2016 Austin Film Festival and Conference Schedule has ended
Friday, October 14 • 10:45am - 12:00pm
Based on a True Story

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Creating a compelling story from scratch is always a challenge. This is why writing something based on true events —with a built in beginning, middle, and end—can be appealing to screenwriters. This can yield its own set of challenges, however: How do you condense these often complex and unwieldy occurrences into a tight-knit narrative, complete with structure and nuance? how do you form a visually interesting and cinematic story when real life can often be anything but? Panelists will discuss their strategies on balancing truth, fact, and fiction while capturing the essence of real-life subject matter that, as a result, continues to live on in our memories.

avatar for Charles Ealy

Charles Ealy

Charles Ealy is the former books and movies editor for the Austin American-Statesman and the Dallas Morning News. 

avatar for Michelle Ashford

Michelle Ashford

creator/executive producer Masters of Sex; writer The Pacific, John Adams, Boomtown
Michelle is the creator and executive producer of the Showtime drama MASTERS OF SEX.  She has written for the HBO miniseries JOHN ADAMS and THE PACIFIC.  She recently adapted UNDAUNTED COURAGE, the Stephen Ambrose account of the Lewis and Clark expedition, also for HBO.  She is... Read More →
avatar for Kieran Fitzgerald

Kieran Fitzgerald

writer Snowden, The Homesman, The Ballad of Esequiel Hernandez
Kieran Fitzgerald has a BA in English from Harvard University and a MFA in fiction and screenwriting from the Michener Center for Writers. He wrote and directed the feature documentary, The Ballad of Esequiel Hernández, which aired on PBS and was nominated for an Emmy in investigative... Read More →
avatar for Jose Rivera

Jose Rivera

writer The Motorcycle Diaries, The 33, On the Road, Letters to Juliet, Trade
José Rivera is a recipient of two Obie Awards for playwriting for Marisol and References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot, both produced by The Public Theatre, New York.  His plays Cloud Tectonics (Playwrights Horizons), Boleros for the Disenchanted (Yale Rep), Sueño (Manhattan Class... Read More →


Friday October 14, 2016 10:45am - 12:00pm CDT
Central Presbyterian Church, Sanctuary