Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Pitching win for Echuca duo

Echuca Steve Boltz and Bianca Stapleton have won the regional Victoria Short and Sharp pitching competition.

IVY WISE June 5, 2014 3:28am

Bianca Stapleton and Steve Boltz.

Echuca couple Bianca Stapleton and Steve Boltz are on their way to a promising screenwriting career after winning the regional Short and Sharp pitching competition in Shepparton last Thursday.

The competition, organised by Open Channel a not-for-profit training and professional development organisationand supported by Film Victoria, asked regional screenwriters, directors and producers to submit a short treatment for a screen-based project.

Miss Stapleton, 28, and Mr Boltz, 43, won with their submitted Swear Jar, an Aussie comedy/drama they hope to make into a feature film.

‘‘It’s about a once-proud farmer who accepts the help of a young publican and the hefty proceeds of her swear jar to avoid losing his family farm to council rezoning,’’ said.

Mr Boltz, a creative writing tutor, and Miss Stapleton, who works as a community programs co-ordinator for Campaspe Shire, both enjoy writing and developed the story a couple of years ago while driving to Shepparton.

As part of their pitch, they had to provide a creative visions statement, synopsis and intended audience statement, as well as coming up with ideas on who could play the characters.

The judges included Open Channel executive director Marc Gracie, the head of Australian production at Village Roadshow Seph McKenna and Instinct Entertainment chief executive David Redman.

‘‘Bianca and Steve’s pitch has all the hallmarks of a great laconically funny Australian film, the sort of film that Australians love to see,’’ Mr Gracie said.

‘‘It has been a pleasure working with them so far and Open Channel looks forward to continuing to help develop the careers of this talented duo.’’

The couple will develop their pitch for the October state final.

‘‘We feel good about our idea, but there is work to be done,’’ Miss Stapleton said.

‘‘You can have a great idea, but if there’s no movie there, it doesn’t go through,’’ Mr Boltz said.

The couple agreed winning the national final and having their film made was the goal.

‘‘It would be a dream come true,’’ Mr Boltz said.

‘‘It would be vindication and validation,’’ Miss Stapleton said.

‘‘To be able to to point to something that big and say we did that would be an incredible thing.’’

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