2024 Austin Film Meet Short Film Challenge
Submit your unproduced short film screenplay for production consideration by our Short Film Challenge production teams. Submitted screenplays may also be considered for Screenplay Table Read & Review events.
Screenwriters! We need your short film screenplay for production. In 2023, our teams produced two narrative short films and we can’t wait to see what we’re making in 2024. Austin Film Meet’s Short Film Challenge will focus on producing high-quality, narrative short films and your screenplay could be next!
What kind of screenplays are you looking for?
We seek short screenplays designed to be produced by our small crew with small casts of locally-based actors for almost no budget using only in-kind resources, community support and collaborative creativity for production. We want compelling stories with interesting, dynamic characters who have clear objectives and emotional conflict. We want characters that audiences love. We want to show, not tell. We want stories that make people feel a little better about the world, humankind and ourselves. You can do this!
How many pages/actors/locations do you want?
You may submit a screenplay of any length. However, for the Short Film Challenge, we are primarily looking for short narrative screenplays under 10 pages. Each team is allowed up to four 6-hour shoot days to complete production. Shorter screenplays have a higher likelihood of being produced.
We recommend staying under the 10 point limit. Count each page, actor and location as 1 point. Try to keep the total under 10 points. Less is definitely more! Projects with more inexperienced crew are asked to stay under 10 points. Projects with more experienced crew may exceed the 10 point limit with careful consideration.
Are there any restrictions on content?
We absolutely hate to put restrictions on artists, but there are a few things that could make it difficult for Austin Film Meet to promote or screen a film to public audiences. So, unfortunately, we cannot accept any screenplays with the following:
- No political propaganda or campaigning
- No excessive or gratuitous on-camera violence
- No overtly sexual content or extraneous sexual nudity
- No messages of hate – we are spreading love here, people!
There are also some things that could be too advanced for filmmakers to take on for this Challenge. If your screenplay contains one of the following, we suggest finding a way to remove it, write around it or submit a different screenplay.
- No dangerous stunts or overly-complicated fight scenes
- No complicated or time-consuming visual effects
- No complicated or overly time-consuming special effects
- No on-camera realistic weapons, explosions or fires
Is there anything else I should avoid?
Our filmmaking teams are advised to avoid screenplays that require more than one “special thing”. A “special thing” is anything that requires extra effort and attention beyond the standard shooting process. Just one “special thing” is acceptable, but more than one can cause complications. Some examples are:
- Child actor
- Realistic weapon
- Specialized or hard-to-find vehicle
- Specialized or hard-to-find location
- Airplane or train or bus – parked bus may be acceptable
- Shooting inside a moving vehicle – parked vehicles are acceptable
- Simple, uncomplicated fight scene
- Huge party scenes or anything requiring lots of extras – up to 2 extras is acceptable
- Expensive or rare props that cannot be made easily and cheaply
- Elaborate costumes, makeup or special effects makeup
- Simple special effect like a barfing scene or rain indoors
- Simple visual effect
Can I do anything else to improve my chances of my screenplay being produced in this program?
While your content does not need to be FOR children, we appreciate family-safe content, which means no cussing, no violence, no inappropriate sexual content, nothing a little kid should not see. This expands our screening options for the film.
Do I have to attend an in-person event to submit a screenplay?
You are not required to attend any Austin Film Meet events to submit a screenplay for consideration. However, our program includes many events designed to help Screenwriters.
How do I know if my screenplay is being considered by a Director or Producer?
Producers and/or Directors will contact Screenwriters directly and request edits or revisions.
If my screenplay is chosen for production, will I get to make any edits before production?
Yes! If your screenplay is chosen, you will be contacted by a producer and/or director who may ask you to make changes. After you and the Producer and/or Director complete changes and agree on a screenplay, the Production team can move forward with Pre-production.
Do I have to make the edit or change requests by the Directors and/or Producers who want to make my screenplay?
No, but we strongly suggest it. Writers are not required to make any changes if they are uncomfortable with those changes, but seeing as how filmmaking is a collaborative art form, we encourage you to remain open-minded.
I submitted a screenplay in 2023 that was not selected. Can I submit the same screenplay again this year?
Yes! All of the screenplay submissions automatically roll over into 2024. If you wish to withdraw your screenplay from consideration, please let us know.
If my screenplay is made, can I still produce it myself or sell it to someone else?
Yes! You may produce or sell any version of your script that is significantly different from the version that Austin Film Meet produces.
Should I include a Title page with my submission?
Yes! Please submit your screenplays with a title page. You will also need to include a log line, a list of characters with short descriptions, number of locations and your PDF screenplay, but not on the title page.
Is there anything else I should know?
Yes! Please read the Short Film Challenge FAQ for additional important information about our program that is not included here.
By submitting your screenplay, you agree to the following:
- You are the sole owner and creator of the submitted content.
- You will withdraw your screenplay should it become optioned or scheduled for production not in our program.
- Austin Film Meet may share that screenplay with our members and Short Film Challenge participants.
- Austin Film Meet may perform a table read of your screenplay.
- Austin Film Meet may use your screenplay for educational purposes.
Where do I submit my screenplay?
Please submit your screenplays via the link below or go here.
You will need to include a log line, a list of characters with short descriptions, number of locations and your PDF screenplay.