TASMANIAN GOTHIC SHORT SCRIPT CHALLENGE 2017 AWARD WINNERS
The annual competition is open to writers worldwide and encourages original horror storytelling. Over 100 participants took part in 2017. Hosted by Stranger With My Face International Film Festival, this unique event asks registered participants to write a new horror script of 7 pages or less within 48 hours. Three unique prompts had to be incorporated by each writer into their, inspiring idiosyncratic results. The top prizes awarded in 2017 are Best Australian Script and Best International Script, as well as additional special runner-up prizes.
In 2017 Best Australian Script was awarded to As The Crow Flies, by Raen Fraser of New South Wales. The story is about a mother and daughter who get more than they bargained for when they take home an injured bird. Fraser says it was inspired by her memories of training as a WIRES rescuer, working mainly with birds, 15 years ago.
“I was thrilled to have been selected as Best Australian Script – I already felt like I’d won just by finishing, and I really appreciate all the work that everyone has put into the competition – it’s so important to have initiatives to encourage new and emerging writers – it can be so hard to get your work out there.” says Fraser about her win, which includes a membership courtesy of the Australian Writers Guild.
Fraser is a former journalist who now works in communications for local council, as well as devoting time to working on a novel and screenplays.
Best International Script went to Birdbath by Tracy Maxwell of Washington, USA. It tells the story of an abused young boy who finds unexpected allies in his neighbourhood.
“This was one of the most fun challenges I’ve ever participated in. It was a tough one – being scary can be scary difficult! – but as soon as I ‘met’ [my protagonist] Ollie I loved every minute of it.” Maxwell said. “Coming from an advertising background, it’s a fairly recent decision to try my hand at writing for myself, for the sheer joy of it; it’s lovely to see that choice pay off.”
The Tasmaniana Award – for a script that engages with Tasmania as a location – was won this year by The Midnight Parade by Rachel Bowen of Victoria.
The Miss Havisham Award – for a script that engages with gender issues – was won by Saint Sylvia by Beth King of Victoria.
The Rebel Award – for a script that subverts conventions or challenges the status quo – was won by Séduite by Claire Ewart of Victoria
And the Trifecta Award – for a script that cleverly incorporates the three prompts – was won by The Bride by Sam Chappell of New South Wales.
The Jury for the Tasmanian Gothic Short Script Challenge 2017 was:
• Victoria Madden, writer/showrunner & creator of the acclaimed sci-fi drama series The Kettering Incident (Foxtel/BBC Worldwide)
• Karen Lam, screenwriter/director/producer Karen Lam with feature credits including Evangeline and Stained and the web-series Mythos
• Colin Cairnes, screenwriter/director, best known for the horror comedy 100 Bloody Acres
• Tansy Rayner Roberts, fantasy and mystery novelist and podcast host
• Briony Kidd, director of Stranger With My Face International Film Festival, filmmaker and script consultant
Juror Colin Carnes remarked on the qiality of this year’s submissions, saying: “The winners of this The Tasmanian Gothic Short Script Challenge continues to unearth some of the most exciting new genre writers…Can someone make these films now please?”
Two past winners of the challenge, Little Lamb by Heidi Lee Douglas and Blood Sisters by Hannah White, have gone on to become produced short films that have performed strongly on the international festival circuit.
The full list of finalists for the 2017 Tasmanian Gothic Short Script Challenge is:
All Aboard by Nadene Richardson of Western Australia
A Painful and Unsatisfactory Journey by Will Dirickx-Jones of New South Wales
As The Crow Flies, by Raen Fraser of New South Wales
Bernard’s Song by Becki Bouchier of Victoria
Birdbath by Tracy Maxwell of the USA
Broken Things by Katrina Irawati Graham of Queensland
Bull’s Eye by Carl J. Sorheim of Victoria
Dealer’s Choice by Guy Skinner of Victoria
Happy 18th by Andrew Todd of New Zealand
High Chair by Jay Clarke of Canada
I Scream by Curtis Jenson of Queensland
Love The Dead by Jeremy Sumrall of the USA
Night of the Thylacine by Joseph Pothin of New South Wales
Offshore by Joee Kalk of Tasmania
Roberta by Jade Hassett of Queensland
Saint Sylvia by Beth King of Victoria
Savour Me by Lauren Donis of Western Australia
Sealed by Maria Solecki of the UK
Séduite by Claire Ewart of Victoria
Smith by Erin Milner of Victoria
Stumped by Steven Pecl of Tasmania
Swallowed By the Sea by Katharine McPhee of South Australia
Strung by Cassandra Longley of Victoria
Such Stuff as Dreams are Made On by Sharmini Kumar of Victoria
Sufficient Unto the Day by Chris Thompson of Victoria
The Bride by Sam Chappell of New South Wales
The Farm by Clare Sladden of New South Wales
The Midnight Parade by Rachel Bowen of Victoria
They First Make Mad by Nick Whiting of Queensland