The Recipient of the 2022 AACTA Pitch: Focus In Partnership With Sony Initiative Announced
AACTA today announced the team who took out the second year of AACTA Pitch: Focus in Partnership with Sony; a national short film development and production initiative challenging student filmmakers to form teams and create an original production to be assessed by a panel of esteemed industry judges.
RMIT student Sophie Kesoglidis and her team made up of director Eva Justine Torkkola, cinematographer Sarah Jo Fraser, and production designer Fatima El-Hassan have been determined as the 2022 recipients of $15,000 in development funds and a suite of state-of-the-art Sony equipment on loan, valued at over $6,500, to produce their short film.
The five finalists pitched their ideas to four short film and industry experts - Lyn Norfor, Chief Technology Officer at AFTRS and producer/co-founder of Emerald Productions, Nicholas Colla (The Wizards Of Oz, The Legend Of Burntout Barry, Neighbours), Imogen Thomas (Emu Runner, Mixed Bag), and Liam Heyen (2021 AACTA Nominated Short Film You And Me, Before And After, 2022 AACTA Nominated Short Film Voice Activated) - who selected Sophie’s concept for its compelling story, the film’s viability, and the team’s capability to take their idea through the various stages of production.
Sophie Kesoglidis and her team’s concept The Sight of Sound features the idyllic landscapes of regional Victoria, and champions themes of authenticity and pursuing one’s dreams. The story of “a diligent yet ordinary 17 year old high school viola student pursuing a coveted position at the conservatorium is faced with making an unorthodox decision in order to be truly heard” is bound to resonate with audiences, particularly those who have studied on pursued a career in the Arts.
“Once more I’ve been incredibly impressed with the articulate and engaging pitching of these student filmmakers discovered through FOCUS. It was a difficult decision this year, but Sophie has created a personal and moving story of authenticity and triumph that resonated with us all and was supported by an incredibly competent proof of concept created with her talented team, and they are ready to deliver. Myself and all of our enthusiastic judges, along with our supportive partners in Sony, are looking forward to helping them create the great short film that’s been developed through the FOCUS process,” said AACTA Awards and Industry Development Manager, Ivan Vukusic.
“We are thrilled at Sony to once again sponsor this great initiative, AACTA Pitch: Focus, in conjunction with AACTA. This year saw a range of outstanding projects pitched by students currently enrolled at a Australia’s film learning institutions. ‘The Sight of Sound’ is clearly a story that Sophie is deeply connected to, and we cannot wait to see her story come to life,” said Head of Digital Imaging, Sony Australia, Jun Yoon.
2022 AACTA Pitch: Focus recipient Sophie Kesoglidis said of her experience:
“AACTA Pitch Focus prompted me to think about which story I felt compelled to tell now in a short film format. I saw this as an opportunity to join forces with like-minded filmmakers who would connect with my story, align aesthetically, and, have a similar committed work ethic, in order to tell an engaging story and create a cinematic experience. The Sight of Sound is based on a profound moment that happened to me years ago. It explores authenticity and our basic human need to be heard and acknowledged. It felt like the right project for this competition and an opportunity to write and produce original material, which is my ultimate goal. I not only love writing the script but also steering a project through the many unexpected twists and turns a project takes as it evolves - just as we experienced when making our Proof of Concept, when the floods became a huge obstacle to say the least!
One of the most rewarding aspects of this competition has been discussing my project with the judges. It is invaluable to receive advice from mentors who have stood in our shoes before us. With an esteemed industry body offering the prize of production funds, a loan of SONY camera equipment and mentorship, AACTA Pitch Focus became my focus. And as rewarding as it is to write scripts independently, it is an honour to be chosen as the winner along the way.”