AACTA Development Initiatives

2020 AACTA Pitch: Regional Landscapes in Partnership with SCREENWORKS

AACTA (The Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts), in partnership with Screenworks and with support from the Australian Writers’ Guild are looking for original and unique story concepts in which the regional setting lends itself as a central character to the narrative. Location as character has long been a defining feature of Australian filmmaking, where our lush rainforests, crisp blue coastlines, picturesque country towns, boundless bushlands and the spectacular outback offer local and international audiences a deeper insight into uniquely Australian environments and perspectives.  

Speaking to the creativity and resilience of Australia’s emerging creatives, the passionate screenwriters behind the final five feature film concepts shortlisted for our national pitching competition went online to participate in the previously live final event, where Georgina Jenkins' feature film concept BLACKBIRD was announced as the winner of AACTA Pitch: Regional Landscapes in partnership with Screenworks.

BLACKBIRD tells the story of a feisty but forgetful Greek woman who, when forced into aged care, must manipulate her carer into taking her on a road trip to retrieve her lifesavings before the family home is sold.

"We operate in a highly competitive industry largely driven by relationships, and regional filmmakers are often disadvantaged by being outside key networks, so an initiative like this which aims to remove those barriers is a game changer. I am absolutely over the moon to be the winner!" said screenwriter Georgina Jenkins. "It means my project BLACKBIRD will get the access to market and feedback it needs at this crucial stage of development. I’m especially looking forward to working with talented screenwriter Emma Jensen. Massive thanks to AACTA, Screenworks and the judging panel for this fantastic opportunity!"

Georgina received:

  • Industry connection opportunities through the Australian Writers’ Guild Pathways program
  • Script development from acclaimed screenwriter Emma Jensen (I AM WOMAN, MARY SHELLEY)
  • Invaluable feedback and ongoing guidance from the esteemed judging panel
  • AACTA Professional annual membership
  • Screenworks annual membership
  • Australian Writers’ Guild annual membership
  • Two tickets to the 2020 AACTA Awards presented by Foxtel Industry Luncheon and two tickets to the 2020 AACTA Awards presented by Foxtel Ceremony and After Party and Awards Ceremony including associated networking opportunities.

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, Gretel Vella and Elliot 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 kangaroo’s in order to save Christmas.



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