Austin Fest Announces Contest Winners

The Austin Film Festival (AFF) has announced its 2008 Screenplay and Teleplay Competition winners. Winners received cash prizes ranging from $1,000 to $5,000, reimbursements for travel and lodging while at the festival, and access to and recognition by some of the most important writers, agents, producers and filmmakers in the industry. More than 4,000 submissions were reviewed by an industry jury including Herschel Weingrod, producer of "Falling Down" and screenwriter of "Trading Places," "Twins," and "Kindergarten Cop," and Maggie Biggar, independent producer and Senior Vice President of Fortis Films. The following winners were selected by category:

Drama Screenplay: "Mine" Anita Skibski

Comedy Screenplay: "eLove" Betsy Morris

Latitude Productions Screenplay Award (This award is sponsored by Los Angeles-based motion picture production company Latitude Productions, which was founded by company President Curtis Burch.): "Shimmer Lake" Oren Uziel

Sci-Fi Screenplay: "The Man Who Would be Sherlock Homes" Walter Campbell

Drama Teleplay: "Pushing Daisies: Rumpology" Steve Daniels

Sitcom Teleplay: "The Office: The Crossword Contest" Beau Henry

In its 15-year history the AFF Screenplay and Teleplay Competition has served to jump-start many writing careers. In the competition's first year, screenplay competition winner Max Adams' script "Excess Baggage" was optioned by Columbia and made into a film starring Alicia Silverstone and Benicio Del Toro. Pamela Ribon, a finalist in the Sitcom category in 2001, is now a writer for ABC hit series "Samantha Who?" Matthew Federman and Stephen Scaia, 2003 Drama Teleplay Winners, began careers in writing for TV after their trip to Austin in 2003. The pair, who have written for shows including CBS' "Judging Amy," ABC's "E-ring," and the entire run of "Jericho," served as panelists at this year's festival.

Updated: 10/21/2008

Additional Contest Info: Austin Film Festival Script Competition