What does a queer zombie musical; a post-apocalyptic panda and an anthropological study on bogans all have in common? They are all ideas for new films that will be pitched to the industry pros by some of Australia’s brightest emerging screen talent.
The film pitching competition is the result of a nationwide search for the best projects in the country. Winners at each of the state finals will now battle it out as part of the SPAA Fringe at the Cockatoo Island Film Festival. The top three film concepts will be selected to pitch their ideas to the 700+ industry delegates at the SPAA Conference in November, with the ultimate champion winning a trip to the Cannes film market with $1,500 in cash.
Among the 6 finalists is two-time WA state champion Jules Duncan, who will be pitching Bogan Wedding. The feature length comedy tells the story of an embittered anthropologist who is forced to return to her roots for her bogan sister’s wedding. Duncan will face some tough competition with a number of award winning filmmakers set to participate.
NSW representative Monica Davidson is arguably the most credentialed contender with more than 10 years’ experience working in the screen industry. Davidson’s proposed documentary project Handbag explores her personal journey as a self-confessed “third generation fag-hag”. In the film Davidson will explore the iconic relationship between gay men and straight women – particularly within her own family.
From Tasmania, Rebecca Thompson will be pitching a feature length version of her zombie lesbian musical, Cupcake, which has already won numerous awards including, Best Short at the 21st Melbourne Queer Film Festival and the Long Island Gay and Lesbian Film Festival in New York in 2011. Queensland documentary producer Melissa Hines’s proposed project Animal Arenas looks at the animals which have made the transition from pest, to pet, to entertainer.
Of course all these projects will have to overcome the bizarre yet brilliant Wastelander Panda by Kirsty Stark of South Australia. Stark’s highly original, live action drama series tells the tale of a machete wielding, anthropomorphic panda, struggling to survive in the lawless post-apocalyptic wasteland.
The ability to deliver a strong project pitch is a vital skill for filmmakers who are required to garner support for their projects. An important aspect of the competition is the feedback provided by the judges. This year, the competition is open to all types of Screen Projects including TV, transmedia or feature film concepts.
Jules Duncan is two-times state champ and took out the award again at the WA Pitching Competition held at the Film and Television Institute, Fremantle on the 27th of September. AccessReel wishes Jules Duncan the best of luck!
The National Pitching Competition will take place at the Cockatoo Island Film Festival in Sydney, 5:15pm on Saturday, 27 October.
ABOVE: Jules Duncan pitching at the recent state competition