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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


Megan Park

Who: Actress best known for her role on teen show The Secret Life of the American Teenager. Her first short, “Lucy In Her Eyes,” won the AFF Jury Award in 2016. Currently working on a TV series optioned by a major network.

What are some of the biggest lessons you’ve learned?

It’s the scariest thing to send a script to your team or to people to read. It’s much more vulnerable even than doing an audition because in acting, you can always fall back on other people’s words, the director, the casting director… but with writing your own work, it’s all you. If something isn’t working, you need to fix it.

What was a major turning point in your career?

Winning the Grand Jury Prize at AFF. I got signed as a director commercially. Even more than getting something optioned by a studio, being an ‘award-winning’ writer gave me some credibility.

What are some of your favorite movies?

I love Sofia Coppola’s movies. She was my biggest inspiration in becoming a director. Melanie Laurant’s Respire was a huge inspiration for me. I also love Wes Anderson’s movies. Obvious Child is a recent favorite. I love female coming-of-age stories.


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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