Past Pitch Australiana winners ‘Shooting Cats’ and ‘Burlesque Boys’.
VICE and Screen Australia will once again run the Pitch Australiana competition at the Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC) next year.
This is the third iteration of the initiative, which offers filmmakers the chance to pitch for a $50,000 commission for a short-form documentary to be released on VICE.com as part of the digital documentary series Australiana, which is seen in 35 countries. The winning documentary will also air on SBS VICELAND.
The Pitch Australiana competition is open to early career Australian filmmakers that have at least one documentary production credit to their name. Four concepts will be shortlisted to compete, pitching live to an audience and a panel of judges.
Australiana aims to present a raw and diverse portrait of modern Australia. Stories should focus on the perspectives of individuals, communities, and subcultures from across the country that are overlooked or ignored, offering a voice to those on the fringes of society.
Finalists will also be provided with a unique opportunity to develop their pitch in advance of the AIDC competition with writer, director and producer Matt Bate from Closer Productions whose credits include Shut Up Little Man! An Audio Misadventure, Guilty and Sam Klemke’s Time Machine.
The winning concept of last year’s competition, Burlesque Boys, was released on October 10. Directed by Isaac Elliott and produced by Lucy Knox, Burlesque Boys is an observational documentary that explores male erotic performers’ gruelling schedules and how they navigate consent with female participants, along with the toll the work has on their relationships, self-image and finances. The 2018 winner was Shooting Cats, directed by Inday Ford and Dylan Blowen and explores the catastrophic impact feral cats have on Australian wildlife and the complexities environmentalists face in their attempt to find solutions to this epidemic.
Screen Australia head of documentary Bernadine Lim said: “This initiative gives new Australian creators an opportunity to tell distinctive local stories on a renowned global platform. The inaugural winner Shooting Cats has gone on to reach an audience of over 1.5million through VICE’s YouTube channel, and I’m confident Burlesque Boys will also prove popular. We are looking for edgy thought-provoking stories that will provide a unique perspective to a divisive topic.”
VICE Asia Pacific director of content distribution and partnerships Mimi Flemming said: “We’re thrilled to partner again with Screen Australia and AIDC on this fantastic initiative. Championing new filmmakers who tell unique stories is so important to VICE. Pitch Australiana is an incredible opportunity to hero the next generation of Australian talent.”
AIDC CEO and conference director Alice Burgin said AIDC says “The AIDC is so pleased to once again be working with the teams at VICE and Screen Australia for a third year on this wonderful initiative. By showcasing some of the country’s hottest new filmmaking talent to the broader industry, Pitch Australiana really has become one of AIDC’s most anticipated events.”
Screen Australia will provide the four finalists with complimentary day passes to attend AIDC in Melbourne and cover the costs of travel and accommodation for interstate finalists.
Pitch submissions are due 6 December, 2019. Finalists will be notified in January 2020. Pitch Australiana will be held Wednesday March 4, 2020 at AIDC.