AACTA Pitch: Web & Television Series

AACTA PITCH is a national pitching competition that aims to discover Australia’s next world-class scripted series for television or web.

With the audience demand and consumption for new, original drama and comedy at an all-time high, this is one of the most exciting times for emerging Australian content creators. Identifying and nurturing the best and most exciting new series ideas, AACTA PITCH will provide meaningful support for creatives as they start their journey to the world stage.


Held during AACTA Shorts Fest on Wednesday 22 August and hosted by writer and comedian Justin Hamilton, over 150 audience members joined the AACTA PITCH judging panel at Event Cinemas Bondi Junction to hear the finalists pitch their series.

The duo behind MONSTER’S PLAYGROUND, Melbourne-based Darcy Prendergast and Seamus Spilsbury, also received an AACTA nomination for Best Short Animation earlier this year for the pilot of the Claymation series. Between them, they’ve created Nikelodeon Mini Series SUPAPHRESH, amassed a whopping (and near record-breaking) 14 Vimeo staff picks for their work, and have worked with brands such as Coca Cola, Uber, Samsung and Uber as well as bands including Neil Young, Greenday, Gotye and Aloe Blacc.

Darcy and Seamus have won:

  • A $5,000 cash prize;
  • Invaluable feedback and mentorship opportunities from AACTA, participating production companies, development executives and screen craft practitioners;
  • Post-production support from Spectrum Films to the value of $5,000;
  • Tickets to the 8th AACTA Awards presented by Foxtel Industry Luncheon and Awards Ceremony; and
  • A year’s AFI | AACTA membership.

AACTA also congratulates all the 2018 AACTA PITCH finalists who each receive a year’s AFI | AACTA membership: BULLDOG’S ALLEY, EMERALD WAY, GOOD GRIEF, THE MIRAGE, PIXEL RAIDERS, TRADIES and VIRGIN IN A SEX STORE.


MONSTER’S PLAYGROUND | Darcy Prendergast, Seamus Spilsbury – WINNER
With an AACTA-nominated pilot, claymation series MONSTER’S PLAYGROUND follows the adventures of fun loving siblings Bro-Bro, Siswa and their pal MONSTER! With his rusty and unpredictable magic, a clap of Monster’s hands can conjure a bathtub rocketship, attract a flock of winged hedgehogs and more often than not, place Bro-Bro and Siswa in sticky situations.

BULLDOG’S ALLEY | Jessica Pearce, Sarah Hickey
The filmmakers behind multi-platform web-series DEE-BRIEF hold a mirror up to Australian culture with BULLDOG’S ALLEY. When a small town heist goes all kinds of wrong, and a local hero dies as a result, two women hold a bunch of socially and politically opposing characters hostage in the local bowling alley.

EMERALD WAY | Sean O’Keeffe, Ben Matei, Jennie Tkaz
Set in a Nursing Home, sex, drugs and euthanasia are the backdrop for this complex comedy series. The Perth-based multi award-winning filmmakers behind the series challenge and celebrate what we think and feel about old age, how we view life and when life truly begins and ends in EMERALD WAY.

GOOD GRIEF | Amanda Reedy, Nicole Minchin, Amanda Jane, Natalie Harris, Jess Harris
From the minds behind AACTA-nominated series TWENTYSOMETHING and feature film THE WEDDING PARTY, GOOD GRIEF is based on comedian Natalie Harris’ sell-out stand-up show of the same name. Funded by Screen Australia Gender Matters – Brilliant Stories, the series follows Nat on her rollercoaster ride through the five stages of grief following the sudden death of her dad.

THE MIRAGE | Andrew Ryan
Two-time Sundance Sloan Fellowship Finalist Andrew Ryan brings you THE MIRAGE, a magical motel where guests can request anything they want, from the simple to the surreal. But with two hapless employees at the helm, it’s no surprise that as they make their visitors dreams come true each shift is riled with chaos and a severe lack of clean towels.

PIXEL RAIDERS | Ben Shackleford, Stephanie Bendixsen, Gus Ronald
Based on the popular book series of the same name, PIXEL RAIDERS comes from the mind of Australian video game critic Stephanie Benixsen (GOOD GAME). Trapped inside an un-tested video game, Riley and Mei-Lin must use their gamer knowledge to battle various foes and beat each unique game world within the digital realm or be stuck inside the game…forever!

TRADIES | Zack van Prooije, Matthew Davies, Johannes Beer, Rijen Laine
Having worked with Netflix, SBS, Foxtel, ABC, the Turnkey Productions team brings you TRADIES, which follows the ups and downs of a small construction company on the brink of bankruptcy; lying, cheating and stealing their way out and back into debt while they struggle to stay afloat amidst sexual harassment cases, divorce and the dysfunctional tradies that drink work there.

VIRGIN IN A SEX STORE | Kaleb McKenna, Kristian Barron, Joshua Gilbert
From the creators of Screen Australia funded web-series FOUR QUARTERS, VIRGIN IN A SEX STORE follows 19-year-old Hugh who, desperately saving for a European holiday that he’s convinced will change his life, takes a job at Paula’s Pleasure Palace – his mum’s business. There’s just one problem; he’s a virgin.


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