Local Filmmaker Reaches Final in Austin, Texas

Local filmmaker shortlisted for top screenwriting competition

Filmmaker Michael Rowney has been announced as a finalist for a prestigious screenwriting competition in America.

It was revealed this week that Michael, 22, has been shortlisted in the Short Screenplay category of the Austin Screenwriting Competition after almost 9,000 writers entered their scripts earlier this year. Michael’s script will now go head-to-head with four other contestants for the top prize.

The nomination comes after Michael, who lives in Burgess Hill, established a film production partnership entitled Rowney Brothers Motion Pictures with his brother and award-winning director, Matthew Rowney earlier this year.

In April, Michael was also named Screenwriter of the Month at The Monthly Film Festival and won Best Short Screenplay at the Hollywood International Moving Pictures Film Festival.

Established in 1994, the Austin Screenwriting Competition runs alongside the Austin Film Festival and is hailed as one of the most prestigious scriptwriting contests in the world. Judged by industry professionals, the awards offer screenwriters the chance to network and learn from insiders. Semi-finalists and finalists are also invited to attend exclusive workshops.

“I feel incredibly blessed to be shortlisted,” Michael said. “At the beginning of the year, Matthew and I set ourselves some targets – winning Austin Film Festival was on the list and we’re delighted to be so close to achieving that goal.

Though it’s my name on the shortlist, I know I wouldn’t have come this far without Matthew’s creativity and perseverance to spur me on. We’re both really excited to head to America next week.”

Matthew added: “We were thrilled to receive the news. Michael and I have been writing and making films for more than five years, and it’s wonderful to see our skills grow and amazing to receive this recognition. We’re both keen to keep learning and hopefully this is just a sign of things to come.”

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