Screenplay & Teleplay
2017 Competition Deadlines
Early: March 31, $45
Regular: April 20, $55
Late: May 15 $70
Short Screenplay & Teleplay:
Early: March 31 $35
Regular: April 20, $45
Late: May 15 $60
SUBMIT YOUR SCRIPT TO OUR FICTION PODCAST COMP!
Interested in broadening your audience even more? Submit your script to our brand new Fiction Podcast Competition. Judging criteria is based on story elements such as plot, structure, characters, dialogue and concept, while taking into consideration elements of storytelling that are unique to this purely acoustic medium. Learn more now!
2017 Screenplay & Teleplay Competition Sponsored Awards
AFF has assembled a group of influential organizations and production companies to sponsor various awards for this year’s Screenplay Competition. Sponsors will review and help determine the top scripts i n their respective categories. We are proud to have the following sponsors for 2017:
Drama Screenplay Award presented by the Writers Guild of America, East
The WGAE is the underwriting sponsor of the Drama Screenplay Award category. Drama Finalist scripts will be judged by a select panel of WGAE screenwriters and the winner will be presented by a representative at the Awards Luncheon during the 2017 Conference. This year’s judges will be announced soon.
Comedy Screenplay Award presented by Sony Pictures Animation
Sony Pictures Animation is the official sponsor of this year’s Comedy Screenplay Award and will supply a representative to judge for the Semifinalist round of the Comedy category and one Sony screenwriter to join our panel of judges to evaluate the Finalists. The winner will be presented by a Sony representative during the Awards Luncheon. Subject to scheduling and availability, a representative from the studio will meet with each of the Finalists during the Conference or over the phone at a later date.
Sci-Fi Award presented by Skybound Entertainment
Skybound Entertainment will serve as the official judge of the Sci-Fi Screenplay Award. The multiplatform entertainment company is led by Robert Kirkman and David Alpert, responsible for such television hits including The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead and Outcast. The company will review the top scripts submitted in each category and will determine the Finalists and Winner and will meet with each of the Finalists during the Conference or over the phone at a later date. The category is open to fantasy, science fiction, horror, surrealism, myth/legend, and fantastical storytelling.
AMC One-Hour Pilot Award
AMC returns for the fifth year as the official sponsor and judge for the One-Hour Pilot Award. The category is open to any pilot script written in the one-hour format for an original television series. AMC will review the top scripts submitted in the category and will determine the Finalists and Winner. Finalists will be given the opportunity to meet with a representative from AMC during this year’s Conference or over the phone at a later date.
Enderby Entertainment Award
Co-founded by Rick Dugdale and Daniel Petrie, Jr. (Beverly Hills Cop, The Big Easy), the production company acquired the 2008 AFF Finalist script Stranded (now titled Dawn Patrol). The film stars Scott Eastwood and Rita Wilson and was directed by Petrie. AFF proudly presented the world premiere of Dawn Patrol at the 2014 Festival. The Enderby Entertainment Award category is open to feature scripts in all genres with an original concept and distinctive voice that can be independently produced under $10 million.
THE ULTIMATE RUNWAY
For over two decades, Austin Film Festival has been catapulting writers into life-changing careers. With one of the most noteworthy competitions among Hollywood tastemakers, AFF consistently yanks newcomers from the isolation of their desks and ushers them into the bustling world of film and television. Whether your dream is to sign a contract, land an agent, learn from an industry icon, or take home the coveted Bronze Typewriter Award, it’s simple: you can’t win if you don’t enter.
A HANDCRAFTED COMPETITION
Though AFF is one of the largest and most respected screenplay competitions, every entrant receives personalized attention and multiple reads throughout the process. All entrants receive FREE “Reader Comments” which are a brief, overall summary of their notes. As an added bonus, for Second Rounders (the top 10-15% in each category) and above, entrants receive further comments from 2-3 readers. AFF goes the extra mile to send both postal mail and e-mail notifications to ensure everyone knows their placement in the competition. Finally, Second Rounders may also find a personalized, handwritten note in their notification letter from the Screenplay Competition Director!
YOU’LL GET BACK WAY MORE THAN YOU BARGAINED FOR
Not only do all entrants receive registration discounts, but you get larger discounts when you place in the competition. Unlike other screenplay competitions, your experience with AFF doesn’t end after making the first cut. Second Rounders, Semifinalists, and Finalists attend exclusive panels, intimate roundtable discussions, script reading workshops, and are afforded special access to industry professionals.
2015 Second Rounders and above attended workshops about: how to find representation, demystifying the development process, and how successful alumni from the competition made the most of their placement. Additionally, a favorite event of entrants, Second Rounders and above were invited to the Screenwriters’ Happy Hour presented by Nickelodeon where they networked with other writers, Nickelodeon execs, and competition judges.
The AFF is a brilliantly run, prestigious film festival. Having your screenplay placed or winning means something in the film and TV business around the world. The movers and shakers sit up and take note. And this is the ONLY reason I am in LA right now taking meetings with agents, managers, production companies—people who can get my script made, realize my dreams and ambitions.”
– Shani Grewal, 2015 Horror Screenplay Award Winner for 77 Minutes
2015 Semifinalists and Finalists had the opportunity to meet with several agents, managers, and executives, and participate in our Script Reading Workshops where their scripts were read aloud and workshopped in a personalized setting during the Conference. Furthermore, Semifinalists and Finalists’ loglines and contact information are also included in the annual Producer’s Book, distributed to all AFF panelists as well as over 400 agents, managers, producers, and other industry professionals.
At the Semifinalist level and above, judges—including professional writers and representatives from major studios and production companies—actively seek scripts and talent. In past years, these judges have included representatives from Oasis Media Group, Mosaic Media, ABC Studios, Paradigm Agency, Di Bonaventura Pictures, Kopelson Entertainment, Nickelodeon, Escape Artists at Sony, Washington Square Arts, Fourth Floor Productions, Haven Entertainment, Artisan, CAA, Brant Rose Agency, WME, DreamWorks, and Pixar among others.
The respect that AFF brings to your script as a Finalist is notable. I’ve had managers and agents reading me even before the Conference happened. And I’ve gotten meetings with production companies with first look deals at networks that I never would have gotten on my own. AFF is worth its weight in gold.”
– Shelli Wright, 2015 Comedy Screenplay Finalist for Plausible
SIGNING DEALS AND LAUNCHING PROJECTS
AFF’s Screenplay & Teleplay Competition is one of the most acclaimed contests within the industry for establishing the careers of up-and-coming writers. It’s no surprise that past competition entrants have signed with major agencies and have had their scripts optioned, acquired, and produced by signatory production companies. Most recently, Wes Brown, 2014 winner of the AMC One-Hour Pilot Award, has staffed on the upcoming AMC television series Goliath; Troy Miller, the 2013 winner of the Horror Screenplay Award, had his winning script optioned by Frank Darabont’s Darkwoods Productions; at the 2014 Festival, AFF presented the world premiere of Dawn Patrol, a film produced from a 2008 Finalist script written by Rachel Long and Brian Pittman that was acquired by Enderby Entertainment; and Amy Aniobi, 2011 Semifinalist, has been hired to write for HBO’s Silicon Valley.
Winning at Austin had an immediate impact on my career. Within weeks I’d signed with a management company (LBI Entertainment) and begun meeting producers about my historical drama pilot, Ascension. I loved every minute of the Writers’ Conference, and will be eternally grateful to the AFF, as well as to AMC for sponsoring my category.”
– Wes Brown, 2014 AMC One-Hour Pilot Winner for Ascension (now staffed on the AMC show, Fear the Walking Dead)
A MESSAGE FROM MATT DY, SCREENPLAY COMPETITION DIRECTOR
Regardless, of gender, age, ethnicity, or background, AFF champions all writers and looks for a strong original voice above all. From the indie to the mainstream, we strive to ensure that unique, compelling stories rise to the top and get the recognition they deserve. We are invested in your success and want to help you grow as a writer whether or not you advance in the competition. If you have a story to tell, YOU are important to AFF. Send us your best and let your voice be heard!
THE DEAL OF THE YEAR, EVERY YEAR
At AFF, when you win, you really win. Not only is there a cash prize and our unmistakable typewriter statuette—five pounds of awesome you can carry around—but you win alongside legendary figures as part of our annual Awards ceremony. Last year, our winning filmmakers received their awards next to Norman Lear, John Singleton, Brian Helgeland, and Chris Cooper. It simply doesn’t get better than that.
But wait, there’s more! Keep in mind that the Jury Award winners of our Narrative, Documentary and Animated Short categories officially qualify for an Academy Award®. Big things happen when you win our bronze typewriter, but you can’t win if you never enter.
Screenplay & Teleplay FAQs
Having technical difficulties? Feel free to call (1.800.310.3378) or email our Screenplay Competition Administrative Coordinator, Gabbi: firstname.lastname@example.org
For all other general questions please contact the Screenplay Competition Director, Matt Dy: email@example.com or by phone at 512-478-4795.
I was thrilled to win at Austin. Since the competition, doors have started to open. My movie has a much better chance of getting made than it had before. But even if I hadn’t won, I would have had the equally valuable experience of the Conference itself. This is what sets Austin apart–the incredible opportunity to talk with and learn from the top professionals in the industry and the fabulously talented attendees. I really believe this is a learner’s business, and that’s what AFF understands so well.”
– Robert Rue, 2015 Drama Winner for Detroit