the big pineapple - $50K to turn one script into a full feature

How It Works

Some of the best filmmakers started with small budgets and big ideas. Steven Soderbergh, Katheryn Bigelow, Chris Nolan, Robert Roderiguez, Ava Duvernay, Lena Dunham, Doug Liman, Darren Aronovsky, Duplass Brothers, Dee Rees all began their careers with initial budgets ranging anywhere from one thousand to one hundred thousand dollars.

Here in Australia, we often think that first features need a hefty price tag in order to be taken seriously. Not FFS. We are prioritising good ideas made well and have designed a program to give one team a very visible shot at feature filmmaking supported by some very generous and entrepreneurial partners. We want you to think of what you can make now through the pooling of resources and talents and we will reward you with not only a 50k cash budget but your post production cost subsidised through our partners.

Send us the one page synopsis and we will blind judge, selecting the ten best ideas for features. Those ten ideas we will then ask for additional information for - some excerpts of the script, mood boards, pitch videos, anything that will show us that you're rip-roaring and ready to go. From there we will choose three projects and our Jury, made up of female indie directors who have all nailed the indie film scene, will decide on one project to move to production.

We'll contract you, arm you with as much mentorship and support as we can muster and give you the cash. Once the cameras finish rolling, you'll move into post supported by the industry's best and from there we will begin to get you ready for your World Premiere at FFS 2018. Your film will have a warm Australian reception and we'll commit to getting you the screenings you need to tick Screen Australia's 'commercial release' clause to help you apply for future funding. Then you'll be cut loose. You'll have your first feature done and dusted and you'll be free to travel with your film to international festivals in order to get your name out there, and get those networks expanding.

We want to see new voices in Australian cinema succeed and we encourage everyone, regardless of experience to apply. You gotta start somewhere.

What You Need:

A team of four people, either proposed or confirmed and a bloody great idea for a feature. Think about the story you can tell without a boat load of extras or a production design that requires gold furnishings (unless you can get these things for free). 

We want people of all genders coming up with ideas but know that you will only be successful if you pass the four ticks meaning that of the following five roles, four must be fulfilled by a female or female-identifying creative:

- writer

- producer

- director

- cinematographer

- lead protagonist or who the film is about

What The Winning Team Will Receive:

- A $50,000 cash prize to write and produce their feature film

- A full post-production package valued at $20,000 courtesy of ZIGZAG Post

- $20,000 in marketing/trailer materials from the Solid State

- $5,000 in product sponsorship from RODE Microphones

- $2,500 in production accounting support from Moneypenny

- A $5,000 distribution and promotion plan from Fan-Force

We have no preference for genre but be aware that you will have to make it within the budget we give you (no additional funds can be added) and it will need to be ready for FFS 2018. So you'll be working from script to shoot quickly and from shoot to premiere even faster. This is a program for doers and we know that given half a chance, you'll come up with solid gold.

You can enter as many times as you like so think of this as your time in an elevator with the head of a studio - give us everything you've got and we promise to pay attention.


For submission enquiries -


I’m a writer/director – do I need to find another female creative in order to fulfill the four ticks?

No way, we love a slashie! If you can multitask, we’d love to see your double, triple or even quadruple threat skills. Basically it's one tick per role, not person and whilst we are yet to find a writer/producer/director/cinematographer/actor but if you think you could do all those things like some sort of cinematic wonder woman, pitch us.


Do I need to have a full script ‘ready to go’ ?

Absolutely not! We are looking for strong concepts but it is worth remembering that you’ll need to deliver the film by January 2018 so the more time you spend in pre-production, the less time you’ll have in production.


Do I need to have done the creative role I’m applying for before?

Nope. Everyone’s gotta start somewhere and this is as good a place as any, however, if you don’t have previous works to show us, you’ll need to sell us on your commitment and dedication to the craft. Remember that the people assessing you are themselves active filmmakers and we are looking to invest in people as well as projects.


What’s the minimum running time for films?

Anything over 55 minutes we will classify a feature.


If I were to make it through round one when will the round two materials be required? 

We’d need more submission materials come April and your final pitch materials, whatever they may be, in the week before the Festival. You gotta move fast for this one but remember, we don’t dictate what you need to submit. You need to put your best foot forward and it’s up to you to choose your shoes.


Are documentary or animation projects eligible for the Big Pineapple?

All genres/styles are acceptable for Big Pineapple


Does it still pass the four tick test if I (a female identifying person) is three out of the five roles?

Yes! As long as four out of the five applicants are female identifying persons (no matter if you’re the same person!) then that’s all that matters.


In the ‘ENTER NOW section’ it specifies 250 words max and in the Terms and Conditions it says 350 words max. Which is it - 250 or 350 words?

We used that because in the second stage of assessment, we will want a longer 350 word outline but to begin with, we just need 250 words in the submission form.


If I’ve worked on other films in low level jobs but this is my first time acting in a key creative role, am I still about to apply for BP?

You’re damn right you are. Apply, apply, apply!


Are the terms and conditions negotiable?

Unfortunately no. We designed the T&Cs specifically so you can keep you rights but we need to make sure we are covered too. As there are significant investors in your project, including us, all the terms and conditions are there to ensure this initiative can exist in years to come.


I’ve made some features but only my parents/friends have them – does this count as a feature credit?

If you’ve been paid professionally (not in IOUs) in the role you are applying for more than twice then unfortunately this is not the program for you. But if you’ve been making masterpieces just to get your skills up, we don’t classify that as a credit.


What does it mean when you say ‘no additional funds can be added’?

This is an initiative for hustlers and hence we want to see what you can make for 50k and no more. That means you can’t add crowdfunding money, your own money or the government’s money to that amount. At the end of the day we hope to see a whole lot of low budget features made so we want to keep it fair and affordable for everyone.


I’m already in production can I apply?

Unfortunately not. You need to be able to go through contracting with us and that will be too complex if you’ve already outlaid money for gear or talent. Also a substantial amount of contra is to help arm you in pre-production so if you’re beyond that, our poor sponsors will have nothing to do!


I’m in pre-production, can I apply?

Lucky you! This might actually be the miracle they found on 34th street, except this one has more useful stuff for filmmakers and less Santa. Get that entry in! 


I’m a guy – can I apply?

Absolutely! Find three real ladies and create an imaginary one and you are good to go. We can’t wait to see what you submit!


I’m a dude but I want to submit with another dude – why can’t I do that?

Take a look at the stats and you’ll see why. There’s plenty of chicks out there who would love to work on the film you’re thinking of submitting, start asking around!

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