Founded in 1993, Austin Film Festival (AFF) was the first organization of its kind to focus on the writers’ creative contribution to film. AFF originally consisted of the Heart of Film Screenwriters Conference, a forum for craft development, inspiration, networking and launching careers created for screenwriters – the film industry’s historically under-represented, as evidenced by the recent writers’ strike. It has since grown to serve all filmmakers and Austin’s arts community and now encompasses a wealth of year-round programming dedicated to recognizing and celebrating the art and impact of storytelling.
What AFF is probably best known for around the world is its annual October Austin Film Festival & Conference. The Film Festival & Conference was the first event of its kind to take the lead in bringing professional and amateur screenwriters (and now filmmakers) together to celebrate the role of the screenplay in filmmaking and discuss the considerable creative possibilities of writing for film and television. Equally important, the Conference brought producers, agents and screenwriters together to foster the sale of screenplays and launch long-term successful careers. Hundreds of writers’ groups, services and festivals have followed the Conference’s model over the past ten years, reinforcing the value of its continuing mission to recognize the art of screenwriting.
Past participants of the Festival & Conference include Sydney Pollack, Wes Anderson, James L. Brooks, Joel & Ethan Coen, Russell Crowe, Barry Levinson, Robert Altman, Darren Star, Robert Duvall, Buck Henry, Dennis Hopper, Lawrence Kasdan, John Landis, Claire Danes, Garry Shandling, Susannah Grant, Bryan Singer, Oliver Stone, Sandra Bullock, Jason Schwartzman, Harold Ramis and Owen Wilson, to name just a few.