Austin Film Festival adds Roman J. Israel, Esq. and Netflix’s Mudbound as its centerpiece selections

Austin Film Festival, the premier film festival recognizing writers’ and filmmakers’ contributions to film, television, and new media, announced two late additions to its film slate. Dan Gilroy’s dramatic thriller Roman J. Israel, Esq. and Dee Rees’ epic period piece Mudbound will serve as AFF’s Centerpiece selections this Sunday, October 29th.

Roman J. Israel, Esq. stars Denzel Washington as a driven, idealistic defense attorney whose life is upended when a turbulent series of events challenge the activism that has defined his career. Colin Farrell costars as the ambitious, monied lawyer who recruits Roman to his firm. Dan Gilroy, who wrote and directed Roman, will be in attendance to present the film and lead a panel as part of AFF’s Writers Conference. Gilroy’s past work includes Nightcrawler, The Bourne Legacy, and Kong: Skull Island.

Set in the rural American South during World War II, Dee Rees’s Mudbound is an epic story of two families pitted against one another by a ruthless social hierarchy, yet bound together by the shared farmland of the Mississippi Delta. The film stars Carey Mulligan, Garrett Hedlund, Jason Mitchell, Mary J. Blige, and Jason Clarke. Co-writer Virgil Williams will be in attendance to present the film and participate in the Writers Conference.

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Roman and Mudbound join more than 180 films already announced, including Lady Bird, Chappaquiddick, I, TONYA, Darkest Hour, Call Me By Your Name, 24 Hours to Live, An Ordinary Man, and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

AFF officially kicks off today, Thursday, October 26. To see the complete slate of films and panels, visit

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