AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL TO HONOR MARTA KAUFFMAN AS 2016 OUTSTANDING TELEVISION WRITER
THE WRITERS FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES INAUGURAL “DIVERSITY FOCUS” PROGRAM
Austin, TX – June 1, 2016 – Austin Film Festival & Writers Conference (AFF), the premier festival that champions the writers’ contributions to film, television, and new media, released today its 2016 Outstanding Television Writer, Marta Kauffman. Kauffman joins previously announced award recipients Paul Feig (“Extraordinary Contribution to Film”) and Nancy Meyers (“Distinguished Screenwriter”).
Kauffman is an Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning television writer, producer, and showrunner whose credits include co-creating Dream On, The Powers That Be, Veronica’s Closet, and Friends with writing partner David Crane. During its 10-year run (1994-2004), Friends landed 63 Emmy nominations, winning Outstanding Comedy Series in 2002.
In the years following, Kauffman served as Executive Producer for several projects, including the television series Related (2005-2006), and the widely acclaimed television movies Five (2011) and Call Me Crazy: A Five Film (2013). In 2012 Kauffman also took her first venture into the world of online viewing, writing and directing all three episodes of the series Georgia for the YouTube network for women, Wigs.
In 2015, Kauffman started her production and development company, OKAY GOODNIGHT, with industry veteran Robbie Tollin and Hannah KS. Their first series, the comedy-drama Grace & Frankie, co-created with Howard J. Morris, debuted its second season on Netflix May 6 and is currently in production on Season 3.
Kauffman, Feig, and Meyers will be recognized at the 2016 Awards Luncheon on Saturday, October 15 at the Austin Club, as well as participating in festival and conference programming.
Austin Film Festival has also revealed a new “Diversity Focus” program, with the goal of bringing greater recognition to women and minorities in the industry by having them represented at the Conference. In efforts to offset industry standards, AFF is pleased to be joining forces with multiple organizations with like-minded missions such as NBCUniversal Talent Infusion Programs, The Director’s List, Writers Guild of America, West Diversity Department, and others.
“I salute AFF on their efforts to broaden the diversity of their programming as they move forward with their always amazing festival,” commented 2016 Extraordinary Contribution to Film honoree Paul Feig. “All of us in the entertainment industry have to work together to expand the opportunities for the broad and diverse range of talented people in this world to make and showcase their work and share their voices with as wide an audience as possible. Here’s to Hollywood following AFF’s example and joining in on this very important mission.”
The Writers Conference, held the first four days of the Festival this October 13-16, features a slate of panelists that include Michelle Ashford (creator Masters of Sex), Kim Bass (creator Sister, Sister), Max Borenstein (writer Godzilla), Wendy Calhoun (writer Empire), Katie Dippold (writer Ghostbusters), Lindsay Doran (producer Stranger Than Fiction), Stephen Falk (creator You’re the Worst), John Hamburg (writer/director I Love You, Man), Tim Herlihy (writer Happy Gilmore), Mark Johnson (executive producer Better Call Saul), Monica Macer (writer Nashville), David Mandel (showrunner Veep), Justin Marks (writer The Jungle Book), Mark Medoff (writer Children of a Lesser God), Melanie Marnich (writer/co-executive producer The Affair), Elizabeth Meriwether (creator New Girl), Raamla Mohamed (writer Scandal), Aisha Muharrar (writer Parks and Recreation), Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber (writers The Fault in Our Stars), Paula Pell (writer Saturday Night Live), Nicole Perlman (writer Guardians of the Galaxy), Matt Selman (writer/executive producer The Simpsons), Sanjay Shah (writer/co-executive producer Fresh Off the Boat), Mark L. Smith (writer The Revenant), Ed Solomon (writer Men in Black), James Wong (writer/director Final Destination), Alan Yang (co-creator Master of None), and many more. To see the full list of confirmed panelists, programming, and award recipients bios, visit www.austinfilmfestival.com.
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 storytelling through film, television, and new media. AFF is funded and supported in part by a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts and the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department. All attendees and events are based on permitting schedules and are subject to change and/or cancellation without notice. For media credentials, please contact Lauren Kelcher Stevenson at Kelcher@sunshinesachs.com. Badges and passes are available for purchase online at www.austinfilmfestival.com or by phone at 1-800-310-FEST