Austin Film Festival
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|Austin Film Festival|
Austin Film Festival (AFF) was founded in 1994 and was the first organization of its kind to focus on writers’ creative contributions to film. Initially, AFF was made up of the Heart of Film Screenwriters Conference and functioned to launch the careers of screenwriters, who historically have been underrepresented within the film industry. Since then, AFF has grown to serve all filmmakers and has helped Austin’s arts community by creating year-round programming that recognizes the art and value of storytelling through film. Today AFF supports 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 probably best known for its annual October Austin Film Festival & Conference. The Film Festival & Conference was the first event of its kind to bring professional and amateur screenwriters together to celebrate the role of screenplays in filmmaking and host conversations focusing on the extensive possibilities that exist for screenwriters in both television and film. The Conference brings producers, agents and screenwriters together to instigate the sale of screenplays; hundreds of writers’ groups, services and festivals have followed the Conference’s lead over the past decade.
- 1 Mission
- 2 Impact on Austin
- 3 Past participants
- 4 Film Festival
- 5 Conference
- 6 Screenplay and Teleplay Competitions
- 7 Young Filmmakers Program
- 8 On Story: Presented by Austin Film Festival
- 9 Notes
- 10 External links
Austin Film Festival furthers the art and craft of filmmaking by inspiring and championing the work of screenwriters, filmmakers and all artists who use the language of film to tell a story.
Impact on Austin
Austin Film Festival attracts film lovers from all over the world, bringing a substantial amount of people to Austin every October. This, as well as AFF’s partnerships with a variety of Austin hotels and restaurants—which offer promotional deals for out-of-towners and business for local hotspots—help to give Austin’s economy a boost. According to Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau estimates, AFF currently contributes in excess of $8 million to the local economy annually.
AFF also supports Austin’s youth and education system through the Young Filmmakers Program, which includes the Digital Storytelling program, a free film education program implemented in local Austin high schools, the Arts Education Outreach Program, which grants over 300 scholarships to high school students to attend the annual Festival & Conference, and their annual Summer Film Camp.
Past participants include Ron Howard, Steven Zaillian, Mitch Hurwitz, Robert Altman, Wes Anderson, Russell Crowe, Barry Levinson, Darren Star, Robert Duvall, Buck Henry, Dennis Hopper, Lawrence Kasdan, John Landis, Garry Shandling, Bryan Singer, Oliver Stone, Sandra Bullock, Harold Ramis, Shane Black, Sydney Pollack, Adam Collis, John Milius, Alan Klingenstein, America Ferrera, John Lasseter, Caroline Thompson and Owen Wilson.
Each October, Austin Film Festival & Conference presents a program of narrative, animated and documentary features and shorts, including premieres, advance screenings and independent films. Films showcase the art and craft of strong narrative storytelling and screenings are often accompanied by question and answer sessions with cast members and filmmakers. Set in the heart of downtown Austin, the festival is convenient to downtown venues, parties, bars, restaurants and community partnerships.
Barbara Morgan and Marsha Milam founded Austin Film Festival in 1994 to celebrate the art of storytelling through film. For the last 19 years, Austin Film Festival has championed great work from legendary, contemporary and rising talent. AFF recognizes the writer as the core of the creative process in filmmaking. Seeking strong examples of written and visual storytelling, AFF screens high caliber narrative, documentary and animated films.
Past guests of the Festival include Joel and Ethan Coen, David Milch, Wes Anderson, Caroline Thompson, David Chase, James Franco, Johnny Depp, Oliver Stone, James L. Brooks, Harold Ramis, Mitchell Hurwitz, Lawrence Kasdan, Claire Danes, Barry Levinson, Sydney Pollack, Mike Judge, Buck Henry, John Lasseter, Robert Rodriguez, and David Simon.
- Films screened at recent Festivals include Up in the Air (2009), Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire (2009), 127 Hours (2010), Black Swan (2010), Meek’s Cutoff (2010), The Artist (2011), The Descendants (2011), and Jeff Who Lives at Home (2011).
- In 2009, AFF screened Ron Howard’s Apollo 13—winner of two Oscars in 1996—as part of a special presentation; in 2006, playwright/screenwriter Horton Foote and actor Robert Duvall were present at AFF for a special screening of their 1983 film Tender Mercies.
- 2005’s Austin Film Festival hosted screenings of Shane Black’s directorial debut Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Michael Winterbottom’s Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story, and Duncan Tucker’s critically acclaimed Transamerica, for which Felicity Huffman was nominated for an Oscar.
- The 2001 Austin Film Festival included screenings of such films as cult classic Donnie Darko, Vietnam War film Green Dragon (starring Patrick Swayze and Forest Whitaker), and the beloved 1984 film Places in the Heart (which won two Academy Awards in 1985).
- In 1996, AFF held an anniversary screening of 1987’s indie classic Hollywood Shuffle attended by writer/director Robert Townsend; Dennis Hopper was on hand at the 1997 Festival for a screening of 1969’s Oscar-nominated classic Easy Rider.
Among 2011′s notable screenings were Michel Hazanavicius’ The Artist, Jay and Mark Duplass’ Jeff Who Lives at Home, and Alexander Payne’s The Descendants. Restive, a thriller written and directed by newcomer Jeremiah Jones won the Esurance Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature, while there was a tie in Best Documentary Feature category between Adam Cornelius’ Ecstasy of Order: The Tetris Masters and Dennis Rice’s Stories From an Undeclared War.
The 20th Anniversary Austin Film Festival will honor actress Susan Sarandon with the 2013 Extraordinary Contribution to Filmmaking Award. 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).
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).
AFF’s Closing Night film falls on Halloween and will feature the US Premiere of ALL CHEERLEADERS DIE. Lucky McKee and Chris Sivertson co-wrote and directed the film, hailed as a monster midnight sensation in Toronto.
AFF is accredited by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences®, making all Jury Award-winning Narrative Short and Animated Short films eligible for an Academy Award®
Narrative and Documentary films with U.S. distribution (obtained prior to being selected for AFF screening) or films produced, financed or initiated by a major film studio or television network are ineligible for competition, but may be considered for a special screening. Selection for screening will be determined no later than one month prior to the festival. Films that have screened on US network or cable television or distributed to theaters prior to the festival dates are also ineligible for competition.
Narrative and documentary feature film submissions must be 41 minutes or longer; narrative, documentary and animated short film submissions must be 40 minutes or less.
- Narrative Feature
- Narrative Short
- Narrative Student Short
- Animated Short
- Documentary Feature
- Documentary Short
All awards are presented to the Writer of the winning films, with the exception of the Documentary awards, which are presented to the Director. The Jury Awards will be presented during the Austin Film Festival Awards Luncheon. Awards are based on overall merit of the entries and jury members reserve the right not to grant an award.
- Past Winners
- Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire, winner of 8 Academy Awards in 2008, as well as Tom Vaughan’s Starter for 10, which stars future Golden Globe-nominated actors James McAvoy (Atonement) and Rebecca Hall (Vicky Cristina Barcelona), both won Audience Awards—in 2007 and 2006, respectively.
- The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, the 2011 AFF Best Animated Short Jury and Audience Award Winner, went on to win the Academy Award for Best Animated Short in 2012.
- In 2000, Jason Reitman won the Jury Award for his short film In God We Trust and later won AFF Audience Awards for Juno (2007) and Up in the Air (2009). Juno went on to receive four Academy Award nominations, winning the Oscar for Best Writing: Original Screenplay in 2008; Up in the Air was nominated for six Oscars in 2010, including a nomination for Best Director for Reitman.
- In 2003 and 2005, Cary Fukanaga received AFF awards for his student short films; Fukanaga has since gone on to direct the critically acclaimed Sin Nombre (2009) and Jane Eyre (2011).
The Conference, which takes place in October and lasts for four days, features a variety of interactive panels, workshops, roundtable discussions and screening events and attracts groundbreaking producers, agents, managers, and development executives, as well as countless working screenwriters and filmmakers. At the Conference, AFF registrants will join interactive panels and roundtables with industry veterans who will give professional advice in navigating and negotiating the art and business of writing and filmmaking. The discussions cover basics like researching and editing your story, pitching and marketing your script or film, finding and working with a writing partner or director, facing a blank page on a bad day, or risking a new direction after establishing success.
The 2011 Conference boasted more than 90 panels, workshops, roundtable discussions, and screening events to help participants spur creativity, galvanize productivity, break into the business, and have long, successful careers. Some of the sessions in the past have included:
- A Conversation with Alec Berg (“Seinfeld”, “Curb Your Enthusiasm”)
- The Art of Storytelling with John Lasseter (Chief Creative Officer for Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios), Caroline Thompson (“Edward Scissorhands”, “The Nightmare Before Christmas”), and Hart Hanson (“Bones”, “The Finder”)
- In-depth presentations on the script-to-screen process for “Toy Story 3″ with screenwriter Michael Arndt, “Fight Club” with screenwriter Jim Uhls and author Chuck Palahniuk, “Bob's Burgers” with writer/producer Jim Dauterive, and “Veronica Mars” with show creator Rob Thomas
- Extraordinary Contribution to Filmmaking Award
- Distinguished Screenwriter Award
- Outstanding Television Writer Award
- Extraordinary Contribution to Film - Acting Award
- Extraordinary Contribution to Filmmaking Award Recipients
2012 Frank Darabont (Shawshank Redemption, The Walking Dead, The Green Mile)
2011 John Lasseter (Up, Tangled, Toy Story)
2010 Robert Rodriguez (Sin City, Grindhouse)
2009 Ron Howard (The Da Vinci Code, A Beautiful Mind)
2008 Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours)
2007 Oliver Stone (Platoon, Wall Street)
2006 Sydney Pollack (Out of Africa, Tootsie)
- Distinguished Screenwriter Award Recipients
2012 Eric Roth (Forrest Gump, The Insider, Munich)
2011 Caroline Thompson (Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas)
2010 David Peoples (Blade Runner, Unforgiven)
2009 Steven Zaillian (Schindler’s List, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo)
2007 John Milius (Apocalypse Now, Conan the Barbarian)
2006 Shane Black (Lethal Weapon, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang)
2005 Harold Ramis (Ghostbusters, Groundhog Day)
2004 Barry Levinson (Sleepers, Toys)
2003 Frank Pierson (Dog Day Afternoon, Cool Hand Luke)
2002 Richard LaGravenese (P.S. I Love You, The Fisher King)
2001 Lawrence Kasdan (Return of the Jedi, Raiders of the Lost Ark)
2000 Paul Mazursky (Down and Out in Beverly Hills, An Unmarried Woman)
1999 James L. Brooks (The Simpsons, As Good as It Gets)
1998 Paul Schrader (Taxi Driver, Raging Bull)
1997 Buck Henry (The Graduate, Catch-22)
1996 Bill Wittliff (Legends of the Fall, The Perfect Storm)
1995 Horton Foote (To Kill a Mockingbird, Tender Mercies)
- Outstanding Television Writer Award Recipients
2011 Hart Hanson (Bones, The Finder)
2010 David Simon (Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets, The Wire)
2009 Mitchell Hurwitz (The Ellen Show, Arrested Development)
2008 Greg Daniels (King of the Hill, The Office)
2007 Glenn Gordon Caron (Now and Again, Medium)
2006 David Milch (NYPD Blue, Deadwood)
2005 Mike Judge (Beavis and Butt-Head, Office Space)
2004 Garry Shandling (It's Garry Shandling's Show, The Larry Sanders Show)
2003 Tom Fontana (The Jury, Oz)
2002 Darren Star (Sex and the City, Beverly Hills, 90210)
2001 Gary David Goldberg (Family Ties, Spin City)
2000 David Chase (Northern Exposure, The Sopranos)
- Extraordinary Contribution to Film – Acting Award Recipient
Screenplay and Teleplay Competitions
Since 1994, Austin Film Festival has been recognizing the work of the writer through the Screenplay and Teleplay Competitions. With representatives from agencies and production companies participating in the judging process, advancing writers and their scripts gain industry attention, networking opportunities and workshops.
In past years, judges have included representatives from Warner Bros., Nickelodeon Movies, ABC Studios, Fortis Films, Pixar Animation Studios, Escape Artists at Sony, Oasis Media, United Talent Agency and many others.
All awards are presented during the Austin Film Festival Awards Luncheon. Those advancing to the Semifinalist level or beyond will have the option to attend exclusive panels hosted by participating panelists. They will also be included in the Producers Book, distributed to competition judges and other industry professionals.
Categories for the Screenplay Competition include:
- The Enderby Entertainment Award
- The Dark Hero Studios Sci-Fi Award
Categories for the Teleplay Competition include:
- The Sitcom Spec
- The One-Hour Spec
- The Sitcom Pilot
- The One-Hour Pilot
Finalists in all categories receive one complimentary Producer’s Badge to attend the Austin Film Festival and Conference and one complimentary Awards Luncheon ticket.
Christopher Cantwell, 2010 Comedy Semi-Finalist with “Piano Toes,” is now represented by ICM Partners and Management 360 for feature and TV writing. He and his writing partner, Christopher Rogers, are currently working on a feature and TV pilot.
Tess Ortbals and JR Burningham were Sci-Fi Semi-Finalists in 2010 with their script “Terra Incognita.” They are now represented by Creative Artists Agency and Untitled Management. Recently, their Doritos ad won the #1 TV Spot during Super Bowl XLV. They are currently writing/directing spots for Pepsi and Tor Books. They have started a production company called Mythmakers Entertainment with the goal of developing and producing family adventure entertainment.
Julie Howe, 2010 Comedy Winner for “Jasper Milliken”, has entered into a collaborative production agreement with Experience Media Studios. Michael-Ryan Fletchall will produce with Julie remaining on as co-producer. Filming will take place in the Midwest, which is where the story takes place.
Kevin Miller, 2010 Finalist in the Comedy category, signed with manager Peter Meyer through a relationship that began at the 2010 AFF. Also, Miller's action/comedy, Mother's Day was quickly optioned after the Festival by Sony producer Harry Gittes (About Schmidt).
Andrew Lanham, 2010 Drama and Latitude Productions Award Winner, has signed with United Talent Agency. Also, in 2010, he was selected as a winner of the Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting for his screenplay, “The Jumper of Maine.”
Terrence Michael, a Second Rounder in the 2010 AFF Screenplay Competition, has had his comedy script “The Girl with Something Extra” added to the 2010 Black List. Also, he has been signed by Original Artist and Media Talent Group.
Bradley Jackson, 2009 Semi-Finalist, had his script “Drunk Dial” picked up by Ten/Four Pictures, and it is currently being filmed in L.A. with Gil Cates Jr. directing. He also received the grand prize for the Doorpost Film Project for his film The Man Who Never Cried, which he wrote and directed.
Daniel Corey’s 2009 Second Round screenplay, “"Moriarty: The Dark Chamber", has been acquired by mega-publisher Image Comics (“Walking Dead”, “Spawn”). The story follows the nefarious Professor Moriarty, arch nemesis of Sherlock Holmes. Look for Image to release issue #1 of “Moriarty” on May 11 of this year.
Dale Taylor, second rounder at the 2009 Austin Film Festival, created a new CG animated web series called Martyrs based loosely on his previously screenplays. Martyrs launched on January 5 on www.martyrstheseries.com.
Sarah Cornwell, 2009 Semi-Finalist in the Teleplay Competition, landed the 2010 Humanitas Student Drama Fellowship with her spec script Friday Night Lights – “Just a Game.”
Jesse Wolfe, a 2009 Drama 2nd Rounder will have his screenplay "Eye of the Hurricane" produced by Braveart Films out of Los Angeles. Principal photography is scheduled to begin August 2010. Jesse will direct the project. The movie features Campbell Scott and Jose Zuniga.
2009 Drama Semifinalist, Joe Muszynski, currently has a film in pre-production called Peace, Love, and Misunderstanding. It is directed by Bruce Beresford, starring Jane Fonda, Catherine Keener, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and Chace Crawford.
Oren Uziel, the 2008 Latitude Productions Winner and 2008 Drama Finalist, recently optioned his script, “The Kitchen Sink”, to Matt Tolmach, the former Columbia Pictures Co-President of Production. He also has optioned his script "Shimmer Lake" to Fox Atomic. Barry Josephson is attached to produce.
In 2010, Enderby Entertainment (Daniel Petrie, Jr. and Rick Dugdale’s production company) acquired the 2008 Semi-Finalist script, Stranded by AFF alums Rachel Long and Brian Pittman. Rachel and Brian attended the 2008 Festival where they met the producing partners after a Conference panel at the Driskill Hotel.
Kirby Timmons’s 2008 Teleplay Semi-Finalist script, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation – “Miasms of the Mind,” also placed at Scriptapalooza and won the grand prize at Toronto’s WildSound Film Festival in 2009. Kirby is currently working on a feature.
Irin Evers, 2008 Second Rounder for The Junior Detectives and the Cities of Gold, has signed with agent Sue Giordano at the Hudson Agency.
Adrienne Lusby and Emiliana Dore, 2008 Finalists for Relativity, have optioned their script to Dahooma Productions and Trilogy Films both based in NY.
Sean Corrigan, 2008 Semifinalist for Confession, has been selected for the 2009 Writers Ranch.
Melissa McVeigh, 2008 Finalist for Senior Prank and Domesticated, has been selected for the 2009 Writers Ranch.
K.W. Pearson, 2008 Finalist for Short Tracker, has been selected for the 2009 Writers Ranch.
Kathy Garcia, 2007 Sci-Fi Semifinalist for The Kingdom, was selected for the 2008 Writer’s Ranch.
Keith Davidson, 2007 Adult/Family Finalist for When Lanterns Dim, was selected for the 2008 Writer’s Ranch.
Sean Minogue, 2007 Adult/Family Finalist for Son of No Man, was selected for the 2008 Writer’s Ranch.
Jimmy Miller, winner Adult Family Category in 2007 for Slugger, signed with Gayla Nethercott at Buchwald.
Cyd Casados and Curtis Casados, 2006 Comedy Finalists, were selected for the 2007 Writer's Ranch with their script Our Lady of the Pink Pussycat.
Michael Bucklin, 2006 Sci-Fi Finalist, was selected for the 2007 Writers Ranch with his script Chain Letter.
Dwayne McKenzie and JJ Masley, 2006 Comedy Semi-Finalists, were selected for the 2007 Writers' Ranch with their script Moxie.
Former Second Rounder Betsy Morris's script Ten Inch Hero finishes post production.
Karl Williams' 2005 triple winner script Punctured was picked for production this year. Production on the film is set to begin this May with Shari Hancock producing and directing.
Nick Sidorovich, Second Rounder at the Austin Film Festival in 2005 with his script Buck Forty Nine, was written up in Daily Variety for the soon to be film The Miracle of Santa Rosa.
Alessia Costantini, Sitcom Teleplay Winner with Bernie Mac: "To Kill a Mockingbird," was recently accepted into the ABC/Disney Writing Fellowship and also won the Grand Prize in the Sautter Television Outreach Program. She has signed with the Broder Webb Chervin Silbermann Agency and is currently going out for staffing season. She just received her first writing credit on the Nickelodeon comedy, The X's, airing this fall.
Benjamin Lee, Sci-Fi and Adult/Family Semifinalist, has been accepted into the Austin Film Festival Writers' Ranch with his screenplay Mindreader.
Terry Parmer, Adult/Family Semifinalist with The White Caterpillar, has been selected into the Austin Film Festival Writers' Ranch.
Ian Shorr has sold his Comedy Semifinalist script, Rigged, to C-47 Productions. Currently in production, the film should wrap in mid-March. Details of release to follow.
Jeremy Wadzinski, Ruby Blue, Adult Finalist, has just signed with manager Brendan McDonald from Blazeland Entertainment. Jeremy has also been selected to participate in the Austin Film Festival Writers' Ranch.
Rob Blatt and Sam Reigel, Sitcom Teleplay Winners with "Pump'd", a Curb Your Enthusiasm spec script, have recently signed with Industry Entertainment. They are currently preparing for a live sketch and music comedy show.
Christine Boylan, with the Drama Teleplay winning script Six Feet Under: "The Strike", is working for Tokyopop adapting Japanese comics for English audiences. She is currently working on a script to be produced and directed August '05.
Tom O'Connor, Comedy Winner with It Bleeds, It Leads, signed with CAA.
David Ullendorff, Winner of the Adult/Family category with Gideon's Secret, has signed with an agent at APA, and a manager at Blaine and Associates.
Jonathon Chappell and Christian Raymond, writers of Semifinalist script Sand Castle, recently signed with Brant Rose Literary Agency, and just recently optioned a current script with producer Tom Engleman (Pitch Black, The Last Samurai).
Doug Davidson, Semifinalist writer of Letter Quest, signed with United Talent Agency and manager, Andy Licht.
Matthew Fedderman and Stephen Scaia, Drama Winners with "The Second Law of Thermodynamics", a West Wing spec, signed with the William Morris Agency. Both have worked on the shows Judging Amy and E-Ring, and are currently writing for the new show Jericho, premiering in the fall '06.
Russell Gilwee, 2004 Adult/Family Semifinalist, has optioned his screenplay (SHADY CREEK) with Jo Films out of New York. They are shooting for a late fall 2008 production date. He has been hired to write a second project for Jo Films as well as working on a project for Momentum Films.
Patrick Rodio’s script CRICKET HILL was a finalist in the 2003 Comedy category at Austin. It was optioned in 2005 by Prospect Pictures. He was also able to land a great manager who he is currently working with on a script.
Tobia Laconis, 2003 Adult/Family SemiFinalist, is writing a small movie for Fox; he just did a re-write for the director and producer, it starts shooting in Puerto Rico in two weeks.
Devon Lehr, 2003 Adult/Family Finalist, got representation at CAA as a direct result of his placement in the Austin Film Festival. He sold his first script last year, a television movie for Lifetime entitled “Lost in the Dark”. It aired in June 2007. He currently has another project in development and is working on a comedy series proposal.
Brian Jun premiered his directorial debut film Steel City, based on his 2003 Adult/Family Semifinalist script.
Bob Soderstrom, Adult/Family Winner with Jerusalem, signed with William Morris.
Michael Armbruster, Adult Finalist with Bohemian Nut Roll, signed with Gayla Nethercott.
Martina Broner, Sitcom Winner with a Sex and the City Teleplay, signed with Pat Quinn at Paradigm.
Michael Conner, Comedy Semi-Finalist, had entry Berkshire Village Idiot optioned by David Singer Entertainment.
Grant Janes, Comedy Finalist, Conversations with my Aunt, optioned and signed as director.
Pamela Ribon, 2001 Sitcom Finalist, was a writer on the ABC series Samantha Who?, among several other television comedies, and a best-selling novelist who has sold adaptations of her novels to various networks.
Kevin Kerwin, winner of Comedy Category with Over and Out, signed with CAA.
Hendrson Smith, Adult/Family Winner with The Ugly Princess, signed with manger Gayla Nethercott.
Adult Finalist Matt Lopez, The Passenger, optioned first screenplay to DreamWorks.
The writer of This is Not a Toy, Family Finalist, Cindy Davis Hewitt, was signed by Pixar, and optioned this winning story with Miramax. Hewitt received a re-write job with Working Title, and was also hired to translate Spirited Away and Porco Rosso.
Marcia Chandler Rhea and Margaret C. Ford, 1999 Semifinalists for The Carolina Storyteller, have optioned their script to Sydell Albert Productions, Inc.
Mrs. Baker, Adult Semi-Finalist, written by Kris Kristensen and Brian McDonald, an independent film produced by Scotopia Pictures, renamed Inheritance.
Anna Blue, written by David L. Hudacek, was optioned by Polestar Productions.
Trapped Daylight, written by Sharon Ross, was optioned by Chicago Films.
Natural Selection, Adult Semi-Finalist, written by B.J. Burrow and Allen Odom, is optioned by 24/36 productions. Movie stars David Carradine, Michael Bowen, Darren Burrows, Stephen Root, and Bob Balaban, aired on Showtime. Available on DVD renamed The Monster Hunters.
Young Filmmakers Program
The Young Filmmakers Program was created to encourage and support students ranging in ages from 9 – 18 with their creativity and literacy skills through the arts of screenwriting and filmmaking.
Digital Storytelling (DS), an arts education program improving students’ reading, writing and communication skills using film, was launched in fall 2005 and integrated into high school English Language Arts (ELA) classes.
DS provides the curriculum, reading materials, state-of-the-art film equipment, and professional filmmaker instructors to participating schools. The curriculum developed by Austin Film Festival and Austin Independent School District has allowed DS to be an effective component of TEKS test preparation, and has been implemented in high schools with a high number of economically disadvantaged students or students considered at-risk. DS has proven to be a success over the past years in Akins High School, where the program has been used since 2005. Akins High School ELA TEKS scores have increased from 77% in 2005 to 86% in 2007, while the district average score was 83% in 2007. Both the principal and teachers of Akins High School acknowledge DS as a main contributor to this improvement. DS is working toward being incorporated into all Austin ISD high school as well as neighboring school systems.
Arts education outreach
Austin Film Festival’s Young Filmmakers Program Arts Education Outreach Scholarship grants access to over 300 scholarships awarded to students and teachers in both middle and high school. Participants are given the chance to attend the 19th Annual Austin Film Festival and Conference to learn more about the art and business of filmmaking and screenwriting. The conference also hosts panels specifically designed for students and teachers.
Summer Film Camp
Summer Film Camp, presented by Austin Film Festival’s Young Filmmakers Program, is an annual program of screenwriting, filmmaking, and claymation workshops designed specifically for young and aspiring filmmakers. The camp is held at Austin High School, home to one of the leading media arts programs in the U.S. Specialized workshops offer students ages 9–18 access to in-depth personal instruction from industry professionals.
Campers are also given the opportunity to participate in panel discussions with talented guest speakers concerning their expertise and experiences in the industry. Past speakers include Anne Rapp (screenwriter - Dr. T and the Women, script supervisor - Funny People, He’s Just Not That Into You, The Color Purple), Jeff Nichols (writer/director – Shotgun Stories, Take Shelter), Dan French (Emmy®-nominated late-night comedy writer), Alvaro Rodriguez (screenwriter, Machete) and Tom Holland (writer/director - Fright Night, Child’s Play).
On Story: Presented by Austin Film Festival
"On Story", AFF's thirty minute television series on PBS, first aired in 2011 on Austin’s PBS station KLRU. "On Story" gives viewers a look behind the scenes at the creative process behind the making of popular movies and television shows. The series consists of footage from AFF panels and screenings, featuring screenwriters and filmmakers discussing their talents and films. Each episode is aired with one or two short films that have been previously screened at the Festival with an introduction from the film's writer or director.
In October 2013, AFF published On Story--Screenwriters and Their Craft with the University of Texas Press. This book presents the advice of award-winning screenwriters who have appeared on the show "On Story," including John Lee Hancock, Peter Hedges, Lawrence Kasdan, Whit Stillman, Robin Swicord, and Randall Wallace.
- "History". Austin Film Festival. Retrieved 2011-09-17.
- Austin Film Festival website