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 Austin Film Festival & Writers Conference (AFF), the premier film festival recognizing the writers’ contributions to film, television, and new media, announced today their third annual “25 Screenwriters to Watch” in partnership with MovieMaker Magazine. Released on both the MovieMaker and AFF websites, as well as in print on the forthcoming Spring issue of MovieMaker Magazine, this list features 25 screenwriters or writing teams at different points in their career, each of whom are on the verge of further success.
This list marks the third collaboration between AFF and MovieMaker. Last year’s 25 Screenwriters to Watch in 2017 list featured myriad screenwriters who have since gone on to write notable works, including Tracy Oliver, who wrote the surprise comedy hit Girls Trip, which grossed over $100 million at the US box office last year. Additionally, Henry Jones, who also appeared on the 2017 list, is currently writing the pilot to a show he recently sold to Amazon and writing partners Etta Devine and Gabriel Diani had their script about the rise of Google acquired by See-Saw Films after appearing on the Black List.

The Screenwriters to Watch in 2018 include:

Cylin Busby & Nanci Katz – Busby, a best-selling, award-winning children’s author, and Katz, an American Film Institute graduate, wrote their first screenplay, Rebecca and Quinn Get Scared, which became a comedy finalist at AFF 2017.
Scooter Corkle – Vancouver-based writer-director whose feature Hollow in the Land starring Dianna Agron (Glee, Novitiate) saw an international theatrical release in 2017.
Darren Curtis – Founder of the comedy collective Kidnapper Films, which wrote, acted, directed, and starred in shorts inspired by Canadian legends The Kids in the Hall. Co-produced the feature Who is KK Downey? before directing his solo debut, Boost.
Laura Hainke – Began her career in VFX, working on films such as Hellboy before joining Pixar Animation Studios. Her feature screenplay for Suicide Boy won the 2014 AFF Enderby Entertainment Award.
Josh Hallman – Attended school in Milwaukee, Wisconsin before moving to Los Angeles with no plan but to “make movies.” Job-hopped before making shorts and online content. His in-development projects include Father-Daughter Day and Rent A White Guy.
Caroline Hopkins – Graduated from Michigan State University in 2007 with a B.A. in English, was a high school teacher in Sacramento, California, and won the AFF 2017 Drama Screenplay award.
Ru Kuwahata & Max Porter – Baltimore-based filmmaking duo. Collaborators for over a decade as Tiny Inventions, they’ve directed commercials, music videos, and shorts, including the Oscar-nominated “Negative Space.”
Jardine Libaire – Writer, who’s adapting her most recent novel White Fur into a TV series with FilmNation Entertainment and director Drake Doremus.
Richard Lowe – AFF 2013 Comedy Pilot Semifinalist for Education, Secondary and AFF 2016 Comedy Pilot Finalist for Growing Up Dictator. Writer on Dr. Ken and Walk the Prank; editor on The Good Fight, as well as host/producer of the podcast Pulling Your Hair Out: Conversations About the Writing Process.
Britta Lundin – A TV writer, novelist, and comic book writer, currently writing for Riverdale on The CW. Her Y.A. novel Ship It, about a teen fan fiction writer who yearns for more from her favorite TV show, will be published May 2018.
Pat Mills – His feature debut Guidance had its world premiere at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival before being bought by Strand Releasing. His screenplay Don’t Talk to Irene won AFF’s Comedy Screenplay Award before being made and premiering at TIFF 2017.
Corey Moore – A docu-series TV writer and award-winning broadcast journalist who wrote for Crime Watch Daily with Chris Hansen, and worked as head story producer for Corrupt Crimes.
Bruno Mourral, Jasmuel Andri, and Gilbert Mirambeau Jr. – Founders of Muska Films in 2015. Mourral will be directing Kidnapping Inc. (co-written by Mourral, Andri, and Mirambeau, Jr.) this year; Andri is a copywriter for Muska Group; Mirambeau Jr. is head writer and producer for Muska Productions.
Andrew Reuland & Joey Grossfield – Long-time friends and collaborators based in New York City. Their short “Lightning in The Hand” competed at AFF 2014, screened at over 40 festivals, and won 11 awards. Their feature script Apacheria won the Enderby Entertainment Award at AFF 2017, and participated in the No Borders International Co-Production Market section of IFP Film Week 2017.
Robert Rue – New York City-based screenwriter, teacher, and basketball coach whose script Detroit won the Drama category at AFF 2015. Now titled Roar, the project is in development, and Rue is currently negotiating an option deal on his high school basketball script Knowing Jack.
Monica Santis – A director writing her first feature, based on her award-winning short “Hacia el Sol (Towards the Sun)”
Caitlin Schneiderhan – Her work has placed in the PAGE International Screenwriting Awards, the Cinequest Teleplay Competition, the Screencraft Pilot Launch TV Script Contest, and The Bitch List. Showrunners’ assistant on Netflix’s Stranger Things.
Hanneke Schutte – Award-winning South African writer-director whose feature Meerkat Moonship had its North American premiere at AFF. Her Willem Dafoe-starring short “Saving Norman” was produced by Dana Brunetti and Kevin Spacey.
Gabrielle Shepard – A writer, director, and producer based in Los Angeles, now in the festival circuit for her projects “Queen” and “Candid” as a part of the AT&T Hello Lab Mentorship Program, under mentor Octavia Spencer.
Lauren Shippen – Writer and creator of the popular podcast The Bright Sessions. She also voice acts, reads, and writes Y.A. fiction.
Caleb Slain – Writer, director, VR Prospector, and co-creator of the app Flowstate.
Michael Soll – Born and raised in the San Fernando Valley. Graduated from UCLA with a degree in International Relations. He was a 2016 AFF Finalist for his screenplay Catalyst, currently in pre-production.
Tess Sweet & Dan Gambelin – Writer-director, lover of dark comedy, and recovering drug addict. She received her MFA in directing from UCLA, and partnered with Gambelin, who has worked as a paramedic firefighter for 25 years.
Jenny Turner Hall – A producer, writer, and director, known for the podcast The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel, which has just been optioned for TV, as well as a serialized novel.
Greg Wayne – He wrote for some of the lowest-budget shows in Canadian TV history before becoming head writer of a Toronto advertising agency. Joining the American Film Institute Conservatory brought him to L.A. and deepened his love for cinema.
More information on these screenwriters can be found at,, or the print issue of MovieMaker Magazine, released May 1st.



Austin Film Festival (AFF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to furthering the art, craft and business of writers and filmmakers and recognizing their contributions to film, television and new media. AFF champions the work of aspiring and established writers and filmmakers by providing unique cultural events and services, enhancing public awareness and participation, and encouraging dynamic and long-lasting community partnerships.  This project is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department and the Texas Commission on the Arts.
As part of the AFF mission, the On Story Project has shared rich and entertaining conversations about the power of storytelling with audiences around the world for free on public media. At no charge, film and TV lovers can access all past and current episodes of On Story in its various formats. Funding for the arts in public media is at an all-time low, and while AFF covers a significant portion of the budget; it can’t do it alone so AFF has started a crowdfunding campaign to raise $75,000 by May 10th. Any participation in this creative project will help pay for production and post-production costs—shooting, animation fees, editing, sound mixing, etc.—investments that will further improve the quality of programming and help AFF continue to bring On Story to audiences worldwide for free. To find out more visit


MovieMaker Magazine is the world’s leading independent movie magazine. The magazine’s editorial, as well as that of companion website, is a progressive mix of in-depth interviews and criticism, combined with practical techniques and advice on financing, distribution and production strategies. Behind-the-scenes discussions with Hollywood’s top moviemakers, as well as independents from around the globe, are routinely found in MovieMaker’s pages. MovieMaker is a quarterly

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