Press release from Open Channel

One of Victoria's most exciting emerging screenwriters Jehan Ratnatunga has taken out the Open Channel Short & Sharp Pro Feature Film Pitching Compeition with his coming of age romantic comedy 'Arranged' (cowritten with Ary Ganeshalingam and Arj Ganeshalingam). Jehan will represent Victoria at the National Pitch in Sydney on Wednesday October 12 and is now one step away from representing Australia at the MPA-CICE Film Workshop to be held in Beijing, China from December 1 to 3. Jehan was selected from a highly competitive field from a panel of creative and commercial film executives comprised of Seph McKenna (Head of Australian Production, Roadshow Films), independent director/producer Marc Gracie (The Craic, Takeaway), and Open Channel Executive Director and multi-feature film Executive Producer Jennie Hughes (Crackerjack, Gettin' Square, Dirty Deeds).

Open Channel Executive Director Jennie Hughes commented, "We're delighted that Jehan will be representing Victoria at the National Pitch in Sydney next week. Short & Sharp Pro attracted a strong field of candidates and Jehan articulated a strong vision for his project and delivered a very entertaining and engaging pitch.

Jehan has a strong mix of business and creative skills, having created multi-platform projects including a highly successful YouTube website which has generated 2.3 million views and led to a YouTube partnership. He is also a recent finalist in the Movie Extra Webfest.

Supported by Film Victoria and presented by Open Channel, Short & Sharp Pro is a brand extension of Open Channel's highly succesful Short & Sharp Pitching Compeition and is part of a national feature film Screen Development Australia (SDA) initiative. Short & Sharp Pro is the first step in a Screen Development Australia (SDA) and Motion Pictures Association (MPA – Asia Pacific Partners) initiative that sees the national winner represent Australia at China International Copyright Expo (CICE) Film Workshop in Beijing. The Australian representative has the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of recent Workshop participant Xue Xiaolu, whose debut feature film 'Ocean Heaven', starring Jet Li (Once Upon a Time in China, Hero), produced by Bill Kong (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; Lust, Caution) and photographed by Christopher Doyle (In the Mood for Love, Paranoid Park) was produced off the back of her involvement in the Workshop.

Jehan will now turn his attention to the National Pitch and winning over a very accomplished judging panel which includes producers Jan Chapman (The Piano, Love Serenade, Lantana, Bright Star) and Vincent Sheehan (Animal Kingdom, Little Fish, TV's 'Laid'), distributor Richard Payton (Managing Director, Transmission), Stephen Jenner (Public Relations Consultant for the Motion Pictures Association (MPA) Asia Pacific) and Screen Australia's Chris Oliver (Senior Manager, State and Industry Partnerships, Screen Australia).

THE NATIONAL PITCH

Wednesday October 12, 6.30pm

Chauvel Cinema

Paddington Town Hall, Paddington, Sydney