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 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.
2012 Second Rounders attended a panel called “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. 2012 Semifinalists and Finalists attended a panel where previous AFF Screenplay Competition alumni discussed how they made the most of their placement, as well as a workshop where they could pitch, tweak, and elevate their scripts with Pixar Development Executive Mary Coleman. 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||Date||Entry Fee||Days till Deadline|
|Early||May 1, 2013||$40 - Screenplays / no early deadline for teleplays|
|Final||June 1, 2013||$50 - Screenplays / $30 - Teleplays||14|
Notification: Notifications for all entrants will be sent by early September
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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A Special Roundtable Workshop Session for the Sitcom Pilot Winner
For the first time, AFF will offer the 2012 Sitcom Pilot winner the invaluable opportunity to have his or her winning pilot read aloud and workshopped during a special Roundtable Session. These roundtables are popular and famous in Hollywood for punching up the story and comedy of a script with a team of professional writers. Whatever jokes or changes the pros throw out, the winning writer will be able to cherry-pick whatever they think might be helpful to his or her script. Just some of the industry pros on board to run the roundtable include:
An interview with screenwriter Keith Davidson regarding the Austin Writing Competition.
An interview with screenwriter Brian McDonald regarding the Austin/Film Writing Competition.
An interview with screenwriter Karl Williams regarding the Austin/Film Writing Competition.