Producer Lee Matthews launches screenwriting competition

Lee Matthews.

Producer Lee Matthews has launched a short film screenwriting competition, open to emerging or established writers from any racial background or gender identity.

Matthews will turn the winning script into a 5-7 minute film which will screen on the YouTube channel run by his company Different Films (the re-branded Matthewswood Productions) in 2020.

The EMO the Musical producer tells IF: “The competition is open to everyone, emerging or not, young or not, straight or not, from any racial background or gender identity.

“The screenwriter just needs to be able to see the benefit in having his or her story made into a finished short film. That can happen if the essence of the story is about difference and/or looks at life through a completely different lens, the concept is a stand-out and the production is feasible.”

He estimates it will cost him up to $5,000 to make the short. Submissions are open now until August 31. Up to five shortlisted screenwriters will be contacted on or before September 30 and invited to pitch their concept to Matthews via Skype.

One writer will be chosen to receive the Different Films’ Screenwriter of Distinction Award and will work with the company to develop the script into a production draft. He or she will be credited on IMDB.

Matthews is positioning Different Films to create one-off, serialised and episodic shows for smaller screens, particularly for VOD platforms, whether broadcaster, advertising or subscription based.

EMO The Musical.

Netflix acquired global rights to EMO the Musical, the 2016 feature length comedy written and directed by Neil Triffett, which starred Benson Jack Anthony, Jordan Hare, Rahart Adams and Jon Prasida.

Since then he has been collaborating with numerous filmmakers to develop projects including the feature That Time of Year scripted by Gina Lambropoulos, to be directed by Catriona McKenzie.

The plot follows a bearish, middle-aged gay bar owner whose plans for his usual anti-Christmas party are thrown into turmoil when he’s forced to care for his estranged sister after she’s hit by a bus, and the 8-year-old niece he’d never known.

Screen Australia and Film Victoria supported the development of the project which will be performed as a live script read in front of local distributors and international sales agents this Friday at the MIFF 37ºSouth Market.

The slate includes Arguments with my Mum, a returnable series of 5-7 minute episodes from writer-director Jason Christou and producer Naomi Mulholland, which centres on Dominic, a university student who is searching to find his place in the world while his mother Elena tries to hold on to her “little Greek boy.”

Caper-ble is a TV serial about five different people, each with different disabilities, who are forced to live together in shared accommodation as a result of a government funded accessible housing scheme. It’s scripted by Alistair Baldwin, who was born with a mild muscular dystrophy and whose screenwriting credits include The Weekly with Charlie Pickering and Get Krack!n, to be produced by Steve Kearney.

The Aussie
is a rom-com about a Hollywood actor who faked his way to the top by pretending to be Australian and must now choose between maintaining the lie and furthering his career or coming clean for the sake of love, from writer-director Shae-Lee Shackleford (best known for her collaborative YouTube channel SketchShe), Aurea Morrisey and Sandy Greenwood.

For more info on the screenwriting competition go here