Writers shortlisted for 2011 Kit Denton Disfellowship

Six writers have been shortlisted for a lucrative prize that will allow the winner to develop a project to script.

Six writers have been shortlisted for a lucrative prize that will allow the winner to develop a project to script stage.

The Australian Writers’ Foundation has announced the shortlist for the 2011 Kit Denton Disfellowship, previously known as the Kit Denton Fellowship, in honour of the father of Andrew Denton.

On offer is $30,000 for a writer and a screen project. This year there were over 500 entries.

The shortlisted writers are an impressive list, tackling issues including euthanasia, the plight of carers in our community, politics and music in the 70s.

They are:
John Alsop (Brides of Christ, Bordertown, The Leaving of Liverpool, RAN)
Blake Ayshford (Crownies, The Straits, My Place, I ROCK, Love My Way)
Kelly Lefever (The Circuit, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, City Homicide, Prisoner)
Zachary Gillam (Tough Love)
Kate McLennan and Kate McCartney (Big Bite, Hamish and Andy, The Mansion)

In addition to Zapruder’s Other Films, the Disfellowship is generously supported by Animal Logic, FremantleMedia Australia, Hopscotch, GNWTV, Princess Pictures, Shine Australia, TressCox Lawyers. The winner will be announced at the 44th Annual AWGIE Awards on Friday, September 23.

The 2011 Kit Denton Disfellowship Shortlist:

John Alsop (Sydney) –Jumping the Gun
There is considerable community support for the right of terminally ill persons to shorten their extreme suffering with the aid of medically assisted suicide. Jumping the Gun looks at the controversial, if not taboo, idea that anyone not terminally ill still has the right to decide when they’ve had enough of life. John Alsop is a Writer and Script Editor. His writing credits include Brides of Christ, Bordertown and The Leaving of Liverpool (all with Sue Smith). He has also written with Sue Smith many comedy sketches for television including Six Pack and My Brother Jack. He has won six AWGIE awards and two Logies. John adapted Roger McDonald’s award winning Mr. Darwin’s Shooter and David Malouf’s An Imaginary Life for Penny Chapman. In 2005 he was awarded the Hector Crawford Award for Significant Contribution to the craft via a body of Script Editing workas well as the AWGIE Award for Best Television Series for his work on episode two of RAN.

Blake Ayshford (Sydney) –Stranded
Stranded is a story of time and place – Brisbane in the 1970s, the music that was created there and the political climate that helped to produce it. Blake is an award-winning writer for film and television. His recent credits include Crownies, The Straits, My Place, i-rock and Love My Way. He’s a previous winner of the Queensland Premier’s Literary Award for Best Television Script and his feature Cut Snake, a winner of the AWG INSITE competition, will be directed by Tony Ayres in 2012.

Kelly Lefever (Melbourne) –Care
Care follows the lives of four carers and their families and aims to bring to light issues such as sexuality and disability, parental expectations and the role of the community in today’s society. Kelly has written over 30 hours, and script produced, script edited, storylined, and story edited more than 300 hours of TV for every free to air network in the country. Shows and films with which she has been involved have won multiple awards including; Logies, AFI’s, Berlin’s Crystal Bear and Panorama awards, an IF award, The Dendy Award, and AWGIES. Kelly is the co-creator, Script producer and head writer of the multi-award winning mini-series The Circuit.

Zachary Gillam (Melbourne) –The Coalface
The Coalface is a satire that depicts Australian Federal politics in 2009-2010 from the perspective of a coal industry lobbyist. Zac cut his teeth writing, directing and producing University and independent theatre in Perth before moving to Melbourne to study film at the VCA in 2008. Zac’s satirical feature script, The End of Work, was long-listed in the 2005 AWG/Insite Unproduced Screenplay Competition and is now in development. The following year another feature script, Tough Love, was shortlisted for the Screenwest Bill Warnock Unproduced Screenplay Award. Zac was also shortlisted for the 2011 Edward Albee International Playwriting Residency, and has since been invited to participate in the AWG Pathways Program (Theatre Stream). Zac has written across a variety of genres and has an abiding interest in satire and political comedy.

Kate McLennan and Kate McCartney (Melbourne) -Bleak
Bleak is about reaching your thirties, being spat out of a relationship and realising that you’ve accomplished absolutely none of the things you thought you would. No partner, no possesions, no career. It’s like being back in your twenties, but without the hope. Kate McCartney is a Melbourne-based writer, animator and illustrator. Her work as a comedy writer/performer has featured in Channel 7 HSV’s Big Bite and Hamish and Andy. Her animated short The Astronomer screened in competition internationally and in 2006 she was nominated for an Australian Film Industry award for Best Animated Short and was awarded Best 2-D Animation at Animex 2007. Kate was also a contributor to Penguin’s 2009 anthology Thanks For The Mammaries.
Kate McLennan gained a reputation as one of Australia’s funniest character comedians, with her work featuring on The Mansion for the Comedy Channel and the 2009 Logies presentation. Her critically acclaimed one-woman comedy The Debutante Diaries toured nationally in 2009 and won various awards. She is a regular on the Melbourne stand-up scene and is currently working on her new show Homeward Bound for the Melbourne Fringe Festival.

2 Responses

  1. The shortlist for the Kit Denton Disfellowship Awards while impressive consists of inveterate professionals.Why is it that these people who are obviously connected within the TV and Film business, all having established themselves as writers and producers cannot develop projects within the industry ? It seems pointless that professionals who have a history as being entrepreneurial and talented can’t work within a business they’re apart of without relying on incentives that possibly should be awarded to “clean skins” looking to enter the business ? It seems to me that the Australian TV and Film have a system in place that rewards cash incentives to those that are already “in the game”.I’m from the music business and from my perspective acknowledging the above recipients is akin to awarding Powderfinger and Silverchair with development funds when clearly they are an enterprise unto themselves.Another example is would you accept a proposal from Michael Edgley or Eddie McGuire ? I entered the Kit Denton competition and failed to make the long list but is it any wonder given the procession of professionals that are lining up for handouts.The entry form included the note, “no grant surfers” ,from my perspective it seems like the entire exercise was set up strictly for grant surfers who are unable to sell and pitch their creatives within their own ranks.In saying that good luck to the parties concerned and I’ll keep pushing on ,regardless of a system that is as inbred as a Deliverance hill billy.

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