The Austin Film Festival has selected Frank Pierson as this year’s recipient of the Distinguished Screenwriter Award and Tom Fontana as the recipient of the Outstanding Television Writer Award. The Austin Film Festival annually recognizes outstanding writers for their accomplished body of work and their artistic contributions to the entertainment industry. Pierson and Fontana will be honored at an awards luncheon scheduled for October 11, at the 10th annual Austin Film Festival to be held October 9-16, 2003.
Frank Pierson is an acclaimed writer, director, producer and current President of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He began his career as a correspondent for TIME and has also served two terms as President of the Writers Guild of America. His credits include: “Presumed Innocent,” the Oscar-winning original screenplay “Dog Day Afternoon,” the Oscar-nominated screenplays “Cool Hand Luke” and “Cat Ballou” and the Emmy-nominated “Conspiracy” and “Citizen Cohn.” Most recently, Pierson wrote and directed Showtime’s Soldier’s Girl.
The Emmy Award-winning Tom Fontana began his career in 1982 when he was hired by producer Bruce Paltrow to write for the award-winning television series “St. Elsewhere.” He is the creator of HBO’s prison drama “Oz” and writer for another long running television staple, “Homicide: Life on the Street.” His television movie credits include the Emmy-nominated “Homicide: The Movie,” the Emmy-nominated “America: A Tribute to Heroes” and the upcoming “Strip Search.”
For more info, visit the Austin Film Festival website.

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