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Austin Film Festival’s 25 Screenwriters to Watch in 2017, Presented by MovieMaker

Austin Film Festival’s 25 Screenwriters to Watch in 2017, Presented by MovieMaker


Juanjo Moscardó Rius

Who: Spanish writer of feature Family Games, released in 2016, and the upcoming Paella Today and Instant Love. His script The Road of Life was a finalist at the 2016 AFF Screenplay Competition.

What was a major turning point in your career?

When I decided to start writing with other screenwriters and directors, instead of doing it alone and then trying to sell my spec scripts to production companies. I’ve learned so much from my co-writers or directors, and the scripts are better for sure.

What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to write?

I had to rewrite Family Games after the director who had been hired decided to drop out, just three months before shooting. We had to rethink most of the scenes because we received just half of the budget. In the end I had to write a brand new script from scratch. And I pulled it off through work, work and more work.

What’s been your favorite experience at Austin Film Festival?

I saw Nancy Meyers speak and thought she’d be the perfect director for the American remake of Family Games. So I armed myself with courage and greeted her at the Driskill Hotel bar. I pitched my movie, and she absolutely loved it. We talked all night long… Obviously, none of this happened. I did not approach her. I am a screenwriter—I’m shy.


1. Jono Matt and Glen Powell 2. Ryan Piers Williams 3. Etta Devine and Gabriel Diani 4. Lena Khan 5. Trey Selman 6. Tracy Oliver 7. Justin Lader and Charlie McDowell 8. Clint Bentley and Greg Kwedar 9. Damir Konjicija and Dario Konjicija 10. Juanjo Moscardó Rius 11. Ben Snyder and Ari Issler 12. Kyle Bugg 13. Jimmy Mosqueda 14. Michael Noonan 15. Geeta Malik 16. Josh Barkey 17. Nicholas Verso 18. Minhal Baig 19. Henry Jones 20. Kevin Arbouet 21. Megan Park 22. Wes Brown 23. Louisiana Kreutz 24. Kate Nowlin 25. Elizabeth Guest

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  1. Conspicuous by their absence are such stellar screenplay writers as Buck Henry (“The Graduate”), Robert Downey, Sr. (“Putney Swope”), Penny Lane (Nuts”)and Ben and Dan Barnz.

  2. Congratulations to all these writers! Knowing Ben Synder, who has worked with me on a scripts, I want to particularly congratulate him and Ari Lssler for achieving this endeavor in the ‘Storyworld’ of Cinema!

    Spiderwood Productions / Tommy G Warren, Writer, Producer.

  3. James Mayfield says:

    Very inspiring stuff. Loved to learn how these guys and gals got their big breaks, especially those who had little to no contact in LA. Sort of inspiring, and it kind of makes you forget, if only for a moment, that many screenwriters work less than minimum wage. There’s hope!

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