Austin Film Festival

Austin Film Festival
Austin Film Festival
1801 Salina Street
Texas, United States

Tel: 512-478-4795
Fax: 512-478-6205

Festival Overview

Known as the “Writers Festival” since its inception in 1993, Austin Film Festival recognizes the importance of narrative at the core of filmmaking. Without a good story, movies might just be sound and fury.

By celebrating the work of storytellers; those committed to crafting intricate worlds, fully-formed characters, and diverse perspectives, AFF bolsters its reputation as a champion for the creator.

The AFF Film Competition is here to bring independent filmmakers and their films into the spotlight. 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.


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. The Jury Awards will be presented on Saturday, October 27, 2018, during the Austin Film Festival Awards Luncheon. Awards are based on overall merit of the entries. Jury members reserve the right not to grant an award.

All films screening are also eligible for an Audience Award in their respected categories. Award winners are announced within one week following the Festival. The Audience Award is based solely on audience voting at the film’s screening(s).

Each Competition Filmmaker receives two film screenings, October 25 – November 1, 2018; five complimentary tickets to each of the film’s screenings; one ticket to the AFF Awards Luncheon (if in attendance, it is the preference of AFF that the writer be provided this ticket); the film featured in the AFF Program Book; and two complimentary Producers Badges to the Austin Film Festival, October 25 – November 1 (if in attendance, it is the preference of AFF that the writer be provided one of the complimentary Producers Badges).

Feature Films
1st Place Winners in both the Narrative Feature Category and Documentary Feature Category receive a cash prize of $2,500; reimbursement (up to $500) of one round-trip airfare to Austin to attend AFF; reimbursement (up to $500) for stay at an AFF hotel during the 2018 Festival; and the AFF Typewriter Award. The 1st Place Winner in the Dark Matters and Comedy Vanguard Feature Category receives a cash prize of $1,000; reimbursement (up to $500) of one round-trip airfare to Austin to attend AFF; reimbursement (up to $500) for stay at an AFF hotel during the Festival; and the AFF Typewriter Award.

Comedy Vanguard winners will also receive a Video on Demand Distribution Deal from Gravitas Ventures!

Short Films
1st Place Winners receive a cash prize of $1,000 (Narrative Short Category only) or $500 (Narrative Student Short, Documentary Short, Animated Short Categories); reimbursement (up to $500) of one round-trip airfare to Austin to attend AFF; reimbursement (up to $500) for stay at an AFF hotel during the Festival; and the AFF Typewriter Award. In addition, the winning films in the Narrative Short and Animated Short category are eligible to be nominated for an Academy Award®.


Action Adaptation Adventure Animation Art-house Asian Black Black Comedy Bollywood Children Comedy Crime Disaster Documentary Drama Family Fantasy Foreign Language French Gangster Gay and Lesbian Ghost Historical Horror Independent Jewish Murder Mystery Musical Mystery National Noir Period Religious Romance Science Fiction Short Sport Spy Student Supernatural Thriller Travel TV War Western Women

Apply via Withoutabox

Apply via Film Freeway

Apply via External Website

Known festival contacts Contacts
Rob Gonzalez
Film Competition Director
Recent Festival News News
No known festival news at this time.


Open to the public


Please Note: 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 films to be in competition. Only films that are submitted will be considered for competition.
Submissions must be accompanied by the applicable submission fee PER ENTRY and a completed online entry form. All films must be in English or have English subtitles at the time submitted.

Films must have been completed after April 1, 2018. Films must be available for screening during the Austin Film Festival, October 24-31, 2019.

Films that have been submitted to AFF in previous years are eligible to be resubmitted, provided they are eligible according to all of AFF’s current rules.

Films with US distribution (obtained prior to being selected for AFF screening) or films produced, financed or initiated by a major film studio or television network are ineligible for competition, but may be considered for a special screening. Selection for screening will be determined no later than one month prior to the festival. Films that have screened on US network or cable television or distributed to theaters prior to the festival dates are also ineligible for competition.

Short Films that have played in Austin in a theatrical setting to a public audience prior to October 24, 2019 are not eligible to compete at Austin Film Festival. This includes Shorts Night or other festivals. The ONLY exception is that a short may play as part of a class screening for an accredited university’s film program. We prefer that shorts be Texas premieres.

Short films that are publicly available online prior to the Festival may be considered for exhibition during the Festival, but will be ineligible for Jury Awards. We prefer that shorts not be publicly available online.

Feature films must be at least a Texas premiere. AFF will not screen features in competition that have played at other Texas festivals or screened publicly in a theater in Texas (including a one night only screening in a rented space) prior to October 24, 2019. We prefer World, North American, and US premieres and all things being equal, will often opt to program the film that has not yet had a release over one that has played at several festivals.

Private invite-only screenings (for instance for cast and crew or donors) do not affect a film’s eligibility.


Films must be submitted as an online streaming video via a participating submission platform (WithoutABox or FilmFreeway), a password-protected streaming URL, or on DVD with NTSC or PAL formatting (please test before sending).

In the event of a password change or link change after submitting, you must email the Festival at immediately with that change so we may update your record. If the Festival is not notified of the change and the link is found to be inactive or the password to be incorrect, the submission may be deemed ineligible.

AFF screens films as digital files during the Festival and does NOT screen films on Blu-Ray, HD-CAM, or DCP. If you are unable or unwilling to provide us your film as a digital file for exhibition, DO NOT SUBMIT your film.


Earlybird Deadline: March 29th ($50)

Regular Deadline: May 24th ($60)

Late Deadline: June 28th ($75)

Extended Deadline July 5th ($85)

Submissions must be postmarked or submitted online by 11:59 PST on the deadline date to be eligible for the corresponding entry fees.

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