Winner Announced for AACTA Pitch: ISOLATION in Partnership with Monster Pictures
AACTA has announced the winner of Australia’s ultimate horror and genre film development initiative focusing on original horror or elevated genre feature film concepts. Following the final pitching competition at AACTA ScreenFest, Jordan Watton and Julia Corcoran have been announced the winners of $10,000 in development funds and an exclusive distribution deal with Monster Pictures.
Following a pitching competition at AACTA ScreenFest on the 1st of December, writer and director Jordan Watton and producer Julia Corcoran’s concept BURNING won $10,000 in development funds and an exclusive distribution deal with Monster Pictures. Jordan and Julia demonstrated clear planning around financing, marketing, and audience development, with an all too familiar story exploring the devastation of bushfires set in an isolated rural town. Here’s what Jordan had to say 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.
Each of the competing concepts explore ideas of isolation, include strong characters, and build dramatic tension in their own unique way. Read below what the eight AACTA Pitch: Isolation in Partnership with Monster Pictures finalists had to say about their experience as well as their innovative ideas:
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.
"This initiative has been incredibly rewarding and only strengthened our confidence in the future of independent Australian cinema. To be able to work so closely with Monster Pictures during this process has been a true pleasure and we are so grateful for the experience thus far."
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.
"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."
DRUMCHAPEL Michael Irwin | Dean Musumec | Matthew Keating
Two Security Guards attempt to escape a 19th century Workhouse, locked down by a century old, unknown biohazard.
"While the AACTA Isolation pitch rounds have been extremely challenging, both mentally and physically, the team behind it have made it so that even when there's 1001 questions running through your head, they're always ready and willing to provide constructive solutions and help guide you where the idea is needing to go. Given the current state of things globally, the kind of non face to face support provided has been an essential part in acclimating to a post 2020 world and developing future idea for bigger screens in Australia."
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.
I love the work and process of pitching films and this initiative has brought out the best in me. The experience has been incredibly rewarding, and the insight gained from Monster Pictures in what they’re looking for and how hard they work to make films succeed is something special.
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.
"Though I’ve crewed on films for many years, this is the first time I’ve tried to get a film off the ground. The Monster Pictures and AACTA pitch competition has opened my eyes to the complexities of the process… And, I love it! I've learned so much and am extremely grateful for the opportunities the competition has provided."
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.
"It’s been such an honour to be a part of this initiative and to be among so many incredible ideas and talent. We’ve learned so much from the guidance of Grant at Monster Pictures. It’s not often that a horror film gets the backing of AACTA so this is a HUGE opportunity for us."
UNDER David Chura | 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.
"I’d like to massively thank Monster Pictures & AACTA for the fantastic experience of ISOLATION. It’s amazing that in this time of great challenge to our arts industries local & inventive genre content still has its champions. And as a viewer, I’d love to see any of these 8 fantastic projects make it to the big screen!" - David
“Huge thanks to Monster Pictures and the AACTA for giving me a reason to remain sane during this grueling lockdown period. I'm so excited that our brainchild has made it into the top 8! Super proud to be a slice in this talented pizza pie.” - Charlotte
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.
“It's been an awesome opportunity to flex our creative muscles and rub shoulders with some of the finest filmmakers in Melbourne. Everyone at Monster Pictures and AACTA have been so generous with their time and knowledge. It's fantastic to see initiatives like this fuelling our industry and we all feel very privileged to be a part of it.”
AACTA Pitch: ISOLATION final in partnership with Monster Pictures is just one of the 40+ FREE events at AACTA ScreenFest. To view all of the free-to-stream events available, visit www.screenfest.com.au.