Truant Pictures development and production executives Toby Nalbandian and Greg Schmidt.

Animal Logic Entertainment’s live-action genre arm Truant Pictures has selected three finalists for its screenplay competition, designed to uncover emerging writing talent in the realms of horror, sci-fi and thriller.

The finalists, chosen from hundreds of submissions, are reported by Truant to “exhibit a unique voice, strong craft and a compelling command of their genre.”

The finalists are:

David Willing & Beth King (VIC) – The Surrogate
When single mother Natalia gives birth despite not being pregnant, she discovers the ghost of a missing child is hell-bent on destroying her family.

Jonathon Green & Anthony O’Connor (NSW) – Emma After
A ghost girl falls in love with the living boy she’s meant to haunt away.

D.J. McPherson (VIC) – His Name Is Jeremiah
A damaged teen girl from a remote Australian town struggles to adjust when her violent mother is released from jail. Feeling lost and alone, she develops a dangerous obsession with a missing boy.

Each of the three scripts will now be read and noted by one of the industry judges – either Stuart Beattie (Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Collateral, I, Frankenstein), Zak Hilditch (Rattlesnake, 1922, These Final Hours) or Yolanda Ramke (Cargo).

The winner, to be announced November 25, will receive $5,000, a hot desk for one week at Truant Pictures’ office in Sydney and mentorship from Truant development and production executives Toby Nalbandian and Greg Schmidt. The additional finalist will also receive $1,000.

“It’s an exciting time to be working in the genre space, there’s just such a hunger out there for bold new mythologies and world-building — both from an audience perspective and from a development standpoint,” said Yolanda Ramke. “What’s especially encouraging is that we’re seeing more and more Australian stories in the horror, thriller and sci-fi arena breaking through, both at home and in the global market.”

Truant Pictures was established last year with a mission to produce genre films in Australia, with Aussie creatives, for an international audience. On its development slate are projects from Truant’s slate of projects from Hilditch, Joan Sauers, Nicholas Verso, Stephen McCallum, Anya Beyersdorf, Andy Friedhof, Jub Clerc, Michael Kratochvil, and writing teams Alexei Mizin & Ryan van Dijk, and Shayne Armstrong & Shane Krause.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.