AACTA PITCH: ISOLATION
AACTA Pitch: Isolation in Partnership with Monster Pictures, is Australia’s ultimate horror and genre film development initiative focusing on original horror or elevated genre feature film concepts. The theme for the latest AACTA Pitch initiative drew on isolation – one of the most powerful tools for horror and genre movies to build atmosphere and tension.
The Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) in partnership with Monster Pictures invited writers, directors and writer/director teams to submit original feature film concepts that incorporate the theme of isolation – whether it be physical, societal or psychological – and work effectively with minimal locations, small casts and low costs.
"This new venture with AACTA is a truly unique and exciting project," said Director of Monster Pictures Grant Hardie. "We look forward to discovering a high quality, high concept, character-driven film that we can take to audiences around the world."
Eight finalists were chosen to attend the final pitching event which was available for all to view entirely free via AACTA’s new free-to-stream festival, AACTA ScreenFest. Each of the competing concepts explore ideas of isolation, include strong characters and building dramatic tension in their own unique way.
Following the final pitching competition at AACTA ScreenFest, Jordan Watton and Julia Corcoran were announced the winners of $10,000 in development funds and an exclusive distribution deal with Monster Pictures. Writer and director Jordan Watton and producer Julia Corcoran’s winning concept Burning demonstrated clear planning around financing, marketing, and audience development, resonating strongly with many rural Australians with the premise centered around “A low-achieving outsider who works as volunteer firefighter ignites a series of deadly blazes throughout bushfire season in his small town in rural Australia.”
Jordan Watton said of the experience: “The experience of AACTA Pitch: ISOLATION has been invaluable in driving the team to lift Burning to be market ready. The resources provided and collective experience of Monster Pictures, AACTA and Lexlab have assisted us in developing a feature film pitch with not just strong creative but with a consideration of how it would fit in the Australian marketplace."
BLACKHEATH | Karina Banno, Raechelle Banno, George Maher
Max recounts her time in the strict religious community she recently escaped but struggles to move on as she fears her old ‘Family’ may be closing in on her and the only person she has left.
BURNING | Jordan Watton, Julia Corcoran
A low-achieving outsider who works as volunteer firefighter ignites a series of deadly blazes throughout bushfire season in his small town in rural Australia
DRUMCHAPEL | Michael Irwin, Dean Musumeci, Matthew Keating
Two Security Guards attempt to escape a 19th century Workhouse, locked down by a century old, unknown biohazard.
FIERCE | Christian D’Alessi, Jesse O’Brian
A single mother and her two children, trapped and stalked by the mythic blue mountain phantom, must escape imminent bushfires and take back their lives.
THE REMOTE |Kelly Baigent, Luke Kneller
In 2021 Australian local authorities investigating multiple human deaths on a decommissioned nuclear test site, found several discarded cameras. The contents of those cameras, and the identities of the dead are classified: Top Secret. Anonymous whistle-blowers collated this footage, and when pieced together, it reveals: An enthusiastic group of young Sydney University academics travelling to the nuclear test site to analyse the radiation impact on the flora and fauna.
TERROR ZONE| Josh Sambono, Laura Sambono, Lucca Barone-Peters, Colin Wilson
A lonely assassin must confront traumatic childhood memories before she is consumed by a monster inside of her which has awakened.
UNDER | David Churak, Charlotte Daraio, Taryn Borgford
A successful woman returns to her isolated boarding school to bury a hideous tragedy from her past. There, she’s joined by four fellow alumni. What should be a happy reunion devolves into a slew of vicious accusations – but the real danger is the very present horrors stalking their old halls.
WHO THE BLOODY HELL GOES THERE? | Oscar Axel Thorborg, Aliya Tarmo
Fear and paranoia spread through staff at a wind farm in outback Australia when a conspiracy extremist claims the turbines are awakening an ancient evil.
GRANT HARDIE | Owner of Monster Pictures
CHRIS BROWN | DAYBREAKERS, BAIT, THE RAILWAY MAN
TOBY LOUIE & NICHOLAS LEVENE | Fairvale Entertainment