Media Room

AACTA and SAE Announce Winners of 'Uncovered' Filmmaking Competition

AACTA and SAE have announced both Josh Hauser and Rebeckah Howson as the inaugural recipients of AACTA Pitch: Uncovered for their respective films Dancing on Water and Death Rites at a final showcase in Sydney tonight.

After launching across SAE campuses in late 2022, participating students were offered workshops with Amiel Courtin Wilson covering Finding The Story and Ivan O'Mahoney covering Direction to assist in further development and execution of their concepts. They then filmed a short documentary and 11 finalists were selected from six campuses based on this work. These students received feedback sessions with judges Karina Holden (Head of Factual at Northern Pictures), Stephen Oliver (Manager, Documentaries, ABC Television), Virginia Whitwell (Partner and head of Production at GoodThing Productions) and Malinda Wink (Executive Director of Minderoo Pictures).

The finalist's films will be shown to a room of their peers and industry in Sydney's Palace Cinema Central this evening, incorporating invaluable discussion and feedback from our judges in between each film. At the end of the evening, Josh's film 'Dancing on Water' and Rebeckah's film 'Death Rites', will be announced as the recipients, and they will now receive further industry consultation and feedback to continue their filmmaking.

Malinda Wink, Executive Director at Minderoo Pictures said, “The Judges were impressed by the high quality of the submissions by SAE’s students from across the world, and particularly ‘Dancing on Water’ and ‘Death Rites. They were both beautifully crafted productions that tackle impactful subjects’ in ways that resonated with all of us.

“I enjoyed meeting the teams and the opportunity to work with emerging filmmakers as they hone their craft. I would like to extend a heartfelt congratulations to all the entrants for their exceptional skill, creativity and approach. ‘Uncovered’ has been a pleasure to be a part of.”

Ivan Vukusic, AACTA Awards and Industry Development Manager said, “I am thrilled to see the immense talent and creativity displayed by the winners of the 'Uncovered' competition. AACTA remains steadfast in our commitment to supporting and nurturing emerging filmmakers, and this competition is a testament to that dedication.

“Winning the 'Uncovered' competition is a remarkable achievement and a significant career stepping stone for our winners. AACTA is proud to be a part of their journey and will continue to provide the necessary resources and opportunities for their growth and success.”

SAE General Manager, Dr Luke McMillan said, “It’s fantastic to see our students creating a range of insightful documentaries which speak to important themes in society. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the team at AACTA for their support in providing SAE students with the platform to develop their documentary filmmaking skills, so they can be industry ready upon graduation.

“The invaluable guidance the winners will receive, will further enhance their filmmaking abilities and help propel their careers in the highly competitive screen industry.”

Josh Hauser said of the experience, “It’s been a real honour to take the ‘Uncovered’ award, and to have had the opportunity to tell such a unique story between a father and daughter. Trusting our process, and allowing the film to speak for itself was the approach we took. I am really blessed with the overall outcome and I look forward to creating more emotive, impactful and meaningful stories in the near future."

Rebeckah Howson also said of the experience, “I am honestly blown away to have won - the whole experience with AACTA has been so rich and valuable, everything from the masterclasses, to receiving all the judges' feedback. Death Rites is my first foray into documentary filmmaking, and as a film student, getting the opportunity to have my work shown to such esteemed industry professionals this early on in my career is a dream.”


The finalists, who were all selected from SAE campuses across Australia as well as the Dubai campus, were:


Acting Out - Waseem Akram, Naasha Bulsara, Avishek Ghatak, Malika Kurganbaeva (Dubai)

In an attempt to find out if performing arts is a viable alternative career choice, a young college student explores the performing arts department in the UAE.


Alley-Oop - Myles Cunningham, Christina Kim, Lachlan Wylie, Benjamin Yeo (Sydney)

An intimate look into the work of Josie Taoi, a basketball coach who founded a non-profit platform to provide youth in Western Sydney the opportunity to play basketball.


Back in Style: The Resurgence of Vinyl - Brenna Bannerman, Tanya Clark, Blake Thew (Byron Bay)

Interviewing three people enthusiastic about vinyl, to learn about the resurgence of vinyl.


Dancing on Water - Joshua Hauser (Perth)

Explores the paternal bond between a Father and Daughter, and their relationship towards the ocean whilst dealing with life's complications.


Death Rites - Rebeckah Howson (Brisbane)

Death Rites follows the day to day dealings of death with unconventional funeral director Halie, as she leads the way in reviving traditional death care practices for families and loved ones as they navigate the death portal.


In A Heartbeat - Qais Alameer, Faizul Bari, Karmen Cheikh Ali, Biki Das (Dubai)

In a Heartbeat is a short documentary about Sawsan Dahneem, a mother who goes through a traumatic labor and is rushed into an emergency c-section.


Ruth & John - Lochlan Graham, Braden McDonald (Melbourne)

Ruth & John tells the unique story of the director's great-grandparents - two missionaries working in remote Northern Territory in the 1950s, exploring their experiences and the special connections they had to the people and Indigenous communities.


The Fifth Quarter - Jacqueline Cockerall, Melissa Devlin, Jj Dillon, Clyde Hoang, Nicholas Pribilovic, Kade Wallace (Perth)

A look at the Brentwood Booragoon AFL Masters team, a group of men who push aside age and injury to keep playing the game they love.


This is BAM - Joanne Dunuwille, Karlee Jane, Patrick Lovelady, Pooja Sathish (Melbourne)

It started as a casual weekend dance class for her son Buster, today BAM is a hub of creativity for Melbourne's disability community.


Through Her Lens - Alex Balestrieri, Nehal Changat, Sri Vadlamoodi, Willem Van Den Broek (Brisbane)

Willem's twin sister Rosie is non-verbal and autistic so communication is challenging for those around her. Through Her Lens is Willem's investigation into how Rosie sees the world.


URBEX: Bygone Beauty - David Esdaile, Max Fintan, Mollie Hine, Ryan Whitbread (Sydney)

"URBEX: Bygone Beauty" dives into the fascinating and legally ambiguous world of Urban Exploration, and unpacks how these people are showing the beauty of natural decay, through their art.


For more information on AACTA Pitch: Uncovered, in partnership with SAE, click here.

All finalist's films will be made available for members on AACTA TV, for a limited time.


Don't Miss Out
Want to get updates from AACTA? Sign Up Below

Your cart

No items in your cart.