Australian writer wins Sir Peter Ustinov Television Scriptwriting Award

16 December, 2010 by IF

Press release from Checklist Productions

A Panel of Jurors designated by The International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Foundation selected Brisbane-based screenwriter Jason Spencer as the recipient of its prestigious ‘Sir Peter Ustinov Television Scriptwriting Award’.


The award, given annually to young writers from around the globe, was presented to Jason as part of the International Emmy World Television Festival in November in New York City. In addition to being flown to New York to attend the International Emmy Awards Gala, Jason received prize money, and watched his script performed live by professional actors during the Festival.

His winning entry was an hour-length TV pilot titled Spirits of the Past.

The pilot follows the plight of two American children who are sent to stay with relatives in Australia, but after a supernatural turn of events find themselves stranded in the past, where they must use their wits and courage to survive the harsh world of colonial Australia.

With a strong emphasis on the Australian landscape as well as Aboriginal dreamtime mythology, the script provides international audiences with a glimpse into the unique heritage of this country.

A few words from Jason about his experience:

I was honoured by the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, the institute that hosts the International Emmys, as the recipient of the Sir Peter Ustinov Scriptwriting Award.

From the moment the festival kicked off with formal cocktails hosted by a prominent Academy member on the Friday night, 'til the last weary celebrants stumbled out of the awards afterparty early Tuesday morning, the entire weekend was a whirlwind of action and excitement.

I was able to meet with high profile industry leaders from dozens of different countries and markets. I saw my script read in its entirety by Broadway and Off-Broadway actors.

I received recognition in front of the cream of the international film community. I walked the red carpet at the awards show and posed for seemingly endless photographs for the demanding paparazzi.

It was a weekend of unique, life-changing experiences; a weekend I will never forget.