$35k in script development for winners of Australia’s top awards for unproduced scripts

25 February, 2020

Philip Tarl Denson and Lale Teoman
Long Form winner Philip Tarl Denson and Short Form Winner Lâle Teoman (Photo credit: Matt Wheeldon)


Screenwriters Philip Tarl Denson and Lâle Teoman have been announced as the winners of the 2019 Monte Miller Awards, the premier awards for unproduced scripts in Australia, presented last night in Melbourne.

Denson took home the award in the Long Form category with his sci-fi pilot Anomaly, while Teoman received the Short Form award for her web series The Black Tulip.

In another stand-out year for the awards, the winners were selected from a pool of over 390 entries, with television and web series concepts dominating the shortlists. The final judging panels praised the quality and skills of the winning writers and singled out the incredible feats of imagination displayed in crafting their stories, both of which grapple with intriguing mysteries through a sci-fi lens.

The two writers will now share in $35,000 in script development funding to further their scripts, with the funds invested by Scripted Ink. as part of its ongoing commitment to supporting the development of great writers and commercially viable scripts.

‘It's an honour to receive the Monte Miller Award and be among such high-calibre writers on the shortlist,’ said Denson. ‘Anomaly now has a producer and studio attached in the US and who knows where it'll end up. I'm keen to follow the progress of each of the shortlisted projects and hopefully see these stories make it to the screen.’

Teoman reflected on the importance of competitions such as the Monte Miller Awards to connect writers with the industry ‘This has been incredibly uplifting for me. Being a writer can sometimes feel like you are in a bubble and opportunities like this are so important for feeling part of a greater story.’

The awards were presented to a packed room of screenwriters, entrants, producers and industry decision-makers at the annual Monte Miller night, now in its third year and fast becoming an industry staple for those seeking to connect with the cohort of exciting emerging screen and stage writers in Australia.

Supported by Screen Australia, the Monte Miller Awards are an Australian Writers’ Guild tradition stretching back to the 1970s and each year recognise excellence in screenwriting and playwriting among the Guild’s Associate Membership.  

The six shortlisted scripts are now showcased on Pathways Showcase, and can be found linked below. 


The 2019 Monte Miller Awards


Long Form category


Anomaly by Philip Tarl Denson 

Three astronauts return from the International Space Station only to discover that they had already returned 12 years earlier...



Keeping House by Jasper Garner Gore and Rebecca Moret

Two disaffected millennials house-sitting a mansion discover that the owners have died in a plane crash and steal their identities, and the house.

Dark State by Justin Caruana, Matteo Zingales and Nikki Waterhouse

In a secret world only the determined will prevail.


Short Form category


The Black Tulip by Lâle Teoman

Sahika, a somnambulist, discovers a secret passage in a mountainside that leads her to a mysterious lake where memories of those passed are imprinted in the water.



Nobody’s Perfect by Emme Hoy

Halfway through her uni degree, a highly-strung perfectionist accidentally kills her Ritalin-dealing tutor and realises that once you start killing, it’s hard to stop.

Blooded by James Cripps

A bullied teen learns he can save his dying mother by becoming a human blood runner in the ruthless vampire underground.


The Monte Miller Awards are made possible with support from Screen Australia. 

Philip Tarl Denson and Lale Teoman