AACTA Development Initiatives


AACTA and Monster Pictures announce the MOTHER of all horror film pitching initiatives


Australia’s ultimate horror and genre film development initiative is back for a third year. This time, we are keeping it in the family with AACTA Pitch: MOTHER in Partnership with Monster Pictures.

Applicants are invited to pitch their horror or elevated genre feature film concept that incorporates this year’s theme: MOTHER. Mothers play one of the most essential roles in our lives; protectors, providers, and caregivers. Mother Earth personifies this as the guiding force of the natural world. There's a long history of horror movies chronicling what happens when this goes horribly wrong - the evil mothers of classics like PSYCHO, CARRIE, RELIC and FRIDAY THE 13th; natural disaster movies like EARTHQUAKE, TWISTER, THESE FINAL HOURS and DANTE'S PEAK; or when Mother Nature hits back in films like JAWS, RAZORBACK, BLACK SHEEP, THE REEF and CUJO. Interpret it however you want, just hit the brief as creatively as possible.

This year’s recipient will get a massive $10,000 in development funds and an Australian theatrical distribution agreement with Monster Pictures Distribution. In addition, 2 tickets to the 2022 AACTA Awards and a 12-month AACTA Professional Membership will be awarded, giving our winners the chance to attend AACTA Events, access to AACTA TV, and opportunities to network with some of the biggest names in the Australian screen industry.

AACTA Pitch in partnership with Monster Pictures is now in its third year. Previous recipients include writer and director Jordan Watton and producer Julia Corcoran for their winning concept BURNING, which took out AACTA Pitch: Isolation in 2020; and Josh and Laura Sambono, the recipients of AACTA Pitch: Bite in 2021 for feature film concept DROP BEARS.

“This is such a fun initiative and we’re always impressed by the inventive interpretations of the brief that get pitched our way”, said Ivan Vukusic, Awards and Industry Development Manager at AACTA. “If you’re an aspiring genre film maker, this is a great way to road test your horror chops, with a very real pathway toward production and distribution. Mum’s the word, so get cracking.”

"AACTA Pitch has become a vital part of Monster Pictures' yearly activities as we continue to support independent Australian cinema, especially as the first two years have unearthed a fantastic crop of talent and projects. We can't wait to see what year three brings!”, said Director of Monster Pictures Grant Hardie.

The Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) in partnership with Monster Pictures invites writers, directors and writer/director teams to submit original feature film concepts that incorporate the theme of MOTHER. Keeping in line with the overall spirit of the initiative, the project ideas must work effectively with minimal locations, small casts, and lower budgets.

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;
  • Concise stories demonstrating clear, dramatic tension;
  • Ideas that bend genres and break new ground.

AACTA encourages emerging or experienced content creators to enter, particularly those from diverse and under-represented backgrounds. Entry is $60 for AACTA members and $95 for non-members. For a limited time, AACTA will be waiving the entry fee for applicants who become a new AACTA Professional or AACTA General Member. For more information on AACTA membership, visit aacta.org/membership/choose-your-membership/.

Initial entry requirements include: Title, logline, 3-minute video pitch, 500 word synopsis and résumé of the writer/s and/or director/s. Round One entries close at 11:59pm AEST on Friday 23 September 2022.

With a new theme and new slate of judges, this year is shaping up to be even bigger! 


Thursday July 28 - Call for Entries (Round 1)

Entrants are asked to submit a Title, Logline, 3 min video pitch, 500 word synopsis, and entrant's resume/s.

Friday September 23 - Round 1 Entries Close 

Entries are due by 11.59pm AEST, Friday September 23, 2022. 

Friday September 30 -  Top 20 notified & start of Round 2

The Top 20 submissions will be required to provide a Pitch Deck, Audience engagement and Marketing Plan, Sizzle Reel, and concept art.

Monday October 24 - Round 2 Closes 

Monday October 31 - Top 8 Finalists Announced

November - AACTA Pitch: Monster Final




Grant Hardie, an RMIT film graduate, has worked within the Australian film industry for over twenty years in roles ranging from production through to distribution. In 2010 he co-founded MONSTER PICTURES, the leading independent distribution company working in the horror and genre space in Australia today. In 2011 he also co-founded  MONSTER FEST, the highest profile horror and genre Film Festival in Australia. Grant now manages six ‘MONSTER FEST’ film festival events annually in partnership with EVENT CINEMAS (Australia’s largest theatrical exhibitior) and CINEMA NOVA. Since Monster’s inception in 2010, Grant has worked in various capacities within the company and is now the Company Owner and Head of Distribution and Development and is now overseeing their newly formed production company in partnership with Chris Brown, MONSTER’S IN PARADISE.




Chris has been an Independent Producer since 1983 beginning his career in the UK working with legendary filmmaker Neil Jordan on The Company of Wolves and Mona Lisa. In 1986 Chris produced Absolute Beginners directed by Julien Temple and starring David Bowie. Now an Australian national, Brown moved to Queensland in 2000 at the request of the Queensland Government to help invigorate the local screen industry and formed PICTURES IN PARADISE. In recent years he has produced The Proposition, Daybreakers, Bait 3D and The Railway Man and now has several television projects and feature documentaries in development. In 2004 Chris won Independent Producer of the year from the Australian Screen Producers Association for his contribution to the Australian Film industry and in 2013 won both the Screen Producers award for Best Film and The Australian Exhibitors Award for highest grossing Australian film for that year.




Rosie Lourde is a content creator traversing roles, formats and genres. Rosie's horror short, DASHCAM, competition at CanneSeries 2020 as part of horror anthology series DEADHOUSE DARK. Rosie was nominated for a Directors Guild Award for her feature directorial debut, romcom ROMANCE ON THE MENUwhich launched on Netflix ANZ and trended at #3. She has just co-written and produced her first animated short film BLOCKHEAD AND SPARKLES AND THE FLOOD OF TEARS which has had its world premiere at the Sydney Film Festival. Digital series STARTING FROM NOWwhich Rosie acts in and produced, has amassed over 190 million views online, sold to SBS in Australia and won numerous awards. Rosie was a writer/director/ producer of sci-fi virtual reality film BREACH which was previously shortlisted for the Sundance New Frontiers program, producer on award winning indie feature SKIN DEEP; and acted in several other projects.




Kim Taylor is a VCA alumna and has worked on multiple award-winning short films as an assisting director (alongside breakthrough Director Goran Stolevski). Kim's experimental short INTERRUPTED had its world premiere at BIFF – Brooklyn International Film festival followed by its local premiere at St.Kilda Film Festival. Kim has been one of the head programmers at Monster Fest, Australia's highest profile horror and genre film festival, since 2017. Her programming duties range from international and local features to short and student films. She also oversees the general organisation of the annual festival events as Monster Fest's Operations Manager, in partnership with the Cinema Nova and Event Cinema teams.




Robbie Miles is an AFTRS alumnus (Graduate Certificate: Screen Drama – Directing & Screenwriting, 2009) and an experienced producer and development executive. Robbie spent several years working in Los Angeles and New York as a Development Executive for Full Clip Productions on projects such as Deadline Gallipoli and Danger Close, as well as producing branded content for Bonds, Coca-Cola and Australian fashion label Kahlo. He returned to Australia to produce his first feature film, Crushed, with fellow AFTRS alumni Megan Riakos, and develop a diverse slate of feature film and television projects, including the Nicholl Fellowship-winning Great Falls. Most recently, Robbie produced the ABC iView series Sarah’s Channel starring Claudia O’Doherty and has joined the team at Animal Logic’s genre label, Truant Pictures, as Development & Production Executive.


  • Entry Fee $60 AACTA Members $95 Non-AACTA Members
  • Entries & Materials Deadline Friday 23 September 11.59pm AEDT
  • Rules & Supporting Documents Terms & Conditions
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