AWG announces INSITE winner

13 February, 2009 by IF

[press release from AWG]

The Australian Writers’ Guild (AWG) and the 2009 BigPond Adelaide Film Festival (AFF) are excited to announce the fourth winner of the prestigious INSITE biennial national competition for Un-produced Screenplays.


Writing Rain, written by Ben Chessell, is the story of a writers’ group thrown into turmoil by the arrival of a successful newcomer.

Chessell, who recently became a full member of the AWG, has written several short films including The Only Person in the World, Heartworm and The Heartbreak Tour.

He was thrilled to win the competition saying, ‘Screenwriting is such a solitary and strange profession, especially considering that a finished screenplay is not a complete work and so few screenwriters get the chance to see their work in complete form. An award like this, from two organisations as important as the Australian Writer’s Guild and Adelaide Film Festival, is a welcome and vital encouragement.’

The screenplay will receive a rehearsed public reading directed by Samantha Lang (The Well, The Monkey’s Mask, Idole, L’ ) with professional cast, as part of the 2009 BigPond Adelaide Film Festival and during the AWG Screenwriters Fringe on Tuesday 24 February 2009 at Adelaide’s Mercury Cinema.

Ben will receive travel to Adelaide to participate in rehearsals, a cash prize of $2,500 and a one-on-one script assessment with Jane Schoettle (Toronto International Film Festival Programmer) following the public reading.

Since its inception, INSITE has become a spotlight for the Australian film industry, illuminating undiscovered, original and adapted stories that are yet to be produced and also launched the careers of the writers that created them.

Inaugural winner of INSITE, Blake Ayshford, has since been invited to write on All Saints, McLeod’s Daughters, Love My Way while Cath Moore – INSITE 2005 winner with Moving South, and Priscilla Cameron and Heather Phillips – the winners of INSITE 2007 with Salt, now have their winning screenplays in development.

Over 300 entries from all over the country were submitted for the 2009 competition confirming the INSITE competition’s position as the premier screenwriting competition in Australia.