AACTA & SCREENWORKS KICK OFF 2022 WITH THE RETURN OF AACTA PITCH: REGIONAL LANDSCAPES

Calling all aspiring filmmakers!

Entries are now open for the 2022 AACTA Pitch: Regional Landscapes in partnership with Screenworks. This development initiative will give aspiring Australian creatives the chance to pitch their ideas to key industry figures and receive development funding and support to take their concept to market.

Now in its third year, Regional Landscapes kicks off AACTA’s 2022 development program, which will continue to support and develop new and diverse voices and help aspiring creatives break into the screen industry. Applicants are invited to pitch their feature film concept that incorporates the Australian landscape. This is your opportunity to present a never-before explored story dwelling within the barren bushland scenery that has defined Australia onscreen, or showcase the beauty of rainforests, coastlines, picturesque country towns and much more. Concepts need to be original, with the diverse regional setting of Australia as a central feature of the narrative. Teams can consist of up to three creatives, with at least one based in regional Australia.

This year’s winner will be flown to New York to take part in the Australian International Screen Forum (AISF), where they will have the opportunity to 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. The event is planned to be held in the last three months of the year, returning as an in-person format for the first time since 2019, with dates to be announced soon. 

They will also be provided the support to develop their concept into a screenplay receiving: industry connection opportunities through the Australian Writers’ Guild Pathways program; professional script development sessions; invaluable feedback and ongoing guidance from the esteemed judging panel; three-day pass to all sessions at the Screenworks 2022 Regional to Global Screen Forum to be held in May; AACTA, Screenworks and Australian Writers’ Guild annual memberships; and two tickets to the 2022 AACTA Award Ceremony.

Executive Director of the AISF Michael Kelleher said, “Our New York program this year will include strategies for audience development, giving the filmmaker the chance to take into account the international marketplace in addition to the unique Australian elements. Local for global is a hot topic right now, particularly in the age of streaming.”

Development initiatives present a great opportunity for early career screenwriters and filmmakers and AACTA Pitch: Regional Landscapes is particularly helpful to those from regional areas. 2020 Regional Landscape’s finalist, Timothy Walker, credits the initiative as the reason they were able to present their concept and see it developed in the Stan original film, A SUNBURNT CHRISTMAS.

“Without AACTA Pitch Regional Landscapes in partnership with Screenworks we would never have met the amazing Deb Cox and the team at Every Cloud Productions who listened to our idea for an Australian Christmas Film,” said Timothy Walker, 2020 AACTA Regional Pitch Landscapes Finalist and co-writer of A SUNBURNT CHRISTMAS alongside Elliot and Gretel Vella.

Screenworks CEO Ken Crouch said, “In Screen Australia’s Top 100 Australian Feature Films of All Time list, at least 13 of the top 20 films listed feature regional landscapes. That’s why Screenworks is delighted to partner with AACTA and AISF for the third year of the Regional Landscapes pitching initiative. We’re excited to uncover even more authentic stories and voices from regional Australia – the last two years have proven that there is a wealth of storytelling talent in the regions and this initiative aims to find the original and compelling stories from across Australia that will be our next national and global box office successes”.

AACTA Awards and Industry Development Manager Ivan Vukusic said, “It’s been a pleasure discovering and supporting new voices and stories emanating from regional Australia. The uniqueness of our wide land has inspired some of our biggest and most loved films including a wealth of AACTA Award winners. Through our partnership with Screenworks, and with AISF who we welcome in this the third year of our Regional Landscapes initiative, along with the assistance of the AWG, we’re honoured to be playing our part to bring these creatives to the fore and their stories to our screens”.

AACTA encourages new, emerging or experienced creatives to apply, particularly those from diverse and under-represented backgrounds. Initial entry requirements include: Title, logline, a 1000-word treatment and the first 5 pages of the screenplay. Round One entries close at 5pm AEDT on Thursday 10 March 2022. A panel of judges will be announced later this month and includes prominent Australian screen decision makers across streaming, production, and distribution.

Non AACTA applicants who become an AACTA member on application will have their application fee waived for AACTA Pitch: Regional Landscapes in partnership with Screenworks. For more information on AACTA membership, click here.

For more information visit https://www.australianscreenforum.org/

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