Who Is Running This Festival?
The Screenwriting Expo Film Festival is being produced by Creative
Magazine and the Screenwriting Expo. Creative Screenwriting is
the word’s most widely read and most respected independent magazine
covering movie and TV filmmaking. The Screenwriting Expo, which
will run concurrently with the film festival, is the world’s largest
and most prestigious annual meeting on movie and TV screenwriting.
Who May Enter:
In this festival, the writer-director is the entrant if the writer and
director are the same. The
director does not need to be one of the writers, but this is
encouraged. Any narrative feature film or
short narrative film completed since January 1, 2010, which does not
have a U.S. distribution and has not had a theatrical run in Los
Angeles is eligible.
Films which have been distributed outside the U.S. but have not been
distributed or theatrically released in the U.S are also eligible.
Who Is Expected to Attend:
Film buyers, film financiers, studio executives and major production
company executives are being invited as special guests.
Tickets are available to the public and to registrants at the annual
The Screenwriting Expo Film Festival is a new festival celebrating
The festival will be held Sept. 15-18, 2011, with the principal
screening venue being the theater on the second floor of the Westin at
Los Angeles Airport, 5400 West Century Blvd., Los Angeles California
90045 USA. If there is a sufficient number of entries, the
festival will use additional venues.
How To Enter:
First, it’s important to read the rules and guidelines. Then,
any “Enter” link to go to the entry
page. From there, you can enter at Withoutabox online or download
printable entry form.
How To Attend And See Films:
Certain film industry VIPs (film buyers and financiers, studio and
major production company execs) will be invited as special
Everyone else, please support the festival by buying tickets. They’‘re
incredibly low-priced: $29.95 for the full four days or $19.95 for a
single day’s screenings -- with a steep discount for
Screenwriting Expo registrants.
Paid registrants at the Screenwriting Expo receive a special discount:
$9.95 for all four days.
To buy tickets, please click any “Attend” link and follow the
Why the Screenwriting Expo Film Festival?
As you probably know, the word “Screenwriting Expo” is French for
Briefly: this festival exists to celebrate writers and directors, who
we believe are, in most cases, collectively the true “authors” and
filmmakers of a film.
To see the long version of our reasons for this festival, scroll down
below the “FAQ” to our brief essay, “Screenwriting Expo Theory, Revised
– Why The
Screenwriting Expo Film Festival”
The Screenwriting Expo Festival does not requirem but encourages,
submissions in which
the writer or
one of the writers is also the director of the film. In the
future, we may add separate award divisions for writers and
The idea behind this focus is to seek and give exposure to emerging (or
emerged elsewhere but not yet in the U.S.) stars of the future of
We specifically solicit new feature and short narrative films which are
– international entries which may have made a
theatrical debut in other countries, but are not yet known to U.S.
– U.S. films which have not yet found their way to
U.S. theatrical deals and release.
Q. What is the
A. The Screenwriting Expo Film Festival is a new, independent film
runs concurrently with the annual Screenwriting Expo, the world’s
largest and most prestigious meeting devoted to screenwriters and
screenwriting. The festival is here to introduce the work of
up-and-coming writers and
filmmakers to the largest possible audience, including some of
Hollywood‘s most influential producers and agents.
Q. When is the festival?
In 2011, it is September 15-18, 2011
Q. Where will the festival take
In 2011, it is in the auditorium at the Westin Los Angeles Airport
Hotel, 5400 W. Century Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90045. It is
possible that some additional screenings will be held in ballrooms.
Q. Where can I see a list of
panelists who plan to attend?
All panels will be part of the Screenwriting Expo. The Film
Festival will not schedule panels competing with Screenwriting Expo
sessions. There will be more than 100 sessions at the
Screenwriting Expo on every aspect of screenwriting, as well as
directing, and career advice. For the full program, see http://screenwritingexpo.com/
Q. Do the Screenwriting
the Screenwriting Expo Film Festival take place at the same time?
Yes, and in the same location, the Westin Los Angeles Airport Hotel,
5400 W. Century Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90045.
Q. How do I buy a ticket
Screenwriting Expo Film Festival Awards Luncheon?
Tickets are available at http://Screenwriting
Q. How many films will be shown?
The festival will show at least 27 hours of films, including shorts and
feature-length films; at least 10 feature-length films and 10 shorts
will be shown.
Q. At what times to the films
Start tiimes wil be between 9 a..m. and 8 p.m. on each day of the
Q. What kinds of films does
Screenwriting Expo Film Festival screen?
Two. Feature-length narrative films and narrative shorts.
Q. Can I volunteer at the
Yes. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Revised: Why The Screenwriting Expo Film Festival
We considered calling this festival "The Auteur Film Fest" because it
focuses on rewarding the true "auteurs" (French for “author”) of
independent and world film: writers and directors. Our use of the
term "auteur" or "author" is just a bit different from the originator
of the phrase. The "auteur theory" of filmmaking was first
a French film critic -- the great writer-director Francois Truffault,
a theorist and critic before he became a filmmaker.
Truffault’s theory, first advanced in an article in his mentor Andre
Bazin’s Cahiers du Cinema,
the “author” of the
film. He cited the work of such great directors as Jean Renoir
and Albert Hitchcock. His theory was imported to the U.S.
by, among others, the Village Voice critic Andrew Sarris. It
sought to explain the consistencies in styles, themes, and creative
content across a director’s work by concluding that the director was
the true “author” – that is, creator – of a film.
If the only Truffault you know is his role as scientist Claude Lacombe
in Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind, may we
suggest some of our favorite Truffault films, --The 400 Blows,
which kicked off the French New Wave of cinema, or Jules and Jim, or
Day for Night (which won a Best Foreign Film Oscar, or the delightful
Small Change, which was nominated for a Golden Globe for best foreign
Not So Fast...
Notwithstanding our great admiration for Truffault, we think he had it
a bit wrong. The great New Yorker (and, incongruously, TV Guide)
critic Pauline Kael strongly disagreed with the Auteur theory. So
did the great American writer Joan Didion, who once wrote (we
paraphrase) that if you want to know who the real author of a film is,
look at the deal memo.
One of Hollywood’s most vivid illustrations of Didion’s point was the
very public fight that Terry Gilliam had with Universal chairman Sid
Scheinberg over the various versions of Brazil – a battle which
illustrates vividly that the exertion of control over the final
cut significantly affects who is the final “author” of a
film. Scheinberg got his way with a U.S. release of a
consumer-friendly version with a happy ending. It didn’t sell
well despite the happy ending. Hardly can one call Terry Gilliam
the “author” of that version; if anyone was its author, Scheinberg and
his rewrite staff were. In retrospect, Scheinberg would have been
better served to accept Gilliam’s darker version, a retelling of
“1984,” for that is the “Brazil” we remember as a great work of
cinema. In all likelihood, no version would have made the studio
Brazil further complicates the question of who is the real author when
one considers its three screenwriters: Gilliam, Charles McKeown, and
the great screenwriter and playwright Tom Stoppard. Both Gilliam
and Stoppard have long and brilliant records as screenwriters. So
what would Brazil have been without Stoppard’s participation?
And what was Charles McKeown's contribution? There is no
easy way to tell.
So who is (or more often, are) the real author(s) of any particular
film? The truth is that unless you are there during the writing,
shooting, and editing, you don’t know – and even then, the degree to
which each major creative contributor “authored” the film is
However, generally speaking (and in the view of this festival), most
often true authorship is some combination of the writer and the
director -- usually with some input and influence of whomever was brave
enough to put up the money.
In the future, we plan to have award divisions in the future separately
celebrating writers, writers-directors, and directors. If
we hear enough of a clamor for a writers-only and/or a directors/only
division, we will consider adding them this year. Certainly in
So welcome to the Screenwriting Expo Film Festival, a celebration of
creators of our movies, the writer and the director – and whomever was
brave enough to put up the money!