With the Austin-shot college comedy Home Free, director Aaron Brown and screenwriter Lenny Barszap turn back the clock to the late 1990s when they shared a house during their sophomore year at the University of Texas. Home Free offers a fictionalized take on how the longtime friends—as well as their roommates—befriended an unhoused person nicknamed The Professor. When he starts his sophomore year, the somewhat responsible and mature Owen tries to curb the amount of partying he undertook during his freshman year with his best friend Richard. But Richard, true to his impulsive and reckless ways, remains focused on having a good time. This somehow results in Owen and Richard crossing paths with an philosophy professor living in a park as part of a group of unhoused people. An invitation for the Professor to spend a rainy night on Owen’s porch gradually leads to months of Owen and Richard learning life lessons from an unexpected mentor. But their relationship with the Professor also causes some cracks in Owen and Richard’s friendship. The cast is led by Ryan Cownie as Owen, John Karna as Richard, and Jack Harte as the Professor. Home Free screens during the Austin Film Festival at 6:15 p.m. Oct. 27 at the State Theatre and at 5 p.m. Nov. 1 at the Galaxy Theatres Austin. Home Free director Aaron Brown and screenwriter Lenny Barszap previously collaborated on the short comedy Hot Tub and produced the comedy Derek’s Dead. Home Free represents Aaron Brown’s feature-length directorial debut. Brown is the founder of Onion Creek Productions; Barszap is a writer/producer at Entertaining Entertainment.
Aired: Oct. 25, 2023