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30 08 2022 - Media release

Untapped 2022 Participants Announced

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Travis Akbar, AP Pobjoy, Alex Wu, Natasha Henry, Michael Hudson, Gina Song

Australians in Film and Screen Australia announced today the participants of the 2022 UNTAPPED development lab, a highly coveted annual online industry incubator for emerging Australian film and television talent.

The participants are:

  • Travis Akbar – South Australia (horror feature Revelations)
  • Natasha Henry – New South Wales (comedy series Custodians)
  • Michael Hudson – Victoria (horror feature Unravel)
  • AP Pobjoy – New South Wales (drama feature The Kin)
  • Gina Song – Victoria (fantasy drama series Faye)
  • Alex Wu – Victoria (drama feature Playtime)

Launched in 2021, UNTAPPED includes an annual series of masterclasses and an intensive online development lab for historically excluded and undiscovered Australian writers and directors. The program is presented by Australians in Film and Screen Australia. Supporting Partners include Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Screen NSW, Scripted Ink, South Australian Film Corporation and VicScreen. Industry Partners include Australian Directors Guild, Australian Writers Guild, Screen Canberra, Screen Producers Australia, Screen Queensland, Screen Tasmania, Screen Territory, Screen West and Screenworks.

From August-December this year the six participants, chosen from over 380 applications will be supported by leading Hollywood professionals to develop their projects, pitching and communication skills and general career strategy. Executives from leading US companies including Atomic Monster, Big Swing Productions, Blossom Films, Hello Sunshine, NBCUniversal Ojalá Productions and Topple Productions will be joining the lab as mentors, as well as Script Consultant Pat Verducci and Pitching Consultant Ellen Shanman.

In two short years, Untapped has grown into a really engaged community of undiscovered writers and directors across the world who attend online Masterclasses by visionary filmmakers to be eligible to participate in the development lab. The Masterclasses this year included conversations with Marta Cunningham (Insecure), Destin Daniel-Cretton (Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings), Silas Howard (Transparent) and Meg Lefauve (Inside Out).

“This new generation of Australian storytellers are so exciting, and we wish to congratulate them all for their applications. AiF is so honored to be able to open doors here in Hollywood for not only the lucky participants, but anyone who attends the Masterclasses,” said AiF Executive Director Peter Ritchie. “Designed by US Industry Development Consultant Jennifer Kushner, this program offers a comprehensive and structured overview of how the US Industry operates. 

“Screen Australia, as always are an incredible presenting partner. Their support, along with all our supporting and industry partners ensures the long-term success of Australian storytelling globally.”

Graeme Mason, CEO of Screen Australia said, “Screen Australia is committed to helping Australian creatives take their distinct stories to the world and Untapped has proved powerful in supporting impressive new voices to make important connections in the US and be mentored by incredible talent. We can’t wait to see them develop their projects further.”

UNTAPPED is one of three professional development programs that Australians in Film and Screen Australia are presenting, including Talent Gateway and Global Producers Exchange.

UNTAPPED 2022 participants:

Travis Akbar - Revelations: (Horror feature) A Paranoia and religious superstition grow rampant in a Psychological Horror set in the 1700’s about a group of contrarian strangers that are trapped in a church by a brutal storm, with a pregnant woman they believe to be carrying the Anti-Christ.

Travis is a Waljen man from the Wongutha First Nation of the Eastern Goldfields of Western Australia, and was raised on Wirangu country near Ceduna, South Australia.

Natasha Henry - Custodians: (Comedy series) PEARL (Pasifika) lucks her way into a high stakes PR role at an art museum, just as the state government threatens to shut it down to make way for a sports stadium. To keep her job and the museum open, she must transform their ececntric director into a woke media darling, and push her moral and cultural compass to its limits.

Natasha Henry is an Australian-born Papua New Guinean screenwriter who is based in Sydney (Gadigal Land).

Michael Hudson - Unravel: (Horror feature) The worlds of two Australian families living across the street from each other collide after the disappearance of a teenage girl. In the wake of tragedy, they'll discover that it's not chance that has brought them together... but something far more sinister - a parasitic supernatural entity that feeds off family trauma.

Writer/director/producer Michael Hudson is a proud Bangarang and Yorta Yorta man from northeast Victoria.

AP Pobjoy - The Kin: (Drama feature) In the midst of writing their second novel to pay for their transition, non-binary author Bly’s world is upended when they become the legal guardian of a fourteen year old boy after their estranged sister dies. With one transitioning gender and the other becoming a teenager, the two unknowingly enter a transformative adolescence together.

AP Pobjoy is a trans and queer ADG nominated writer, director and documentary-maker based on unceded Gadigal Land.

Gina Song - Faye: (Fantasy drama series) An aimless Korean American pageant queen must juggle the horrors of monster fighting, young adulthood, and college after a demon summoning leaves her with supernatural powers. 

Gina is a screenwriter, journalist, and developer based in Naarm.

Alex Wu – Playtime: (Drama feature) A psychology graduate in China starts a new job at a treatment facility for internet-addicted teenagers. Her desire to help leads to unintended consequences.

Alex Wu is an award-winning Australian director and screenwriter, based in Melbourne (Naarm).

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