Stay up-to-date with AFF announcements, news from our panelists and filmmakers, film industry updates, and more.

AFF ANNOUNCES NEW SCRIPTED DIGITAL SERIES COMPETITION FOR 2015 FESTIVAL, Oct. 29-Nov. 5, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES NEW SCRIPTED DIGITAL SERIES COMPETITION FOR 2015 FESTIVAL, Oct. 29-Nov. 5, 2015 AUSTIN, Texas—Jan. 13, 2015— For its 22nd anniversary, Austin Film Festival (AFF) is introducing a new contest to its program: The Scripted Digital Series Competition. This competition will accept both filmed and written submissions in an effort to find talented voices who can adapt their vision …

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES NEW SCRIPTED DIGITAL SERIES COMPETITION FOR 2015 FESTIVAL, Oct. 29-Nov. 5, 2015

AUSTIN, Texas—Jan. 13, 2015— For its 22nd anniversary, Austin Film Festival (AFF) is introducing a new contest to its program: The Scripted Digital Series Competition. This competition will accept both filmed and written submissions in an effort to find talented voices who can adapt their vision to emerging digital platforms. From the film and script submissions from the competition, AFF will select one winner who displays the strongest voice and greatest potential for establishing a digital series.

“Compelling narratives are no longer confined to the movie theater or television screen,” AFF Co-founder and Executive Director Barbara Morgan said. “More and more, writers are turning to online platforms like YouTube, Vimeo, or their own websites to bring their stories to life. As a result, the entertainment industry is in the middle of an unprecedented creative expansion outwards, and AFF is proud to be one of the first film festivals to recognize and celebrate this new method of storytelling.”

The Scripted Digital Series follows the Festival’s long history of programming new media and innovative formats. AFF was one of the first festivals to include television into its programs and Conference, and it continues to find and promote new talent annually. By incorporating the Scripted Digital Series Competition, AFF intends to support the artists behind this new medium through industry exposure and attention.

To further support this addition to the Festival, AFF plans to showcase writers, producers, and innovators of digital platforms at its renowned Screenwriters Conference where filmmakers can refine their craft, make connections, and walk away inspired to start their next project.

Juries for all AFF competitions consist of established writers, filmmakers, and industry insiders who often also serve as panelists for the Screenwriters Conference. Past jurors have included America Ferrera, Tom Skerritt, Ashley Miller, James V. Hart, Leigh Whannell, Jenny Lumet, Stephen Falk, Craig Mazin, and executives from companies such as The Weinstein Company, AMC, Sundance Institute, Oscilloscope Laboratories, and Gravitas Ventures.

Entrants that advance to the Semifinalist level will be asked to provide a treatment of their vision for the series and how subsequent episodes will unfold. The winner of the Scripted Digital Series Competition will receive a $1000 cash prize, AFF’s bronze typewriter statue, and reimbursement for travel and lodging. Additionally, all filmed series finalists will be screened publicly at the 2015 Festival.

About Austin Film Festival

Austin Film Festival is funded and supported in part by a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts, City of Austin Economic Growth & Redevelopment Services Office/Cultural Arts Division.

For more information on submitting a film or screenplay, please visit www.austinfilmfestival.com.

READ MORE

Holiday Staff Picks: Home Alone with Sonia Onescu

If you’re between the age of 20-40, you more than likely remember experiencing Home Alone in either of these ways: watching as a kid or passing it onto your own kids to watch for the first time.

12.24.2014| Sonia Onescu

If you’re between the age of 20-40, you more than likely remember experiencing Home Alone in either of these ways: watching as a kid or passing it onto your own kids to watch for the first time. You see, Home Alone set the precedent for us just as our generation’s Christmas Story did before. It was the movie that consisted of four siblings versus one, young versus old and leaving the independent yet punky Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) to fend for himself against more ice cream then one kid can handle. Who doesn’t remember the gunfire scene with the memorable “keep the change, ya filthy animal” quote, which is basically our generation’s “you’ll shoot your eye out,” and who can forget Kevin’s face after experiencing the sting of aftershave or the dimwitted “Wet Bandit” burglars Harry (Joe Pesci) and Marv (Daniel Stern)? Home Alone has humor, heart and is still as epic as it is timeless to this day thanks to the brilliant John Hughes. No one can truly say they’ve really experienced Christmas without this movie.

READ MORE

Holiday Staff Picks: White Christmas with Michelle Randolph Faires

12.19.2014 | Michelle Randolph Faires Hands down, my staff pick is Paramount’s White Christmas. When I think of all the family traditions instilled in me through the years, the one most prominent is hearing Bing Crosby croon White Christmas and laughing at the comedic genius of Danny Kaye. It’s not just a one-time viewing in my home, rather, it’s kept queued up at all times …

12.19.2014 | Michelle Randolph Faires

Hands down, my staff pick is Paramount’s White Christmas. When I think of all the family traditions instilled in me through the years, the one most prominent is hearing Bing Crosby croon White Christmas and laughing at the comedic genius of Danny Kaye. It’s not just a one-time viewing in my home, rather, it’s kept queued up at all times to be played during my holiday baking and wrapping of presents.

I’ve watched my daughters and their cousins grow up re-enacting the ‘Sisters” number more times than I can probably count and at this point I believe they could all give Rosemary Clooney and Vera Ellen a serious run for the money. When the show stopper scene of ‘Mandy” is performed, I still sigh “…if ONLY I had Vera Ellen’s legs!”

At one point the foursome find themselves traveling in a train car and they sing a number called “Snow’. Instantly, it is Christmas Eve night and I am back in my great-grandmothers front yard, making snow angels with my sisters in the unexpected snow blanketing the grass.

The finale is a cliché happy ending where the guys get the girls, the inn is saved and of course, the skies open and the much anticipated snow comes falling down, snowflakes synchronized to Irving Berlin’s song.

And every single time I cry.

Sometimes, the magic of a film is not necessarily in the script, the production or even the skilled actors. Sometimes our most deeply rooted feelings are the ones we attach to a film and how we relate the story to our life and our own experiences. It’s how it nestles its place into our hearts forever.

Here’s wishing all of you a very merry and White Christmas.

READ MORE

Holiday Staff Picks: Die Hard with Harrison Glaser

Sure, you can go traditional with your holiday movies. Who doesn’t love Miracle on 34th Street or It’s a Wonderful Life? But for my money, the best Christmas movie of all time is the 1988 masterpiece Die Hard. It has all the makings of a classic yuletide tale: love, Christmas trees, terrorists, friendship, cute kids, f-words, and an important lesson about family. And if you want memorable lines, this movie has more witty catchphrases than you can shake a missile launcher at. I’ll see your “bah, humbug” and raise you a “Now I have a machine gun. Ho-ho-ho” any day.

12.16.2014 | Harrison Glaser

Sure, you can go traditional with your holiday movies. Who doesn’t love Miracle on 34th Street or It’s a Wonderful Life? But for my money, the best Christmas movie of all time is the 1988 masterpiece Die Hard. It has all the makings of a classic yuletide tale: love, Christmas trees, terrorists, friendship, cute kids, f-words, and an important lesson about family. And if you want memorable lines, this movie has more witty catchphrases than you can shake a missile launcher at. I’ll see your “bah, humbug” and raise you a “Now I have a machine gun. Ho-ho-ho” any day.

“Now wait a second, Harrison” you might say, “Christmastime isn’t about dying at all, whether it be hard or not.” First off please don’t interrupt me. I’m in the middle of a blog. Second, you’re looking at this all wrong. Die Hard is more than an awesome action movie that happens to take place on the night of December 25th. It is in fact a movie imbued with the spirit of Christmas. Yes, there’s death in the movie. People are shot, choked, thrown off buildings, and done blowed up, but take a look at the forest  through the death trees. Die Hard is about the perils of greed and the healing power of friendship and family. Hans Gruber and his gang shoot people simply for a big payday. And—spoiler alert—it didn’t turn out too well for any of them. The news reporter jeopardizes the lives of the hostages just for a big scoop. And he got punched in the face. The FBI agents ignored  all common sense and were satisfied with killing hostages just for their next big get. And they didn’t last too long. The greed can even be found in John McClane’s own wife, Holly. She quite literally trades in family for greed—reclaiming her maiden name so she can work at a giant, extravagant multi-national corporation that’s shady at best. It’s not until the end of the movie that she sees the error of her ways and reassumes the McClane moniker. See? Underneath all that violence is an important lesson about  love and priorities in life. Die Hard is straight up A Christmas Carol, except with more C4.

Plus, I’m working on this theory that John McClane is actually Santa Clause. Stay with me. Just like Santa, John wears red. Though in John’s case, the red is mostly blood. And did you notice that John doesn’t wear socks for the movie? Well maybe that’s because he’s using them for stockings. And just like Santa, McClane is always squeezing through chutes and crevices to make his way down to those that are waiting for him. But instead of delivering toys, McClane brings the greatest gift of all: not dying. And then instead of reindeer, McClain has…I don’t know, bullets? Look the theory’s still a work-in-progress. Just watch the movie. It’s awesome.

Like this blog? Check out our other Staff Picks here.

READ MORE
Shop OnStory