Vice, Screen Australia and the AIDC’s pitching competition returns: $50,000 up for grabs

Finalists will be contacted in January 2019.

Vice, Screen Australia and the Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC) have partnered for the second Pitch Australiana competition. It offers local filmmakers the chance to win a $50,000 commission for a short-form documentary to be released on VICE.com.

The Pitch Australiana competition is open to early career Australian filmmakers that have at least one documentary production credit to their name.

Filmmakers will be pitching for the chance to secure funding for a production to be released through VICE’s lauded tent-pole digital documentary series, Australiana. The short-form documentary will be released through Vice’s global digital network, and will join previous Australiana films also broadcast on local TV channel SBS Viceland.

Four pitches will be selected to compete for the prize in a public pitching forum, given to a panel of Vice and wider documentary community representatives on Monday March 4 during AIDC 2019 in Melbourne. Entry to watch the pitch will be free for student card holders.

Australiana aims to present stories from the perspective of Australian communities, individuals and subcultures that are overlooked or ignored.

Shooting Cats was the winner of the pitching competition at AIDC 2018, with the project due for release in November. Directed by Inday Ford and produced by Dylan Blowen, Shooting Cats is an observational documentary that explores the catastrophic impact feral cats have on Australian wildlife and the complexities environmentalists face in their attempt to find solutions to this epidemic.

Previous Australiana episodes also feature teenage burnout stars in regional Victoria, the indigenous queer experience in the Tiwi Islands, Australia’s medicinal marijuana black market, and a search for love in the outback.

Sally Caplan, head of content at Screen Australia, said, “Our first edition of Pitch Australiana unearthed director Inday Ford, who had only recently graduated from AFTRS and presented a wildly different perspective on a controversial subject. This year we’re looking for the next distinctive Australian story that has the potential to shine a light on a topic in a unique way, with access to great characters.”

Katy Roberts, head of video at Vice Australia, said: “We’re thrilled to be able to return for another year with Pitch Australiana. The series is intended to be an ongoing, diverse portrait of modern Australia, so expanding the filmmakers and storytellers we are able to work with is essential to that mission. We’re very thankful to Screen Australia and AIDC for their ongoing support.”

Alice Burgin, conference director of AIDC, said, “Pitch Australiana is literally where dreams are made! The generous contribution of Screen Australia and VICE make this a unique opportunity for a new generation of talent to come to AIDC and really be seen, heard and celebrated. We cannot wait to welcome them and their projects next March.”

The call for pitch submissions is now open. The deadline for applications is December 10, 2018. An information session will be held at ACMI on November 13, 2018 and will be streamed live across the country.

For more information, full eligibility requirements, and to submit a pitch idea, please visit: www.vice.com/australianapitchcompetition.

Finalists will be contacted in January 2019.

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