AACTA Development Initiatives

2022 AACTA Pitch: Focus

Entries are now open for AACTA Pitch: Focus in partnership with Sony, now in its second year. This national short film pitching initiative offers emerging creatives an opportunity to break into the industry by challenging student filmmakers to form teams and create an original production to be assessed by a panel of esteemed industry judges.  

Teams can be made up of directors, writers, producers, editors, and/or cinematographers with at least one member of the team actively pursuing studies in film or screen. Teams are asked to submit their creative ideas for a short fiction film (4 – 10 minutes). The top five teams will be provided with state-of-the-art Sony equipment kit on loan (valued at over $2,500) to shoot a short proof of concept.

This year’s recipients will receive $15,000 in production funds toward their short film, a loan Sony equipment kit (valued at over $6,000) to shoot their short film which will be featured in the Sony Catchlight Film Festival, invaluable feedback and guidance throughout the production process, mentoring opportunities, and tickets to the 2022 AACTA Awards presented by Foxtel Group.

Projects that demonstrate the following are likely to be the most successful:

  • New, creative and unique ways to engage audiences;
  • Strong characters that resonate with audiences;
  • Ideas that bend genres and break new ground.

Round one calls for a 3-minute video pitch outlining the short film idea. A longlist of 10 projects will be determined by a judging panel of leading short film industry figures and representatives of Sony and AACTA who will be required to submit additional materials supporting their project. A shortlist of 5 projects will be determined by the judging panel and the five finalist teams will be provided Sony equipment and given two weeks to shoot a proof of concept short. The teams will be invited to present their films in front of the judging panel and industry experts.

AACTA encourages teams comprised of new, emerging, and student content creators to enter, particularly those from diverse and under-represented backgrounds. Entry is $50 for teams that have at least one AACTA member and $90 for teams comprised of non-members. AACTA recently introduced a youth membership for people under 25. For $25, youth members can view and vote on the AACTA Awards, access to AACTA TV (our exclusive member streaming service), invitations to our year-round programming, with industry events showcasing some of Australia’s incredible talent, screen community networking opportunities, and discounted entry to AACTA’s development initiatives, aimed at discovering and supporting emerging screen talent. For more information on AACTA membership, click here.

Last year’s inaugural recipients of AACTA Pitch: Focus in Partnership with Sony were announced at AACTA’s ScreenFest. Vee Shi and his team, earned $15,000 in development funds and an extensive suite of complimentary film equipment from Sony to complete their winning short film concept, JIA.

JIA centred around “Ming, a grieving Chinese mother, arriving in Australia to mourn her son Yao who was recently killed in a road accident. She sets off to embark on a road trip with Eric, only to realise that Eric was in a romantic relationship with Yao which clashes with her conservative values.” 

2021 AACTA Pitch: Focus Recipient, Vee Shi, said of the experience “I would not have started writing the film Jia were it not for the competition, and the support from AACTA and Sony allowed us to do a tech scout and a pre-shoot, so I could revise the script based on the challenges in each location because most of the film took place in rural Victoria. I especially appreciate the support and feedback from AACTA and the judges in post-production. I am now working as an Associate Producer placement for Michael McMahon at Big and Little Films, supported by the Vic Screen Key Talent Company Placement initiative. And having a film funded by AACTA and Sony under my belt definitely helped with the application.”

The five 2021 AACTA Pitch finalists were all praised by the judging panel and Ivan Vukusic, Awards and Industry Development Manager (AACTA), who expressed his pride at the “richness and diversity of stories and storytellers”

“Sony is thrilled to support this unique and vibrant competition for emerging creators for another year. We were blown away by the passion and talent of all entrants last year, and cannot wait to see what 2022 has in store” says Jun Yoon, Head of Digital Imaging, Sony Australia and New Zealand.

“We are very excited to announce that through our ongoing partnership with Sony, we can continue to develop Australian student filmmakers. The success of Vee and his team is a great indication of what this program can offer. We encourage students everywhere to consider this opportunity, which includes advice, mentoring, access to equipment and much more,” says Ivan Vukusic, Awards and Industry Development Manager - AACTA.

Initial entry requirements include:

  • Title and logline
  • 500 word synopsis
  • three minute pitch video, and
  • résumé of the team.

Round one entries close 11.59pm AEST Friday, 16th September 2022. For full eligibility requirements and to enter, click here

 

August 22 - Call for Entries Opens (Round 1)

Entrants are asked to submit a Title, Logline, three minute video pitch, 500 word synopsis, and resumes of the team members.

September 16 - Round 1 Entries Close

Entries are due by 11.59pm AEST, Friday September 16, 2022. 

September 23 - Longlist of Top 10 Confirmed & Start of Round 2

The Top 10 teams are asked to submit a pitch deck, first ten pages of a screenplay and budget. 

October 7 - Round 2 Entries Closes

Entries are due by 09:00am AEDT, Friday October 7, 2022. 

October 14 - Top 5 Finalists Announced

The top five teams will be provided Sony gear on loan to bring their short film to life.

October 28 - Final Pitch

The five finalist teams will undertake a final pitch to our panel of judges where they will present their proof of concepts. This year’s recipient will be confirmed.

November 3 - 2022 AACTA Pitch: Focus Recipient Announced

 

  • Entries & Materials Deadline Friday 16 September 11.59pm AEST
  • Rules & Supporting Documents Terms & Conditions
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