The 2017 AGM in Huntington Beach is proud to present filmmaker Whit Stillman, who will provide insights into his journey to becoming an Austen aficionado as well as some choice details into the process of adapting her work for the big screen.

Stillman wrote and directed the 2016 film Love and Friendship and its companion novel, Lady Susan: In Which Jane Austen’s Lady Susan Is Entirely Vindicated.

A few years ago, Whit Stillman sent out a tweet expressing his interest in writing a novel built around Austen’s Lady Susan. An assistant at Little, Brown, and Company saw it, replied, and the rest is history.

Like others before him, Stillman came to Jane Austen half-dragged and fully skeptical. The American writer-director known for Metropolitan and The Last Days of Disco, read Northanger Abbey as a freshman at Harvard and declared it “overrated.” However, a second chance with Sense and Sensibility at his sister’s urging tilted him back to the enlightened side. Now, with the critically acclaimed film and companion novel notched on his belt, Stillman faces the logical next step in his career as a seasoned Austenophile: a JASNA AGM featured speaker.