on behalf of MISS JUNETEENTH.

Adding to this year’s stellar film lineup, AFF has also announced that Down with the King will be honored in the inaugural Spotlight Film slot for the title’s North American Premiere. The 2021 Spotlight Film, works to highlight exemplary filmmaking feats by rising creators behind and/or in front of the camera. Down with the King, produced by Breaker Studios, is written and directed by Diego Ongaro, featuring an extraordinary debut from Grammy nominated rapper and songwriter Freddie Gibbs, and was recently acquired by Sony Pictures’ Stage 6 Films.

Further additions to the feature film slate include five world premieres and a number of feature debuts such as CRAM, a psychological horror twisted with a compelling narrative of a college student trying to finish his final paper; Diego Barragan’s Don’t Go To School Tomorrow, a wonderfully bittersweet crafted story that captures the plight of two young boys growing up in a turbulent time; Kirby McClure also makes his feature debut with a genre mashup of SciFi and coming of age in Spaghetti Junction; Briefly, a riveting thriller that repurposes the classic story of Red Riding Hood; and Unsilenced, writer/director Leon Lee highlights personal courage in his characters as they resist oppression in China during the 1990s.

The Festival also announced additional panels at this year’s Writers Conference, including conversations with filmmakers screening projects as part of this year’s marquee film slate. Conversations include one-on-one discussions with Academy Award nominee Peter Hedges and Stephen Karam.

Tickets and passes are currently on sale at

Austin Film Festival has enhanced health and safety protocols for this year’s event. Current policies can be found on

Austin Film Festival (AFF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to furthering the art, craft and business of writers and filmmakers and recognizing their contributions to film, television and new media. AFF champions the work of aspiring and established writers and filmmakers by providing unique cultural events and services, enhancing public awareness and participation, and encouraging dynamic and long-lasting community partnerships. AFF is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department and the Texas Commission on the Arts. Badges and passes are available for purchase online at or by phone at 1-800-310-FEST.

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