Mentoring begins for Sunshine Coast Showdown as winners announced

Clockwise from top left are Sunshine Coast Showdown mentors Dan Munday, Jon Coghill, Josh Capelin, David Zwierzchaczewski, Tam Sainsbury, and Chris Sun.

The inaugural Sunshine Coast Showdown is taking shape, with the winners for the talent development initiative announced this week.

Sasha Parlett and Owen Newcomb’s Thump (music video), Marlon Schwiersch’sThe Photograph (horror/sci-fi short), Anne Clarke’s Two Words (drama/comedy/action short), Shelley Davidow’s Every Time You Go Away (animation), Sam Robinson’s Zumbo‚Äôs Challenge (unscripted formats), and Chris Perry’s Ballet Dads (unscripted factual) will each receive $5,000 to assist with development and production.

The creatives have until December 10 to submit a final cut of their project, which will then be shown at a gala presentation and networking event at the end of January.

Mentors for the categories include Powderfinger drummer and screenwriter Jon Coghill; head of unscripted for Matchbox Pictures, Dan Munday; producer Josh Capelin; animation specialist David Zwierzchaczewski, and writer/directors Tam Sainsbury and Chris Sun.

Local producers Heather Macfarlane and Gareth Davis are also on board to provide guidance.

Coghill, who is also one of the founders of the initiative, told IF the productions would demonstrate what could be achieved at a local level.

“The dream is that we have six projects at the end that get delivered, where pretty much everyone that has worked on them is from this area and you can look at them and go, ‘Hey, that is pretty good quality’,” he said

“If anyone is thinking maybe the Sunshine Coast is a place we can shoot some more stuff, then they could look at that stuff and gauge the level of quality we can produce.”

“Right now we are answerable to what we can pull off, so it’s really important we do a good job.”

Delivered in conjunction with the Sunshine Coast Screen Collective, the initiative had more than 100 submissions across the six categories and was supported by former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, who is now a patron of the Collective.

Coghill hoped those who entered would take further steps in realising their creative potential.

“One thing we are really trying to do is to give people the bug for writing,” he said.

“We wanted those who hadn’t looked at the screenwriting format and the process of it to start learning and thinking in that art form.

“I’ve spoken to a few people who said they loved the feeling of being in that world and so we just really want to encourage those people to continue doing what they are doing.”