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Austin Film Festival Screenplay & Teleplay Competition

Austin Film Festival Screenplay/Teleplay Competition


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: 3.5 stars3.5 stars3.5 stars3.5 stars (3.4/5.0)
Professionalism: 3.5 stars3.5 stars3.5 stars3.5 stars (3.7/5.0)
Feedback: 1 star (1.1/5.0)
Signficance: 3.5 stars3.5 stars3.5 stars3.5 stars (3.4/5.0)
Report Cards: 113    
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For the past two decades, Austin Film Festival has been launching writers into their careers. This year, AFF is celebrating its longevity and exponential growth by creating a week that will change your life. With one of the most recognized and prestigious Screenplay and Teleplay competitions, AFF breaks out newcomers from the privacy of their desks and straight into the industry. Whether your dream is signing a contract, landing an agent, learning craft from an industry icon, or taking home the coveted Bronze Typewriter Award, you can’t win if you don’t enter.

The Conference is an intense idea exchange, featuring dream participants like David Chase, Paul Feig, Caroline Thompson, and Lawrence Kasdan; the hip, inclusive parties at night bring these veteran creators up close and personal with emerging writers and artists. Screenplay Finalists and Winners are presented alongside awardees like Vince Gilligan, Jonathan, Demme, Frank Darabont, Eric Roth, and Chris Carter at the highly anticipated Awards Luncheon ceremony. Second Rounders, Semifinalists, and Finalists proudly show off registration badges which designate their placement in the Competition, gaining even further recognition. By submitting a script, you tap into this legendary meet-up of pros and peers.

All entrants receive registration discounts, with even bigger discounts when you place in the competition. “Second Rounders” (the esteemed top 10% in each category), Semifinalists, and Finalists attend special panels, programmed specifically for them, that take their script to the next level and maximize the benefits of their competition placement.

Second Rounders have attended panels like “The First Ten Pages” with Academy Award®-nominated producer Lindsay Doran (SENSE AND SENSIBILITY, STRANGER THAN FICTION) where she read, evaluated and refined the first (and crucial) 10 pages of selected Second Round scripts. Semifinalists and Finalists attend panels where previous AFF Screenplay Competition alumni discussed how they made the most of their placement, as well as workshops where they can pitch, tweak, and elevate their scripts. In addition, Second Rounders and above receive AFF readers’ notes on their scripts.

At the Semifinalist level and above, judges include professional writers and representatives from major studios and production companies actively seeking scripts and talent. In past years, judges have included representatives from Oasis Media Group, Mosaic Media, ABC Studios, Paradigm Agency, Escape Artists at Sony, Fortis Films, Washington Square Arts, Tom Sawyer Entertainment, Artisan, CAA, Brant Rose Agency, William Morris, DreamWorks, and Pixar. All 2013 Semifinalists and Finalists will be included in the annual Producers Book, distributed to over 400 agents, managers, producers, and other industry professionals.

It’s no surprise past competition entrants have signed with Artisan, CAA, Brant Rose Agency, Metropolitan, William Morris, DreamWorks, Pixar, and Miramax, and have had their scripts optioned, acquired, and made, jumpstarting their writing careers. 2010 Finalist Christopher Cantwell had his script “Halt & Catch Fire” (co-written with partner Chris Rogers) ordered by AMC as one of four projects this year to go to pilot, with filming slated to begin in 2013. AFF also has a long-standing relationship with Franklin Leonard and his coveted Black List of “most liked” unproduced scripts. Appearing on his 2012 list are 2011 Comedy Screenplay Winner Max Taxe for his winning script Goodbye, Felix Chester and 2012 Drama Finalist Austin Reynolds for From New York to Florida.

As writing for TV rises and grows as an art form, AFF has expanded and developed its Teleplay Competition to serve the configurations and special qualities of this category. AFF accepts both specs and pilots for a spectrum of awards. Previous teleplay judges have included producers and writers from Awake, Shameless, Castle, Lost, White Collar, King of the Hill, and Spin City, to name a few. And winners have used this Teleplay Competition as a direct route to more work, like Dan Steele, 2010 Sitcom Teleplay Winner, who was admitted into the Warner Bros. Workshop and is now a staffed writer on Gossip Girl, or VJ Boyd, 2008 Teleplay Finalist, currently a staff writer on the FX show Justified.

Deadline/Entry Fees

Deadline Date Entry Fee Days till Deadline
Early April 30, 2014 $40 - Screenplays / $30 - Teleplays 7
Final May 31, 2014 $50 - Screenplays / $40 - Teleplays 38

Notification: Notifications for all entrants will be sent by early September


See website:


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.

***Also, readers' notes are provided to any scripts that reach the Second Round (top 10%) or higher in the competition.***

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News: Austin Film Festival Screenplay & Teleplay Competition

Austin Fest Announces Contest Winners

Austin Film Festival (AFF) has announced their 2013 Screenplay and Teleplay Competition winners. A record number of 8,644 submissions across all categories (6,228 individual scripts) were received this year.

Updated: 11/11/2013

Austin Fest Announces Contest Finalists

The Austin Film Festival has announced the 2013 Screenplay & Teleplay Competition Finalists. The winners will be announced during this year’s Conference at the Awards Luncheon on Saturday, October 26 at the Austin Club.

Updated: 10/09/2013

Austin Fest Announces Screenplay & Teleplay Semifinalists

The Austin Film Festival has announced the semifinalists of their 2013 Screenplay & Teleplay Competition.

Updated: 09/11/2013

Austin Fest Announces AMC as New Sponsor for One Hour Pilot Award

Austin Film Festival (AFF)has announced that AMC is the official sponsor and judge for the One-Hour Pilot Award of the 2013 Teleplay Competition.

Updated: 05/22/2013

Austin Fest Presents Launching Your Film Career Panel Discussion

Three of the most prestigious organizations centered around championing the screenwriter have partnered to present Launching Your Writing Career, a special panel sponsored in part and hosted by the Los Angeles Film School on Saturday, March 30th from 1:00pm to 2:30pm.

Updated: 03/20/2013

Interviews: Austin Film Festival Screenplay & Teleplay Competition

MovieBytes Interview:Screenwriter Keith Davidson

An interview with screenwriter Keith Davidson regarding the Austin Writing Competition.

Updated: 10/23/2009

MovieBytes Interview:Screenwriter Brian McDonald

An interview with screenwriter Brian McDonald regarding the Austin/Film Writing Competition.

Updated: 10/26/2006

MovieBytes Interview:Screenwriter Karl Williams

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

Updated: 10/25/2005
Contest Winner? Let's talk. If you've finished first, second, or third in the Austin Film Festival Screenplay & Teleplay Competition, MovieBytes would like to interview you.