In addition to an 8 day film festival and 4 day Conference, we offer Year Round Events, a Young Filmmakers Program, a TV show, Radio show, Podcast and more!
Austin Film Festival is really about creativity, about trying to help people find their voice. And it’s fun.”
– Ron Howard, 2009 Extraordinary Contribution to Filmmaking Award Recipient
– Ron Howard, 2009 Extraordinary Contribution to Filmmaking Award Recipient
The folks [at AFF] share our passion…Which is, of course, why they are so damn adept at crafting a conference that manages to satisfy the needs and desires of all of us attending.”
-Scott Rosenberg, screenwriter
-Scott Rosenberg, screenwriter
Get to know the faces and stories of the people who run the show for the Austin Film Festival!
Want to work with us? We’re always looking for folks to join our team whether it’s through volunteering or interning or working with us on staff. Check out our current opportunities below.
– David McKenna (BLOW, AMERICAN HISTORY X)
Shelli Wright, 2015 Finalist
This competition accepts both filmed and written submissions in an effort to find talented voices who can adapt their vision to emerging digital platforms. AFF will select one winner who displays the strongest voice and greatest potential for establishing a digital series.
At AFF, we love being able to further the art and craft of storytelling in the next generation! The Young Filmmakers Competition is a FREE film competition is open to young creatives ages 13-18.
08/17/2022 AFF Blog, Announcements, Competitions, Film Competition, Juror Announcements, News, Screenplay Competition
Take a look at the 2022 Jurors for the Film and Script Competitions, below!
Drama & Comedy Spec
Born the youngest of nine, in the heart of Dixie, Devon Greggory grew up escaping the harsh reality of the projects through film and television. Years later, this Alabama native would pack his bags and run away to pursue his dream of filmmaking. Homeless, hungry and living on the streets of LA, he failed. But in failure, he found resilience. Devon would refocus, obtain his JD from Emory University School of Law and join Jones Day, one of the world’s foremost law firms, as a star associate. But, after a season of legal practice, Devon left the comfort of law to again chase that dream; this time by earning his MFA in Production from the University of Southern California where he would hone his craft, winning the Jeffrey Jones Writing Award and becoming a finalist for both the Sundance Filmmaker’s Lab and Screenwriter’s Lab.
As a director, over 35 film festivals have recognized his work, including 12 finalist and 4 “best of” selections. Devon has also helmed several commercials, an award-winning music video and a critically lauded stand-up comedy feature. But, it was as a writer where Devon truly found his passion… he’s penned two produced features (Sacred and Hair Show), written several pilots including, Black Wall Street, an event series about the Tulsa Race Riots, for HBO Max; Marlowe, a music-driven PI drama executive produced by Aaron Kaplan for The CW; and a reboot of the iconic series, The Game, which Devon executive produces for Paramount+.
His credits also include stints on WGN’s critically acclaimed drama, Underground; CBS’s franchise spin-off, CSI: Cyber; and BET’s ground-breaking hit, Being Mary Jane… and he was the creative force behind BET’s Soul Train-inspired period drama, American Soul, as Co-Creator, Showrunner and Executive Producer.
In success, Devon founded The Inphiniti Company, a full-service production house where he serves as President and CEO. Through Inphiniti, Devon is focused on creating content that touches the heart, inspires the soul, challenges the mind and compels you to action. Currently in a multi-year overall deal with CBS TV Studios, Devon, through Inphiniti, will be writing, directing and producing content for CBS, Paramount+, The CW and various ViacomCBS-owned platforms. Grateful for his success, Devon refuses to celebrate until his entire dream is reality. As he puts it, “The only success that interests me is fulfilling my God-given destiny, caring for my family, and becoming a better man. If film and TV is the conduit through which this is accomplished then so be it; if not, no matter, it’ll all be accomplished.”
Devon is repped by CAA, manager Steve Simons of The Shuman Company and attorney John Meigs of Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, & Hoberman. He serves as an adjunct professor at his alma mater, USC. And, he currently resides in Los Angeles with his beautiful wife and two amazing sons.
Brian Siegele is a Colorado and Los Angeles-based film, television, and audio creator. A graduate of the USC School of Cinematic Arts, he is a former Austin Film Festival Screenplay Winner (2013) and Podcast Finalist (2019). Though he began his career writing tentpole features, he has since pivoted to generating high-concept IP for the podcast ecosystem. His first audio series BLACK BOX starred Joel McHale and Kelsey Grammer and being set up for television, and he is now at work on several new series.
Jameel began his professional writing career with the 2012 nationwide release of his indie film, EXIT STRATEGY. After producing three indie feature films and a web series, Jameel set his sights on television. He wrote and produced a pilot for NBC Playground and soon after staffed on his first network show, ABC’S MANHATTAN LOVE STORY in 2014. Since then, he’s worked on multiple TV projects and films. He currently serves as a Co-Executive Producer and Writer on BOB’S BURGERS, Writer and Producer for Netflix’s DISENCHANTMENT and Writer for SOUTH PARK DIGITAL – and has several TV and film projects in development, including an animated film with his mentors South Park’s Matt Stone and Trey Parker.
Author The Executive Chair; Writer; Recovering Development Executive. Former executive and current producer, tv writer, and book author Kelly Edwards has developed shows like Living Single, Girlfriends, The Parkers, Clueless, Two Guys and a Girl, as well as a tv drama series, a Hallmark movie, and award-winning shorts for HBO.
For seven years, she served as the head of Talent Development for HBO, launching the careers of emerging artists before herself becoming a Sundance Episodic Lab fellow, releasing her Amazon bestselling book The Executive Chair: A Writer’s Guide To TV Series Development, and staffing on Our Kind of People.
Edwards holds a B.A. in Theater from Vassar and an MFA in Writing for TV and Film from Emerson College. She has been a member of the Annenberg Inclusion Board, the ATAS Diversity Committee, the United Negro College Fund Leadership Council, and a NALIP trustee. She has also served as President of her non-profit, Colour Entertainment, which has provided mentorship and leadership opportunities to creative executives for over twenty years.
VJ Boyd most recently worked on the upcoming JUSTIFIED spinoff, CITY PRIMEVAL, for FX/Hulu. He previously wrote for SWAT and JUSTIFIED and co-created LINCOLN RHYME: HUNT FOR THE BONE COLLECTOR. He is also the co-author of the IDW comic book series NIGHT MOVES.
Marc Bernardin is a WGA Award-winning television writer-producer who has worked on Star Trek: Picard, The Continental, Carnival Row, Treadstone, Castle Rock, Critical Role: The Legend of Vox Machina, Masters of the Universe: Revelations, and Alphas. In an earlier life, he was a journalist for the Los Angeles Times, The Hollywood Reporter, Playboy, and Entertainment Weekly. In comics, he’s an Inkpot-winning writer of Adora and the Distance, Peter Parker: The Amazing Shutterbug, Genius, The Highwaymen, and Monster Attack Network. And he cohosts the Fatman Beyond pop-culture podcast with Kevin Smith.
Nicole Perlman is best known for her work on the Marvel Studios’ blockbusters, Guardians of the Galaxy and Captain Marvel and on Legendary Studios’ Detective Pikachu. Nicole is a Cinereach and Film Independent Directing Fellow, and has twice been awarded the Tribeca Film Festival’s Sloan Foundation Grant for Science in Film, along with the Hugo Award, and the Ray Bradbury award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation. Nicole is currently developing a supernatural horror series for Apple+ TV and is casting her first feature to direct.
Oren Uziel’s writing credits include THE LOST CITY, 22 JUMP STREET, MORTAL KOMBAT, THE CLOVERFIELD PARADOX, ESCAPE ROOM: TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS, FREAKS OF NATURE and SHIMMER LAKE, which he wrote and directed. He’s currently working on a number of projects, including the sequel to SPENSER: CONFIDENTIAL, starring Mark Wahlberg, and CLUE! starring Ryan Reynolds. Oren is also finally dipping his toe into TV with an adaptation of the 1946 film noir, THE STRANGE LOVE OF MARTHA IVERS.
Stephanie Allain’s Homegrown Pictures is a film and television production company dedicated to creating content by and about women and people of color with authentic stories, depictions and representation. Allain, who made history in 2020 when she became the first Black woman to produce the Academy Awards (for which she was Emmy-nominated), has produced Hustle & Flow, Something New, Peeples, Beyond The Lights, Dear White People, French Dirty, Burning Sands, Juanita and Really Love. Her films have been nominated for numerous awards with wins from Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, Film Independent Spirit Awards, NAACP and others. In television she executive produced four seasons of Justin Simien’s Netflix series, Dear White People, and is currently in production on her first documentary Untitled Billy Preston. Her first book, I’M IN CHARGE! was acquired in an auction by Candlewick Press. The picture book, slated to be published in Spring 2024, models for children how they can take charge of their bodies, voices and choices. Gabrielle Ebron is Director of Development for film and TV. Evadne Eddins serves as Creative Executive.
DIGITAL SERIES CATEGORY JUROR
Emmy® nominated screenwriter and producer Chuck Hayward has spent the last twenty years building an impressive career. He has amassed an enviable list of credits in television and film, working with some of the most well-respected names in entertainment. Upcoming, Hayward was brought on as a Co-Executive Producer to both the Emmy® award winning comedy “Ted Lasso” for the show’s highly anticipated third season, and to second season of Hulu’s “Life And Beth.” Most recently, Hayward has garnered nominations from the WGA, Critics Choice, and the PGA respectively for his work on “WandaVision.” In 2021, he received two (2) Emmy nominations for his acclaimed work on “WandaVision,” which is unanimously hailed as a critical achievement for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The genre-bending series shines a heartfelt spotlight on two of the MCU’s most intriguing characters as it weaves together a mysterious and mesmerizing story. The original live-action series debuted exclusively on Disney+ in January 2021. Additonally, Hayward is the screenwriter and an executive producer of the remake of the iconic 90’s cult classic DON’T TELL MOM THE BABYSITTER’S DEAD, which begins production in 2022. His previously produced feature projects were the highly rated the Netflix comedy feature STEP SISTERS, and the indie film FAT CAMP. Other notable credits include Netflix’s critically acclaimed series “Dear White People,” ABC’s “Mixed-Ish,” and Showtime’s “Flatbush Misdemeanors.” While working on this wide variety of shows, Hayward honed his skills as a producer as well as a writer. Prior to this, he was staffed on several beloved, yet short-lived sitcoms, including “Bent” and “One Big Happy” on NBC, “Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life” on FOX, and Nickelodeon’s “Wendall & Vinnie.” In the earlier part of his career, Hayward was accepted into multiple programs for up and coming writers, including but limited, to 20th Centry Fox Television’s FOX Writers Intensive, the WGA’s Feature Writer Access Project as well as the WGA’s TV Writer Access Project. A distinguished alumni of Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Hayward began his career as a producer’s assistant at Spirit Dance Entertainment and State Street Pictures, then transitioned to working as a production assistant on beloved television series such as “Everybody Hates Chris” and “Entourage.” When he’s not working, Hayward donates his time and resources to local charities such as “My Friend’s Place, and “Kids In The Spotlight.” Additionally he lends his voice and vast industry knowledge while serving as a juror and consultant for the annually held Nashville Film Festival and the Austin Film Festival. Hayward credits his career success to supportive mentors, friends, and family with a focus on “paying it forward” for up-and-coming creatives. He resides in Los Angeles, where he enjoys anything related to the beach, in addition to “cobbling together some semblance of a social life.”
DIGITAL SERIES CATEGORY JUROR
Amy Talkington is an award-winning writer, director and producer living in Los Angeles. In the feature arena, Amy most recently wrote “Valley Girl” (MGM’s musical remake of the 80s cult film) and has written numerous other studio features that are in various phases of development, including “Undercover” at Lionsgate with Steve Pink directing. In the television arena, Amy was a Co-Executive Producer and writer on Hulu’s hit series “Little Fires Everywhere” (starring Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington) for which she was nominated for both an Emmy and a Writers Guild Award. Amy currently has several series in development including pilots at FX, 20th Television, ABC Signature and Film Nation. Previously, Amy wrote and directed the independent feature film “The Night of the White Pants” as well as five short films which won multiple awards and played festivals all over the world, including Sundance and The Austin Film Festival. For more info, check out www.amytalkington.com.
DARK MATTERS FEATURE CATEGORY JUROR
Roy Lee is a film and television producer and founder of Vertigo Entertainment. Lee has an undergraduate degree from GWU and attended law school at American University. His first producer credit was for THE RING (2002), and from there he went on to produce many of the iconic American horror films of the past two decades including THE GRUDGE, THE STRANGERS, and IT. Lee also produced the beloved children’s animated films THE LEGO MOVIE, and HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON. Currently, Roy is producing a diverse slate of popular video game adaptations, acclaimed-director-driven thrillers, television series at many of the major streaming services, and more horror films.
Jessica Mendez Siquerios
NARRATIVE SHORTS FEATURE CATEGORY JUROR
Jessica Mendez Siqueiros is a Chicana writer/director of mixed indigenous Sonoran and European ancestry seeking to normalize complex & authentic narratives about the Southwest Mexican-American community through film. Her short films have screened at over 75 festivals, including Palm Springs, Seattle, Cleveland, Hamptons, and the Los Angeles Latino Film Festival. They have garnered an Audience Pick from Palm Springs ShortFest, the KidsEye Grand Prize for Best Live Action Short from Flickers Rhode Island Film Festival, Best Narrative Short (Comedy) from Cinequest, among other awards. Jessica’s short film, The Last of the Chupacabras, was produced by Walt Disney Studios as part of the inaugural class of their Launchpad Shorts Incubator, and is currently streaming on Disney+. Her upcoming short film Machisma is being made through the support of XRM Media & The Sundance Institute. She was the recipient of the 2021 Latinx Fellowship from the Sundance Feature Film Program.
NARRATIVE FEATURE CATEGORY JUROR
Orian Williams Born in Jackson, Mississippi, raised in Houston, Texas, and Orian graduated from Baylor University and came to fame with the Academy Award nominated film SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE, which he produced with Nicholas Cage. Orian continued his success producing the BAFTA and Cannes-winning CONTROL, directed by Anton Corbijn, and BIG SUR, which opened at the Sundance Film Festival in 2013. Other notable films include ENGLAND IS MINE directed by Academy Award-nominated writer/director Mark Gill; CURTIZ about the making of CASABLANCA; and CREATION STORIES, which Orian produced alongside Danny Boyle. Most recently, Orian worked with Amy Adams to produce SAM & KATE starring Dustin Hoffman and Sissy Spacek, and is currently directing and producing a biopic about legendary singer Jeff Buckley starring Reeve Carney. In 2007 Orian was chosen by Variety Magazine as one of Hollywood’s top producers.
NARRATIVE FEATURE CATEGORY JUROR
Hannah Fidell is a writer, director and producer of television and film who is best known for creating the FX show ‘A Teacher’ which was based on her movie of the same name.
COMEDY VANGUARD FEATURE CATEGORY JUROR
In a span of about 2 years, Matt Lieberman has had seven screenplays produced by major studios. These include his Black List Free Guy script due August 13, 2021 (starring Ryan Reynolds with Shawn Levy directing), Rumble due to release February 18, 2022 (starring Will Arnett), Scoob! released on May 15, 2020 (starring Will Forte, Zac Efron and Mark Wahlberg), Playing with Fire released November 2019 (starring John Cena), and The Addams Family (which grossed over $100 million dollars domestically in 2019). In addition, he wrote The Christmas Chronicles (2019’s Netflix holiday hit from his spec script starring Kurt Russell) and its sequel which was released November 25, 2020, directed by Chris Columbus. Most recently, Lieberman set deals for two big projects. Netflix preemptively acquired Walter the Farting Dog, for Matt to adapt, based on the beloved children’s book. He also sold his high concept pitch entitled Life Hacks to Sony Pictures with Chris Hemsworth attached to star and produce. Other projects in development for Lieberman include his spec script Yumanzu for Paramount and another spec, Meebo and Me for Warner Bros., both of which he is producing alongside Adam Kolbrenner and Kenya Barris. Originally from New Jersey, Matt is a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, daughter and French bulldog.
ANIMATED SHORTS CATEGORY JUROR
Producer / Executive Producer Lisa J Freberg, is the Co-founder & Managing Partner of One Good Man Productions based in Los Angeles, CA. She is a former Dreamworks Animation executive having overseen development and production for branded content for franchises including How To Train Your Dragon, Guardians, Kung Fu Panda, Shrek Franchise, and Trolls. She produced Penguins of Madagascar Got Your 6 featuring FLOTUS Michelle Obama, Book of Dragons created and directed by veteran animation storyteller, Steve Hickner. She’s had the honor of working with legendary actors, Dustin Hoffman, Bryan Cranston, Craig Ferguson, Jim Parsons, Rihanna, Jennifer Lopez to name a few. She is the recipient of Women-In-Film Finishing Fund for her feature documentary, The Scarlet Bond. Lisa produced multiple award-winning campaigns for Nike, Budweiser, Pepsi, Coca Cola, Verizon. She was the Producer of the landmark 3D Pepsi Sobe Super Bowl Ad combining 3D live action and animation from multiple studios. She’s produced many VFX, animation & live action projects. In 2019, One Good Man Productions was tapped to lead the creative development and production of six digital series including, Adulting with Richard Sherman and pop culture phenomenon DJ, Marshmello’s Power video and multiple docs-follow series. Her One Good Man Productions team simultaneously delivered all six shows within the same year, an impressive accomplishment for an independent production company. As if that was not enough to keep her busy, on the tail end of this work, she produced producing feature film, Alex / October and Three Headed Beast both completed in 2021-22. Alex / October starring award winning actor, Brad Hunt, Tara Shayne and Ethan Cutkosky hits theaters and On Demand fall 2022 with distribution through Deskpop Entertainment spearhead by Mat Levy. Selected as one of twelve films in narrative competition at the prestigious Tribeca Film Festival 2022, the critically acclaimed, Three Headed Beast made it’s world premiere as the debut feature film of Austin filmmakers writer / director team, Fernando Andres & Tyler Rugh. Three Headed Beast continues on the film festival circuit through 2022-23. Her television creates include her work as creator & Executive Producer of GloZell Is you Okay? original lifestyle series scheduled to premiere on Crackle Plus 2023. She is currently working on the adaptation critically acclaimed award-winning novel UnBroke Horses by novelist D.B. Jackson as a limited series and developing her next feature film, VINCENT with award winning writer /director, Deran Sarafian.
DARK MATTERS FEATURE CATEGORY JUROR
Stephen Christy is the President of Development for BOOM! Studios, one of the largest comic book and graphic novel publishers in North America. He currently manages BOOM!’s film and TV development slate and supervises BOOM!’s first look feature and TV deals with Netflix. He served as Producer on the 20th Century Fox supernatural thriller The Empty Man, was an Executive Producer on the Disney+ TV series Just Beyond, and is currently Executive Producing an animated TV adaptation of Mech Cadets for Netflix and an animated TV adaptation of Hex Vet for Nickelodeon. In his previous life as Editor-in-Chief for comic book publisher Archaia Entertainment he became the first editor in the industry to win back-to-back Eisner Awards for Best Original Graphic Album two years in a row, for Jim Henson’s Tale of Sand and Return of the Dapper Men. He currently lives in Los Angeles and is a graduate of Emerson College.
ANIMATED SHORTS CATEGORY JUROR
Jameel Saleem is an Emmy-nominated writer and producer working in film and television. He currently serves as a Co-Executive Producer and Writer on BOB’S BURGERS, Writer on Netflix’s DISENCHANTMENT, Writer for SOUTH PARK DIGITAL and has several TV and Film projects in development.
TEXAS SHORTS CATEGORY JUROR
Neil Miller is the founder and publisher of Film School Rejects, an Austin-based online magazine dedicated to quality criticism and helping readers understand the filmmaking process. He is also an Executive Producer of “One Perfect Shot” on HBO Max, a docuseries about filmmaking inspired by the One Perfect Shot Twitter account, which he owns and operates. As well as the co-host of “Trial By Content,” a pop culture debate podcast on The Ringer Podcast Network, and the independent podcast “Da7e and Neil’s Pop Culture Adventure.”
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