Six Texas Films at Austin Film Festival You Won’t Want to Miss

by Gracie Watt on October 22, 2021 in Entertainment, Film, Austin,

Movie-buffs and cinephiles — it’s time to break out the popcorn and celebrate!

Austin Film Festival is here again, and we’re here to introduce you to some films that will be premiering throughout the week—specifically those that were written, directed and/or produced by Texans, set in Texas or focus on topics close to Texan hearts. 

Acid Test

This coming of age film is about Latina teen living in the ‘90s. The film incorporates music, heritage, family and celebrates over 70% women and/or BIPOC in its cast and crew—-including a female cinematographer, sound designer and writer/director, Texan Jenny Waldo. 

Screenings: Galaxy Highland Screen 5, Sunday Oct. 24 at 1:15pm (premiere) and Galaxy Highland Screen 4 Thursday, Oct. 28 at noon. 

Bug Therapy

Delving into the core of the current emotional, cultural and societal current events facing the world, “Bug Therapy” delivers an entertaining experience with an award-winning cast and crew. The all-star cast includes Dr. Phil McGraw, Meghan Trainor, Jay Leno, Sterling K. Brown, Tom Green, Emily Goglia and Jason Reisig. The filmmakers are Austin natives, in fact, their families are long-time Austin folk; the Jourdan Bachman Pioneer Farm belongs to them. 

Screenings: Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021 at 4:30pm (premiere) and Monday, Oct. 25 at 8:00pm.

Buck Alamo

After his doctor tells him that any day could be his last, Buck and his loyal dog Chester go on an odyssey throughout Texas to beg forgiveness of friends and his two daughters and several friends… as well as to relive some of the good old days. 

Screenings: Oct. 23 at 7:15pm at St. David’s Episcopal Church. (US premiere)

The Big Bend

Written and directed by Brett Wagner and produced by Texas native Aaron Brown, this movie began to take root when the filmmakers brought their families together to an isolated area of Texas (near the ghost town of Terlingua), exploring the desert, having adventures and nearly getting in trouble. The Price and Talbott families go on their own strange trip through the wilds of Big Bend, Texas testing the boundaries of marriage, friendship, and parenthood, and doing their best to survive the experience. But not all of them will.

Screenings: Galaxy Highland Screen 5 Friday, Oct. 22 at 6:30pm and Galaxy Highland Screen 9 Tuesday Oct. 26 at 9pm 


This documentary is set in a small Texas military town and follows three spirited teenage girls – Brittney, Aaloni and Autumn – as they live out their fever-dream summer. The film captures intimate moments in female friendship while revealing the often traumatic experience of growing up in a culture of toxic masculinity. Though the girls’ experiences are completely unique to their upbringing, “CUSP” tells a strikingly universal coming-of-age tale that is, at turns, funny, tragic, complicated, magical and stirring. 

Screening: Sunday Oct. 26 at 4:15pm at the Paramount. In select theaters Nov. 12. 

First Down

A gripping documentary premiere that profiles an underdog team in America’s first all-female youth tackle football league. Coach Crys Sacco leads this band of misfits and outcasts and they compete for the title, while tackling their struggles on and off the field. This film offers a rare glimpse into what it’s like to come-of-age as a girl playing America’s sport – for men. The team provides a place of acceptance and personal growth for young women dealing with issues around body image, poverty, gender and cultural identity, as they try to rise above last place and prove they have what it takes to win.

Screenings: Sunday, Oct. 24, 3:30pm, Hideout Theatre. Tuesday, Oct. 26, 1:00pm Galaxy Highland Screen 4

Full Austin Film Festival schedule here.

Cover photo courtesy Unsplash

Gracie Watt is the Editorial Assistant at Texas Lifestyle Magazine and a senior at St. Edward’s University in Austin, studying Journalism. When she’s not writing, Watt enjoys singing, playing the guitar and doing volunteer work. @graciethatgirl