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Time for a Showdown with Sunny Coast Showdown

Autumn 2024 Time for a Showdown with Sunny Coast Showdown 

Image source: Contributed 

 Mar, 2024  

By  Jon Coghill  

It’s time to shine the spotlight on the Sunshine Coast’s creative community! Jon Coghill announces the winners for this year’s Sunny Coast Showdown and previews what’s in store for Showfest 2024.

Six local filmmakers have won the chance of a lifetime with their film and TV projects going into production with the Sunny Coast Showdown presented by Bendigo Community Bank (Marcoola, Cooroy, Tewantin-Noosa).

The not-for-profit talent incubator offer local writers, producers and filmmakers the chance to win funding, support and mentoring to produce their own film and TV ideas.

Founded by myself and fellow Nambour High schoolmate Dan Munday, who has delivered reality productions including the global Survivor series, Sunny Coast Showdown is run by a handful of volunteers and screen professionals who want to establish a viable and sustainable film and TV industry on the Coast.

It’s possible due to the support of the Sunshine Coast Screen Collective, patrons and sponsors who want to see a film and television industry develop and take off in the region.

We’re now in our third year and are proud to say that we are still uncovering new talent and plenty of it.

This year, we had an incredible array of submissions – more than 90 – and can’t wait to dive in and discover the next wave of talented storytellers.

Scripted category winner Josh Gannon from Eudlo won one of three scripted categories this year with his horror-creature-feature script Lured, which he aims to shoot in the Buddina area.

“I’m absolutely stoked,” Josh said. “Last year I helped to grip and gaff on the Showdown short films and to go from that to write and direct my own short film is a dream come true. Absolutely amazing.”

Indigenous writer and actor Beverley Marcusson said she was shocked to win the First Nations category.

“I didn’t think I could do such a thing, but once I started writing Pearl (the main character of her film Smiley) started coming alive,” she said.

Beverley says Sunny Coast Showdown is hugely important to up-and-coming writers and filmmakers, but especially local First Nations creatives.

“Kids might see this and think it’s totally out of reach, but when they see me doing it they might think wow, I can do that.”

Coolum’s Emma Morgan was overwhelmed that her comedy drama script, The Hoist, about a local bush dance going wrong, won another scripted category.

“I’m still in that ‘pinch-me moment’ because I find this unbelievable. I’m excited someone actually read the thing and saw something in it,’ she said.

Emma says studying Creative Industries at Uni SC as a mature-aged student has given her the confidence to ‘put herself out there.’

“It allowed me to realise it’s never too late to start something you love and to present what I can give to the world,” she said. “You just have to seize the opportunity and find those moments.”

Freelance producers Kim Ingles and Julia Lörsch won one of two unscripted categories with their documentary The Art Side of the Moon, which follows the story of the Odysseus Lunar Lander that touched down on the moon last month.

The producers said they were thrilled to be part of this year’s Showdown and that they entered because it’s a unique opportunity to have their story supported and brought to life; plus they get to work and connect with other local creatives.”

Sunny Coast Showdown is now in pre-production stage where the projects are developed and the cast and crew are organised by the production team. The shoot days are the planned across the Coast for the second half of April and first half of May.

Writer and former federal cop, Stephen Walker, is a second-time winner of Sunny Coast Showdown and says his career has benefitted hugely due to the experience.

“Being selected last year for this unique opportunity was a game changer for me,” Stephen said.

“My confidence as a writer has grown too, in fact, I write most days. I am working with several groups of writers and individuals on a range of projects, as well as my scripts. This confidence and experience has also led to me being accepted into the Screen Queensland Writers Write program in 2024.”

Stephen has this year put his hand up to direct his winning comedy, Stiffs.

“I’m equal parts scared and excited as we now move into pre-production,” he said. “It’s hard to imagine that production quality will improve from last year, but it already feels that the bar has been raised.”

The films are now in production with the finished works to be shown at the Showdown Showcase at The Met,Maroochydore on Saturday 22 June as part of the SHOWFEST Film and TV Festival.


Presented by Bendigo Bank Community Bank Sunshine Coast

Scripted Winners:

  • The Hoist, Emma Morgan – comedy/drama
  • Lured, Josh Gannon – horror
  • Stiffs, Stephen Walker – comedy

Indigenous Winner:

  • Smiley, Beverley Marcusson – comedy/drama

UnScripted Winners:

  • Rustworthy, Elsie Bowditch – Automotive/lifestyle/educational
  • The Art Side of the Moon, Kim Ingles and Julia Löersch – documentary


Friday 21 June:

SHOWFEST x Hello Sunshine Magazine Lunch with Legends

SHOWFEST x Hot 91 Mobile Phone Film Festival, make-your-own-2min-film competition

Saturday 22 June:

SHOWFEST x Showdown Showcase, Sunny Coast Showdown winning films at The MET, Maroochydore.

Red carpet outdoor cinema and VIP event.

More details and events are to be confirmed. For the latest information and tickets visit www.sunnycoastshowdown.com.au

About the Author / Jon Coghill


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