PLEASE NOTE: Tickets will be available at walk up for the panels & reception.
AFF IS HEADED TO LOS ANGELES on SATURDAY, MARCH 17TH!
For the third year, Austin Film Festival, in partnership with the Academy Education and Nicholl Fellowships Programs, is pleased to present panels dedicated to launching your writing career.
On Saturday, March 17th, join us at the Academy’s beautiful Linwood Dunn Theatre in Hollywood for a day full of seasoned advice from industry professionals all about REPRESENTATION – how to get representation from an agent/manager AND how to represent yourself and others responsibly in your writing. In addition, we’re kicking off the day with our popular Roundtable Sessions where attendees will have the opportunity to meet face-to-face with industry professionals to ask any burning questions about the business of writing for film and television.
Roundtable Sessions (10:00AM-11:30AM):
- Before the panels begin, we’re kicking off the day with our popular Roundtable Sessions which are always an in-demand event during our annual Conference. Get in-depth answers to your questions about the art, craft, and business of writing for film and television. How do you break in, deal with contracts and options, and find representation? What’s the difference between indie and studio films, and what happens when your movie goes into development? What are the essential habits and routines to assume? This roundtable session offers registrants exclusive access to industry professionals in an informal setting. Come prepared with questions that focus on the importance of both the creative and business sides of breaking into and writing for film and television.
- How It Works: Participants will be seated at a table with a small group of other attendees along with one industry professional. After 12 minutes, panelists will rotate and move to another table. This will happen multiple times until all panelists meet with all tables. These are not pitch sessions, but rather casual table meetings where you are encouraged to ask specific questions about the business of writing for film and television.
- Please Note: Space is limited and guaranteed to fill up very quickly!
Meet the Panelists:
Angela C. Lee
Angela C. Lee is the Senior Manager of Artist Development at Film Independent where she oversees the selection process and curriculum for the Filmmaker Labs program, including the Screenwriting, Directing, Episodic, Producing and Documentary Labs and the Fast Track Finance Market. Angela is also a Spirit Award-nominated independent producer whose first feature film, Songs My Brothers Taught Me, premiered in competition at the Sundance Film Festival and Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes. She is a currently a 2017-18 Women at Sundance Fellow, and has previously been supported by the Berlinale, Film Independent, IFP, PGA Diversity Workshop, Sundance Institute Creative Producing Lab and Fellowship and the Center for Asian American Media. A native Chicagoan, Angela graduated from the University of Chicago with a degree in Economics.
Richard Lowe has written for Dr. Ken (ABC) and Walk The Prank (Disney XD). He is an alum of the Warner Bros. Writers’ Workshop (2018) and the host/producer of the podcast Pulling Your Hair Out: Conversations About The Writing Process. His pilot, Growing Up Dictator (a comedic look at the childhood of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un), was a Finalist at the 2016 Austin Film Festival. He has written for the NBC Diversity Scene Showcase and ABC Talent Showcase; studied improv and sketch with Upright Citizens Brigade; and creates sketch comedy on his YouTube channel Aisle Five Comedy. He has also worked as a TV editor, most recently on The Good Fight (CBS).
Jay Wade Edwards
Jay Wade Edwards is a Writer/Director of feature films, shorts, music videos, and most recently a digital service for adultswim.com. Jay’s independently produced feature, Stomp! Shout! Scream! (2005), premiered at the Austin Film Festival & Screenwriters Conference. Jay is also well known as Editor and Producer of the animated series Aqua Teen Hunger Force for Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim from 2000-2012. He also served as Supervising Editor and Producer on Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters (2007), which premiered on 950 screens in April 2007. Jay lives in Los Angeles, CA, currently works for Disney TV Animation, and is polishing-up several monster movie scripts.
Karen Kirkland is a Creative Strategist for writers, an international speaker and an industry veteran, who has served as the Producer of the Los Angeles Film Festival, as well as an independent commercial and music video producer, compiling multiple MTV Music Video Award nominations and an NAACP Image Award for Video of the Year. Currently, as Nickelodeon’s Vice President of Talent Development and Outreach, Karen has spent 13 years developing writing talent through the Nickelodeon Writing Program – one of the most competitive and successful vehicles for emerging television writers. Karen has launched the careers of many successful writers and creative visionaries, who are currently writing for HBO, Comedy Central, ABC, Adult Swim, The CW, FOX, Amazon, Hulu, NBC/Universal, and of course, Nickelodeon! She most recently founded The Breakk; a 3-day creative retreat for emerging female television writers from around the world. She loves to connect with writers, so feel free to follow her on Twitter: @karenkirkland or on Instagram: @karen_kirkland
Troy Anthony Miller
Troy Anthony Miller is a writer, filmmaker, and improv comedian. His feature film Severance made its World Premiere at AFF in 2005, and his screenplay The Hitch was the 2013 AFF Horror Award Winner, subsequently optioned by Frank Darabont’s Darkwoods Productions. Troy has done rewrites on the Mira Sorvino thriller Beneath the Leaves, and was named one of “25 Screenwriters to Watch 2016” by MovieMaker Magazine. In 2017, Troy became a two-time AFF winner by winning the Comedy Award for his feature screenplay The Olympian.
Ray Utarnachitt is currently a writer/producer on DC’S Legends of Tomorrow. He is a Michigan native and like any good Asian student, was pre-med at the University of Michigan for 3 years. Much to his parents’ dismay, he switched tracks and graduated with a Film degree. Ray broke into the business working in production on commercials, music videos, and features. He has also written for Person of Interest and The Tomorrow People. He is an alumnus of the Warner Bros. Drama Writers Workshop.
How to Find Representation: Agents and Managers (1:00PM-2:15PM)
Agents and managers will share their advice on how to start the process of finding representation, what agencies are looking for in a new writer, the most common problems they’ve encountered, and what a writer should expect from the relationship. Join this discussion for an inside look at the blood and guts of the business, and come prepared with questions on what you can do to best position yourself to transition from an aspiring writer to a working writer.
Meet the Panelists:
Jelani Johnson is a motion picture agent at CAA, with clients such as Will Packer, A$AP Rocky, Melina Matsoukas, Cheo Coker, Jesse Williams, Gina Rodriguez, Mara Brock Akil and André Holland, among others. He began his career in entertainment as an intern at CAA and transitioned into talent management at the Santa Monica-based management company Generate. He subsequently co-founded The Mission Entertainment, a management and production company focused on diverse content creators, before returning back to CAA. Johnson received a bachelor’s degree in history and anthropology from Columbia University.
Ryan Saul is Vice President of Motion Picture literary at APA, and has been an agent in either television or features since 1999. His clients include directors Wes Ball (THE MAZE RUNNER FRANCHISE), Acadamy Award nominated, Tim Reckart (HEAD OVER HEELS, THE STAR), Robert Burdreau (BORN TO BE BLUE, STOCKHOLM), and such writers as Pat Casey & Josh Miller (SONIC), Chuck Rose (THE ART OF MORE, OVERALL DEAL AT UNIVERSAL), as well as Pulitzer Prize nominated playwright, Jennifer Maisel, and several TV directors across network and cable television. Prior to becoming and agent, Mr. Saul worked at the Walt Disney Company in strategic planning, and prior to that was working as an actor director in the Chicago, Florida and Los Angeles theater scene. He continues to teach online classes as his alma maters Bradley University, and Florida State University. Ryan is also a diehard LA Kings fan, and anything involving Cleveland sports. He is originally from Youngstown, OH.
Kendrick Tan is a Manager at Madhouse Entertainment. Madhouse Entertainment is a literary management and production company that works with screenwriters and writer/directors in the areas of film, television and new media.
How to Represent Yourself and Others (2:30PM-3:45PM)
In today’s climate writers and their identities are more central to the conversation than ever before. Join panelists for a discussion on writing ethnicity, race, and culture in film and television, and the importance of increasing diversity in the media landscape. Writers will discuss tone, breaking stereotypes, using setting as a character, and the responsibility a writer has to their work and others.
Meet the Panelists:
After graduating from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Doug Jung’s first feature was Confidence starring Ed Burns and Dustin Hoffman. He’s written extensively for television as well as film, including HBO’s Big Love and as co-creator of TNT’s Dark Blue. Star Trek Beyond was his 2nd project with JJ Abrahams and Bad Robot. His pilot adaptation of DC/Vertigo’s graphic novel Scalped shot in Spring 2017 for WGN America.
Katherine (Kay) Oyegun is a drama writer from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania by way of Lagos, Nigeria. She is currently a staffer on the NBC series This Is Us. She previously wrote on the OWN series Queen Sugar, from writer/director, Ava DuVernay. Kay has worked on the ABC series The Muppets, and as a development assistant at ABC Studios, BBC Worldwide Productions, and Fox Searchlight. Prior to working in the entertainment industry, Kay got her start as a journalist, working for NBC’s The Today Show and Nightly News with Brian Williams. She is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and earned a master’s degree at the University of Southern California’s Peter Stark Producing Program.
Barbara Stepansky is a Nicholl Fellow and an award-winning independent film director and writer. Her work was shortlisted for the Academy Awards, garnered the DGA Diversity Award, the Student Emmy and was featured on the Black List. She is the recipient of the Mary Pickford Foundation Scholarship and the Franklin J. Schaffner AFI Fellow Award. Barbara pursued her Master’s at the USC School of Cinematic Arts and in Directing at the American Film Institute. She has directed feature films (Hurt with Melora Walters, William Mapother, Taken For Ransom with Teri Polo, Chazz Palminteri, Tia Carrere), web series (Ex-Best, Awkward Sunrise) and short films (The Trojan Cow, Road Rage, Substance). She has written projects for Mad Chance, USA SyFy, and Storyline. Most recently Flint, a film she wrote about the Flint Water Crisis for Sony/Lifetime with Queen Latifah, was nominated for a Critics Choice and won a WGA Award.
Networking Reception (4:00PM-6:00PM)
As a ticket holder for the event, you are also invited to attend our happy hour mixer following the last panel discussion in the lobby of the Linwood Dunn Theater. The reception will be hosted by a special guest who will be announced at a later date. Complimentary snacks and drinks will be provided courtesy of the Academy Education Program and the Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting.
AND DON’T FORGET to enter your script in the Screenplay Competition by the March 30 Early Deadline before the entry fee goes up for the April 20 Regular Deadline and May 15 Late Deadline. All entrants will receive FREE Reader Comments and special discounts to attend the annual Festival & Conference.