StudioFest is a first-of-its-kind film festival, offering the winners a chance to make their debut feature film, backed and supported by experienced industry professionals.

Five directors and five screenwriters will be flown to beautiful Austin, Texas for a weekend getaway with experienced industry professionals and the StudioFest team. At the end of the weekend, one director and one screenwriter will be given the opportunity to partner with StudioFest to create the winners' debut feature film.

Winning director will be offered percent gross profits of final film product in accordance to talent contribution and film valuation, starting at no less than 5%.

Winning screenwriter will be offered percent gross profits of final film product in accordance to talent contribution and film valuation, starting at no less than 5%.

Finalists' room and board while at StudioFest Austin will be fully covered and travel costs will be reimbursed up to $300 USD.


The following rules govern all film submissions to StudioFest Austin (the “Festival”)

General Eligibility

1. Submissions must be accompanied by the applicable submission fee PER ENTRY and a completed online entry form.

2. Short film submissions must be under 30 minutes in length. Feature-length screenplay submissions must be between 60 and 120 pages in length.

3. All films must be in English or have English subtitles at the time submitted. All screenplays must be in English.

4. Films must be submitted as an online streaming video via a participating submission platform (FilmFreeway) or a password-protected streaming URL.

5. In the event of a password change or link change after submitting, you must email the Festival at immediately with that change so we may update your record. If the Festival is not notified of the change and the link is found to be inactive or the password to be incorrect, the submission may be deemed ineligible.

6. StudioFest Austin screens films as digital files during the Festival and does NOT screen films on Blu-Ray, HD-CAM, or DCP. If you are unable or unwilling to provide us your film as a digital file for exhibition, DO NOT SUBMIT your film.

7. Films must be available for screening during StudioFest Austin, September 18 - 20, 2020.

8. Films that have been submitted to a StudioFest Event in previous years are eligible to be resubmitted, provided they are eligible according to all of StudioFest’s current rules.

9. Films with US distribution (obtained prior to being selected for StudioFest Austin's screening) or films produced, financed or initiated by a major film studio or television network are ineligible for competition, but may be considered for a special screening. Selection for screening will be determined no later than one month prior to the festival. Films that have screened on US network or cable television or distributed to theaters prior to the festival dates are also ineligible for competition.

10. Filmmakers that have directed a feature film are not eligible for competition. Screenwriters that have had a feature length screenplay of their creation produced are not eligible for competition.

11. We prefer that short films not be publicly available online.

12. StudioFest Austin reserves the right in its sole discretion to reject or disqualify any ineligible entries, without a refund.

13. Films that are selected to screen at the Festival may not necessarily be selected to be “in competition” for awards purposes. Notifications regarding potential selection for competition status may occur subsequent to notifications of acceptance for exhibition.

Originality and Permissions; INDEMNITY

1. Films must be the original work of the applicants. If a film is based upon another person’s life or upon a book or other underlying work, applicant(s) must secure any necessary rights to make such adaptations. However, it is not necessary to submit the adaptation rights agreements to the Festival. Neither the Festival nor its jurists investigates or attests to the authenticity of an applicant’s statement of authorship or rights secured. By entering the competition, you represent that you have secured all necessary rights.

2. Applicants are solely responsible for obtaining all necessary rights and permissions for third-party materials included in their films, including but not limited to music, trademarks, logos, copyrights, and other intellectual property rights. StudioFest Austin expressly disclaims all liability or responsibility for any violations of the foregoing.

Additional Information

1. We strongly encourage filmmakers to submit their film only after it is fully finished and will judge each submission as a completed work, whether it is or not. Once a film is entered, we will not update the submission with a more recent cut. That said, because StudioFest Austin’s focus is on story, minor technical changes will not affect the final decision of any film. Should the film be accepted to play during the Festival, the filmmaker will have the opportunity to supply the Festival with their most recent version.

2. Once an entry payment has been received we cannot provide a refund. If a payment is disputed by an entrant for any reason, the entrant may be subject to any transaction fees or similar amounts incurred by StudioFest Austin in connection with the dispute.

3. You MUST include your physical address either in your entry or in your cover letter. Please do not submit a film without giving us your address, which we need for our records.

4. Payments made with a check are subject to our Bounced Check Policy: If we receive a returned check from our bank for a payment you made, you will be invoiced for the original amount of the check plus a $25 bounced check fee. The payment of the invoiced amount will be due within 30 days of invoice date. We will not re-submit the original check, nor will we accept another check for repayment. Repayment must be made by money order or cashier’s check.

Selected Films and Winners

1. Finalists will be compensated in the form of Room and Board during their stay at the Festival. Each finalist will be entitled to travel compensation in the value of up to $300 USD.

2. Winners will be offered the opportunity to partner with StudioFest in the production of the winners' debut feature film. StudioFest Austin intends to financially back the production with a micro-budget (50 thousand dollars). StudioFest additionally will seek to augment the quality of the production through partnerships and sponsorships with other filmmaking entities.

3. StudioFest Austin has no obligation (other than as stated in these rules or on our website) to disclose any of the following information: i) identities of screeners or judges; ii) notes, feedback, or information relating to the submitted project; and/or iii) details regarding the submission review or selection process.

4. StudioFest Austin explicitly disclaims any liability or responsibility for any comments, notes, or opinions expressed about a submission, whether by StudioFest Austin or by its volunteers.

5. Winners will be announced on August 23rd, 2020. The judges’ decision is final.

6. Winners receiving cash prizes are solely responsible for payment of all applicable local, state, and federal taxes.


DVDs and press materials will not be returned under any circumstances. Include a self-addressed, stamped postcard for each submission if you wish acknowledgment of the receipt of your entry.



I/We have read all of the rules, understand, and have complied with these rules.

I/We warrant the submission of my/our original work and that there are no disputes regarding the ownership of the submission.

I/We also warrant the submitted material does not defame or invade the rights of any person living or dead.

To the best of my/our knowledge, all the statements herein are true and correct.

I/We understand that failure to adhere to the competition rules and regulations will result in disqualification and forfeiture of entry fee.

I/We acknowledge that once an entry payment has been processed, StudioFest Austin will not provide a refund.

No revisions of materials will be accepted once entry has been submitted.


Overall Rating
  • Rachel Thomas-Medwid

    A unique first-class festival experience! It almost seems wrong to call it a “festival” since it’s like nothing out there. I was honored and excited to be one the finalists this year and the experience exceeded my (already high) expectations! Jess and Charles are truly invested not only in the well-orchestrated weekend of events but all of the finalists and their futures. It was an exceptional opportunity to network and collaborate (not to mention a whole lot of fun) with the amazing opportunity for two finalists to make a feature! I can’t say enough great things about this…submit submit submit, you won't regret it!

    September 2019
  • Rachel Annette Helson

    Filmmakers, submit to this festival!

    Not only is it a great opportunity for a winning pair to make their debut feature, but it also provides an intimate, low-stress, fun environment to meet and network with other filmmakers + writers.

    As a someone who directs but does not write, I have been on the lookout for talented writers that can help me turn some concepts into scripts. StudioFest provided a unique opportunity to meet gifted writers, hear their work and get to know them over the jam-packed weekend!

    Jess, Charles and the rest of the StudioFest team put on a great festival! Submit!

    September 2019
  • One of the greatest film festival experiences of my life.

    November 2018
  • Incredible experience. Apply to this festival!!

    October 2018
  • Millie Rose Heywood

    I could not have been more excited to be a part of StudioFest's inaugural festival in Phoenicia. I truly feel it is a game-changer in the festival world. It's not just about showcasing your work as an emerging writer or director, but also providing an opportunity for the winning writer and director to actually create your first feature film, with the guidance and support of StudioFest and it's curators Charles and Jess.
    Regardless of whether the finalists are awarded the top prize, the networking opportunities amongst fellow contestants and judges alike, industry exposure, and the joyful summer camp vibe with three amazing days in the Catskills at the super funky Graham and Co Hotel makes this an unrivaled festival experience. Just by being there, to be recognized as one of five directors chosen from around the world to compete, I felt like I'd already won, and I've found some amazing collaborators who I cannot wait to work with in future.
    Could not recommend this festival highly enough and will be letting EVERYONE in my community know about it.

    September 2018