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The Winner of the 2021 AACTA Reg Grundy Award has been Announced

Today AACTA announced the winner of $50,000 in cash and development for the 2021 AACTA Reg Grundy Award; an annual pitching competition open to anyone with a great idea for a new entertainment program.

Following the final pitch at AACTA ScreenFest, Adelaide comedian Jason Chong has been announced as the winner for his concept The Second Best Game Show. Jason will be taking home $20,000 in cash and $30,000 in development funding.

The five finalists of this year’s Reg Grundy Award pitched their concepts to a panel of judges comprised of Eden Gaha (President of unscripted television at Shine USA), Cathy Payne (CEO of Banijay Rights), 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).

The AACTA Reg Grundy Award was established to foster new creative voices and support new ideas in screen entertainment, with the goal of fast tracking innovative and original productions. More information on the winner of the additional prize of $10,000 for the best idea from someone under 25 will be announced soon.

Jason Chong’s winning concept The Second Best Gameshow demonstrated a new, original, and viable idea that has the all-important entertainment factor, with a premise that upends the original gameshow format by asking contestants to “finish second”.

“The Second Best Game Show takes the quiz show format and destroys it by asking one question: “What would happen if it’s the person in SECOND PLACE that takes home the prize money?”

Jason Chong said of the experience:

“The Second Best Gameshow is an idea I’ve been playing around with for the last year or two, and the Reg Grundy Award was great motivation for me to get it out of my head and turn it into a pitch.  As one of the 5 finalists, I found the judges were not only super supportive with their feedback but also very generous with their advice on how to make it even better. And now with the support of AACTA and the judges, I’m so excited to develop it into a format ready to take over the world!”

Last year’s finalists have all gone on to garner industry interest with the creators of the 2020 Reg Grundy Award winner, Seven Pups, in discussion with producers in the US for series 1. Respected factual and unscripted production company WTFN are collaborating on other projects for broadcasters and streamers with one finalist entering a development agreement.

AACTA Awards and Industry Development Manager, Ivan Vukusic said "There is no shortage of creative thinking from everyday Australians and this year, with a skew toward competition and gameshow format ideas, we were really impressed with the wealth of novel, out of the box ideas. Jason's great idea is one we're really excited to bring to life, and with a host of last year's finalists currently in advanced development, we're very proud of the contribution to our screen industry that the Reg Grundy Award is making".

To hear the top five Reg Grundy finalists pitch and to watch the final, sign up for your free ScreenFest account here and watch on AACTA TV.


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