AACTA and Screenworks have extended the deadline for the Regional Landscapes pitch until March 1.

The national pitching and screenwriting initiative is aimed at developing an original feature film that celebrates Australia’s regional areas – one where the regional setting lends itself as a central character to the narrative.

Submissions must include the first five pages of the screenplay, an outline/synopsis of up to 1,000 words, and a 250 word description of the regional setting.

Up to five finalists will be shortlisted, ahead of a live pitch at Screenworks’ Regional to Global Screen Forum.

The judges for the initiative have also been unveiled, and include:

  • Event Cinemas general manager of content Clare Gandy
  • Actor and writer Pallavi Sharda
  • GoodThing Produtions head of production Virginia Whitwell
  • Melbourne International Film Festival industry director Mark Woods
  • See Pictures producer Isabel Stanfield

This year, finalists will be pitching for the chance to receive professional script development sessions; profiling and industry opportunities through the Australian Writers’ Guild Pathways program; a three-day pass to all sessions at the Screenworks Regional to Global Screen Forum; AACTA annual membership, Screenworks annual membership, Australian Writers’ Guild annual membership, and two tickets to the 2021 AACTA Awards.

“With local stories in local settings powering the box office, we are incredibly happy to be partnering with Screenworks again on this timely initiative. Last year’s entries were of such a high calibre, representing the scope and scale of story that is both uniquely Australian and universally relatable, and it was encouraging to see so many quality pitches from regional creatives,” said AACTA awards and industry development manager Ivan Vukusic.

“AACTA, in partnership with Screenworks and with the support of the AWG, are committed to discovering exciting new voices and stories from across the breadth of Australia. All you need is the first five pages of your screenplay, along with a clear understanding of where you want to take your story, and you have a real chance at developing your film and your career”.

Among last year’s finalists was Timothy Walker, Elliot and Gretel Vella’s A Sunburnt Christmas, which went to commission at Stan, launching last December.

“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 and saw its potential. Nine months later and with the help of so many other amazing people that it was launched as a Stan Original Film A Sunburnt Christmas! I think it’s fair to say we are incredibly grateful to AACTA and Screenworks for that opportunity to pitch,” said Walker.

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