With the largest prize of its kind in the world, the Australian Academy in partnership with Grundy Media, is set to enhance its dedication to fostering emerging talents in screen entertainment and expediting the development of innovative and fresh productions.

This year’s winner will be determined by a returning panel of established TV production experts, including Debbie Cuell (Head of Sparkle Pictures), Steve Oemcke (Co-Founder of WTFN), Sharon Wheeler (Award-winning Senior Entertainment Executive), Marion Farrelly (speaker, consultant, creative strategist), and Ian Hogg (media CEO, advisor, Australian Idol, Australia’s Got Talent, Family Feud).

Reg Grundy was peerless in the creation and adaptation of entertainment formats for local audiences in Australia and across the world. This Award is inspired by Grundy’s hard work, visionary achievements and entrepreneurial spirit. His towering success in creating, adapting and producing entertainment formats spans decades and includes SALE OF THE CENTURY, WHEEL OF FORTUNE, FAMILY FEUD, THE PRICE IS RIGHT and PERFECT MATCH. Grundy’s long-running dramas include SONS & DAUGHTERS, PRISONER and NEIGHBOURS, which has become the longest-running drama series in Australian television and a launching pad for many top stars.

There isn’t a current Australian producer who hasn’t been inspired by Reg Grundy’s prolific legacy.  The AACTA Reg Grundy Award aims to continue his legacy and find the next great Australian television show.

“If not for Reg Grundy, global TV as we all know it today would not exist. He was a trailblazer and a visionary like no other. I was very fortunate to witness Reg Grundy’s creative and business genius first-hand,” said 2022 AACTA Reg Grundy Award Judge and Senior Television Executive Sharon Wheeler. “I’m thrilled to continue my involvement with this prestigious competition. As entertainment explodes across countless new global platforms, there’s never been a better time to foster new creators and bold formats in the spirit of Reg Grundy.”

Last month, we lost one of Reg’s biggest supports and beloved wife, Joy Chambers Grundy. Joy played a significant role in the establishment of this Award and believed in keeping Reg’s heritage of hard work and entrepreneurial spirit alive whilst fostering the next generation of brilliant and creative ideas. Despite the loss felt by the passing of Joy, the Award continues to strive towards inviting Australians from all walks of life and experience levels to pitch an idea that is not only original but also viable and possesses that unique Grundy ‘magic.’ Last year’s Award came down to a dead heat between two of the finalists, with the Award going to both Rachel Kayrooz’s observational documentary series Facing the Fear, and Jayden James and George Harrington’s competition reality format Mr Wolf. The recipients captivated the judges, who saw potential for both concepts, leading to a joint win and a split of the prize money. Jayden’s work is currently receiving funding from AACTA to further develop the pitch for international agents and production houses, with many big names currently attached to his project. Rachel will soon shoot a proof of concept with the support of AACTA funding.

Jayden James said, “The Reg Grundy Award is one of few Australian initiatives that supports and invests in unproduced unscripted formats and talent. The highlight of the process was getting one-on-one discussions with the judging panel — Debbie Cuell, Steve Oemcke, Marion ‘Maz’ Farrelly, Sharon Wheeler and Ian Hogg — titans of the industry who were generous with their time and insights. Over the past year, George and I have continued to refine our format, and are now investing our funds in assembling a team to take it to the international market.”

Rachel Kayrooz said, “The Reg Grundy Award is a life-changing opportunity where I was able to bring my creativity, lived experience, and skillset to the eyes and ears of the industry’s top judges and mentors. The process itself is a challenge and journey of growth; from unpacking my ideas and goals,
diving deep into the layers of pitching, and coming face-to-face with the reality of making an impact in the landscape of Australian unscripted reality tv. I am excited to be back in the industry and working towards life-long goals and dreams, as I prepare to film my sizzle reel for my winning pitch Facing the Fear, thanks to AACTA and the Reg Grundy Award.”

”It’s always a great pleasure to read the incredibly diverse concepts that are submitted for this award,” said AACTA Awards and Industry Development Manager Ivan Vukusic. “We’re excited by the progress made by our previous winners and are happy to see that the elevated industry profile afforded by the Reg Grundy Award has helped foster career opportunities. We were all saddened by the passing of Joy Chambers Grundy and are incredibly proud to continue to honour Reg’s legacy, and her own, through this important award.”

Think you have Australia’s favourite show on your hands? Round 1 entries are now open and call for your show’s title, a logline (1-2 sentence description), and a synopsis of up to one page in length.

Submissions are due by 5 pm AEDT on Monday, November 13, 2023.

For full eligibility requirements and entry details, please click here.

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