Time for a Showdown with Sunny Coast Showdown

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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 offers 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 more than 90 submissions and we can’t wait to uncover the next wave of storytellers.

Scripted category winner Josh Gannon from Eudlo won one of three scripted categories this year with his horror-creature-feature script Lured.

“Last year I helped to grip and gaff on the Showdown films, and to go from that to writing and directing my own short film is a dream come true,” Josh said.

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.”

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 like the bar has been raised.”

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 said Showdown was important to emerging writers and filmmakers, especially 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,’” she said.

Coolum’s Emma Morgan is studying Creative Industries at UniSC as a mature-aged student and was overwhelmed that her comedy drama script, The Hoist, about a local bush dance going wrong, won in the scripted category.

“I’m still in that pinch-me moment, because I find this unbelievable. I’m excited someone actually read my script and saw something in it,” she said. “It’s allowed me to realise it’s never too late to start something you love and to present what I can give to the world. You just have to seize the opportunity.”

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.

They said they were thrilled 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, with the finished works to be shown 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


SHOWFEST x Hello Sunshine Magazine Lights! Camera! Lunch! Bella Venezia, Mooloolaba

SHOWFEST x Pacific Island FilmFest showcasing award-winning short films from our neighbours in the Pacific at The Station SC, Birtinya.

Saturday 22 June:

SHOWFEST x Showdown Showcase, Sunny Coast Showdown winning films at The Station SC, Birtinya. Red carpet outdoor cinema and VIP event.

For the latest information and tickets visit www.sunnycoastshowdown.com.au

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