10 February, 2017
Matt Ford, frontman of 90s rock band Machine Gun Fellatio and an AFI-nominated screenwriter, has won the Australian Writers’ Guild’s Prime Time Television Screenwriting Competition.
Ford was awarded the top prize for his television project Shining Light, a drama about a newly ordained Catholic Priest who is no longer sure he believes in God.
A screenwriter and musician, Ford’s writing credits include the British–Australian miniseries Frankie’s House in 1992, telemovie Panic at Rock Island and episodes of G.P., Farscape, Sea Patrol, Love Child and House Husbands. In 2004, he was nominated for Best Screenplay in Television at the AFI Awards for Stingers and in 2015 his eight-part series Hiding screened on ABC1.
Prime Time comes with a $10,000 prize donated by Scripted Ink. and an invitation for Ford and the shortlist to join AWG’s prestigious Pathways Program, where their projects will be showcased to industry professionals and be in consideration for Scripted Ink. development funding.
‘I'm absolutely thrilled to win this,’ said Ford, ‘and I want to thank AWG and Scripted Ink., and congratulate the judges on doing their job so brilliantly.’
The competition, which was announced last August at the launch of Scripted Ink., was open to writers with an original script or idea for a commercially viable television series or miniseries suitable for prime time viewing. It received over 500 entries, the greatest for any screenwriting competition AWG has ever run, making it one of Australia’s most hotly contested writing competitions.
The final judging panel was full of praise for Ford’s project: 'Shining Light has the potential to be a truly landmark series – timely and of its time,’ they said. ‘At a time when faith, the role of the Church and priesthood itself have never before been placed under such public scrutiny, it's absolutely fitting that our screenwriters turn their attention to these vexing issues.'
Five further projects were shortlisted by the judges, selected for their originality and excellence in craft and skill. The writers and projects will now join AWG’s acclaimed Pathways Program.
For more information on the shortlisted projects or the Pathways Program please visit the AWG website here.
Prime Time Shortlist
Coldwater Bay – Amanda Hampson & Tracey Trinder
The Go-Go Team – Jack Yabsley
Dog Box – Rebecca Ingram
Clicks – Kelsey Munro
Marked Men – Chris Kennett & Ben Esler
Shining Light – Matt Ford