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

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Gateway LA Application Criteria & Submission Form

GatewayLA is a 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.

Read the FAQs


The 2016-17 GatewayLA 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 project's 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 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.

Winning writers will a copy of the latest version of Final Draft, the industry standard in screenwriting software. Final Draft, a Cast & Crew Company, has published Final Draft® software – the number-one selling screenwriting application in the world – for 25 years. Final Draft automatically paginates and formats your script to industry standards, allowing writers to focus on what they do best – writing scripts. Used by such industry giants as J.J. Abrams, James Cameron and Aaron Sorkin, Final Draft software is the professional’s choice and the entertainment industry standard. Final Draft also offers the Reader® and Writer® apps for iPhone and iPad, making creativity truly portable. To learn more about Final Draft and its products and services, visit:

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.
  • If a script has been submitted previously to the GatewayLA Program for consideration, a statement must be provided detailing how the project has changed or progressed.
  • 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 submission fee.
  • Only short listed 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 $50USD (Non-AiF Industry Members)/ $35USD AiF Industry Members) application fee per script submission. The application must be complete and fee paid in order to be assessed.

2. Script readers select scripts that meet the initial criteria which includes international potential, which is a core requirement of this program.

3. Script readers provide internal coverage for the Judging Committee. The Selection Committee review shortlisted submissions and select up to 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)

26 September – Applications Open.

17 October (5:00pm PST) – Application Deadline.

Mid-December – Scripts recommended to Stage 2 for assessment by Selection Committee.

January – Finalists Announced.

February/March 2017 – Winner Announced.

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?

We want to ensure an even playing field for all applicants, regardless of track record and writing experience.

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/GatewayLA 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.

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 a fee?

Australians in Film is a non-profit organization. The fee goes to administration 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?

Bonni Lee

Bonni Lee has served has as an executive at MGM/UA, Warner Bros., as President of Robert Redford’s company Wildwood Entertainment and Geffen Pictures. She has worked on numerous films, including Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, Beetlejuice, Batman, Lethal Weapon, The Accidental Tourist, A River Runs Through It, Interview With the Vampire and Joe’s Apartment.  When David Geffen created Dreamworks SKG with Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg, Lee's company, Mighty Hula Pictures, developed TV and feature films under a production deal at the studio. Lee moved to the east coast for a few years and is now happily ensconced at Village Roadshow Pictures as Senior Vice President of Production, the company's titles include Mad Max: Fury Road, The Lego Movie and the upcoming Passengers.

Ben Lusthaus

Ben Lusthaus is a Development Executive at Pascal Pictures, a film and TV production company run by producer Amy Pascal. Pascal Pictures is currently producing the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming, as well as Aaron Sorkin’s directorial debut, Molly’s Game. Ben previously worked at 20th Century Fox on movies such as Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes and Gone Girl, and also worked in production on Black Swan in NYC. He is originally from Sydney, Australia. 

Paddy Murphy

Paddy joined the development team at Tobey Maguire’s Material in early 2013 after meeting him on Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby where he worked for the director’s longtime producer and Music Supervisor, Anton Monsted. Before joining Bazmark, Paddy worked for another of the director’s longtime producers and collaborators, Paul Watters. Early on at Material he worked closely with Maguire’s producing partner Matthew Plouffe on Edward Zwick’s Pawn Sacrificestarring Maguire as American chess icon Bobby Fischer. Paddy has continued to work closely with Plouffe on Material’s development slate including Z for Zachariah starring Margot Robbie, Chris Pine and Chiwetel Ejiofor and The 5th Wave starring Chloë Grace Moretz and Liev Schreiber. The company is producing bestselling author Greg Iles’ trilogy Natchez Burning with Sony Pictures TV. Material is an independently financed company based in Los Angeles.

Aida Mashaka Croal

Canadian-born playwright and screenwriter, Aida Mashaka Croal, received her BA from Stanford University and her MFA from Columbia University’s School of the Arts. She won a Daytime Emmy while writing on her first TV show: ABC’s “One Life to Live.” She has since written for Syfy (“Sanctuary”), Cartoon Network (“Star Wars: The Clone Wars”), AMC (“TURN: Washington’s Spies”), and Netflix (Marvel’s Luke Cage).  She is currently a writer and Supervising Producer on Marvel’s Jessica Jones. 

Chris Dickie

Chris Dickie is currently the Director of Development, Endemol Shine Studios.  He joined Endemol in 2011 as Coordinator of Development and over the past five years has overseen the development and production of multiple series, including the long-running AMC drama Hell on Wheels, Kingdom (Audience Network), Low Winter Sun(AMC), Red Widow (ABC) and the upcoming I’m Dying Up Here (Showtime).  He previously worked in Drama Development at 20th Century Fox Television Studios and prior to that got his start at ICM in 2007. 

Jairo Alvarado

Jairo Alvarado started as a creative exec at Warner Bros. then went on to join 3 Arts Entertainment as a manager/producer. At Circle, he reps writer Brian Miller who’s sold pilots this season to Fox with Ryan Murphy and MTV with UCP and Blumhouse; journalists/producers Joshua Bearman and Joshua Davis whose company EPIC has a first look deal with A&E Studios; AMERICAN DAD and COMMUNITY writer Jordan Blum; NBC’s TAKEN writer Joy Loya; I SMILE BACK director Adam Salky, and Tiller Russell, writer on NBC’s CHICAGO PD. As a producer, he now has projects set up at NETFLIX, BBC AMERICA, and Alcon Entertainment.   

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 GatewayLA is not a script workshop.

Can GatewayLA script readers submit screenplays?

Sorry, no.

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

No. The goal of the GatewayLA 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 GatewayLA Script Development Program?

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

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5300 Melrose Avenue

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Hollywood, CA 90038

Phone: 310 452 5939
Fax: 323 446 8724



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