AACTA Pitch: Uncovered

AACTA Pitch: Uncovered


AACTA is thrilled to announce a new partnership with SAE to develop a short documentary film competition exclusively for SAE students.

AACTA Pitch: Uncovered in partnership with SAE is an opportunity that ties in with SAE's film discipline, specifically FLM and FLP 213, and is another exciting step for AACTA to engage the next generation of filmmakers, to help consolidate their learning and to connect them with industry peers to help fast track career growth.

Uncovered includes:

  • 2 documentary masterclasses from highly acclaimed professional filmmakers
  • editorial advice for shortlisted films
  • a public screening of shortlisted films
  • feedback on shortlisted films from a panel of industry judges
  • prizes to the winning team of filmmakers (writer, director, producer)

Uncovered will:

  • increase engagement of students and staff with the Australian film and television industry
  • provide students with 'real world' industry expectations and feedback
  • increase visibility of student's work to industry professionals
  • tie in with learning outcomes for FLM and FLP 213
  • increased industry exposure and engagement will assist students to be 'uncovered' and increase work and career opportunities

  • Mentoring and industry advice from judges
  • Introduction to industry professionals to support your career and/or film's progression including: distributors, broadcasters, exhibitors and producers
  • AACTA 12 month membership
  • Ticket to the 2023 AACTA Awards



KARINA HOLDEN | Head of Factual, Northern Pictures

Karina Holden is a film maker and four-time Emmy award winning producer, based in Sydney Australia. Her role as Head of Factual at Northern Pictures since 2013 has allowed her to oversee content creation for broadcast television and feature release, as well as direct her own films. Overseeing a slate of diverse programs: from science to society, politics and power – the crux of her work is to create change, truth tell and find unlikely heroes who challenge our perceptions. 

Karina was named the UNESCO Sydney City of Film, film maker of the year in 2021 as well as being recognised by the Australian Financial Reviews 100 Women of Influence. In 2022, ‘Love on the Spectrum’ was awarded three Primetime Emmys, of which she is the co-creator and Executive Producer. In the same year, the Producer’s Guild of America awarded her the George Sunga Award for advancing the portrayal and employment of disabilities in media.



STEPHEN OLIVER | Manager, Documentaries, ABC Television

An award-winning filmmaker, Stephen has brought expertise in both high-end program-making and game-changing impact campaigns to his commissioning role at the ABC with great success. Currently Manager of Documentaries at the ABC, Stephen oversees many of the national broadcaster's biggest hits, including Better Date Than Never, Love on the Spectrum, Southern Ocean Live, Big Deal, Fight for Planet A, War on Waste, Big Weather, Family Court Murders and People’s Republic of Mallacoota. Stephen is passionate about telling stories with real world impact and has headed up several ground-breaking shows around climate and the environment for the ABC. He believes in the power of storytelling to change the world, and is always looking for talent, innovation and boldness to jump off the screen and into people’s homes. Outside of work, he likes tennis, mountain-biking and dogs. Oh and his kids, he definitely likes them too.



VIRGINIA WHITWELL | Partner and Head of Production, GoodThing Productions

Over a 25 year career, Virginia is a highly experienced producer of factual and scripted content. Hailing from the UK, she has worked on numerous productions all over the world. Her extensive production experience includes projects for Warner Bros, HBO, Lucasfilm, EON, 20th Century Fox and Universal.  She is the Head of Production and partner at GoodThing Productions and has produced many projects including multi-award winning feature film Nitram directed by Justin Kurzel (Best Actor, Cannes 2021, 8 AACTA 2021), AACTA nominated NZ co-production feature comedy Nude Tuesday directed by Armagan Ballantyne starring Jackie van Beek, Damon Herriman and Jemaine Clement. Her feature documentary credits include AACTA winning The Australian Dream directed by Daniel Gordon, 2040 and AACTA winning That Sugar Film both directed by Damon Gameau. 



MALINDA WINK | Executive Director, Minderoo Pictures

Malinda Wink is the Executive Director of Minderoo Pictures, the social impact film enterprise of Minderoo Foundation. Ms Wink was Executive Producer of several of Australia’s most high-profile social impact documentaries of recent times including 2040, The Final Quarter about Adam Goodes, and Big Deal: Is Our Democracy for Sale? and is a highly regarded leader within the global screen industry and not-for-profit sector. 

In 2019, Ms Wink joined Doc Society (formerly BRITDOC) as Global Director of Good Pitch and launched Doc Society’s Australian programs including the ABC and Doc Society Climate and Environment Shorts initiative with emerging talent from across the country. She was previously Executive Director of Good Pitch Australia whose films included That Sugar Film, Gayby Baby, The Opposition, Blue, Frackman, and In My Blood It Runs, and Executive Director of Ian Darling’s Shark Island Institute.


Judges will select a winning film based on the skills and ability of the filmmaking team to create an engaging documentary as well the film's potential for future exhibition, broadcast or festival screenings.


2023 T1 Wk 2 (W/C:13 Feb) – AACTA Awards and Industry Development Manager, Ivan Vukusic, launches Uncovered via zoom to students

  • Online Masterclass and Q & A Tuesday Feb 14 4pm AEDT : Finding the Documentary Story, the producers perspective – delivered by Amiel Courtin Wilson

2023 T1 Week 7 (W/C: 20 March) – Online Masterclass Directing Documentary, dealing with Contingency – TBA

2023 T1 Week 12 (W/C: 24 Apr) – Students submit their documentary films as part of their regular assessment process to their lecturers

2023 T1 Week 13 (W/C: 01 May) – Film lecturers select up to 2 films per campus to enter in Uncovered

  • Filmmakers of short listed films fill in an entry form and submit their films and supporting materials for the Uncovered competition.
  • Shortlisted filmmakers will be sent access to the entry form.
  • Submissions close Friday May 5 12pm AEST

2023 T1 Week 14 (W/C: 08 May) – Uncovered judges view the finalists and make editorial and polish recommendations (please note: Judges may need 2 weeks here for viewing and editorial feedback so may need films earlier or push back screening)

2023 T1 Week 15 (W/C: 15 May) – Shortlisted filmmakers can edit their films as per judges recommendations

2023 T2 Orientation week – Screening of short listed films in front of a judging panel (location TBC). Winning film selected and prizes awarded 


For more information please contact:

  • Chris McAlpine | SAE Industry Liaison Coordinator
  • Renée Brack | SAE Lecturer
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