The Industry Association for Australian Filmmakers and Performers in the U.S.

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Gateway LA Application Criteria & Submission Form

Gateway LA is a new script development program for film and television writers. It aims to develop audience-driven, Australian-created content for US and international audiences, with the aim to spotlight and promote a select list of screenplays -- in the model of The Black List and the UK’s Brit List. In particular, the program promotes writers to both Australian and international producers, development executives and talent in Los Angeles, where AiF has a base.

The program is open to writers, or writing teams, with at least one Australian citizen or permanent resident.

Applications for the 2014 program are closed. Information on the 2015 Gateway LA Script Development Program, including judging process and criteria, will be made available later in the year. 

Read the FAQs


The 2014 Gateway LA program will name up to 10 scripts or teleplays to circulate as an “Aussie List”.

Of these, 1-3 projects per year will be announced as the winner(s).

Winning projects receive a cash award and high level support and networking access in Los Angeles, specifically tailored to a projects’ needs.

Where possible, writers will have one-on-one meetings with mentors, such as established screenwriters, producers, and other industry professionals acting as advisors to the program.

Economy travel will be provided by Australians in Film and Virgin Australia, if the winning writer(s) are based in Australia.

A maximum of two (2) round trip tickets per writing team is allowed between Australia and Los Angeles.

General Eligibility and Rules

  • Scripts can be for film or television.
  • Writers must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident, 18 years or older. Collaborative work by two writers who share equally in its creation are eligible. At least one member must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident.
  • All applicants need to complete the required elements of the web application form. Please do not mail in your screenplay.
  • Projects should be fairly advanced in the writing process – after at least several drafts.
  • Projects should have international appeal (based on universal appeal or international sales potential), rather than merely cultural. Applicants are asked to outline why they believe the project has international appeal.
  • Writers retain all rights to their screenplays.
  • All screenplays must be uploaded in PDF format without the author's name(s).
  • Writers can submit more than one screenplay, providing they pay an additional $30USD submission fee.
  • Only shortlisted scripts are kept on file by AiF after the program closes.

Application Process

1. Writers must complete the required web application form. Applicants must read and understand the rules and regulations and also pay a $30USD application fee per script submission.

2. Script readers select scripts that meet the initial criteria. Criteria includes a completed application as well as if the project has international potential, which is a core requirement of this program.

3. Script readers provide internal coverage for the Judging Committee. The Judges review shortlisted submissions and select 10 projects. This short list forms the Aussie List.

4. The Judging Committee reviews final batch of scripts and selects up to 1-3 projects to be awarded as winner(s).

Program Timeline (US PST)

Dates have changed due to the large number of submissions. Stay tuned for further details.

Check out the FAQs below. 

If you have any questions, please email BEFORE you submit. 

Responses will be within 48 hours, where possible.


Does the script have to be set in Australia?
No. The story can be set anywhere.

Why does the author's name need to be removed from the submitted script?
This program is about promoting stories from Australian writers with international appeal. Script readers and judges can better assess those merits without knowing the author’s identity.

What are the benefits of the program?
Finalists benefit from the exposure that comes from being one of the projects in the annual Aussie List. AiF/Gateway LA will promote the list in Los Angeles and Australia. Overall, the program is designed to help screenwriters in Australia get their work into the hands of influential producers and executives who can help them get it made.

The winner(s) will receive a cash award, to help facilitate development, flights to LA, meetings with producers and executives and table reads. The amount of the cash prize will be determined based on the needs of the project, and how many we will award in this cycle.

Does my co-writer need to be Australian?
At least one member of the team needs to be an Australian citizen or permanent resident.

Will I receive coverage/notes on my submission?
AiF does not have the resources to give notes on submissions. Notes and coverage are only used internally for story readers and judges.

Can I send another draft after I submit?
No. Only the submitted draft will be reviewed.

What do you mean by 'international appeal'?
The general goal of the program is for the story to have an addressable audience outside of Australia. In the application, the writer is asked to state why they believe their project has 'international appeal'. The film can be set in Australia or elsewhere.

Even if the story is set in the US or UK, the writer is still required to articulate the project's international appeal. Judges may also consider the merits based on their own experience.

Can I submit more than one screenplay?
Yes. As many as you like. Each screenplay will need a separate application and fee.

Are documentaries or short films eligible?
Sorry, no.

Why are you charging $30USD?
The $30USD fee goes to admin costs for the program, including staff and technology. Additionally the fee provides an incentive or investment for people to take extra care when submitting the application.

I am an Aussie writer living in the UK - am I able to submit a script to your script development program?
Yes, Australian citizens or permanent residents can live anywhere.

Who are the judges?

Audrey Chon, VP Scripted Television, Shine America (Gracepoint, The Bridge)

Michael Costigan, Producer (Stoker, Out of the Furnace), Executive Producer (Brokeback Mountain, Prometheus); 

Jonathan Hludzinski, Creative Executive at Animal Logic 

Peter Lawson, VP of Production and Acquisitions, Open Road Films (Triple Nine, Nightcrawler) and co-chair of Gateway LA Program 

Simonne Overend, Vice President of Scripted Development for Essential Media (Saving Mr Banks, Rake), President of Australians in Film and Co-Chair of Gateway LA Program 

Bruna Papandrea, Producer, Pacific Standard (Warm Bodies, Wild), Executive Producer, Gone Girl, Milk) Michelle Sandoval, Executive, Ausfilm 

Michelle Sandoval, Executive, Ausfilm

Bec Smith, Agent (Motion Picture Literary and Independent Film Group) at United Talent Agency 

Stacey Testro, Manager/Producer, Stacey Testro International

Can I submit an early draft?

It depends. If you are happy with the draft, and feel the screenplay is ready to be shown to producers or development executives, then by all means.

Please be aware that Gateway LA is not a script workshop.

Can Gateway LA script readers submit screenplays?

Sorry, no.

Will AiF benefit from the sale of any of these screenplays?

No. The goal of the Gateway LA Script Development Program is to promote the careers of Australian writers and Australian creative teams. 

AIF is a 501c3 non profit organization. Our mission is to support the careers of Australian entertainment professionals in Los Angeles.

How do I stay up to date on the Gateway LA Script Development Program?

Like AiF on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and sign up to receive updates. 

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