The Austin After Dark Film Festival is a seasonal event on the Film Festival Circuit that screens international independent films for a mature audience in Texas. This event was founded by author and retired filmmaker Mikel Fair who worked on location in the Film and Television industry from 1999-2015. Multiple short films are screened for a live audience. The Austin After Dark Film Festival judges are searching for films with "dark" subject matter in multiple genres. Horror Films, Dark Comedy, Dark Animation Films, Dark Drama and even Dark Science Fiction. This is the wrong festival to send your fun family G Rated films and screenplays too. The audience for this event wants a good variety of mature content that is not intended for viewers younger than 18.

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Award Categories For Films And Videos

Best Action Film
Best Acting Performance
Best Animated Film
Best Cinematography
Best Comedy Film
Best Dark Comedy Film
Best Dark Science Fiction Film
Best Documentary Film
Best Drama Film
Best Director
Best Editing
Best Ensemble Cast
Best Experimental Film
Best Horror Film
Best Horror Comedy Film
Best International Director
Best International Film
Best Mockumentary Film
Best Music Video
Best Proof of Concept
Best Series Episode
Best Texas Film
Most Original Concept

Award Categories For Screenplays

Best Comedy Feature Length Screenplay
Best Comedy Short Screenplay**
Best Dark Comedy Feature Length Screenplay
Best Dark Comedy Short Screenplay**
Best Drama Feature Length Screenplay
Best Drama Short Screenplay**
Best Dark Drama Feature Length Screenplay
Best Dark Drama Short Screenplay**
Best Horror Feature Screenplay
Best Horror Short Screenplay**
Best Horror Comedy Feature Length Screenplay
Best Horror Comedy Short Screenplay**
Best Dark Science Fiction Feature Length Screenplay
Best Dark Science Fiction Short Screenplay**
Best Texas Feature Length Screenplay
Best Texas Short Screenplay**
Best Comedy Series Full Length Episode
Best Comedy Series Short Episode**

**60 pages or less

All films are eligible, regardless if they have distribution or not. All films are eligible even if they have been accepted to other film festivals. All films and videos are eligible, regardless of when or where they were produced. Even if your film or documentary series is publicly available on YouTube or Vimeo, it is still eligible for submission.

All film screening at the Austin Film Society Cinema require files to be delivered in DCP 2k or 4k format. If your film is not in DCP format, please reach out to our vendor for a quote. Film Festival submission fees and DCP conversion fees are separate. The cost of any potential conversions is not covered by our festival. Please budget accordingly.

The submission fee does not include an event ticket fee if selected. Submission fees and event ticket fees are separate. The cost of attending this event is $35 for the entire day. Every attendee must have a ticket. There are no filmmaker passes.

The judges read and rate scripts for this specific competition only. Submitting to this film festival does not affect the ownership or copyright your screenplay or teleplay.

Overall Rating
  • I had a great experience at the 2022 Austin After Dark Film Festival - Spring event. Mikel and his team are very experienced, courteous, and welcoming. Furthermore, the venue they chose, the Austin Film Society, is a grand theater that projected my film, The Call, beautifully. I highly recommend this festival.

    September 2022
  • Bryan Sabillon

    Wonderful festival, them announcing the award winners before the screening was hype. Great experience, the dub really went a long way for my crew and I.

    August 2022
  • Ben Myers

    I had the pleasure of screening my film, " A Lone Star Love" and also winning Best Director this summer. Our producer was able to attend in my place, but Mikel did an amazing job with virtual outreach doing IG live interviews with the directors, and streaming the awards show online made it a ver connected experience. A great festival to be a part of!

    July 2022
  • What a fantastic event! I've often felt like my screenplays were made for a tougher, cooler audience than the readers and judges at most festivals, like the crowds at the movies I saw growing up in the 70s. And Mikel really delivered with the fabulous Austin After Dark Film Festival! I feel like these stories (CHEAP ACTION and my short script, THE STEWARD) finally found their audience! Thanks a zillion, Mikel, your notifications were always personal and up to date, and the design of the laurels is BEAUTIFUL, as are the certificates. The videos really made it look like the crowd there had fun, and got to mingle and meet with some other really creative people. I've enjoyed other festivals you've put on, but the Austin After Dark really made me feel at home. I hope I get to attend in person next year.

    July 2022
  • It was such a great experience participating in the Austin After Dark Film Festival. Thank you for nominating my short horror film, Riparian as an award finalist. Mikel is an amazing organizer and communicator.

    July 2022