Finalists Announced for 2021 AACTA Pitch: Regional Landscapes in partnership with Screenworks.

From more than 200 entries, seven film projects have been selected as the finalists for AACTA Pitch: Regional Landscapes in partnership with Screenworks. Each of these submissions came with very compelling supporting materials, including a treatment and first five pages of screenplay, that showed originality, a confident handling of story and screen craft and all set in, and informed by, our unique and stunning regional areas. The nine creatives behind these films will now proceed to the final pitching stage for a chance to secure invaluable mentoring and ongoing industry support, with a view to market readiness.

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The AACTA Pitch: Regional Landscapes in Partnership with Screenworks finalists are:

  • THE ALIEN ABDUCTION OF EMILY HILL (set in the fictional town of Yabby Flats) | Michelle Brasier and Sam Lingham
    When Emily’s boyfriend, mid-proposal, is abducted by a beam from the sky, she finds herself sucked into her own bright spotlight.
  • BLACKOUT (set in Alice Springs, NT) | Leslie Simpson
    When the power cuts out in Alice Springs, the remote Outback town plummets toward anarchy. In a desperate bid to stay alive, a small group of ordinary citizens establish a safe haven inside Bunnings Warehouse.
  • COXY’S FUNLAND (set in South Coast, NSW) | Penelope Greenhalgh and Jon Rex Williams
    Trapped in a run-down family fun park on the south coast, an over-protected 9-year-old boy must survive the deadly attractions and escape the unhinged owner in order to save his parents.
  • THE DEB (set in New England, NSW) | Katie Huggins
    A teen boy in a small, rural town, wants to take part in the town's Debutant Ball - as his Drag Queen persona. The town is left reeling in the wake of one boy's search for true identity.
  • LIVING COUNTRY (set in Gunnedah, NSW)| Norah Masige
    A 15 year – old Ugandan girl and her family move to Hayden – a (Fictional) town in Country New South Wales as Australia is on the brink of a severe drought.
  • NEVER THE BRIDE (set in Byron Shire, NSW) | Sunny Grace
    A commitment phobic marriage planner in Byron Bay, has her life turned upside down when she discovers she is in the middle of planning the wedding for her ex, whom she believes was the love of her life.
  • OFF GRID (set in Huon Valley, TAS) | Jenny Wynter
    After being conned out of her entire life savings, a pregnant single mother is forced to live the off-grid lifestyle in rural Tasmania with her hippy ex-father-and-brother-in-law.

Finalists will be pitching their film to AACTA’s Regional Landscapes 2021 judging panel which includes Event Cinema’s General Manager of Content Claire Gandy, See Picture’s Isabel Stanfield (LONG STORY SHORT, JUNE AGAIN), Actor and Writer Pallavi Sharda (LION, RETROGRADE, LES NORTON), Good Thing Productions Head of Production Virginia Whitwell (THE AUSTRALIAN DREAM, 2040, ALL FOR ONE) and Industry Director for Melbourne International Film Festival, Mark Woods (H IS FOR HAPPINESS, BRAN NUE DAE, THE TURNING).

The final will be presented on AACTA TV on Friday 26th March (exclusive to AACTA members), and at Screenworks’ Regional to Global Screen Forum. A live Q&A with the successful recipient and members of the judging panel will follow the forum screening, moderated by Peter Castaldi. For more information on Screenworks’ Regional to Global Screen Forum please go to their website.

The successful finalist will receive:

  • Script development sessions with highly experienced development executive and Senior Screenwriting lecturer at AFTRS, Kate Stone.
  • Invaluable feedback and ongoing mentorship from the judging panel.
  • AACTA annual membership, including ongoing support and profiling of the project to industry.
  • Profiling and industry opportunities through the Australian Writers’ Guild Pathways program.
  • A three-day pass to all sessions at the Screenworks 2021 Regional to Global Screen Forum.
  • Screenworks annual membership.
  • Australian Writers’ Guild annual membership.
  • Two tickets to the 2021 AACTA Awards and Official After Party.

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