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The Power of True Stories to Drive Change

Austin Film Festival's On Story Podcast

Release Date: 07/08/2020

Seinfeld: A Retrospective show art Seinfeld: A Retrospective

Austin Film Festival's On Story Podcast

This week on On Story we’ll hear from Seinfeld writer David Mandel. David Mandel was the executive producer and showrunner of the Emmy Award-winning TV show Veep, was an executive producer and director of Curb Your Enthusiasm, and was a writer for several seasons of Seinfeld.

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A Conversation with Gillian Flynn show art A Conversation with Gillian Flynn

Austin Film Festival's On Story Podcast

This week on On Story we’ll hear from Gillian Flynn, the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Gone Girl.

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A Conversation with Ed Solomon show art A Conversation with Ed Solomon

Austin Film Festival's On Story Podcast

This week on On Story we’ll hear from writer Ed Solomon, whose work includes Men in Black and the Bill & Ted films, about his process of turning an idea into a story.

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Research - A Writers Best Friend...Or Worst Enemy show art Research - A Writers Best Friend...Or Worst Enemy

Austin Film Festival's On Story Podcast

This week on On Story, a conversation with The Queen’s Gambit co-creator, Scott Frank and Chernobyl researcher Mimi Munson. Frank is an Academy Award nominated screenwriter whose recent project, The Queen’s Gambit, won Best Miniseries at the Golden Globes. I spoke with Frank and Munson at the 2020 virtual Austin Film Festival about their frequent collaboration and how research plays a crucial part in developing projects.

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A Conversation with Damon Lindelof show art A Conversation with Damon Lindelof

Austin Film Festival's On Story Podcast

This week on On Story, Emmy-award winning television creator and screenwriter Damon Lindelof joins us for a conversation about the HBO series Watchmen. The series was nominated for 26 Emmy awards - ultimately winning 11, including Best Limited Series.

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A Conversation with Kevin Willmott show art A Conversation with Kevin Willmott

Austin Film Festival's On Story Podcast

This week on On Story, critically acclaimed writer, Kevin Willmott, joins us for an in-depth conversation on balancing messages of social justice with entertainment. His filmography includes collaborations with filmmaker Spike Lee on Da 5 Bloods, Chi-Raq, and  BlacKkKlansman – which one the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay 2019.

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The Obituary of Tunde Johnson show art The Obituary of Tunde Johnson

Austin Film Festival's On Story Podcast

This week on On Story, filmmakers Stanley Kalu and Ali Leroi discuss the journey of bringing The Obituary of Tunde Johnson from a screenplay competition to the screen. The film follows an African-American teenager that is trapped in a terrifying time loop after being shot to death by police.

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A Conversation with Akiva Goldsman show art A Conversation with Akiva Goldsman

Austin Film Festival's On Story Podcast

This week on On Story, a conversation with industry veteran, Akiva Goldsman. Goldsman has written across multiple genres -- from superhero movies to biographies tackling mental health issues. Some of his most recognizable film credits include Batman Forever and Batman and Robin, The Client, The Da Vinci Code, and the four-time Academy Award Winner A Beautiful Mind, which earned Goldsman a win for Best Adapted Screenplay.

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On Writing The Little Things show art On Writing The Little Things

Austin Film Festival's On Story Podcast

This week on On Story, John Lee Hancock discusses writing and directing The Little Things. The film stars Denzel Washington, Jared Leto, and Rami Malek, and follows two police officers in pursuit of a serial killer terrorizing Los Angeles in the 1990s.

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A Conversation with Amy Talkington show art A Conversation with Amy Talkington

Austin Film Festival's On Story Podcast

This week on On Story, a conversation with award-winning screenwriter, director, and author Amy Talkington. Talkington discusses writing the series finale episode of Hulu’s Emmy-nominated hit series Little Fires Everywhere, which she also co-executive produced.

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This week on On Story we’ll look at how true stories are told on the screen. From narrative films adapted from true events to documentaries that explore real individuals and incidents. We’ll talk with filmmakers and writers about the challenges behind balancing fact and fiction while staying true to the heart of the subject’s story.

 

Kieran Fitzgerald is a writer behind several projects based on true stories. He wrote the screenplay for 2016’s Snowden which depicted the events of American whistleblower Edward Snowden and co-wrote the miniseries Wormwood which examined the mysterious death of scientist and CIA employee Frank Olson in 1953. In 2007, Fitzgerald wrote and directed the documentary The Ballad of Esequiel Hernandez. The film, which is narrated by Tommy Lee Jones, investigates the killing of Esequiel Hernandez Jr. who was shot and killed by an active United States Marine near the US-Mexico border. The 1997 incident marked the first time an American civilian had been killed by an on duty military personal since the 1970 Kent State shootings. I recently spoke to Fitzgerald about the research required behind bringing true stories to the screen and films ability to highlight the emotional truths behind real events.

Next up, screenwriters behind biopics and true-life narratives discuss the power that films have to drive change. David Rabinowitz, who won an Academy Award for co-writing BlacKkKlansman, Barbara Stepansky writer of Flint, and Doug Atchison writer of Brian Banks spoke with moderator Matt Dy at Austin Film Festival in a panel co-presented by Screen Craft and The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.