Austen is a recipient of the 2020 Film Independent John Cassavetes Award for Give Me Liberty (Cannes, Sundance), the critically acclaimed film she wrote and produced with Mikhanovsky that made its world premiere at last year’s Sundance Film Festival and went on to screen in the Directors’ Fortnight at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, and notched a 91% certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. Austen’s scripts have been Toronto IFF, Sundance Sloan, Skywalker Lab, and Rainin Finalist Selections. Austen studied law and creative writing at Harvard University, where she founded the Harvard Human Rights Journal. The first American fellow at the International Court of Human Rights, Austen was representing Havel’s Czech Republic when she penned her first play. Austen went on to write and direct plays that have won awards and been seen at theatres around the world, including the Steppenwolf, Goodman, and Royal Court.