Austin Film Society Staff Pick Their Favorite Summer Films from the AFS Cinema

It’s been a great summer for film at the AFS Cinema. Here is a roundup of favorites chosen by Austin Film Society team members that surprised, delighted, and inspired us over the past couple of months.

Gabe Chicoine, Marketing Associate


“Morrissa Maltz’s INGRID was an unexpectedly moving experience for me. In its brief 55 minute runtime the film beautifully captures the life of a German immigrant and outsider artist who left the American Dream behind to follow her own path, living off the grid in self-imposed solitude in rural Arkansas.”

Brady Dyer, Communications Manager


“I had heard a lot about the documentary PARIS IS BURNING, but never had a chance to see it. I’m so glad I waited until the opportunity this summer to see it on the big screen. It captures Ball life and the bourgeoning Vogue scene in NYC in the 1980s, before pop culture grabbed a hold of it. At the time of the documentary, the scene was still relatively underground and the key figures—like Willi Ninja and Venus Xtravaganza—were trying to make a name for themselves, hoping to one day break out. The film beautifully presents an intimate portrait of those involved in the scene—their stories are poignant and touching, mixed with joy and disappointment. Although filmed in the ‘80s PARIS feels fresh, honest, timely, and incredibly relevant. Everybody wants a place to belong.”

Fabien Ferrari, Summer Intern


“I discovered GHOST IN THE SHELL for the first time on the small screen. But seeing it in a theater, thanks to AFS, it was truly another experience. I felt transported into this dystopian world that inspired so many Science Fiction movies. I can’t tell how moving it was to see these wonderful old school drawings shots of the futuristic city on a big screen, along with the incredible theme song as loud as it can be. It allowed me to be involved as ever in the story and understand the meaning more behind this powerful anime.”

Yolanda Gamble, Youth Media Specialist


“My pick is THE FAREWELL. I had the chance to attend the sneak preview with Director Lulu Wang, where she shared her inspiration for the film. I love how AFS has a pulse on groundbreaking filmmakers who are bringing their unique perspective onto the big screen while telling a story that is universal to so many people. It definitely made me want to visit my grandma more often!”

Ellie Kotapish, Development Manager


“My summer film pick is THE FAREWELL. I got to see this at our member sneak preview screening where the director Lulu Wang was present to do a Q&A. The story is fascinating overall, but I really appreciated the story and characters. It was refreshing, funny, and relatable (oddly enough). I highly recommend this film!

Jake Martinez, Summer Intern


“ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST has stuck with me for weeks. Seeing it at the cinema was amazing—I was transported, by Leone and Morricone, into a world that seemed to be just on the other side of the screen, with an operatic symphony in the walls. I’m really glad there’s a theatre in town playing these films, like they’re meant to be seen.”

Conner Smith, Development Coordinator


“The film HOUSE OF HUMMINGBIRD, which was part of the Austin Asian American Film Festival’s excellent lineup, is one of my favorite films that I’ve seen this year. It’s a devastating and beautiful coming-of-age story that presents an authentic narrative about what it feels like to be a teenager. And I appreciate how the ending didn’t tie up into a perfect bow.”

Claudia Silva, Senior Marketing Intern


“After watching CAPERNAUM from director Nadine Labaki, I left the cinema determined to change my life, that’s how inspired I was with twelve-year old Zain’s journey. In the film, Zain wants to sue his own parents for not getting him a birthday certificate in Lebanon, which lacked him the rights of a citizen, including public health care and attending the local public school. The movie is a piece of art that reminds us we are capable to face all the challenges and adversities to achieve our goals, if we have the guts, right attitudes, and determination to change our own history.”