25 November, 2019
Truant Pictures is thrilled to announce Victorian based writer D.J. McPherson as the Grand Prize Recipient of the Screenplay Competition with her project ‘His Name Is Jeremiah’.
From hundreds of entries, McPherson’s screenplay stood out to judges with its rich character work, strong on-the-page craft and a twisted plot that kept readers guessing until the very end. Set in a rural Australian town, ‘His Name Is Jeremiah’ tells the story of a teen struggling to adjust after her estranged mother returns from jail. Feeling lost and alone, the teen develops a dangerous obsession with a missing boy, setting off a chain of events that unfold mysteries from the past and present.
Truant Pictures Executives Greg Schmidt and Toby Nalbandian launched the competition earlier this year to uncover Australia’s next great horror, sci-fi and thriller writers and their stories.
Schmidt says, “D.J.’s writing caught our eye immediately with characters that grabbed us from page one and a story that consistently delivered solid drama, chills and suspense. It’s everything we look for in emerging talent.”
Nalbandian says, “Due to the incredibly strong response and interest in the competition, we’re committed to making this an annual competition to further uncover and support new Australian voices in the genre space.”
The Top Three Finalists and their projects were announced last week and will be read and noted by one of the acclaimed Industry Insider Judges; Stuart Beattie (Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Collateral, I, Frankenstein), Zak Hilditch (Rattlesnake, 1922, These Final Hours) or Yolanda Ramke (Cargo).
Beattie says, “I’m thrilled to support Truant Pictures’ initiative to discover and promote Australian screenwriters, especially those working in genre, as it has proven time and again to be an incredible launch pad for emerging talent.”
Hilditch says, “Australia has a rich history of genre filmmaking. I’m excited to support a new generation of writers as they explore the dark, provocative and otherworldly.”
McPherson has been awarded a $5,000AUD cash prize, a hot desk for one week at Truant Pictures’ office in Sydney, and mentorship from Truant’s Development & Production Executives Toby Nalbandian and Greg Schmidt.
You can read more about the competition here.