I reference the anarchic and collage-like Van Sant film of the early 90s in the title of this article. That’s because AFS is the only arthouse movie theater (and so much more) to represent local, artsy, foreign, indie, and festival entries in town.


Founded in 1985 by local 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 supports filmmakers towards career leaps, encouraging exceptional artistic projects with grants. It also 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 media makers, provides training for 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 broader film community. AFS also offers grants to filmmakers for short and full-length feature films.

The theater in the Linc has two screens, a full bar and café, and an event hall available for rentals. Their free popcorn refill when ordering a large one is worth it. AFS curates a wide selection of films for its signature programs at the cinema, including repertory series, new restorations, documentaries, independent films and premieres. AFS Cinema offers a full schedule of first-run films featuring the best in international and independent films new to theaters. Introductions by film programmers or other special guests, such as directors and producers, often accompany signature film programs. AFS also offers a range of classes, which can be found here https://www.austinfilm.org/classes-events/

Individual membership  ($65 annually) has benefits, such as mixers with other members, two free tickets to films of your choice, discounted rates on entry, and a monthly Monday free event. Supporting this institution makes Austin a little bit “weird,” so keep it up.

I recently saw the four-and-a-half-hour Dutch documentary Occupied City but only stayed for half of it. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt9573150/ All foreign films are subtitled.

For more information on becoming a member go here https://www.austinfilm.org

By Elise Krentzel

Elise Krentzel is the author of the bestselling memoir Under My Skin - Drama, Trauma & Rock 'n' Roll, a ghostwriter, book coach to professionals who want to write their memoir, how-to or management book or fiction, and contributing author to several travel books and series. Elise has written about art, food, culture, music, and travel in magazines and blogs worldwide for most of her life, and was formerly the Tokyo Bureau Chief of Billboard Magazine. For 25 years, she lived overseas in five countries and now calls Austin, TX, her home. Find her at https://elisekrentzel.com, FB: @OfficiallyElise, Instagram: @elisekrentzel, LI: linkedin.com/in/elisekrentzel.