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Austin Film Festival Journal, Part Five

December 28, 2019

My final reflections on the Austin Film Festival…

I had been to other film festivals, and had a lot of great experiences (lunch with Terry Zwigoff was a definite highlight of Cinequest).  However, I have never quite attended a festival like Austin.

–I had never met so many accomplished writers and filmmakers in one place.  Best of all, I never once encountered an attitude along the lines of  “we’re the professionals, you’re the amateurs.”  Even though in many cases that would have been an accurate observation, that was never the case.  Michael Grillo, Lindsay Doran, Sofia Alvarez, Tawnya Bhattacharya, Philip Levens–they have imdb credits I can at this point only dream of, but not once did they talk down to us.  They treated us like peers.  It set a collaborative tone for the entire festival.

–I walked out of so many of the sessions inspired to write, and with ideas to make my existing work better.  I would have been happy if that feeling hit me on the plane home–but I was feeling that way after the first session, and I was perpetually invigorated throughout the entire experience.  One evening, when the film I wanted to see sold out, I sat in a coffee shop and wrote until they closed.  And when I walked through the door upon my return home, I couldn’t wait to start writing.


–A coffee shop/improv theatre is a great idea. There should be more of them.

–I had hoped that I might make one professional contact who’d want to read a script of mine.  I never imagined I’d meet three–and it would be three different scripts.

–I tremendously enjoyed making new peer contacts.  I came back with an impressive stack of business cards, and have connected with many of these individuals on social media.  I also exchanged scripts with several of them, and I look forward to reading their words and learning from them.  It’s also great to discover what great work so many talented people are doing.

–As a producers badge holder in Austin, you will never run out of food or drink.  And the food in Austin is as good as advertised.

The script competition for 2020 is already open, and I cannot wait to return…


2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 4, 2020 3:39 pm

    Hi Kevin. It was wonderful reading about your experience at the Austin Film Festival. I’m sure you have come back all fired up to write some more great plays/scripts. Here’s to more success in 2020!

  2. January 9, 2020 12:16 am

    Thank you very much! I wish you continued success, and look forward to reading more of your books. 🙂

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