Short Works-In-Progress: December 2019

Reserve Tickets

Date and Time

Thu, Dec 5
1:00 AM - 3:00 AM


Free, but limited to AFS members of all levels.


Austin Public
1143 Northwestern Ave, Austin, TX 78702

This December, we’re hosting a Short Works-In-Progress program of two working narrative short films.

Directed by Susan Busa.
When a formerly famous musician has his guitar stolen, he must rely on a teenager looking for her birth father in order to get the guitar back. Along the way, he is forced to confront his past and his own failures to find out what is really important in life.

Directed by Ya’Ke Smith.
Teenagers Jason and Caleb have been friends for a while, but when Caleb’s older brother Casey returns home from prison, he threatens to destroy their bond.


 has written for and optioned screenplays to NBC, Hallmark Hall of Fame, and Cosgrove- Meurer Productions; and directed short films including HARMONY IN THE HILLS, JEROME THE GNOME and DAN’S THE MAN. Her most recent, SLEEPOVER, was a 2018 festival selection at the Women Texas Film Festival and Austin Comedy Short Film Festival. She is the winner of the 2019 Sundance Co//ab Pitch Perfect Challenge for her screenplay, BABYDOLL. A former Michener Fellow in Screenwriting, Susan is a co-founder of Twenty-Two Twenty-Two Media and serves as the head of Undergraduate Dramatic Writing at Texas State University.

, known for his unflinching and veracious style of storytelling, Ya’Ke Smith is a rising voice in independent cinema.

His films have received world-wide acclaim, screening and winning awards at over 90 film festivals. The Director’s Guild of America, the Student Academy Awards, HBO, Showtime, and the City of Buffalo, NY, which proclaimed February 23, 2013 as Ya’Ke Smith Day, have honored him. His short, Katrina’s Son, screened at over 40-film festivals and won 14 awards. The film was also eligible for the 2012 Academy Award in short filmmaking. His debut feature, WOLF, which NPR called “an impressive piece by a young director,” premiered at the SXSW Film Festival and has gone on to screen and win awards at festivals across North America. The film is now available for download via several Video-on-Demand outlets. His short film, dawn., made its television premiere on HBO in February of 2015, and screened on the network for two years. The film was also streamed as part of Issa Rae’s Short Film Sunday series on her YouTube channel. His latest film Heavenly, premiered at the American Black Film Festival and was awarded Audience Choice Honors at the 2019 Fort Worth Indie Film Showcase. The project is currently traveling the film festival circuit. Ya’Ke writes and directs Television Content for AMS Pictures and the Reelz network.

Ya’Ke has been featured on NPR, CNN, HLN, Ebony Online, Indiewire, Filmmaker Magazine and Shadow&Act.

Ya’Ke graduated with his B.A. from the Communication Arts Department at the University of The Incarnate Word, where he later became the youngest recipient of the Alumni of Distinction for Professional Achievement award. He received his M.F.A. from the University of Texas at Austin’s film program, where he is currently an Associate Professor of film, as well as the Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Moody College of Communication. He was previously the Morgan Woodward Distinguished Professor of Film at the University of Texas at Arlington.

AFS’s Works-In-Progress series provides the growing, diverse and vibrant filmmaking community of Austin peer-level critiques of rough or fine cuts of their work. Screenings are free but exclusive to AFS MAKE members and above and are followed by moderated audience feedback sessions. Do you have a film you want to submit for Works-In-Progress consideration? Make level members and above can apply here? Not an AFS MAKE member? Register your membership here

Thanks To Our Annual Sponsors