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AACTA Announces the Top 5 Finalists Vying for the 2022 Reg Grundy Award

AACTA today announced the five finalists for the 2022 AACTA Reg Grundy Award, established to support new ideas in screen entertainment and fast track new and original productions. The 2022 AACTA Reg Grundy Award was open to any Australian with a new idea for a television competition program, and with $50K on offer, is the largest prize of its kind in the world!

These top five finalists have been selected after two rigorous rounds of pitches and tasks, that have asked them to demonstrate that their idea is engaging and unique. During Round 1, AACTA called for submissions from people all over the country, and tasked them to submit their show’s title, a logline and include a synopsis. Progressing through to Round 2, a longlist of ten finalists were tasked to further expand upon their idea by submitting a video pitching their concept (up to 3 minutes in length), a pitch deck, and a one-minute video introducing themselves.

This year’s top 5 pitches are from a variety of non-scripted genres, and include an informative panel program, a futuristic-take on TV dating, a gameshow for big kids, a makeover show for the modern world and a factual program that delves into contestant’s greatest fears. Inspired by real life events and contemporary culture, the finalist’s all present unique, engaging, and thought-provoking concepts that transform traditional formats for Australian audiences.

The five 2022 Reg Grundy Award Finalists and their loglines are as follows:

Bubble Raft | Carolyn Swindell

It’s Gruen Transfer and Good News Week for Science

Facing the Fear | Rachel Kayrooz

A psychological reality show, walking guests through their journey of facing and overcoming their deepest traumas and fears. Inspiring, gripping and emotive viewing to change the narrative of how we look at mental health and trauma.

Love Virtually | Duane Hatherly, Louise Schultze

A revolutionary new dating series where singles search for love, through dates, games and eliminations, in the gamified world of virtual reality!

Mr. Wolf | Jayden O’Shea, George Harrington

Mr. Wolf is a reality competition series that pits 20 adults against one another over 5 supersized childhood-themed games. Only 3 contestants survive and compete in the final game, where they face off against the villainous Mr. Wolf for the chance to win a cash prize.

Woke Up, Australia! | Meaghan Wilson Anastasios

Wake-overs for a brave, new world

The panel of esteemed judges who have narrowed the field down to just five will now meet with each team to provide them with guidance on perfecting their pitch, and ensuring their materials are market ready. Industry and entertainment experts Debbie Cuell, Head of the newly formed Sparkle Pictures, and previously Head of Entertainment at the ABC and an AACTA Award winning executive at Endemol Shine Australia (Old People’s Home For 4 Year Olds), Steve Oemcke, co-founder of WTFN, one of Australia’s most successful, innovative and prolific content businesses (Postcards, Bondi Vet), Sharon Wheeler (Award-winning Senior Entertainment Executive), Marion Farrelly (Speaker, Consultant, Creative Strategist), and Ian Hogg (Media CEO, Advisor, Australian Idol, Australia’s Got Talent, Family Feud), will provide invaluable, high level advice on TV development and pitching, and to this year’s lucky recipient, ongoing guidance and mentorship to help bring their excellent project to life.

The 2022 AACTA Reg Grundy Award Final will be held next week, during which our top 5 finalists will have another chance to pitch – this time live to the entire judging panel – and the person who has pitched the best idea will walk away with the $50,000 prize and a chance to see their idea become a reality.

AACTA Reg Grundy Award Judge and Head of Sparkle Pictures, Debbie Cuell said “I’m inspired by this year’s entrants in the Reg Grundy Award. To see such creative, unique and well thought out ideas across several different non-scripted genres, is representative of the creativity and talent we have here in Australia. To choose 1 winner is going to be tough, because I can see many of the ideas worthy of broadcast.”

AACTA Awards and Industry Development Manager, Ivan Vukusic said "Our finalists this year have exemplified the diversity and potentiality of unscripted entertainment, and it’s been a pleasure exploring each of these projects in depth through the Reg Grundy Award process. Each project is quite unique and distinct and they all harness originality, impact and a clear ambition to engage audiences. We’ve been encouraged to see last year’s recipient Jason Chong move into SPA’s Ones To Watch Program, and his winning project Stealing Second now has a pilot and is fielding interest, thanks to the support of the Reg Grundy Award. While one project will take out the ultimate prize, we’re confident that the quality of this year’s top 5 will ensure ongoing interest in each. I wish all of them the best of luck as we near the final pitch.”

The recipient of the 2022 AACTA Reg Grundy Award will be announced Thursday, December 1, 2022.


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