In order to further support its writers and filmmakers, Austin Film Festival, (AFF), also known as “The Writers Festival”, is pleased to announce new sponsors for its Screenplay, Film, and Scripted Digital Series Competitions. Sponsors will serve on the jury for their category and, schedules permitting, serve as panelists during AFF’s Screenwriters Conference and hold one-on-one meetings with finalists during or after the 23rd Annual Austin Film Festival, taking place this October 13-20. The International Documentary Association (IDA) will be the official sponsor of AFF’s Academy Award®-qualifying Documentary Short Competition. The IDA supports documentarians from around the world through education, funding, advocacy, and audience cultivation through public events. Digital entertainment company New Form Digital will serve as the official sponsor of AFF’s Scripted Digital Series Competition, a category that accepts both written and filmed series and celebrates talented voices that can translate their vision to an episodic format. Launched by Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, New Form Digital develops, produces, and distributes original scripted series from storytellers that they continually discover and recruit. POV, PBS’s award-winning documentary series, has once again signed on as the official sponsor of AFF’s Documentary Feature Competition. Created in 1988, POV’s programming features ground-breaking documentary storytelling, spotlighting works from established and up-and-coming filmmakers such as Jonathan Demme, Michael Apted, D.A. Pennebaker, Rachel Grady, and others. Seed&Spark, the popular crowdfunding and distribution platform, will sponsor AFF’s Narrative Feature Film Competition. “Austin [Film Festival] makes an incredible effort to educate filmmakers, to create an environment where they can share the diversity of their experiences,” Seed&Spark Founder and CEO Emily Best said. “In the past, we've been huge beneficiaries of being able to connect with the incredible creators who attend the festival. We're very excited to expand the diversity of voices funneling in to Austin Film Festival with this competition.” Sony Pictures Animation, the studio behind Hotel Transylvania 2, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, and The Smurfs will sponsor AFF’s Comedy Screenplay Category.
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