Austin Film Festival was the first organization of its kind to focus on the writer's creative contribution to film. Now entering its 31st year, AFF still hinges on its original mission: to further the art and craft of storytelling.

We love being able to do that with the next generation, which is why we have a FREE film competition for young filmmakers ages 13-18. At the Young Filmmakers Showcase, selected animated, documentary, and narrative short films from all around the world will play in front of the Austin Film Festival's Audience!

Selected filmmakers will receive two (2) Badges* to the 2024 Austin Film Festival and Writers Conference. For more information on the festival, which runs from October 24 - October 31, please visit

AFF’s appointed jury will award one (1) film the Young Filmmakers Program Jury Award. Only one (1) award will be given.**

*These badges are intended for an accredited writer of the film and his/her legal guardian.

** The winning filmmaker will be notified prior to the festival.

Open to filmmakers ages 13 – 18. Filmmakers must also be in middle school or high school during time of production to be eligible. Proof of enrollment required. Graduating high school before the start of Austin Film Festival does not disqualify any filmmaker.

Films must have been completed after April 1, 2023. Films must be available for screening during the Austin Film Festival, October 24 – October 31, 2024.

Selected films will play in the Young Filmmakers Showcase as part of the 30th annual Austin Film Festival. Selection for screening will be determined no later than one month prior to the festival.

Films should be 12 minutes or less.

There is no entry limit for the Young Filmmakers Competition. Students can submit multiple films until the application deadline.

Films will be judged based on narrative strength, strong characters, and filmmaking skill.

Film submissions must provide proof of enrollment (copy of student ID). Submissions without proof of enrollment will not be considered. To upload a copy of your student ID, go to 'My Projects' > 'View', then use the 'Files & Attachments' tool toward the lower right side of your Project Page to upload a copy of your student ID.

Overall Rating
  • This was awesome to screen our movie in Austin with so many other talented young filmmakers. My co-director Talin attended the fest and had a blast- we can't wait to hopefully screen again next year. Much love to you all and keep up the inspiring work :)

    February 2020
  • Max Shoham

    This was truly the experience and chance of a lifetime. I am honoured to have had my films screened, and so lucky to have "wavy head" selected as the youth jury prize. Austin is a fantastic city, too! You should visit, especially during the film festival. Thanks so Stefan and the whole team for making this an journey I will never forget.

    November 2018