Scripted Digital Series FAQs
Should I submit both a produced series and the script?
It is entirely up to you to decide if you should submit both but it is not required to do so. We suggest you choose the work that you feel best represents your voice. If you submit both, your produced series and the script will be evaluated separately, but if both advance, we will choose the one we feel is the strongest.
What are the deadlines and entry fees for the 2017 Festival?
Early Deadline: March 31 ($35)
Regular Deadline: April 20 ($45)
Late Deadline: May 15 ($60)
Submissions must be postmarked or submitted online by 11:59 PST on the deadline date to be eligible for the corresponding entry fees.
When will we hear about the results?
Letters will be sent by mid-September for those in the First Round and also to those that advance to the Second Round (top 15%). Semifinalists will receive a phone call by mid-September as well. Finalists are notified by early October. Entrants that advance to the Semifinalist level will be asked to provide a treatment of their vision for the series and how subsequent episodes will unfold. The winners will be announced at the Awards Luncheon at the Conference.
Do you accept international submissions?
Yes we accept entries from all countries.
Do you waive submission fees?
Austin Film Festival does not waive entry fees. AFF believes waiving entry fees hurts the integrity of the competition. The same rules and entry fees should apply to all applicants so no one film is favored over another. In a similar respect, AFF does not invite content to be in competition; only films and series submitted will be considered for competition.
I didn't receive an e-mail confirmation for my online submission. Did you receive my entry?
As long as you paid through PayPal and have an e-mail receipt, then we have received your online entry form, script PDF/film link, and payment. To be safe, though, feel free to email us to double-check. For filmed series, email Harrison Glaser at firstname.lastname@example.org and for written series, email Matt Dy at email@example.com
Do you accept adaptations?
Yes, we do accept adaptations. Our official policy is that we do not research this ourselves, but if you advance in the competition, we do publicize your name and script so any copyright issues could become problems for you. Please make sure all legal issues are settled before submitting.
What are the prizes?
One winner will be selected out of the group of filmed and scripted episodes that displays the strongest voice and greatest potential for being developed as a series. The prize package includes the AFF Bronze Typewriter Award, $1000 cash, and reimbursements of up to $500 for hotel and up to $500 for airfare if used to attend the 2016 Festival and Conference.
When will the awards be given out?
The awards will be presented during the Austin Film Festival Awards Luncheon. Awards are based on overall merit of the entries. In-competition awards are determined by a distinguished group of jurors, all established within the film industry. All awards will be presented to the writer of the winning films and series.
Script Submission Questions
I'm having issues submitting online. There is an error message. What should I do?
Due to possible high traffic on the website, you may need to wait a few minutes and try again. If you continue to have problems, try another web browser (Firefox or Chrome) or try submitting from a different computer. Double-check that the file is in a .pdf format and under 5MB. If pop-ups are disabled in your browser, you may have trouble accessing the PayPal screen. If this occurs, try enabling pop-ups and restarting your browser. If you still cannot submit, contact the Screenplay Competition Director at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the office at 512-478-4795.
I am still working on a draft. Can I send it now and then send an updated version later?
No. You cannot send a replacement copy of the script. You can resubmit the new version of the script (with a new entry form and another entry fee).
I want to submit online but my cover page includes my contact information. I know the rules state to not include this but if I do, will I be disqualified?
No. If you include contact info on the title page, we will just black it out. We want to maintain the anonymity of the writer in the judging process.
Do I need to list all writers involved on the entry form? OR Someone else has story credit on my script, should I list them as a co-writer on the application?
That is for you to settle with your collaborators. Just know that all writers listed on the application need to sign it and any prize money will be equally split between all writers listed on the application.
Do I need to copyright my script and register it with the WGA?
It is not required, but we do encourage it. Non-guild members can register their script with the WGA for a nominal fee, and it is a good way to protect your intellectual property. In order to register your script, click here.
I don't think my script is formatted correctly and it's longer than 30 pages. Will I be disqualified?
We don’t disqualify based on format. We recommend that scripts be between 3-30 pages in length but we won’t penalize a script if it slightly over 30 pages. You can submit up to three scripts totaling no more than 30 pages.
How long should my synopsis be?
It should be a brief summary or logline for your script. Your synopsis is not used for judging purposes.
I used to make my living as a screenwriter. Am I still eligible to submit to the competition?
Writers who do not currently and primarily earn a living writing for TV or film are eligible to enter the Scripted Digital Series Competition.
My script was previously optioned and is now expired. Can I submit it in the competition?
As long as your screenplay is not optioned currently, it is eligible. If during the judging process the script goes under option, we will simply pull it from the competition.
Any other specific script questions?
Please feel free to contact Screenplay Competition Director, Matt Dy at email@example.com
Film Submission Questions
What are AFF's requirements for the series' premiere status?
Series that have played in Austin in a theatrical setting to a public audience prior to October 25, 2017 are not eligible to be screened at Austin Film Festival.
Can I submit more than one filmed series?
Yes! You can submit as many series as you want. Please be sure to complete separate entry forms and separate submission fees for each film.
I'm having issues submitting online. There is an error message. What should I do?
Due to possible high traffic on the website, you may need to wait a few minutes and try again. If you continue to have problems, try another web browser (Firefox or Chrome). If you’re still having problems, contact the Film Department at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do all writers/filmmakers involved need to be listed on the entry form? Should others (co-writer/director/etc.) also be credited on the application?
That is for you to settle with your collaborators. You will receive a notification if your film is submitted and can change acknowledgments at that time if necessary. Remember, all awards will be presented to the Writer of the winning films, with the exception of the Documentary awards, which will be presented to the Director.
My series has distribution. Am I still eligible to submit it to the competition?
Series produced, financed, initiated, or hosted by major studios, companies, or networks are ineligible for competition
What formats do you accept for submission?
All filmed digital series must be submitted as a link to an online screener with a password if applicable.
My series has previously screened in Austin. Will this be an issue for submission?
Series that have played in Austin in a theatrical setting to a public audience prior to October 13, 2016 are not eligible to be screened at Austin Film Festival.
Must I have obtained all rights for music and other copyrighted material in my series?
While AFF will not investigate these clearances, we will also not be held responsible for any copyright infringements. If your series is accepted into the festival, you must sign a waiver indicating all rights were legally obtained to the materials in your series.
If I submit my filmed series to competition and it is accepted, how many screenings will there be at the festival? Will I receive any tickets or passes?
Each Competition Filmmaker receives two screenings, five complimentary tickets to each of the series’ screenings, the film featured in the 2016 AFF Program Book, and two complimentary Producers Badges to the 2016 Austin Film Festival.