To Our Creative Community,
At the conclusion of each Festival, the AFF team evaluates our organization’s programming with our mission – to further the art and craft of storytelling by inspiring and championing the work of writers, filmmakers, and all artists who use written and visual language to tell a story. Through this yearly exercise, the team has implemented pivotal enhancements to our 2022 Script Competitions to ensure that submitted scripts receive the personalized care and attention they deserve, and that Austin Film Festival remains an institution renowned for its ability to support and celebrate storytellers.
I am excited to announce our newest position and team member, Kat Sparks, who will join AFF as the Reader Coordinator. Kat is a local writer, director, and producing powerhouse who has been a pillar of the Austin arts scene since her arrival in 2009. Her dynamic career within the realms of both film and theatre, in tandem with her 20+ years reading and providing professional coverage of scripts for companies such as Spec Scout and the Matthau Company, makes her an ideal leader for AFF reader recruitment and training. Kat’s position will focus on communicating with our reader team to ensure that script evaluation guidelines are clear, as well as confirming all reader notes correspond with AFF’s mission, principles, and quality standards. Yet even beyond her experience, what makes Kat such an excellent fit for this position is her genuine enthusiasm for championing new writers. An AFF reader since 2018, Kat approaches each script with positivity and excitement, and her ability to see each story’s potential, while providing constructive evaluation, is a mindset we seek to instill in all AFF readers.
“To read someone’s story is such an intimate connection, and you might never even meet this person. Writers have the ability to change your life with their words. In two hours, you have a sense of how they’re wired. They can move you, teach you something, make you laugh, or bring out any number of emotional responses. And you, the reader, can help them get this work in front of others. It’s an amazing privilege and one that is not taken lightly by me, by this competition, or by the Austin Film Festival as a whole. That’s why I want to be here, and I’m so incredibly grateful for this moment.”
– Kat Sparks, Reader Coordinator
Since Kat’s onboarding, she has worked with our operational staff to streamline the department’s internal systems as well as revamp and clarify the 2022 Script Competitions Readers Handbook. These improvements, in addition to capping the entrants to our 2022 Script Competition in correspondence with staff/reader capacity, will make certain our competition upholds its distinctive, personal approach.
I want to emphasize our commitment to you, the writer. For 29 years, the storytellers who come through our competition keep me inspired in doing this work. I hope you will share your work with us too as we demonstrate how Austin Film Festival continues in our mission to champion the writer.
Austin Film Festival