Normally, we know that it’s “Music Monday.” And, no, despite two weekends at Austin City Limits Music Festival, we’re not all ‘music-ed out.’ It’s just that today, we’re a mere nine days away from the launch of Austin Film Festival 2018. The launch, which has been opened in the same way for last 16 of AFF’s 25 years, is preceded by the best night on the town anyone could reasonably expect. The Film & Food Fundraising Party, Austin Film Festival’s fundraising night of stars, libations, and delicious food, kicks off on Wednesday, October 24th, taking over all of the public spaces in the Driskill hotel.
We have a profound fondness for this event, as it marks where we encountered Ed Burns, secured interviews with Kevin Costner (way back in the Austin Lifestyle days), and had late night wine with legends Lawrence Kasdan and Irvin Kershner, talking about heroes in film and real life, all while enjoying the profound company of Austin siren and TLM feature singer/songwriter, Sarah Sharp. It’s where we first recognized Jason Reitman, before he unleashed his “Up In The Air” masterpiece on Austin audiences. It’s where we’ve bumped into Ray Benson, spoken with Robert Rodriguez while eating Tim Love’s signature dishes, and swooned over Alexis Bledel and even Johnny Depp, as each were here for the films they screened.
If it sounds like we’ve been a little starstruck, you’ll have to forgive us. The stars come out from all over the country to lend their faces and their appetites to this elegant night, benefitting aspiring cinema stars – both in front of and behind the camera – with proceeds going directly to the Austin Film Festival’s Young Filmmakers Program.
But the Hollywood-comes-to-Texas aspect isn’t the only draw, as a carefully curated selection of Austin’s culinary scene – from classics like Ranch 616 to relative newcomers, such as Il Brutto and Intero – will have plates and bites to serve up for well-dressed attendees who want to see all that Austin’s dining scene has to offer while perusing one-of-a-kind auction items and experiences, all for the cause. In the event that the stars and the food don’t convince an attendee, then the libations from Twin Liquors and Stella Artois are sure to make that donation a little easier.
Whether you go for the stargazing (and we’re certainly here for that), the fine cuisine, or the philanthropic element – or even if you’re just going because it’s the absolute best reason to get dressed up and head downtown for a night at the Driskill in Austin’s best season – the Film & Food Fundraising Party is the first on our “must see” lists for the 25th anniversary of the Austin Film Festival.
The Film & Food Fundraising Party will be held on Wednesday, October 24th, from 7-10 p.m. at the Driskill Hotel. Tickets are still available at the Austin Film Festival website; and the Austin Film Festival begins the next day, October 25 – November 1. Registration and Film Passes are also available online.