AACTA Pitch: Regional Landscapes 2022 Finalists and Judges Announced
Celebrating the diverse stories and landscapes of regional Australia, this year’s edition of AACTA Pitch: Regional Landscapes, a national pitching and film development initiative held in partnership with Screenworks, attracted a high calibre of entries set to be judged by an esteemed panel of industry experts.
This year’s five AACTA Pitch: Regional Landscapes finalists’ unique film ideas varied from creative, genre-bending fiction to stories inspired by real life events. The ideas were underpinned by diverse landscapes from across Australia, from the sandy stretches of the Birdsville Track to the rugged beauty of Kangaroo Island.
This year’s recipient will secure developmental support to take their film project to market, as well as a grant to cover travel and accommodation expenses to attend the 2022 Australian International Screen Forum in New York, USA where they will have the opportunity to present their project and network in an exclusive setting with US based producers, studio executives and other key decision makers as part of the multi-day film festival and industry conference at Lincoln Center.
Each team will be given pitch training to help them deliver their original concepts to the esteemed industry judging panel, made up of Michael Pontin, AACTA Awards winning producer and head of Ticket To Ride, a subsidiary of See Pictures (June Again); Rachel Okine, the Head of Features and Development Executive at Stan; Tony Briggs, AACTA Award winning writer and producer (The Sapphires, The Warriors); and Peter Cron, VP of Production and Development at Likely Story (American Ultra), and Kevin Misher, US based producer (Coming to America 2).
AACTA Pitch: Regional Landscapes will culminate in a session at the Screenworks 2022 Regional To Global Screen Forum on Saturday 28 May which will feature the five finalists and reveal the winner. The five AACTA Pitch: Regional Landscapes in Partnership with Screenworks finalists and their loglines are as follows:
THE BANK MANAGER (set in Cloncurry, QLD) | Madeleine Chaplain and Luke, Chaplain
Based on true events surrounding the 1932 Cloncurry bank robberies. Amidst drought and recession, a farmer assembles a team of colourful locals to pull off a sophisticated heist. It will take skill, bravery, a few bars of soap and a woman named Peach. But in this small country town, where everyone knows everyone's secrets - will they succeed? Or worse - will they be caught?
BLACK MAGIC (set in Scone, NSW) | Leonie Kelly and Di Smith
From the outback to Tarakan, bound together by love, loss and incredible danger, two warriors fight for the recognition of Len Waters, the first Aboriginal fighter pilot, Australia's ‘Missing Man’.
LAND’S END (set in Ballarat, VIC) | Lou Sanz and John Kachoyan
After a devastating loss, an emergency room Doctor flees to a remote property ‘prepping’ for an imagined apocalypse. But when a global catastrophe actually strikes, survivors start trickling in and she's forced to choose between isolation or life amongst the survivors.
RADIO INFREQUENCY (set in Kangaroo Island, SA) | Dave Wade
Volunteers from a community radio station are forced to navigate their way through a merger bid from a multimedia corporation with ulterior motives.
THE TRACK (set on the Birdsville Track, QLD/SA) | Travis Akbar and Adam Gerard
Following an abduction, cops and journalists charter a plane to the Birdsville Track to negotiate the safe release of three hostages from dangerous, armed convicts. Based on true events.
All the teams who applied for this year’s AACTA Pitch: Regional Landscapes initiative were required to have one key team member residing in regional Australia.
AACTA Awards and Industry Development Manager Ivan Vukusic said, “Given how tough it has been for some parts of regional Australia, it is a privilege to be able to give a platform to those who have endured so much. To hear their stories and provide them with the opportunity to express their connection with the places they call home is an honour.
The highly creative entries we have received demonstrate that regional Australia is rich with talent. Both AACTA and Screenworks see enormous potential in the pitches, and we’re keen to see what is instore for the teams. We’re very excited to have an experienced and highly talented judging panel onboard once more including our US based judges who help bring a global perspective.”
Screenworks CEO Ken Crouch said, "We had a superb response to the latest AACTA Pitch: Regional Landscapes callout and received submissions from right across the country. This initiative is a wonderful opportunity to showcase regional stories and voices and the five finalists show us once again that there is a wealth of creative talent in regional, rural and remote Australia. We're looking forward to showcasing the finalists and announcing the winner at our Regional To Global Screen Forum on 28 May."
More about this year’s judges
Tony Briggs is an Australian stage and screen creative - actor, writer, director, and producer - based in Melbourne. He is the creator and writer of the hit feature film The Sapphires, adapted from his award- winning stage play The Sapphires. Tony is co-creator, executive producer, and writer of the eight-part TV series The Warriors. As an actor of many years, Tony holds various credits to his name including roles in The Fires, The Slap, Seven Types of Ambiguity, Nowhere Boys, The Broken Shore, and The Circuit.
Tony is the Artistic Director of the Birrarangga Film Festival, a celebration of Indigenous films from around the globe. Tony runs his Melbourne base production company Typecast Entertainment which has various film and Television projects in development.
Peter Cron is a Vice President of Production & Development at Likely Story. His past credits include Someone Great, I’m Thinking of Ending Things, Sing Street, American Ultra, Indignation, Topside, The Circle, Collateral Beauty, Every Day, Things Heard & Seen, and The Whole Truth. His upcoming films include Jennifer Kaytin Robinson’s Strangers for Netflix, and William Oldroyd’s Eileen, based on the novel by Ottessa Moshfegh, starring Thomasin McKenzie and Anne Hathaway. Prior to his tenure at Likely Story, Cron was a creative executive at both Scott Rudin Productions and The Weinstein Company.
Kevin Misher has produced feature films via his Los Angeles-based production company, Misher Films for over two decades. After receiving a Bachelor’s degree in economics, Misher soon relocated to Los Angeles working in talent agencies, where he oversaw numerous productions, including DONNIE BRASCO, starring Al Pacino and Johnny Depp and the sports classic RUDY.
Misher worked as the President of Production at Universal Pictures from 1996 to 2001, after which he left to form Misher Films and in the two decades since has produced a variety of films in all genres with A List talent in front of and behind the camera - THE INTERPRETER, PUBLIC ENEMIES, and MIRROR, MIRROR to name a few. In 2021 Amazon premiered Misher’s sequel to the comedy classic COMING TO AMERICA with Eddie Murphy to record breaking viewership levels and Apple and Amblin’s FINCH starring Tom Hanks premiered as the most viewed movie in Apple’s history.
Rachel Okine is the Head of Features and Development Executive at Stan. After starting her career in acquisitions at FilmFour, Rachel was the first employee of Hopscotch, and has been the Managing Director of Aquarius Films as well as Vice President of International Acquisitions for STX Entertainment.
Michael Pontin is the head of Ticket To Ride, a subsidiary of See Pictures. He has produced award winning films, including LONG STORY SHORT for writer/director Josh Lawson in 2021 and JUNE AGAIN, which was theatrically released in Australia in May 2021 by Studio Canal and won the 2021 AACTA Award for Best Score.
For more information on AACTA Pitch: Regional Landscapes, click here.
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