2015 Austin Film Festival Award Winners



Austin Film Festival (AFF), the premier Festival to recognize the writer’s contribution to film, is pleased to announce its 2015 Jury and Hiscox Audience and Courage Award Winners in Film, as well as the Screenplay & Teleplay Competition winners.


The following Jury award winners were selected by category:


  • Narrative Feature: The Exile, written by Arturo Ruiz Serrano
  • Documentary Feature: Monsterman, directed by Antti Haase
  • Comedy Vanguard Feature: Baby, Baby, Baby, written by Brian Klugman
  • Dark Matters Feature: Sunny Side Up, written by Willem Bosch
  • Dark Matters Feature Honorable Mention: The Lion’s Path, written by Sophie-Anne Beaudry
  • Narrative Short: Vainilla, written by Susana López Rubio
  • Narrative Student Short: Kimi Kabuki, written by Yoko Okumura
  • Documentary Short: Chau, Beyond the Lines, directed by Courtney Marsh
  • Animated Short: The Meek, written by Joe Brumm
  • Scripted Digital Series: School Nurse, created by Tom Beach, Laura Boersma, and John Stewart Muller


After each Festival screening, audiences voted for the Hiscox Audience Awards, recognizing film favorites among the 2015 slate.

The following Hiscox Audience Award winners were selected by category:


  • Narrative Feature: Keep In Touch, written by Sam Kretchmar and Michael Covino
  • Documentary Feature: Mully directed by Scott Haze
  • Documentary Feature Honorable Mention: Of Dogs and Men directed by Michael Ozias
  • Dark Matters Feature:Reparation written by Kyle Ham and Steve Timm
  • Comedy Vanguard Feature: Baby, Baby, Baby written by Brian Klugman
  • Narrative Short: Best Wishes from Millwood written by Max Baker
  • Documentary Short: The Trials of Constance Baker Motley directed by Rick Rodgers
  • Animated Short: The Present written by Fabio Cavalcanti and Jacob Frey
  • Narrative Student Short: Amateur Dictator written by Zach Carver
  • Scripted Digital Series: Master Class created by Justin Wright Neufeld
  • Heart of Film: A Single Frame directed by Brandon Dickerson
  • Stories From Abroad: El Jeremías written by Ana Sofía Clerici
  • Texas Independent: Jack’s Apocalypse written by Will Moore
  • Marquee Feature: Until 20 directed by Jamila Paksima and written by Geraldine Moriba


One film was selected to receive the inaugural Hiscox Courage Award. Voted on by the audience, the Hiscox Courage Award is presented to the film that best embodies the virtue of courage and to the filmmaker who best embraced the risk to share the story. The first ever Courage Award went to Jamila Paksima’s and Geraldine Moriba’s Until 20, the story of Texan James Ragan’s quest to live a full and meaningful life despite his terminal battle with osteosarcoma.

“Hiscox was honored to support Austin Film Festival and all of the inspirational films, filmmakers and subjects that made the week so special,” said Ben Walter, CEO of Hiscox USA. “We’re grateful to give the first Hiscox Courage Award to Until 20 and hope more people will be able to share the courageous life and story of James Ragan depicted in this film.”

In continuation of AFF’s mission to find and support independent filmmakers, three films were already picked up for distribution at this year’s Festival including Comedy Vanguard 3rd Street Blackout, The Teller and the Truth picked up by FilmBuff, and James Franco’s Memoria which was acquired by Monterey Media.

"Austin Film Festival is an exceptional source for a true audience reaction for independent films,” said Jere Rae-Mansfield, CFO & Managing Partner of Monterey Media. “We are so pleased to join them in our acquisition news.”


The following Screenplay Competition winners were selected by category:


  • Drama Screenplay Award presented by the Writers Guild of America, East: Detroit by Robert Rue
  • Comedy Screenplay Award: Maxwell 2.0 by Paul Sanford
  • Enderby Entertainment Award: The Great Debate by David Hoffman
  • Darkwoods Productions Sci-Fi Award: The Innkeeper by Michael Catinari
  • Horror Award: 77 Minutes by Shani Grewal
  • AMC One-Hour Teleplay Pilot Award: Friend of the Devil by Michael Ouellette
  • Sitcom Teleplay Pilot Award: Newsperson by Michael Drake
  • Short Screenplay Award: The New World by Brian Rawlins
  • Scripted Digital Series Award: Creepypasta by Will Zech& Alex Cope
  • One-Hour Teleplay Spec Award: The Americans: Custody by Larry Caldwell
  • Sitcom Teleplay Spec Award: Workaholics: Bring Your Kid To Work Day by Greg Brainos