Austin Film Festival (AFF), the premier film festival recognizing writers’ and filmmakers’ contributions to film, television, and new media, announced today that The Whale will serve as the festival’s Opening Night selection. Directed by Academy Award®-nominee Darren Aronofsky (Requiem for a Dream, Black Swan, The Wrestler). The Whale stars Brendan Fraser and is written by Samuel D. Hunter, based on his acclaimed play of the same name. The Whale will screen the opening night of the Festival, October 27, with Hunter in attendance. Additionally, AFF is hosting a special screening of James Gray’s latest film Armageddon Time, with Gray in attendance to receive this year’s Bill Wittliff Award for Screenwriting. Previous recipients include Buck Henry (1997), Lawrence Kasdan (2001), Nancy Meyers (2016), and Tony Gilroy (2018). The festival is also welcoming a wide slate of films including Israeli filmmaker Jonathan Dekel’s Checkout and the world premiere of local Austin filmmaker Riley Cusick’s The Wild Man. THE WHALEOPENING NIGHT SELECTIONDirected by: Darren AronofskyWritten by: Samuel D. Hunter ARMAGEDDON TIMEDirected/written by: James Gray THE WILD MANWORLD PREMIEREDirected/written by: Riley Cusick CHECKOUTWORLD PREMIEREDirected/written by: Jonathan DekelWritten by: Shai Satran THE FIRE THAT TOOK HERDirected by: Patricia E. Gillespie FOLLOW HERDirected by: Sylvia Caminer FOR THE LOVE OF FRIENDSDirected/written by: Cara Consilvio GOLDEN DELICIOUSDirected by: Jason KarmanWritten by: Gorrman Lee For the complete release, including synopses of all films and more about James Gray, visit  Press accreditation is now open through Oct. 8, 2022. Press apply at ### 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. 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. All attendees and events are based on permitting schedules and are subject to change and/or cancellation without notice. Badges and passes are available for purchase online at or by phone at 1-800-310-FEST. ABOUT BILL WITTLIFF AWARD FOR SCREENWRITING:Introduced in 1995, Austin Film Festival’s Bill Wittliff Award for Screenwriting has honored the leading storytellers of film, television, and new media.  Past award recipients include Buck Henry (1997), Lawrence Kasdan (2001), and Nancy Meyers (2016). PRESS CONTACTS:Breanna WashingtonJive PR + Digital(720) [email protected] Lynsey GrayJive PR + Digital(250) [email protected] Kristen O’BrienAustin Film Festival(512) [email protected] Source: Austin Film Festival