Just released yesterday by MovieMaker magazine:
Screenwriters are, of course, the perennially overworked, underappreciated artists whose heart, soul and lifeblood the movie world depends on.
Since its inception in 1993 the Austin Film Festival (AFF) has valiantly worked to erode the “underappreciated” part by championing screenwriters through its Writers Conference, film programs and screenplay/teleplay competitions; now the festival wants to share some of these stars with the world. With different backgrounds, and at different stages in their careers, the moviemakers on this inaugural list (presented in no particular order) possess original voices, keen storytelling sensibilities and bright and buzzy futures. Take a quick look at their faces; you’ll hear their words soon enough.
Here they are:
Who: Writer and producer for TV series Justified and The Player; author of graphic novel Ghost Cop; currently producing pilot The Jury for ABC.
Who: Former pararescueman in Iraq and Afghanistan; has sold several screenplays; recently co-created dramatic series Six for the History Channel.
Who: Writer of Triple 9 (2016), The Duel (2016) and the upcoming Paul the Apostle, produced by Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and Hugh Jackman (who stars); served two combat tours in Iraq and as a former correspondent in Afghanistan.
Mike Covino and Sam Kretchmar
Who: New York-based writers (amongst other things) of Keep in Touch (2015), their debut feature.
Who: Comedian; director-producer of comedic docs Nerdcore Rising (2008) and The Muslims Are Coming! (2013), and narrative 3rd Street Blackout (2016); author of recently published How to Make White People Laugh.
Notable Works: Wrote documentary The Ballad of Esequiel Hernández (2007); co-wrote The Homesman (2014) with Tommy Lee Jones and Wesley Oliver; co-wrote upcoming Snowden with Oliver Stone.
Who: Dropped out of USC’s Screenwriting MFA program to write for ABC Family’s Chasing Life; wrote 2014 AFF-winning screenplay Three Months which made the 2015 Black List; writing for MTV’s upcoming Little Darlings.
Who: Composer and moviemaker born in St. Petersburg; has scored, amongst others, Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street. Recently wrote and directed debut feature It Had to Be You (2015).
Who: Wrote and directed ZMD: Zombies of Mass Destruction (2010) and Junk (2013); created the short “In Her Place“ (2015) as a proof-of-concept for a feature currently in development.
Who: Music video director-producer for Usher, Cee-lo Green, Outkast and others; wrote Charles Burnett-directed Relative Stranger (2009); co-producer and writer on Empire.
Who: Wrote screenplays Jasper Milliken (2010) and Down on the Farm (2014); is also the executive producer and writer of spec pilot The Adventures of Catty Wompus (2015).
Who Wrote and directed documentary Rainbows End (2010) and Flutter (2014).
Who: Co-wrote The Words (2012) with Lee Sternthal; wrote, directed and starred in Baby, Baby, Baby (2015).
Who: L.A.-transplant born in Maine; wrote the award-winning screenplay The Jumper of Maine (2010); co-wrote Destin Daniel Cretton’s upcoming The Glass Castle based on Jeannette Walls’ memoir.
Who: Bosnian-Canadian moviemaker and musician for manic-wave rock band Nani; co-wrote and co-directed 2016 feature Memoria; adapting a biopic on Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead and writing feature Beautiful Children.
Troy Anthony Miller
Who: Wrote and directed microbudget Severance (2005); also wrote horror screenplay The Hitch. Performs in his nationally-touring improv-comedy troupe Confidence Men: Improvised Mamet.
Who: London-born, L.A.-based writer of Man Up (2015); currently writing Textbook Behaviour and co-writing comedy drama Dead to Me.
Who: Nigerian-American filmmaker pursuing an MFA at NYU; known for the shorts “Full-Windsor” (2014) and “Blitz” (2015).
Who: Producer on television series On Story: Presented by Austin Film Festival; currently writing feature Bring Back Our Girls and pilot The Bohemians.
Who: Wrote Now You See Me (2013) and the upcoming Year 12; currently writing for Wayward Pines; served as a consulting producer on Jessica Jones.
Arturo Ruiz Serrano
Who: Spanish law graduate with filmmaking degree; multiple-award-winning shorts; first feature is The Exile (2015).
Who: Writer-director of short “Skunk,” winner of a Cannes 2014 jury award, amongst other accolades; Sundance Institute Fellow; planning to shoot feature Bull in fall, 2017.
Who: Writer-director of shorts “Katrina’s Son,” “dawn.,” “Hope’s War“ and “One Hitta Quitta,” and 2012 South by Southwest-premiering feature Wolf; had February 23, 2013 proclaimed Ya’Ke Smith Day by the City of Buffalo, New York; professor at University of Texas, Arlington.
Who: Writer of 2012 Black-Listed and AFF-winning comedy feature Goodbye, Felix Chester, currently in production.
Who: Screenwriter and actress behind features Skin Deep (2014) and Amy’s Baby (in development); also series Young Politicians and short “On Hold for Taylor“.
David Broyles participated in the very first Prep: From Concept to Outline workshop I offered back in 2010.
You can read my interview with Tess Morris here.
The MovieMaker article features brief interviews with all of the writers. To read more, go here.