AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL – ERIC ROTH TO RECEIVE DISTINGUISHED SCREENWRITER AWARD

SCREENWRITER OF FORREST GUMP, THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON, THE INSIDER, EXTREMELY LOUD & INCREDIBLY CLOSE, AND MORE

JOINS CHRIS CARTER, RECIPIENT OF THIS YEAR’S OUTSTANDING TELEVISION WRITER AWARD

AUSTIN, TX (September 5, 2012) ­ Austin Film Festival (AFF) proudly announced today this year’s recipient of the 2012 Distinguished Screenwriter Award is Eric Roth, screenwriter of THE INSIDER, FORREST GUMP, THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON, EXTREMELY LOUD & INCREDIBLY CLOSE, ALI, MUNICH, THE GOOD SHEPHERD, and more. Roth will accept the award at the Festival’s annual Award Luncheon held on Saturday, October 20, 2012 at the Austin Club.

ERIC ROTH won an Academy Award and a Writers Guild of America Award (WGA) for his screenplay FORREST GUMP, the Oscar-winning Best Picture directed by Robert Zemeckis and starring Tom Hanks. He also earned Golden Globe and BAFTA Award nominations for his work on that film. Roth received his second Oscar, Golden Globe and WGA Award nominations for the screenplay for Best Picture-nominated film THE INSIDER, directed by Michael Mann and starring Russell Crowe, Al Pacino and Christopher Plummer, and for which Roth won the WGA’s honorary Paul Selvin Award and a Humanitas Prize. He garnered both Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for the screenplay of Steven Spielberg’s drama MUNICH, and more recently for David Fincher’s THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON, starring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett. Based on the F. Scott Fitzgerald short story, the screenplay also brought Roth another Golden Globe and BAFTA nod.

Roth attended the University of California, Santa Barbara, from which he has won a Distinguished Alumni Award; Columbia University; and the University of California, Los Angeles, where he won the prestigious Samuel Goldwyn Writing Award in 1970, and in 2008 was honored with the Distinguished Achievement in Screenwriting Award from the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television.

Roth’s early work included such movies as “The Drowning Pool,” with Paul Newman, WOLFEN, with Albert Finney, and THE ONION FIELD. His first produced screenplay was Robert Mulligan’s THE NICKEL RIDE, which premiered at the 1974 Cannes Film Festival. His subsequent credits have included SUSPECT, directed by Peter Yates and starring Cher, Dennis Quaid and Liam Neeson; Mike Figgis’ MR. JONES, starring Richard Gere; THE HORSE WHISPERER directed by and starring Robert Redford; Michael Mann’s ALI, starring Will Smith in the title role; and THE GOOD SHEPHERD, directed by Robert De Niro, who also starred with Matt Damon and Angelina Jolie. One of Roth’s proudest accomplishments was having written for the legendary film director Akira Kurosawa, for one of Kurosawa’s last films, his 1991 RHAPSODY IN AUGUST. More recently, he wrote the screenplay for the Oscar-nominated film EXTREMELY LOUD & INCREDIBLY CLOSE, based on the novel by Jonathan Safran Foer.

For the small screen, Roth served as executive producer and wrote two episodes for David Milch’s HBO drama Luck, starring Dustin Hoffman and Nick Nolte. Currently, Roth is executive producer, with David Fincher, on Neflix’s first original television series, House of Cards, starring Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright, which premieres in January 2013. Roth is also developing the script for a sci-fi outer space feature film trilogy and writing the screenplay for the epic film CLEOPATRA, starring Angelina Jolie.

In 2012, Roth received the Writers Guild’s prestigious Laurel Award for Lifetime Achievement in Screenwriting.

At this year’s Conference, Roth will present “A Conversation with Eric Roth,” giving an inside look into his films and career. He will also host a retrospective screening of his 1999 film, THE INSIDER.

Austin Film Festival annually recognizes outstanding filmmakers and screenwriters for their accomplished bodies of work and contributions to filmmaking. Previous recipients of the Distinguished Screenwriter Award include Caroline Thompson, David Peoples, Steven Zaillian, Shane Black, Harold Ramis, Lawrence Kasdan, Barry Levinson, Frank Pierson, James L. Brooks, Richard LaGravenese and Horton Foote, among others. Roth joins Chris Carter, creator of “The X-Files”, who is set to receive AFF’s Outstanding Television Writer Award at this year’s Festival.

Since 1994, Austin Film Festival has been dedicated to furthering the art and craft of filmmaking by inspiring and championing the work of screenwriters, filmmakers and all artists who use the language of film to tell a story. Austin Film Festival’s Conference offers over 80 panels, workshops and roundtable discussions led by more than 100 top professionals in the television and film industries. Focusing on the art, craft and business of film and television writing and production, it provides registrants unparalleled access to the best writers and filmmakers in the field. Just some of the speakers confirmed for 2012 include:

• John August- writer FRANKENWEENIE, CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, BIG FISH, CHARLIE’S ANGELS I & II

• Alec Berg ­ writer THE DICTATOR, EURO TRIP, executive producer Curb Your Enthusiasm, Seinfeld

• Aline Brosh McKenna – writer WE BOUGHT A ZOO, 27 DRESSES, THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA

• Scott Z. Burns ­ writer CONTAGION, THE INFORMANT, THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM, producer AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH

• Etan Cohen ­ writer MEN IN BLACK III, TROPIC THUNDER, IDIOCRACY, MADAGASCAR: ESCAPE 2 AFRICA, King of the Hill, Beavis and Butt-head

• Lindsay Doran ­ producer STRANGER THAN FICTION, NANNY MCPHEE RETURNS, SENSE AND SENSIBILITY

• Paul Feig ­ director BRIDESMAIDS, Bridesmaids, The Office, Arrested Development, creator Freaks and Geeks, writer/director I AM DAVID

• Bruce Feirstein ­ writer GOLDENEYE, TOMORROW NEVER DIES, THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH

• Brian Helgeland ­ L.A. CONFIDENTIAL, CONSPIRACY THEORY, A KNIGHT’S TALE

• Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver – writers/producers RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, THE HAND THAT ROCKS THE CRADLE, writers THE RELIC

• Simon Kinberg – writer SHERLOCK HOLMES, MR. AND MRS. SMITH, X-MEN: THE LAST STAND, producer ELYSIUM, X-MEN: FIRST CLASS

• Abby Kohn & Marc Silverstein ­ writers THE VOW, VALENTINE’S DAY, HE’S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU, NEVER BEEN KISSED

• Damon Lindelof ­ writer PROMETHEUS, Lost, writer/producer STAR TREK sequel

• Jenny Lumet – writer RACHEL GETTING MARRIED

• Craig Mazin – writer IDENTITY THEFT, TURKEYS, THE HANGOVER PART II, SCARY MOVIE 3 and 4, ROCKETMAN

• Ashley Miller ­ writer THOR, X-MEN: FIRST CLASS, AGENT CODY BANKS, Fringe, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Andromeda

• Marti Noxon – writer Fright Night, I Am Number Four, writer/producer Glee, Mad Men, Private Practice, Grey’s Anatomy

• Zak Penn – writer THE AVENGERS, LAST ACTION HERO, ELEKTRA, PCU, BEHIND ENEMY LINES, X2, X-MEN: THE LAST STAND, THE INCREDIBLE HULK (2008); writer/director INCIDENT AT LOCH NESS, THE GRAND; creator of SyFy series Alphas

• Scott Rosenberg ­ writer GONE IN SIXTY SECONDS, CON AIR, HIGH FIDELITY, BEAUTIFUL GIRLS

• Philip Rosenthal – writer/director EXPORTING RAYMOND, creator/executive producer Everybody Loves Raymond

• Terry Rossio ­ writer SHREK, DÉJÀ VU, THE MASK OF ZORRO, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN franchise

The Conference will also include representatives from Comedy Central, Pixar, Industry Entertainment, Josephson Entertainment, Zero Gravity Management, United Talent Agency, and many more. Attendance of Conference speakers is schedule permitting and subject to change without notice.

The 19th annual Austin Film Festival & Conference will be held Oct 18-25, 2012 in Austin, TX. For more information on films, panels and awardees, visit www.austinfilmfestival.com or call 1-800-310-FEST (3378). Stay tuned for announcements from AFF with additional awardees, full film lineup, and more Conference panels and panelists. Festival Badges and Film Passes are now on sale and can be purchased online or by phone. All badges and passes grant admission to films.

For regular updates, follow AFF on Facebook at facebook.com/AustinFilmFestival and Twitter @austinfilmfest.

ABOUT AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL

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.

Special support is provided to Austin Film Festival by Stella Artois, Esurance, KVUE, City of Austin ­ Cultural Arts Division, Texas Commission of the Arts, and Shweiki Media.

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