AUSTIN – Two movies being touted as Oscar contenders have been announced as the Opening Night and Centerpiece films for the 2017 Austin Film Festival.

AFF said ‘Lady Bird’ will open the 24th anniversary festival. The festival said the film “stars Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn, The Grand Budapest Hotel) as Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson, a young woman who fights against but is exactly like her wildly loving, deeply opinionated and strong-willed mom (Laurie Metcalf), a nurse working tirelessly to keep her family afloat after Lady Bird's father (Tracy Letts) loses his job.” Greta Gerwig (‘Frances Ha’ and ‘Mistress America’) is making her directorial debut with ‘Lady Bird.’ THe movie had its world premiere at the Telluride Film Festival.

The centerpiece film will be ‘The Current War,’ directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon (‘Me and Earl and the Dying Girl’). Benedict Cumberbatch and Michael Shannon star as Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse, respectively, in the film chronicling the race for marketable electricity in the United States. The movie premiered at the Toronto Film Festival.

The full slate of films being screened at the Austin Film Festival will be released at the end of September, and the festival takes place Oct. 26-Nov. 2. TAP OR CLICK HERE for more information.