We continue our mission to support the art and craft of storytellers, and that includes highlighting the stories of some of our Script and Film Competitions’ Alumni, and diving into what their careers look like after winning at Austin Film Festival. Congratulations to all who are included in our Summer issue!
And for those who are still wondering whether submitting to our competitions is worth it, we hope reading these stories will inspire you to take the chance and work your way to your first big break.
Simon Lord, writer of AFF 26’s Narrative Feature Audience Award Winner Above the Clouds, is gearing up for his next feature Jellyfish
Simon Lord’s feature film Above the Clouds won the Audience Award at AFF26. At an AFF roundtable, he met with Gravitas Ventures whom he was able to secure a distribution deal. Simon has continued his career as a screenwriter with a follow-up feature titled Jellyfish as well as an animated sitcom. Check out what Simon has been working on at his website!
“It’s not hyperbolic to say that AFF is the reason I have a career in audio fiction. When my writing partner and I were first dreaming up the concept for Alethea, our near-future sci-fi audio drama, AFF’s Scripted Podcast Competition gave us a sense of purpose that inspired us to get writing. When we were invited to attend AFF as finalists in that competition, the connections we made and thoughtful feedback we received helped us reimagine and fine-tune our concept for the series. When we started pitching Alethea, our status as AFF finalists gave us credibility as audio creators, which led to Audible picking up Alethea as an Audible Original. Creating Alethea has opened so many doors for me as an audio creator, both in terms of developing original series and being hired for others. If not for AFF, I would still have remained a devoted fan of audio fiction. But thanks to AFF, I now get to create it, too.” – Katrina Day
Ivo Raza’s film Reboot Camp won the 2020 Comedy Vanguard Jury Award, and is now available on demand!
“Getting the screenplay to necessary clarity was a multi-layered undertaking. I had to follow the documentary story as it unfolded while incorporating the main story with character development, conflict, escalations, etc., just like a regular screenplay. It was a creative challenge which took 16 drafts, tons of notes and many cancelled social events.” – Ivo Raza
VanTassell is thrilled to be writing on the Emmy Award-winning Netflix animated series, The Dragon Prince. She is also excited to be working with her agent, Erin Morris, of APA.
2018 Teleplay Spec winner, Angela Jorgensen, finds her creative flow writing episodic fiction podcasts for Parcast.
Jorgensen works as a Content Writer with Parcast, a podcast company where she pens episodes of hit shows Conspiracy Theories, Unexplained Mysteries, and Supernatural with Ashley Flowers.
Feeling inspired by our Alumni?
You could be like Simon and win a first look distribution deal with Gravitas Ventures through our Film Competition, or get your very own Audible deal like Katrina; let your first step be submitting your story to AFF. Submit your story to our Film, Digital Series, or Fiction Podcast competitions!
The extended deadline is this Friday, July 9th at 11:59 PM PDT.
2021 Spring Issue
2020 Josephson Entertainment TV Pilot Fellowship Winner, Nancy Duff, recently signs with management company, The Cartel
“I think for writers trying to break-in, everything moves at a glacial pace until you climb that first step. This past fall after winning at Austin, everything hit lightning speed. Looking back, my path to a full-time writing career has been full of peaks and valleys. In the fall of 2019, I was in a valley. After months of a few “almost” opportunities, I felt defeated. It was during this time that I hatched the idea for my grounded sci-fi dark comedy script, COMPANY MAN.”
2018 Drama Feature Screenplay Winner, Wenonah Wilms is set to co-write and serve as executive producer on Higher Ground Productions’ Firekeeper’s Daughter
After her 2018 win, she landed representation at United Talent Agency, and shortly thereafter sold a pilot to a major network, which is set to announce soon. Currently, Wenonah is out pitching an original series idea and is set to serve as executive producer on Higher Ground Productions’ Firekeeper’s Daughter.
Additionally, check out Wenonah’s profile from AFF’s 2019 Screenwriters to Watch list!
2020 AMC One-Hour Pilot Winner, Natasha M. Hall, lands staff writer position on Netflix’s Virgin River
The buzz around Hall’s winning script, Iris, prompted read requests from Gunpowder & Sky and Paradox. Hall is thrilled to get started in Netflix’s writers’ room and is in talks with Paradox about possibly developing an original series for Snapchat.
Frank E. Flowers, 2003 Narrative Short Film Competition Jury Winner, is working on The Bluff, which will land on Netflix
Frank has been hard at work since he premiered the incredible title Swallow with the festival in 2003. Since then he’s written a number of projects, including the 2013 British drama Metro Manila.
Bert & Bertie, Writers / Directors of 2009 Narrative Short Film Competition Special Jury Mention The Taxidermist, gear up to direct Queen Bitch & The High Horse
Filmmaking duo extraordinaire Bert & Bertie are back at it again. Since garnering an honorable mention for their short film The Taxidermist in 2009, the filmmakers have directed episodes of Kidding and The Great. Now they’re gearing up to direct Queen Bitch & The High Horse, with Cate Blanchett attached to produce.
Photo credit: Alexo Wandael Photography
2017 and 2020 Script Competition Semifinalist, Nick Camacho, signs with literary manager, Grace Ledding from Agile Entertainment
After reading Nick’s script, American Songbook, Grace reached out to him to discuss his script and the possibility of representation. Soon after, Grace began helping him send his script to various producers and agencies. They’ve since had several meetings with major studios, and more still on the horizon. Nick is currently developing and pitching new feature and pilot scripts.