AWG announces Kit Denton short list

23 July, 2008 by IF

The Australian Writers’ Guild is pleased to announce the short-list for the 2008 Kit Denton Fellowship for courage and excellence in performance writing, named in memory of writer Kit Denton, the father of Andrew Denton. The projects of this year’s finalists investigate our very essence – from poignant stories of racism and loss to narratives which question our constructs of punishment, religion and morality.

Andrew Denton says “The Kit Denton Fellowship is designed to encourage a writer with a potentially dangerous idea. Last year’s inaugural winner, Ian David, had decided to take on the entire Australian legal system. That requires courage and perfectly demonstrates what the Fellowship is for. This year we have a short list that represents a range of powerful ideas and a depth of writing talent in Australia.”


The $25,000 Fellowship was set up in 2007 in memory of Kit Denton, scriptwriter, author, poet and lyricist, whose most famous work was the international best-selling novel The Breaker.

The Kit Denton Fellowship allows the selected writer to develop their proposed project into a marketable script. The winner of the fellowship will be announced at the 41st Annual AWGIE Awards on Friday, August 15 at the Plaza Ballroom, Melbourne.

In presenting the Kit Denton Fellowship, the Australian Writers’ Guild is demonstrating its commitment to increasing opportunities for satisfying and rewarding work for Australian performance writers.

The Kit Denton Fellowship is supported by Zapruder’s Other Films.

The 2008 Kit Denton Fellowship Shortlist:

Margaret Cameron
Margaret Cameron’s The Fourth Wall is a psychological one-woman tragi-comedy about betrayal and infidelity in a modern age. Margaret is a gifted actor, director and writer, whose works combine performance art and theatre with an exquisite use of language.

Darlene Johnson
Darlene is one of Australia’s most promising and talented Indigenous filmmakers. Obelia tells the story of an Aboriginal teenager who runs away from a girls’ home and becomes pregnant to a handsome boxer from a travelling side show. Darlene courageously draws on her own life in this project, and she has already caught the interest of Phillip Noyce who has come on board as producer.

Kevin Lucas
Bill Neidjie’s final funeral ceremony at Hawk Dreaming (Garrkanj) forms the centre piece of Kevin Lucas’ work. This extraordinary Indigenous ceremony, never before captured on film, will be interwoven into a ‘dramatic’ coming-of-age narrative.

Suzie Miller
Suzie Miller is a playwright who, as a former human rights and criminal lawyer, is drawn to stories about the damaged and disenfranchised of society. Her project explores the most misunderstood criminal of all – the child killer. Her work questions the nature of evil, punishment and the role of the justice system.

Kate Mulvany
The Seed is to be a film adaptation of Kate Mulvany’s acclaimed stage play which originated with the experiences of Kate’s father, a Vietnam veteran and forced Kate to examine the ramifications of his story on her own life. Kate is an actor and writer whose work includes Embalmer! The Musical, The Web and The Wreath.

Sue Smith
Screenwriter Sue Smith has been behind some of our most loved dramas – Brides of Christ, RAN: Remote Area Nurse, The Road from Coorain and Peaches. Her project Friday on My Mind is a six-part miniseries and examines the experience of a group of Filipino workers who come to Australia under the contentious 457 visa scheme.

Alana Valentine
Alana Valentine is an award-winning and accomplished playwright (Parramatta Girls, Run Rabbit Run). Based on interviews with young Muslim women, her project Shafana and Aunt Sarrinah tells the story of an Australian born Muslim woman who goes to her religion to seek out answers about the September 11 attacks.