Did you know that Austin Film Festival provides group discounts to students at colleges, universities, and specialty schools? Consistently considered by MovieMaker Magazine as one of the 50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee as well as one of the 15 Submission-Worthy Screenwriting Competitions of 2020, Presented by FilmFreeway, AFF allows participating writers and filmmakers to measure themselves against the very best, while also providing valuable networking and learning opportunities.
“Let me cut to the chase. Is the Austin Screenwriting Conference worth the price of admission? No. It’s worth more. Mix and mingle and wine and dine and learn and grow with everyone from new writers to the biggest names in the business. There’s nothing like it on the planet. It’s basically screenwriter Christmas. You’re a fool to miss it.”
— Craig Mazin, co-host Scriptnotes; writer Identity Thief, The Hangover Parts II & III, Scary Movie 3 & 4, RocketMan
The following entry fee discounts apply only to students currently enrolled in an accredited college or university or specialty program. To obtain the discount code, please e-mail programming@
COMPETITION ENTRY FEE DISCOUNTS
FILM COMPETITION DEADLINES:
Early: March 26 | $40 Student Rate ($50 regular)
Regular: May 21 | $50 Student Rate ($60 regular)
Late: June 25 | $65 Student Rate ($75 regular)
Extended: July 9 | $75 Student Rate ($85 regular)
If entering 4 or more student films, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about special bulk pricing (not applicable to scripts)
Early: March 26 | Features $35 Student Rate ($45 regular) |
Teleplays/Shorts $25 Student Rate ($35 regular)
Regular: April 16 | Features $45 Student Rate ($55 regular) |
Teleplays/Shorts $35 Student Rate ($45 regular)
Late: May 21 | Features $60 Student Rate ($70 regular) |
Teleplays/Shorts $50 Student Rate ($60 regular)
SCRIPTED DIGITAL SERIES DEADLINES:
Early: March 26 | $25 Student Rate ($35 regular)
Regular: April 16 | $30 Student Rate ($40 regular)
Late: May 21 | $35 Student Rate ($45 regular)
Extended: July 9 | $40 Student Rate ($50 regular)
“[AFF] has been one of the most positive experiences in my early career and I look forward to coming back in the future. I’ve been to Cannes and TIFF, and not one of them compared to the networking experiences at AFF.”
— Joshua Amar, director of Billy the Kid, Narrative Student Short
“‘Moonwalk With Me’ couldn’t have a more amazing premiere. Carrie and I were raving about how we enjoyed every aspect of the festival, from the clear communication prior to the festival and the warm welcome we received afterwards. We came out of the film festival with new friends and collaborators. I know this experience wouldn’t have been as great if it weren’t for the team behind the scenes.”
–Shelly Yo, writer/director Moonwalk With Me
“We cannot thank you enough for believing in SUSPICION and bringing it to AFF 25 – one of the most awe-inspring, transcendent events we’ve attended. That you assembled such a formidable screening schedule and such an extraordinary, kind-hearted group of people – industry heavyweights and aspirants alike – speaks to your tremendous eye, hard work, and generosity. We’ve never felt in better hands. You’ve made a dream of ours come true, and for us, for the rest of our careers, AFF will remain at the heart of the festival circuit. P.S. Thanks to the festival, I got a small gig on the writing team of a podcast prequel to James Patterson’s BLACK BOOK ????”
–Josh Toro, writer/director Suspicion
Over the last 15 years, I have encouraged my students — at two different colleges — to take advantage of the Austin Film Festival’s student discounts on application fees for its wide array of script competitions — and dozens of students do so each year.
Many have scored as “second-rounders” — an extraordinary boost of encouragement for these aspiring writers, and some have placed as semi-finalists and finalists, and four of my students or former students won an AFF writing competition. (One of these winners was a former student who was in a hospital, recovering from emergency surgery when Austin officials called her to tell her she won. When I called her, too, from the awards ceremony she was crying with joy.)
Moreover, I’ve taken students at both colleges on a dozen field trips to the AFF Screenwriters Conference — and their responses bordered on ecstatic with all of the workshops, panels, networking opportunities, small-group meetings and screenings. The AFF even arranged for some of its film and TV writing panelists and speakers to talk exclusively to my students.
Many students also entered the AFF pitch competition over the years and made it to the finals — and one of my Emerson students won the pitch competition held at an Austin bar packed with festival-goers. And he won it in front of all his student colleagues. (That’s yet another Austin night I won’t ever forget.)
Others landed internships after talking with industry executives and producers at the AFF and a few struck up relationships with agents and managers which eventually lead to representation. Moreover, the number of students who continue to go back to Austin on their own for future conferences is amazingly high.
As one graduate student wrote me a week ago — “It is hands down my favorite festival (and I just got back from Sundance!). I get so much out of it each and every time I go. I’m looking forward to yet another year this fall.”
But my favorite testimonial comes from an undergraduate student from a few years back — “If I could give anyone just one piece of advice it is to go straight from your last screening to the Driskill Hotel Bar. Nowhere [else] will you have this much access to this many legendary screenwriters in one place at a time. I literally went from talking to Lawrence Kasdan about the set of RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK to talking to John August about turning his film THE NINES into the first open-source, fan-editable film in history to talking to John Lee Hancock (writer of THE BLIND SIDE and THE ALAMO) about the Western and how to revive it. All in one hour. Finally, I settled down next to my screenwriting idol Shane “first-seven-digit-screenplay” Black. We ate pecan pie and talked about his upcoming projects for three hours. He even asked what scripts I was working on…!”
This is a lot more than I intended to write — but I’m so enthused about the AFF and the opportunities that it offers students — that I have difficulty editing myself. If you have an opportunity to introduce your students to the AFF’s contests and its Screenwriters Conference — I strongly encourage you to do so. Faculty at other colleges are welcome to contact the AFF for my e-mail if they’d like to hear more information on my experiences and arrangements in taking students to the Austin Film Festival’s Screenwriters Conference.
– Jim Macak, Associate Professor for Film and TV Writing, Emerson College — Boston/Los Angeles; and Affiliated Professor at the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts at Chapman University.