Live Podcast Interview july 16: Kelly Williams, Austin filmmaker and festival producer

Image courtesy Kelly Williams.

Image courtesy Kelly Williams.

This interview is an example of the work I’ll be doing during the new season of the Film Festival Secrets podcast, now funding at Seed&Spark! Contributors will be able to listen live to most of the interviews I conduct for the show. 

Kelly Williams was the first film festival programmer I met upon starting work with the Austin Film Festival back in 2005, and probably the first festival programmer I met ever. Shortly before I left Austin in 2012, Kelly made the jump from mostly-festival-guy to mostly-producing-movies-guy and seems to have been living the indie film dream ever since - his producing credits include Sundance and SXSW-approved features like Pit Stop, Hellion, and Beaver Trilogy Part IV.

Kelly and I will be catching up on a call this Thursday, and you’re invited to listen in and ask questions. It’s free, and you can register here. We’ll be talking about the filmmaking lessons learned by seeing thousands of festival submissions, what it’s like to participate in the Sundance labs, and the fine art of making a life (and a living) in independent film. 

More about Williams: 

Kelly Williams is an independent producer and film programmer based in Austin, TX.  Along with his producing partner, Jonathan Duffy, he produced Yen Tan’s feature Pit Stop which premiered at Sundance in 2013 and was nominated for the 2014 Independent Spirit Awards’ John Cassavetes Award.  

Williams also produced Kat Candler’s 2014 Sundance Film Festival Selection Hellion starring Aaron Paul and Juliette Lewis. Hellion is a recipient of a San Francisco Film Society/ Kenneth Rainin Foundation Filmmaking Grant and is available through IFC Films.  

Recently, Williams and Duffy produced Brad Besser’s Sundance 2015 documentary Beaver Trilogy Part IV as well as the Netflix acquired, 2015 SXSW competition feature 6 Years directed by Hannah Fidell and executive produced by Mark and Jay Duplass.  Additionally, he produced the indie features Cinema Six and Pictures of Superheroes as well as Kat Candler’s previous short films Hellion (Sundance 2012) and Black Metal (Sundance 2013). He is also a 2012 Sundance Institute Creative Producing Fellow.

As a film festival programmer, Williams was awarded the 2007 International Film Festival Summit Excellence Award for his work at the Austin Film Festival where he was a programmer from 2004 to 2011.  He was also a film programmer at the Lone Star Film Festival in Fort Worth, TX the last four years as well as being a consulting programmer and film juror at several festivals around the country.  

Join us on Thursday at 11:30 am Eastern.

Learn more about the FIlm Festival Secrets podcast and the funding campaign at