AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL (AFF), the premier film festival recognizing writers’ and filmmakers’ contributions to film, television, and new media, is continuing its 30 years of support for screenwriters. Austin Film Festival is committed to supporting screenwriters at all levels, including our long-standing partnership with the WGA in their ongoing strike.
Austin Film Festival is excited to announce that writing partners SCOTT ALEXANDER & LARRY KARASZEWSKI will attend this year’s Festival to receive the 2023 Bill Wittliff Award for Screenwriting. Previous recipients include Buck Henry (1997), Lawrence Kasdan (2001), Frank Pierson (2003), Nancy Meyers (2016), and Scott Frank (2021). Alexander and Karaszewski’s partnership led to prominent films and television such as ED WOOD (1994), THE PEOPLE VS. LARRY FLYNT (1996), MAN ON THE MOON (1999), and AMERICAN CRIME STORY: THE PEOPLE V. O.J. SIMPSON (2016).
Alexander and Karaszewski met when they were freshman roommates at USC’s School of Cinema. On a whim, they wrote a screenplay during their senior year, which sold a week after graduation. They are best known for writing very unusual biopics with larger-than-life characters. They wrote the highly-acclaimed ED WOOD, for which they were nominated for Best Screenplay by the Writers Guild. They followed this with THE PEOPLE VS. LARRY FLYNT, for which they won the Golden Globe for Best Screenplay, as well as a special Writers Guild award for civil rights and liberties. They scripted the extremely postmodern MAN ON THE MOON, the life story of Andy Kaufman. They wrote BIG EYES, the strange-but-true story of Margaret and Walter Keane, for which they received an Indie Spirit Best Screenplay nomination. For their first television project, they created the hit miniseries AMERICAN CRIME STORY: THE PEOPLE V. O.J. SIMPSON, for which they won the Emmy, Golden Globe, PGA and WGA Award for Best Limited Series. Their most recent film, DOLEMITE IS MY NAME, is the celebrated tale of Rudy Ray Moore.
Other than biopics, Alexander and Karaszewski are quite eclectic. They wrote the hit Stephen King adaptation 1408. They produced the Bob Crane biopic AUTO FOCUS, and they wrote and directed the comedy SCREWED. They have also written numerous family films, including PROBLEM CHILD, PROBLEM CHILD 2, AGENT CODY BANKS, and GOOSEBUMPS.
Alexander, a native of Los Angeles, started his Hollywood career toiling on low-budget horror films as a music editor. As a director, his work has appeared on MTV and Nickelodeon. He also wrote for HBO’s TALES FROM THE CRYPT and the television series MONSTERS, which he directed. Scott is a Mentor in the USC School of Cinema, and he’s served four terms on the Writers Guild’s Board of Directors. He has volunteered as a Sundance Writing Lab advisor numerous times, as well as teaching at writing workshops around the world. Scott is married, with three children.
Karaszewski, born and raised in South Bend, Indiana, worked as a film critic for an NBC affiliate’s nightly news program, as well as writing and directing BEYOND OUR CONTROL, a weekly half-hour satirical television show. Larry is an active Los Angeles cineaste and is the Vice President of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. His humorous commentaries on cult movies can be seen at TrailersFromHell.com.