The Austin Film Festival takes place every year in mid-October with a strong focus on screenwriting and emphasizing storytelling with screenings, panels, and workshops – so it’s no surprise that Dodge had no less than 3 short films and one feature script finalist in this year’s event!

As I got to the main hub of the festival, The Driskill Hotel in downtown Austin, I was thrilled to see Dodge represented front and center alongside other films (Kendall Goldberg’s SWIPE RIGHT).

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I was able to attend a number of great shorts screenings and panels on the changing game of distribution and what it takes to put together a feature film these days from the financing standpoint. The first night at the Driskill I was able to network with many screenwriters who were impressed to hear that a Dodge student, Kate Brogden, had entered into the finalist round at the festival for her script SOMETHING’S WRONG WITH PETER – many professional screenwriters struggled to make it into the 2nd round or semi-finals, let alone finals. The competition at Austin is stiff and Kate made the cut!

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Kendall’s screening of SWIPE RIGHT at the Galaxy, a quaint old-timey Cineplex, was a resounding success with some of the loudest cheers of the night coming for her film!

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Austin and Westin Ray’s screening in the unique Digital Series category of their film THE LISTENING BOX also went over well with audiences who directed many questions to their team, including their “dreamy” lead actor who some of you may recognize from one of Dodge’s most successful short films, INTO THE SILENT SEA which premiered at Telluride Film Festival back in 2013. Paulina Bugembe’s THE HOMECOMING also played the festival in another screening.

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I couldn’t leave Austin without trying some of their world-famous barbecue– this is from the food truck La Barbecue, highly recommended.

Congratulations to all of the students involved in this year’s Austin Film Festival and make sure to get your thesis submissions ready for next year! Check out the student projects here: