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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


Damir Konjicija and Dario Konjicija

(L-R) Damir Konjicija and Dario Konjicija

Who: Brothers and comedy writing duo originally from Sarajevo, Bosnia, who resettled in Louisville, Kentucky to escape civil war, and now live in L.A. Currently staffed on CBS’s comedy The Great Indoors.

How did you break in or get your start in screenwriting?

We moved to Los Angeles without any industry contacts—our only option was to write our way in. So we neglected our personal lives, wrote nonstop and submitted to every writing contest, fellowship and program in town, until we won enough to finally get noticed. Our biggest break was getting accepted into the CBS Writers Mentoring Program, which opened many doors and launched our television writing career.

Who are some of your favorite screenwriters?

We’re huge fans of Neal Marlens and Carol Black, the creators of The Wonder Years, which is hands down our favorite television series. It pretty much inspires everything we write. We also admire Larry David, Greg Daniels and Tina Fey.

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

Meeting Peter Mehlman at a roundtable discussion was pretty surreal. We’re both big fans of Seinfeld, and hearing him recount his days in the writer’s room was incredible. What a hilarious, cool, generous guy—we could’ve talked to him all day.


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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