Applications are open today for AACTA Pitch: BITE, a feature film development initiative in partnership with Monster Pictures.

The call out is for horror or elevated genre feature film concepts; the theme of ‘bite’ can be taken literally, as in monsters, vampires, zombies or cannibals, or metaphorically, as in to ‘take the bait’.

The winner will receive $10,000 in development funds and an Australian theatrical distribution agreement with Monster Pictures, as well as two tickets to the AACTA Awards and a 12-month AACTA professional membership.

Last year’s theme was isolation, and in addition to the winning project, Julia Corcoran’s Burning, a further five projects were also optioned.

Keeping in line with the overall spirit of the initiative, the project ideas must work effectively with minimal locations, small casts and lower budgets.

“After such a successful first year, Monster Pictures is really looking forward to sinking our teeth into this year’s initiative. We’re really proud of the success of 2020 and hope that 2021 serves us up some bigger and tastier projects!” said director of Monster Pictures Grant Hardie.

Projects that demonstrate the following are likely to be the most successful:

• New, creative and unique ways to engage audiences;

• Strong characters that resonate with audiences;

• Concise stories demonstrating clear, dramatic tension;

• Ideas that bend genres and break new ground.

A shortlist of 20 projects will be determined by a judging panel comprised of established horror filmmakers, screenwriters, and producers such as Kathy Charles (Castle Freak, Jakob’s Wife), Chris Brown (Daybreakers, Bait, The Railway Man) and Monster Pictures co-founder Grant Hardie.

Eight finalists will be selected to pitch their concept during AACTA’s 2021 ScreenFest.

Entry is $60 for AACTA members and $95 for non members. For a limited time, AACTA will waive the entry fee for applicants who become a new AACTA member.

Initial entry requirements include: Title, logline, 3-minute video pitch, 500 word synopsis and résumé of the writer/s and/or director/s.

More info and application form here.

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