Have a great idea for the next classic Aussie film?
Inspired by Australia’s diverse and unique landscapes?
It’s time to get writing for the chance to develop your idea into a market-ready screenplay and get it in front of key industry figures.
Entries are now open for AACTA Pitch: Regional Landscapes in partnership with Screenworks, a national pitching competition held in March at Screenworks 2020 Business of Producing seminar in Ballina, aimed to discover and develop an original feature film idea that celebrates Australia’s stunning regional areas.
AACTA (The Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts), in partnership with Screenworks and with support from the Australian Writers’ Guild are looking for original and unique story concepts in which the regional setting lends itself as a central character to the narrative.
Location as character has long been a defining feature of Australian filmmaking, where our lush rainforests, crisp blue coastlines, picturesque country towns, boundless bushlands and the spectacular outback offer local and international audiences a deeper insight into uniquely Australian environments and perspectives.
Showcasing talent through Australia's landscapes
“With domestic and international demand for unique content stronger than ever, AACTA Pitch is a fantastic opportunity for Australian screenwriters and creatives to showcase their talent through the distinctive lens of Australia’s rich landscapes,” said Australian Writers’ Guild Professional Development Manager Susie Hamilton.
“The Australian Writers’ Guild is delighted to support AACTA and Screenworks with this exciting initiative, building on the incredible work Screenworks does throughout regional Australia to give voice to our many outstanding creatives.”
Australia’s cult cinematic classics offer locations as memorable as the characters within them harking back to the thrills of George Miller’s Mad Max (1979) and Mad Max II (1981) shot on the backstreets of Little River and Silverton, and to the iconic township of Broken Hill in Stephen Elliott’s The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994).
Premiering at Sundance film festival last year, Wayne Blair and Miranda Tapsell’s feel-good film Top End Wedding put a fresh twist on the familiar romantic-comedy narrative, rooting the character’s search for identity and belonging within the stunning landscapes of the Northern Territory, crafting a story that resonated with audiences both at home and abroad.
In an increasingly globalized screen industry, there has never been a better time for Australian filmmakers and screenwriters to share their unique voices, combined with the use of our landscapes to create distinctly Australian stories for the global market.
Opportunity to develop their concept into a screenplay
The winner of AACTA Pitch: Regional Landscapes in partnership with Screenworks will have the opportunity to develop their story concept into a screenplay.
Prizes include: industry connection opportunities through the Australian Writers’ Guild Pathways program; script development from acclaimed screenwriter Emma Jensen (I am Woman, Mary Shelley); invaluable feedback and ongoing guidance from the esteemed judging panel; three day pass to all sessions at the Screenworks 2020 Business of Producing seminar; AACTA, Screenworks and Australian Writers’ Guild annual memberships; and two tickets to the 2020 AACTA Awards presented by Foxtel Industry Luncheon, and the Ceremony and official After Party.
Discerning panel of judges
Up to five finalists will pitch their ideas at Screenworks 2020 Business of Producing seminar in Ballina on 20 March, 2020 with attendees including some of the most innovative and successful Australian screen professionals, SVOD executives and Australian screen industry funding bodies, including the AACTA Pitch: Regional Landscapes in partnership with Screenworks judging panel which is comprised of:
- Award-wining producer Michele Bennett (Judy & Punch, Chopper, Mr Inbetween)
- Every Cloud Productions Creative Director and Co-Founder Deb Cox (Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, Seachange)
- Acting Head of Scripted at SBS, previously CEO/Creative Director of Adelaide Film Festival & Adelaide Film Festival Investment Fund Amanda Duthie (The Nightingale, Sweet Country, Top End Wedding, Hotel Mumbai, Ali's Wedding)
- Managing Director Umbrella Entertainment/Executive Producer Jeff Harrison (The Babadook, Cargo, The Merger, Buoyancy)
“Screenworks are delighted to partner with AACTA in order to bring stories set in regional Australia in front of a discerning panel of industry decision makers,” said Screenworks CEO Ken Crouch.
“Screenworks purpose is to support practitioners from regional, rural and remote Australia and connect them with industry opportunity and we believe this opportunity has the potential to launch projects and progress careers.”
Regional creators encouraged to enter
AACTA encourages all with an original idea to enter, particularly from creators and teams from regional, diverse and under-represented backgrounds.
Entry is $60 for applicants in metropolitan areas and $40 for applicants in regional areas, as defined on the AACTA Pitch Entry page.
Entry requirements include a title, logline, half page description of the regional area in which the film is set, one page treatment or synopsis, the first five pages of the screenplay and résumé of the writer/writers.
Entries close at 5pm AEDT on Monday 9 March 2020.
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