21 April, 2021
Screenwriters Justin Olstein and Campbell Banks have been announced as the winners of the 2020 Monte Miller Awards, the premier awards for unproduced scripts in Australia.
At a time when our Australian stories are under threat, the Monte Miller Award winners and shortlist are an important reminder of the exceptional talent to be found when we support and invest in Australian writers, with projects ranging from the deeply personal in Shoshanna, which follows a Chassidic Jewish woman grappling with a burgeoning desire, to the sharp humour of Artifice, an examination of Australia’s football culture.
‘I am thrilled and deeply grateful to have won the Monte Miller Long Form award this year’ said Olstein. ‘The acknowledgement of a story about a culture scarcely seen on Australian screens is deeply heartening, and I look forward to seeing what further opportunities for the project arise as a result.’
Reflecting on the often doubt-ridden process of writing, Short Form winner Banks said that the recognition was an enormous boost: ‘I am stunned and grateful to win this award – the year to forget has been transformed into one to savour. I can’t wait to make the most of this and put the script in front of more industry eyes.’
It was a record-breaking year for the awards, with the winners selected from a pool of over 470 entries. The final judging panel praised the creativity and craft on display in the shortlist: ‘Highly original, well-crafted and captivating - the future of Australian writing is in excellent hands. Thanks to the expansion of support for emerging writers, our stories now compete with the best on offer anywhere.’
The Monte Miller Awards are an Australian Writers’ Guild tradition stretching back to the 1970s. Each year they recognise excellence in screenwriting and playwriting among the Guild’s Associate and Student membership, celebrating the exciting future of Australian storytelling.
The awards will be presented at the upcoming AWG Victorian event in May, an opportunity for the winners and shortlist to meet and network with AWG members and industry decision-makers, including some of the country’s most accomplished writers.
The winning, shortlisted and highly commended projects are now available to view on AWG’s prestigious Pathways Showcase, joining an outstanding collection of projects available for development.
The 2020 Monte Miller Awards
Long Form category
Short Form category
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