Austin Film Festival Script Competitions


Tuesday, May 15, 2018



Entry Fees

Early Deadline March 30: feature $45, teleplay/short/digital series: $35, stage play/scripted fiction podcast $15
Regular Deadline April 20: feature $55, teleplay/short $45, digital series: $40, stage play/scripted fiction podcast $15
Final Deadline May 15: feature $70, teleplay/short $60, digital series: $45, stage plays/scripted fiction podcasts $25




The Ultimate Runway
Now in our 25th year, the Austin Film Festival has been catapulting writers into life-changing careers for over two decades. Whether your dream is to sign a contract, land an agent, learn from an industry icon, or take home the coveted Bronze Typewriter Award, it’s simple: you can’t win if you don’t enter.

Return of the Fiction Podcast Script Competition
We’re thrilled for the second year of our Fiction Podcast Script Competition, which leverages our legacy of championing storytelling to launch writers into the emerging world of podcasts. We look forward to connecting audiences with incredible new stories, as well as connecting writers with a medium that offers incredible access to audiences and limitless opportunities to launch new stories. Creating a Fiction Podcast Script isn’t about starting from scratch. If you have a play, teleplay or screenplay, you’re already almost there! Take the time to tweak it for this new medium. Whether you submit with us or not, getting your script ready for this space is only going to help your career.

A Handcrafted Competition
Though AFF is one of the largest and most respected screenplay competitions, every entrant receives personalized attention and multiple reads throughout the process. All entrants receive FREE “Reader Comments” which are a brief, overall summary of their notes. As an added bonus, for Second Rounders (the top 15-20% in each category) and above, entrants receive further comments from 2-3 readers. AFF goes the extra mile to send both postal mail and e-mail notifications to ensure everyone knows their placement in the competition. Finally, Second Rounders may also find a personalized, handwritten note in their notification letter from the Screenplay Competition Director!

You’ll Get Back Way More Than You Bargained For
Not only do all entrants receive registration discounts, but you get larger discounts when you place in the competition. Unlike other screenplay competitions, your experience with AFF doesn’t end after making the first cut. Second Rounders, Semifinalists, and Finalists attend exclusive panels, intimate roundtable discussions, script reading workshops, and are afforded special access to industry professionals. 2017 Second Rounders and above attended workshops such as: the First Ten Pages with Lindsay Doran, which included Lindsay reading the actual scripts of Second Rounders and workshopping them in front of a live audience, National Academy of Sciences workshop and brunch, how to find representation, demystifying the development process, and how successful alumni from the competition made the most of their placement.

2017 Semifinalists and Finalists had the opportunity to meet with agents, managers, and executives, and participate in our Script Reading Workshops where their scripts were read aloud and workshopped in a personalized setting during the Conference. Furthermore, Semifinalists and Finalists’ loglines and contact information are also included in the annual Producer’s Book, distributed to all AFF panelists as well as over 400 agents, managers, producers, and other industry professionals.

At the Semifinalist level and above, judges—including professional writers and representatives from major studios and production companies—actively seek scripts and talent. In past years, these judges have included representatives from Showtime, Circle of Confusion, Stage 13, Seven Bucks Productions, Skybound Entertainment, Oasis Media Group, Mosaic Media, AMC, ABC Studios, Paradigm Agency, Di Bonaventura Pictures, Kopelson Entertainment, Nickelodeon, Escape Artists at Sony, Sony Pictures Animation, Washington Square Arts, Fourth Floor Productions, Haven Entertainment, APA, CAA, WME, DreamWorks, and Pixar among others.

Signing Deals and Launching Projects
AFF’s Screenplay Competition is one of the most acclaimed contests within the industry for establishing the careers of up-and-coming writers. Many past competition entrants have signed with major agencies and have had their scripts optioned, acquired, and produced by signatory production companies. Most recently, Henry Jones, 2016 winner of the Drama, Sci-Fi, and Enderby awards, had his script Static optioned immediately following the Awards Luncheon. Wes Brown, 2014 winner of the AMC One-Hour Pilot Award, was hired as a staff writer for AMC; Troy Miller, the 2013 winner of the Horror Screenplay Award, had his winning script optioned by Frank Darabont’s Darkwoods Productions; at the 2014 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 Amy Aniobi, 2011 Semifinalist, has been hired to write for HBO’s Silicon Valley.

Not Ready to Submit? Try Our Coverage Program First!
AFF’s Coverage Program provides a detailed, constructive evaluation of your script and at $105 for feature scripts and $85 for teleplays, it’s a frugal expense for a potential life-changing return on investment. The final deadline for competition submissions isn’t until May 15. So, with a turnaround time of 60 days, don’t wait too long to send your script. You’ll want to give yourself plenty of time to apply our feedback before submitting it in the competition.

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