AACTA, in partnership with Screenworks, has announced the five finalists for its feature film pitching competition, which called for ideas inspired by Australia’s regional landscapes.

They are:

  • The Artisan, Amanda Bridgeman, Western Australia
    An eternally hopeful baker befriends a pessimistic graffiti artist, and together they fight to revive their dying town through art in order to win back the regional fair.
  • Big Things, Anna Lindner, regional South Australia
    When wide-eyed roller girl Stevie has a chance encounter with her long absent father, her dream comes true as they reconnect on a road trip across Australia to see the country’s ‘big things’. However, she soon suspects her father’s real motives for the journey are far bigger than any pineapple or prawn.
  • Blackbird, Georgina Jenkins, Australian Capital Territory
    Forced into aged care, a feisty but forgetful Greek woman must manipulate her carer into taking her on a road trip to retrieve her lifesavings before the family home is sold.
  • The Boundary Rider, Samantha Laughton and Tracey Rigney, Melbourne
    Kitty, with her best friend Narnde, a stock horse, works the outback desert along the Boundary Line. Enslaved by harsh work and a cruel boss, she discovers the strength of her culture through the memories of her grandfather’s teachings, and her power and freedom as a woman.
  • A Sunburnt Christmas, Timothy Walker and Gretel Vella, regional Victoria
    When an exhausted Santa and his reindeer crash-land in outback Australia, a drought stricken family must train a team of wild kangaroos in order to save Christmas.

Each of the creatives were meant to pitch their film at the Screenworks Business of Producing conference last week. However, the event was cancelled due to the coronavirus crisis, with AACTA and Screenworks now planning to hold an online competition.

The judging panel includes producers Michele Bennett and Deb Cox, SBS acting head of scripted Amanda Duthie and Umbrella Entertainment MD Jeff Harrison.

The winners, to be announced in April, will receive:

  • Industry connection opportunities through the Australian Writers’ Guild Pathways program
  • Script development from acclaimed screenwriter Emma Jensen (I Am Woman, Mary Shelley)
  • Feedback and ongoing guidance from the judging panel
  • AACTA annual membership
  • Screenworks annual membership
  • Australian Writers’ Guild annual membership
  • Two tickets to the 2020 AACTA Industry Luncheon and AACTA Awards Ceremony and After Party.


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