Austin Film Society Launches Crowdfunding Campaign to Reopen the AFS Cinema Summer 2021 – AFS Cinema’s Next Picture Show

Brady Dyer,

Austin Film Society Announces Reopening Campaign—
AFS Cinema’s Next Picture Show

AFS Raising Funds to Reopen the AFS Cinema in Summer 2021,
Campaign Launches Today, May 6

May 6, Austin, TX—Austin Film Society announces a new crowdfunding campaign to reopen the AFS Cinema—AFS Cinema’s Next Picture Show ( The campaign will launch today, May 6, on the GiveLively platform and run through June 17. AFS is asking for the community’s support to help us reopen our doors and begin the AFS Cinema’s new chapter. Plans are currently underway for the AFS Cinema to open summer 2021 with more details to be announced in the coming weeks.

Since first turning on our projectors, the AFS Cinema has become a cornerstone of Austin’s vibrant film community. As the city’s only repertory arthouse theater, it is home for all who love the very best in classic, foreign, and new independent film, and seek out diverse and global perspectives every day of the week. For film lovers and filmmakers alike, it is a place to discover and experience great cinema and to celebrate the work of our regional storytellers.

AFS is seeking support from the community to help us reach our $150,000 crowdfunding goal to bring the best of local and global cinema to our big screen. The Still Water Foundation, a champion of the AFS Cinema since we opened in 2017, is matching the first $50,000 donated to the Next Picture Show reopening campaign. This is an opportunity to be a part of bringing back the AFS Cinema as Austin’s essential, central home for film—and donations at every level make a difference!

“When we were able to start the AFS Cinema in 2017 after 30 years of showing films around town, it was a dream come true. Our audiences were growing and our cinema had become a very special place in Austin, where people could come together and experience everything great about independent and arthouse film. We are ready to welcome back the entire community to take part in the rich and ever-expanding film culture that Austin is known for,” said Rebecca Campbell, CEO of AFS.

The goal of the campaign is to revive the AFS Cinema and its unique arthouse cinema experience. Funds raised will cover costs to hire and train staff, maintain and upgrade projection equipment, put COVID-safety measures in place including HEPA air filters, and ensure community inclusion and accessibility through outreach and partnerships.

The AFS Cinema boasts two screens—one repertory, featuring special series covering the gamut of film culture and history, and one for new releases—curated programming year-round, a full bar, and concessions.

For those who donate, the campaign comes with special perks and thank-you gifts to celebrate the reopening of our city’s hub for cinematic culture, the AFS Cinema. Perks include:

  • All giving $100+ includes an AFS membership to help you maximize your time at the AFS Cinema! In addition to annual benefits, all AFS members will be invited to an exclusive AFS Cinema soft-opening weekend.
  • All giving $50+ includes a special edition Next Picture Show t-shirt, with choice of gold, red, or black.
  • All donors $25+ will receive an AFS Cinema bumper sticker, a popcorn pass, and recognition online and in our pre-show for three months.
  • And, for a limited time, the first 50 donors at $299 will also receive their choice of Criterion Blu-Ray. (Choices can be found here.)

For giving opportunities larger than $1500, to see a list of all donors, or for more information on the campaign to reopen the AFS Cinema, please visit our Next Picture Show website or contact AFS’s Development Manager Taylor Whritner at

About Austin Film Society
Founded in 1985 by filmmaker Richard Linklater, AFS creates life-changing opportunities for filmmakers, catalyzes Austin and Texas as a creative hub, and brings the community together around great film. AFS is committed to racial equity and inclusion, with an objective to deliver programs that actively dismantle the structural racism, sexism and other bias in the screen industries. AFS supports filmmakers from all backgrounds towards career leaps, encouraging exceptional artistic projects with grants and support services. AFS operates Austin Studios, a 20-acre production facility, to attract and grow the creative media ecosystem. Austin Public, a space for our city’s diverse mediamakers to train and collaborate, provides many points of access to filmmaking and film careers. The AFS Cinema is an ambitiously programmed repertory and first run arthouse with broad community engagement. By hosting premieres, local and international industry events, and the Texas Film Awards, AFS shines the national spotlight on Texas filmmakers while connecting Austin and Texas to the wider film community. AFS is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.