A new partnership between the South Australian Film Corporation and The Wheeler Centre will help emerging Australian writers make the jump from page to screen.
Opening Scene will add a new, screen-driven dimension to the Melbourne-based Wheeler Centre’s The Next Chapter initiative which provides support and funding to ten Australian writers. The new program will provide opportunities for Next Chapter recipients to pitch and workshop their stories with a series of film producers handpicked by the SAFC, offering insights into the world of adaptation, optioning and other difficult-to-navigate aspects of the modern screen industry.
The announcement was made during this week’s Adelaide Film Festival, with The Wheeler Centre’s Head of Publishing, Sophie Black and SAFC CEO Courtney Gibson joined by 2018 Next Chapter recipient Adrian Stanley, a Mount Compass based young adult fiction writer and Kalali/Boandik man.
“This will open doors for our writers and also offer them crucial training around how to talk the talk, what it means to have their work optioned, and how it could look on the big screen,” Black says of the partnership. “It’s also an exciting opportunity for innovative producers to get a first look at the utterly unique and riveting stories set to come out of year one of The Next Chapter.”
“We anticipate work will be optioned, developed and ultimately produced for film and TV,” Gibson explains. “ Our ambition here is to generate opportunities for production in South Australia [throug] screen adaptations of work by emerging writers from diverse backgrounds, as part of our Delivering Diversity agenda.’
Selected by a judging panel including Christos Tsiolkas and Maxine Beneba Clarke, 2018’s Next Chapter cohort features the South Australian Stanley alongside prominent national voices including Nayuka Gorrie (NSW) and Giselle Au-Nhien Nguyen (Victoria). These new opportunities come in addition to the $15,000 in funding and mentorship already provided by the Wheeler Centre with support from the Aesop Foundation.
Courtney Gibson, Sophie Black and Adrian Stanley