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2020 Young Filmmakers Contest Winners

Contestants from all over the United States (including California, Florida, New York, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Texas) competed in the fourth annual Young Filmmakers Contest in two age categories: under 20 and 20+.  Their assignment was to create an original short of five minutes or less centered around Jane Austen. The winning films premiered during JASNA's 2020 Virtual AGM.

2020 Judges

  • Ashley Clements, star of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries
  • Laurie Viera Rigler, author of Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict and its sequel, and creator of the Babelgum web series Sex and the Austen Girl
  • Thomas Rigler, Emmy-winning director, executive producer, and showrunner 
  • Robin Swicord, director and screenwriter of The Jane Austen Book Club
  • Kenneth Turan, longtime (now retired) film critic for the Los Angeles Times
  • Aydrea Walden, writer/producer/actor and creator of the Webby-nominated Black Girl in a Big Dress 

Jane Austen Virtual Book Club 

By Jillian Davis and Yolanda Rodriguez
First Place, 20+ Years Old


Handsome, Clever, and Rich

By Thomas Fitzgerald
First Place, Under 20 Years Old 


A Letter to Jane

By Lydia Smith
Second Place, 20+ Years Old


A Certain Step Towards Falling in Love

By Ellie Cagle
Second Place, Under 20 Years Old


Morland and Mishaps

By Courtney Birnbaum
Third Place, 20+ Years Old

Courtney Birnbaum shared a link to the concept for her series based on Northanger Abbey.


Letters to Cassandra

By Sajween Khan
Third Place, Under 20 Years Old



“For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbors and laugh at them in our turn?”

Pride and Prejudice