The 20th annual Austin Film Festival has unveiled its 2013 lineup of screenwriter-focused panels and special filmmaker guests. This year’s fest runs from October 24-31 and will honor Oscar winner Callie Khouri (Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood) with its Distinguished Screenwriter Award. Confirmed panelists include Robert Rodriguez, Roberto Orci, Jenji Kohan (Orange is the New Black), Vince Gilligan (Breaking Bad), Rian Johnson (Looper), the Veronica Mars filmmakers, and Dan Rather. Here’s the AFF 2013 Conference lineup:

- Robert Rodriguez (director/producer Sin City, Machete, Machete Kills) and Roberto Orci (creator Fringe, writer Star Trek, Star Trek Into Darkness) will discuss their recent collaboration on El Rey, Rodriguez’s owned and operated cable network, which will host their upcoming original scripted series.

- Jenji Kohan (creator Weeds, Orange is the New Black) joins David Shore (creator of House), Terri Edda Miller, and Andrew Marlowe (creators of Castle) by way of the Writers Guild Foundation as part of the Scribble-to-Screen panel series, complimented by an extensive exhibit showcasing the Foundation’s renowned traveling script library.

- Staged script reading of Vince Gilligan’s unproduced feature screenplay 2 FACE, directed by Rian Johnson. The script follows a man with a split personality disorder who finds himself taking opposite sides of the political spectrum.

- Dan Rather (journalist, producer, news anchor CBS Evening News) joins writer/director Anne Rapp for a discussion on their upcoming documentary on playwright Horton Foote, using their research and production process as one of the Conference’s many case studies for aspiring filmmakers.

- A conversation on launching a television show, and the creator/executive producer relationship using Ray McKinnon and Mark Johnson’s Sundance original series Rectify as a blueprint.

- An in-depth look at adapting the Veronica Mars television series into a feature film, with creator Rob Thomas and actor Chris Lowell.

- Script-to-screen panels on the writing and directing processes that went into Kiss Kiss Bang Bang with Shane Black and Brick with Rian Johnson.

- AFF’s continuing ‘Conversation in Film’ series will highlight the craft and career of leaders in the film and television industry, including Beau Willimon (creator of House of Cards), Ron Nyswaner (writer Philadelphia, The Painted Veil), Leslie Dixon (writer Overboard, Limitless, The Thomas Crown Affair (1999)), Jim Taylor (writer Sideways, About Schmidt), and more.

- Indie film favorites David Lowery (writer/director Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, Pioneer), Jeff Nichols (writer/director Mud, Take Shelter), and Richard Kelly (writer/director Donnie Darko, The Box) will speak to the state of independent filmmaking within an ever-changing industry.

- Brian Helgeland (writer/director 42, A Knight’s Tale, writer L.A. Confidential, Mystic River) will present a retrospective screening of Cool Hand Luke. He joins the compilation of special retrospective screenings guest programmed by this year’s Conference panelists. Guest programmers include: Jonathan Demme presenting Greaser’s Palace; Vince Gilligan presenting The French Connection; Shane Black presenting My Man Godfrey; Jim Taylor presenting his own Election; and Norman Steinberg presenting Blazing Saddles which he co-wrote with Mel Brooks and Richard Pryor.

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