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.

The Fall 2023 event on Thursday October 26, 2023 will be held at Central Machine Works in East Austin. This is not a DCP venue and the DCP format is not required for this specific event. A .mp4 or .mov file that is 1920x1080 preferably 24 fps with stereo audio is the best format for this event.

(2024) 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 $50 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
  • Highly recommended to any and all.

    December 2023
  • Justin Nelson

    The Austin After Dark Film festival is extremely well run! Mikel the festival organizer is such a great person! If it is your first time submitting to a festival he takes great care to help you be ready for the event and always answers any questions you might have. The screenings are fun and the networking is always excellent. I was extremely honored to win Best Screenplay : Horror Short. I will definitely submit again

    November 2023
  • Tracie Jules

    Absolutely outstanding in communication, value, quality and hospitality (no, I did not win haha) and overall feel that I mattered as a screenwriter. What I also loved was how they rated my script with information for the screenwriter as well as a great website for me to keep up with. Because of my lupus I was not able to attend but I am entering again and I will win this one day :) Great job! Love this festival even though I did not win.

    November 2023
  • Had a terrific time attending the festival! Everything ran smoothly and the attendees were more approachable compared to other fests running in Austin. Will absolutely visit again even if I'm not presenting my work.

    November 2023
  • Jack Schneiderman

    It was such an awesome event and experience for not only ourselves as filmmakers but our entire cast and crew! We had such an awesome time especially with the overall fun environment and so well organized. It was great to meet some passionate filmmakers like us but also see some horror-themed films made it perfect. Thank you for the chance to showcase our work!

    November 2023