Five teams have been selected as finalists for AACTA Pitch: Regional Landscapes, and are set to pitch their feature film ideas to judges at Screenworks’ upcoming Regional to Global Screen Forum.

The winner will secure development support to take their film project to market, as well as a grant to cover travel and accommodation expenses to attend the 2022 Australian International Screen Forum in New York. There, they will have the opportunity to present their project and network with US based producers, studio executives and other key decision makers.

The five finalists are:

The Bank Manager (set in Cloncurry, QLD) | Madeleine Chaplain and Luke Chaplain

Based on true events surrounding the 1932 Cloncurry bank robberies. Amidst drought and recession, a farmer assembles a team of colourful locals to pull off a sophisticated heist. It will take skill, bravery, a few bars of soap and a woman named Peach. But in this small country town, where everyone knows everyone’s secrets – will they succeed? Or worse – will they be caught?

Black Magic (set in Scone, NSW) | Leonie Kelly and Di Smith

From the outback to Tarakan, bound together by love, loss and incredible danger, two warriors fight for the recognition of Len Waters, the first Aboriginal fighter pilot, Australia’s ‘Missing Man’.

Land’s End (set in Ballarat, VIC) | Louise Woodruff Sanz and John Kachoyan

After a devastating loss, an emergency room Doctor flees to a remote property ‘prepping’ for an imagined apocalypse. But when a global catastrophe actually strikes, survivors start trickling in and she’s forced to choose between isolation or life amongst the survivors.

Radio Infrequency (set in Kangaroo Island, SA) | Dave Wade

Volunteers from a community radio station are forced to navigate their way through a merger bid from a multimedia corporation with ulterior motives.

The Track (set on the Birdsville Track, QLD/SA) | Travis Akbar and Adam Gerard

Following an abduction, cops and journalists charter a plane to the Birdsville Track to negotiate the safe release of three hostages from dangerous, armed convicts. Based on true events.

All the teams who applied for this year’s AACTA Pitch: Regional Landscapes initiative were required to have one key team member residing in regional Australia.

Each team will be given pitch training to help them showcase their concepts to an industry judging panel made up of producer Michael Pontin, head of Ticket To Ride; Rachel Okine, head of features and development executive at Stan; writer and producer Tony Briggs and Peter Cron, VP of production and development at Likely Story (American Ultra), and Kevin Misher, a US-based producer (Coming to America 2).

AACTA awards and industry development manager Ivan Vukusic said: “Given how tough it has been for some parts of regional Australia, it is a privilege to be able to give a platform to those who have endured so much. To hear their stories and provide them with the opportunity to express their connection with the places they call home is an honour.

“The highly creative entries we have received demonstrate that regional Australia is rich with talent. Both AACTA and Screenworks see enormous potential in the pitches, and we’re keen to see what is instore for the teams. We’re very excited to have an experienced and highly talented judging panel onboard once more including our US based judges who help bring a global perspective.”

Screenworks’ Regional to Global Screen Forum runs May 26-28.

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