Three lucky amateur scriptwriters are one step closer to fulfilling their dreams of a career in the film industry after winning the inaugural John Jameson Productions scriptwriting competition, announced on July 24.

William Howarth, Van Badham, and Ian Thomson were given the opportunity six months ago to write a 200 word film synopsis with an unexpected ending and will now have their script developed into a short film by a professional production team with a budget of $20,000 each.

Somedays Gallery in Surry Hills was packed with aspiring film writers and industry professionals who enjoyed the smooth taste of Jameson cocktails while mingling with the judging panel of industry legends and MC for the night, the very polished and witty Rhys Muldoon.

The judging panel included Academy Award Winner Russell Boyd, respected actress and film critic Lisa Hensley, Shine and Strictly Ballroom producer Jane Scott, well-known Looking for Alibrandi star Pia Miranda and legendary scriptwriter Jan Sardi who won an Oscar nomination for Shine and also wrote the much-loved The Notebook.

Jameson Irish Whiskey Brand Manager Monica Hart said the competition was just the beginning of a long partnership Jameson intends to have with the film industry in Australia.

“Jameson has a global alignment with film as sponsor of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival and Tribeca in New York, among others. In Australia, we felt that the screen-writers were often the unsung heroes of the film community. Our competition created a forum, via John Jameson Productions, to give talented young writers an opportunity to have their ideas realised.”

“We are really excited about what these amateur scriptwriters will bring to Australia in the future – who knows, last night we might have just discovered the next Jan Sardi,” said Hart.

As an added bonus each of the three winners walked out of the Gallery clutching a rare and sought-after bottle of Jameson 18 Year-Old to further encourage their creative juices as their films go into production.

The competition received an overwhelming response of 450 entrants from around the nation, eight being selected to attend an industry workshop at Fox Studios Sydney on 31 May to redevelop their script for a final reading to select the winners.

The winning scripts were William Howarth’s My New Toy, Van Badham’s Octopus and Ian Thomson’s A True Story.

The five finalists who didn’t make the final three but received commendations and a bottle of Jameson Irish Whiskey 12 Year Old were: Christopher Pierags, Andrew Hannan, Victoria Cleal, Graeme Simsion and Thomas McKeith.

It is expected the winning short films will be screened in November 2008.

For further information about the John Jameson Productions Script Writing Competition visit www.johnjamesonproductions.com.au

22 year old William Howarth is from Bondi NSW
29 year old Van Badham is from Sans Souci NSW
28 year old Ian Thomson is from Yass NSW

[Release by Liquid Ideas]

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