AACTA Reg Grundy Award: finalists

Five finalists have been announced in the inaugural AACTA Reg Grundy Award -a pitching contest to fast track a new television entertainment format

A $50,000 prize is on offer with a pitching to take place Sunday 29 November at 1pm AEDT via AACTA’s free online festival, AACTA ScreenFest.

Next Slide Please – Zach Mander
Comedians take to the stage to deliver a TED Talk on a subject they have no idea about, prompted only by a power point presentation they are seeing for the first time. A slide presentation projected behind them gives them the title of their talk and cycles through graphs, pictures, and notes as their only stimulus. They have five minutes to convince the audience they are an expert; leading to hilarious situations.

The Marriage Pitch – Samantha Davies
There have been thousands of dating and wedding shows over the years, but never has a series focused on the single most emotionally jolting and dramatic ritual in our culture: the act of bending down on one knee to pop the ultimate question. The series will be centred around Australian proposal planner pioneer Samantha Davies who over the past decade has created the ultimate luxury proposal experience for countless couples throughout Australia and beyond with her business Unforgettable Proposals.

Trash to Cash – Sebastian Langton
Storage Wars meets American Pickers. Enter an underground world of gutter hustlers from all walks of life, scavenging to make an extra buck. We follow the antics of real life characters searching street clean-up piles to discover the most valuable trash to be turned into hard cash. Each episode will follow a number of gutter hustlers as they travel around collecting the most valuable discarded items and hustle to on-sell them into the market (Facebook Marketplace / Gumtree etc).

Vintage Van Revival: Trip or Flip – Elise Strachan
Each week, a dynamic duo is given $10,000 to purchase, renovate and restore a vintage second hand caravan in their own quirky style. The completed vans are professionally valued and the maker can choose to TRIP (keep / rent) or FLIP (sell) pocketing the profits. May the best van win!

Seven Pups – Geraldine Coy
A social experiment tracing a year in the behavioural development of one litter of seven pups and the seven culturally diverse families who will raise them. This is a unique look at nature vs nurture, through the doggie door. The series will cover the first 12 months of seven puppies’ lives.

Each entrant will pitch their original concepts to the judging panel made up of experienced industry figures in the local and international entertainment format space, available for all to view on Sunday 29 November at 1pm AEDT via AACTA’s new free-to-stream online festival, AACTA ScreenFest.

The esteemed judging panel including Chris Culvenor (Eureka Productions), Ian Hogg (Australia’s Got Talent, Australian Idol, Family Feud), Marion Farrelly (Producer, Industry Consultant) and Sharon Sussman-Wheeler (Producer and ex Grundy staffer) have been impressed by the calibre and originality of entrants.

Chris Culvenor from Eureka Productions said: “It’s been fantastic to see the Grundy Award ignite and inspire the creative community. We’ve been lucky enough to receive and judge some truly innovative entries and I’m looking forward to seeing them evolve to the next level.”

Producer and Industry Consultant Marion Farrelly said: “I think this initiative has lit a fire under the industry. I know so many people who have entered, it’s great to get them off their asses and doing something practical. It’s given people hope.”

Producer and ex Grundy staffer Sharon Sussman-Wheeler added: “As someone who worked with Reg Grundy, I’m excited to see the overwhelming response this competition received from the creative community. With so many strong entries, it was extremely hard to narrow it down to these top five. All five finalists showed a level of creativity and passion that would make Reg Grundy proud. Now the toughest part will be narrowing it down to just one winner!”

TV Tonight is a partner of the AACTA Awards.


  1. I do like the concepts of both Trash to Cash and Vintage Van Revival. But Next Slide Please sounds like the best one there. We haven’t had this sort of improv-type show in a while.

  2. Next Slide Please sounds like a potential winner. I agree about the TGYH likeness. It does seem to have a hint of TGYH. It’s improvisation comedy or improv and it’s one of the funniest comedy genres with shows like Whose Line Is It Anyway? and Mock The Week. A great platform for comedians that are good at wit.

  3. What a great post and a terrific idea. I think the 7 pups one instinctually feels really distinctive for me. And the vintage vans too. Great to see there are still some interesting new ideas. Reg would be delighted I think!

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