Young SA filmmaker and Flinders University alumnus Brendon Skinner has won the prestigious Beijing Pitching Competition for his film proposal The Pulse, an Australian-Chinese co-production. Brendon was chosen as the victor out of 16 emerging filmmakers from China and the Asia Pacific. The Pulse, a superhero film set in Sydney, was devised with co-director and co-producer Simon Williams.
The Beijing Pitching Competition is part of a film workshop run by the Motion Picture Association (MPA) Asia Pacific and China International Copyright Expo, with the aim of bringing together top emerging filmmakers from across the Asia Pacific region. It assists their careers by building networks and finding potential collaborators within the region. This year is the first time an Australian filmmaker has attended the Beijing MPA CICE Film Workshop – let alone won.
Brendon Skinner will now meet with studio executives from the MPA in the US. He will also attend the annual American Film Market – which attracts over 8000 delegates from 70 countries – to discuss The Pulse.
Speaking to Glam Adelaide, Brendon said the win showed that "dreams do come true".
"This is the perfect end to a fabulous year of intensive development and training. Simon Williams and I have always believed in The Pulse and we knew we are aiming high with this project," Brendon said.
"I had the advantage of being supported by a host of different people, companies, and organisations that really believe in what we're trying to do."
Brendon said the win has given him the confidence to pursue the project with international partners.
"The opportunity to visit executives in the MPA and in the US studios and to attend the American Film Market is of great benefit to us and our project," he said.
"The workshop here was fabulous and we’re thankful to the MPA for including us in this worthwhile event."
Brendon first won the South Australian competition hosted by the Media Resource Centre, and was then selected to represent Australia following the Screen Development Network’s National Pitch Competition.
Brendon Skinner and Simon Williams have made several award-winning short films and received a nomination for their short Toot Toot in this year’s Inside Film (IF) Awards. They are also in a mentorship and development deal with South Australia’s AMPCO Films.