Austin Film Festival Screenwriting Competition
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Austin Film Festival Screenplay Competition

Austin Film Festival Screenplay Competition

Contact

1801 Salina St.
Austin, TX 78702
512-478-4795 (voice)
512-478-6205 (fax)

Web: Click here
Email: Click here

Contact: Matt Dy, Screenplay & Teleplay Competition Director

Report Card

Overall: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars (4.2/5.0)
Professionalism: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars (3.8/5.0)
Feedback: 1.5 stars1.5 stars (1.4/5.0)
Signficance: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars (4.2/5.0)
Report Cards: 134    
Have you entered this contest?
Please submit a Report card.

Related Contests

Objective

The Ultimate Runway
For over two decades, Austin Film Festival has been catapulting writers into life-changing careers. With one of the most noteworthy competitions among Hollywood tastemakers, AFF consistently yanks newcomers from the isolation of their desks and ushers them into the bustling world of film and television. Whether your dream is to sign a contract, land an agent, learn from an industry icon, or take home the coveted Bronze Typewriter Award, it’s simple: you can’t win if you don’t enter.

A Handcrafted Competition
Though AFF is one of the largest and most respected screenplay competitions, every entrant receives personalized attention and multiple reads throughout the process. All entrants receive FREE “Reader Comments” which are a brief, overall summary of their notes. As an added bonus, for Second Rounders (the top 15% in each category) and above, entrants receive further comments from 2-3 readers. AFF goes the extra mile to send both postal mail and e-mail notifications to ensure everyone knows their placement in the competition. Finally, Second Rounders may also find a personalized, handwritten note in their notification letter from the Screenplay Competition Director!

You’ll Get Back Way More Than You Bargained For
Not only do all entrants receive registration discounts, but you get larger discounts when you place in the competition. Unlike other screenplay competitions, your experience with AFF doesn’t end after making the first cut. Second Rounders, Semifinalists, and Finalists attend exclusive panels, intimate roundtable discussions, script reading workshops, and are afforded special access to industry professionals. 2015 Second Rounders and above attended workshops about: how to find representation, demystifying the development process, and how successful alumni from the competition made the most of their placement. Additionally, a favorite event of entrants, Second Rounders and above were invited to the Screenwriters’ Happy Hour presented by Nickelodeon where they networked with other writers, Nickelodeon execs, and competition judges.

2016 Semifinalists and Finalists had the opportunity to meet with several agents, managers, and executives, and participate in our Script Reading Workshops where their scripts were read aloud and workshopped in a personalized setting during the Conference. Furthermore, Semifinalists and Finalists’ loglines and contact information are also included in the annual Producer’s Book, distributed to all AFF panelists as well as over 400 agents, managers, producers, and other industry professionals.

At the Semifinalist level and above, judges—including professional writers and representatives from major studios and production companies—actively seek scripts and talent. In past years, these judges have included representatives from Oasis Media Group, Mosaic Media, AMC, ABC Studios, Paradigm Agency, Di Bonaventura Pictures, Kopelson Entertainment, Nickelodeon, Escape Artists at Sony, Sony Pictures Animation, Washington Square Arts, Fourth Floor Productions, Haven Entertainment, Artisan, CAA, Brant Rose Agency, WME, DreamWorks, and Pixar among others.

Signing Deals and Launching Projects
AFF’s Screenplay & Teleplay Competition is one of the most acclaimed contests within the industry for establishing the careers of up-and-coming writers. It’s no surprise that past competition entrants have signed with major agencies and have had their scripts optioned, acquired, and produced by signatory production companies. Most recently, Wes Brown, 2014 winner of the AMC One-Hour Pilot Award, has staffed on the upcoming AMC television series Goliath; Troy Miller, the 2013 winner of the Horror Screenplay Award, had his winning script optioned by Frank Darabont’s Darkwoods Productions; at the 2014 Festival, AFF presented the world premiere of Dawn Patrol, a film produced from a 2008 Finalist script written by Rachel Long and Brian Pittman that was acquired by Enderby Entertainment; and Amy Aniobi, 2011 Semifinalist, has been hired to write for HBO’s Silicon Valley.

Not Ready to Submit? Try Our Coverage Program First!
AFF’s Coverage Program provides a detailed, constructive evaluation of your script and at $100 for feature scripts and $80 for teleplays, it’s a frugal expense for a potential life-changing return on investment. The final deadline for competition submissions isn’t until May 20. So, with a turnaround time of 60 days, don’t wait too long to send your script. You’ll want to give yourself plenty of time to apply our feedback before submitting it in the competition. To submit your coverage request, visit www.austinfilmfestival.com.

A Message from Matt Dy, Screenplay Competition Director
Regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, or background, AFF champions all writers and looks for a strong original voice above all. From the indie to the mainstream, we strive to ensure that unique, compelling stories rise to the top and get the recognition they deserve. We are invested in your success and want to help you grow as a writer whether or not you advance in the competition. If you have a story to tell, YOU are important to AFF. Send us your best and let your voice be heard!

Deadline/Entry Fees

Deadline Date Entry Fee Days till Deadline
Early March 31, 2017 $45 - Screenplays / $35 - Short Screenplay / $35 - Teleplay / $35 - Digital Series
Regular April 20, 2017 $55 - Screenplays / $45 - Short Screenplay / $45 - Teleplay / $45 - Digital Series
Final May 15, 2017 $70 - Screenplays / $60 - Short Screenplay / $60 - Teleplay / $60 - Digital Series 17

Notification: Notifications for all entrants will be sent by mid-September

Awards

Awards range from $1000-$5000 per winner. Winners also receive reimbursement of roundtrip airfare (up to $500, excluding frequent flyer miles); hotel reimbursement at the Film Festival (up to $500); and the AFF Bronze Typewriter Award.

***All entrants will receive complimentary Reader Comments, a brief overall summary of the readers' notes.***

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Contact

1801 Salina St.
Austin, TX 78702
512-478-4795 (voice)
512-478-6205 (fax)

Web: Click here
Email: Click here

Contact: Matt Dy, Screenplay & Teleplay Competition Director

Report Card

Overall: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars (4.2/5.0)
Professionalism: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars (3.8/5.0)
Feedback: 1.5 stars1.5 stars (1.4/5.0)
Signficance: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars (4.2/5.0)
Report Cards: 134    
Have you entered this contest?
Please submit a Report card.

Related Contests

Contest Comments

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Austin Film Festival Screenplay Competition

Contact

1801 Salina St.
Austin, TX 78702
512-478-4795 (voice)
512-478-6205 (fax)

Web: Click here
Email: Click here

Contact: Matt Dy, Screenplay & Teleplay Competition Director

Report Card

Overall: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars (4.2/5.0)
Professionalism: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars (3.8/5.0)
Feedback: 1.5 stars1.5 stars (1.4/5.0)
Signficance: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars (4.2/5.0)
Report Cards: 134    
Have you entered this contest?
Please submit a Report card.

Related Contests

Contest News

Austin Fest Names Screenplay Winners

The Austin Film Festival (AFF) has announced their 2016 Screenplay Competition Winners, including STATIC, by Henry Jones, recognized in three categories and acquired by Max Borenstein's company, Inkubate.

Updated: 10/20/2016

Austin Names Semifinalists

The Austin Film Festival has named their 2016 Screenplay Competition Semifinalists, representing the top 1% of all submissions. The scripts were chosen from a record field of 9,100 individual scripts. Finalists will be revealed by early October and the winners will be announced during this year's Conference at the Awards Luncheon on Saturday, October 15 at the historic Austin Club.

Updated: 09/13/2016

Austin Fest & Nicholl Fellowships Present Launching Your Writing Career

Austin Film Festival, in partnership with the Academy Education and Nicholl Fellowships Programs, will present a series of panels dedicated to LAUNCHING YOUR WRITING CAREER. The event will take place on Saturday, March 26 from 12:30pm - 5:30pm at the Linwood Dunn Theatre in Hollywood.

Updated: 03/15/2016

Austin Fest Names 2015 Award Winners

Austin Film Festival (AFF) has announced its 2015 Jury and Hiscox Audience and Courage Award Winners in Film, as well as the Screenplay & Teleplay Competition winners.

Updated: 11/12/2015

AFF Names Semifinalists & Second Rounders

The Austin Film Festival has announce their 2015 Screenplay & Teleplay Competition Semifinalists and Second Rounders, chosen from a record field of 8,627 individual scripts (up by about 1800 scripts from last year).

Updated: 09/16/2015

Austin Film Festival Screenplay Competition

Contact

1801 Salina St.
Austin, TX 78702
512-478-4795 (voice)
512-478-6205 (fax)

Web: Click here
Email: Click here

Contact: Matt Dy, Screenplay & Teleplay Competition Director

Report Card

Overall: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars (4.2/5.0)
Professionalism: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars (3.8/5.0)
Feedback: 1.5 stars1.5 stars (1.4/5.0)
Signficance: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars (4.2/5.0)
Report Cards: 134    
Have you entered this contest?
Please submit a Report card.

Related Contests

Interviews

MovieBytes Interview:
Screenwriter Karl Williams

An interview with screenwriter Karl Williams regarding the Austin/Film Writing Competition.

Q: What's the title of the script you entered in this contest, and what's it about?

A: I entered two scripts this year, both of them comedies. "Punctured" is a horror/sci-fi comedy about a horror novelist who falls for a beautiful college professor that turns out to be a vampire. It's Woody Allen or Wes Anderson in tone, mixed with a nice dash of John Landis. The other script is "Superego," which is about a psychologist recruited by the government to counsel a team of dysfunctional superheroes. I modeled it after "Analyze This" and then got to meet Harold Ramis at the AFF this weekend and see his new flick "The Ice Harvest," which was a total blast.

Q: What made you enter this particular contest? Have you entered any other contests with this script? If so, how did you do?

A: I entered Austin because I liked the fact that it's a screenwriters' film festival. The only festivals that really fit that description are Austin and Nantucket, as far as I know. I also entered "Superego" in the UCLA Screenwriters Showcase Awards earlier this summer and I won that (I'm in the UCLA MFA Screenwriting program, I'm halfway through it). We read a scene at the WGA in June, it was a blast. And "Punctured" made the quarterfinals of the Nicholl this summer, so I'm getting a lot of calls and emails about it from that.

Q: Were you satisfied with the adminstration of the contest? Did they meet their deadlines? Did you receive all the awards that were promised?

A: Totally satisfied, the AFF is non-profit so like any organization that meets that description, probably every person is doing the work of five people there. But they could not have been more helpful, friendly, engaging, passionate or smart about the business. They really encouraged us to network our tails off so I tried to do that, even though I am not the world's most outgoing guy (I think most writers aren't). Some festivals are really in love with and fawning over their celebrity panelists but they absolutely advocated for their writers and I felt like they were on our side. They did meet all their deadlines and I got everything I was promised - including three extremely heavy trophies. I really think Austin is already one of the major North American festivals, along with Sundance and Toronto (my other two favorites). And I think the industry is just now figuring that out.

Q: Were you given any feedback on your script? If so, did you find the feedback helpful?

A: Austin has a program where you can pay for coverage and I think a few years ago I would have done that - but I have already read coverage on both of these scripts so I didn't feel the need. I ran into several judges from the various categories however, and they told me about the judging process, what they thought about my work, and what some of the other judges said, so I got a good overall sense of why I won.

Q: Has your success in this contest helped you market your script? Were you contacted by any agents, managers or producers?

A: This happened literally about 72 hours ago so I haven't been contacted by many people yet - although I was approached personally by a lot of people at the fest, including the biggest talent agency in Hollywood, which was fantastic - fingers crossed, I hope they sign me. I have some experience in marketing myself and I'm going to do that aggressively. I think not tooting your own horn is the biggest mistake writers make and while it may make you look a little boorish (I'm always afraid of that), it just simply has to be done. If you're not an A-list writer yet, they're not coming to you unless you give them a reason, it's that simple. I already have a press release that I tried to make as funny as possible (I write comedy) and I'm faxing it to probably a hundred companies today.

Q: What's your background? Have you written any other screenplays or television scripts?

A: These two scripts were my fourth and fifth screenplays, I would say I knew I was onto something by about my third, which placed in the top ten for the Diane Thomas Awards a few years ago and landed me my manager, Brian Flaherty. Before that I was a publishing executive in New Jersey for ten years and had some career success, but was pretty miserable. I was living a lie, I wanted to be a screenwriter. So I gave that up, sold everything I owned but books and clothes, and moved to L.A. to study at UCLA. Now I'm poorer but a whole lot happier.

Q: Do you live in Los Angeles? If not, do you have any plans to move there?

A: I live just outside of L.A. in a little suburban town called Calabasas. Best of both worlds as far as I'm concerned. The commute sucks but I have satellite radio so Al Franken's show and a Starbucks coffee make it tolerable.

Q: What's next? Are you working on a new script?

A: I'm in the UCLA MFA Screenwriting program, which makes you write very intensely and very hard - a new script every ten weeks - so I'm working like a squirrel on new stuff all the time. I'll have to pump out three features in the next nine months to graduate in '06, so yeah, I'm working on new stuff feverishly. Hopefully someday in the misty future I will live the cliche and direct.

Posted Tuesday, October 25, 2005