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Warner Bros., The Black List and Veerhuis Pictures Reveal 2019 “Aussie List” including Two Western Australian Projects

Screenwest is pleased to support the Australian Script Writing Opportunity which provides aspiring Australian screenwriters the opportunity to be considered in a two-step, blind screenwriting deal with Warner Bros. Pictures.

Western Australian screenwriters Owen Beck and John McMullan were selected with their screenplay for Mister Wick and Maziar Lahooti was shortlisted for his project Manichean.

 “The team at Veerhuis Pictures are very pleased to have worked with Warners and The Black List again to curate a list of outstanding Australian screenwriting talent. The 2019 Aussie List is testament to the existing talent we have on offer here in Australia. It is great to see two new Western Australian voices on the list, John McMullan and Owen Beck with their film Mr Wick and to see Maz Lahooti qualify as a solo writer. There is a wide range of projects on the list with many voices being heard and I encourage a thorough read,” explained film producer Chris Veerhuis of Veerhuis Pictures.

The scripts submitted underwent evaluations from The Black List reviewers and were shortlisted and presented to Warner Bros and Veerhuis Pictures.

The official announcement from Warner Bros., The Black List and Western Australia’s Veerhuis Pictures was made this morning and can be read in full below.


Warner Bros., The Black List and Veerhuis Pictures Reveal 2019 “Aussie List”

11 Australian Screenwriters Short-Listed

Warner Bros. Pictures, The Black List and Veerhuis Pictures are thrilled to announce the 2019 “Aussie List”, featuring the eleven short-listed scripts from the second year of the Australian Script Writing Opportunity.

The short-listed scripts showcased the extraordinary writing talent on offer in Australia via works that cross many genres, social issues and diverse topics. The films are set in a variety of locations worldwide. Over 250 scripts were submitted during the opt-in period, which was open from August 30th to November 28th 2019.

The 2019 Aussie List – in no particular order

SPITFIRE GIRLS – Stephen Ayres

Spitfire Girls reveals the incredible true story of British aviatrix Pauline Gower as she battles inequality, a crisis of faith, a crippling disease and her own inner demons to allow the ATA Women’s division – 10 top pilots from across the allied world – to play a vital part in defending Britain from the Nazis during WWII.


A socially awkward young man is happy to live in a world ruled by robots, but his life is upended when he falls in love with a handsome anti-robot revolutionary.

A CITIZEN – Jason Christou and Tanya Farley

After being caught trying to board a plane bound for the Middle East to join ISIS, 17-year-old Iman Abdullah is given a lifeline by psychologist Kathy Klimas and her deradicalisation program that aims to reconnect him to the life, family and community he once swore to destroy.

MISTER WICK – Owen Beck and John McMullan

Upon the loss of his wife and estrangement with his daughter, an Aussie ex-rocker departs for Bangkok to reunite with a former bandmate. There, his passion for performing is unexpectedly reinvigorated by a band of kind-hearted locals.

FUNGAL – Nick King

When a fungal brain parasite rips through Seattle, Heidi — an intelligent, headstrong nurse — will have to learn to trust and rely on her unfaithful boyfriend if the two of them are to team up, escape and survive. Problem is, the pathogen renders people caring, helpful and kind…before turning them into murderous zombies. These human qualities are exactly what Heidi needs from Aiden but are they symptoms of infection or signs of personal growth?

PIG – Georgina Love

A moving sci-fi feature, follows an experimental scientist as he raises a sentient pig as a mirror image of his terminally ill son, but when the pig learns his “father’s” plans have a sinister bent, he fights to resist the inevitable.


Based on a bizarre true story. Following their escape from prison, two scam artist brothers attempt to con a poor village by hiring a prostitute to act as a cave-dwelling goddess. Things quickly turn dangerous when the prostitute comes to believe she truly has divine powers and orders a human sacrifice be made in her honour.

THE TRANSLATOR – Joel Mitchell

Tomás, an immigrant from the Dominican Republic, finds himself volunteering as a translator in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. But as Tomas’ backstory continues to unspool, it becomes clear that this dedication is a shot at redemption, one for acts in his past that he has not even told his wife and family about. Based on actual events.


To save his son from being picked on, over-anxious father Drew reaches out to his own childhood bullies, to teach him how to make his son bully-proof.

PAYLOAD – Matthew Clayfied and Stuart Willis

During the final evacuation of Earth, a hardened people smuggler makes a deal to send a young girl to safety. But when he discovers that he has been betrayed and she has been sold into slavery, he must infiltrate a hostile space elevator to find her and bring her back home.

MANICHEAN – Maziar Lahooti

A hardened Iranian refugee; ex NA and ex bikie muscle, finds himself coerced into committing a series of savage robberies to bury a false debt in order to pull his only surviving family out from the underworld he once inhabited, even if it means sacrificing his own life.

Last year’s co-recipient Mazair Lahooti made the short list again, this time as a solo writer.

The short-listed writers have been contacted, and are now eligible for consideration in a two-step blind deal with Warner Bros. Pictures.

A number of the short-listed scripts for the Australian Script Writing Opportunity will be available to view and / or download for industry members on The Black List website after logging in, along with thousands of other scripts hosted within The Black List database. Interested industry members who do not already have an account on can apply for membership at

Screenwest proudly supported this opportunity.

A reminder of the threshold – Eligible writers must be at least 18 years old, be either a legal Australian citizen or a permanent resident of Australia (with the intent to remain a resident), and have received writing credits on no more than one feature film or up to three hours of broadcast television (or a combination of both).


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Posted 13 December 2019

Filed under industry news