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AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES WINNERS OF 2014 SCREENPLAY & TELEPLAY COMPETITION, FILM COMPETITION, AND AUDIENCE AWARDS

AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES WINNERS OF 2014 SCREENPLAY & TELEPLAY COMPETITION, FILM COMPETITION, AND AUDI​ENCE AWARDS

For inquiries, contact Kristen O’Brien
kristengobrien@gmail.com
512-660-8850

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES WINNERS OF
2014 SCREENPLAY & TELEPLAY COMPETITION, FILM COMPETITION, AND AUDIENCE AWARDS

AUSTIN, Texas— Nov. 4, 2014— Austin Film Festival (AFF) is pleased to announce its 2014 Screenplay & Teleplay Competition winners, Jury and Audience Award Winners in Film.  Awards recipients received an array of cash prizes, travel expenses, industry recognition and access.  For the Screenplay & Teleplay Competition winners, a record number of 6,764 scripts were received this year and the Finalists were reviewed by an industry jury, including:

Vera Blasi (writer Woman On Top; co-writer Tortilla Soup), Wendy Calhoun (writer/producer Justified, Revenge, Nashville), Sabrina Dhawan (writer Monsoon Wedding), Stephen Falk (creator/executive producer/showrunner You’re the Worst; co-executive producer Orange is the New Black, Weeds), Mark Goffman (executive producer Sleepy Hollow, White Collar; co-executive producer Elementary), James V. Hart (writer Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Hook), Jenny Lumet (writer Rachel Getting Married), Oren Uziel (writer 22 Jump Street, The Kitchen Sink), and Herschel Weingrod (producer Falling Down; writer Trading Places) in addition to this year’s sponsored award judges AMC, The Black List, Darkwoods Productions, and Enderby Entertainment.

The following winners were selected by category:

  • Drama Screenplay Award presented by the Writers Guild of America, East: Dead River Girl by Morris Long
  • Comedy Screenplay Award: Three Months by Jared Frieder
  • Enderby Entertainment Award: Suicide Boy by Laura Hainke
  • Fade to Black Award: I Fucked James Bond by Josh Hallman
  • Darkwoods Productions Horror Award: The 700 Year Itch by Molly Stein & Moon Unit Zappa
  • Darkwoods Productions Sci-Fi Award: The Incomparable Donald Strange by James Fant & Zach Cannon
  • AMC One-Hour Teleplay Pilot: Ascension by Wes Brown
  • Sitcom Teleplay Pilot: Great Points Park by Danny Sullivan
  • One-Hour Teleplay Spec: The Americans: Barium Meals by Adam Turner
  • Sitcom Teleplay Spec: Bob’s Burgers: Mr. Whiskers by Damir Konjicija & Dario Konjicija

In its 21-year history, the AFF Screenplay and Teleplay Competition has served to launch many writing careers.  Most recently, Troy Miller, the 2013 winner of the Horror Screenplay Award had his script optioned by Frank Darabont’s Darkwoods Productions.  At this year’s Festival, AFF presented the world premiere of Dawn Patrol, a film produced from a 2008 Finalist script written by Rachel Long and Brian Pittman that was acquired by Enderby Entertainment, and directed by Daniel, Petrie, Jr.

The 2014 Jury award-winning films featured a series of original, charming, and memorable stories created by up-and-coming filmmakers. This year, AFF’s inaugural Comedy Vanguard Jury Award, joined the ranks of the Festival’s other award categories. Serving on AFF’s competition juries this year was a list of talented filmmakers and notable industry insiders including Dan Guando (Executive Vice President of Acquisitions at The Weinstein Company), Simon Kilmurry (Executive Producer of P.O.V.), and Tom Skerritt (actor and founder of The Film School), along with many others. Animated, Documentary, and Narrative Short Jury Winners are eligible for Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences nomination.

The following Jury Award winners were selected by category:

  • Narrative Feature: The Kings Surrender written by Philipp Leinemann
  • Documentary Feature Jury Award: Once Upon a Crime: The Borrelli-Davis Conspiracy directed by Sheldon Wilson
  • Dark Matters Feature: One Eyed Girl co-written by Nick Matthews and Craig Behenna,
  • Comedy Vanguard Feature: Jimmy Vestvood: Amerikan Hero co-written by Maz Jobrani and Amir Ohebsion
  • Narrative Short: Skunk written by Annie Silverstein
  • Documentary Short: The Next Part directed by Erin Sanger
  • Animated Short: Between Times co-written by Ru Kuwahata and Max Porter
  • Narrative Student Short: Luke written by Conor Hamill
  • Young Filmmakers Program Competition Grand Prize: Special Is Just a Word written by Abby Thompson
  • Honorable Mention: Skin Deep, written by Monica Zanetti

After Festival Screenings, audiences voted for the Audience Award scoring the film or films screened. These ballots have been counted and tabulated to determine the 2014 Austin Film Festival’s Audience Award winners.

The following Audience Award winners were selected by category:

  • Narrative Feature: Terrible Love co-written by Luke Helmer and Christopher Thomas,
  • Documentary Feature: The Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young, co-directed by Annika Iltis and Timothy Kane
  • Dark Matters Feature: The Suicide Theory written by Michael J Kospiah
  • Comedy Vanguard Feature: Jimmy Vestvood: Amerikan Hero co-written by Maz Jobrani and Amir Ohebsion
  • Narrative Short: Mimi & Me written by Marly Reed
  • Documentary Short: Albert directed by Daniel Jaffe
  • Animated Short: TIE The Dam Keeper written by Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi | The Last Resort written by Gillian Park
  • Student Short: Luke written by Conor Hamill
  • Heart of Film: Popovich and the Voice of the Fabled American West co-written by Mike Thompson, Jerry Thompson, and Gregory
  • Stories From Abroad: Taking it Back written by Andreas Schmied
  • Texas Independents: Flutter written by Eric Hueber
  • Marquee Feature: Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me directed by James Keach

About Austin Film Festival
Austin Film Festival (AFF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to furthering the art, craft and business of writers and filmmakers and recognizing their contributions to film, television and new media. AFF champions the work of aspiring and established writers and filmmakers by providing unique cultural events and services, enhancing public awareness and participation and encouraging dynamic and long-lasting community partnerships. AFF 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 believing an investment in the Arts is an investment in Austin’s future.

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A special preview of John Ridley’s American Crime, Plus Mike Birbiglia, Sarah Chalke, Austin Nichols and Jason Ritter join cast for live script reading of Flarsky, co-presented by AFF & and The Black List

Austin Film Festival announces a special preview of John Ridley’s American Crime
premiering in Spring 2015 on the ABC Television Network

Mike Birbiglia, Sarah Chalke, Austin Nichols and Jason Ritter join cast for live script reading of Flarsky, co-presented by Austin Film Festival and The Black List

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Austin Film Festival announces a special preview of John Ridley’s American Crime
premiering in Spring 2015 on the ABC Television Network

Mike Birbiglia, Sarah Chalke, Austin Nichols and Jason Ritter join cast for live script reading of Flarsky, co-presented by Austin Film Festival and The Black List

 

Austin, TX – October 15, 2014– Austin Film Festival (October 23-30), the premier film festival recognizing writers’ and filmmakers’ contributions to film, television and new media, released today new television programming and the lead cast for their annual staged script reading.

Austin Film Festival (AFF) will present a special preview of ABC’s American Crime at the State Theatre, starring Felicity Huffman, Timothy Hutton, and W. Earl Brown among others in a talented ensemble cast. American Crime was written, directed and executive produced by Oscar® winning screenwriter John Ridley (12 Years a Slave) and is produced by ABC Studios.

Whit Stillman (Damsels in Distress, Metropolitan), will present excerpts from The Cosmopolitans, a Paris-set original program from Amazon Studios starring Adam Brody and Chloë Sevigny.

American Crime and The Cosmopolitans join a television slate that includes a preview of Bravo’s first original scripted series, Girlfriends Guide to Divorce, with creator Marti Noxon in attendance.  AFF’s Screenwriters Conference, held the first four days of the Festival, will include panels featuring the director of True Detective, creators of Mad Men, Masters of Sex, Fargo, Better Call Saul, My So-Called Life, Turn, Hemlock Grove, and writers/producers behind Bob’s Burgers, Breaking Bad, Justified, Nashville, Archer, and more.

The 2014 annual staged script-reading will feature the comedy Flarsky, by Dan Sterling (writer The Office, The Interview) in a live event co-presented by The Black List.  Featured cast includes Mike Birbiglia (Sleepwalk with Me), Sarah Chalke (Scrubs), Jason Ritter (Parenthood), and Austin Nichols (One Tree Hill).

Flarsky is a romantic comedy about a decent guy, battered by misfortune and his own self-destructive ways, who endeavors to romantically pursue the most powerful woman on earth.

Past readings have included staged presentations of unproduced screenplays such as Vince Gilligan’s 2 Face, Shane Black’s The Nice Guys, Maggie Carey’s The To-Do List, and an unaired episode of David Milch’s Luck, written by Eric Roth.

Find the full Film and Conference schedule at, www.austinfilmfestival.com.


 

ABOUT AFF:

AFF is a non-profit organization dedicated to furthering the art, craft, and business of filmmakers and screenwriters. AFF 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 believing an investment in the Arts is an investment in Austin’s future.  Badges/passes are available for purchase at www.austinfilmfestival.com or by phone at 1-800-310-FEST.

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AFF’s Opening Night Selections include Richard LaGravenese presenting The Last 5 Years & the US Premiere of The Humbling

IMMEDIATE RELEASE Austin Film Festival’s Opening Night Selections include Richard LaGravenese presenting The Last 5 Years and the US Premiere of The Humbling Jon Stewart and Maziar Bahari to present Rosewater as 2014 Closing Night Film Edward Zwick to Receive “Extraordinary Contribution to Film” Award Austin, TX – September 30, 2014– Austin Film Festival (October 23-30), the premier film festival recognizing writers’ and filmmakers’ contributions …

IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Austin Film Festival’s Opening Night Selections include
Richard LaGravenese presenting The Last 5 Years and the US Premiere of The Humbling

Jon Stewart and Maziar Bahari to present Rosewater as 2014 Closing Night Film

Edward Zwick to Receive “Extraordinary Contribution to Film” Award

Austin, TX – September 30, 2014– Austin Film Festival (October 23-30), the premier film festival recognizing writers’ and filmmakers’ contributions to film, television and new media, released today their Opening Night and Closing Night selections, the 2014 Extraordinary Contribution to Film Award Recipient, and new programming announcements.

Austin Film Festival’s Opening Night Film will feature the US Premiere of Barry Levinson’s The Humbling on Thursday, October 23rd.  Based on the Philip Roth novel, The Humbling follows an aged and addled actor (Al Pacino) and his affair with a much younger woman (Greta Gerwig).

Also kicking off AFF’s 21st anniversary, writer/director Richard LaGravenese will present the Jason Robert Brown musical adaptation of The Last 5 Years starring Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan.

Jon Stewart and Maziar Bahari will present Stewart’s directorial debut, Rosewater, as the Closing Night Selection on October 30th. Rosewater is based on the New York Times best-selling memoir Then They Came for Me: A Family’s Story of Love, Captivity, and Survival, written by the BBC journalist Maziar Bahari.

Edward Zwick will accept the Extraordinary Contribution to Film Award at the 2014 Austin Film Festival Awards Luncheon, held at the Austin Club on Saturday, October 25th.  Previous honorees have included Jonathan Demme, Ron Howard, Danny Boyle, Oliver Stone, Sydney Pollack, John Lasseter, Frank Darabont, and Robert Rodriguez.

Zwick’s directorial credits feature About Last Night, Courage Under Fire, The Siege, The Last Samurai, Blood Diamond, Defiance and Love & Other Drugs, and the Academy® Award winning films Glory and Legends of the Fall. Along with Marshall Herskovitz, Zwick created The Bedford Falls Company, and produced the critically acclaimed television series My So-Called Life, Relativity, the Emmy Award winning television series, thirtysomething, and the Emmy Award and Golden Globe award winning series Once and Again. Other producing credits include I Am Sam, Traffic, and Shakespeare in Love. Zwick most recently directed and produced Pawn Sacrifice starring Tobey Maguire, Liev Schreiber, and Peter Sarsgaard. Zwick will also be joined by frequent collaborator Winnie Holzman (creator of My So-Called Life) for a conversation on their work in television on Sunday, October 26th.

Luke Wilson joins the 2014 Retrospective series, presenting The Pope of Greenwich Village. Austin Film Festival’s Retrospective series allow guest programmers to present works that have inspired their careers.  The Pope of Greenwich Village will be programmed alongside Wilson’s short film Satellite Beach, which he wrote, directed, and starred in, with producers also in attendance.

Scott Haze will present The Sound and the Fury, James Franco’s adaptation of the William Faulkner novel.

Austin Film Festival’s annual staged script-reading will feature the comedy Flarsky, by Dan Sterling (writer The Office, Girls, The Interview) in a live event co-presented by The Black List on Sunday, October 26th.

Click here to access the full Festival & Conference Schedule

ABOUT AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL:

Widely known as “The Writers Festival,” Austin Film Festival is a non-profit organization dedicated to furthering the art, craft, and business of filmmakers and screenwriters. AFF 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 believing an investment in the Arts is an investment in Austin’s future.  Badges and passes are available for purchase online at www.austinfilmfestival.com or by phone at 1-800-310-FEST.

Austin Film Festival provides many local, regional, and national arts organizations and businesses with a creative platform to showcase their services through programming collaborations as well as highlighting Austin’s visibility as a thriving film community.  AFF’s 2014 partnerships include:

Jon Stewart and Maziar Bahari will present Stewart’s directorial debut, Rosewater, as the Closing Night Selection on Thursday, October 30th in association with the Austin Film Society. Austin Film Festival is also pleased to partner with organizations such as AGLIFF, The Alice Kleberg Reynolds Foundation, Austin Way, The Black List, The Harry Ransom Center, Houston Cinema Arts Society, Nickelodeon, KD College, The New Movement, On Story, Seed & Spark, Texas Book Festival, The Texas Observer, Whole Foods Market, The Wittliff Collections, The Writers Guild of America West, The Writers Guild of America East, and The Writers Guild Foundation for the 2014 Festival and Screenwriters Conference.

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AFF 2014 Short Film Announcements

Are you keeping up with our Short Film Announcements on twitter? If not, be sure to follow us @austinfilmfest every Friday and Monday leading up to the Festival where we’ll announce short films playing this year’s Festival using the hashtags #FilmFridays and #MovieMondays. Here’s a roundup of what we’ve announced so far:

09.02.2014

Are you keeping up with our Short Film Announcements on twitter? If not, be sure to follow us @austinfilmfest every Friday and Monday leading up to the Festival where we’ll announce short films playing this year’s Festival using the hashtags #FilmFridays and #MovieMondays. Here’s a roundup of what we’ve announced so far:

1946
Writer/Director: Robert Ford

A Day in Eden (@ADayInEden)
Writer/Director: Assal Ghawami (@AssalG)
Website: adayineden.com
Trailer: A Day in Eden

A Late Man
Writer/Director: Fidel Ruiz-Healy

Bunion
Writer: Avi Rothman
Director: Jessica Sanders (@jessicafilm)
Website: facebook.com/bunionfilm
Trailer: Bunion

dawn.
Writer/Director: Ya’Ke Smith

Detour
Writer/Director: Michael Kam
Website: facebook.com/detour.sg
Trailer: Detour

Dishes
Director: Billy Kirland & Peter Rosemeyer (@RoselandTrio)
Writer: Peter Rosemeyer

Door God
Writer/Director: Yulin Liu

Eleven
Director: Abigail Greenwood
Writer: Kate Prior

Entrain
Writer: Adrien Benson (@entrainthemovie)

Fitted
Writer/Director: Auriel Rudnick (@aurielrudnick)
Trailer: Fitted

Full-Windsor
Writer/Director: Faraday Okoro
Website: facebook.com/full.windsor.film
Trailer: Full-Windsor

Green Thumb
Writer/Director: Phil Lorin & Kiel Murray

How I Didn’t Become A Piano Player (@PianoPlayerFilm)
Writer/Director: Tommaso Pitta (@tommipitta)
Website: https://www.facebook.com/pianoplayerfilm
Trailer: How I Didn’t Become A Piano Player

I Don’t Care
Writer/Director: Carolina Giammetta (@carolinagiammet)
Website: facebook.com/idcfilm
Trailer: I Don’t Care

In The Clouds
Writer/Director: Marcelo Mitnik

Juan Y La Nube
Director: Giovanni Maccelli (@madridencorto)
Writer: Susana Lopez Rubio

La Carnada
Writer/Director: Josh Soskin (@josh_soskin)
Website: facebook.com/LaCarnadaShortFilm
Trailer: La Carnada

Lightning In The Hand
Director: Joey Grossfield
Writer: Andrew Reuland & Joey Grossfield

LUKE
Writer/Director: Conor Hamill

Mend and Make Do
Writer/Director: Bexie Bush (@bexie_bush)
Website: mendandmakedo.co.uk/
Trailer: Mend and Make Do

NENA
Writer/Director: Aluda Ruiz de Azúa (@offecam) 

Once Again
Writer/Director: John Moore (@jumpupfilms)
Website: facebook.com/onceagaindoc

One Afternoon in Summer
Writer/Director: Lilli Tautfest

Please Hand Stamp
Director: Jeff Jenkins
Writer: Lauren Pence & Jeff Jenkins
Website: Please Hand Stamp

Redaction
Writer/Director: Tim Sanger
Trailer: Redaction

Ruslan
Writer/Director: Taisia Deeva

Seventh Grade
Writer/Director: Stefani Saintonge (@steffi_says)
Website: Seventh Grade

Simon Says
Director: Jamie Sterba
Writer: Steve Storm

Siren
Writer/Director: Alex Clark

SKUNK
Writer/Director: Annie Silverstein

THE CHICKEN
Writer/Director: Una Gunjak (thechicken_film)

The Last Night
Writer/Director: David Strong (@craftincfilm)

The Last Resort
Director: Stephanie Blakey (@manifestephanie)
Writer: Gillian Park (@MsGillianPark)
Website: facebook.com/TheLastResortFilm
Trailer: The Last Resort

The Next Part
Director: Erin Sanger

The Polterman
Writer/Director: Shane Ware (@ShaneW21)

The Way of Tea (Les frémissements du thé)
Writer/Director: Marc Fouchard

This Is Normal (@ThisIsNormalMOV)
Writer/Director: Ryan Welsh (@RyanWelsh25) & Justin Giddings (@justingiddings)
Website: This Is Normal
Trailer: This Is Normal

This Way Up
Writer/Director: Jeremy Cloe

Are you as pumped as we are for these amazing films yet?! Stay in the know every Monday and Friday to see what other Short Films will be shown during this year’s Austin Film Festival by following @austinfilmfest on twitter! Each week this list will be updated on the AFF website as well as here on the blog. Start checking out those trailers and let us know which films you’re looking forward to with the hashtag #AFF2014!

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#AFF2014 Short Film Announcements, Back by Popular Demand!

We’re nearing September here at AFF and that means the craziest and most exciting time of the year is upon us! We’re finishing up programming what may be AFF’s strongest and most diverse film slate yet. We’ve discovered so many great films that we can’t wait to share with everyone, and we’re counting down the days until we can spread the big news. We’ve already offered a sneak peek into ten of the feature films that will be featured in this year’s program, and we have a lot more coming. We can’t wait until the 12th for the official announcement, so back by popular demand, we will be rolling out early announcements for our stellar shorts program on Twitter!

Harrison Glaser | 08.27.2014

We’re nearing September here at AFF and that means the craziest and most exciting time of the year is upon us! We’re finishing up programming what may be AFF’s strongest and most diverse film slate yet. We’ve discovered so many great films that we can’t wait to share with everyone, and we’re counting down the days until we can spread the big news. We’ve already offered a sneak peek into ten of the feature films that will be featured in this year’s program, and we have a lot more coming. We can’t wait until the 12th for the official announcement, so back by popular demand, we will be rolling out early announcements for our stellar shorts program on Twitter!

Every year, AFF’s Short Film program serves as the beating heart of the Festival, offering countless stories and eliciting every emotion on the spectrum from the audience. As a Festival rooted in the art and craft of storytelling, our selected short films represent the purest, most diverse and least filtered version of this art form. Clocking in at less than forty minutes, each short film uses the most of its limited runtime to tell a strong narrative and move the audience. It’s no small feat, and it’s something we at AFF like to celebrate.

Therefore, every Monday and Friday, starting this Friday, August 29, we will be announcing a handful of our confirmed short films through Twitter. Use this opportunity to begin your research and get a head start on planning your must-watch priority list. It’s going to be tough because (spoiler alert) they’re all fantastic, but you might as well prepare for that now. How do you get the news? Follow @austinfilmfest on twitter and look for the hashtags #MovieMonday and #FilmFriday, these hashtags will accompany our short film announcements!

So get ready! Make sure to follow us by Friday, August 29th and every following Monday and Friday, and keep on clicking that refresh button. Good news will be start popping up in no time. We’ll keep a running page on our website as well that will have all of the short films listed here. We can’t wait to share these films with you!

 

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AFF Reveals First Slate of Films for 21st Annual Festival & Conference

Austin, TX – June 19, 2014 – Austin Film Festival (AFF), the premier film festival recognizing writers’ and filmmakers’ contributions to film, television and new media, announced today the first slate of films included in the 2014 lineup of Festival screenings October 23-30. The complete list of programming at the 21st annual AFF, including short films, competition titles, and Conference panels, will be announced in mid-September.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL REVEALS FIRST SLATE OF FILMS
FOR 21ST ANNIVERSARY LINE-UP

2014 Centerpiece Film to feature Kevin Costner’s Black and White

Additional selections include The Sound and the Fury, The Imitation Game, The Homesman, and the World Premieres of 21 Years: Richard Linklater and Dawn Patrol

Austin, TX – June 19, 2014 – Austin Film Festival (AFF), the premier film festival recognizing writers’ and filmmakers’ contributions to film, television and new media, announced today the first slate of films included in the 2014 lineup of Festival screenings October 23-30. The complete list of programming at the 21st annual AFF, including short films, competition titles, and Conference panels, will be announced in mid-September.

AFF 2014 EARLY FILMS:

CENTERPIECE FILM: Black and White
Writer/Director: Mike Binder (In attendance)
Cast in attendance: Jillian Estell
Starring Academy Award-winners Kevin Costner and Octavia Spencer, Black and White is the story of a widowed grandfather (Costner) who is left to raise his bi-racial granddaughter. When the little girl’s paternal grandmother (Spencer) seeks custody, a bitter legal battle ensues that forces the uneasy family members to have an honest conversation about life, death, anger and America’s racial divide. Also starring Anthony Mackie, Jennifer Ehle, Gillian Jacobs, Bill Burr, Andre Holland, and introducing Jillian Estell.

21 Years: Richard Linklater – World Premiere
Director:  Michael Dunaway, Tara Wood (In attendance)
A spirited look at the first 21 years of writer/director Richard Linklater’s remarkable career, featuring interviews with collaborators Matthew McConaughey, Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, Billy Bob Thornton, Keanu Reeves, Jack Black, and more.

7 Minutes - World Premiere
Writer/Director: Jay Martin (In attendance)
Cast in attendance: Luke Mitchell, Leven Rambin
Three former high-school friends are forced to commit a brazen robbery that quickly goes horribly wrong.  Featuring a cast of Kris Kristofferson, Luke Mitchell, Jason Ritter, and Leven Rambin.

Dawn Patrol – World Premiere
Writer: Rachel Long, Brian Pittman (In attendance)
Director: Daniel Petrie Jr. (In attendance)
Cast and Crew in attendance: Scott Eastwood, Rita Wilson, Jeff Fahey, Chris Brochu, Kim Matula, Dendrie Taylor, Matt Meola, Rick Dugdale
A surfer-turned-Marine (Scott Eastwood) held at gunpoint tells his tragic story of revenge-gone-wrong to stall his execution. With the screenplay originating out of Austin Film Festival’s 2008 Screenplay Competition, Dawn Patrol (formerly Stranded) was acquired by Dan Petrie Jr and Rick Dugdale at Enderby Entertainment and makes its way back to Texas this October for its World Premiere.

One-Eyed GirlWorld Premiere
Writer: Craig Behenna, Nick Matthews (In attendance)
Director: Nick Matthews
Cast in attendance: Mark Leonard Winter, Tilda Cobham-Hervey
A psychiatrist haunted by the death of a former patient stumbles upon a Doomsday cult and battles to save a teenage girl (Cobham-Hervey) from its clutches.

The Homesman – Texas Premiere
Writer: Tommy Lee Jones, Wesley A. Oliver, Kieran Fitzgerald
Director: Tommy Lee Jones
When three women living on the edge of the American frontier are driven to the brink, the task of saving them from their surroundings falls to the pious, independent-minded Mary Bee Cuddy (Hilary Swank).  Transporting the women by covered wagon to Iowa, she soon realizes just how daunting the journey will be, and employs a feisty low-life drifter, George Biggs (Tommy Lee Jones), to join her.  The unlikely pair and the three women head east, where a waiting minister and his wife (Meryl Streep) have offered to take the women in.  But the group first must traverse the harsh Nebraska Territories marked by stark beauty, psychological peril and constant threat.

The Imitation Game – Texas Premiere
Writer: Graham Moore
Director: Morten Tyldum
Benedict Cumberbatch stars as Alan Turing, the genius British mathematician, logician, cryptologist and computer scientist who led the charge to crack the German Enigma Code that helped the Allies win WWII. Turing went on to assist with the development of computers at the University of Manchester after the war, but was prosecuted by the UK government in 1952 for homosexual acts which the country deemed illegal.

The Sound and the FuryTexas Premiere
Writer: Matt Rager, William Faulkner (Novel)
Director: James Franco
Directed by and starring Academy Award® nominee James Franco, The Sound and The Fury captures the lives and passions of the Compsons, a once proud Southern family caught in a tragic spiral of loss and misfortune. Based on the novel by Noble Prize winner author William Faulkner and considered among the 20th century’s greatest works, The Sound and the Fury encapsulates the universal theme of the death of honor, social injustice and forbidden love.

The Texas Promise - World Premiere
Director: Vanessa Roth (In attendance)
From Academy-Award ® winning documentarian, Vanessa Roth, The Texas Promise is the gripping story of equity, politics, money, and our children as historic decisions are being made about opportunity, the economy, and our democracy. When the Texas legislature cut $5.4 billion from public schools, it affected the daily lives of the 5 million students in Texas public schools and made Texas 49th in the country in per pupil spending.  Texans took to the streets in protest, districts from across Texas sued the state, and ideological battle lines were drawn in Austin. 

In continuation of AFF’s annual Guest Programmer Series, featured retrospective films will include Matthew Weiner presenting The Twilight Zone, Jim Sheridan & Terry George presenting In the Name of the Father, John Patrick Shanley presenting Moonstruck, Randall Wallace presenting Braveheart, and Tom Schulman presenting Dead Poets Society. Films will be followed by extended post-screening discussions that connect the public and the filmmaker, open the dialogue between artist and audience, and provide a platform for film-lovers and makes to learn about classic films.

AFF is supported in part by a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts, City of Austin Economic Growth & Redevelopment Services Office/Cultural Arts Division believing an investment in the Arts is an investment in Austin’s future.

Cast and crew attendance is subject to change and based on permitting schedules.


ABOUT AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL:

Widely known as “The Writers Festival,” Austin Film Festival is a non-profit organization dedicated to furthering the art, craft, and business of filmmakers and screenwriters. AFF 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 believing an investment in the Arts is an investment in Austin’s future.  Badges and passes are available for purchase online at www.austinfilmfestival.com or by phone at 1-800-310-FEST. Click here for more information on Badges and Film Passes

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In Memoriam: Paul Mazursky

We were very saddened to lose industry great Paul Mazursky last week. Mazursky’s career spanned more than 50 years with over two hundred film credits. He was a five time Academy Award® Nominee including once for Best Picture in 1978 for his film, An Unmarried Woman, which he wrote and directed. We were fortunate to have him at the 7th annual Austin Film Festival and Conference in 2000 to …

We were very saddened to lose industry great Paul Mazursky last week. Mazursky’s career spanned more than 50 years with over two hundred film credits. He was a five time Academy Award® Nominee including once for Best Picture in 1978 for his film, An Unmarried Woman, which he wrote and directed. We were fortunate to have him at the 7th annual Austin Film Festival and Conference in 2000 to present him the Distinguished Screenwriter Award. That year he sat down with Steve Zaillian for a panel on the pleasures and perils of writing and directing. This week’s On Story podcast features audio from that panel.

Listen as Mazursky and Zaillian describe their respective writing processes, thoughts on structure, casting, and their experiences in the ever-changing landscape of Hollywood filmmaking.

To listen to this week’s On Story Podcast, visit our onstory.tv podcast page or subscribe on iTunes.

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MATTHEW WEINER TO RECEIVE “OUTSTANDING TELEVISION WRITER” AWARD AT 2014 AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL & SCREENWRITERS CONFERENCE

Austin Film Festival (AFF), the premier film festival that recognizes the writers’ and filmmakers’ impact on film, television, and new media, is thrilled to announce accomplished creator, Executive Producer, writer and director of Mad Men, Matthew Weiner, as the 2014 recipient of the “Outstanding Television Writer” Award. In addition to his television credits, Weiner has written and directed the feature film, Are You Here, which will be open in theaters later this summer. Starring Owen Wilson, Zach Galifianakis and Amy Poehler, the film is an unexpected story about friendship and the people who keep us afloat while facing the compromises of life. The film will open in theaters on Friday, August 22.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

MATTHEW WEINER TO RECEIVE “OUTSTANDING TELEVISION WRITER” AWARD AT 2014 AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL & SCREENWRITERS CONFERENCE

 

“The Writers Festival” announces Panelists for 21st Anniversary, featuring Neil LaBute, Terry George, Cary Fukunaga, William Broyles, Whit Stillman, Michelle Ashford, and more

 

AFF Film and Screenplay Competitions to include jurors hailing from AMC, Darkwoods Productions, The Black List, The Weinstein Company, FilmBuff, P.O.V., Sundance Institute, and Oscilloscope

Austin, TX – June 3, 2014 – Austin Film Festival (AFF), the premier film festival that recognizes the writers’ and filmmakers’ impact on film, television, and new media, is thrilled to announce accomplished creator, Executive Producer, writer and director of Mad Men, Matthew Weiner, as the 2014 recipient of the “Outstanding Television Writer” Award.  In addition to his television credits, Weiner has written and directed the feature film, Are You Here, which will be open in theaters later this summer.  Starring Owen Wilson, Zach Galifianakis and Amy Poehler, the film is an unexpected story about friendship and the people who keep us afloat while facing the compromises of life.  The film will open in theaters on Friday, August 22.

Weiner has been nominated for a total of 11 Emmys for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series.  He won the award for the series pilot, as well as for the Second Season episode, “Meditations in an Emergency,” with Kater Gordon, and for the Third Season episode, “Shut the Door. Have a Seat.” with Erin Levy.  Most recently, Weiner won the WGA Award for Best Episodic for the Season Five episode, “The Other Woman,” with Semi Chellas. He also received Directors Guild nominations for his efforts behind the camera on “Meditations in an Emergency” in Season Two and the Season Three finale, “Shut the Door. Have a Seat.”  Weiner’s additional credits include serving as an Executive Producer and writer on The Sopranos, and writer on various television comedy series including The Naked Truth, Becker, and Andy Richter Controls the Universe.

Austin Film Festival annually recognizes an Outstanding Television Writer for their collective body of work that has elevated and heavily contributed to the culture of television. Previous Award recipients include Vince Gilligan, David Simon, Chris Carter, David Milch, Mike Judge, Garry Shandling, David Chase, and Mitch Hurwitz, among others.

Weiner joins Distinguished Screenwriter honoree, Jim Sheridan, along with a strong roundup of Panelists confirmed to speak at the 21st annual Austin Film Festival & Screenwriters Conference such as Neil LaBute (writer/director The Shape of Things), Terry George (writer/director Hotel Rwanda), Whit Stillman (writer/director Metropolitan), Richard Kelly (writer/director Donnie Darko), Emma Tillinger Koskoff (President of Production at Sikelia Productions), Cary Fukunaga (director True Detective), screenwriters behind American Hustle, The Fault in Their Stars, Saving Mr. Banks, and the creators of Fargo, Masters of Sex, Halt and Catch Fire, TURN, and Better Call Saul.

Additional Conference participants will include select jurors hailing from AFF’s Film, Screenplay, and Teleplay Competitions. Jurors include representatives from Mad Men’s home network AMC, The Weinstein Company, Sundance Institute, FilmBuff, Oscilloscope, The Black List, Gravitas Ventures, POV, and Frank Darabont’s production company, Darkwoods Productions.

For a list of confirmed 2014 AFF Panelists, visit www.austinfilmfestval.com. Join them at the 21st Annual Austin Film Festival and Conference, taking place October 23rd through 30th, 2014. Badges and Passes are available for purchase online 24 hours a day at www.austinfilmfestival.com or at 1-800-310-FEST from 10am to 6pm CST.

 

ABOUT AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL:

Austin Film Festival is a non-profit organization dedicated to furthering the art, craft, and business of filmmakers and screenwriters and 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 believing an investment in the Arts is an investment in Austin’s future.

Click here to purchase your badge to the 2014 Festival and Conference.

 

 

 

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New AFF Member Benefit: Cine Las Americas Film Pass Discount

Announcing a brand new Member Benefit! When you purchase your Austin Film Festival Membership at the Associate Level, you can enjoy a special discount offered by our friends at Cine Las Americas International Film Festival on your 2014 badge purchase. As an AFF Member, enjoy seeing over 100 films ranging from the latest dramatic films made by breakthrough directors, to established studio releases, challenging documentaries, short films, entertaining animation series. In its 17th year, this festival brings together Latino and indigenous filmmakers, actors, and screenwriters from all across the Americas and the Iberian Peninsula.

Announcing a brand new Member Benefit! When you purchase your Austin Film Festival Membership at the Associate Level, you can enjoy a special discount offered by our friends at Cine Las Americas International Film Festival on your 2014 badge purchase. As an AFF Member, enjoy seeing over 100 films ranging from the latest dramatic films made by breakthrough directors, to established studio releases, challenging documentaries, short films, entertaining animation series. In its 17th year, this festival brings together Latino and indigenous filmmakers, actors, and screenwriters from all across the Americas and the Iberian Peninsula.

The Cine Las Americas Film Pass grants the holder preferred access to all film screenings at the festival, including opening and closing nights, as well as exclusive invitations to festival parties, receptions and other special events. All the films screened at the festival are subtitled in English, and take place at the Marchesa Hall & Theatre, Alamo Drafthouse Village, Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center (MACC), and St. Edwards University. Cine Las Americas takes place April 22 – 27. To receive your discount, simply inform your Cine Las Americas staff member you are an Austin Film festival member and they will confirm your $10 off film pass price! For more information about attending, visit www.cinelasamericas.org.

Not yet an AFF Member? Click here to see the perks and join today!

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AFF Announces Creative Director and Film Team, Year-Round Events & Screenings

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES CREATIVE DIRECTOR AND FILM TEAM YEAR-ROUND EVENTS AND SCREENINGS INCLUDE SELECTIONS FROM FAMILY FILM SERIES, MADE IN TEXAS FILMS, AND AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL’S 2013 AUDIENCE AWARD WINNERS   The Festival Continues Programming Expansion in Partnership with The Writers Guild Foundation In Los Angeles AUSTIN, TX — March 19, 2014 – In response to the evolution of …

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE —

AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES CREATIVE DIRECTOR AND FILM TEAM

YEAR-ROUND EVENTS AND SCREENINGS INCLUDE SELECTIONS FROM FAMILY FILM SERIES, MADE IN TEXAS FILMS, AND AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL’S 2013 AUDIENCE AWARD WINNERS

 

The Festival Continues Programming Expansion in Partnership with
The Writers Guild Foundation In Los Angeles

AUSTIN, TX — March 19, 2014 – In response to the evolution of the Festival, Austin Film Festival (AFF) has realigned its team to best cultivate the growing number of Festival attendees and film submission entries. The Conference and Film departments have been combined in hopes to produce an even stronger platform for storytellers and will fall under supervision of the Festival’s newly appointed Creative Director, Erin Hallagan.  Former Conference Director and Film Programmer, Hallagan will work in tandem with Senior Programmer, Elizabeth Mims, and Film Program Coordinator, Harrison Glaser, to plan, promote, and implement the film program.  Both Mims and Glaser join the film team as prior Festival employees: Mims  as former Young Filmmakers Program Director and Festival alum (Only The Young, 2012); Glaser served as Conference Assistant in 2012 and 2013. AFF Co-Founder and Executive Director Barbara Morgan notes, “We are excited about the new team we have assembled to build our film program as even more committed to the craft of great storytelling.  Erin Hallagan has proven herself to be an inspired programmer and leader; positioning her as Creative Director of the Festival is the natural next step”.

 

The Festival is proud to present their ongoing year-round programming and events, including newly added Conversations in Film presented by On Story®, a continued partnership with the Writers Guild Foundation in Los Angeles, and film selections from its Made in Texas, Family Films, Audience Award Winners, and Austin Premieres series.

 

Highlights from the 2014 spring and summer year-round events programming include:

 

On Story®: Conversations in Film:
On Story®: MAKING YOUR SHORT FILM
SUNDAY, MARCH 30 | 2pm
Harry Ransom Center
Kat Candler (Hellion),  David Lowery (Ain’t Them Bodies Saints), and Miguel Alvarez (Mnemosyne Rising) will discuss the various elements of pre-production through post, along with how to overcome the hurdles that accompany getting your short film off the page and onto the screen.
On Story® Conversation Series

Additional On Story® speakers include acclaimed actor Robert Walden for a conversation on an actor’s role in the industry, how to establish and maintain successful relationships, and a deeper look at dissecting a script for beats and subtext; Austin-based screenwriter Justin Marks will take part in a conversation on how to break into the industry, manage a writing career, juggle multiple projects at once, and navigating the development process.
Look to www.austinfilmfestival.com for event dates and details.

Film Screenings & Special Events:
An Evening of Award Winning Shorts
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 9 | 7pm
Alamo Drafthouse Village

A collection of award Jury and Audience Award  winning films from the 2013 Austin Film Festival. Films include: Cootie Contagion, MIA, A Cautionary Tale, Mr. Invisible, Pistachio Milk, Fool’s Day
Audience Awards Series AFF 2013 Category: Shorts (Narrative, Student, Animated)

From First Draft to Feature with The Writers Guild Foundation
SATURDAY, APRIL 12 | 10:00am to 6:00pm
The Writers Guild Theatre | Beverly Hills, CA
Austin Film Festival and The Writers Guild Foundation are teaming up to co-present “From First Draft to Feature,” a day-long craft symposium for screenwriters. AFF’s panels will include “Launching Your Writing Career: Competitions” and “Launching Your Writing Career: The Writer’s Producer

On Story® Season 4 Release Party and LIVE Taping with Ed Solomon*
TUESDAY, APRIL 16 | 6pm
KLRU Studio 6A
On Story® presented by Austin Film Festival is back for its 4th season on April 19, 2014. Join us Tuesday, April 16th for complimentary bites, beverages, and a live taping of” A Conversation with Ed Solomon”, writer of Men in Black, Now You See Me, and Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure.
*This party is invitation only, however, is open to all Austin Film Festival Members.

The Faculty
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 23 | 7pm
Texas Spirit Theater

Bizarre occurrences at Herrington High School lead students to wonder if their teachers are aliens.
Made in Texas Series

 

For Serious
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 30 | 7pm
Galaxy Highland 10

Pete Pierson, a recently unemployed attorney, just started production on his first movie. With help from his flaky best friend, dead beat brother, and a rival director, Pete’s movie can’t miss…. assuming he ever figures out what it’s about. 
In attendance: director John Sheehan and members of the cast

Austin Premieres Series – World Premiere

The Golden Scallop
WEDNESDAY, MAY 14 | 7pm
Alamo Drafthouse Village

Three fried-fish restaurants’ struggles, passions, and eccentricities are documented at the ultimate short order cooking contest, The Golden Scallop Championship. A food truck, a novelty eatery, and old favorite all vie for victory.
Audience Awards Series AFF 2013 Category: Comedy Vanguard

Futureworld
WEDNESDAY, MAY 21 | 7pm
Reporters Tray and Charlie travel to “futureworld” after a fellow reporter is killed after discovering its secrets.
Made in Texas Series

Speak Now
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 11 | 7pm
Alamo Drafthouse Village

Speak Now is a romantic dramedy about a group of high school friends reuniting for a wedding – one that will challenge the beliefs and change the lives of all in attendance forever. This feature film was shot in three days with all the dialogue improvised by the actors.
Audience Awards Series AFF 2013 Category: Write/Rec

The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 18 | 7pm
Texas Spirit Theater
Pete Perkins looks to fulfill his promise to bury his best friend in his hometown in Mexico.
Made in Texas Series

 

Homeward Bound
SUNDAY, JULY 6 | 3pm
Texas Spirit Theater
Three loyal pets escape from a California ranch to be reunited with their ownersIn Attendance: Screenwriter Caroline Thompson.
Family Film Series: Free and open to the public

Logan’s Run
WEDNESDAY, JULY 23 | 7pm
Texas Spirit Theater
An idyllic sci-fi future has one major drawback: life must end at 30.
Made in Texas Series

Hook
SUNDAY, AUGUST 3 | 3pm
Texas Spirit Theater
Adult Peter Pan returns to Neverland to rescue his kidnapped children from his old enemy Captain Hook,  and reclaim his youthful spirit. In attendance: Screenwriter James V. Hart and actor Dante Basco (Rufio)
Family Film Series: Free and open to the public.

Henry, Portrait of  a Serial Killer
Wednesday, August 20 | 7pm
Texas Spirit Theater
Centered around the random crime spree of a serial killer who seemingly operates with impunity.
Made in Texas Series

On Story® Conversation in Film Series
On Story® Conversations in Film Series are recorded and produced for the PBS affiliated show, On Story®, and feature local & visiting screenwriters and filmmakers discussing the art and craft of storytelling. On Story® is a half-hour TV series that takes a look at the creative process of filmmaking through the eyes of some of the entertainment industry’s most prolific writers, directors and producers.  For more information visit: onstory.tv.
Season 4 of On Story® Premieres April 19th on KLRU and KLRUQ.

FAMILY FILM SERIES
AFF’s Family Film Series is free and open to the public in conjunction with the Bullock Texas State History Museum’s Free First Sundays, where attendees enjoy free admission to the Bullock Texas State History Museum as well as free admission to family friendly film programming by Austin Film Festival. Screenings take place in the Texas Spirit Theater.

AUDIENCE AWARDS SERIES
Presented by Capital One Bank, the Audience Awards Series revisits some of the most popular films of last year’s festival, as voted by the audiences themselves at screenings.  Offering comedy, horror, drama, and a collection of award winning shorts, this year’s selections will match great films with great food in the Alamo Drafthouse Village.

MADE IN TEXAS SERIES
The Made In Texas Series focuses on films made in Texas or made by Texans, or both.  This year’s program will bring together five distinct visions of the future, some frightening, some hilarious, some mind-altering.  Great local and visiting guests will lend their thoughts on the films they helped to create in a classic Texas venue, the Texas Spirit Theater at the Bullock Texas History museum.

TICKET INFORMATION

All event ticketing information can be found at austinfilmfestival.com.  Tickets for From First Draft to Feature with The Writers Guild Foundation can be found at The Writers Guild Foundation website. Become an AFF Member to receive free admission to certain screening series, discounted On Story® Conversation tickets, and access to the On Story® Season 4 Launch Party and Live Taping. Ticket prices vary per event and can be purchased online at austinfilmfestival.com, over the phone at 512-478-4795, toll free at 1-800-310-FEST, or at the event, space permitting. Call for discounted group rates and partnership information.

ABOUT AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL

Austin Film Festival (AFF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to furthering the art, craft, and business of filmmakers and screenwriters. In addition to a robust list of year-round events, AFF is producing its 21st Annual Film Festival & Conference in 2014. AFF is known as a uniquely pro-artist and interactive idea exchange. Its uncommonly loyal following is due to the fact that the organization has spotlighted the minds and imaginations behind projects for two decades—a trend now picking up steam in the industry.  As director and producer Ron Howard said, Austin Film Festival “is really about creativity, about trying to help people find their voice. You sense it. There’s a spirit of camaraderie that’s palpable.” AFF is a greenhouse for projects and a clubhouse for legendary and emerging artists.

 

Moviemaker Magazine named Austin the #1 city in which to be a moviemaker in 2013, as well as selecting AFF as one of the 25 Coolest Film Festivals around. In addition, AFF consistently receives accolades as Moviemaker’s Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee.

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 believing an investment in the Arts is an investment in Austin’s future.

 

For inquiries, contact Kristen O’Brien
kristengobrien@gmail.com
512-660-8850

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Introducing AFF’s Creative Director and Film Team

03.11.14 Over the past two decades, the film competition has grown to be a centerpiece in the industry, featuring some of the top examples of indie filmmaking and championing the writer’s role in the process.  Along with the increase in Festival attendance, submission entries continue to surpass our goals each year.  In order to best cultivate this progress, the creative programming from both the Conference …

03.11.14

Over the past two decades, the film competition has grown to be a centerpiece in the industry, featuring some of the top examples of indie filmmaking and championing the writer’s role in the process.  Along with the increase in Festival attendance, submission entries continue to surpass our goals each year.  In order to best cultivate this progress, the creative programming from both the Conference and Film departments will be combined in hopes to produce an even stronger platform for great storytelling.

We have realigned our team in response to the evolution of the Festival and in order to maintain the quality of our filmmakers’ experiences.   Former Conference Director and Competition Programmer, Erin Hallagan, will now serve as the Festival’s Creative Director, overseeing both the Film and Conference planning.  Erin will continue to program the annual Screenwriters Conference, including guest speakers, honorees, panels and workshops, as well as coordinating the year-round On Story®: Conversations in Film series.  She looks forward to further integrating the Film Festival and Screenwriters Conference and advancing the resources available to writers and filmmakers at the Festival.

We hope you’ll join us in welcoming our film team, Elizabeth Mims and Harrison Glaser.  Both advocates for our mission, they have worked within the Festival in a variety of capacities.  Along with the Creative Director, they will work in tandem to plan, promote and implement the film program.

Senior Film Programmer, Elizabeth Mims, originally joined Austin Film Festival as the Director of the Young Filmmakers Program.  She grew up in Austin, Texas and graduated with a BFA from CalArts. Her 2012 film Only The Young was theatrically released by Oscilloscope and won numerous awards including the Silverdoc’s Sterling Silver Award for best US documentary and the American Film Institute Audience Award, as well as being nominated for a Spirit Award.

Harrison Glaser joins the film department as the Film Program Coordinator. After graduating from Southwestern University, he began working for Austin Film Festival as an intern in the Conference department. He went on to serve as the Festival’s Conference Assistant, and is now thrilled to apply his passion for the Festival’s mission to the film program.

For over 20 years, we have valued the talented artists that have brought their work to Austin, as well as the importance of maintaining relationships beyond their time at the Festival.  This restructuring reflects Austin Film Festival’s progression as an emerging voice in the industry – one that has remained dedicated to its mission to support narrative storytelling.

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AFF Staff Blog: Ryan Darbonne on AFF at The Academy Awards®

04.19.14 | Ryan Darbonne   When I was tasked to write about the Oscar® nominated films that played AFF in 2013 I jumped at the opportunity. I love the Oscars®. I love all things Oscar. Oscar Wilde, Oscar Meyer, Oscar Micheaux…you get the idea. As a kid I was enamored with the glitz, glamour and whole gaudy shebang of the Academy Awards®. As an adult, …

04.19.14 | Ryan Darbonne

 

When I was tasked to write about the Oscar® nominated films that played AFF in 2013 I jumped at the opportunity. I love the Oscars®. I love all things Oscar. Oscar Wilde, Oscar Meyer, Oscar Micheaux…you get the idea. As a kid I was enamored with the glitz, glamour and whole gaudy shebang of the Academy Awards®. As an adult, the experience of watching the event with a room full of like minded cinephiles (i.e. nerds) is both frustrating and fun. We laugh. We argue. We cheer when our favorite films win and cry when they don’t. It’s our Super Bowl. The cinematic equivalent of the World Cup. It’s a communal experience serving as a microcosmic reflection of the art form we love.

This year marks the 86th Academy Awards® and I was honored to have had the chance to program a handful of the nominees for the 2013 Austin Film Festival. From soul crushing dramas like 12 YEARS A SLAVE to comedic odysseys like NEBRASKA these films represent our dedication to the art and craft of narrative storytelling. If you haven’t seen the following films I suggest you watch them now. Trust me…you won’t be disappointed.

 

12 Years a Slave

Nominated for Best Picture, Actor in a Leading Role, Actor in a Supporting Role, Actress in a Supporting Role, Directing, Film Editing Costume Design, Production Design, and Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

Adapted for the screen by John Ridley and directed by Steve McQueen, 12 YEARS A SLAVE is a heartbreaking depiction of the American south pre-emancipation. The film follows Solomon Northup (Oscar® nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor): A free black man who is drugged, abducted and sold into slavery. McQueen’s uncompromising imagery and refusal to fall victim to flashy Hollywood tropes give the film a brutal honesty destined to spark much needed conversation.  Coupled with incredible performances by Michael Fassbinder, Lupita Nyong’o  and Paul Dano (to name a few) the film is bound to take home a few awards.

 

August: Osage County

Nominated for Actress in a Leading Role and Actress in a Supporting Role

After the disappearance of Beverly Weston the family matriarch, Violet Weston (Meryl Streep), calls upon her family for support.  However, her constant verbal abuse leaves a wake of emotional destruction in its path. As the family goes through a series of  ups and downs (mostly downs) throughout the film the ensemble cast display an antagonistic chemistry that resonates throughout each scene. Every actor in the film feeds off one another effortlessly. Writer Tracy Letts (who adapted the story from his Tony and Pulitzer prize winning play of the same name) and director John Wells manage to bring a balance to the slew of  award worthy performances resulting in a darkly comic portrait of an all American family.

 

Dallas Buyers Club

Nominated for Best Picture, Actor in a Leading Role, Actor in a Supporting Role, Film Editing, Makeup and Hairstyling and Writing (Original Screenplay)

Hometown hero, Matthew McConaughey is on a winning streak. With TRUE DECTIVE currently airing on HBO and the new Christopher Nolan film on the way the world has gone McConaughcrazy! (I know…I know…). His performance in DALLAS BUYERS CLUB  is a far cry from the glory days of DAZED AND CONFUSED. Based on a true story, McConaughey plays a homophobic good ol’ boy by the name of Ron Woodroof who is diagnosed with AIDS. Told he only has 30 days to live, Woodroof does anything he can to combat his illness which includes a trip to Mexico to score drugs not approved by the US. As his health regenerates, he gets the idea to sell the drugs and starts a Dallas buyers club charging a fee for a monthly membership. Parenting with a transgendered juggernaut (Jared Leto) the two provide an ample supply of non-approved drugs to the needy (much to the chagrin of the FDA). The film features two incredible performances from its male leads making it a strong contender for this year’s awards.

 

Inside Llewyn Davis

Cinematography and Sound Mixing

As an undisturbed fan man of the Coen Brothers I was happy to see INSIDE LLEYWN go above and beyond my expectations. Replete with their trademark wit and penchant for crafting strong dialogue, the film is a love letter to the Greenwich folk scene of the early 60’s. Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) is a talented musician whose self-absorption and nomadic lifestyle teeter on the verge of being sad. Oscar Isaac, in a testament to his talents, recorded all the music live on set. The film’s production design and attention to detail help create an incredible glimpse of days past.

 

Nebraska

Nominated for Best Picture, Actor in a Leading Role, Actress in a Supporting Role, Directing, Cinematography, Writing (Original Screenplay)

Alexander Payne’s NEBRASKA is a flawless film. Shot in beautiful black and white, the film is about the complex relationship between fathers and sons. Bruce Dern and Will Forté travel across a desolate Midwest landscape in order to collect a million-dollar prize package from a generic sweepstakes. The results are funny, heartbreaking and always on point. Writer Bob Nelson does an incredible job at never undermining or condescending to the people of Nebraska. Instead, he presents the audience with an honest insight into those that inhabit the state.

 

Philomena

Nominated for Best Picture, Actress in a Leading Role, Music (Original Score) and Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

Adapted for the screen by Steve Coogan and directed by British auteur Stephen Frears, PHILOMENA is a true story about a woman’s attempts to find a child she was forced to give up for adoption. Featuring two pitch-perfect performances from dynamic duo Coogan and Judi Dench, the film tackles sociopolitical issues never coming across as didactic or preachy. Funny, sad and incredibly charming PHILOMENA is a fantastic look at two people who bond over the injustices of the world.

 

Throughout the years, AFF has showcased a wide variety of Oscar® contenders alongside smaller independent films. I’m excited to see what 2014 brings and I hope to see you there! Our 2014 Film Pass is currently only $50. That’s 8 days of film, including future Oscar contenders for only $50! Join us this October, get yours here.

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Enter AFF’s 2014 Oscar Prediction Contest!

04.17.14 You’ve seen the films, you’ve picked your favorites, and now you’re ready to make your predictions. Try your luck at predicting the 86th Annual Academy Award® winners with AFF’s Oscar Prediction Contest! Austin Film Festival is the place to get your Oscars fix in October. If you attended the 20th Anniversary Festival and Conference in 2013, you had a chance to see six of …

04.17.14

You’ve seen the films, you’ve picked your favorites, and now you’re ready to make your predictions.

Try your luck at predicting the 86th Annual Academy Award® winners with AFF’s Oscar Prediction Contest! Austin Film Festival is the place to get your Oscars fix in October. If you attended the 20th Anniversary Festival and Conference in 2013, you had a chance to see six of the nominees before anyone else! AFF Marquee Film nominations include 12 Years a Slave, August, Osage County, Dallas Buyers Club, Inside Llewyn Davis, Nebraska and Philomena!

The top five entrants who most closely predict the winners of the categories below will each win one Lone Star Badge to the 2014 Austin Film Festival and Conference.  The contest is open as of Wednesday, February 19th, 2014 and will close at the start of the Academy Awards® telecast on March 2nd at 7pm eastern time | 4pm pacific time.  Ballots limited to one entry per person, many will enter, five will win, see below for full rules and regulations.

 

  1. Please fill in all required fields
  2. Please fill in all required fields
  3. (valid email required)
  4. Please fill in all required fields
  5. Please fill in all required fields
 

 

No purchase necessary to enter or win AFF’s Oscar Prediction Contest. Entry into this Contest constitutes your acceptance of these Official Rules:

 

Contest start date and time and end date and time as outlined in AFF Blog post “Enter AFF’s Oscar Prediction Contest!”
Contest is open worldwide to anyone with a valid email address. When entering the Contest, an opportunity to sign up to receive follow-up information from Austin Film Festival may be available. Entrants subject to all notices posted online including but not limited to Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Employees or those living in the same household of Austin Film Festival and their respective parents, affiliates, prize suppliers, and advertising and promotion agencies are not eligible to enter or win. Entrants may need to provide further contact information upon request.
To enter, entrants must fill out entire ballot as provided above along with first and last name, email address, and agree to Austin Film Festivals Terms and Condition as outlined here. All entries must be received by date and time outlined in “Enter AFf’s Oscar Prediction Contest!”. For purposes of these Official Rules, “receipt” of Entry occurs when Austin Film Festival’s servers record the Entry information resulting from contestants’ entry being received in the inbox area. Any automated computer receipt (such as one confirming delivery of email) does not constitute proof of actual receipt by Austin Film Festival for purposes of these Official Rules.
Austin Film Festival reserves the right to disqualify any Entry for any reason, in its sole and absolute discretion.
Top 5 Entries will be judged based on proximity to actual 85th Academy Awards® winners. The top scoring Entries will be declared the Contest winner (“Winner”)Grand Prize winner will be judged based on randomly generated calculation. All Entrants are eligible for Grand Prize.Only one entry per person, duplicate entries will not be counted. In the event of a tie for the Top 5 Entries, winners will be chosen based on timing of entry.
Winners will be determined after the Contest’s end date and will be notified by email. Winners will be required to provide mailing address which will be used to fulfill the prize. At the discretion of the Austin Film Festival, Winner may be disqualified for any of the following reasons: not eligible based on the eligibility requirements set forth above. In the event it is determined within the specified time period, has made false statements or a prize notification is returned as undeliverable, then the Winner will be disqualified at Austin Film Festival’s sole discretion, the Entry with the next highest score may then be declared the alternate Winner.
The Number of prize winners is as listed above. Winner is solely responsible for all expenses, costs or fees associated with transportation and acceptance and/or use of the prize not specified herein as being awarded, including without limitation, and and all taxes (if any). Winner is not a recipient of a prize until they have been verified as the Winner by the Austin Film Festival. Upon fulfilling prize, Austin Film Festival will be deemed to have awarded the prize to the Winners and such Winners assume full responsibility for the prize. All prize details are at Austin Film Festival’s discretion.
Entrants acknowledge that transportation, if applicable, is not included in the prize and that any events are beyond the control of Austin Film Festival and are subject to being rescheduled, modified, or cancelled. In that event, Austin Film Festival reserves the right to, at its discretion, reschedule the events, cancel the Contest, or cancel the awarding of the prizes. Prizes are not redeemable for cash or any other value. Upgrades for Film Pass prizes are available at the cost of the Winner.
Winning constitutes permission (except where prohibited by law) to use Winner’s name, images, hometown, likeness, prize won, and photograph (all at Austin Film Festival’s discretion) for future advertising, publicity in any and all media now or hereafter devised throughout the world in perpetuity, without additional compensation notification or permission. Contest Parties and their respective officers, directors, agents, representatives, and employees (collectively, “Released Parties”) are not responsible for lost, late, misdirected, damaged, stolen, altered, garbled, incorrect, incomplete or delayed Entries; all of which will be void. Released Parties are also not responsible for for problems related to technical malfunctions of electronic equipment, computer online systems, servers, or providers, computer hardware or software failures, phone lines, failure of any Entry to be received by Sponsor on account of technical problems, traffic, congestion on the internet or the website, or for any other technical problems including telecommunication, miscommunication or failure, and failed, lost, delayed, incomplete, garbled, or misdirected communications which may limit a contestant’s ability to participate in this Contest. Released Parties are not responsible for any other errors or malfunctions of any kind, whether network, printing, typographical, human or otherwise relating to or in connection with the Contest, including, without limitation, errors or malfunctions with may occur in connection with the administration of the Contest, the processing or judging of Entries, the announcement of the prize or in any Contest-related materials. Mass entries generated by a script, macro or use of automated devices will be disqualified. Austin Film Festival reserves the right to modify, suspend or terminate the Contest in the event it becomes infected by a computer virus or is otherwise technically impaired, and to cancel or suspend the Contest in its entirety should tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures or other causes corrupt the administration, security, fairness, integrity or proper play of the Contest and, if terminated, at Austin Film Festival’s discretion, determine the Winner using all non-suspect, eligible entries received up to time of cancellation using the judging procedure outlined above. In the event of a dispute regarding entries received from multiple users having the same email account, the authorized subscriber of the email account at the time of Entry will be deemed to be the contestant and must comply with these Official Rules. Authorized subscriber is the natural person who is assigned the email address by the Internet Service Provider (ISP), online service provider, or other organization responsible for assigning email addresses. Austin Film Festival reserves the right at its sole discretion to disqualify any individual (and void his/her Entries)) it finds to be tampering with the Entry process or the operation of this Contest or website, intending to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other contestant, Sponsor, or any of its representatives or to otherwise be acting in violation of these Official Rules. CAUTION: Any attempt by a contestant to deliberately damage any website or undermine the legitimate operations of the Contest is a violation of criminal and civil laws. Should such an attempt be made, the Austin Film Festival reserves the right to seek damages from any such contestant to the fullest extent permitted by the law and to disqualify such contestant from the Contest.
Failure to comply with these Official Rules may result in disqualification from the Contest. Austin Film Festival reserves the right to permanently disqualify any person it believes has intentionally violated these Official Rules. Contest subject to all federal, state and local laws and regulations. Void where prohibited by law.
Winner(s) will be announced in a website blog posting.
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AFF Kicks Off Support of Dell Children’s Blood and Cancer Center with Claymation Camp and Amplify Austin

02.12.14 Austin Film Festival  is pleased to announce our continued support of the Children’s Blood & Cancer Center at Dell’s Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas. AFF’s involvement with the Children’s Blood and Cancer Center spans from organizing film camps and workshops, hosting special screenings for  cancer patients and family members, and sponsoring the film-themed Teen Infusion Room in the Specialty Pediatrics Building.  The Teen …

02.12.14

Austin Film Festival  is pleased to announce our continued support of the Children’s Blood & Cancer Center at Dell’s Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas. AFF’s involvement with the Children’s Blood and Cancer Center spans from organizing film camps and workshops, hosting special screenings for  cancer patients and family members, and sponsoring the film-themed Teen Infusion Room in the Specialty Pediatrics Building.  The Teen Room provides a calming environment to watch movies on the big-screen television, as well as tablets and laptops.  It has steadily become a place of comfort for the children while they receive life-saving treatments that often last for many hours.

Austin Film Festival will kick off our participation by hosting a free workshop during Spring Break for patients undergoing treatments. Filmmakers from Austin Film Festival will guide kids through creating their own stop motion characters and short films. Our goal is to bring these young minds to a different place of imagination and creation during this very difficult treatment phase.

We’re also thrilled to be participating in Amplify Austin this year on behalf of the Children’s Blood and Cancer Center. If you aren’t familiar with Amplify Austin, read on!  In a nutshell, donations made to Austin Film Festival on March 20th and March 21st are doubled!. We then donate ALL proceeds to the Children’s Blood and Cancer Center. This is an amazing way to double the impact you can make in our community..

All proceeds from these  events are donated to the Children’s Blood and Cancer Center.

We’ll keep you updated on this very special partnership and different ways to get involved! For more information or matching  donor opportunities, please contact our Outreach coordinator Michelle Randolph Faires at michelle@austinfilmfestival.com or 512-478-4795

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JIM SHERIDAN TO RECEIVE “DISTINGUISHED SCREENWRITER” AWARD AT 2014 AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL & SCREENWRITERS CONFERENCE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   JIM SHERIDAN TO RECEIVE “DISTINGUISHED SCREENWRITER” AWARD AT 2014 AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL & SCREENWRITERS CONFERENCE “The Writers Festival” announces first tier of Panelists for 21st Anniversary, including screenwriters behind BARCELONA, CAST AWAY, DONNIE DARKO, FIGHT CLUB, HOTEL RWANDA, I LOVE YOU MAN, ROUNDERS, SAVING MR. BANKS, THE BOXER, and more Programming continues to spotlight television and will feature writers …

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

JIM SHERIDAN TO RECEIVE “DISTINGUISHED SCREENWRITER” AWARD AT
2014 AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL & SCREENWRITERS CONFERENCE

“The Writers Festival” announces first tier of Panelists for 21st Anniversary, including screenwriters behind BARCELONA, CAST AWAY, DONNIE DARKO, FIGHT CLUB, HOTEL RWANDA, I LOVE YOU MAN, ROUNDERS, SAVING MR. BANKS, THE BOXER, and more

Programming continues to spotlight television and will feature writers and producers from China Beach, Girls, House, King of the Hill, Mind Games, Seinfeld, South Park, The Office, The West Wing, True Detective, and Masters of Sex creator Michelle Ashford

 

Austin, TX – February, 12, 2014 – Austin Film Festival (AFF), the premiere film festival that recognizes the writers’ and filmmakers’ impact on film, television, and new media, is thrilled to announce accomplished screenwriter and filmmaker Jim Sheridan as their 2014 recipient of the “Distinguished Screenwriter” Award.  Sheridan’s credits include writing and directing MY LEFT FOOT, THE FIELD, IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER, THE BOXER, and IN AMERICA.  He is known for writing INTO THE WEST and SOME MOTHER’S SON, as well as directing DREAM HOUSE, GET RICH OR DIE TRYIN’, and BROTHERS.

Sheridan’s work has achieved popular and critical acclaim worldwide.  His films have garnered sixteen Academy Award nominations and have won two Academy Awards as well as numerous prestigious international awards.

Austin Film Festival annually recognizes a Distinguished Screenwriter for their collective body of work that has elevated and heavily contributed to the culture of film. Previous Distinguished Screenwriter Award recipients include Robert Altman, Shane Black, Horton Foote, Buck Henry, Lawrence Kasdan, Callie Khouri, Richard LaGravanese , Barry Levinson,  Paul Mazursky, John Milius, David Peoples, Frank Pierson, Harold Ramis, Paul Schrader, William Wittliff, and Steven Zaillian.

Sheridan will accept the award at the Festival’s annual Awards Luncheon held on Saturday, October 25, 2014, as well as speak on panels during the Conference.

“We are thrilled to be honoring Jim Sheridan for our 21st anniversary.  His body of work truly encapsulates the mission of Austin Film Festival,” said Conference Director, Erin Hallagan.  “As we move into this third decade of championing the writer’s role in the landscape of film and television, we look forward to continuing a strong program that addresses both new developments in media, as well as the core elements of their craft.”

Sheridan joins a strong roundup of Panelists confirmed to speak at the 21st annual Austin Film Festival & Screenwriters Conference.  The Conference will provide unparalleled access to some of the best writers, filmmakers, and industry personnel in film and television in an intimate and impassioned atmosphere.  Registrants have the opportunity to attend an array of panels including: meet and greets with Conference speakers, roundtables, the 12th annual Pitch Competition, and panels that cater to the art, craft, and business of storytelling through film and television.

Confirmed panelists* include:

Michelle Ashford, creator Masters of Sex

Eli Attie, writer/executive producer Mind Games, writer/co-executive producer House, MD, writer/supervising producer The West Wing

William Broyles, writer CAST AWAY, APOLLO 13, THE POLAR EXPRESS, UNFAITHFUL, JARHEAD, ENTRAPMENT, China Beach

Cary Fukunaga, director/executive producer True Detective,  director JANE EYRE, writer/director SIN NOMBRE
Terry George,
writer/director HOTEL RWANDA, SOME MOTHER’S SON, RESERVATION ROAD, writer THE BOXER, IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER

John Hamburg, writer/director I LOVE YOU MAN, writer MEET THE PARENTS, ZOOLANDER

Richard Kelly, writer/director DONNIE DARKO, SOUTHLAND TALES, THE BOX, writer DOMINO
Brian Koppelman, writer ROUNDERS, OCEAN’S THIRTEEN, RUNAWAY JURY, writer/director SOLITARY MAN

Franklin Leonard, creator The Black List
Kelly Marcel,
writer SAVING MR. BANKS, FIFTY SHADES OF GREY

Craig Mazin, writer IDENTITY THIEF, THE HANGOVER PART II & III, co-host ScriptNotes

Peter Mehlman, writer/co-executive producer Seinfeld
Scott Myers, host Go Into The Story, writer K-9, ALASKA, TROJAN WAR

Alvaro Rodriguez, writer MACHETE, SHORTS, FROM DUSK TILL DAWN 3: THE HANGMAN’S DAUGHTER, From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series

Dan Sterling, producer Girls, The Office, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, writer/producer, The Sarah Silverman Program, writer King of the Hill, South Park

Whit Stillman, writer/director METROPOLITAN, BARCELONA, THE LAST DAYS OF DISCO, DAMSELS IN DISTRESS

Jim Uhls, writer FIGHT CLUB, SEMPER FI, JUMPER

*All speakers and events are based on permitting schedules and subject to change and/or cancellation without notice.

For a list of confirmed 2014 AFF Panelists, visit www.austinfilmfestval.com. Join the Panelists at the 21st Annual Austin Film Festival and Conference, taking place from October 23rd to 30th, 2014. Badges and Passes are available for purchase online 24 hours a day at www.austinfilmfestival.com or by phone at 1-800-310-FEST from 10am to 6pm CST.

ABOUT AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL:

Austin Film Festival (AFF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to furthering the art, craft, and business of filmmakers and screenwriters. In addition to a robust list of year-round events, AFF is producing its 21st Annual Film Festival & Conference in 2014. AFF is known as a uniquely pro-artist and interactive idea exchange. Its uncommonly loyal following is due to the fact that the organization has spotlighted the minds and imaginations behind projects for two decades—a trend now picking up steam in the industry.  As director and producer Ron Howard said, Austin Film Festival “is really about creativity, about trying to help people find their voice. You sense it. There’s a spirit of camaraderie that’s palpable.” AFF is a greenhouse for projects and a clubhouse for legendary and emerging artists.

Past participants of the Festival & Conference include Vince Gilligan, Paul Thomas Anderson, Jonathan Demme, Will Ferrell, Wes Anderson, Frank Darabont, Ron Howard, Sydney Pollack, Danny Boyle, Oliver Stone, Robert Rodriguez, Chris Carter, David Simon, David Milch, Mitch Hurwitz, Greg Daniels, James L. Brooks, Sandra Bullock, Joel & Ethan Coen, Russell Crowe, Rian Johnson, Jenji Kohan, David Shore, Claire Danes, Robert Duvall, James Franco, Buck Henry, Dennis Hopper, Bryan Singer, Jason Schwartzman, Caroline Thompson, Billy Bob Thornton, and Owen Wilson, to name just a few.

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 believing an investment in the Arts is an investment in Austin’s future.

For inquiries, contact Kristen O’Brien
kristengobrien@gmail.com
512-660-8850

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10 Questions With SOMBRAS DE AZUL Writer/Director Kelly Daniella Norris

01.14.14 On January 20th, Austin Film Festival will kick off the Capital One Bank Audience Award Series with SOMBRAS DE AZUL, a beautiful film by Austin writer/director Kelly Daniella Norris.  The visually arresting film follows the grieving Maribel as she escapes to Cuba, the country her recently deceased brother had always wanted to visit.  Once there, she quickly discovers that she has no idea what …

01.14.14

On January 20th, Austin Film Festival will kick off the Capital One Bank Audience Award Series with SOMBRAS DE AZUL, a beautiful film by Austin writer/director Kelly Daniella Norris.  The visually arresting film follows the grieving Maribel as she escapes to Cuba, the country her recently deceased brother had always wanted to visit.  Once there, she quickly discovers that she has no idea what she is truly searching for, but she seems to find it anyway.  Sombras de Azul World Premiered at AFF where it also won the Texas Independents Audience Award.  Read 10 questions in with Kelly around her busy schedule – after her premiere at AFF she left for a project in Ghana. Join us Monday, January 20th at the Alamo Drafthouse Village for this encore screening of SOMBRAS DE AZUL! Tickets are only $5, click here to get yours!

SOMBRAS DE AZUL actress Adelaida Borges Fernandez & Writer/Director Kelly Daniella Norris at the 20th Annual Austin Film Festival

1.       Sombras de Azul is a very personal story for you.  Can you tell us a little bit about what lead you to write the film?

It came to me following a decision to postpone another larger-scaled project that I had been working on while living in Los Angeles. I awoke to that unsettling feeling that, despite progress made, the script was still beyond my resources. Even more unsettling, I was in a position of watching others determine the fate of a project I was very passionate about on a given whim. As a result, I went from being consumed and narrowly driven by that one goal to, all of a sudden, entering this open space. This also coincided with the 4-year anniversary of my brother’s passing, which put me in a very reflective place. I had previously dealt with his death – a source of unspeakable pain for me – by diving deeper into my work. So, there I was, and I felt ready to write.

2.       What was it like to shoot the film in Cuba?

Exhilarating and exhausting. Cuba is such a fascinating place that’s teeming with all kinds of energy, which inspirited us throughout the 19-day shoot. There was also the layered thrill of being Americans on forbidden soil. But, at the same time, our focus was so constricted and our time so short that it was manic up to the very end, with little time to take it all in. We had to be quiet and inconspicuous with our equipment (a production that could not look like a production) for fear of being shutdown, which meant we were at the mercy of whatever each location had to offer. In those scattered moments when we were able to stop and admire our surroundings, it felt like a fever dream.

3.       Were there any moments in the film that came about once you started shooting?  Anything from being in that place at that time you decided you had to add to the film?

The majority of the written scenes were faithful to the script and shotlist. The montages, on the other hand, were spontaneous concoctions. I believe the shotlist read, “Umm? We’ll see.” The most specific on-the-spot alteration relates to the ending. As Bob, my DP, and I were running around Old Havana’s Iglesia de la Merced catching “Day of Mercies” festival footage, I looked over and saw Seedne leaning against a wall. That observation rewrote the ending in my mind. Guess I should leave it at that.

4.       What did you most want to capture about Cuba in your film and why?

Aside from its vibrant culture and colorful landscape, I wanted to capture its national paradoxes – as a symbol of isolation and connectedness, as a place of timelessness and nostalgia that is on the verge of change. Emotionally, Maribel shares a similar state of mind, locked in the past while trying to move forward.

5.       One of the things I love so much about the film is how much of the story is told visually, without long sequences of dialogue, but just experienced, with your lead character.  Can you tell us a little bit about writing in that manner and planning for these beautiful pictures?

Thank you. There was definitely a vagueness in what to expect. I wrote those sequences in the script in the form of brief tonal descriptions, and then matched each with a song to reflect the mood I hoped to achieve. I needed to draw moments where the outside world would remove us from Maribel, when Maribel would distance us from the outside world, and moments when they would harmonize. We returned with 26 hours of footage, and half of that was for montages.

6.       What sort of conversations did you have with your lead actress about her performance?  It is very understated at times, but still full of emotion.  At other times, it’s so fresh and rough.  It’s a really lovely performance.

She’s unreal. That entirely speaks to her ability to emote without fear of being judged. We spoke about trying to portray real emotions, their quietness and smallness – not movie emotions, which are often amplified copies of real emotions. After that, my goal was to not get in the way when her instincts were in control.

7.       I love the way there are these other characters in the world, but we only get to see what Maribel sees of them.  How much of their world (outside of the story) did you set and how much of was left to our (and the actor’s) imaginations?

Though I have my own opinions on the fringe characters’ backstories, I definitely wanted to leave it to the actors and eventually the audience to fill in the remaining pieces. For me, one of the beauties of travel is that experience of riding on the surface, gleaning what you can from ephemeral impressions, and then, when lucky, forming deeper connections despite it.

8.       This was your first feature film.  What was the most difficult part of the process for you?

The most difficult yet rewarding part of the process for me was finding the intersection between what I imagined for a scene and what was actually possible. Whether it was rewriting a line for heightened naturalism, creating a last minute costume using crew members’ clothes, or changing a location because of who-knows-why – poor light, crowds, noise, security reasons – it’s high-energy problem-solving, which requires quick decisions, intense collaboration, and breakthroughs in vision. I hope to get better with each attempt.

9.       Your film was the Audience Award winning film in our Texas Independents category.  Did you get a chance to speak with audiences at the 2013 Festival?  Was there anything about their responses or questions that surprised you?

World premiering at AFF changed my entire relationship with the film, and mainly because of the conversations I had with audience members. Before, I had no delusions about who I made the film for. It was solipsistic, and I was okay with that because it felt necessary for healing. The goal was to move on, so once the film was complete, I began to feel far away from it. However, after the screening, parents, siblings, and friends who’ve lost loved ones to suicide would approach me to share their own experience of bereavement. There was a mutual vulnerability made possible because of the confessional nature of the film. I had no idea others would find a catharsis through the film or, even better, give me the opportunity to find catharsis through their stories.

10.   You’ve been shooting in Ghana recently.  Can you tell us about your next project?

The story is called NAKOM, and it’s about a Ghanaian student living in the country’s most bustling city and attending a top university who must return to his home village, Nakom, following his father’s death to manage the household and prevent it from falling apart. Through the microcosm of Awinzor family, it explores larger dilemmas facing the country: How will the younger generations reconcile the traditional lifestyle of their parents, especially those who come from subsistence farming communities, with their ambitions to move on? How will modern-day resources and technologies shape the future where old practices still dominate? What is gained and what is lost on the path towards Westernization, and so-called development? I’m co-directing the film with Travis Pittman, my partner-in-art-and-figurative-crime, who wrote the script after living in Nakom for two years as a Peace Corps volunteer. We’re finally back after nearly 4 months, and plan on editing as soon as we raise the funding to get us through post. For more information about our SOMBRAS DE AZUL screening, click here.

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AFF’s 12 Days of Sales!

We here in Austin know a thing or two about how to warm up the holiday season. Twelve days out from Christmas, we will be launching a special promotion for our 21st annual Austin Film Festival and Screenwriters Conference, offering can’t-be-beat deals and perfect holiday gifts for your loved ones. From December 13th (that’s THIS Friday!) through December 24, stay tuned for a few sporadic …

We here in Austin know a thing or two about how to warm up the holiday season. Twelve days out from Christmas, we will be launching a special promotion for our 21st annual Austin Film Festival and Screenwriters Conference, offering can’t-be-beat deals and perfect holiday gifts for your loved ones.

From December 13th (that’s THIS Friday!) through December 24, stay tuned for a few sporadic “snowflake sales”: no two are alike and there’s no telling when they will begin or end! Keep a keen eye on your inbox, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as they are sprinkled with generous holiday discounts throughout these 12 Days of Christmas.
Aside from being downright exciting, here are 12 more reasons to look forward to AFF’s 12 Days of Christmas:

1. Because a badge is something you can wear year-long (if you want…)!The cynicism-free enthusiasm of AFF was so inspiring. Just when I was thinking that it was a lost art, reassurance came in droves. There was so much talent and passion buzzing through The Driskill that back in LA, I felt like leaving my AFF badge on.
-Peter Mehlman, writer/co-executive producer, Seinfeld

2. You are alone in your madness if you do not attend AFF.
The Austin Conference is a rare chance for professionals to educate, inspire and even protect the next generation of screenwriters. What’s more, we get out of our rooms, away from our screens… and we meet each other. Working writers, aspiring writers… it doesn’t matter. Finding out you’re not alone in your madness… that’s half of what makes the weekend worthwhile.
- Craig Mazin, writer IDENTITY THIEF, co-host Scriptnotes

3. Rock Around that Christmas Tree with some rocking things planned for the New Year!
For writers, Austin is the Woodstock of film festivals, a gathering of scribes, pro and non-pro rubbing elbows, breaking down the craft in a casual, but electric atmosphere. In a word: Rocking!
- Scott Meyers, host Go Into The Story

4. Because the Festival, like your winter holiday, should be an annual tradition.
Austin Film festival is nothing short of a cultural event — Every time I go, I meet fascinating people whose talent is nothing short of inspiring. I can’t imagine not returning year after year.
- Damon Lindelof, writer PROMETHEUS, Lost, writer/producer STAR TREK sequel

5. AFF is #trending
Austin Film Festival is a wonderful community building event. Not only did I have the chance to share tips on crowdfunding for indie film, but I met amazing media makers – and was exposed the latest trends in the indie film landscape
- Brian Meece, CEO RocketHub
6. What better time than the holidays for personal reflection…
Being questioned about my craft was like chewing gum for the brain — the panels got me thinking long and hard about what I do and why I do it. Am so grateful to have been challenged and to have helped aspiring writers in any way.
- Kelly Marcel, writer SAVING MR. BANKS

7. As far as fun goes, after winter vacation comes spring break, then summer camp. And after summer camp comes Austin Film Festival. Naturally.
There are other screenwriting conferences, but Austin is the grandaddy, the taproot, the source. That’s why big names keep coming back every year. It’s like heading off to summer camp: checking in with old friends and meeting new ones.
- John August, CORPSE BRIDE, BIG FISH, GO, co-host ScriptNotes

8. Getting a badge is equivalent to getting a time machine.
It started as a getaway weekend for great barbecue, and has become a pilgrimage. Going to the Austin conference is like stepping into a time machine and returning to that day, that moment in time when you fell in love with movies and the idea of making them. And living a whole five days feeling that feeling.
- Terry Rossio, writer, SHREK, ALADDIN, the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN franchise

9. Because the badges in Texas mean bigger possibilities
I was completely surprised by the scale of AFF. Apparently, everything is bigger in Texas, including the hospitality. If you’ve never been Austin it’s a great time to go. One of the best film festivals you’ll ever experience.
- Chris Carter, creator The X-Files, The Lone Gunmen

10. Austin > North Pole.
Screenwriters all live in Los Angeles, but they only seem to meet in Austin
- Michael Green, writer THE GREEN LANTERN, Kings, Heroes, Smallville

11. Baby, it may be cold outside, but there’s “snow” excuse to miss this sale.
Still the best fest and brain blizzard forum in filmdom.
- Jim Hart, writer HOOK, BRAM STOKER’s DRACULA, CONTACT, TUCK EVERLASTING

12. The “One Upon a Time” Factor: Once upon a time, you did not have a badge, and it was sad. But then you took part in one of AFF’s Snowflake Sales and lived happily ever after.
Most of us live in a world of “Thou Shalt Not” — a world of rules and restrictions that limit how we think, behave, and even write. What AFF represents is the world of “Once Upon A Time — a world devoted to the endlessly liberating possibilities of storytelling. They should drape a banner above the lobby in the Driskill that proclaims: “It’s About The Story, Not The Glory”.
- Herschel Weingrod, writer TRADING PLACES, BREWSTER’S MILLIONS, TWINS, KINDERGARTEN COP

Don’t forget to keep an eye on your AFF emails and take advantage of our Snowflake Sales!

We here in Austin know a thing or two about how to warm up the holiday season. Twelve days out from Christmas, we will be launching a special promotion for our 21st annual Austin Film Festival and Screenwriters Conference, offering can’t-be-beat deals and perfect holiday gifts for your loved ones. 

From December 13th (that’s THIS Friday!) through December 24, stay tuned for a few sporadic “snowflake sales“: no two are alike and there’s no telling when they will begin or end! Keep a keen eye on your inbox, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as they are sprinkled with generous holiday discounts throughout these 12 Days of Christmas.

Aside from being downright exciting, here are 12 more reasons to look forward to AFF’s 12 Days of Christmas:

 

1. Because a badge is something you can wear year-long (if you want…)!

The cynicism-free enthusiasm of AFF was so inspiring. Just when I was thinking that it was a lost art, reassurance came in droves. There was so much talent and passion buzzing through The Driskill that back in LA, I felt like leaving my AFF badge on. 

-Peter Mehlman, writer/co-executive producer, Seinfeld

 

Craig Mazin

Craig Mazin

2. You are alone in your madness if you do not attend AFF. 

The Austin Conference is a rare chance for professionals to educate, inspire and even protect the next generation of screenwriters. What’s more, we get out of our rooms, away from our screens… and we meet each other. Working writers, aspiring writers… it doesn’t matter. Finding out you’re not alone in your madness… that’s half of what makes the weekend worthwhile.

- Craig Mazin, writer IDENTITY THIEF, co-host Scriptnotes

3. Rock Around that Christmas Tree with some rocking things planned for the New Year!

For writers, Austin is the Woodstock of film festivals, a gathering of scribes, pro and non-pro rubbing elbows, breaking down the craft in a casual, but electric atmosphere. In a word: Rocking!

- Scott Meyers, host Go Into The Story

 

Damon Lindelof

Damon Lindelof

4. Because the Festival, like your winter holiday, should be an annual tradition. 

Austin Film festival is nothing short of a cultural event — Every time I go, I meet fascinating people whose talent is nothing short of inspiring. I can’t imagine not returning year after year. 

- Damon Lindelof, writer PROMETHEUS, Lost, writer/producer STAR TREK sequel

5. AFF is #trending

Austin Film Festival is a wonderful community building event. Not only did I have the chance to share tips on crowdfunding for indie film, but I met amazing media makers – and was exposed the latest trends in the indie film landscape

- Brian Meece, CEO RocketHub

6. What better time than the holidays for personal reflection…

Being questioned about my craft was like chewing gum for the brain — the panels got me thinking long and hard about what I do and why I do it. Am so grateful to have been challenged and to have helped aspiring writers in any way. 

- Kelly Marcel, writer SAVING MR. BANKS

 

Kelly Marcel

Kelly Marcel

7. As far as fun goes, after winter vacation comes spring break, then summer camp. And after summer camp comes Austin Film Festival. Naturally.

There are other screenwriting conferences, but Austin is the grandaddy, the taproot, the source. That’s why big names keep coming back every year. It’s like heading off to summer camp: checking in with old friends and meeting new ones. 

- John August, CORPSE BRIDE, BIG FISH, GO, co-host ScriptNotes

8. Getting a badge is equivalent to getting a time machine.

It started as a getaway weekend for great barbecue, and has become a pilgrimage. Going to the Austin conference is like stepping into a time machine and returning to that day, that moment in time when you fell in love with movies and the idea of making them. And living a whole five days feeling that feeling.

- Terry Rossio, writer, SHREK, ALADDIN, the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN franchise

9. Because the badges in Texas mean bigger possibilities

I was completely surprised by the scale of AFF. Apparently, everything is bigger in Texas, including the hospitality. If you’ve never been Austin it’s a great time to go. One of the best film festivals you’ll ever experience. 

- Chris Carter, creator The X-Files, The Lone Gunmen

 

chris carter

AFF 2012 Outstanding Television Writer Awardee Chris Carter

10. Austin > North Pole.

Screenwriters all live in Los Angeles, but they only seem to meet in Austin

- Michael Green, writer THE GREEN LANTERN, Kings, Heroes, Smallville

11. Baby, it may be cold outside, but there’s “snow” excuse to miss this sale.

Still the best fest and brain blizzard forum in filmdom.

- Jim Hart, writer HOOK, BRAM STOKER’s DRACULA, CONTACT, TUCK EVERLASTING

12. The “One Upon a Time” Factor: Once upon a time, you did not have a badge, and it was sad. But then you took part in one of AFF’s Snowflake Sales and lived happily ever after.

Most of us live in a world of “Thou Shalt Not” — a world of rules and restrictions that limit how we think, behave, and even write. What AFF represents is the world of “Once Upon A Time — a world devoted to the endlessly liberating possibilities of storytelling. They should drape a banner above the lobby in the Driskill that proclaims: “It’s About The Story, Not The Glory”.

- Herschel Weingrod, writer TRADING PLACES, BREWSTER’S MILLIONS, TWINS, KINDERGARTEN COP

 

Don’t forget to keep an eye on your AFF emails and take advantage of our Snowflake Sales!

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AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL OPENS 2014 FILM AND SCREENPLAY COMPETITIONS

AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL OPENS 2014 FILM AND SCREENPLAY COMPETITIONS                         AUSTIN, Texas—Dec. 10, 2013— Austin Film Festival (AFF) is pleased to announce that it is now accepting submissions for the 2014 Screenplay & Teleplay Competition and Film Competition.  These AFF competitions often act as springboards for aspiring screenwriters and filmmakers eager to jump into the movie business. AFF’s Screenplay & Teleplay Competition is …

AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL OPENS 2014 FILM AND SCREENPLAY COMPETITIONS

                       

AUSTIN, Texas—Dec. 10, 2013— Austin Film Festival (AFF) is pleased to announce that it is now accepting submissions for the 2014 Screenplay & Teleplay Competition and Film Competition.  These AFF competitions often act as springboards for aspiring screenwriters and filmmakers eager to jump into the movie business.

AFF’s Screenplay & Teleplay Competition is one of the most respected and prestigious writing contests in the country with a rich history of launching careers.  Brian Weakland, 2013 Drama Screenplay Winner for “Last Waltz of Vienna”, and Brian Siegele, 2013 Sci-Fi Screenplay Winner for “Lightspeed” both signed with Madhouse Entertainment after winning.

“Austin scripts are read and judged by top Hollywood screenwriters – professionals who appreciate good storytelling. There is nothing hollow about a win in Austin,” Weakland recently said.

“I signed with the reps of my dreams within weeks of the festival,” Siegle added, “and we are now working on packaging my winning screenplay as well as prepping new ideas.”

At the 2013 Festival, AFF presented two World Premieres from alumni of its screenplay competition: COFFEE, KILL BOSS by 2011 Semifinalist Sigurd Ueland and CAVEMEN by 2000 Semifinalist Herschel Faber.  Also recently announced, Dan Shea, 2012 Comedy Screenplay Winner, had his winning script “The P.A.N.D.A War” optioned by Dirty Monty. Christopher Cantwell, a 2010 Finalist, recently had one of his pilot scripts Halt & Catch Fire ordered for series production by AMC.  Rachel Long and Brian Pittman’s 2008 Semifinalist script “Stranded” (renamed to DAWN PATROL) was acquired by Enderby Entertainment and recently wrapped production with Daniel Petrie, Jr. as director.

AFF’s Film Competition provides an invaluable platform for filmmakers to showcase their craft among industry professionals, aspiring screenwriters and filmmakers and film-lovers.  Known as “The Writer’s Festival,” for the past 20 years, Austin Film Festival prides itself in seeking out films that display strong written and visual storytelling. The 2013 festival featured 28 World Premieres and several US and North American premieres.  Five features were picked up for distribution during the week of the festival, and another shortly after.

As an Academy Qualifier, the jury award winners for Narrative Shorts and Animated Shorts are eligible to be nominated for an Academy Award.  Last year’s jury included Leigh Whannell, America Ferrera, Scott Neustadter, Mick Garris, David Lowery, and executives from Anchor Bay, Long Shot Factory, and Nickelodeon.

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

ABOUT AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL

Austin Film Festival (AFF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to furthering the art, craft, and business of filmmakers and screenwriters. In addition to a robust list of year-round events, AFF is producing its 21st Annual Film Festival & Conference in 2014. AFF is known as a uniquely pro-artist and interactive idea exchange. Its uncommonly loyal following is due to the fact that the organization has spotlighted the minds and imaginations behind projects for two decades—a trend now picking up steam in the industry.  As director and producer Ron Howard said, Austin Film Festival “is really about creativity, about trying to help people find their voice. You sense it. There’s a spirit of camaraderie that’s palpable.” AFF is a greenhouse for projects and a clubhouse for legendary and emerging artists.

Moviemaker Magazine named Austin the #1 city in which to be a moviemaker in 2013, as well as selecting AFF as one of the 25 Coolest Film Festivals around. In addition, AFF consistently receives accolades as Moviemaker’s Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee.

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 believing an investment in the Arts is an investment in Austin’s future. Additional support is provided by KUT, KVUE, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences®, Alice Kleberg Reynolds Foundation, and Shweiki Media.

For press inquiries, contact Kristen O’Brien
kristengobrien@gmail.com

For competition inquiries, please contact Austin Film Festival at
info@austinfilmfestival.com
1-800-310-FEST or 512-478-4795

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AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES THE 2013 CAPITAL ONE BANK AUDIENCE AWARD WINNERS

AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES THE 2013 CAPITAL ONE BANK AUDIENCE AWARD WINNERS Five AFF Films Purchased for Distribution at 2013 Festival AFF ANNOUNCES DATES FOR 21st ANNUAL FESTIVAL & CONFERENCE: OCTOBER 23-30, 2014 AUSTIN, TEXAS (October 31, 2013) ­ Austin Film Festival (AFF) is proud to announce the 2013 Audience Award winners presented by Capital One Bank. Throughout the week of the Festival and Conference …

AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES
THE 2013 CAPITAL ONE BANK
AUDIENCE AWARD WINNERS

Five AFF Films Purchased for Distribution at 2013 Festival

AFF ANNOUNCES DATES FOR 21st ANNUAL FESTIVAL & CONFERENCE: OCTOBER 23-30, 2014

AUSTIN, TEXAS (October 31, 2013) ­ Austin Film Festival (AFF) is proud to announce the 2013 Audience Award winners presented by Capital One Bank. Throughout the week of the Festival and Conference (Oct. 24-31) audience members were invited to numerically rate films by ballot following each film’s screening. The winners are as follows:

 

Marquee Feature Audience Award:
1982
Writer/ Director: Tommy Oliver

Narrative Feature Audience Award:
BESIDE STILL WATERS
Writers: Chris Lowell, Mohit Narang
Director: Chris Lowell

Documentary Feature Audience Award: (tie)
(tie) ALL OF ME
Director: Alexandra Lescaze

(tie) THE LIFE AND CRIMES OF DORIS PAYNE
Directors: Kirk Marcolina, Matthew Pond

Comedy Vanguard Audience Award:
THE GOLDEN SCALLOP
Writer: Kevin Harrigan
Director: Joseph Laraja

Dark Matters Audience Award:
BLOOD PUNCH
Writer: Eddie Guzelian
Director: Madellaine Paxson

Texas Independents Audience Award:
SOMBRAS DE AZUL
Writer/Director: Kelly Daniela Norris

Write/Rec Audience Award:
SPEAK NOW
Writer: Erin Cardillo
Director: Noah Harald

Narrative Short Audience Award:
MR. INVISIBLE
Writer: Richard Sainsbury
Director: Greg Ash

Narrative Student Short Audience Award:
COOTIE CONTAGION
Writer/Director: Josh Smooha

Animated Short Audience Award:
MIA
Writers: Wouter Bongaerts, Bert Vandecasteele
Director: Wouter Bongaerts

Documentary Short Audience Award:
THE GUIDE
Director: Jessica Yu

The 2013 Film Jury Award Winners and Screenplay/Teleplay winners have already been announced, and are available here.

The 2012 Audience Awards included Silver Linings Playbook, Asad and Head over Heels, all of which were nominated for Academy Awards. 2012’s Feature Audience Awards Winners Spinning Plates, Rising From Ashes, The Muslims Are Coming, and Saturday Morning Massacre (aka Saturday Morning Mystery) all went on to (or are currently making) theatrical runs.   The 2011 Audience Award Winner The Artist won five Academy Awards and was nominated for five others.

The AFF Audience Award Film Series is sponsored by Capital One Bank. “Capital One Bank’s support of the 2013 Austin Film Festival is one of the many ways our company is ‘Investing for Good’ in Austin,” said Mike Perrine, Capital One Bank’s Austin Area President.  “The 2013 festival welcomed visitors from across the country to Austin and showcased more than 120 features and 100 shorts.  In a city that welcomes, values, and inspires originality and creativity, Capital One Bank salutes the featured participants and congratulates each of the winners.”

Five AFF Films were purchased for distribution at this year’s Festival & Conference. The Brightest Star (formerly Light Years), NSFW, Scrapper, and Favor were picked up by Gravitas Ventures, a Festival sponsor. Well Go USA acquired the North American rights to Cavemen. The Brightest Star, NSFW and Cavemen had their World Premieres at this year’s Austin Film Festival.

AFF has announced its dates for the 21st Annual Austin Film Festival and Conference, October 23-30, 2014. For information or to purchase a Badge, please call 1-800-310-FEST (3378) or visit the website at www.austinfilmfestival.com.

ABOUT AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL

Austin Film Festival (AFF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to furthering the art, craft, and business of filmmakers and screenwriters. In addition to a robust list of year-round events, AFF is producing its 20th Annual Film Festival & Conference in 2013. AFF is known as a uniquely pro-artist and interactive idea exchange. Its uncommonly loyal following is due to the fact that the organization has spotlighted the minds and imaginations behind projects for two decades—a trend now picking up steam in the industry.  As director and producer Ron Howard said, Austin Film Festival “is really about creativity, about trying to help people find their voice. You sense it. There’s a spirit of camaraderie that’s palpable.” AFF is a greenhouse for projects and a clubhouse for legendary and emerging artists.

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 believing an investment in the Arts is an investment in Austin’s future. Additional support is provided by KUT, KVUE, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences®, Alice Kleberg Reynolds Foundation, and Shweiki Media.

ABOUT CAPITAL ONE BANK:

Capital One Financial Corporation (www.capitalone.com) is a financial holding company whose subsidiaries, which include Capital One, N.A., and Capital One Bank (USA), N. A., had $209.9 billion in deposits and $296.5 billion in total assets as of June 30, 2013. Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, Capital One offers a broad spectrum of financial products and services to consumers, small businesses and commercial clients through a variety of channels. Capital One, N.A. has more than 900 branch locations primarily in Texas, Louisiana, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. A Fortune 500 company, Capital One trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “COF” and is included in the S&P 100 index.

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THE CONFERENCE: Choose Your Own Adventure: What’s Your Track?

Continuing the Conference’s “choose your own adventure”, we have assembled a handful of different tracks to explore during the Conference. From a series of discussions focusing on the world of television, to case-study panels, to conversations on how to break into the business, there is no shortage of options of how to spend your time….

Erin Hallagan | 10.16.13

Continuing the Conference’s “choose your own adventure”, we have assembled a handful of different tracks to explore during the Conference.  From a series of discussions focusing on the world of television, to case-study panels, to conversations on how to break into the business, there is no shortage of options of how to spend your time….

KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
Often writers forget one of those most important characters when setting out to write their screenplay: their audience!  Your audience is a vital participant in your script and should be factored into the seams of the story.  Check out these panels to learn how to foster this relationship with the viewers (and readers!) when crafting and selling your screenplay.

See the Track: KnowYourAudience Track

BREAKING INTO THE BUSINESS
There’s no question that this industry is cut-throat and seemingly impossible to penetrate.  Setting yourself up for success is a refined skill that is essential to hone.   There is no one way to break in, and it is a feat that can take many years to accomplish.  Take part in these discussions on how to polish your skills both on the page, in a networking setting, and in a pitch room.

See the Track: BREAKING INTO THE BUSINESS Track

CASE-STUDY PANELS
Join these case-study talks that dive into how various works of film and television found success. From script-to-screen discussions detailing the process of taking an idea and turning it into a film – to deconstructing classics – to using a screenplay competition to launch your career – to the creative evolution of a project across a variety of mediums, there is no shortage of inspiration and knowledge in these sessions that can be used to create your own film or screenplay.

See the Track: Case Study Track

TELEVISION
Television is widely known as the writer’s medium.  These panels will explore in-depth answers to any questions about the craft and business of television from the perspective of writers, showrunners, directors, executives and producers.

See the Track: TELEVISION TRACK

ELEMENTS
Let’s face it: even if you have an incredible idea for a story, putting it on paper is challenging.  From a script’s structure to the elements of storytelling, the job of a writer requires a nurturing relationship with one’s characters, theme, tone, scene construction, dialogue, plot, exposition…..  and when it’s okay to break the structural and mechanical rules.  The pros of the particulars will dive into how best to approach these considerable tasks.

See the Track: TELEVISION ELEMENTS

INDIE
In an ever-changing industry, the independent filmmaker is required to concurrently adapt and change. Of course, with change comes opportunity, and between the rise of fundraising outlets, digital filmmaking, and innovative distribution models, indie cinema has become a creative forum in more ways than one.  Sit in on this track of indie filmmaking sessions as panelists discuss their roles and responsibilities as independent filmmakers.

See the Track: INDIE TRACK

GENRE
Comedy is the hardest genre.  No, sci-fi is.  No wait… romance is.  Okay, okay!- they are all difficult to compose!  Writing within a genre requires much research, knowledge of its parameters, what the rules of the world are, and when to disregard them.  This track of panels explores all corners of the genre world and how incorporate corresponding elements, moods, motifs and tropes within your screenplay.

See the Track: GENRE TRACK

CONVERSATIONS
As part of Austin Film Festival’s continuing “Conversation with” series, don’t miss these in-depth one-on-one conversations between top filmmaking veterans and carefully selected moderators as they illuminate their philosophy on storytelling, specific examples from their own work, and their experiences in the industry.

See the Track: CONVERSATIONS TRACK

THE BUSINESS SIDE
Many writers choose their profession due to the love of their craft.  But often the glorious relationship between pen and page neglects to consider one of the most important aspects of this job: the business side!  These panels will offer access to executives, studio reps, producers, attorneys, managers, agents, and producers as they disclose what to expect and what to prepare for in order to truly cultivate your writing career.

See the Track: THE BUSINESS SIDE TRACK

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Austin Film Festival Announces Extraordinary Contribution to Filmmaking – Actor Honoree: Susan Sarandon. Vince Gilligan’s staged script reading to include cast of Will Ferrell, Linda Cardellini, and Thomas Haden Church

20th ANNUAL AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES EXTRAORDINARY CONTRIBUTION TO FILMMAKING – ACTOR HONOREE, SUSAN SARANDON Vince Gilligan’s staged script reading of 2 FACE to include cast of WILL FERRELL, LINDA CARDELLINI, and THOMAS HADEN CHURCH Horror Film ALL CHEERLEADERS DIE to Close Festival on Halloween Night AUSTIN, TX (October 8, 2013) –Austin Film Festival (AFF) proudly announces the 2013 Extraordinary Contribution to Filmmaking – …

20th ANNUAL AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES
EXTRAORDINARY CONTRIBUTION TO FILMMAKING – ACTOR HONOREE,
SUSAN SARANDON

Vince Gilligan’s staged script reading of 2 FACE to include cast of
WILL FERRELL, LINDA CARDELLINI,
and THOMAS HADEN CHURCH

Horror Film ALL CHEERLEADERS DIE to Close Festival on Halloween Night

AUSTIN, TX (October 8, 2013) –Austin Film Festival (AFF) proudly announces the 2013 Extraordinary Contribution to Filmmaking – Actor awardee, Susan Sarandon.

Sarandon’s credits include Oscar®-nominated performances in Thelma and Louise, Lorenzo’s Oil, The Client, and Atlantic City to her Academy Award®-winning and SAG® Award-winning role in Dead Man Walking as Sister Helen.  Additional film credits include Bull Durham, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Enchanted, In the Valley of Elah, Moonight Mile, Igby Goes Down, Romance and Cigarettes, The Great Waldo Pepper, Lovin’ Molly, The Front Page, Pretty Baby, Jeff Who Lives at Home, Cloud Atlas, Robot & Frank, Snitch, The Witches of Eastwick, Cradle Will Rock, White Palace, Bob Roberts, and Little Women.  Upcoming films include The Last of Robin Hood with Kevin Kline and Dakota Fanning, The Calling with Ellen Burstyn, Topher Grace and Donald Sutherland and Tammy with Melissa McCarthy.

Sarandon will accept the award at the Festival’s annual Awards Luncheon held on Saturday, October 26, 2013 at the Austin Club.  The Inaugural Extraordinary Contribution to Filmmaking – Actor Award was presented to Johnny Depp in 2011.  Sarandon will present a retrospective screening of John Turturro’s Romance and Cigarettes, and join a conversation on the art and craft of storytelling with the other 2013 Awardees, Vince Gilligan (Outstanding Television Writer), Jonathan Demme (Extraordinary Contribution to Filmmaking), Callie Khouri (Distinguished Screenwriter), and Barry Josephson (Heart of Film Award).

AFF’s Screenwriters Conference will also feature a staged reading of Vince Gilligan’s unproduced feature screenplay “2 FACE”, to be directed by Rian Johnson on Sunday, October 27th at 2:00PM. The script follows a man with a split personality disorder who finds himself taking opposite sides of the political spectrum.  Cast in attendance for the reading includes Will Ferrell, Linda Cardellini, and Thomas Haden Church.

2013 Conference Panelist Elaine May (The Heartbreak Kid, Tootsie, The Birdcage, Primary Colors, Ishtar), will also take part as a guest programmer, presenting A New Leaf, which she wrote, directed and starred in alongside Walter Matthau.  The film will be screened on Friday, October 25that 3:30PM.

Austin Film Festival’s Opening Night will feature the US Premiere of Jonathan Sobel’s break-out Toronto heist hit The Art of the Steal starring Kurt Russell, Matt Dillon and Jay Baruchel, as well as the World Premiere of AFF success story Coffee, Kill Boss a film that emerged from the Festival’s world-renowned Screenplay Competition in 2011.  Coffee, Kill Boss stars Eddie Jemison (Ocean’s 11-13, Hung), Noureen DeWulf (Anger Management) and Robert Forster (Jackie Brown, Mulholland Drive).   The comedy is about ten executives who meet in secret to sell off their company and end up the victims of a murder plot.  Eddie Jemison and Noureen DeWulf in attendance.

AFF’s Closing Night film falls on Halloween and will feature the US Premiere of All Cheerleaders Die, a horror comedy about a rebellious outsider who joins the cheerleading squad on a mission to take down the captain of the football team…. until a supernatural force changes everything.  Lucky McKee and Chris Sivertson co-wrote and directed the film, hailed as a monster midnight sensation in Toronto. Lucky McKee and Chris Sivertson in attendance.

Additions to the 20th Anniversary Film Schedule include Whitewash, a comic thriller starring Thomas Haden Church (in attendance) and The Pretty One, starring Zoe Kazan, Jack Johnson, and Ron Livingston. Additional talent in attendance for the 20th Anniversary lineup include Paul Sorvino, Rumer Willis, Chad Michael Murray, Chris Lowell, Aiden Gillen.
For the full Film and Conference schedules, visit www.austinfilmfestival.com. The 20th Anniversary Austin Film Festival and Conference takes place this October 24th to 31st, 2013. Badges and Passes are available for purchase online 24 hours a day at www.austinfilmfestival.com or by phone at 1-800-310-FEST from 10am to 6pm CST.

About Austin Film Festival:

Austin Film Festival (AFF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to furthering the art, craft, and business of filmmakers and screenwriters. In addition to a robust list of year-round events, AFF is producing its 20th Annual Film Festival & Conference in 2013. AFF is known as a uniquely pro-artist and interactive idea exchange. Its uncommonly loyal following is due to the fact that the organization has spotlighted the minds and imaginations behind projects for two decades—a trend now picking up steam in the industry.  As director and producer Ron Howard said, Austin Film Festival “is really about creativity, about trying to help people find their voice. You sense it. There’s a spirit of camaraderie that’s palpable.” AFF is a greenhouse for projects and a clubhouse for legendary and emerging artists.

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 believing an investment in the Arts is an investment in Austin’s future. Additional support is provided by KUT, KVUE, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences®, Alice Kleberg Reynolds Foundation, and Shweiki Media.

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AFF Announces Young Filmmakers Film Program

Austin Film Festival will showcase the best youth filmmaking from around the country during the 20th Annual Austin Film Festival, October 24 – 31, 2013.

The competition is free to enter and open to youth filmmakers ages 13 to 18. Entrants will be invited to attend the 20th Annual Austin Film Festival. While at the Festival the winning filmmakers will have the opportunity to see almost 200 films, learn from panels with industry veterans and network with writers, directors and industry insiders.

This year’s Young Filmmakers Competition films are:

Austin Film Festival will showcase the best youth filmmaking from around the country during the 20th Annual Austin Film Festival, October 24 – 31, 2013.

The competition is free to enter and open to youth filmmakers ages 13 to 18. Entrants will be invited to attend the 20th Annual Austin Film Festival. While at the Festival the winning filmmakers will have the opportunity to see almost 200 films, learn from panels with industry veterans and network with writers, directors and industry insiders.

This year’s Young Filmmakers Competition films are:

BEGINNINGS (USA, 6 min)
Writer/Director: Kathleen Silverstein
The filmmaker looks back at her entry into her country.

DON’T LITTER (USA, 1 min)
Writer/Director: Adonys Jimenez
Seriously.  For the good of all mankind.

THE FAULT OF WE (USA, 4 min)
Writer: Stacey Franklin
Director: Felicia McGowan
An examination of youth by youth.

THE GAME OF LIFE (TEXAS, 8 min)
Writer: Austin Matthews
Director: Charles Witosky
A match to the death.

HAMARTIA (TEXAS, 4 min)
Writers: Cristian Perez, Jaida Scott
Director: Cristian Perez
A girl prefers to be alone.

HB (Canada, 7 min)
Writer: Imogen Pohl
Director: Nathan Fast
A militant test proctor watches over one boy’s fallen hopes.

IMMIGRANT (USA, 1 min)
Writer/Director: Paulette Rosario
A personal message about a national issue.

LIGHTLY SALTED (USA, 2 min)
Writers: Anastasia Hartmann Olden, Rutger Hartmann Olden, Parker Smigelski
Director: Anastasia Hartmann Olden
A date turns twisted.

LOVESOUP (TEXAS, 10 min)
Writer/Director: Ryker Allen
Love in its every variety, mixed together and brought to boil.

MIMIC (TEXAS, 2 min)
Writer: Isabell Mayer
Director: Tyler Nguyen
Everyone want to be somebody else every once in a while.

* MOPOCALYPSE (TEXAS, 8 min)
Writer/Director: Jordan Green
Danger spills across the halls during detention.

MR. HENRY (TEXAS, 5 min)
Writer/Directors: Kayla Cesari, David Rice
A man receives a magic gift, but with a difficult side effect.

* OBSERVED (Texas, 4 min)
Writer/Director: Eric Cohen Empson
There’s a prize in every package.

OUT OF ORDER (TEXAS, 5 min)
Writer/Director: Alec Brown
Two students discover a portal to another place.

OUT OF THE DARK (USA, 2 min)
Writer/Directors: Gabby Giacomo, Grace Kennedy, Natalie Ponce
Nothing is scarier than your own bedroom.

* PAPER BAG BOY (TEXAS, 6 min)
Writer/Director: Cristina Gonzalez
A loner keeps all his troubles bagged up.

RELIGIOUS DEBATE (USA, 2 min)
Writer/Directors: Quaadir Slater, Ricardo Juarez, Jimmy Papik
Two friends work on films together, despite their differences.

SLENDER: THE FILM (EPISODE 1) (USA, 3 min)
Writers: Carsten Ritter, Sam Slocum
Directors: Sam Slocum, Rod Myers
A mystery in the woods, or in his mind.

A STORY UNFOLDS (TEXAS, 6 min)
Writer/Director: Elena Maeurer
Trapped in a library, these students take matters in their own hands.

THE TALK (USA, 5min)
Writer/Director: Hadley Hillel
Two parents try to get a bit of news out in the open.

TIE YOUR SHOES (TEXAS, 1 min)
Writer/Director: Jose Couvillion
Only you can prevent… what happens in this film.

* screening but ineligible for the YFP Competition Award

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2013 In Competition Films

This week you’ve our Film Lineup Announcement as well as the full listing of Short Films playing at the 20th Anniversary Austin Film Festival, here’s a roundup of films in competition. These films are eligible for a coveted Bronze Typewriter Award. Good luck to all entrants!

This week we announced this year’s Film Lineup as well as our full listing of Short Films playing at the 20th Anniversary Austin Film Festival, here’s a roundup of films in competition. These films are eligible for a coveted Bronze Typewriter Award. Good luck to all entrants!

NARRATIVE FEATURE
Beside Still Waters
Crackheads
Finding Neighbors
Jack, Jules, Esther & Me
A Leading Man
The Maid’s Room
The Odd Way Home
Siren

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
120 Days
All of Me
Dog Days
ICEBOUND
Living Dolls
Political Bodies
The Project
Take Away One

DARK MATTERS FEATURE
Dark Mountain
Blood Punch
Innocence
OXV: The Manual

NARRATIVE SHORT
Colera
End of the Beginning
Fool’s Day
The Landing
Mommy
Mr. Invisible
Open Spaces
Record
This is It
The Well
Whether You Like It or Not
The Woman in the Dress

STUDENT SHORT
Harbinger
Lift
Pistachio Milk
Range Junkies
Reza Hassani Goes to the Mall
Running Skinny
Sleepless Cities
You Missed Sonja

DOCUMENTARY SHORT
Blinde Liefde (Blind Love)
Cowtown Keeylocko
The Guide
The King of Size
Pulling Teeth
Rehearsal
The Rider and the Storm
Win Or Lose

ANIMATED SHORT
A Cautionary Tail
Dogonauts: Enemy Line
Mia
La Nuit De L’ours (The Night Of The Bear)
Ouverture
Strange l- The Angel Of The Odd
Talent Show
Woody

YOUNG FILMAKERS PROGRAM SHORT

*Will be announced next week, 9/24

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2013 Austin Film Festival Lineup

Oscar Isaac and T Bone Burnett to Present INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS as Centerpiece Film FILM LINEUP INCLUDES 12 YEARS A SLAVE, AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY, MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM, CHILD OF GOD, and BIG SUR INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS The lineup of over 70 feature films and over 100 short films includes anticipated independent and Oscar®-bound productions spanning across all film genres from drama to comedy …

Oscar Isaac and T Bone Burnett to Present INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS as Centerpiece Film

FILM LINEUP INCLUDES 12 YEARS A SLAVE, AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY, MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM, CHILD OF GOD, and BIG SUR

INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS

The lineup of over 70 feature films and over 100 short films includes anticipated independent and Oscar®-bound productions spanning across all film genres from drama to comedy and everything in between. This year’s Centerpiece Film is INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS starring Oscar Isaac (in attendance), Carey Mulligan, John Goodman, Garrett Hedlund, and Justin Timberlake. Winner of the Grand Prix at the 2013 Cannes International Film Festival, the film follows a week in the life of a young folk singer as he navigates the Greenwich Village folk scene of 1961. Inside Llewyn Davis features the Coen brothers’ fourth collaboration with Grammy and Academy Award®-winning music producer T Bone Burnett, also in attendance.

Additional films include: Steve McQueen’s 12 YEARS A SLAVE starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender and Chiwetel Ejiofor, AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play and featuring a powerful ensemble cast including Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts; Alexander Payne’s NEBRASKA starring Will Forté (in attendance) and Bruce Dern; biopic MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM starring Idris Elba; James Franco’s CHILD OF GOD;  BIG SUR with Josh Lucas, Jean Marc-Barr and John Robbins in attendance; and the World Premiere of the romance drama LIGHT YEARS, starring Allison Janney and Clark Gregg. Also playing is PHILOMENA with Judi Dench and Steve Coogan; HBO’S WHOOPI GOLDBERG PRESENTS MOMS MABLEY; COLD COMES THE NIGHT starring Alice Eve and Bryan Cranston; crime drama MYSTERY ROAD; and WINTER IN THE BLOOD with cast in attendance.

The AFF lineup consists of Marquee Screenings; Comedy Vanguard; Texas Independents, a showcase for Texas filmmakers; and new categories Dark Matters, exhibiting horror films, Write/Rec, and Heart of Film, highlighting the very best of low-budget independent filmmaking and out of competition jewels.

AFF 2013 FILM LINEUP:

MARQUEE SCREENINGS:

INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS – Joel and Ethan Coen (Writer/Directors); Oscar Isaac and T Bone Burnett in attendance
12 YEARS A SLAVE –
John Ridley (Writer), Steve McQueen (Director)
NEBRASKA
– Bob Nelson (Writer), Alexander Payne (Director); Will Forté in attendance
AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY
– Tracy Letts (Writer), John Wells (Director)
MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM
– William Nicholson (Writer), Justin Chadwick (Director)
PHILOMENA
– Steve Coogan (Writer), Jeff Pope (Writer), Stephen Frears (Director)
BIG SUR
– Michael Polish (Writer/Director); Josh Lucas, Jean Marc-Barr and John Robbinson in attendance
WINTER IN THE BLOOD
– Ken White (Writer), Alex and Andrew Smith (Writer/Directors); cast in attendance
CHILD OF GOD – James Franco (Writer/Director), Vince Jolivette (Writer)
HBO’S WHOOPI GOLDBERG PRESENTS MOMS MABLEY– Whoopi Goldberg (Director)
MYSTERY ROAD
– Ivan Sen (Writer/Director)
IF YOU BUILD IT
– Patrick Creadon (Director)
LAST I HEARD –
David Rodriguez (Writer/Director); Paul Sorvino in attendance
YUMA
– Wojciech Gajewicz (Writer), Piotr Mularuk (Writer/Director)
NUMBER 10 BLUES/GOODBYE, SAIGON
– Norio Osada (Writer/Director) – US Premiere
MOM, DAD, I’M MUSLIM
– Anat Tel Mendelovich (Writer/Director) – US Premiere
CAVEMEN
Herschel Faber (Writer/Director); Chad Michael Murray in attendance – World Premiere

NARRATIVE FEATURE COMPETITION

BESIDE STILL WATERS – Chris Lowell (Writer/Director), Mohit Narang (Writer)
CRACKHEADS
– Tim Tsiklauri (Writer/Director), Andy Sophocleous (Writer) – US Premiere
FINDING NEIGHBORS
– Ron Judkins (Writer/Director) – World Premiere
JACK, JULES, ESTHER AND ME
– Daniel Poliner (Writer/Director) – World Premiere
A LEADING MAN – Steven J. Kung (Writer/Director)
THE MAID’S ROOM
– Michael Walker (Writer/Director)
THE ODD WAY HOME
– Rajeev Nirmalakhandan (Writer/Director) Jason Ronstadt (Writer) – World Premiere
SIREN – Jesse Peyronel (Writer/Director) – US Premiere

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE COMPETITION

ALL OF ME – Alexandra Lescaze (Director)
DOG DAYS – Kasey Kirby, Laura Waters Hinson (Directors) – World Premiere
ICEBOUND – Daniel Anker (Director) – US Premiere
LIVING DOLLS – Maureen Judge (Director) – World Premiere
POLITICAL BODIES – Christopher Englese (Director) – World Premiere
TAKE AWAY ONE – William Lorton (Director) – World Premiere
THE PROJECT – Shawn Efran and Adam Ciralsky (Director)
120 DAYS – Ted Roach (Director) – World Premiere

HEART OF FILM

A BIRDER’S GUIDE TO EVERYTHING – Luke Matheny (Writer), Rob Meyer (Writer/Director)
CIRCLE THE WAGEN – Ryan Steven Green (Writer/Director)
FAVOR –
Paul Osborne (Writer/Director)
FOREVER’S END – J.C. Schroder (Writer/Director)
GIRL ON A BICYCLE –
Jeremy Leven (Writer/Director)
GREAT CHICKEN WING HUNT –
Matt Reynolds (Writer)
HOW TO FOLLOW STRANGERS –
Chioke Nassor (Writer/Director)
LA NAVAJA de DON JUAN –
Tom Sanchez (Writer/Director) – World Premiere
THE LIFE AND CRIMES OF DORIS PAYNE –
Kirk Marcolina and Matthew Pond (Directors)
LIGHT YEARS –
Matthew Mullen (Writer), Maggie Kiley (Writer/Director) – World Premiere
SCRAPPER –
Brady Hall (Writer/Director); Aidan Gillen in attendance
SOLE SURVIVOR –
Ky Dickens (Writer/Director)
THAT BURNING FEELING –
Nick Citton (Writer), Jason James (Director) – US Premiere

Guest Programmers

Jonathan Demme (2013 Extraordinary Contribution to Filmmaking Awardee) presents… Greaser’s Palace, Horses of God and Enzo Avitabile Music Life
Vince Gilligan (2013 Outstanding Television Writer Awardee) presents…
The French Connection
Callie Khouri (2013 Distinguished Screenwriter Awardee) presents…
Thelma and Louise
Barry Josephson (2013 Inaugural Heart of Film Awardee) presents…
Enchanted
Norman Steinberg presents…
Blazing Saddles
Brian Helgeland presents…
Cool Hand Luke
Jim Taylor presents…
Citizen Ruth

COMEDY VANGUARD

COFFEE, KILL BOSS – Sigurd Ueland (Writer), Nathan Marshall (Director); Eddie Jemison in attendance – World Premiere
G.B.F.
– George Northy (Writer), Darren Stein (Director)
THE GOLDEN SCALLOP – Kevin Harrigan (Writer), Joseph Laraja (Director)
HELLAWARE
– Michael M. Bilandic (Writer/Director)
I’M DATING YOU NOT – Pablo Flores (Writer), Guillermo Groizard (Director) – US Premiere
THE LITTLE TIN MAN
– Dugan Bridges, Matthew Perkins (Writers), Matthew Perkins (Director)
MOP KING –
Ace Dixon (Writer/Director) – World Premiere
WAKING -
Skyler Caleb (Writer), Ben Shelton (Director)

DARK MATTERS

BLOOD PUNCH – Eddie Guzelian (Writer), Madellaine Paxson (Director) – World Premiere
DARK MOUNTAIN
– Tara Anaïse (Writer/Director) – US Premiere
DUG UP – Dustin Rikert (Writer/Director) – World Premiere
INNOCENCE – Hilary Brougher (Writer/Director), Tristine Skyler (Writer) – World Premiere
OXV: THE MANUAL – Darren Paul Fisher (Writer/Director) – US Premiere

TEXAS INDEPENDENTS

DEAR SIDEWALK – Jake Limbert (Writer), Jake Oelman (Director) – World Premiere
LITTLE HOPE WAS ARSON – Theo Love (Director)
THE ROAD TO LIVINGSTON – Erik Mauck (Director), Chelsea Hernandez (Director) – World Premiere
SOMBRAS DE AZUL – Kelly Daniela Norris (Writer/Director) – World Premiere

WRITE/REC

ALWAYS LEARNING – Robert Krakower (Writer/Director) – World Premiere
THE BLOC –
Max Sturgeon (Writer/Director) – World Premiere
DRONES – Matt Witten (Writer), Rick Rosenthal (Director) – US Premiere
THE FABLE OF SHANNON CABLE – Vinnie Hogan (Writer/Director) – World Premiere
HANDY – Vincenzo Cosentino (Writer/Director) – World Premiere
NOT SAFE FOR WORK
– Ryan Balas (Writer/Director) – World Premiere
SPEAK NOW – Erin Cardillo (Writer), Noah Harald (Director) – World Premiere
3 REFERENCES –
James Christopher (Writer/Director) – World Premiere

To see a full list of Short Films, click here.

*Cast and crew attendance is subject to change and based on permitting schedules

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2013 Full Short Films Lineup Announced

Austin Film Festival is excited to announce the full list of short films slated for this year’s 20th Anniversary Festival!

Austin Film Festival is excited to announce the full list of short films slated for this year’s 20th Anniversary Festival!

9 METER (Denmark, 17 min)
Writer/Director
: Anders Walter
16-year-old Daniel believes breaking his long jump records is keeping his dying mother alive. He sets out to make the most dangerous jump of his life.

AB- (USA, 10 min)
Writer/Director
: Daniel Klein
Stuck and injured on a remote road in the dead of winter, emergency medical assistance can be there in minutes … if you last that long.

ABANDONED (USA, 4 min)
Writers/Directors
: Rainer Magik and Holle Singer
Haunted by memory, a romantic grapples for meaning after the unexplained disappearance of his love. 

ANNIVERSARIO (USA, 12 min)
Writer/Director
: Jeffrey Dechausse
Carmela visits her two favorite hairdressers in preparation for an evening out on her 45th wedding anniversary, and becomes the most important makeover of their lives.

BARBIE BOY (USA, 13 min)
Writers
: Mickey Corporon and Nick Corporon
Director
: Nick Corporon
A boy re-considers his favorite toy after his father tells him he’s different.

BEAUTY MARK (Canada, 14 min)
Writer/Director
: Mark Ratzlaff
An 8-year-old pageant star looking to get out of the business faces her biggest obstacle, her mother.

THE BICYCLE (USA, 7 min)
Writers/Directors
: Adam Neustadter and Chris McCoy
An old, abandoned bicycle learns how to love again.

BIRD DOGGIN’! (USA, 2 min)
Writer/Director
: Bram Cayne
Music meets mayhem when a pet dog and a stray bird get into a fight amongst an unsuspecting struggling songwriter’s musical instruments.

BOOP BEEP (USA, 5 min)
Writer/Director
: Murphy Gilson
A handcrafted love story about a homemade cardboard box robot and the girlbot he loves.

BLESSING IN DIGUISE (USA, 10 min)
Writer
: Harris Danow
Director
: Eric Kissack
Katie gets dumped; also, she has herpes.  But her friends convince her to get back out there and find her special match.

BLINDE LIEFDE (BLIND LOVE) (Netherlands, 30 min)
Writer/Director
: Jenny van den Broeke
How do you find the love of your life when you cannot see?  Three blind teenagers share their love lives as well as their ideas of what love should be like.

BUG PEOPLE (USA, 15 min)
Director
: Paul Meyers
A documentarian investigates our culture’s discomfort with all things many-legged.

CAUGHT (USA, 20 min)
Writers
: Bruce X. Li and Michael Piel
Director
: Burce X. Li
It is 2001. Gunn, a student experienced in trading illegal contrabands, acts as a liaison between traders. Now he’s got to pull one last job to win the girl he loves.

CAUTIONARY TAIL, A (USA, 14 min)
Writer
: Erica Harrison
Director
: Simon Rippingale
A little girl is born with a tail that expresses her emotions.  As a child, her parents celebrate their her uniqueness until the young woman faces pressure to fit in, and must choose between conformity and self-expression.

CHASSEUR  (USA, 15 min)
Writer/Director
: Christopher Soren Kelly
Sometime in the first half of the twentieth century, somewhere on the crossroads of the Louisiana Bayou, the half-mad Louis Chasseur, hunts the Devil.

CONVERSATION ABOUT CHEATING WITH MY TIME TRAVELING FUTURE SELF,  A (USA, 9 min)
Writer/Director
: Pornsak Pichetshote
One man heads travels back in time to tell himself to cheat on his girlfriend.

COOTIE CONTAGION(USA, 8 min)
Writer/Director
: Josh Smooha
Matt likes Becca.  Cootieologist Connor has threatened to him quarantine him if necessary.  Becca’s birthday party is off limits… Or we’re all doomed!

COWTOWN KEEYLOCKO (TEXAS, 11 min)
Director: Ira Chute
On the edge of the desert, a man has built his own western town. A sign there reads “Population 5 – most of the time.”

CRIME OF THE CENTURY (Texas, 7 min)
Writer/Director: Andy Young
Two cops try to uncover the details of huge case from uncooperative clown.

THE DALLIANCE (Texas, 8 min)
Writer/Director
: Eduardo A. Garcia
Death, incarnated as a beautiful young woman, flirts with a dying man in a hospital.                      

DECEMBER 25 (Australia, 1 min)
Writer/Director
: Wendy Dent
A Christmas note forces a writer to consider their words carefully.

DELICACY (USA, 11 min)
Writers
: Frieda Luk and Jason Mann
Director
: Jason Mann
A culinary connoisseur and his loyal chef venture into danger for a rare treat.

DETENTION (TEXAS, 4 min)
Writer/Director
: Chad Mathews
A study hall mishap prove if the crime is a funny one, it’s well worth serving that dreaded after school detention.

DIE LETZTE GRENZE (THE LAST BORDER) (Germany, 21 min)
Writer/Director
: Daniel Butterworth
A border guard desperately tries to stop Europe from opening its borders and jeopardizing his secret love.

DOGONAUTS : ENEMY LINE (USA, 17 min)
Writers/Directors
: Justin Rasch and Shel Rasch
In a galaxy far, far away, a Dogonaut and a Space Flea shoot each other down only to awake side by side, marooned on an alien desert planet..

DON’T CALL IT A COMEBACK (USA, 7 min)
Writer/Director
: Ramin Serry
A Manhattan bachelor dies and crosses over to ‘the other side,’ where he tries to convince an angel to put him back into his body so he can have a one night-stand.

DUST (UK, 8 min)
Writers/Directors
: Ben Ockrent, Jake Russell
Todd (Alan Rickman) follows a young girl and her mother home from school, waiting until nightfall to take what he’s come for.

END OF THE BEGINNING (USA, 18 min)
Writer/Director
: Richard Marshall
Sookie, 15, tough, gun toting is on the road with her sick father after surviving a near future apocalyptic event. They take cover in an abandoned diner where they meet the only local survivor.

EPILOGUE (USA, 16 min)
Writer/Director
: Dylan Allen
At the end of his greatest adventure, Skillman has vanquished his nemesis, recovered the priceless artifact and saved his latest love from certain doom.

EQUACAO DE AMOR, A (The Equation Of Love) (Brazil, 20 min)
Writer/Director
: Fábio Allon
In the midst of final exams, Ian, can only think of dating Nina.  Will he solve his problem or leave this page of his life blank?

EUTANAS S.A. (Spain, 10 min)
Writer/Director
: Victor Nores
For those who need or want to put a legitimately spectacular end to their lives, just select your method of payment.

THE EXIT ROOM (USA, 10 min)
Writer/Director
: Todd Wiseman Jr.
An imprisoned journalist (Christopher Abbot) makes a desperate escape attempt in order to return to his wife and new-born.

FIREFLY AND THE COFFEE MACHINE (USA, 7 min)
Writer/Director
: John Michael Wilyat
A forgotten robo-coffee-maker lives in the shadow of his inventor’s latest creation.

FIRST TIME PHONE SEX (USA, 7 min)
Writer
: James Zimmerman
Director
: Philip Donohue
A newlywed suburban couple try to spice up their time apart.

FLIGHTS OF FANCY (Animated Shorts) (TRT: 88 min)
Fool’s Day
(USA, 19 min)
Writers
: Cody Blue Snider and Shane Snider
Director
: Cody Blue Snider
The 4th grade class pulls an innocent, April Fool’s prank on their teacher… with disastrous results.

FORMOSA, TX (Texas, 15 min)
Writer/Director
: Roy Rutngamlug
A first generation Asian-American helping his mother run a diner in a small outpost town sees escape in the arrival of a broken down bus full of hungry passengers.

FOUR BROTHERS. OR THREE. WAIT… THREE.  (USA, 5 min)
Writer/Director
: Philip Buiser
Three brothers have to figure out what to do with their newly undead brother before their parents wake up.

FRAME OF MIND (USA, 14 min)
Writers: Brett Cramer and Evan Littman
Director: Brett Cramer
In order to catch a serial killer, investigators use cutting-edge technology to explore and draw out a witness’ repressed memories.

FUTURE SELF(USA, 17 min)
Writer/Director
: Ezra Godden
A sharp, ambitious boy is deeply underwhelmed when he meets a carefree, bizarre looking weirdo claiming to be his future self.

THE GOLDFISH (USA 11 min)
Writer/Director
: Mathieu Young
A young man (Jason Ritter) making a documentary asking people ‘If you had a magic goldfish that granted you three wishes, what of this goldfish would you wish’ finds an elderly man who prefers not to answer. 

GRANDMA’S NOT A TOASTER (USA, 9 min)
Writer
: Shawn Christensen
Director
: Andrew Napier
A whiskey-guzzling-mother-to-be tries to persuade her neurotic brother to help her steal their ailing Grandmother’s fortune.

THE GUIDE (USA, 40 min)
Director
: Jessica Yu
Raised near Gorongosa National Park, Tonga Torcida dreams of becoming a tour guide. But when he meets famed biologist E.O. Wilson, he envisions a bigger role for himself in keeping the park alive.  A coming-of-age tale set against the restoration of a war-torn national park in Mozambique.

HARBINGER (Texas, 13 min)
Writer/Director
: MacGregor Greenlee
Charlie, a deliver for the Bad News Bearers, finds his task more complicated when an acquaintance tags along.

HONEYMOON SUITE (China, 13 min)
Writers
: Tom Toro and Zao Wang
Director
: Zao Wang
Service is the top priority at this posh boutique hotel, even when a mysterious American guest wreaks havoc to his specially prepared room.

HOW TO SHARPEN PENCILS (USA, 10 min)
Director
: Kenneth Price
A practical and theoretical treatise on the artisanal craft of sharpening a pencil by hand.  Seriously.  This is real.

THE HUSTLE (Australia, 7 min)
Writer/Director
: Topher Field
Fancy a game of pool?   The stakes are high and your wallet keeps the score.

I’M THE ONE (Australia, 14 min)
Writer/Director
: Paola Morabito
16-year-old Wolfe rejects his father’s invitation for a boy’s night out to confront his feelings for his dad’s girlfriend.

 JACOB FIGHTS GIANTS  (Australia, 15 min)
Writer
: Lucas Miller
Director
: Janelle Rayner
Forced to move to the country, Stephanie gets caught in annoying neighbor Jacob’s ever-ending battle against the Giants that live in the forest.

JE T’AIME (Finland, 10 min)
Writers/Directors
: Joel Rahkonen and Sonia Stenius
About to move to London with his girlfriend Johannes decides another journey is more pressing.

JODY’S BRA (USA, 17 min)
Writer/Director
: Janine Sides
When the popular girls at summer camp steal Jody’s over-sized bra, her adventurous recovery mission challenges old friendships and forges new alliances.

KAREN RETURNS SOMETHING TO SCOTT (USA, 5 min)
Writers
: Andrew Bowler and Cameron Wilder
Director
: John Salcido
A nervous groom awaits an unlikely guest to his wedding – his ex.

KING OF SIZE, THE (USA, 18 min)
Director
: Peter Dowd
A 40-year old bodybuilder completes his seventeen-year, injury-plagued quest to reclaim his title as ‘Mr. New York.’

LA NUIT DE L’OURS (THE NIGHT OF THE BEAR) (Switzerland, 22 min)
Writers/Directors
: Fred Guillaume and Samuel Gillaume
In a city of disconcerting nature, homeless animals search for shelter for the night.

THE LANDING (Australia, 18 min)
Writers
: Jade van der Lei and Josh Tanner
Director
: Josh Tanner
A man returns to the farm of his childhood on a desperate mission: unearth the horrifying truth of what landed there in the summer of 1960.

LIFT (USA, 15 min)
Writers
: Brett Swanson and Kieran Valla
Director
: Kieran Valla
A dutiful teenage son helps his mother support the family by shoplifting, until she wants to increase the role of his ten-year-old brother.

LOVESEAT (USA, 15 min)
Writer/Director
: Matthew Richmond
Joe (Matt Jones, Breaking Bad), reluctant to part with his treasured sofa, puts his relationship in danger, until he receives a bit of well-couched advice.

LUMIN (USA, 5 min)
Writer/Director
: Grace Kim
A young boy find himself pursued by monsters after one thing: his light.

MIA (Belgium/Netherlands, 9 min)
Writers
: Bert Vandecastelle and Wouter Bongaerts
Director
: Wouter Bongaerts
7-year-old Mia tries to liberate her overworked mother from the clutches of an overpopulated metropolis.

MISS TODD (USA, 13 min)
Writers
: Frances Poletti and Kristina Yee
Director
: Kristina Yee
In 1910 New York, a woman had a dream to fly, but found more than gravity holding her down. In this musical, Miss Todd’s plight and adventure soar out of her forgotten presence in aviation history.

MOMMY (Denmark, 12 min)
Writer/Director
: René Frelle Petersen
Emma would rather go to the movies with her friends then take care of her big brother Lucas who has cerebral palsy and needs constant care.

MR. INVISIBLE (UK, 14 min)
Writer
: Richard Sainsbury
Director
: Greg Ash
A lonely disregarded old man seems invisible to the world around him.

 MY SUPER VALENTINE (TEXAS, 8 min)
Writer/Director
: Jing Yang
7-year old Ashley stand up to the class bully in order to save her uninterested crush in an art class on Valentine’s Day.

NOBODY (TEXAS, 4 min)
Writer
: John Merriman
Directors: Kerri Lendo and John Merriman
A man uses a dating website and finds his perfect match, shame about the body.

OPEN SPACES (USA, 15 min)
Writer/Director
: Nick Rafter
Norman, a shy Arab American living in New York City, finds his life transformed by Kate, his elderly neighbor who hasn’t left her apartment since 9/11.  But neighborhood watchdog Ed has other ideas about what Norman might be up to.

OUVERTURE (USA, 5 min)
Writer/Director
: Bracey Smith
For one little girl in soviet controlled Bulgaria, potential manifests itself as music that pours from her heart.

PALIMPSEST (USA, 17 min)
Writers
: Ben Nabors and Michael Tyburski
Director
: Michael Tyburski
A successful house tuner provides clients a unique form of living space therapy.

PAULIE (USA, 11 min)
Writer
: David Lee
Director
: Andrew Nackman
A child prodigy who goes on a quest to take down the school bully after the bully beats him in the big essay contest.

PAST THEIR PRIME (USA, 23 min)
Director
: Becca Friedman
A look at the world of geriatric zoo animal care, through Colo–the oldest living gorilla in captivity–on her 55th birthday.

PEARL WAS HERE (USA, 9 min)
Writer/Director
: Kate Marks
A little girl finds solace in a sea of stuffed animals.

PENNY DREADFUL (USA, 18 min)
Writer/Director:
Shane Atkinson
A novice crook winds up kidnapping a little girl who may not be worth the trouble or the ransom.

PEPE & LUCAS (USA, 8 min)
Writer
: Mo Davoudian
Directors
: Mo Davudian and Wim Bien
A hi-tech fight waged between an angry clown and an innocent street mime hopes to end a centuries old street entertainer rivalry.

PHOTOBOMB (TEXAS, 7 min)
Writer/Director
: Andrew Olson
A photographer on vacation takes drastic measures to stop someone from ruining all his pictures.

Pistachio Milk (USA, 9 min)
Writer/Director
: Avram Dodson
On the streets of Dhaka, young urchin courts a beautiful social striver using only his wits and a bottle of pistachio milk.

PLAYERS (USA, 9 min)
Writers:
Aaron Friedland and Jonathan David
Director:
Jonathan David
A charming ladies-man with paper-thin ethics finds himself a match out of tougher than card stock.

THE POSSIBILITIES (USA, 5 min)
Writer/Director
: Alexander Poe
A New York couple goes on an odyssey to find the perfect brunch.

PULLING TEETH (USA, 16 min)
Directors
: Jennifer Suwak and Steve Abruzzese
Equestrian Dentist, John Baker’s communication with horses and his ability to bond with them make him very unique in his field of work.

Puzzled (UK, 8 min)
Writer/Director
: Oliver Kember
1980.  Oscar’s only chance at survival in the playground is to learn how to solve the Rubik’s Cube before anyone else can.

RANGE JUNKIES (USA, 18 min)
Writer/Director
: Lucas Mireles
A guy.  A girl.  A lost gun.  An employee of the month.

RECORD (USA, 16 min)
Writer/Director
: David Lyons
A father in mourning struggles to connect with his blind daughter, but finds the answer amidst her collection of memories.

REHEARSAL (USA, 5 min)
Writer/Director
: Jacqueline Christy
The Dean of the Coney Island Sideshow struggles to complete his new act, The One Minute Magic Act, in one minute.

RESTITUTION (USA, 13 min)
Writer/Director
: Justin Miller
Still recovering from the recent loss of a child, Preston discovers his wife has cloned their son without his consent.

REZA HASSANI GOEST TO THE MALL (USA, 10 min)
Writer/Director
: Sara Zandieh
A recent immigrant makes a pilgrimage to the American cultural mecca.

THE RIDER AND THE STORM (USA, 16 min)
Directors
: David Darg and Bryn Mooser
A New York iron worker escapes the grind of the city through surfing, until Superstorm Sandy destroys his home and his board.

ROOT OF THE PROBLEM, THE (USA, 14 min)
Writer
s: Mark Davidson and Ryan Spindell
Director
: Ryan Spindell
A reluctant young housewife suspects that the friendly neighborhood dentist is hiding a horrible secret, or is it just the anesthesia at work? 

RUNNING SKINNY (USA, 11 min)
Writer
: Jacob Beyer
Director
: Chris Wagner
Kicked out of their alcoholic boss’ work party for bringing beer, Chase and Kelby think their chance of meeting the transfer girls is shot.

SLEEPLESS CITIES (Texas, 14 min)
Writer
: Zach Endres
Director
: Steven Hendrix
A young girl seeks revenge for the murder of her father in the midst of an ongoing bloodbath between warring cities.

SMALL PARANIOD MACHINES (Texas, 16 min)
Writer/Director
: Alvaro Torres
When Oliver, a twelve-year-old boy, takes his first steps as a wordsmith, his father, has an interesting way of encouraging him.

SOUNDS PERFECT (New Zealand, 7 min)
Writer
: Greg Stubbings
Directors
: Allen George and Greg Stubbings
Armed with cucumbers and mayonnaise, Dave Dobson is a self proclaimed ‘audio enhancement engineer’ in the adult film industry.

SPECIAL MOMENTS BY OKSANA (USA, 14 min)
Writer/Director
: Sarah Jean Kruchowski
Joan finds herself in a hairy situation as she preps for a big date.

STRANGEL- THE ANGEL OF THE ODD (Canada/Germany, 20 min)
Writers
: Andrea von Braun, Mattio Martinez, and Urs-Daniel Douwes
Director
: Daniel von Braun
Based on an Edgar Allan Poe story, a true bachelor and gentleman denies the existence of coincidences and great misfortunes until one night, fate – in the form of truly strange angel, sends him on an odd path of reformation.

TALENT SHOW (UK, 6 min)
Writer
: Matthew Baskott
Director
: Claire Winter
Fay Adams, one time dancing star, now runs the annual talent show at the local community church hall. This year is not going according to her rigorous regime.

TELMO & MARTINA (Spain, 4 min)
Writer/Director
: Kike Narcea
In spite of adversity, Telmo and Martina love each other a lot.

THIS IS IT (USA, 3 min)
Writer/Director
: Alexander Engel
Two guys move into their first apartment.  Stuff happens.  It gets real… real quick.

TOME OF THE UNKNOWN (USA, 9 min)
Writer/Director
: Patrick McHale
Wirt (Elijah Wood) and Gregory get tired of walking so they borrow a car from a romantic songster made of vegetables.

UMBRELLACORN (USA, 4 min)
Writers
: Andy Rheingold, Mike De Seve, and Stephen P. Neary
Director
: Stephen P. Neary
In a land of cupcakes and donuts, a lovestruck unicorn has an umbrella for a horn.

UN MONDE MEILLEUR (A BETTER WORLD) (Belgium, 24 min)
Writer/Director
: Sacha Feiner
A dedicated worker at the Denunciation Ministry finds himself unemployed following the collapse the pitiless dictatorship.

 THE WELL (USA, 12 min)
Writer/Director
: Christian Baker
A young soldier stationed alone on the US/Mexican border during the Civil War fights his own demons.

WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT (USA, 7 min)
Writer
: Marin Miller
Director
: Wes Edwards
The dialogue’s fast, the gal’s faster, and the relationship progresses at ludicrous speed in this black-and-white, 1940′s-inspired musical romp.

WIN OR LOSE (USA, 16 min)
Director
: Daniel Koehler
When a discriminatory amendment threatens the legitimacy of non-traditional families in North Carolina, a photographer takes up his camera to fight for equality.

WINGS (USA, 8 min)
Writer/Director
: José Villalobos
Christopher prepares himself for one of the most important concerts of his career. Many hours of hard work are required to get everything ready for a show.

WOODY (Australia, 10 min)
Writer/Director
: Stuart Brown
A wooden character who wants to play piano but only has paddles for hands.

WOMAN IN THE DRESS, THE (USA, 28 min)
Writer/Director
: Henry Pincus
A beautiful, mysterious woman enters the tailor shop of young Wei Li.  Compelled to follow her, he discovers a world where love and money collide, and a tear in a dress may be a tear in a relationship.

YOU MISSED SONJA (Germany, 20 min)
Writer
: Carola M. Lowitz
Director
: Félix Koch
From a Stephen King story.  A voyeuristic author of thriller-novels witnesses a crime at a lonely gas station.  Deciding to help, he gets a full service fill of horror.

YOUNG(ISH) (USA, 7 min)
Writer/Director
: Renée Felice Smith
During an afternoon at the beach, an elderly couple transports back to their childhood through the help of a wooden, playground pirate ship.

ZZZZZZZ (USA, 5 min)
Writer/Director
: Tarik Karam
A couple in love sleepwalks through their relationship.

For the lineup of 2013 Feature Films, click here.

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THE 2013 AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES 20TH ANNIVERSARY FILM LINEUP

THE 2013 AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES 20TH ANNIVERSARY FILM LINEUP JOEL AND ETHAN COEN’S INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS AS CENTERPIECE FILM PRESENTED BY LEAD ACTOR OSCAR ISAAC AND MUSIC PRODUCER T BONE BURNETT FULL FILM LINEUP INCLUDES 12 YEARS A SLAVE, AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY, MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM, CHILD OF GOD, AND BIG SUR AUSTIN, TX (Sept 17, 2013) – Austin Film Festival (AFF) …

THE 2013 AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES 20TH ANNIVERSARY FILM LINEUP


JOEL AND ETHAN COEN’S INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS AS CENTERPIECE FILM PRESENTED BY LEAD ACTOR OSCAR ISAAC AND MUSIC PRODUCER T BONE BURNETT

FULL FILM LINEUP INCLUDES 12 YEARS A SLAVE, AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY, MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM, CHILD OF GOD, AND BIG SUR

AUSTIN, TX (Sept 17, 2013) – Austin Film Festival (AFF) announced today the full film lineup with more world and U.S. Premieres showcased than ever before in the twenty year history of the festival which takes place Oct. 24th – 31st, 2013 in Austin, TX.

The lineup of over 70 feature films and over 100 short films includes anticipated independent and Oscar®-bound productions spanning across all film genres from drama to comedy and everything in between. This year’s Centerpiece Film is INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS starring Oscar Isaac (in attendance), Carey Mulligan, John Goodman, Garrett Hedlund, and Justin Timberlake. Winner of the Grand Prix at the 2013 Cannes International Film Festival, the film follows a week in the life of a young folk singer as he navigates the Greenwich Village folk scene of 1961. Inside Llewyn Davis features the Coen brothers’ fourth collaboration with Grammy and Academy Award®-winning music producer T Bone Burnett, also in attendance.

Additional films include: Steve McQueen’s 12 YEARS A SLAVE starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender and Chiwetel Ejiofor, AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play and featuring a powerful ensemble cast including Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts; Alexander Payne’s NEBRASKA starring Will Forté (in attendance) and Bruce Dern; biopic MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM starring Idris Elba; James Franco’s CHILD OF GOD;  BIG SUR with Josh Lucas, Jean Marc-Barr and John Robbins in attendance; and the World Premiere of the romance drama LIGHT YEARS, starring Allison Janney and Clark Gregg. Also playing is PHILOMENA with Judi Dench and Steve Coogan; HBO’S WHOOPI GOLDBERG PRESENTS MOMS MABLEY; COLD COMES THE NIGHT starring Alice Eve and Bryan Cranston; crime drama MYSTERY ROAD; AND WINTER IN THE BLOOD with cast in attendance.

Elaine May will be joining this year’s Festival & Conference as a contributing guest programmer (along with the likes of Vince Gilligan, Callie Khouri, Jonathan Demme, and Shane Black), as well as participating on a panel discussion about writing comedy led by Everybody Loves Raymond creator Phil Rosenthal.  Elaine May is known best for her work as a screenwriter, director, playwright, and actress, including the sketch act Nichols and May and such films as THE HEARTBREAK KID, TOOTSIE, THE BIRDCAGE, PRIMARY COLORS, A NEW LEAF, and ISHTAR.

The AFF lineup consists of Marquee Screenings; Comedy Vanguard; Texas Independents, a showcase for Texas filmmakers; and new categories Dark Matters, exhibiting horror films, Write/Rec, and Heart of Film, highlighting the very best of low-budget independent filmmaking and out of competition jewels.

All films will have the chance to vie for this year’s Capital One Bank Audience Award. Awarded films will be selected by AFF Audience members by ballot following each film’s screening.  AFF will host over 180 screenings and over 100 panelists for the coinciding Writers Conference which has been extended this year through Oct. 31 in honor of the 20th Anniversary.  Badges, Passes, and information on all announced panelists and special events can be found at www.austinfilmfestival.com.

AFF 2013 FILM LINEUP:

MARQUEE SCREENINGS:
INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS
– Joel and Ethan Coen (Writer/Directors); Oscar Isaac and T Bone Burnett in attendance
12 YEARS A SLAVE –
John Ridley (Writer), Steve McQueen (Director)
NEBRASKA
– Bob Nelson (Writer), Alexander Payne (Director); Will Forté in attendance
AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY
– Tracy Letts (Writer), John Wells (Director)
MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM
– William Nicholson (Writer), Justin Chadwick (Director)
PHILOMENA
– Steve Coogan (Writer), Jeff Pope (Writer), Stephen Frears (Director)
BIG SUR
– Michael Polish (Writer/Director); Josh Lucas, Jean Marc-Barr and John Robbinson in attendance
WINTER IN THE BLOOD
– Ken White (Writer), Alex and Andrew Smith (Writer/Directors); cast in attendance
CHILD OF GOD – James Franco (Writer/Director), Vince Jolivette (Writer)
HBO’S WHOOPI GOLDBERG PRESENTS MOMS MABLEY– Whoopi Goldberg (Director)
MYSTERY ROAD
– Ivan Sen (Writer/Director)
IF YOU BUILD IT
– Patrick Creadon (Director)
LAST I HEARD –
David Rodriguez (Writer/Director); Paul Sorvino in attendance
YUMA
– Wojciech Gajewicz (Writer), Piotr Mularuk (Writer/Director)
NUMBER 10 BLUES/GOODBYE, SAIGON
– Norio Osada (Writer/Director) – US Premiere
MOM, DAD, I’M MUSLIM
– Anat Tel Mendelovich (Writer/Director) – US Premiere
CAVEMEN
Herschel Faber (Writer/Director); Chad Michael Murray in attendance – World Premiere

NARRATIVE FEATURE COMPETITION
BESIDE STILL WATERS – Chris Lowell (Writer/Director), Mohit Narang (Writer)
CRACKHEADS
– Tim Tsiklauri (Writer/Director), Andy Sophocleous (Writer) – US Premiere
FINDING NEIGHBORS
– Ron Judkins (Writer/Director) – World Premiere
JACK, JULES, ESTHER AND ME
– Daniel Poliner (Writer/Director) – World Premiere
A LEADING MAN – Steven J. Kung (Writer/Director)
THE MAID’S ROOM
– Michael Walker (Writer/Director)
THE ODD WAY HOME
– Rajeev Nirmalakhandan (Writer/Director) Jason Ronstadt (Writer) – World Premiere
SIREN – Jesse Peyronel (Writer/Director) – US Premiere

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE COMPETITION
ALL OF ME – Alexandra Lescaze (Director)
DOG DAYS – Kasey Kirby, Laura Waters Hinson (Directors) – World Premiere
ICEBOUND – Daniel Anker (Director) – US Premiere
LIVING DOLLS – Maureen Judge (Director) – World Premiere
POLITICAL BODIES – Christopher Englese (Director) – World Premiere
TAKE AWAY ONE – William Lorton (Director) – World Premiere
THE PROJECT – Shawn Efran (Director)
120 DAYS – Ted Roach (Director) – World Premiere

HEART OF FILM
A BIRDER’S GUIDE TO EVERYTHING –
Luke Matheny (Writer), Rob Meyer (Writer/Director)
CIRCLE THE WAGEN – Ryan Steven Green (Writer/Director)
FAVOR –
Paul Osborne (Writer/Director)
FOREVER’S END – J.C. Schroder (Writer/Director)
GIRL ON A BICYCLE –
Jeremy Leven (Writer/Director)
GREAT CHICKEN WING HUNT –
Matt Reynolds (Writer)
HOW TO FOLLOW STRANGERS –
Chioke Nassor (Writer/Director)
LA NAVAJA de DON JUAN –
Tom Sanchez (Writer/Director) – World Premiere
THE LIFE AND CRIMES OF DORIS PAYNE –
Kirk Marcolina and Matthew Pond (Directors)
LIGHT YEARS –
Matthew Mullen (Writer), Maggie Kiley (Writer/Director) – World Premiere
SCRAPPER –
Brady Hall (Writer/Director); Aidan Gillen in attendance
SOLE SURVIVOR –
Ky Dickens (Writer/Director)
THAT BURNING FEELING –
Nick Citton (Writer), Jason James (Director) – US Premiere

COMEDY VANGUARD
COFFEE, KILL BOSS
– Sigurd Ueland (Writer), Nathan Marshall (Director); Eddie Jemison in attendance – World Premiere
G.B.F.
– George Northy (Writer), Darren Stein (Director)
THE GOLDEN SCALLOP – Kevin Harrigan (Writer), Joseph Laraja (Director)
HELLAWARE
– Michael M. Bilandic (Writer/Director)
I’M DATING YOU NOT – Pablo Flores (Writer), Guillermo Groizard (Director) – US Premiere
THE LITTLE TIN MAN
– Dugan Bridges, Matthew Perkins (Writers), Matthew Perkins (Director)
MOP KING –
Ace Dixon (Writer/Director) – World Premiere
WAKING - Skyler Caleb (Writer), Ben Shelton (Director)

DARK MATTERS
BLOOD PUNCH – Eddie Guzelian (Writer), Madellaine Paxson (Director) – World Premiere
DARK MOUNTAIN
– Tara Anaïse (Writer/Director) – US Premiere
DUG UP – Dustin Rikert (Writer/Director) – World Premiere
INNOCENCE – Hilary Brougher (Writer/Director), Tristine Skyler (Writer) – World Premiere
OXV: THE MANUAL – Darren Paul Fisher (Writer/Director) – US Premiere

TEXAS INDEPENDENTS
DEAR SIDEWALK – Jake Limbert (Writer), Jake Oelman (Director) – World Premiere
LITTLE HOPE WAS ARSON – Theo Love (Director)
THE ROAD TO LIVINGSTON – Erik Mauck (Director), Chelsea Hernandez (Director) – World Premiere
SOMBRAS DE AZUL – Kelly Daniela Norris (Writer/Director) – World Premiere

WRITE/REC
ALWAYS LEARNING –
Robert Krakower (Writer/Director) – World Premiere
THE BLOC –
Max Sturgeon (Writer/Director) – World Premiere
DRONES – Matt Witten (Writer), Rick Rosenthal (Director) – US Premiere
THE FABLE OF SHANNON CABLE – Vinnie Hogan (Writer/Director) – World Premiere
HANDY – Vincenzo Cosentino (Writer/Director) – World Premiere

NOT SAFE FOR WORK – Ryan Balas (Writer/Director) – World Premiere
SPEAK NOW – Erin Cardillo (Writer), Noah Harald (Director) – World Premiere
3 REFERENCES –
James Christopher (Writer/Director) – World Premiere

Cast and crew attendance is subject to change and based on permitting schedules

About Austin Film Festival

Austin Film Festival (AFF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to furthering the art, craft and business of writers and filmmakers and recognizing their contributions to film, television and new media. AFF champions the work of aspiring and established writers and filmmakers by providing unique cultural events and services, enhancing public awareness and participation and encouraging dynamic and long-lasting community partnerships.

Special support is provided to Austin Film Festival by Capital One Bank, Stella Artois, KVUE, City of Austin – Cultural Arts Division, Texas Commission of the Arts, KUT/KUTX, and Shweiki Media.

 

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An Update for 2013 Screenplay Competition Entrants

After receiving a record number of entries, we have completed the reading process and have started mailing out notification letters. By the end of the week, letters will be sent out to all entrants and Semifinalists will receive a personal phone call from Matt Dy, Screenplay Competition Director. Within the next week, we will be sending out email notifications to all entrants to ensure everyone has received communication. Please give some time to receive your letter and e-mail before inquiring about the status of your script. The full results for the Second Round and Semifinalist scripts will be posted by mid September. Good luck to all of our 2013 entrants!

09.04.2013 | Matt Dy

After receiving a record number of entries, we have completed the reading process and have started mailing out notification letters. By the end of the week, letters will be sent out to all entrants and Semifinalists will receive a personal phone call from Matt Dy, Screenplay Competition Director. Within the next week, we will be sending out email notifications to all entrants to ensure everyone has received communication. Please give some time to receive your letter and e-mail before inquiring about the status of your script. The full results for the Second Round and Semifinalist scripts will be posted by mid September. Good luck to all of our 2013 entrants!

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Austin Film Festival Announces Exceptional 20th Anniversary Conference Slate

AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES EXCEPTIONAL 20TH ANNIVERSARY CONFERENCE SLATE

PANELISTS INCLUDE A LITANY OF HOLLYWOOD’S FINEST: SHANE BLACK, JONATHAN DEMME, VINCE GILLIGAN, RIAN JOHNSON, JENJI KOHAN, ROBERTO ORCI, ROBERT RODRIGUEZ, DAVID SHORE, AND MANY OTHERS

CALLIE KHOURI TO RECEIVE DISTINGUISHED SCREENWRITER AWARD AT THIS YEAR’S CONFERENCE

AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES EXCEPTIONAL 20TH ANNIVERSARY CONFERENCE SLATE

PANELISTS INCLUDE A LITANY OF HOLLYWOOD’S FINEST: SHANE BLACK, JONATHAN DEMME, VINCE GILLIGAN, RIAN JOHNSON, JENJI KOHAN, ROBERTO ORCI, ROBERT RODRIGUEZ, DAVID SHORE, AND MANY OTHERS

CALLIE KHOURI TO RECEIVE DISTINGUISHED SCREENWRITER AWARD AT THIS YEAR’S CONFERENCE

AUSTIN, TX (September 3rd) –Austin Film Festival (AFF) proudly announces the 2013 lineup of Panelists at this year’s Conference and the strongest brain trust of writers and filmmakers ever assembled in the twenty year history of the Festival. Attendees include Shane Black, Jonathan Demme, Leslie Dixon, Vince Gilligan, Brian Helgeland, Rian Johnson, Richard Kelly, Jenji Kohan, Chris Lowell, David Lowery, Ray McKinnon, Jeff Nichols, Ron Nyswaner, Roberto Orci, Dan Rather, Robert Rodriguez, David Shore, Norman Steinberg, Jim Taylor, Rob Thomas, Beau Willimon, and more.

AFF is thrilled to award Callie Khouri the Distinguished Screenwriter Award.  Khouri galvanized women and sparked nationwide debate in 1991 with the hit movie Thelma and Louise, her screenwriting debut, which was nominated for six Academy Awards®. She received the Oscar, the Golden Globe, the Writers Guild of America Award and a PEN Literary Award for Best Original Screenplay. Her second picture, Something to Talk About, starred Julia Roberts, Dennis Quaid and Robert Duvall. Her directorial debut, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, starred Sandra Bullock and Ashley Judd, which she also adapted for the screen. In 2006 Khouri collaborated with legendary television producer Steven Bochco and wrote and directed the television drama, Hollis and Rae. She is currently the creator and executive producer of the TV show Nashville starring Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere.  Khouri will accept the award at the Festival’s annual Awards Luncheon held on Saturday, October 26, 2013 at the Austin Club. Past Distinguished Screenwriter Honorees include Lawrence Kasdan, David Peoples, Frank Pierson, Eric Roth, Paul Schrader, Caroline Thompson, Bill Wittliff, and Steven Zaillian.

Scheduled Panelists for the 20th Anniversary  Conference are Robert Rodriguez (director/producer Sin City, Machete, Machete Kills) and Roberto Orci (creator Fringe, writer Star Trek, Star Trek Into Darkness), who will discuss their recent collaboration on El Rey, Rodriguez’s owned and operated cable network, which will host their upcoming original scripted series.

Jenji Kohan (creator Weeds, Orange is the New Black, joins and David Shore (creator House), Terri Edda Miller, and Andrew Marlowe (creators Castle) by way of the Writers Guild Foundation as part of the Scribble-to-Screen panel series, complimented by an extensive exhibit showcasing the Foundation’s renowned traveling script library.

AFF will feature a staged script reading of Vince Gilligan’s unproduced feature screenplay “2 FACE”, directed by Rian Johnson. The script follows a man with a split personality disorder who finds himself taking opposite sides of the political spectrum

Dan Rather (journalist, producer, news anchor CBS Evening News) joins writer/director Anne Rapp for a discussion on their upcoming documentary on playwright Horton Foote, using their research and production process as one of the Conference’s many case studies for aspiring filmmakers.

Additional Conference case studies include:

  • A conversation on launching a television show, and the creator/executive producer relationship using Ray McKinnon and Mark Johnson’s Sundance original series Rectify as a blueprint.
  • An in-depth look at adapting the Veronica Mars television series into a feature film, with creator Rob Thomas and actor Chris Lowell.
  • Script-to-screen panels on the writing and directing processes that went into Kiss Kiss Bang Bang with Shane Black and Brick with Rian Johnson.

AFF’s continuing ‘Conversation in Film’ series will highlight the craft and career of leaders in the film and television industry, including Beau Willimon (creator House of Cards), Ron Nyswaner (writer Philadelphia, The Painted Veil), Leslie Dixon (writer Overboard, Limitless, The Thomas Crown Affair (1999)), Jim Taylor (writer Sideways, About Schmidt ), and more.

Indie film favorites, David Lowery (writer/director Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, Pioneer), Jeff Nichols (writer/director Mud, Take Shelter), and Richard Kelly (writer/director Donnie Darko, The Box) will speak to the state of independent filmmaking within an ever-changing industry.

Brian Helgeland (writer/director 42, A Knight’s Tale, writer L.A. Confidential, Mystic River) will present a retrospective screening of Cool Hand Luke. He joins the compilation of special retrospective screenings guest programmed by this year’s Conference panelists.  Guest programmers include: Jonathan Demme presenting Greaser’s Palace; Vince Gilligan presenting The French Connection; Shane Black presenting My Man Godfrey; Jim Taylor presenting his own Election; and Norman Steinberg presenting Blazing Saddles which he co-wrote with Mel Brooks and Richard Pryor.

For a list of confirmed 2013 AFF Panelists, visit www.austinfilmfestval.com. Hear these Panelists at the 20th Anniversary Austin Film Festival and Conference, taking place from October 24th to 31st, 2013. Badges and Passes are available for purchase online 24 hours a day at www.austinfilmfestival.com or by phone at 1-800-310-FEST from 10am to 6pm CST.

About Austin Film Festival:

Austin Film Festival (AFF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to furthering the art, craft, and business of filmmakers and screenwriters. In addition to a robust list of year-round events, AFF is producing its 20th Annual Film Festival & Conference in 2013. AFF is known as a uniquely pro-artist and interactive idea exchange. Its uncommonly loyal following is due to the fact that the organization has spotlighted the minds and imaginations behind projects for two decades—a trend now picking up steam in the industry.  As director and producer Ron Howard said, Austin Film Festival “is really about creativity, about trying to help people find their voice. You sense it. There’s a spirit of camaraderie that’s palpable.” AFF is a greenhouse for projects and a clubhouse for legendary and emerging artists.

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 believing an investment in the Arts is an investment in Austin’s future. Additional support is provided by KUT, KVUE, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences®, Alice Kleberg Reynolds Foundation, and Shweiki Media.

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Announcing the 2013 First Round of Films

We’re delighted to announce the first 10 films in the 20th Anniversary Festival Lineup! From World Premieres, to anticipated films that will compete for Oscars, these first 10 films are a great sampling of things to come!

We are delighted to announce the first round of  films in the 20th Anniversary Festival Lineup! From World Premieres, to anticipated films that will compete for Oscars, these early films are a great sampling of things to come! Join us for a 8 days of film by getting your Film Pass here. Don’t want to wait in the film pass line? Upgrade to a Festival & Conference Badge!

First Round of Films

  • COFFEE, KILL BOSS (World Premiere)

Director: Nathan Marshall
Writer: Sigurd Ueland
The first feature film from director Nathan Marshall, follows ten
executives who secretly meet to sell off their company but instead become victims of an outrageous
murder scheme. The script, written by Sigurd Ueland — a 2010 Austin Film Festival Screenplay
Competition Semifinalist — is a dark comic romp through the halls of corporate America.

  • INNOCENCE (World Premiere)

Writer/Director: Hilary Brougher
Producer: Christine Vachone
INNOCENCE follows a young woman who discovers that her elite private school harbors a dark secret. This suspenseful horror film, based on Jane Medelsohn’s 2000 novel, explores themes of loss, love, and the supernatural. Innocence will screen as a part of AFF’s Dark Matters Category.

 

 

  • MOM, DAD, I’M MUSLIM (US Premiere)

Writer/Director: Anat Tel Mendelovich
A documentary film, written and directed by Anat Tel Mendelovich and distributed by Seventh Art Releasing, examines the trials of May Davidovich, a 22- year old devout Muslim searching for equilibrium between her belief in Islam and her parents’ devotion to Judaism. The religious conflict between May and her parents makes for a fascinating case study on the balance between pursuing spiritual fulfillment and inherent family expectations.

  • NEBRASKA (Regional Premiere)

Director: Alexander Payne
Writer: Bob Nelson
After receiving a sweepstakes letter in the mail, a cantankerous father (Bruce Dern) thinks he’s struck it rich, and wrangles his son (Will Forte) into taking a road trip to claim the fortune. Shot in black and white across four states,
Nebraska tells the stories of family life in the heartland of America.

 

  • THE ODD WAY HOME (World Premiere)

Director: Rajeev Nirmalakhandan
Writer: Rajeev Nirmalakhandan and Peter Touche
THE ODD WAY HOME film follows Maya (Rumer Willis), the product of a neglected childhood, and Duncan (Chris Marquette), a slave to his obsessions of order and pattern, as they journey through the American Southwest, finding
happiness in the unlikeliest of places.

 

 

  • SIREN (North American Premiere)

Writer/Director: Jesse Peyronel
Television writer Jesse Peyronel’s feature script directorial debut. Starring Vinessa Shaw (3:10 to Yuma, The Hills Have Eyes) and Rob Kazinsky (Pacific Rim), Siren is a dark fairytale about a woman with an unusual curse: an alluring scent. She is irresistible to every man she meets, but when confronted with a man immune to her power, she is presented with the possibility of real love.

  • SOMBRAS DE AZUL (World Premiere)

Writer/Director: Kelly Daniela Norris
The Spanish-language feature film debut of local Austin writer/director, Kelly Daniela Norris, who re-imagines her own experience of bereavement following the death of her brother by weaving together real memory and personal reflection
through the sights and sounds of Cuba.

 

  • SPEAK NOW (World Premiere)

Director: Noah Harald
Writer: Erin Cardillo
Speak Now is a Romantic Dramedy following high school friends reuniting for a wedding. Old offenses and newly
mounting scandal plunge the group back into a pool of high-school drama. Entirely improvised from an outline and character studies, the whole feature was shot in three days. Speak Now will screen as part of Austin Film Festival’s new WRITE/REC Series, focusing on the best in low-budget storytelling.

  • TAKE AWAY ONE (World Premiere)

Writer/Director: William Lorton
The first feature film written and directed by seasoned tv editor William Lorton (Face Off, Bridezillas), this documentary film follows Lorton’s aunt, Mary Baratta-Lorton, and her mysterious unsolved murder. Mary, in her short 38 years, rose from obscurity to become one of the most famous teachers in the US. Personally inept with math, yet placed as a UC
Berkeley student-teacher in one of the roughest inner-city classrooms of the San Francisco Bay Area – Mary’s intuitive strategy of teaching arithmetic with hands-on manipulative materials quickly blossomed into a nation-wide career as an author, lecturer, and movement leader.

Join us for the 20th Anniversary Austin Film Festival by purchasing your Film Pass today! Click here for more information.

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Panelist Announcement: Shane Black to return to Austin Film Festival and Conference

Back by popular demand! Shane Black, writer and director of IRON MAN 3 and KISS KISS BANG BANG, and writer of the first two installments of the LETHAL WEAPON series, 1991’s THE LAST BOY SCOUT, and THE LONG KISS GOODNIGHT, is back as one of the many fantastic panelists on board for this year’s. As a long time friend of the Festival, AFF board member, …

Back by popular demand! Shane Black, writer and director of IRON MAN 3 and KISS KISS BANG BANG, and writer of the first two installments of the LETHAL WEAPON series, 1991’s THE LAST BOY SCOUT, and THE LONG KISS GOODNIGHT, is back as one of the many fantastic panelists on board for this year’s. As a long time friend of the Festival, AFF board member, and the 2006 Distinguished Screenwriter award recipient, Shane always brings tons of advice, lessons learned, and words of inspiration, which he generously shares with registrants.

This is the best show in town, folks. AFF walks the walk, knowledge-wise, and that’s all there is to it. I have dropped what I’m currently doing to fire off this note and heartily endorse what to me is both a yearly passion and a home away from home. Barbara Morgan and the Austin staff are my extended family.

- Shane Black

This year, Shane will present a script-to-screen of KISS KISS BANG BANG. With script in hand and film clips on the screen, the writer/director will dissect this romantic thriller, discussing his writing process – what worked, what didn’t, what needed to be changed for film production, and why.

There are a limited number of spots available for Conference and Producers Badgeholders.  Austin Film Festival will be opening an advance sign-up for this highly anticipated script-to-screen panel this Thursday, July 25th.

If you have not yet purchased a Badge, what are you waiting for?!

What’s more – AFF will release a few more seats to Rian Johnson’s script-to-screen discussion of his feature script and directorial debut, BRICK. Advance sign-ups for both panels will open at 12PM CST.  Space is available on a first come basis!

If you’re currently a Lone Star or Weekend Badgeholder and would like to upgrade your Badge to participate, give us a call at 1.800.310.FEST or email us at officemanager@austinfilmfestival.com.

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New AFF Panels & A Look At Panelists Before They Were Screenplay Pros

Erin Hallagan | 07.17.13 We’re ramping up for an exciting 20th Anniversary Festival and Conference, here are just some of the recently confirmed panels. Check out the website for new panel additions every week! Getting Past the Reader It’s easy to forget that a screenwriter’s first audience is not the viewer but the reader.  The act of watching a film can be a passive encounter, …

Erin Hallagan | 07.17.13

We’re ramping up for an exciting 20th Anniversary Festival and Conference, here are just some of the recently confirmed panels. Check out the website for new panel additions every week!

Getting Past the Reader

It’s easy to forget that a screenwriter’s first audience is not the viewer but the reader.  The act of watching a film can be a passive encounter, whereas reading a screenplay requires a much different level of engagement.  To this end, writers should be cognizant of how to craft a “reader-friendly” script.  Whether it is submitted to a competition or a studio, there are key elements writers should embrace in order to maintain the reader’s attention.  In this panel, hear from the industry “gatekeepers” on what to avoid and how to best engage, entertain, and encourage readers to keep turning the page!

Out of the Grave and Onto the Screen

In a world saturated with zombies, vampires, werewolves, and demons, writers are challenged to redefine and evolve the monster genre.  Pre-established rules for these stories have become more complex, tapping into a surreal level of realism.  Learn how to unearth these chilling stories from screenwriters who have breathed new life into the dead, undead, and beyond.

Click here for a list of Conference Panels announced so far.

And while we continue to prepare a Conference sure-to-inspire aspiring screenwriters, check out what some of our 2013 panelists did for a living before becoming full-time screenplay pros:

John August: I was answering phones for some profoundly annoying producers. I’m not sure if I quit or got fired, but I was happy to be gone.

Peter Craig: I was a “midlist” crime novelist – and an adjunct teacher at tons of different community colleges.  And I drove a cab at a ski resort..

Kyle Killen: Installing network cabling in industrial laundromats.

Kelly Marcel: Worked in a video store.

Scott Neustadter: I was a director of development at Robert de Niro’s Tribeca Productions for four years before leaving to go to graduate school in economics. Then I met a girl and had to write about it and that brought me right back around to the movie business.

Jose Rivera: Writing ad copy for a small NY publishing company.

Jim Uhls: Writing articles for “The Brain/Mind Bulletin” and “The Jamais Vu Papers.”

Ric Roman Waugh: Professional stuntman.

To see the full list of confirmed panelists, click here.

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Austin Film Festival Breaks Record for Submissions

AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL BREAKS RECORD FOR SUBMISSIONS FOR 2013 SCREENPLAY & TELEPLAY COMPETITION 8648 ENTRIES FOR 2013, UP BY 32% FROM 2012 Wednesday, June 19th — Austin Film Festival (AFF) is proud to announce a record number of submissions for their 20th annual Screenplay & Teleplay Competition. The 2013 competition received a total of 8648 entries across all categories with 6236 individual script submissions.  AFF’s …

AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL BREAKS RECORD FOR SUBMISSIONS

FOR 2013 SCREENPLAY & TELEPLAY COMPETITION

8648 ENTRIES FOR 2013, UP BY 32% FROM 2012

Wednesday, June 19th — Austin Film Festival (AFF) is proud to announce a record number of submissions for their 20th annual Screenplay & Teleplay Competition. The 2013 competition received a total of 8648 entries across all categories with 6236 individual script submissions.  AFF’s long-standing history for launching writing careers brought in entries from all over the U.S. and 48 other countries and has attracted influential industry heavyweights such as AMC, Dark Hero Studios, Darkwoods Productions, Enderby Entertainment and the Writers Guild of America East to sponsor and judge specific categories.  These numbers have grown by approximately 32% from last year’s submissions, present the most significant increase in the Festival’s 20-year history and further position AFF as one of the most prominent screenplay competitions alongside the Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting.

Competition winners will receive cash prizes ranging from $1,000 to $5,000; reimbursements for travel and lodging while at the 2013 Festival & Conference (October 24-31); access to and recognition by some of the most important writers, agents, producers and filmmakers in the industry; and will also be included in the annual Producers Book distributed to more than 400 production companies. Writers advancing to the Second Round (roughly top 10-12%), Semifinals and Finals will be given exclusive opportunities to attend special roundtables and panels at this year’s Conference.

In AFF’s 20-year history, past competition entrants have signed with agencies, have had scripts optioned, acquired and made, and have jumpstarted TV writing careers.  2010 Finalist Chris 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.  2010 Comedy Screenplay Winner Julie Howe currently has her winning script “Jasper Milliken” in development with Sony-based producers, Joyce San Pedro (an AFF judge) and Alex Siskin.  Appearing on the 2012 Black 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”.

To attend the 20th Anniversary Austin Film Festival and Conference, get your badge here.

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AFF Welcomes Ann Richards School Students as Interns for a Week

06.05.13 | Stacy Brick Last week four young women in the Media Tech program at the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders joined Austin Film Festival for a week long internship.  The week consisted of the students each writing and editing original screenplays and shadowing the Conference and Film departments. The girls shadowed Film Competition Director Bears Fonté and screened some of the films …

06.05.13 | Stacy Brick

Last week four young women in the Media Tech program at the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders joined Austin Film Festival for a week long internship.  The week consisted of the students each writing and editing original screenplays and shadowing the Conference and Film departments.

The girls shadowed Film Competition Director Bears Fonté and screened some of the films submitted to the Young Filmmakers Competition to get a firsthand look at what young filmmakers are producing today. While the The Young Filmmaker Competition accepts film submissions from students ages 13 – 18 from around the world. Submissions are free and the winning filmmakers receive two Weekend Badges to the 2013 Festival and Conference. They also screened episodes of On Story and a few films produced by Garza High School through AFF’s Digital Storytelling program.

Conference Director Erin Hallagan mentored the ladies on what it takes to produce a Conference: creating and scheduling panels, researching trends in the industry and tracking established and up an coming screenwriters. Working with Matt Dy, AFF’s Screenplay Competition Director, the girls developed and perfected their screenplays for a table read on Friday. Their screenplays all involved young people but were extremely diverse. Themes ranged from a story of a bus ride home gone wrong, an imaginary friend, a friendship unraveling and a precocious child inquiring about where babies come from.

The students, AFF staff and a few Ann Richards School teachers participated in the table read of the screenplays. A couple of the girls talked about the possibility of continuing work on their scripts and even filming them. Marlene, Hannah, Nia and Sid were all a welcome presence in the AFF office – diligently working away on their laptops, picking the staff’s brain for advice and inspiration. The AFF staff was impressed by their professionalism and enthusiasm and we look forward to following their progress.

For more information on AFF’s Young Filmmakers Program, click here.

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Highlights from the “Launching Your Writing Career” panel in LA

05.30.13 | Matt Dy On March 30th, three of the most prestigious organizations centered around championing the screenwriter partnered to present Launching Your Writing Career, a special panel sponsored in part and hosted by the Los Angeles Film School.  Austin Film Festival’s Screenplay Director, Matt Dy, the Director of the Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting, Greg Beal, and the founder of The Black List, Franklin …

05.30.13 | Matt Dy

On March 30th, three of the most prestigious organizations centered around championing the screenwriter partnered to present Launching Your Writing Career, a special panel sponsored in part and hosted by the Los Angeles Film School.  Austin Film Festival’s Screenplay Director, Matt Dy, the Director of the Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting, Greg Beal, and the founder of The Black List, Franklin Leonard disclosed how these organizations have yielded countless success stories and how writing competitions are progressively becoming the most lucrative venue to break into the industry.  Also included in the panel discussion were Jason Micallef, 2008 Nicholl Fellow for “Butter” which also made The Black List the same year and was produced by The Weinstein Company and De Luca Productions in 2011, and Pamela Ribon, Executive Story Editor on Samantha Who? and former AFF Teleplay Finalist and Screenplay Semifinalist.  The discussion was led by moderator Daniel Petrie, Jr (Oscar® nominated screenwriter and 2013 Morgan Cox WGAW Award recipient).

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Austin Film Festival Announces National and Local Public Relations Team

                                            For national press inquiries: Shannon Sonnier, Facet PR Shannon@facet-pr.com 323-592-3071         For regional press inquiries and credentials Kristen O’Brien KristenGOBrien@gmail.com 512-660-8850   AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES NATIONAL AND LOCAL PUBLIC RELATIONS TEAM   Austin, TX, — May 28, 2013 – Austin Film Festival (AFF) is pleased to announce their relationship with Facet PR for all …

                                            For national press inquiries:
Shannon Sonnier, Facet PR
Shannon@facet-pr.com 323-592-3071

        For regional press inquiries and credentials
Kristen O’Brien
KristenGOBrien@gmail.com 512-660-8850

 

AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES NATIONAL
AND LOCAL PUBLIC RELATIONS TEAM

 

Austin, TX, — May 28, 2013 – Austin Film Festival (AFF) is pleased to announce their relationship with Facet PR for all national announcements, releases and press inquiries. Facet PR is a boutique PR company founded by Shannon Sonier in 2012 that specializes in independent film and filmmakers, embodying a true understanding and passion for the process and ever-changing industry. Currently Facet PR represents the 2013 San Diego Film Festival, the indie feature “Free Samples”, Stephenie Meyer and Meghan Hibbett’s Fickle Fish Films, as well as a wide range of entertainment distributors and sales companies, including GoDigital,  Ambush Entertainment, Double Dutch Media and more.

Additionally, local affiliate Kristen O’Brien will facilitate all announcements, releases and inquiries in the Austin and region areas. O’Brien is a writer and editor with a background in PR and event management. Her PR career began in 2005 working for the nationally acclaimed Uchi restaurant and Chef Tyson Cole. O’Brien’s experience in marketing, PR and event production includes working for companies such as Cirque du Soleil, VH1, the Austin-American Statesman, and Circuit of the Americas, to name a few. O’Brien has also worked in a number of capacities for The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, ELLE Magazine and Texas Monthly.

Austin Film Festival is eager to continue fostering the spirit and goals of the Festival and Conference with these new partnerships as they celebrate their milestone 20th Anniversary Year.  For more information, visit www.austinfilmfestival.com

ABOUT AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL

Austin Film Festival (AFF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to furthering the art, craft, and business of filmmakers and screenwriters. In addition to a robust list of year-round events, AFF is producing its 20th Annual Film Festival & Conference in 2013. AFF is known as a uniquely pro-artist and interactive idea exchange. Its uncommonly loyal following is due to the fact that the organization has spotlighted the minds and imaginations behind projects for two decades—a trend now picking up steam in the industry. As director and producer Ron Howard said, Austin Film Festival “is really about creativity, about trying to help people find their voice. You sense it. There’s a spirit of camaraderie that’s palpable.” AFF is a greenhouse for projects and a clubhouse for legendary and emerging artists.

 

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Matt Dy’s Screenplay Competition FAQ: Frantically Asked Questions

05.29.13 | Matt Dy With the final deadline for screenplays and teleplays approaching this Saturday, June 1st, I can already feel the anxiety many of you are currently experiencing if you are planning on submitting.  It is a huge step for a writer at any level to share his/her work with others.  Rest assured your script is in good hands and we want to make …

05.29.13 | Matt Dy

With the final deadline for screenplays and teleplays approaching this Saturday, June 1st, I can already feel the anxiety many of you are currently experiencing if you are planning on submitting.  It is a huge step for a writer at any level to share his/her work with others.  Rest assured your script is in good hands and we want to make the submission process as easy as possible for you.  Lately, we’ve been receiving several calls and e-mails regarding the same questions.  I’ve made a short list of frequently (and sometimes frantically) asked questions that may help make your submission process much easier (and less stressful for us!).

Q:  I entered my information in the online entry form and uploaded my script, but I wasn’t redirected to pay through PayPal.  What should I do?

A: After you fill out the online entry form and upload your script, you should be redirected to PayPal to pay with a credit card or PayPal account.  If this doesn’t happen, you likely have pop-ups disabled in your browser.  You will need to resubmit your information and script in the online entry form but make sure to enable pop-ups. If you continue to have problems, try another web browser (Firefox or Explorer) or try submitting from a different computer. Double-check that your file is in a .pdf format and under 5MB. If you still cannot submit, contact the Screenplay Competition Director at screenplaydirector@austinfilmfestival.com or call the office at 512-478-4795.

 

Q: Did you receive my submission?

A: As long as you paid through PayPal and have an e-mail receipt, then we have received your online entry form, script PDF, and payment. A separate e-mail confirmation from AFF is sent out within 5 business days (might be a little longer after the final deadline).  If you submitted through the mail, you will only receive confirmation if you included a SASE which we will send back to you.

 

Q: When is the final deadline date?

A: Postmarked or submitted online by Saturday, June 1st 11:59PM PST ($50 for screenplay entries and $30 for teleplay entries).

Read through the entire FAQ page if you have questions.  If you don’t find the answer you are looking for, please don’t hesitate to e-mail me at matt@austinfilmfestival.com or call our office at 512-478-4795.

 

Q: Do I retain my rights when I submit?

A: When you submit your script to AFF, you retain all the rights that you have secured prior to submitting.  You are not bound to any exclusivity agreement with AFF if your script advances or wins.  You should always copyright any script you’ve written prior to submitting it anywhere.

 

Q: Do you accept international submissions?

A:  Yes we do!  Each year we receive many submissions internationally including ones from Canada, Japan, and Ireland.  Submissions, of course, must be written in the English language.

 

Q: Do you accept scripts for animated features and television shows?

A:  Yes we do!  Any teleplays for animated shows should be for primetime (i.e. The Simpsons, Family Guy, etc.)

 

For a full list of our Frequently Asked Questions, please visit our FAQ page here.

 

If you’re submitting this year, you are taking a brave step in growing as a writer.  You only have a few days left to submit your script for the 2013 competition.  Are you ready?

 

Good luck!

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2013 Austin Youth Film Festival Winners Announced!

05.24.13 | Stacy Brick Last weekend, students with a passion for  filmmaking came together at the Alamo Ritz for the inaugural Austin Youth Film Festival. The event was created by The Khabele School and co-sponsored by Austin Film Festival, Rawson Saunders School and Brokedown Films. Hosted by students from the Khabele School and Rawson Saunders, the sell-out crowd watched 25 films by finalists from high …

05.24.13 | Stacy Brick

Last weekend, students with a passion for  filmmaking came together at the Alamo Ritz for the inaugural Austin Youth Film Festival. The event was created by The Khabele School and co-sponsored by Austin Film Festival, Rawson Saunders School and Brokedown Films. Hosted by students from the Khabele School and Rawson Saunders, the sell-out crowd watched 25 films by finalists from high schools and middle schools all over Austin. It was great to watch students from different schools discussing the specifics of filmmaking with each other. “What kind of camera did you use?” and “How many days did you shoot?” were among the questions you could hear circulating in the lobby post screening.

Ten films were selected as winners with seven categories and three special prizes. The panel of guest judges consisted of local filmmakers including Richard Linklater as an honorary judge in the Narrative Comedy, Elizabeth Avellan (producer, SPY KIDS, SIN CITY), Ya’Ke Smith (writer/director, HOPE’S WAR), Bryan Poyser (writer/director, THE BOUNCEBACK), Emily Hagins (writer/director, MY SUCKY TEEN ROMANCE), Jason Wehling (producer, THE HAPPY POET), PJ Raval (cinematographer/director, THE BOUNCEBACK), Hanan Townshend (composer, THE TREE OF LIFE), Robin Schwarz (producer, editor, actor, AMERICA’S PARKING LOT), and Heather Kafka (actress, Friday Night Lights).

Congratulations to the winners:

Best Screenplay – Quentin Easterwood-Livingston – Garza HS – DOORS
Narrative Drama – Vivienne Miller – Garza HS -DINNER WITH THE CROCKERS
Narrative Comedy – Alli Clarke – Garza HS- HAROLD GORDON AND THE QUICKSILVER CONUNDRUM
Short Short – Eve Pearson – Rawson Saunders – BREYER
Documentary – Roselyn Gray – The Khabele School – ART IS LIFE
Music Video – Maia Madel & Gemma Smith -The Khabele School – WELCOME HOME
Experimental – Ruth Black, Ruan Visser, Emmett Griffin-Baldwin, Luke Ferony and Faith Brasher – Rawson Saunders – FOUR CLASSROOMS
Best Actor – Nick Vincent – Garza HS – HAROLD GORDON AND THE QUICKSILVER CONUNDRUM
Best Cinematography – Skye Alexander – Garza HS – DINNER WITH THE CROCKERS
Best Use of Music – Jackson Barnes – The Khabele School – SCHOOL SUX

The films produced by Garza High School are the product of AFF’s Digital Storytelling program. The program aims to improve students’ reading, writing, communication, media technology and idea-expression skills through hands-on screenwriting and filmmaking.

Thanks to all the filmmakers who submitted to and attended the AYFF, we look forward to seeing your work next year.

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AFF Announces AMC as New Sponsor for the 2013 One-Hour Pilot Award

AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES AMC AS NEW SPONSOR FOR THE 2013 ONE-HOUR PILOT AWARD   Austin, TX – May 20, 2013 – Austin Film Festival (AFF) is proud to announce that AMC is the official sponsor and judge for the One-Hour Pilot Award of the 2013 Teleplay Competition.  The AMC One-Hour Pilot Award is open to any pilot script written in the one-hour format …

AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES AMC AS NEW SPONSOR FOR THE

2013 ONE-HOUR PILOT AWARD

 

Austin, TX – May 20, 2013 – Austin Film Festival (AFF) is proud to announce that AMC is the official sponsor and judge for the One-Hour Pilot Award of the 2013 Teleplay Competition.  The AMC One-Hour Pilot Award is open to any pilot script written in the one-hour format for an original television series.  AMC will review the top scripts submitted in the category and will determine the semifinalists, finalists, and winner.  Finalists will be given the opportunity to meet with a representative from AMC during this year’s Conference (October 24-27) or over the phone at a later date.  The winner of the One-Hour Pilot Award will receive a prize package including $1,000, reimbursement for airfare (up to $500) and hotel (up to $500) for attendance to the Festival and Conference, and the bronze AFF Typewriter Award.

 

“Each of AMC’s series has started with an original vision from the great writer that defied expectations,” said Susie Fitzgerald, AMC’s SVP of Scripted Programming.  “The network is honored to sponsor the AFF’s One-Hour Pilot Award as it recognizes talent from this community and helps foster a new generation of great writers.”

 

About AMC

Whether commemorating favorite films from every genre and decade or creating acclaimed original programming, AMC brings to its audience something deeper, something richer, Something More. The network reigns as the only cable network in history ever to win the Emmy® Award for Outstanding Drama Series four years in a row, and boasts the most-watched drama series in basic cable history with “The Walking Dead.” AMC’s original drama series include “Mad Men,” “Breaking Bad,” “The Walking Dead,” “The Killing” and “Hell on Wheels.” Its newest series, “Low Winter Sun,” premieres this summer.  AMC also explores authentic worlds with bold characters through its slate of unscripted original series like “Comic Book Men,” “Small Town Security,” “Talking Dead,” and “Freakshow.” AMC is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc. and its sister networks include IFC, Sundance Channel, and WE tv. AMC is available across all platforms, including on-air, online, on demand and mobile. AMC: Something More.

 

About Austin Film Festival Screenplay Competition                                                                       

Austin Film Festival (AFF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to furthering the art, craft, and business of filmmakers and screenwriters, and recognizing their contributions to film, television, and new media. AFF champions the work of aspiring and established writers and filmmakers by providing unique cultural events and services, enhancing public awareness and participation, and encouraging dynamic and long-lasting community partnerships. AFF’s Screenplay & Teleplay Competition is now in its 20th year and received a record number of over 6500 entries in 2012.  Past competition entrants have signed with agencies, have had scripts optioned, acquired and made, and have jumpstarted TV writing careers.

Screenplay and Teleplay Final Deadline: JUNE 1st

All entries must be submitted online by 11:59PM PST or postmarked by June 1st

CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT TODAY!

 

For questions, please contact Matt Dy, Screenplay & Teleplay Competition Director at 1-800-310-3378 or matt@austinfilmfestival.com.

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First Panels Announced for 2013 Conference

05.20.13 Built around one of the most prestigious screenwriting competitions in the country, Austin Film Festival and Screenwriters Conference attracts groundbreaking producers, agents, managers, and development execs, as well as countless working screenwriters and filmmakers. Hitting its 20th anniversary this year, the Conference is as devoted as ever to nurturing creativity – a rare oasis in a rough-and-tumble business.  The access and intimacy is unmatched …

05.20.13

Built around one of the most prestigious screenwriting competitions in the country, Austin Film Festival and Screenwriters Conference attracts groundbreaking producers, agents, managers, and development execs, as well as countless working screenwriters and filmmakers. Hitting its 20th anniversary this year, the Conference is as devoted as ever to nurturing creativity – a rare oasis in a rough-and-tumble business.  The access and intimacy is unmatched with registrants and speakers under one roof, attending panels, parties and screenings in Austin, a city known for its creative culture, big heart, and zero pretensions.

This October 24-31, join the minds behind such films as THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, BIG FISH, A BEAUTIFUL MIND, DONNIE DARKO, MUD, THE MOTORCYCLE DIARIES, LOOPER, SHREK, BLAZING SADDLES, ZOOLANDER, 500 DAYS OF SUMMER, NOW YOU SEE ME, A TIME TO KILL, ON THE ROAD, BILL & TED’S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE, LITTLE WOMEN, FIGHT CLUB, and television shows Breaking Bad, Curb Your Enthusiasm, House of Cards, Fargo, Treme, The Wire, John Adams, The Office, and Boardwalk Empire… to name a few!

A sampling of the panels already planned for the Conference…

As part of the continuing “Conversation with” series, join in-depth, one-on-one conversations with top filmmakers as they discuss their experiences in the industry, including: Jonathan Demme, Vince Gilligan, Akiva Goldsman,  Beau Willimon,  Mark Johnson, Robin Swicord, Leslie Dixon, and more!

 

Staged Script Reading of Vince Gilligan’s 2-FACE

A special staged script reading of Vince Gilligan’s dark comedy script, 2-FACE.

 

Crowdfunding Case Study: VERONICA MARS movie project with Rob Thomas

As our world becomes more connected and technologically developed, filmmakers are finding numerous avenues and opportunities to get their projects off the ground. Join Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas as he discusses his record-breaking Kickstarter campaign for the upcoming VERONICA MARS movie and how crowdfunding is quickly changing the ways films are getting made.

 

The Throw with Terry Rossio

Terry Rossio will lead a presentation on “The Throw,” otherwise known as the transition between scenes.  He will discuss very practical, actual writing techniques, and show film clips to demonstrate successful (and not so successful) throws.

 

Scriptnotes LIVE!

For the second year, veteran filmmakers John August and Craig Mazin will record a live presentation of their incredibly informative screenwriting podcast, Scriptnotes, in which they discuss craft and career, complete with audience questions and other surprises.

 

The Psychology of Storytelling

Producer Lindsay Doran will explore the secrets of creating a satisfying script and what psychology can teach us about making mood-elevating movies.

 

Advance Sign-Up Opportunity: This Thursday, May 30th

Script-to-Screen with Rian Johnson: BRICK*

With script in hand and film clips on the screen, writer/director Rian Johnson will dissect his critically acclaimed film BRICK, discussing his writing process – what worked, what didn’t, what needed to be changed for film production – and why.

*Austin Film Festival will be opening an advance sign-up for current Conference and Producers badgeholders to Rian Johnson’s Script-to-Screen panel on Thursday, May 30th.  Be sure to look out for the weekly AFF Wednesday newsletter for further instructions!

Don’t miss your opportunity to take part in the 20th Annual Austin Film Festival and buy your badge before prices go up on June 1st!  For more information on Badge pricing, and to purchase, click here.

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AFF and ATX Fest to Co-Present Panels

05.08.13 | Celina Guerrero Austin Film Festival is excited to partner with ATX Television Festival for “Season Two” of the TV centric celebration this June. In addition to offering AFF followers 15% off any badge level (use code ATXAFF15), we will be co-presenting panels at each festival! First up, AFF presents “Face Off: Movies vs. TV, Presented by Austin Film Festival” on Saturday, June 8th …

05.08.13 | Celina Guerrero

Austin Film Festival is excited to partner with ATX Television Festival for “Season Two” of the TV centric celebration this June. In addition to offering AFF followers 15% off any badge level (use code ATXAFF15), we will be co-presenting panels at each festival! First up, AFF presents “Face Off: Movies vs. TV, Presented by Austin Film Festival” on Saturday, June 8th with AFF alums Rob Thomas (Veronica Mars and the upcoming offshoot film of the series) and Kyle Killen (Awake, THE BEAVER) to be joined by ATX panelist Jonathan Prince (creator of American Dreams and director of the beloved ’90′s Camp Nowhere).

The panel will focus on the demands and benefits of writing both for film and television, the differences between the two mediums, and how to navigate transitioning from one to the other. Feature film screenwriters and successful showrunners will discuss the art, craft and business of their diverse careers, with a special focus on how they have been affected by the changing landscape of television. For more information on panelists and events at ATX, click here.

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AFF Interview: David Magee on Breaking In and Taking Chances

05.08.13 | Erin Hallagan Wednesday, May 22nd, join Austin Film Festival for A Conversation with David Magee, writer of LIFE OF PI and FINDING NEVERLAND. The conversation will focus on adaptation, writing for imaginative worlds, and using language to articulate enchanting stories that have been so beautifully translated to the screen. Following the conversation will be a retrospective screening of FINDING NEVERLAND and post-screening Q&A. …

05.08.13 | Erin Hallagan

Wednesday, May 22nd, join Austin Film Festival for A Conversation with David Magee, writer of LIFE OF PI and FINDING NEVERLAND. The conversation will focus on adaptation, writing for imaginative worlds, and using language to articulate enchanting stories that have been so beautifully translated to the screen. Following the conversation will be a retrospective screening of FINDING NEVERLAND and post-screening Q&A. We sat down with Magee beforehand for a pre-interview about how he broke into the industry and his advice to screenwriting students. To hear more from David Magee and to join us May 22nd, click here.

AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL (AFF):  What did you do professionally before you became a screenwriter and how did you break into the film industry?

MAGEE: I started as a theatre actor, having a great time and earning no money, and I supported myself by doing voiceover. I narrated several audiobooks, which are usually recorded in full length and abridged versions. One day I went in to a recording studio with an abridgment of a novel that was horribly done – it was unfair to the original writer to record it – and I said to the producer offhandedly that I could have done a better job abridging it. She asked if I wanted to give it a try. It turned out that abridging was a perfect job for an actor who needed time to go to auditions and to regional theatres, and in the next five years I wrote abridgments of 85 books. Without intending it, I got incredible training in story structure. Toward the end of that period I began writing for the stage, which led to my opportunity to write FINDING NEVERLAND.

 

AFF:  How does your experience as a theatre actor influence your writing style?

 MAGEE:  When I write dialogue, I am essentially performing the characters in my head, and thanks to my acting background, I know when a bit of dialogue gives an actor something they can sink their teeth into and when something sounds good on paper but can’t be said with a straight face.

 

AFF: On LIFE OF PI, what was your collaboration with Ang Lee like? How closely was he involved in the adaptation/writing process?

 MAGEE:  I worked very closely with Ang throughout the writing process. In the initial stages, I would write notes, sketch scenes, and so on. Once a week or so send what I had over to Ang and then join him in New York for lunch and an afternoon of throwing ideas around, then I’d head back home for another week of writing. Once we had a first draft, Ang began working with computer animators to plan out the filming of the sea adventure, essentially designing the film shot by shot. As I watched his visual ideas unfold, I revised the script to reflect what he was doing, and he changed the animation as the script evolved as well. I was in Taiwan for all of pre-production. Once the filming began I headed home – the script didn’t change at all during filming, which was a highly technical process that took place primarily in a wave tank – but when the editing process began, Ang invited me back regularly to tweak voiceovers and throw in my two cents worth on the process.

 

AFF:  Initially you thought the novel was not filmmable. How did you make it work and how much research did you do?

 MAGEE:  Well, all of us made it work. Ten years ago, when the book came out, I couldn’t imagine how you could possibly film a real tiger and animals in a boat with a teenager, and the technology to create such amazing visual effects simply didn’t exist. I also didn’t imagine a studio would have had the guts to take on what I knew would have been an expensive and difficult film to make with no stars and an ambiguous ending. And if Ang hadn’t been directing, I don’t think I would have ever taken on the project myself four years ago – without a director of his caliber I don’t think it would have mattered what I wrote. My challenge was to tell a story about religious and philosophical issues that took place primarily in the mind of a teenage boy as he floated across the ocean in a lifeboat, and finding the actions that made his internal struggle visible onscreen, and the short answer to how I made my part of the process work was through a lot of trial and error, constant rewrites and input from a team of incredibly talented filmmakers.

Research was an essential part of the writing process. When I began I knew next to nothing about India, Hinduism, and even lifeboats for that matter. Early on, Ang and I met with Steven Callahan, a sailor who wrote a book called “Adrift” about his real life experience floating across the Atlantic in a five-foot round inflatable lifeboat. His stories about the ways in which the journey changed him physically and emotionally became an essential part of the story, and in fact Steve became our Survival Expert on the film, charting the exact journey through the ocean Pi would have taken, where he would have landed on the beach, where the island would have been located and so on. We also traveled through India to all the locations in the book before I had begun writing, and one of our associate producers, Jean Castelli, became our research expert on religious issues, prayers, different forms of Indian dance and the like. In a film with so many wondrous elements, you have to fully ground your story in the real to make the journey believable.

 

AFF:  How did you decide what went into the film’s interpretation of the open-ended conclusion?

 MAGEE:  From the very beginning of the writing process, Ang and I saw this film not so much about religion as being about how different narratives help us get through the ordeals of our lives. A Hindu, a Christian, and an atheist can watch the same events unfold and come to different conclusions about the hidden forces at work beneath it all – but they all rely on a narrative to understand what they’ve witnessed. We didn’t want to force any one conclusion upon our audience, we simply wanted them to see the ways in which different views of the same story can add up to a larger view of our journey through life. Ideally, you own interpretation of what really happened to Pi on that boat says more about your world view than it says about what conclusions we wanted you to take from the ending.

 

AFF:  Who are some of your favorite playwrights or screenwriters?

MAGEE:  I’m going to stick with dead writers, because while I love a lot of writers working today, I also know a lot of them, and I don’t want to forget anyone or offend someone by not mentioning them. So… Shakespeare, Harold Pinter, Arthur Miller, Joe Mankiewicz, Billy Wilder, Ernest Lehman, Preston Sturges, Philip Barry, Tennessee Williams, Frank Capra, Frank Pierson and while he wasn’t a screenwriter, exactly, Buster Keaton. And I still feel bad that I left dozens of others off the list.

 

AFF:  What do you find yourself telling your screenwriting students most?  Any advice for up-and-coming writers?

MAGEE:  The number one bit of advice I have is that if you keep showing up, if you keep working at your craft, if you always do just a little more than you’re asked and take your work far more seriously than you take yourself, eventually you will get your chance. It may be a small chance, and it may take many more chances along the way to get to your ultimate goal, but a door will crack open somewhere, and all that matters then is whether or not you’re prepared to step through it.

 

 

Austin Film Festival’s “Conversations in Film” program was created in 2007 and is sponsored by The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences®.  It is a year-round series of film seminars and script readings that provide the public with the unique experience to meet and work with local and visiting filmmakers.

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Season 3 Episode 3: Re-imagining the Classics

The writers of re-imagined classics and popular franchises such as GHOST, CHARLIE & THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, TWINS and SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN deliberate how to keep stories fresh while remaining faithful to the original version.  Accompanied by Spencer and Lloyd Harvey’s short film JACK & JILL, a fresh take on the classic nursery rhyme that follows a young Australian girl who finds an inventive way to contact her father, a soldier stationed in New Guinea during WWII.

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Announcing the 2013 AFF & Travis County Sheriff PSA Competition Winners

05.10.2013 Austin Film Festival is happy to announce the winners of the 7th annual “Make a Movie, Make a Difference’ video PSA competition. Congratulations to: Asia Walker of Manor Tech High School and Keren Rico of Del Valle High School Austin Film Festival & The Travis County Sheriff’s Office invited local teens to participate in the 7th Annual “Make A Movie, Make A Difference” video …

05.10.2013

Austin Film Festival is happy to announce the winners of the 7th annual “Make a Movie, Make a Difference’ video PSA competition. Congratulations to:

Asia Walker of Manor Tech High School and Keren Rico of Del Valle High School

Austin Film Festival & The Travis County Sheriff’s Office invited local teens to participate in the 7th Annual “Make A Movie, Make A Difference” video competition. Travis County high school students were encouraged to create either a 30 sec. commercial or a 2-5 min. short film that addresses the theme “How Your Choices Affect The World Around You.” Students could creatively express the theme by raising awareness on issues such as Bullying, Dating Violence, Drugs & Alcohol, Gangs, Teen Pregnancy or Suicide.

 

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Season 3 Episode 2: Explosive Action! Creating Action Through Character

The writers behind WANTED, THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM, CON AIR, and SNITCH discuss how they use action scenes to further the plot, convey tension, and build toward a satisfying climax.  Followed by Lucas Martell’s animated short film, PIGEON: IMPOSSIBLE, about a trained CIA agent faced with an unexpected sudden threat to national security.

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Season 3 Episode 1: A Conversation with Chris Carter

Legendary television writer Chris Carter reveals the secret behind the creation and success of The X-Files and how he stirred audiences using the power of mythology.  Lost and PROMETHEUS writer, Damon Lindelof, speaks with Carter on how his use of the paranormal and search for the truth have become staples of popular culture.  Followed by Todd Somodevilla and Marysia Makowska’s surreal short film, SEA PAVILION, about a picnic outing by an abandoned seaside dwelling, that ends up encompassing more than just sand dunes and forgotten memories.

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AFF Interview: Brian Helgeland

04.03.2013 | Erin Hallagan In anticipation for our Wednesday, April 10th Conversation with Brian Helgeland and Advance Screening of his new film 42, Austin Film Festival sat down with Brian for a sneak peak on his thoughts on screenwriting, filmmaking, and his research and process. Joins us Wendesday for a Conversation with Brian Helgeland where we will discuss his career, inspirations, and advice for writers, …

04.03.2013 | Erin Hallagan

In anticipation for our Wednesday, April 10th Conversation with Brian Helgeland and Advance Screening of his new film 42, Austin Film Festival sat down with Brian for a sneak peak on his thoughts on screenwriting, filmmaking, and his research and process. Joins us Wendesday for a Conversation with Brian Helgeland where we will discuss his career, inspirations, and advice for writers, particularly sharing his experience on directing his own scripts. For more information on the Conversation, and for tickets, click here.

AFF: You are originally from the Northeast and were a fisherman before you became a screenwriter and filmmaker. What made you decide to start writing screenplays?

Brian Helgeland: I was in a bookstore in between fishing trips in 1984 looking for something to read on the boat. I have been reading voraciously since I can remember. I had graduated a year before from college with a degree in English. I couldn’t find a job and as the only male member of my family who had never been to sea… I went to sea.  Browsing through the store, a ‘Guide to Film School’ book caught my eye. I loved movies, but I literally had no idea you could go to school to learn how to make them. My second, cold winter of fishing was coming up; I had saved some decent money, and I cashed it in for the warmth of Los Angeles.

AFF: You’ve said before that you don’t like to call yourself a screenwriter. Why do you prefer the term filmmaker?

BH: I prefer filmmaker because that is what I am. If I wanted to write for a living I’d be a novelist.  But I want to make movies; therefore I am a filmmaker. Screenwriting is just my end of it. I consider film editors to be filmmakers.  Editing is just their end of it.  If only the director is a filmmaker, then what are the cinematographer, the costume designer and the rest of us doing?

AFF: What excites you the most about writing a screenplay?

BH: The best part of writing a screenplay is full immersion. When I am working on a script, I don’t leave the house, I barely speak on the phone, I work seven days a week until it is done. It’s often frustrating and confounding, but I get to make a world, populate it and live in it, as imperfect as it might be.

AFF: How much research do you usually do before writing a screenplay?

BH: I do an inordinate amount of research. I try to read anything and everything I can get my hands on if it relates to what I am doing. There is no substitute. You cannot be smarter or know more than the actual reality of something. The key is when you think you finally know, then read one more book to make sure.  And then another after that. I also interview people if it is appropriate for the story. When I was doing MAN ON FIRE with Tony Scott we spent a week in Mexico City simply interviewing people who had been kidnapped, families of kidnap victims, ransom negotiators, police experts and even former kidnap gang members. When you see the process shown in the film it is all real. On ’42′, besides the plethora of books available that touch upon the Dodgers 1947 season, I had the good fortune of being able to talk with Jackie’s widow Rachel and with former teammate Ralph Branca directly. Research becomes the breadcrumbs others have dropped before you to help lead you where you’re going.

AFF: How does your writing and process differ when you know that someone else will direct your work compared to when you direct the film yourself?

BH: My scripts are longer if I write for another director.  I need to make what I am getting at clearer and easier to understand.  The scripts I write that I direct are always 10 pages shorter.

AFF: 42 is based on a true story. What did you enjoy most about writing this screenplay? What were some of the challenges and benefits in writing something based on true events?

BH: In ‘A Knight’s Tale’ the character of William accuses Chaucer of lying. Chaucer’s reactive response is, “I’m a writer; I give the truth scope!”  The trickiest thing for a screenwriter working on bringing to life a true story is to do their best not to lie.  In ’42′ I tried my absolute best to document every major scene in the film.  In fact, there is only one scene I made up and I felt I had enough circumstantial evidence to do so.  Of course, ‘the truth’ can always be pushed left or right, but I did my best to avoid that as well.  My job was to dramatize and structure so that, hopefully, the truth of two years of a man’s life could be boiled down to two hours.

Favorite moment/experience in making 42?

BH: The day Hank Aaron visited set, watched 20 minutes of footage and told me he thought I got it right.

Who are some screenwriters/filmmakers that have influenced your work?

BH: I am a big admirer of screenwriters who traded in their pen for the director’s chair. John Huston, Richard Brooks, Frank Pierson, Walter Hill.  All bare knuckled directors who started out as bare knuckled screenwriters.

 

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Interview: Conversations in Film: Making Your Feature Film, Panelists

In preparation and excitement for our upcoming MAKING YOUR FEATURE FILM event, panelists Emily Hagins (MY SUCKY TEEN ROMANCE), Brandon Dickerson (SIRONIA), John Fiege (MISSISSIPPI CHICKEN), and Jeremiah Jones (RESTIVE) reflect on some of their experiences, joys and trials as filmmakers.  Don’t forget to mark your calendars for much more insight and advice during Austin Film Festival’s next Conversation in Film! AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL …

Conversation in Film Panelists

In preparation and excitement for our upcoming MAKING YOUR FEATURE FILM event, panelists Emily Hagins (MY SUCKY TEEN ROMANCE), Brandon Dickerson (SIRONIA), John Fiege (MISSISSIPPI CHICKEN), and Jeremiah Jones (RESTIVE) reflect on some of their experiences, joys and trials as filmmakers.  Don’t forget to mark your calendars for much more insight and advice during Austin Film Festival’s next Conversation in Film!

AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL (AFF): What do you consider a strong story?

HAGINS: I think a strong story is one that you feel passionate about as a writer, because you’re able to really bring all the details of the world your characters live in to life.

DICKERSON: I gravitate toward true stories I find will translate to screen in an authentic and honest way..

FIEGE:  A strong story portrays the world from a distinctive perspective.

AFF: What were some of the biggest challenges with making your film?

HAGINS: One of the biggest challenges was keeping the narrative concise with a simple, character-driven story.  There were a lot of character moments we could’ve expanded on, and themes we could’ve explored– but it would’ve deviated from what the big picture really was. Understanding what the movie would ultimately feel like in the early stages was definitely a necessary but difficult step for a movie like this.

FIEGE:  Finding the story tends to be the hardest part of production. With documentary, even when you think you’ve found a great story, you’re never sure how it’s going to play out. Following strong documentary stories is, by definition, a risky endeavor; and one of the hardest parts of production is pouring everything you have into such an uncertain process.

DICKERSON:  For SIRONIA, we were pulling crew from Austin+Dallas+Los Angeles as well as working with locals in Waco.  Every one of those cities has its own vibe. Crew from each city has their own unique approach to production.  It was a challenge to be at the helm of those different personalities within an abbreviated 20 day shoot with little prep time.  A film crew needs to work as a passionate family with a unified vision and we had to create that connection on a train that had left the station.  It all worked out in the end.

JONES:  Finding money to make a film is always a big challenge.  I have only made ultra low-budget films, so scheduling and moving efficiently to get what you need with not much time is another big challenge.  When people come into a project and spend a lot of time and resources working, you need to make sure that you are on the same page and have the same expectations.  The indie environment can be kind of all hands on deck, so just talk everything out.

 

AFF: Working on a low-budget, what type of compromises did you have to make along the way? Were there any that were particularly painful to you?

HAGINS: Luckily we had an amazing cast and crew that really went above and beyond when things were tough– like one day we shot 9 pages in a location with 100 extras, and everyone really worked hard to get everything done in the best way possible… I really don’t feel like we had to make compromises, because this story was designed for a budget we would be able to work with.

JONES:  I try to hopefully make the most out of the current situation that we are facing.  I don’t think it’s compromising, it’s problem solving.  Make the most out of what you have in that moment and don’t let one moment bring the movie down.  A lot of challenges can be happening all around the set but you only see what goes into the frame.

FIEGE: Art is a compromise between a vision and the representation of that vision. I have to constantly make difficult choices about how to spend extremely limited resources of time and money. Yet, it is these choices that result in a particular artistic representation of a story. I always wish I had more time and money, but I also believe that when I figure out how to tell a story in a stronger way, more time and money will become available somehow. As Robert Bresson wrote, “One does not create by adding, but by taking away.”

 

AFF: What was one of the most memorable parts of shooting?

JONES: If it is possible and the schedule allows, I like picking up the cast from the airport.  An actor puts a lot of faith into you – they read the work, we talk on the phone about it, the details or business get worked out – but I always find myself still hoping that they get on the plane.  Meeting them at the airport is when I have the realization of” Hey, they actually came.  We have a chance – let’s get this thing done.”

FIEGE: Seeing the story appear before my eyes for the first time.

DICKERSON:  The first day [of SIRONIA] was insane.  I had fallen on my sword that we needed to shoot at an actual rodeo with real Mutton Bustin’ so it moved up our shoot two weeks and became the first day of filming.  It turned out that the time the rodeo had generously given us to film the dialogue sequences was during a pre-concert so we had to shoot between songs.  On top of this, the reality that you were finally doing what you wanted to do since you were eight years old felt like an astronaut taking off for the moon.

HAGINS: The day we shot 9 pages was definitely the most memorable for me. We were working with one of our lead actors for the first time, difficult lighting, 100 teenagers, stunts, and one of the most emotional scenes of the whole movie… I felt like a different person at the end of it, and very grateful for the people involved in the production.

 

Hear more from Emily, Jeremiah, John and Brandon on Saturday, March 2nd at 12PM at the George Washington Carver Museum.  The conversation will continue with panelists offering tangible advice for aspiring filmmakers including creative ways to raise money, find marketing and distribution, and utilize acquired tricks of the trade. Click here to get your tickets.

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Mopacalypse at Garza High School: A Meditation on the Revision Process

Patrick, YFP Director, gives us an update on Digital Storytelling, AFF’s art education program that provides film and screenwriting curriculum and resources to Austin public schools. To learn more about Digital Storytelling, click here. “Oh crap, mops!” Thus jumpstarted a screenplay about killer mops, “Mopacalypse,” penned by an especially clever Garza High School student.  In the script, a group of terrified teenagers outrun a horde …

Patrick, YFP Director, gives us an update on Digital Storytelling, AFF’s art education program that provides film and screenwriting curriculum and resources to Austin public schools. To learn more about Digital Storytelling, click here.

“Oh crap, mops!”

Thus jumpstarted a screenplay about killer mops, “Mopacalypse,” penned by an especially clever Garza High School student.  In the script, a group of terrified teenagers outrun a horde of bloodthirsty killer mops.  They swab, sop, and wring their victims into a damp and sputtering pulp.

The table read for the script felt light and breezy, garnering a few laughs along the way. Each Garza student, and even myself, assumed a role in the script and acted the story aloud.  By reading the script, the writer gained a sense of momentum and flow to his story.  Did the characters sound realistic?  Did the killer mop premise hold water (yuk yuk) over the course of five minutes?  When the script concluded, the students, teachers, and I harped on these questions and provided constructive feedback for the author.  We lauded the horror film parody inherent in the script, and pushed the author to take the premise even further.

“What if someone gets a phone call,” I suggested, “and they hear a mop wringing on the other end?”

“Or the students try to kill the mop, and it breaks into smaller mops, like scrub brushes. . . or toothbrushes!”

“Or the mop dies, then pops back up like Michael Myers in HALLOWEEN?”

“Or there’s a nest of mops run by a Queen?”

“And you see a mop hatching out of an egg!”

The rapid fire exchange of ideas is something I live for in a writing workshop, and I’m always happy to see students catch a spark of inspiration.   Along with the help of two other guest filmmakers, I helped each student shape their idea into a cohesive whole.   I encouraged the students to cut extraneous scenes and hone in on the material that worked – all killer and no filler.  I also reminded the students to add more focus to their scripts.  Consider what each character wants and what is stooping them them from getting it.  Pinning down a clear goal and obstacles for each character helps spin a tight story loaded with conflict.

We read another script, a music video about a ladybug longing for a human.

“How are you going to direct a ladybug?”  I asked.

“You could make it stop motion.”

“Maybe you could use a combination of live ladybug and a fake ladybug for still shots?”

“Or pull a dead ladybug on a string!”

“Gross!”

The diversity of the screenplays at Garza High School astounded me.   We acted out an absurdist murder mystery about mercury poisoned top hats, felt for a boy who lost his hearing, and cringed at a schizoid werewolf hunting yarn. As a screenwriter, I’m always excited to see where the students take their material.  How will the finished product look?  Often, the final film will not resemble the first draft of the script.  It’s these revisions, growing pains, and sometimes happy production accidents that really breathe life into the creative process.

The next time I visit Garza, the students will have revised their scripts and produced a second draft.  I can’t wait to see how their ideas have grown!

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First Round of 2013 Panelists!

                The 20th Annual Austin Film Festival will run October 24th-31st, 2013, once again magnetically attracting the most talked about, prolific, outlaw and legendary filmmakers and screenwriters in the entertainment industry. Plans are well under way to produce another exceptional Conference to inspire, educate and entertain you. Just some of the panelists already confirmed for the 2013 Conference: …

Terry Rossio

Robin Swicord

Jim Uhls

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 20th Annual Austin Film Festival will run October 24th-31st, 2013, once again magnetically attracting the most talked about, prolific, outlaw and legendary filmmakers and screenwriters in the entertainment industry. Plans are well under way to produce another exceptional Conference to inspire, educate and entertain you. Just some of the panelists already confirmed for the 2013 Conference:

  • Terry Rossio, writer SHREK, DÉJÀ VU, THE MASK OF ZORRO, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN franchise
  • John August, writer FRANKENWEENIE, CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, BIG FISH, CHARLIE’S ANGELS I & II, GO
  • Peter Craig, writer THE TOWN, FATHERS AND GUNS, BAD BOYS 3
  • Lindsay Doran, producer STRANGER THAN FICTION, NANNY MCPHEE, NANNY MCPHEE RETURNS, SENSE AND SENSIBILITY
  • Jim Hart, writer HOOK, BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA, CONTACT, TUCK EVERLASTING, THE LAST MIMZY, AUGUST RUSH
  • Robin Swicord, writer MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA, LITTLE WOMEN, PRACTICAL MAGIC
  • Dan Sterling, producer Girls, The Office, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, writer, The Sarah Silverman Program, King of the Hill, South Park
  • Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver, writers/producers RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, THE HAND THAT ROCKS THE CRADLE, writers THE RELIC
  • Barry Josephson, Josephson Entertainment
  • Nicholas Kazan, writer MATILDA, AT CLOSE RANGE, BICENTENNIAL MAN
  • Franklin Leonard, Overbrook Entertainment, creator of The Black List
  • Jim Uhls, writer FIGHT CLUB, SEMPER FI, JUMPER
  • Craig Mazin, writer IDENTITY THEFT, TURKEYS, THE HANGOVER PART II, SCARY MOVIE 3 & 4, ROCKETMAN
  • Alvaro Rodriguez, writer MACHETE, SHORTS, FROM DUSK TILL DAWN 3: THE HANGMAN’S DAUGHTER, ALLIED FORCES
  • Daniel Petrie, Jr., Enderby Entertainment, creator/producer Combat Hospital, writer BEVERLY HILLS COP, THE BIG EASY, SHOOT TO KILL, writer/director FRAMED, former WGAw President
  • Rick Dugdale, Enderby Entertainment

We’ll be announcing more of our confirmed panelists and events for the 2013 Conference in the coming months. Please know that we also greatly value your input and if you have suggestions for panel discussions, please send them to our Conference Director Erin Hallagan at erin@austinfilmfestival.com. Our goal is to provide you with the best writing and filmmaking conference yet.

Click here to get your 2013 AFF Badge!

All panelists are confirmed, schedules permitting. All speakers and events are based on permitting schedules and subject to change and/or cancellation without notice.

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2013 Film Competition is Open – A Note from Bears

Happy 2013, filmmakers! Over the New Year’s holiday I found myself enjoying two very different cinematic celebrations that filled me with renewed excitement for the year ahead. First, on New Year’s Eve, I had the privilege of introducing a series of shorts at Austin’s New Year, a City of Austin Cultural Arts Division public festival of music, film and other live entertainment on Auditorium Shores. …

Happy 2013, filmmakers! Over the New Year’s holiday I found myself enjoying two very different cinematic celebrations that filled me with renewed excitement for the year ahead. First, on New Year’s Eve, I had the privilege of introducing a series of shorts at Austin’s New Year, a City of Austin Cultural Arts Division public festival of music, film and other live entertainment on Auditorium Shores. Six local groups (including SXSW and Austin Film Society) were invited to showcase films from 2012 on the giant Alamo Drafthouse Rolling Roadshow screen. Austin Film Festival concluded the evening with three films that played last year’s Festival, LOVE, EMILY (written and directed by Kevin Harger, co-written by Chris Bourke), INCIDENT AT PUBLIC SCHOOL 173 (written and directed by Andrew Tilley), and the Animated Short Academy Award® Shortlisted HEAD OVER HEELS (written and directed by Timothy Reckart). The night was cold, and a bit rainy, but the crowd huddled together to laugh and smile as one. There was a lot going on all around us, loud retro-soul from one stage, police sirens out on the street. Fortunately, somehow, I had happened to select three shorts that told their stories in images rather than words, and the effect was rather unquestionable. The audience virtually tripled by the time the last short finished and I heard several teens walk away with a new resolution, to make films of their own this year.

The next day I finally made it to LIFE OF PI, a film that came out while I was still recovering from AFF 2012 and the last thing I wanted to do was see a movie. The film is beautifully shot, and I think I cried more than I have since Frodo stepped up at Rivendell and volunteered to carry the One Ring, ‘though he did not know the way.’ What makes LIFE OF PI so fantastic is that it is a story about telling a story. I won’t ruin it for you, but the book-end device of the film (and, of course, the book it is based on) is a man telling another man his life story, a story that only he can tell, and one that he is entrusting to someone else to tell to the world. Our stories only exist as events or ideas until we tell them. It is then that they take on meaning. The meaning comes from the audience, who bring with them their own particular experiences and understanding in interpreting the story. That’s what I think I enjoyed most about the 2012 AFF, hearing the audiences discuss the films we had chosen. I knew what they meant to me, but to see them through the eyes of a new viewer, that was magical.

Which is a long way to say that I’m pretty excited the film competition for the 2013 Austin Film Festival officially opens today. No, there is no rush (the cost is $50 until the Earlybird deadline of May 1), but if you’ve got a story you want to share, we want to help you find your audience. You can submit your film three ways.

1) Online through Withoutabox.com.  Just click here.

2) Online though our website, where we can offer you a $5 discount.

3) Through the mail by downloading the entry form.

Both the online entry and downloadable form can be found on our website at: http://www.austinfilmfestival.com/submit/film/online/

Also on this page you can find links to the rules for this year, the FAQ for the film competition, and the awards available for entrants. This year, we’ve INCREASED the CASH prizes attached to every Jury Award category.

I am also really excited to announce this year’s new Competition Category: DARK MATTERS FEATURE. As this year’s festival ends on Halloween, it seemed like a good time to showcase films in the Horror genre. DARK MATTERS FEATURES must be feature-length narratives, 60 minutes or longer, and easily identified as belonging to the horror genre or a particularly dark suspense, thriller or sci-fi film.

As the Director of Programming, I really look forward to viewing your films, and am available to answer any questions you have during the entry process. Just email me at bears@austinfilmfestival.com.

Remember, Austin Film Festival searches submissions for the best stories. We are looking to include the most original and inspiring entries from all over the world in the festival, regardless of race, religion, or lifestyle. Please do not hesitate to submit a film that may not portray so-called ‘traditional’ characters or life choices. A great story shares a universal truth from a distinctive viewpoint. We can’t wait to see what you have to show us.

Hope you all have great 2013 full of great film and great filmmaking.

Bears Fonte, Director of Programming
bears@austinfilmfestival.com

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Eric Roth’s Acceptance Speech

It was our esteemed honor to present Eric Roth with the 2012 Distinguished Screenwriter Award at this year’s Festival. Not surprisingly, the man who gave us FORREST GUMP, MUNICH, THE INSIDER, ALI, THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON, and EXTREMELY LOUD & INCREDIBLY CLOSE has a way with words. Many of us were moved to tears by his warm and heartfelt acceptance speech — so …

It was our esteemed honor to present Eric Roth with the 2012 Distinguished Screenwriter Award at this year’s Festival. Not surprisingly, the man who gave us FORREST GUMP, MUNICH, THE INSIDER, ALI, THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON, and EXTREMELY LOUD & INCREDIBLY CLOSE has a way with words. Many of us were moved to tears by his warm and heartfelt acceptance speech — so much so that we asked him if we could share it with all of you. Read on to be inspired…

 

Eric Roth: “Barbara said don’t just say thank you.. okay, so..; How did this happen? A kid from Bedford Stuyvesant ends up in the land of cowboys and Indians. A kid whose mother would say everyday.. what did you write today?! And read everything! Who when he was ten she would read the boys books to me The Hardy Boys and Jules Verne and Victor Hugo.. and who would for fun have me pretend to be answering personals in the Saturday review of literature…. Where I would be an English teacher from a small college who loved Chaucer and good food.. Or a blind poet but great companion.. Or when I was thirteen and piss petrified to go to school in the rocky neighborhood she yanked me by the hand and had me take boxing lessons and she was the only voice I could hear when I boxed golden gloves from somewhere in the crowd.. knock him on his ass.. or the first time I remember seeing a movie at the Brooklyn Paramount when I was like eight and she took me up to the balcony and we watched Invaders from Mars…and the stars on the ceiling made it like it was happening in a night sky to me… and leaving Brooklyn in my last year of high school to a place called North Hollywood High School and begging them I don’t even know anybody let me stay with grandma.. or seeing The Sterile Cuckoo at the victory drive-in and later personally thanking Alan Paula for taking my virginity with a girl named Laura Nuccio who I of course never saw again and still of course love beyond imagination.. or my English teachers at Columbia.. or sitting on the lions with Abbie Hoffman.. on strike shut it down.. no Vietnam.. after two of my best friends had ended with their names on the wall.. and movies after movies everyday movies.. Amarcord and The Ruling Class and Weekend and oh my god 2001.. and how I Loved living in those dark places.. Where the music made me weep and my heart would soar at courage and frailty.. and.. at 67.. twenty odd of my own some good some bad some laughable… have done for somebody the same.. and two women who for some reason loved me and gave me a handful plus of children and they gave me near two handfuls of grandchildren later.. who still looks out of a 17-year-old’s eyes.. who sits in a little room and dreams of going down strange rivers to places nobody knows.. of people who run crooked.. Or fight windmills or live on distant planets.. that’s pretty much how it happened and you end up at the Austin Club with a little typewriter and a belly full of chili. Thank you for coming along.”

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Buy a Weekend Badge, Win a 2-Night Hotel Stay

The 2013 Weekend Badge is the perfect opportunity to get away for a weekend full of great film, inspiring panels, and a meeting of the minds. Whether you’re driving in from Dallas or taking the red-eye from LA, you can experience all that AFF has to offer without missing a beat. Now, if you buy your Weekend Badge before January 1st, you’ll be entered to …

The 2013 Weekend Badge is the perfect opportunity to get away for a weekend full of great film, inspiring panels, and a meeting of the minds. Whether you’re driving in from Dallas or taking the red-eye from LA, you can experience all that AFF has to offer without missing a beat.

Now, if you buy your Weekend Badge before January 1st, you’ll be entered to win a 2-night hotel stay at the Holiday Inn Austin – Town Lake during the Festival!

Click here to purchase your Weekend Badge and on January 4th, we’ll announce the lucky winner!

The Holiday Inn Austin is located right on Town Lake, with beautiful views and access to the jogging and biking paths around the lake. Amenities include an outdoor pool and fitness center, bar and lounge, and free wi-fi. The hotel also offers free shuttles to and from the airport and downtown Austin.

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AFF Receives Film Festival Grant From Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for 20th Anniversary

We are thrilled to announce that AFF has been awarded a $25,000 Film Festival Grant from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The grant funds will go towards 20th Anniversary programming, including our Retrospective Screening Series, which honors acclaimed screenwriters and filmmakers and their historic films through revelatory, educational screenings for the public. AFF’s Retrospective Screenings offer the rare opportunity for veteran screenwriters …

We are thrilled to announce that AFF has been awarded a $25,000 Film Festival Grant from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The grant funds will go towards 20th Anniversary programming, including our Retrospective Screening Series, which honors acclaimed screenwriters and filmmakers and their historic films through revelatory, educational screenings for the public.

AFF’s Retrospective Screenings offer the rare opportunity for veteran screenwriters and filmmakers to present one of their renowned works to the public, shedding new light on the film and their career through candid discussion during the event. Through the Retrospective Series, we aim to connect the viewer to the filmmaker, to open dialogue between artist and audience, and to promote the education of classic cinema.

Some Retrospective Screenings over the years have included: Joel and Ethan Coen present Blood Simple, Robert Altman presents Nashville, Frank Pierson presents Dog Day Afternoon, John Landis presents American Werewolf in London, Danny Boyle presents Shallow Grave, Lawrence Kasdan presents Body Heat, Sydney Pollack presents Tootsie, Shane Black presents The Long Kiss Goodnight, Steven Zaillian presents The Falcon and the Snowman, Whit Stillman presents Metropolitan, Oliver Stone presents Born on the Fourth of July, and Eric Roth presents The Insider.

The Academy Foundation – the Academy’s cultural and educational wing – annually distributes more than $1 million to film scholars, cultural organizations and film festivals throughout the U.S. and abroad.  The Foundation also presents the Academy’s rich assortment of screenings and other public programs each year.

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Black Friday Producers Badge

Sold out! Skip the crazed Black Friday crowds. This Friday, November 23rd, Austin Film Festival will sell a very limited number of 2013 Producers Badges for $475 ($650 value). The 2012 Festival was filled with incredible experiences… Watching some of the year’s best films and Oscar® contenders like SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK, FLIGHT, NOT FADE AWAY, and JAYNE MANSFIELD’S CAR at the Paramount Theatre… Absorbing words …

Sold out!

Skip the crazed Black Friday crowds. This Friday, November 23rd, Austin Film Festival will sell a very limited number of 2013 Producers Badges for $475 ($650 value).

The 2012 Festival was filled with incredible experiences…

  • Watching some of the year’s best films and Oscar® contenders like SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK, FLIGHT, NOT FADE AWAY, and JAYNE MANSFIELD’S CAR at the Paramount Theatre…
  • Absorbing words of wit and wisdom from AFF 2012 Awardees Frank Darabont (SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION), Eric Roth (FORREST GUMP) and Chris Carter (The X-Files)…
  • Feeling inspired, enthralled, educated and amused by the words of Paul Feig, Terry Rossio, Marti Noxon, Alec Berg, Phil Rosenthal, Scott Z. Burns, Aline Brosh McKenna, Rob Thomas, I. Marlene King, and all the many fantastic panelists…
  • Enjoying Salt Lick BBQ, drinks in the Driskill Bar, brunch at Ranch 616, the view of downtown Austin at the Conference Wrap Party, and great conversation through it all.

Just imagine what you’ll experience next year at Austin Film Festival’s 20th Anniversary!

Be inspired. Be a part of the conversation. Be the first to see this year’s award-winning movies and discover tomorrow’s star filmmakers (Jason Reitman, James Franco and Craig Brewer all screened their short films at AFF). Break into the business. Eat good barbecue. Have a beer. Go ahead, have another one.

Most importantly, don’t miss it.

How to purchase

Black Friday Producers Badges will go on sale at midnight EST Thursday night/Friday morning, November 23rd.

Click here to visit our online store. Add a Producers Badge to your cart and when checking out, enter the coupon code BLACKFRIDAY. Once they run out, the code will no longer be valid.

Hurry, they go fast.

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2012 AUDIENCE AWARD WINNERS Presented by ESURANCE

We are proud to announce the 2012 Audience Award winners presented by Esurance. Throughout the week of the Festival and Conference, audience members were invited to numerically rate films by ballot following each film’s screening. The winners are as follows:   Marquee Feature Audience Award: SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK Writer/Director: David O. Russell   Narrative Feature Audience Award: JUNK Writers: Kevin Hamedani, Ramon Isao Director: Kevin …

We are proud to announce the 2012 Audience Award winners presented by Esurance. Throughout the week of the Festival and Conference, audience members were invited to numerically rate films by ballot following each film’s screening. The winners are as follows:

 

Marquee Feature Audience Award:

SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK

Writer/Director: David O. Russell

 

Narrative Feature Audience Award:

JUNK

Writers: Kevin Hamedani, Ramon Isao

Director: Kevin Hamedani

 

Documentary Feature Audience Award: (Tie)

SPINNING PLATES

Writer/Director: Joseph Levy

and

RISING FROM ASHES

Director: T.C. Johnstone

 

Comedy Vanguard Audience Award:

THE MUSLIMS ARE COMING!

Directors: Negin Farsad, Dean Obeidallah

 

Dark Matters Audience Award:

SATURDAY MORNING MASSACRE

Writers: Jory Balsimo, Aaron Leggett, Jason Wehling

Director: Spencer Parsons

 

Narrative Short Audience Award:

ASAD

Writer/Director: Bryan Buckley

 

Narrative Student Short Audience Award:

THE TELEPORTED MAN

Writer/Director: Zach Endres

 

Animated Short Audience Award:

HEAD OVER HEELS

Writer/Director: Timothy Reckart

 

Documentary Short Audience Award:

GOOD KARMA $1

Directors: Jason Berger, Amy Laslett

 

The 2012 Film Competition and Screenplay/Teleplay winners have already been announced – read about them here.

Last year’s Audience Awards included The Artist and The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, both of which won Academy Awards®. The 2009 Out of Competition Audience Award Winner was Jason Reitman’s Up in the Air, which was nominated for several Academy Awards®, including “Best Picture” and “Best Director.”2008 AFF Audience Award winner, Slumdog Millionaire, presented by director Danny Boyle, went on to win 8 Oscars®, including “Best Picture”, “Best Director” and “Best Screenplay.”

The AFF Audience Award Film Series is sponsored by Esurance, the direct-to-consumer car insurance company. Esurance has been a longtime supporter of filmmakers and artists who help bring compelling stories to life.

We’ve also announced our dates for the 20th Annual Austin Film Festival & Conference, October 24-31, 2013. To purchase your Badge at the early discounted prices, click here.

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2012 Screenplay, Teleplay, and Film Competition Winners

Announcing Austin Film Festival’s 2012 Screenplay, Teleplay, and Film Competition Winners! Film Competition Winners Young Filmmakers – CRUMBS, Director: Nicco Vasquez, Writer: Keith Limon Documentary Short – SEE THE DIRT, Directors: Chelsea Hernandez, Erik Mauck Documentary Feature – INFORMANT, Director: Jamie Meltzer Animated Short – HEAD OVER HEELS, Writer/Director: Timothy Reckart Narrative Student Short – HATCH, Writer/Director: Christoph Kuschnig, Writer: Karl Goldblat Narrative Short – …

Announcing Austin Film Festival’s 2012 Screenplay, Teleplay, and Film Competition Winners!

Film Competition Winners

Young Filmmakers – CRUMBS, Director: Nicco Vasquez, Writer: Keith Limon

Documentary Short – SEE THE DIRT, Directors: Chelsea Hernandez, Erik Mauck

Documentary Feature – INFORMANT, Director: Jamie Meltzer

Animated Short – HEAD OVER HEELS, Writer/Director: Timothy Reckart

Narrative Student Short – HATCH, Writer/Director: Christoph Kuschnig, Writer: Karl Goldblat

Narrative Short – ASAD, Writer/Director: Bryan Buckley

Narrative Feature – SPARROWS DANCE, Writer/Director: Noah Buschel

 

Screenplay/Teleplay Competition Winners

Sitcom Spec – Modern Family: “Earthquake Party”, Writer: Abi Wurdeman & Phil Wurdeman

One Hour Spec – Dexter: “The Second Coming”, Writer: David Radcliff

Sitcom Pilot – Katie and Becca: “Grow Up”, Writer: Leila Cohan-Miccio

One-Hour Pilot – Horizon, Writer: B.D. Flory

Comedy Screenplay – The P.A.N.D.A. War, Writer: Daniel Shea

Drama Screenplay presented by Writer’s Guild of America, East – Clouds of Sorrow, Writer: Jack Davidson

Enderby Entertainment Award – The Break-Up Nurse, Writer: Adelline Colangelo

Dark Hero Studios Sci-Fi Award – The Domain, by Michael Raymond

 

Congratulations to these incredibly talented winners for their outstanding work.  This year we received a record number of submissions in all categories and were blown away by the level of talent and hard work reflected.  We look forward to getting submissions for next year!

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Short Focus – Documentary Shorts Competition

Another edition of Short Focus by Lauren Means featuring the Documentary Short Competition Films. THE BRONZER Possibly the last traveling salesman in America comes to you on the big screen in this powerfully told story.  Stue Larkin isn’t just your average salesman.  He is easily the most passionate person about his job that I have ever seen and has a personality all of his …

Another edition of Short Focus by Lauren Means featuring the Documentary Short Competition Films.

THE BRONZER

Possibly the last traveling salesman in America comes to you on the big screen in this powerfully told story.  Stue Larkin isn’t just your average salesman.  He is easily the most passionate person about his job that I have ever seen and has a personality all of his own.  Stue doesn’t sell cars or magazine subscriptions, he sells bronzed baby shoes.  A trendy tradition in the 80s but lost in today’s world, Stue tries to make bronzing mementos popular again.  Come feel his passion in the Documentary Shorts Program 12 at the Hideout Theatre, Saturday, October 20 7:15pm, or Tuesday, October 23 3:00pm.

THE DEBUTANTE HUNTERS

In The Debutante Hunters, Director Maria White provides an intimate look into a way of life most people perceive as a man’s domain: hunting.   One woman eats only the meat she kills herself, another uses it as a way to spend time with her mom, while yet another goes out alone to become one with nature.  You’re sure to fall in love with this film as the people at Sundance Film Festival did giving it the Audience Award.  Come see it in the Documentary Shorts Program 12 at the Hideout Theatre, Saturday, October 20 7:15pm, or Tuesday, October 23 3:00pm.

GOOD KARMA $1

Lock the doors, don’t make eye contact, pretend to look at your phone.  People deal with homeless people in different ways.  More often than not it involves ignoring them.  However, praised ad-guru Alex Bogusky approaches the situation in an unusual way.  He collects the homeless signs as a way to understand one of the world’s most simple forms of communication.  Along his journey, he makes friends and learns a heart-warming lesson.  See my this Audience Award winner of the DC Shorts Festival in the Documentary Shorts Program 12 at the Hideout Theatre, Saturday, October 20 7:15pm, or Tuesday, October 23 3:00pm.

ILLEGAL

Everyone has different opinions about illegal immigrants, but what about their children?  This documentary short offers an interesting perspective on their unique position through a series of interviews with the children, policymakers, and educators.  Director John X. Carey seeks to raise the consciousness level of the public concerning the significance of immigration reform beginning with the Dream Act.  If you feel passionate about the issue after watching the film like I did, feel free to check out their mission statement at illegalmovie.org after seeing it in the Documentary Shorts Program 12 at the Hideout Theatre, Saturday, October 20 7:15pm, or Tuesday, October 23 3:00pm.

JEWPHORIA

It’s not often one finds a good comedy documentary short.  But comedian Randy Kagan’s Jewphoria is exactly that.  In a personal account of his trip to Israel, Randy finds not only laughs but also adventure.  He manages to both confirm and break Jewish stereotypes.  Come see this World Premiere and laugh out loud in the Documentary Shorts Program 12 at the Hideout Theatre, Saturday, October 20 7:15pm, or Tuesday, October 23 3:00pm.

SEE THE DIRT

Baseball cards, superhero figurines, stamps – we all collect different things.  But one boy has taken his passion in a different direction.  Scott MacMillan collects vacuums.  In fact, he has hundreds of the bulky, loud machines.  At age 14, he has found a hobby to last a lifetime when most never find hobbies at all.  This documentary short delves into the lovable quirks that everyone has.  Scott brings out the goofy, awkward kid in me all over again.  Don’t miss the chance to see it in the Documentary Shorts Program 12 at the Hideout Theatre, Saturday, October 20 7:15pm, or Tuesday, October 23 3:00pm.

UNRAVEL

What happens to all the clothes you throw away?  This short follows your unwanted clothes all the way to Panipat, Northern India where they are shredded and recycled back into yarn.  The story centers on Reshma, a kind and bright woman, and the other women workers of the factory.  Our unwanted clothes are tales of the West to them.  They use their imagination of how an American could have worn a dress that has a neckline down to the belly button.  This beautifully shot film opened my eyes to how a foreign country might view us.  See how our trash can become someone’s treasure in the Documentary Shorts Program 12 at the Hideout Theatre, Saturday, October 20 7:15pm, or Tuesday, October 23 3:00pm.

UNWIELDY BEAST

Piano + Bike = Piano Bike?  Pianist Gary Frank Skaggs roams around the streets of San Francisco playing his distinctive piano, which happens to be on top of a bike.  This unwieldy beast is St. Frankenstein; a piano that Gary found on it’s way to the dump.  Transformed with different parts, hence it’s name, it provides this fun documentary short with original music that is sure to put you in a good mood.  Come see it play before RISING FROM ASHES at the Imax, Thursday, October 18 7:30pm, or at the Texas Spirit, Wednesday, October 24 8:00pm.

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CLOSING NIGHT FILM – JAYNE MANSFIELD’S CAR

WRITER/DIRECTOR BILLY BOB THORNTON IN ATTENDANCE NEW FILM ADDITIONS INCLUDE FRANCOPHRENIA WITH JAMES FRANCO IN ATTENDANCE HYDE PARK ON HUDSON, WHOLE LOTTA SOLE, AND DEADFALL We are happy to announce our Closing Night Film JAYNE MANSFIELD’S CAR with writer/director/actor Billy Bob Thornton in attendance on October 25th. Set in 1969 Alabama, JAYNE MANSFIELD’S CAR is a rich, heartfelt drama about two clashing families brought together …

WRITER/DIRECTOR BILLY BOB THORNTON IN ATTENDANCE

NEW FILM ADDITIONS INCLUDE

FRANCOPHRENIA WITH JAMES FRANCO IN ATTENDANCE

HYDE PARK ON HUDSON, WHOLE LOTTA SOLE, AND DEADFALL

We are happy to announce our Closing Night Film JAYNE MANSFIELD’S CAR with writer/director/actor Billy Bob Thornton in attendance on October 25th.

Set in 1969 Alabama, JAYNE MANSFIELD’S CAR is a rich, heartfelt drama about two clashing families brought together by the death of a woman who was married first to the Alabaman Jim Caldwell and then to the British Kingsley Bedford. The result is a culture clash of the Sixties, and of the Old World versus the Old South. Directed by Billy Bob Thornton and written by Thornton and Tom Epperson, the film stars Robert Duvall, Kevin Bacon, John, Hurt, Robert Patrick, and Thornton.

Also of note: our Opening Night feature is David Chase’s NOT FADE AWAY on October 18th with Chase in attendance. This year’s Centerpiece film is Robert Zemeckis’ FLIGHT starring Denzel Washington. Other recently added films to the lineup include FRANCOPHRENIA, comprised of footage from James Franco’s appearances on “General Hospital,” with Franco in attendance at the screening. HYDE PARK ON HUDSON, WHOLE LOTTA SOLE, and DEADFALL described below are also new additions to the schedule. To view the full film schedule, go here.

FRANCOPHRENIA

James Franco in attendance

Writers: Ian Olds, Paul Felten

Directors: Ian Olds, James Franco

With: James Franco, Kalup Linzy, Owen Renfroe, Steve Burton, Dominic Zamprogna, Julie Berman

This wholly unique documentary follows James Franco’s time on the set of General Hospital, utilizing a thrilling experimental style to focus on Franco’s experiences as an established movie star joining a long-running soap opera and as “Franco,” the performance artist he portrayed on the show. Franco in attendance.

HYDE PARK ON HUDSON

Writer: Richard Nelson

Director: Roger Michell

Cast: Bill Murray, Laura Linney, Olivia Williams, Samuel West, Olivia Colman

In June 1939, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (Murray) and his wife Eleanor (Williams) host the King and Queen of England for a weekend at the Roosevelt home at Hyde Park on Hudson, in upstate New York – the first-ever visit of a reigning English monarch to America. With Britain facing imminent war with Germany, the Royals are desperately looking for FDR’s support. But international affairs must be juggled with the complexities of FDR’s domestic establishment, as wife, mother, and mistresses all conspire to make the royal weekend an unforgettable one.

WHOLE LOTTA SOLE

Writers: Terry George, Thomas Gallagher

Director: Terry George

Cast: Brendan Fraser, Colm Meaney, and David O’Hara

This latest film from writer/director Terry George (Hotel Rwanda, In the Name of the Father, The Boxer, Reservation Road), is a charming Irish crime caper starring Brendan Fraser as an unwitting hostage caught up in the schemes of a hapless criminal. Featuring a delightful group of character actors, including Colm Meaney and David O’Hara.

DEADFALL

Writer: Zach Dean

Director: Stefan Ruzowitzky

Cast: Eric Bana, Charlie Hunnam, Olivia Wilde, Kris Kristofferson, Sissy Spacek, Kate Mara

Siblings Addison (Bana) and Liza (Wilde) are on the run from a casino heist gone wrong. When a car accident leaves their wheel man and a state trooper dead, they split up and make a run for the Canadian border in the worst of circumstances – a near whiteout blizzard.

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2012 EXTRAORDINARY CONTRIBUTION TO FILMMAKING AWARDEE – FRANK DARABONT

We’re thrilled to announce that this year’s Extraordinary Contribution to Filmmaking Awardee is Frank Darabont, director of film favorites THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION, THE GREEN MILE, THE MAJESTIC, THE MIST, and more. Darabont will accept the award at the Festival’s annual Award Luncheon on Saturday, October 20 at the Austin Club. Frank Darabont is a three-time Academy Award® nominee (director, writer, and producer) and is one …

We’re thrilled to announce that this year’s Extraordinary Contribution to Filmmaking Awardee is Frank Darabont, director of film favorites THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION, THE GREEN MILE, THE MAJESTIC, THE MIST, and more. Darabont will accept the award at the Festival’s annual Award Luncheon on Saturday, October 20 at the Austin Club.

Frank Darabont is a three-time Academy Award® nominee (director, writer, and producer) and is one of only six filmmakers in history to have had their first two feature films as director receive Oscar® nominations for Best Picture, with 1994’s THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION and 1999’s THE GREEN MILE. Both these films were adaptations based on works by Stephen King, and both garnered Oscar® nominations for Best Adapted Screenplay. He is also the director of 2001’s THE MAJESTIC starring Jim Carrey and another Stephen King adaptation, 2007’s THE MIST starring Thomas Jane. Darabont most recently is credited as the creator of the critically acclaimed AMC television series, The Walking Dead.

The award winner will contribute to this year’s Conference in “A Conversation with Frank Darabont,” which will take an in-depth look inside Darabont’s career in both film and television as a writer and director.

The Extraordinary Contribution to Filmmaking Award recognizes outstanding filmmakers for going above and beyond with their consistently exceptional bodies of work. Frank Darabont will join the ranks of past recipients, which include the likes of John Lasseter (TOY STORY), Robert Rodriguez (SIN CITY), Ron Howard (THE DA VINCI CODE), Danny Boyle (127 HOURS), Oliver Stone (PLATOON), and Sydney Pollack (OUT OF AFRICA).

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Short Focus – Narrative Shorts Competition

Another installment of Short Focus – a new blog series by AFF’s Film Department interns highlighting this year’s Short Film Line-Up. Narrative Short Competition Films, by Alex Gadway. My Left Hand Man As the title suggests, MY LEFT HAND MAN shows a twisted tale of unhealthy co-dependence and tumultuous relationships.  Samuel, 17, Beckett, 19, and their father, Warren, are living in a world of debt …

Another installment of Short Focus – a new blog series by AFF’s Film Department interns highlighting this year’s Short Film Line-Up.

Narrative Short Competition Films, by Alex Gadway.

My Left Hand Man

As the title suggests, MY LEFT HAND MAN shows a twisted tale of unhealthy co-dependence and tumultuous relationships.  Samuel, 17, Beckett, 19, and their father, Warren, are living in a world of debt controlled by loan sharks.  They are constantly trying to play catch-up, performing Shakespeare in the street as a means to scrap by while still finding time to escape their dismal lives; Samuel secretly reads his “Cardinal Comet” comic, and his father drinks and gambles. The aesthetic of the shots alone make this film successful.  Having previously dabbled in photography and oil painting, writer/director Antonia Bogdanovich’s intuition and creativity shine.  This short also stars Thomas Drodie-Sangster, who is unbelievable in this film, and who I am sure you’ll recognize from LOVE, ACUTALLY and NOWHERE MAN. Despite the film’s dramatic genre, it is still accessible to everyone. Bogdanovich teaches us that we always have hope and can learn to persevere onto better things.  See it in Shorts Program 3 – Postcards from the Battlefield at the Hideout Theatre, Sunday, October 21 7:15pm, or Tuesday, October 23 9:30pm.

Asad

This film is a fantastic coming-of-age fable about one Somali boy, Asad.  Writer/director Bryan Buckley made it his mission to tell this story after coming across thousands of displaced Somalis in Kenya during his work on a short subject documentary (NO AUTOGRAPHS) in 2010.  While the Somalis’ stories of escape and survival were harrowing, Buckley and his crew found their sense of pride and humor astounding. This film’s entire cast is composed of Somali refugees who fled to South Africa.  Harun and Ali Mohammad, the two leading boy actors in the film, come from a family of sixteen children.  Before the start of this film they had never attended school.  Imagine being completely illiterate and having to memorize nineteen pages of dialogue in front of a camera crew and for a director who only knew how to say “yes” and “no” in Somali! ASAD has already screened at multiple festivals, and has won the “Audience Award” at the Los Angeles Film Festival as well as “Best Narrative Short” at the Tribeca Film Festival. See it in Shorts Program 6 – The World Comes of Age at the Hideout Theatre, Saturday, October 20 4:30pm, or Monday, October 22 5:30pm.

Peter at the End

This film is universally relatable because it takes place at home during a dysfunctional family Thanksgiving.  Peter (Jon Heder, from NAPOLEON DYNAMITE) returns home after an unexplained absence. As Peter looks for ways to connect with those he left behind, the audience can undoubtedly feel anxiety and frustration as his friends and family don’t realize that there is an “end.”  Director Russ Lamoureux allows Peter’s “end” to remain somewhat abstract and ambiguous, but what’s important is that there is an imminent one.  Overall, this film gives a hard look at the flaws of humanity.  As much as we have experienced our own “ends,” we may never truly grasp something’s significance until it’s truly gone.  Like the end of this film, with or without concrete resolution, the end inevitably always comes. See it in Shorts Program 2 – The Search for Ourselves at the Hideout Theatre, Friday, October 19 7:15pm, or Thursday, October 25 6:30pm.

Yardbird

In short, Yardbird tells the tale of a small girl who takes on the town bullies that come to torment her dad.  But the way this film came to fruition has an even more rewarding back story.  Director Michael Spiccia (who studied design at the Western Australian School of Art and Design) and writer Julius Avery met through mutual friends and colleagues at Cannes (Julius Avery’s film Jerrycan screened at Cannes in 2008).  Both hail from Western Australia.  Both are the same age.  Both have uncannily similar upbringings.  That is, neither considered himself a “cool” or “tough” kid, and so both were inspired to use their childhood as a means to focus on themes like control and bullying.  Main character Ruby (Mitzi Ruhlmann) portrays a perfect mix of both, without using a single world of dialogue.  Yardbird was an official selection at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year.  It is Michael Spiccia’s first film at Cannes.  Even better?  It’s his first film. Period.  See it in Shorts Program 2 – The Search for Ourselves at the Hideout Theatre, Friday, October 19 7:15pm, or Thursday, October 25 6:30pm.

Friday

Struggling to come to terms with his mother’s tragic death one year later, FRIDAY is an emotional, intense, and thrilling short.  This is no cookie-cutter plot.  Director Sebastian Rice-Edwards starts the film with many things left unsaid.  It’s what makes this film so intriguing, and it’s what allows us to put the pieces together as the plot unfolds.  Just like the main character’s emotions, our feelings toward him fluctuate between sympathy (for his mother’s death) and hatred (towards his own intolerances).  But despite our own judgments, this piece remains very current and relevant. See it in Shorts Program 6 – The World Comes of Age at the Hideout Theatre, Saturday, October 20 4:30pm, or Monday, October 22 5:30pm.

Buzkashi Boys

This fascinating film transcends Western media’s portrayal of war to show that life continues beyond.  This film focuses on the lives of unlikely friends: a charismatic street boy, Ahmad, and a defiant blacksmith’s son, Rafi. Director Sam French inspires his audience by showing the boys’ determination to realize their dreams, despite their chosen destinies and despite their war-torn country. This film was shot entirely on location in Kabul, Afghanistan, by an alliance of Afghan and international filmmakers.  It was produced through the Afghan Film Project, a non-profit foundation that tells Afghan stories and builds its country’s film industry.  Through the creation of this film, more than a dozen Afghan filmmakers learned new skills and techniques in which they have been able to continue building their film industry. See it in Shorts Program 6 – The World Comes of Age at the Hideout Theatre, Saturday, October 20 4:30pm, or Monday, October 22 5:30pm.

La Vitesse du Passé

Translated as THE SPEED OF THE PAST, here writer/director Dominique Rocher toys with our concept of time in a completely new way.  While some films show time through a series of non-chronological events, this film portrays it at varying speeds.  While Margot and Joseph are renovating their countryside home, Joseph’s sense of time freezes as he’s falling off the roof.  On the other hand, Margot’s life continues on normally.  This scientific phenomenon is bizarre, imaginative, and thought-provoking.  Rocher’s shots and editing are aesthetically pleasing and put the past, literally, right in front of us. While such a loss would stay with us emotionally, in this film it is physically present as well.  Rocher succeeds in showing the mortality of humans, and more importantly, the fleeting (or not) nature of time. See it in Shorts Program 1– The Space Between Us at the Hideout Theatre, Sunday, October 21 9:30pm, or Tuesday, October 23 5:30pm.

Atlantis

When N.A.S.A. closed its shuttle program on July 8, 2011, the last launch (Atlantis) brought about a public audience unseen since the days of the Apollo moon missions.  In this movie, specifically, we see “hope” as two people — a photographer and a 10th grade science teacher (played by Kate French and Jason Ritter, respectively) — come together.   ATLANTIS strongly portrays nostalgia using a grainy aesthetic and black and white images. The film’s informative and inspiring nature transported me back to my middle school days where I dreamt of becoming an astronaut.  The film also portrays the N.A.S.A. Program itself as well as the unknown future of Titusville, previously a thriving factory town.  I found ATLANTIS to be enjoyable and also accessible to all audiences. See it in Shorts Program 1– The Space Between Us at the Hideout Theatre, Sunday, October 21 9:30pm, or Tuesday, October 23 5:30pm.

Damaged Ones

DAMAGED ONES suitably describes the story of these teenagers.  The plot is relatively simple; the beautiful Bella has a new boyfriend, but her friend Cissi always finds herself one step behind. However, it is Bella who makes one bad decision and is completely unaware of the terrible consequences that are to follow.  Director Johanna Paulsdotter allows the audience to harshly judge these teens.  But what we all must remember is that being a teenager is really a game of survival filled with angst, confusion, and frustration.  Never forget, we’ve all been there too. See it in Shorts Program 4 – Dirty Laundry at the Hideout Theatre, Thursday, October 18 9:40pm, or Monday, October 22 9:45pm.

Pray

PRAY exists in an alternate reality, where a girl can be sentenced to be buried-alive.  Everything writer/director Theylia Petraki portrays is realistic.  Everything, that is, except that this death sentence is so commonplace.  Petraki places heavy emphasis on the inevitability of her looming death, and the girl seems to be the only one with the common sense and desperation to save herself.  Even though the girl is able to escape home to research survival tactics, inevitably her hearse arrives to take her to the cemetery.  It’s like a nightmare: no matter how fast you run (always in slow motion, of course), the person chasing you always catches up.  You can try and escape, but Petraki successfully lures you into this bizarre reality that you can’t help but experience. See it in Shorts Program 2 – The Search for Ourselves at the Hideout Theatre, Friday, October 19 7:15pm, or Thursday, October 25 6:30pm.

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2012 AFF Film Schedule!

The 2012 AFF Film Schedule is up! Click here for the Schedule Powered by Festival Genius, you can search the schedule by day, film category, event type (panel, film, party), venue, or use the grid view. You can customize your own schedule, as well as download the iPhone app so you can keep your schedule at your fingertips. New additions: HYDE PARK ON HUDSON (UK, …

The 2012 AFF Film Schedule is up!

Click here for the Schedule

Powered by Festival Genius, you can search the schedule by day, film category, event type (panel, film, party), venue, or use the grid view. You can customize your own schedule, as well as download the iPhone app so you can keep your schedule at your fingertips.

New additions:

HYDE PARK ON HUDSON

(UK, 95 min)
Writer: Richard Nelson
Director: Roger Michell
Cast: Bill Murray, Laura Linney, Olivia Williams, Samuel West, Olivia Colman

In June 1939, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (Murray) and his wife Eleanor (Williams) host the King and Queen of England for a weekend at the Roosevelt home at Hyde Park on Hudson, in upstate New York – the first-ever visit of a reigning English monarch to America. With Britain facing imminent war with Germany, the Royals are desperately looking to FDR for support. But international affairs must be juggled with the complexities of FDR’s domestic establishment, as wife, mother, and mistresses all conspire to make the royal weekend an unforgettable one. Seen through the eyes of Daisy (Linney), Franklin’s neighbor and intimate, the weekend will produce not only a special relationship between two great nations, but, for Daisy – and through her, for us all – a deeper understanding of the mysteries of love and friendship.

DEADFALL

(USA, 94 min)
Writer: Zach Dean
Director: Stefan Ruzowitzky
Cast: Eric Bana, Charlie Hunnam, Olivia Wilde, Kris Kristofferson, Sissy Spacek, Kate Mara

Siblings Addison (Bana) and Liza (Wilde) are on the run from a casino heist gone wrong. When a car accident leaves their wheel man and a state trooper dead, they split up and make a run for the Canadian border in the worst of circumstances – a near whiteout blizzard. While Addison heads cross-country, creating mayhem in his wake, Liza is picked up by ex-boxer Jay (Hunnam), en-route for a Thanksgiving homecoming with his parents, June (Spacek) and retired sheriff Chet (Kristofferson). It’s there the siblings are reunited in a terse and thrilling showdown that pushes the bonds of family to the limit.

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Short Focus – Animated Shorts Competition

Our talented Film Department interns have created a new blog series, Short Focus, highlighting this year’s Short Film Line-Up. First up, Lauren Armstrong explores the 2012 Animated Short Competition Films. Head Over Heels In ten minutes, director Timothy Reckart manages to steal the heart of even the most cynical viewer with his film HEAD OVER HEELS. In this endearing animated short, made using stop- motion …

Our talented Film Department interns have created a new blog series, Short Focus, highlighting this year’s Short Film Line-Up.

First up, Lauren Armstrong explores the 2012 Animated Short Competition Films.

Head Over Heels

In ten minutes, director Timothy Reckart manages to steal the heart of even the most cynical viewer with his film HEAD OVER HEELS. In this endearing animated short, made using stop- motion animation, Reckart tells the story of an old married couple who has grown apart, literally. She occupies the ceiling of the house and he lives on the floor.  I found myself “awwww-ing” at the husband’s cute attempts to reignite the flame between him and his wife.  The fact that absolutely no dialogue is used to tell the story is even more impressive.  The animation of the character’s faces conveys all the emotion and words would have been superfluous in this sweet and charming short.  See it in Shorts Program 1 – The Space Between Us, at the Hideout Theatre, Sunday, October 21st, 9:30 pm or Tuesday, October 23rd, 5:30 pm.

Sleight of Hand

SLEIGHT OF HAND has recently been nominated for Best Animation at the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts, and it’s no wonder why. This charming animated short was created using the stop-motion technique, in which the puppet is moved frame by frame. It takes 25 separate moves to create one second of the movie… that’s over 14,000 individual shots for this one, 9-minute short. The film is essentially a tongue-in-cheek movie about the technique itself and follows a puppet trying to create what writer/director/animator Michael Cusack did in creating the puppet himself. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the technique come to life on the screen, and the puppet’s facial expressions are truly a work of art. AFF is proud to feature this patiently created stroke of genius.  See it in Shorts Program 7 – A Glimpse Into Another World, at the Hideout Theatre, Saturday, October 20th at 9:30 pm, and Wednesday, October 24th at 7:30 pm.

From A to B and Back Again

FROM A TO B AND BACK AGAIN stands out amongst competition because of the unique story it tells. The film is part of BBC’s ‘Seeking Refuge’ series that seeks to tell real-life stories of asylum seekers in the UK. Director Andy Glynne tells the story about a young girl and her family fleeing from religious persecution. In a world where animated film is often used for fairy tales or stories for kids, I found it refreshing to see an animated short with such a relevant message behind it. The story compels the audience to care about the family and their issue at hand, while also raising awareness in an interesting way, in this case, through animated re-telling of a true story.  See it in Shorts Program 6 – The World Comes of Age, at the Hideout Theatre, Saturday, October 20th at 3:30 pm or Monday, October 22nd at 5:30 pm

Jamón

If you enjoy animated films that are more on the bloody side and involve mature themes of questionable nature, then JAMÓN is the film for you. A graduation film from Iria López, the film follows a teenage pig, José, who is struggling with his identity as the only pig in his family. When a questionable neighbor moves in and involves himself with “interesting” activities, José learns that he may have more in common with the neighbor than he thought. The film uses traditional animation technology and silkscreen printed backgrounds that allow for a very classy look and a thoroughly enjoyable experience.   See it in Shorts Program 2 – The Search For Ourselves, at the Hideout Theatre, Friday, October 19th at 7:15 pm,  or Thursday, October 25th at 6:30 pm.

Pasteurized

PASTEURIZED is a cute animated film about a cow making pasteurized milk in space. When a cat in a space shuttle comes to check out his laboratory, his world is rocked, literally. Director Nicolás P. Villareal is also a published children’s author- and it shows. The film brought out my inner child and took me on a ride to outer space with a mischievous cat (is there any other kind?) and an interesting-looking green cow. The film has no dialogue, and the score provides all the sound needed. I found myself bouncing along with the cat and the cow on their boisterous, 7-minute journey and was reminded how fun animated movies can be.  See it in Shorts Program 11 at the Alamo Drafthouse Village on Saturday, October 20th at 1:00 pm or at the Hideout Theatre on Sunday, October 21st at 3:30 pm.

Buy Buy Baby

In our recent recession, what can be more relevant than an animated short about a baby hanging out at a Wall Street office and unknowingly tearing the place apart? Kids will love the funny anecdotes in the short, and adults will enjoy the not-so-subliminal message of the stock market tumbling with Baby Betty on the loose in the roaring twenties. Gervais Merryweather directed this as his graduation film, and has since won accolades at film festivals all over the world. I was really amused by this film and enjoyed the animation style, as it brought me back to the old school cartoon days. See it in Shorts Program 11 at the Alamo Drafthouse Village on Saturday, October 20th at 1:00 pm or at the Hideout Theatre on Sunday, October 21st at 3:30 pm.

Snack Attack

In four minutes and thirty-five seconds, director Andrew Cadelago manages to draw two very distinct characters, an old lady and a punk teenager! I found myself laughing through SNACK ATTACK, and curious to see how it all ends for the bitter old lady. The film has a very professional, Pixar-like feel to it (Cadelago has worked in the animation department at Pixar), which should make it a fan favorite. The old lady even resembles the beloved character, “Carl,” from UP.   See it in Shorts Program 11 at the Alamo Drafthouse Village on Saturday, October 20th at 1:00 pm or at the Hideout Theatre on Sunday, October 21st at 3:30 pm.

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2012 SCREENPLAY & TELEPLAY FINALISTS

AFF is pleased to announce the 2012 Screenplay & Teleplay Competition Finalists.  They were chosen from a record field of more than 6,500 entries in the Drama, Comedy, Enderby Entertainment Award, Dark Hero Studios Sci-Fi Award, and Teleplay categories.  The winners will be announced during this year’s Conference at the Awards Luncheon on Saturday, October 20, 2012 at the Austin Club. Winners will receive cash …

AFF is pleased to announce the 2012 Screenplay & Teleplay Competition Finalists.  They were chosen from a record field of more than 6,500 entries in the Drama, Comedy, Enderby Entertainment Award, Dark Hero Studios Sci-Fi Award, and Teleplay categories.  The winners will be announced during this year’s Conference at the Awards Luncheon on Saturday, October 20, 2012 at the Austin Club. Winners will receive cash prizes ranging from $1,000 to $5,000, reimbursements for travel and lodging while at AFF, and access to and recognition by some of the most important writers, agents, producers and filmmakers in the industry.

The 2012 Screenplay & Teleplay Finalists are (listed by category and alphabetically by title):

SCREENPLAY – COMEDY

Blind Date by Alex Cramer

Concession Olympics by Megan Grano

Get Real by Bev Atkinson

The P.A.N.D.A. War by Daniel Shea

Santagate by Mike Sundy

 

SCREENPLAY – DRAMA

Clouds of Sorrow by Jack Davidson

Cumberland by Scott Larson

Dali by Lorraine Mauvais

Dark Ops by Andrew Sodroski & Raven Burnett

From New York to Florida by Austin Reynolds

Lukomorie by Margot Arakelian

 

ENDERBY ENTERTAINMENT AWARD

For feature scripts in all genres with an original concept and distinctive voice that can be produced for under $5 million. The production company was founded by Rick Dugdale and Daniel Petrie, Jr.

Bad Blood by Chris Connolly

The Break-Up Nurse by Adeline Colangelo

Cancer by Bobby Duncan

Drink With a Stranger by Anita J Skibski

From New York to Florida by Austin Reynolds

 

DARK HERO STUDIOS SCI-FI AWARD

Open to Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Surrealism, Myth/Legend and Fantastical Storytelling. The studio was founded by David Hayter and Benedict Carver

Bad Blood by Chris Connolly

Dark Ops by Andrew Sodroski & Raven Burnett

The Domain by Michael Raymond

The House of Bathory by Shannon Pestock

My Sweet Genevese by William Viglione

 

TELEPLAY – ONE-HOUR PILOT

Horizon by B.D. Flory

Mustard by Christian Canterbury

The Photographer by Jennifer Raite & Chris Cullari

Static – “Someone to Watch Over Me” by Keith Davidson

Thin Air by Niceole R Levy

 

TELEPLAY – SITCOM PILOT

The Doghouse by Greg Karber

Fangirls – “I Love Aquaman” by Lillian DeRitter

Katie and Becca Grow Up by Leila Cohan-Miccio

 

TELEPLAY – ONE-HOUR SPEC

Dexter – “The Second Coming” by David Radcliff

Justified – “Mama’s in the Graveyard; Papa’s in the Pen” by Courtney Kirkpatrick & Edward Kirkpatrick

Parenthood – “How to Jew” by Nathaniel Orr

 

TELEPLAY – SITCOM SPEC

30 Rock – “Clinical Implantation” by Dayo Adesokan

The Middle – “To Heck and Back” by Sheela Shrinivas

Modern Family – “Earthquake Party” by Abi Wurdeman & Phil Wurdeman

 

Finalist scripts will be reviewed by an industry panel of judges including:

 

Drama Finalist Judges (provided by the Writers Guild of America, East)

  • Christopher Kyle – writer SERENA (2013). ALEXANDER
  • John J. McLaughlin – writer HITCHCOCK, BLACK SWAN
  • Stephen Schiff – writer WALL STREET: MONEY NEVER SLEEPS,  TRUE CRIME

Comedy Finalist Judges

  • Larry Doyle – writer I LOVE YOU, BETH COOPER; DUPLEX
  • Craig Mazin – writer IDENTITY THIEF (2013), THE HANGOVER PART II
  • Herschel Weingrod – writer KINDERGARTEN COP, TRADING PLACES

Teleplay Finalist Judges

  • Noah Hawley – showrunner “My Generation”, “The Unusuals”
  • Kyle Killen – showrunner “Awake”, “Lone Star”
  • Nancy Pimental – writer/producer “Shameless”

A PDF of the full list of Finalists and Semifinalists:

2012 Finalists and Semifinalists

A PDF of the full list of Second Rounders:

Second Rounders

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2012 Austin Film Festival Program Book

Can’t wait until the Festival to take a look at this year’s Program Book? Download a digital copy! 2012 Program Book  Please note that we have already made a few changes to the schedule since the Program Book was designed. For the most up-to-date schedule, visit our Conference Schedule page and Film Schedule page.

Can’t wait until the Festival to take a look at this year’s Program Book? Download a digital copy!

2012 Program Book

 Please note that we have already made a few changes to the schedule since the Program Book was designed. For the most up-to-date schedule, visit our Conference Schedule page and Film Schedule page.

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2012 AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL LINE-UP

David Chase to Present NOT FADE AWAY as Opening Night Film Film Line-Up Includes SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK, THE SESSIONS, FLIGHT, QUARTET, THE SAPPHIRES, SHADOW DANCER, A LATE QUARTET, IT’S A DISASTER, THE FITZGERALD FAMILY CHRISTMAS, and FREE SAMPLES We’re thrilled to announce today this year’s full feature-length film lineup! This year’s films include David Chase’s Not Fade Away (Opening Night Film) with Chase in attendance; …

David Chase to Present NOT FADE AWAY as Opening Night Film

Film Line-Up Includes SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK, THE SESSIONS, FLIGHT, QUARTET, THE SAPPHIRES, SHADOW DANCER, A LATE QUARTET, IT’S A DISASTER, THE FITZGERALD FAMILY CHRISTMAS, and FREE SAMPLES

We’re thrilled to announce today this year’s full feature-length film lineup! This year’s films include David Chase’s Not Fade Away (Opening Night Film) with Chase in attendance; the previously announced Centerpiece Film Flight; the new film by David O. Russell Silver Linings Playbook, fresh off its Audience Award-winning premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival; The Sessions starring John Hawkes, Helen Hunt, and William H. Macy; Dustin Hoffman’s directorial debut Quartet; The Sapphires; Shadow Dancer starring Clive Owen; Edward Burns’ The Fitzgerald Family Christmas, and the world premieres of Spinning Plates, To Kill a Memory, The Muslims Are Coming!, The Rep, Ex-Girlfriends, and Mar Del Plata.

Below is a listing of AFF’s film lineup which includes Marquee Screenings; the new Guest Programmers series, featuring films selected and presented by panelists and filmmakers like Paul Feig, Phil Rosenthal, and Chris Carter; Comedy Vanguard; Dark Matters; Family Films; Passport to Africa, comprised of four documentary stories about this endlessly fascinating continent; and Texas Independents, a showcase for Texas filmmakers.

AFF 2012 Film Line-Up

Marquee Screenings

NOT FADE AWAY – David Chase (Writer/Director); David Chase in attendance

FLIGHT – John Gatins (Writer), Robert Zemeckis (Director)

SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK – David O. Russell (Writer/Director); Julia Stiles in attendance

THE SESSIONS – Ben Lewin (Writer/Director)

QUARTET – Ronald Harwood (Writer), Dustin Hoffman (Director)

SHADOW DANCER – Tom Bradby (Writer), James Marsh (Director)

THE SAPPHIRES – Tony Briggs, Keith Thompson (Writers), Wayne Blair (Director)

A LATE QUARTET – Seth Grossman, Yaron Zilberman (Writers), Yaron Zilberman (Director)

IT’S A DISASTER – Todd Berger (Writer/Director); Julia Stiles and America Ferrera in attendance

THE FITZGERALD FAMILY CHRISTMAS – Edward Burns (Writer/Director)

FREE SAMPLES – Jim Beggarly (Writer), Jay Gammill (Director)

A.K.A. DOC POMUS – William Hechter, Peter Miller (Directors)

ANN RICHARDS’ TEXAS – Keith Patterson (Writer), Jack Lofton, Keith Patterson (Directors)

CONGRATULATIONS – Juan Cardarelli, Brian Dietzen, Eric M. Levy, Abby Miller (Writers), Juan Cardarelli, Eric M. Levy (Directors) – World Premiere

THE EYES OF THAILAND – Windy Borman, Tim O’Brien (Writers), Windy Borman (Director)

GLOW: THE STORY OF THE GORGEOUS LADIES OF WRESTLING – Bradford Thomason (Writer), Brett Whitcomb (Director)

I DO – David W. Ross (Writer), Glenn Gaylord (Director)

IDOL IS DEAD – Yukihiro Katô (Writer/Director) – US Premiere

THE KITCHEN – Jim Beggarly (Writer), Ishai Setton (Director)

LAST WILL. & TESTAMENT – Laura Wilson, Lisa Wilson (Directors) – US Premiere

ONLY THE YOUNG – Elizabeth Mims, Jason Tippet (Directors)

THE REP – Morgan White (Writer/Director) – World Premiere

SAMPLE THIS – Dan Forrer (Writers/Director), Robert Burris (Producer) – World Premiere

SPINNING PLATES – Joseph Levy (Writer/Director) – World Premiere

TO KILL A MEMORY – Dustin Rikert, William Shockley, Philip Tiboni (Writers), Dustin Rikert (Director) – World Premiere; star and musician Kix Brooks (of the country music duo Brooks and Dunn) in attendance

Guest Programmers

Chris Carter (2012 Outstanding Television Writer Awardee) presents… Murder by Decree; episodes from “The X-Files” and “Millennium”

Eric Roth (2012 Distinguished Screenwriter Awardee) presents… The Insider

Paul Feig presents… The Human Tornado

Phil Rosenthal presents… Broadway Danny Rose

Comedy Vanguard

BAD PARENTS – Caytha Jentis (Writer/Director)

THE BITTER BUDDHA – Steven Feinartz (Director) – Comedian Eddie Pepitone in attendance

EX-GIRLFRIENDS – Alexander Poe (Writer/Director) – World Premiere; Jennifer Carpenter (“Dexter”) in attendance

THE EXQUISITE CORPSE PROJECT – Adam Conover, Chioke Nassor, Dave Segal, Joel Clark, Raphael Bob-Waksberg (Writers), Ben Popik (Director)

LAST MAN(S) ON EARTH – Aaron Hultgren (Writer/Director)

MISSED CONNECTIONS – Kenny Stevenson (Writer), Eric Kissack (Director)

THE MUSLIMS ARE COMING! – Negin Farsad, Dean Obeidallah (Directors) – World Premiere

PICTURES OF SUPERHEROES – Don Swaynos (Writer/Director) – World Premiere

Dark Matters

BONEBOYS – Kim Henkel (Writer), Duane Graves, Justin Meeks (Directors)

IT’S IN THE BLOOD – Scooter Downey, Sean Elliot (Writers), Scooter Downey (Director)

SATURDAY MORNING MASSACRE – Jory Balsimo, Aaron Leggett, Jason Wehling (Writers), Spencer Parsons (Director)

VAMPIRA AND ME – R.H. Greene (Director)

Family Films

FLATLAND 2: SPHERELAND – Dano Johnson (Writer/Director)

MURT RAMIREZ WANTS TO KICK MY ASS – Dan Lee (Writer/Director) – World Premiere

R.L. STINE’S THE HAUNTING HOUR – Episodes presented by Billy Brown and Dan Angel (Writers/Producers)

Passport to Africa

THE FADE – Andy Mundy-Castle (Director)

FINDING MERCY – Robyn Paterson (Director)

PUNK IN AFRICA – Keith Jones, Deon Maas (Writers/Directors)

RISING FROM ASHES – T.C. Johnstone (Director)

Texas Independents

THE GIRL – David Riker (Writer/Director)

SATELLITE OF LOVE – Jonathan Case, Will Moore (Writers). Will Moore (Director)

SPRING EDDY – George Anson (Writer/Director) – World Premiere

Narrative Feature Competition

ALLEGIANCE – Michael Connors (Writer/Director)

COME MORNING – Derrick Sims (Writer/Director) – World Premiere

JUNCTION – Tony Glazer (Writer/Director)

JUNK – Kevin Hamedani, Ramon Isao (Writers), Kevin Hamedani (Director) – World Premiere

LAST STOP: SALVATION – Baris Pirhasan (Writer), Yusuf Pirhasan (Director)

LIARS FIRES AND BEARS – Jeremy Cloe (Writer), Jeremy Cloe, Lundon Boyd (Directors)

MAR DEL PLATA – Ionathan Klajman (Writer), Ionathan Klajman, Sebastian Dietsch (Directors) – World Premiere

SPARROWS DANCE – Noah Buschel (Writer/Director)

Documentary Feature Competition

ELEMENTAL – Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee (Director)

FOUR HORSEMEN – Ross Ashcroft (Director) – US Premiere

INFORMANT – Jamie Meltzer (Director)

LAST DAY AT LAMBEAU – Michael Neelsen (Director)

THE MISSING PIECE: THE TRUTH ABOUT THE MAN WHO STOLE THE MONA LISA – Joe Medeiros (Director)

MR. CAO GOES TO WASHINGTON – S. Leo Chiang (Director)

PLIMPTON! STARRING GEORGE PLIMPTON AS HIMSELF – Thomas Bean, Luke Poling (Directors)

WHERE HAVE ALL THE MERMAIDS GONE? – Nathaniel Kramer (Director) – US Premiere

For the full list of short films playing at the Festival, download the PDF below:

2012 Shorts Line-Up

Note: the Shorts Line-Up does not include the Young Filmmakers Competition Shorts.

 

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Eric Roth – 2012 Distinguished Screenwriter Award Recipient

We’re so proud to announce that Eric Roth, screenwriter of THE INSIDER, FORREST GUMP, THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON, EXTREMELY LOUD & INCREDIBLY CLOSE, MUNICH, and more, will receive our 2012 Distinguished Screenwriter Award! Roth will accept the award at the Festival’s annual Award Luncheon held on Saturday, October 20, 2012 at the Austin Club. Eric Roth won an Academy Award® and a Writers …

Eric Roth – 2012 Distinguished Screenwriter Award Recipient

We’re so proud to announce that Eric Roth, screenwriter of THE INSIDER, FORREST GUMP, THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON, EXTREMELY LOUD & INCREDIBLY CLOSE, MUNICH, and more, will receive our 2012 Distinguished Screenwriter Award! Roth will accept the award at the Festival’s annual Award Luncheon held on Saturday, October 20, 2012 at the Austin Club.

Eric Roth won an Academy Award® and a Writers Guild of America Award (WGA) for his screenplay FORREST GUMP, the Oscar®-winning Best Picture directed by Robert Zemeckis. Roth received his second Oscar®, Golden Globe and WGA Award nominations for the screenplay for the Best Picture-nominated film THE INSIDER. He garnered both Oscar® and Golden Globe nominations for the screenplays of Steven Spielberg’s drama MUNICH and more recently for David Fincher’s THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON. His other screenwriting credits include Michael Mann’s ALI, Robert De Niro’s THE GOOD SHEPHERD, Robert Redford’s THE HORSE WHISPERER and many more.

More recently, he wrote the screenplay for the Oscar®-nominated film EXTREMELY LOUD & INCREDIBLY CLOSE, based on the novel by Jonathan Safran Foer. For the small screen, Roth served as executive producer and wrote two episodes for David Milch’s HBO drama Luck, starring Dustin Hoffman and Nick Nolte. Currently, Roth is executive producer, with David Fincher, on Netflix’s first original television series, House of Cards, starring Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright, which premieres in January 2013. Roth is also writing the screenplay for the epic film CLEOPATRA, starring Angelina Jolie. In 2012, Roth received the Writers Guild’s prestigious Laurel Award for Lifetime Achievement in Screenwriting.

At this year’s Conference, Roth will present “A Conversation with Eric Roth,” giving an inside look into his films and career. He will also host a retrospective screening of his 1999 film, THE INSIDER.

For his full bio, click here.

Don’t forget to get your Awards Luncheon ticket when you buy your Conference or Producers Badge to see Roth and Chris Carter accept this year’s awards!

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2012 SCREENPLAY & TELEPLAY COMPETITION SEMIFINALISTS AND SECOND ROUNDERS

AFF is pleased to announce its 2012 Screenplay & Teleplay Competition Semifinalists and Second Rounders who were chosen from a record field of more than 6500 entries in the Drama, Comedy, Enderby Entertainment Award, Dark Hero Studios Sci-Fi Award, and Teleplay categories. A total of 729 scripts advanced to the Second Round (roughly top 10-12%) before being eliminated. 96 scripts were selected for the Semifinals …

AFF is pleased to announce its 2012 Screenplay & Teleplay Competition Semifinalists and Second Rounders who were chosen from a record field of more than 6500 entries in the Drama, Comedy, Enderby Entertainment Award, Dark Hero Studios Sci-Fi Award, and Teleplay categories. A total of 729 scripts advanced to the Second Round (roughly top 10-12%) before being eliminated. 96 scripts were selected for the Semifinals to remain in contention.

The Finalists will be revealed by early October and the winners will be announced during this year’s Conference at the Awards Luncheon on Saturday, October 20th, 2012 at the Austin Club. Winners will receive cash prizes ranging from $1,000 to $5,000, reimbursements for travel and lodging while at AFF, and access to and recognition by some of the most important writers, agents, producers and filmmakers in the industry.

This year’s Semifinalists are (listed by category and alphabetically by title):

Screenplay – Comedy

  • 12 Steps for Pussies by Dwayne McKenzie & Jim Patton
  • Blind Date by Alex Cramer
  • The Break-Up Nurse by Adeline Colangelo
  • Candy Rocks Doesn’t Grow Up by Eric Randolph Rasmussen
  • Concession Olympics by Megan Grano
  • Detroit Nuke City by John Sheehan
  • Donnie Lasagna by Anthony Stitt & Jeff Trently
  • Get Real by Bev Atkinson
  • Henchmen by Eric Gross & Marshall Johnson
  • High School Seniors by Hamish McCollester
  • How to Win in Politics by Jordan Newman
  • MILFS by Carrie Stett
  • The Monster of Perfect, California by Paul Sheridan
  • The P.A.N.D.A. War by Daniel Shea
  • Rusty by Michael Ouellette
  • Santagate by Mike Sundy
  • Two Old Dicks by Matt Zajac
  • V-Day by Ali Imran Zaidi
  • Western Bloc by Margot Arakelian
  • Worst.Date.Ever. by Joshua Sheehan & Marco Rodriguez

Screenplay – Drama

  • Bad Blood by Chris Connolly
  • Child-Proof by Michael Levin & Kevin Brotman
  • Clouds of Sorrow by Jack Davidson
  • Cold Snap by Samuel J. Winokur
  • Cry Mother Earth by Aron Wilburn & George Wilburn
  • Cumberland by Scott Larson
  • Dali by Lorraine Mauvais
  • Dark Ops by Andrew Sodroski & Raven Burnett
  • Deacon’s Point by Blake McCallister
  • Drink With a Stranger by Anita J Skibski
  • Freedom by Byron Hudson
  • From New York to Florida by Austin Reynolds
  • Havana Rules by Annie LaBarba
  • Heaven’s Door by Geoff Redknap
  • The House of Bathory by Shannon Pestock
  • Lukomorie by Margot Arakelian
  • The Mortality Game by Ed Vela
  • The Murphys by Kaitlin McLaughlin
  • My Sweet Genevese by William Viglione
  • Our Enemies by Ramesh Santanam
  • Paris Burning by Roberto Dantas
  • The Rise and Fall of Lorenzo the Kid by Matthew A. Brown
  • What’s Ailing Spencer Frayley by Michael Werwie
  • The Witness by Nouri Zarrugh

Enderby Entertainment Award

(For feature scripts in all genres with an original concept and distinctive voice that can be produced under $5 million.  The production company was founded by Rick Dugdale and Daniel Petrie, Jr.)

  • Bad Blood by Chris Connolly
  • The Break-Up Nurse by Adeline Colangelo
  • Cancer by Bobby Duncan
  • Drink With a Stranger by Anita J Skibski
  • From New York to Florida by Austin Reynolds
  • Hero Wanted by Dennis Douda
  • Santagate by Mike Sundy
  • The Scrubland by Corey Bodoh-Creed
  • Suburban Gothic by Anton Diether
  • Will’s Friend Will by Elaine Thomas

Dark Hero Studios Sci-Fi Award

(Open to Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Surrealism, Myth/Legend and Fantastical Storytelling.  The studio was founded by David Hayter and Benedict Carver)

  • Bad Blood by Chris Connolly
  • Coffin Makers by David B. Carren
  • Dark Ops by Andrew Sodroski & Raven Burnett
  • The Domain by Michael Raymond
  • Heirloom by Noga Landau
  • The House of Bathory by Shannon Pestock
  • Little Lucy by Daniel J. Hernandez
  • My Sweet Genevese by William Viglione
  • Shiny Penny by Daniel Shea
  • When the Moon Rises by Jeff Storms

Teleplay – One-Hour Pilot

  • Beltway – “The Last of the Swinging Dicks” by Thom Woodley
  • Bricks and Stones  by Alexander Newman-Wise
  • The Hinterland – “The Last Human City” by Jason Noto
  • Horizon by B.D. Flory
  • Mnemonic  by Jimmy Miller
  • Mustard by Christian Canterbury
  • The Photographer  by Jennifer Raite & Chris Cullari
  • The Reel by Adam D’Alba
  • Static – “Someone to Watch Over Me”  by Keith Davidson
  • Street Legal by Warren Hsu Leonard
  • Thin Air  by Niceole R Levy
  • Under the Law by Rebecca Omahen

Teleplay – Sitcom Pilot

  • Blood Types by Adam Meyer
  • The Doghouse by Greg Karber
  • Fangirls – “I Love Aquaman” by Lillian DeRitter
  • Funny Motherfuckers – “Dropped, Weak, and Horny” by Joseph J. Vargas
  • Katie and Becca Grow Up by Leila Cohan-Miccio
  • The New Twenty – “Esse Quam Videri” by Tony Sekulich
  • Welcome to the Sh!t Show  by Robert Dearden

Teleplay – One-Hour Spec

  • Dexter – “The Second Coming” by David Radcliff
  • Justified – “Mama’s in the Graveyard; Papa’s in the Pen” by Courtney Kirkpatrick and Edward Kirkpatrick
  • The Mentalist – “Cardinal Sins” by Julie Christie
  • Parenthood – “How to Jew” by Nathaniel Orr
  • Shameless – “Sleeping Dogs” by Jennifer Raite
  • White Collar – “Face of Terror” by Bobak Esfarjani

Teleplay – Sitcom Spec

  • 30 Rock – “Clinical Implantation” by Dayo Adesokan
  • Bored to Death – “The Case of the Swinging Brewskee Ballers” by Lee Carlisle
  • The Middle – “To Heck and Back” by Sheela Shrinivas
  • Modern Family – “Earthquake Party” by Abi Wurdeman & Phil Wurdeman
  • New Girl – “Schmidt Gets His Period” by Beau Henry
  • Parks & Rec – “Ye Olde Pawnee” by Julie Benson
  • Raising Hope – “Get Rich Quick, Boys and Girls!” by Kat Lombard

For the full list of this year’s Second Rounders, download the PDF below.

2012 SECOND ROUNDERS

Semifinalist scripts will be reviewed by an industry panel of judges including representatives from Oasis Media, Energy Entertainment, Mosaic Media, Brucks Entertainment, Paradigm Agency, Escape Artists at Sony, Fortis Films, Washington Square Arts, Tom Sawyer Entertainment, APA, Gross Entertainment, and many other influential decision makers.  Semifinalist, Finalists, and winners in this year’s competition will also be included in the Annual Producer’s Book which will be distributed to more than 400 production companies later this year.

Congratulations Everyone!

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Robert Rodriguez – 2012 Film & Food Honorary Chair

We’re thrilled to announce that writer /director /producer Robert Rodriguez will serve as honorary chair for the 10th anniversary celebration of AFF’s annual Film & Food Party, benefitting AFF’s Young Filmmakers Program. Film & Food will be held on Wednesday, October 17, 2012 at the Driskill Hotel in Austin, TX and kicks off the 19th Annual Festival & Conference. In addition to attending Austin Film …

We’re thrilled to announce that writer /director /producer Robert Rodriguez will serve as honorary chair for the 10th anniversary celebration of AFF’s annual Film & Food Party, benefitting AFF’s Young Filmmakers Program. Film & Food will be held on Wednesday, October 17, 2012 at the Driskill Hotel in Austin, TX and kicks off the 19th Annual Festival & Conference.

In addition to attending Austin Film Festival for years, Rodriguez has a long history of supporting young filmmakers and the arts in Austin.  A Texas native, Rodriguez grew up in San Antonio, later attending the University of Texas.  Over the course of his dynamic career, he has produced over 16 films, including iconic titles such as DESPERADO, FROM DUSK ‘TIL DAWN, ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO, MACHETE, SIN CITY, GRINDHOUSE, and the popular SPY KIDS franchise.  Rodriguez continues to produce his films outside of the Hollywood system setting production in Austin at Troublemaker Studios.

Film & Food is an evening dedicated to honoring Austin as both a nationally recognized thriving film industry and a renowned culinary hotspot.  Held in the glamorous and historic Driskill Hotel, this evening of specialty cocktails by Twin Liquors and innovative cuisine, presented by some of Austin’s hottest restaurants, brings together Austinites and visitors alike to celebrate the arts. Live and silent auctions present the very best in luxury items, trips and experiences. It’s also a great time to rub elbows with some of the top filmmakers and screenwriters in town for the Festival.  The event will be a gathering of creative minds, with industry icons joined by the culinary talents behind Foreign & Domestic, Olive & June, Swift’s Attic, Haddington’s, TRACE, Trento, and many more.

10TH annual Film & Food Party

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

7pm – 10pm

Driskill Hotel ~ Austin, TX

Tickets are $90 in advance ~ $100 at the door

$75 tickets available for AFF Members and Badge Holders

Click here to get your tickets

Interested in ticket packages or sponsorship? Click here!

Proceeds from the event benefit AFF’s Young Filmmakers Program. The Young Filmmakers Program was founded to encourage students, ages 9 – 18, to explore their creativity and improve their literacy skills through the arts of screenwriting and filmmaking. Programs are offered free through AISD schools and partner organizations and grant more than 300 students and teachers scholarships to the annual Austin Film Festival & Conference.

 

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Cast Your Vote in the Film Poster Competition

This year, Austin Film Festival hosted its first film poster competition, encouraging artists to choose a film in AFF’s year-round film program and re-envision the movie poster for that film. For each of the films, AFF chose a winning poster and printed a limited edition run, sold at the screening. Now, the artists of the five winning posters (below) have a chance to win a …

AFF Poster ContestThis year, Austin Film Festival hosted its first film poster competition, encouraging artists to choose a film in AFF’s year-round film program and re-envision the movie poster for that film. For each of the films, AFF chose a winning poster and printed a limited edition run, sold at the screening. Now, the artists of the five winning posters (below) have a chance to win a Producers Badge to this year’s Festival! The winning poster will also be printed and sold at the Festival.

Vote for your favorite by selecting your favorite poster and clicking “submit your vote”. Don’t forget to click “like” and send the contest to your friends!

Voting closes September 21st at 5pm CST.

More Information

Click the links below to find out more about the artists and view larger versions of the posters!

Tell Your Friends to Vote!

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A Note to This Year’s Screenplay & Teleplay Competition Entrants

After several months of sifting through a record number of over 6500 entries involving unique stories, memorable characters, and exemplary dialogue, we have finally narrowed down the field to the celebrated Second Rounders (top 10%) and the Semifinalist scripts that are still in contention.  The full results will be posted on our website next week but in the meantime, notification letters should be arriving in …

Screenplay submissions taking over Matt’s office

After several months of sifting through a record number of over 6500 entries involving unique stories, memorable characters, and exemplary dialogue, we have finally narrowed down the field to the celebrated Second Rounders (top 10%) and the Semifinalist scripts that are still in contention.  The full results will be posted on our website next week but in the meantime, notification letters should be arriving in mailboxes before then.  Regardless of the outcome, you have already taken an admirable step in your writing career by completing a story and putting it through the gauntlet.  Evaluating screenplays at this level is a complicated process that is, by nature, extremely subjective.  The measure of your success as a writer is not forecasted only by the outcome of a competition. Whether this was your first or nineteenth time submitting in AFF, rejection is never easy but it is an important part of growing as an artist.  Without rejection, there would be no incentive to improve and no reason to push further to succeed.  And when you do succeed, the rewards are far greater and the experience much sweeter.  To those of you who advanced in the competition this year, congratulations on receiving a distinction that is achieved only by few.  As a writer, you are of course only as good as your next work.  If writing is your passion, please continue to pursue it.

- Matt Dy

Screenplay & Teleplay Competition Director

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2012 EARLY 10 FILMS

2012 AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL EARLY 10 FILMS INCLUDING CENTERPIECE FILM – FLIGHT   We’re thrilled to announce today the first 10 films included in our 2012 lineup! From world premieres to the highly anticipated films that will compete for Oscars®, these ten films represent the unique and diverse films that will screen at this year’s festival. AFF 2012 EARLY 10 FILMS FLIGHT Centerpiece Film Writer: …

2012 AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL EARLY 10 FILMS

INCLUDING CENTERPIECE FILM – FLIGHT

 

We’re thrilled to announce today the first 10 films included in our 2012 lineup! From world premieres to the highly anticipated films that will compete for Oscars®, these ten films represent the unique and diverse films that will screen at this year’s festival.

AFF 2012 EARLY 10 FILMS

  • FLIGHT

Centerpiece Film

Writer: John Gatins

Director: Robert Zemeckis

In this action-packed mystery thriller, Academy Award winner Denzel Washington stars as Whip Whitaker, a seasoned airline pilot who miraculously crash-lands his plane after a mid-air catastrophe, saving nearly every soul on board. After the crash, Whip is hailed as a hero, but as more is learned, more questions than answers arise as to who or what was really at fault, and what really happened on that plane? Directed by Robert Zemeckis, the highly anticipated new film also stars John Goodman, Don Cheadle, and Melissa Leo.

  • FREE SAMPLES

Writer: Jim Beggarly

Director: Jay Gammill

A Stanford law school dropout named Jillian escapes to the anonymity of Los Angeles to figure out what she wants to do with her life, and on the day of her college boyfriend’s birthday, she finds herself stuck running an ice cream truck fending off locals and oddball friends alike. This one day spent in a truck on the streets of LA will wake Jillian from her aimless daze and make her see that life doesn’t stop just because you want it to. Starring Jess Weixler, Jesse Eisenberg, Halley Feiffer, Jason Ritter, this great new comedy is directed by Baylor University film school grad Jay Gammill.

  • IT’S A DISASTER

Writer/Director: Todd Berger

Four couples meet for Sunday brunch only to discover they are stuck in a house together as the world may be about to end. Starring Julia Stiles, America Ferrera and David Cross. Julia Stiles and America Ferrera will present the screening at AFF.

  • LAST WILL & TESTAMENT

US Premiere

Directors: Laura Wilson, Lisa Wilson

It’s the greatest literary mystery of all time; who wrote the works of William Shakespeare?  Although the official story of a Stratford merchant writing for the London box office has held sway for centuries, questions over the authorship of the plays and poems have persisted. Mark Twain, Sigmund Freud and Charlie Chaplin are among the many famous figures who doubt that a grain-dealer from Stratford was England’s “Star of Poets”. From Executive Producer ROLAND EMMERICH, DEREK JACOBI leads an impressive cast featuring VANESSA REDGRAVE and MARK RYLANCE on a quest to uncover the truth behind the world’s most elusive author and discovers a forgotten nobleman whose story could rewrite history.

  • PICTURES OF SUPERHEROES

World Premiere

Writer/Director: Don Swaynos

A young maid is asked by her employer to pretend to be his wife as part of a highly questionable business scheme. Meanwhile, she meets the comic book superhero artist living in her employer’s home (seemingly without the employer’s knowledge or permission), and she begins to wonder if there is something more to life than fake marriages and carpet cleaners. Produced by Kelly Williams, and starring Kerri Lendo, John Merriman, Byron Brown and Chris Doubek.

  • RISING FROM ASHES

Director: T.C. Johnstone

Two worlds collide when cycling legend Jock Boyer (first American to compete in the Tour de France) moves to Rwanda and teams with Tom Ritchey (inventor of the mountain bike) to help a group of struggling genocide survivors pursue their dream of a national team. As they set out against impossible odds, both Jock and the team find new purpose as they rise from the ashes of their past. Narrated by Forest Whitaker and directed by Austin native T.C. Johnstone, this remarkable story culminated at the 2012 Olympics in London when one of the subjects of the film, Adrien Niyonshuti, competed in the Games and became Rwanda’s first Olympic cyclist.

  • SHADOW DANCER

Writer: Tom Bradby

Director: James March

Single mother Collette McVeigh is a Republican living in Belfast with her mother and hardliner IRAbrothers. When she is arrested for her part in an aborted IRA bomb plot in London, an MI5 officer (Mac, played by Clive Owen) offers her a choice: lose everything and go to prison for 25 years or return to Belfast to spy on her own family. With her son’s life in her hands, Collette chooses to place her trust in Mac and return home, but when her brothers’ secret operation is ambushed, suspicions of an informant are raised and Collette finds both herself and her family in grave danger. Starring Clive Owen, Andrea Riseborough, and Gillian Anderson.

  • SPINNING PLATES

World Premiere

Writer/Director: Joseph Levy

Spinning Plates is a feature documentary film about three restaurants, extraordinary for what they are today as well as the challenges they have overcome. A cutting-edge restaurant named the seventh best in the world whose chef must battle a life-threatening obstacle to pursue his passion… a 150-year-old family restaurant still standing only because of the unbreakable bond with its community… a fledgling Mexican restaurant whose owners are putting everything they have on the line just to make enough to survive and provide for their young daughter. Features Chef Grant Achatz of Chicago’s Alinea and Chef Thomas Keller of California’s The French Laundry.

  • TO KILL A MEMORY

World Premiere

Writers: Dustin Rikert, William Shockley, Philip Tiboni

Director: Dustin Rikert

A respected US Marshal is imprisoned after being suspiciously involved in a bank robbery gone wrong. When he learns that the other bank robbers may be going after his wife, the Marshal must escape prison and catch them before it’s too late. This low budget indie Western features an astonishing lead performance from country western singer Kix Brooks of Brooks and Dunn. Kix Brooks will present the screening at AFF.

  • PAUL FEIG PRESENTS: THE HUMAN TORNADO AND BRINGING UP BABY

This year, AFF is excited to introduce an all new Guest Programmer section, which invites some of our highly regarded panelists and guest filmmakers to program and present films that inspired them. Paul Feig (director of BRIDESMAIDS, creator of “Freaks and Geeks,” also directed episodes of “Arrested Development,” “The Office,” “Mad Men,” “30 Rock” and more) has chosen two very different films: the blaxsploitation Dolemite adventure THE HUMAN TORNADO and Howard Hawks’ immortal screwball comedy BRINGING UP BABY. Don’t miss an opportunity to hear how these two wildly diverse films influenced one of the most in-demand directors in Hollywood today.

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2012 Outstanding Television Writer Award – Chris Carter

We’re proud to announce that this year’s Outstanding Television Writer Award recipient - The X-Files creator Chris Carter! Described by Time Magazine as a “televisionary,” Chris Carter created four ground-breaking television series for Fox: The X-Files, Millennium, Harsh Realm, and The Lone Gunmen. Carter is best known for his longest running series, the award-winning sci-fi drama The X-Files, which ran for nine seasons on Fox and …

Chris Carter

We’re proud to announce that this year’s Outstanding Television Writer Award recipient - The X-Files creator Chris Carter!

Described by Time Magazine as a “televisionary,” Chris Carter created four ground-breaking television series for Fox: The X-Files, Millennium, Harsh Realm, and The Lone Gunmen. Carter is best known for his longest running series, the award-winning sci-fi drama The X-Files, which ran for nine seasons on Fox and spawned two feature films. He’s currently developing a new series for cable.

Carter’s participation during the Conference will include “A Conversation with Chris Carter,” where he will share stories from his long career in television and film. Carter will also present special retrospective screenings of The X-Files and Millennium episodes and, as a guest programmer, will host a screening of one of his favorite films for Festival audiences. And, stay tuned for details on The X-Files marathon at the Alamo Drafthouse!

Carter joins Paul Feig and Brian Helgeland as part of AFF’s new Guest Programmer section of the Festival, giving highly regarded filmmakers an opportunity to screen and discuss the films that influenced them. These filmmakers will shed new light not only on these classic films but also on their own work.

Carter is the most recent addition to the list of AFF’s Outstanding Television Writer recipients Hart Hanson (Bones), David Simon (The Wire), Mitchell Hurwitz (Arrested Development), Greg Daniels (The  Office, Parks & Recreation) and many more.

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2011 Alumni News

After world-premiering at AFF last year, the indie feature SEARCHING FOR SONNY went on to screen at over 30 festivals nationwide. Now, scheduled for simultaneous release on VOD, DVD and Blu-ray on August 28th, the comedy murder-mystery will also be shown at 19 nationwide limited-engagement screenings via the consumer-driven TUGG distribution program. The film stars Jason Dorhing (Veronica Mars) and Minka Kelly (Friday Night Lights) …

SEARCHING FOR SONNY

After world-premiering at AFF last year, the indie feature SEARCHING FOR SONNY went on to screen at over 30 festivals nationwide. Now, scheduled for simultaneous release on VOD, DVD and Blu-ray on August 28th, the comedy murder-mystery will also be shown at 19 nationwide limited-engagement screenings via the consumer-driven TUGG distribution program. The film stars Jason Dorhing (Veronica Mars) and Minka Kelly (Friday Night Lights) as former students who vie to find the answers when an old friend (Masi Oka of Heroes) goes missing.


LET GO

LET GO, an 2011 AFF Official Selection, will be available on DVD on August 21st and well as via a number of digital options including VOD, iTunes, Amazon, Sony Playstation, Vudu, Microsoft Xbox and YouTube. Starring David Denham (aka Roy from The Office), Kevin Hart, Community star Gillian Jacobs and Ed Asner, LET GO follows the intertwining stories of Walter Dishman, a melancholy parole officer struggling with the doldrums of married life, and three eccentric ex-convicts recently placed under his supervision. Check out clips from the film on Indiewire.

 

ECSTASY OF ORDER: THE TETRIS MASTERS

And the 2011 AFF Audience Award-winning film in the Documentary Feature category, ECSTASY OF ORDER: THE TETRIS MASTERS, is now available in HD for rental or purchase on US iTunes, as well as a number of other VOD formats. ECSTASY, which charmed audiences at AFF and other film festivals around the country, follows the lives of several gamers from around the country as they prepare to compete in the 2010 Classic Tetris World Championship.

 

Congratulations, guys! We’re proud to have played these fantastic films.

 

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Advance Sign Up: The Hart Chart with James V. Hart

Announcing the latest Advance Sign Up for the 2012 Austin Film Festival and Conference! Come experience the famous “Hart Chart” first hand. James V. Hart (HOOK, CONTACT, AUGUST RUSH, BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA) will explore how to better develop characters and stories by getting to the “heart” of the script. Using notable films as examples, join us in this breakdown of establishing main character desires, their …

Announcing the latest Advance Sign Up for the 2012 Austin Film Festival and Conference!

Come experience the famous “Hart Chart” first hand. James V. Hart (HOOK, CONTACT, AUGUST RUSH, BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA) will explore how to better develop characters and stories by getting to the “heart” of the script. Using notable films as examples, join us in this breakdown of establishing main character desires, their progress toward their goal and how to create a successful resolution. Through the Hart Chart’s guidelines for implementing craft, learn to embrace structure as a friend, not enemy, and how to flesh out ideas for the screen.

Open to all Conference and Producer Badges.

JAMES V. HART’s writing/producing credits include; HOOK, directed by Steven Spielberg based on an idea by Hart’s then 6 year old Son, Jake, BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, MUPPET TREASURE ISLAND, directed by Brian Henson, and CONTACT, directed by Robert Zemeckis.

Other writing/producing credits include: MARY SHELLEY’S FRANKENTSEIN, TUCK EVERLASTING, SAHARA, JACK AND THE BEANSTALK: THE REAL STORY, LARA CROFT: TOMBRAIDER – THE CRADLE OF LIFE, and AUGUST RUSH

Hart is currently in production on the animated feature EPIC with children’s book illustrator and home town friend, SMU graduate, William Joyce, and director-animator Chris Wedge, who created ICE AGE and ROBOTS with Joyce for release in 2013.

Click here to sign up!

 

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First Round of Conference Panels Announced

We’re thrilled to announce our initial round of 2012 Conference panels, along with over 30 new panelists including top screenwriters, directors and more. This year’s Conference panels delve into a wide variety of topics ideal for writers and filmmakers of all levels, while also providing an entertaining and intriguing look behind the curtain for the general public. Click here for all confirmed panels Here are …

We’re thrilled to announce our initial round of 2012 Conference panels, along with over 30 new panelists including top screenwriters, directors and more.

This year’s Conference panels delve into a wide variety of topics ideal for writers and filmmakers of all levels, while also providing an entertaining and intriguing look behind the curtain for the general public.

Click here for all confirmed panels

Here are just some of the fantastic panels we’re offering this October:

D.C. VS MARVEL!

For the first time since the limited edition, bestselling comic book we’re bringing D.C. Comics and Marvel together! The creative minds behind the films IRON MAN 3, THOR, THE AVENGERS, THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, HULK, THE INCREDIBLE HULK, SUPERMAN RETURNS, ELEKTRA, THE GREEN LANTERN, X-MEN: THE LAST STAND, X2, X-MEN: FIRST CLASS and more will be under one roof at the Austin Film Festival this October. We’re planning a panel of spectacular proportions covering everything from writing for the D.C. and Marvel universes, rules the writers had to keep in mind about the characters and how they managed to infuse originality into these beloved and intricate stories.

CROWDFUNDING YOUR INDIE FILM

As our world gets more connected and technologically developed, filmmakers are finding numerous avenues and opportunities to get their projects off the ground. Learn from filmmakers how best to utilize crowdfunding platforms and get the money you need to make your project a reality.

WRITING ESPIONAGE

Everyone loves a good spy movie, but writing a compelling mystery set in the world of espionage is easier said than done. Get tips from the screenwriters behind such hard-to-crack mystery thrillers as SAFE HOUSE, THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM, GOLDENEYE, L.A. CONFIDENTIAL, and others on how to craft a truly fun and effective spy mystery.

WRITING FOR VIDEO GAMES

With the crossover writers behind such game-changing videos as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, FEAR: Extraction Point, FEAR: Perseus Mandate, Ragnarok, Harm’s Way, Pursuit Force, From Russia with Love, Bloodstone and GoldenEye Reloaded, we had to have a panel on writing for video games.

REBOOTS

Hollywood is producing more and more reboots of classic tales and popular franchises, and while in some ways this can be advantageous for writers, since they have volumes of source material to draw from, it also presents another series of challenges. Join the conversations with screenwriters who have confronted these challenges when writing successful – or not so successful – reboots.

SPECIAL WRITERS ROOM ROUNDTABLE!

These roundtables are popular and famous in Hollywood for punching up the story and comedy of a script with a team of professional writers. For the first time ever, we’re going to have not one, but two of them at the Conference this year. They’re gonna go down fast, irreverent, funny, opinionated, harsh and illuminating. And you won’t want to miss a word.

ESSENTIALS FOR AN EFFECTIVE SCENE

For your script to be great, each scene must be essential and has to stand alone as a compelling piece of storytelling.  Learn tips from the experts on how to make every scene you write effective. Remember, when you’re trying to get the studio to bet on you, your script’s not up against your cousin’s, it’s up against Brian Helgeland’s.

THE THROW

Terry Rossio will lead a new presentation on “the throw,” transitioning between scenes. When you get to shooting scenes, or work with a director, much thought goes into transitioning from one scene to another. Very practical, actual writing techniques will be discussed and accompanied by film clips demonstrating good – and bad – throws.

Click here to see all of the confirmed panels.

 

And just some of the newly confirmed 2012 panelists:

  • Kent Alterman, Head of Original Programming and Production for Comedy Central
  • Shane Black, writer/director IRON MAN 3, KISS KISS BANG BANG, writer THE LONG KISS GOODNIGHT, LETHAL WEAPON
  • Michael Dougherty, writer SUPERMAN RETURNS, X2, TRICK ‘R TREAT
  • Larry Doyle, writer I LOVE YOU, BETH COOPER, The Simpsons, Beavis and Butt-Head
  • Paul Feig, director BRIDESMAIDS, The Office, Arrested Development, creator Freaks and Geeks, writer/director I AM DAVID
  • Bruce Feirstein, writer GOLDENEYE, TOMORROW NEVER DIES, THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH
  • Sacha Gervasi, director HITCHCOCK, writer/director MY DINNER WITH HERVE, ANVIL: THE STORY OF ANVIL, writer THE TERMINAL
  • Michael Green, creator Kings, writer THE GREEN LANTERN, The River, Heroes, Smallville
  • Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver, writers/producers RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, THE HAND THAT ROCKS THE CRADLE, writers THE RELIC
  • Damon Lindelof, writer PROMETHEUS, Lost, writer/producer STAR TREK sequel
  • Kari Lizer, creator/ep The New Adventures of Old Christine, writer/ep Will & Grace
  • Matt Olmstead, writer/producer Chicago Fire, NYPD Blue, Prison Break, Breakout Kings
  • Nancy Pimental, writer Shameless, South Park
  • Bruce Joel Rubin, writer GHOST, THE TIME TRAVELER’S WIFE, THE LAST MIMZY, JACOB’S LADDER
  • Elizabeth Sarnoff, writer/ep Lost, Alcatraz, Deadwood
  • Paul Simms, writer The Flight of the Conchords, NewsRadio, The Larry Sanders Show, Late Night with David Letterman
  • Juliet Snowden & Stiles White, writers THE POSSESSION, KNOWING, BOOGEYMAN
  • Amy Talkington, writer VALLEY GIRL ‘12, PRIVATE BENJAMIN ‘12, writer/director NIGHT OF THE WHITE PANTS
  • Rob Thomas, creator/writer Veronica Mars, Cupid, Party Down, writer Dawson’s Creek
  • James Vanderbilt, writer ZODIAC, THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, THE RUNDOWN

These exciting new additions join a stellar, already announced initial lineup of over 120 panelists. You can find the full list here.

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Film Poster Competition – THE IRON GIANT winner

Congratulations to Ben Garner, the final winner in our Film Poster Competition! We had a record number of entries for the film THE IRON GIANT, many of them fantastic. Ultimately, the AFF staff loved Ben’s stark, retro-futuristic poster that reminded us of Fritz Lang’s 1927 expressionist masterpiece, METROPOLIS. Benjamin Garner is a Graphic Designer and Illustrator based out of Austin, TX. He currently works for …

Click to view larger version

Congratulations to Ben Garner, the final winner in our Film Poster Competition! We had a record number of entries for the film THE IRON GIANT, many of them fantastic. Ultimately, the AFF staff loved Ben’s stark, retro-futuristic poster that reminded us of Fritz Lang’s 1927 expressionist masterpiece, METROPOLIS.

Benjamin Garner is a Graphic Designer and Illustrator based out of Austin, TX. He currently works for C3 Presents where he specializes in Gig-Poster and Merchandise design. His design style is a mix of simple, clean and modern design elements with hints of retro chic. You can see more of his work at www.benjamingarner.com.

Congratulations, Ben!

Now that we have the 5 winners of our Film Poster Competition, stay tuned to find out how to vote for your favorite and help pick the grand prize winner!

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RECORD ENTRIES FOR 2012 SCREENPLAY COMPETITION

AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL RECEIVES RECORD ENTRIES FOR 2012 SCREENPLAY & TELEPLAY COMPETITION OVER 6,500 ENTRIES FOR 2012, UP BY 12% FROM 2011 AUSTIN, TX (JUNE 13, 2012) – Austin Film Festival (AFF) is excited to announce record entries for their 19th annual Screenplay & Teleplay competition. The 2012 competition received a total of over 6,500 entries, up by approximately 700 entries or 12% from last …

AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL RECEIVES RECORD ENTRIES FOR 2012 SCREENPLAY & TELEPLAY COMPETITION
OVER 6,500 ENTRIES FOR 2012, UP BY 12% FROM 2011

AUSTIN, TX (JUNE 13, 2012) – Austin Film Festival (AFF) is excited to announce record entries for their 19th annual Screenplay & Teleplay competition. The 2012 competition received a total of over 6,500 entries, up by approximately 700 entries or 12% from last year’s record of over 5,800. Entries came in from all over the U.S. and 42 other countries, and the records show the Competition has grown by over 62% since 2009.

This year, a significant rise in entries occurred in each category of the competition, including screenplay entries in Drama, Comedy, Sci-Fi and the Enderby Entertainment Award; and teleplay entries in Sitcom Spec, One-Hour Spec, Sitcom Pilot, and One-Hour Pilot. Panels of judges, including some of the industry’s top writers, showrunners, producers and managers, will choose the winners in each category, who will accept their awards and prizes at the 19th annual Austin Film Festival & Conference October 18-25, 2012 in Austin, TX.

Competition winners will receive cash prizes ranging from $1,000 to $5,000; reimbursements for travel and lodging while at the 2012 Festival & Conference; access to and recognition by some of the most important writers, agents, producers and filmmakers in the industry; and will also be included in the annual Producers Book distributed to more than 400 production companies. Advancing writers in the Second Round (roughly top 10-12%), Semifinals and Finals will be given exclusive opportunities to attend special roundtables and panels at this year’s Conference.

AFF not only recognizes the work of writers for feature screenplays but also those for television. This year’s number of entries includes over 1,500 submissions in the Teleplay Competition, which is open to both spec scripts for existing shows and original pilots. For the first time, the winner of the Sitcom Pilot category will be given the opportunity to have his or her winning script read aloud and workshopped during a special Roundtable session at the Conference with a panel of industry professionals including Alec Berg (writer The Dictator, Eurotrip, “Curb Your Enthusiasm”), Kell Cahoon (writer/producer “Psych”, “NewsRadio”, “Just Shoot Me”), and Etan Cohen (writer Men in Black III, Tropic Thunder, “King of the Hill”), among others.

The Writer’s Guild of America, East, this year’s underwriting sponsor of the Drama Screenplay Award, will present the winner of the Drama category at this year’s Conference and have provided the following three WGAE writers to judge and choose the winner: Stephen Schiff (Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, True Crime), Christopher Kyle (Alexander, The Weight of Water) and John J. McLaughlin (Hitchcock, Black Swan). Overall, 40 industry jurors have been confirmed to judge the Screenplay & Teleplay Competition including Herschel Weingrod (writer, Trading Places; producer, Falling Down), Kyle Killen (writer, The Beaver; showrunner, “Awake”, “Lone Star”), Craig Mazin (writer, The Hangover II), and representatives from Escape Artists at Sony, Oasis Media, Washington Square Arts and Paradigm Agency.

In its 19-year history, the AFF Screenplay & Teleplay Competition has served to jumpstart 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. Rachel Long and Brian Pittman’s 2008 Semifinalist script Stranded was acquired by Enderby Entertainment (Daniel Petrie, Jr. and Rick Dugdale’s production company). The project is currently in pre-production with Petrie set to direct. Julie Howe, 2010 Comedy Screenplay Award Winner for Jasper Milliken, signed an exclusive deal with Experience Media Studios after the 2010 Conference with the help of an AFF judge and panelist. The producers of the film have officially signed on veteran director Jonathan Lynn (My Cousin Vinny, The Whole Nine Yards) to helm the film.

The 19th annual Austin Film Festival & Conference will be held Oct 18 – 25, 2012 in Austin, TX. AFF has already announced the first round of panelists for this year’s Conference, including some of the top screenwriters, directors, showrunners and producers in the business. The full list of panelists can be found here. Stay tuned for announcements from AFF with this year’s awardees, film lineup, Conference panels and more panelists, and more. For more information on Austin Film Festival and to purchase passes or badges go to www.austinfilmfestival.com.

For regular updates, follow AFF on Facebook at facebook.com/AustinFilmFestival and Twitter @austinfilmfest.

ABOUT AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL

Austin Film Festival (AFF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to furthering the art, craft and business of writers and filmmakers and recognizing their contributions to film, television and new media. AFF champions the work of aspiring and established writers and filmmakers by providing unique cultural events and services, enhancing public awareness and participation and encouraging dynamic and long-lasting community partnerships.

Austin Film Festival is funded and supported in part by the City of Austin through the Cultural Arts Division and by a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts.

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Poster Winner – THE BLACK STALLION

AFF congratulates Rebecca Leigh as the fourth winner of our Film Poster Competition! Her stunning poster for THE BLACK STALLION will be available at our screening on Saturday, June 2 at 3:00pm. Rebecca Leigh, co-owner, editor and contributor of Poster Collective, is currently freelancing, focusing primarily on entertainment advertising. After graduating from the University of Idaho with a Bachelor of Arts in crime and justice …

Click to view larger version

AFF congratulates Rebecca Leigh as the fourth winner of our Film Poster Competition! Her stunning poster for THE BLACK STALLION will be available at our screening on Saturday, June 2 at 3:00pm.

Rebecca Leigh, co-owner, editor and contributor of Poster Collective, is currently freelancing, focusing primarily on entertainment advertising. After graduating from the University of Idaho with a Bachelor of Arts in crime and justice studies, Rebecca moved to Los Angeles and received an Associate’s Degree in entertainment graphic design. Her portfolio can be viewed online here.

THE BLACK STALLION is the first screening in our free Made in Texas Family Film Series at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum.

When a shipwreck leaves Alec, a courageous young boy, and “The Black,” a wild Arabian stallion, stranded on a desolate island, the two share a frightening adventure of survival which forges a lasting bond of friendship between them. Upon their rescue, the boy and the horse join forces with an ex-jockey (Mickey Rooney) to take on the world’s best thoroughbreds in the “race of the century.”

After the screening, join screenwriter Bill Wittliff as he discusses his process of adapting the beloved children’s book into this unforgettable film. Bring the whole family for free!
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Win tickets to the On Story Party!

Like us on Facebook for a chance to win a pair of tickets to the On Story Season 2 Premiere Party! Click here to learn more! Rules: Only one submission per person. Contest ends May 23rd, 2012, 12:00pm Central Standard Time. Winners will be notified via email invitation with party details following the end of the contest. Winners will have their name +1 added to …

Like us on Facebook for a chance to win a pair of tickets to the On Story Season 2 Premiere Party!

Click here to learn more!

Rules:

Only one submission per person. Contest ends May 23rd, 2012, 12:00pm Central Standard Time. Winners will be notified via email invitation with party details following the end of the contest. Winners will have their name +1 added to the guest list of the Season 2 Premiere Party for On Story:Presented by Austin Film Festival. Invitation is non-transferable.

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