2023
Applications closed

About the Prize

The Betty Roland Prize ($30,000) is offered for the screenplay of a feature-length fiction film, for the script of a documentary film, for the script of a play or documentary for radio, or for the script of a television program (whether fiction or non-fiction). A script will be eligible for consideration if a film or radio or television program has been first publicly screened or broadcast during the eligibility period. Scripts written by more than four authors are not eligible. Only one episode, per writer, per series can be considered. Only the writer’s original work will be considered for an award.

In the case of a feature-length film, the final shooting script should be submitted; in other cases, shooting and production scripts, which may differ from the original script, may be submitted only if accompanied by the original script. 

Assessment will be made entirely on the literary merit of the written text, and not on the merits of the resulting film, radio or television program. 

Past winners

2022
Nitram
Good Thing Productions
Winner
2021
FREEMAN
General Strike and Matchbox Pictures
Winner
2020
The Cry
Synchronicity Films
Joint winner
2020
Girl in the woods
SBS
Joint winner
2019
photo from jirga film
Winner
2018
deep water image
Blackfella Films
Joint winner
2018
top of the lake china girl image
See-Saw Films
Joint winner
2017
Book cover for Down Under by Abe Forsythe
Riot Film Pty Ltd
Joint winner
2017
Cover image The Code
Playmaker Media
Joint winner

The Judging Panel

Craig Batty

Craig Batty

Chair

Craig Batty is Professor and Dean of Research (Creative) at the University of South Australia. He is the author, co-author and editor of 15 books on screenwriting and screen production, including Script Development: Critical Approaches, Creative Practices, International Perspectives (2020), Writing for the Screen: Creative and Critical Approaches (2nd ed.) (2019) and Screen Production Research: Creative Practice as a Mode of Enquiry (2018).

He is also a writer, script editor and script consultant, with experiences in short film, feature film, television and online drama. He has assessed scripts for many industry bodies and competitions over the past 17 years, as well as led many screenwriting workshops in the UK and Australia.

Reg Cribb

Reg Cribb

Reg Cribb is an award-winning writer for stage and screen; he has won an AACTA for Best Adapted Screenplay and been nominated for another two, the Patrick White Playwright’s Award, two WA Premier’s Literary Awards, the major WA Premier’s award, a NSW Premier’s Literary Award, a QLD Literary Premier’s Award and he has been nominated for six AWGIE awards. 

Reg adapted his play Last Cab To Darwin as a feature film starring Michael Caton and Jackie Weaver. It premiered at the Sydney Film Festival and made $7.5M at the Australian box office. Other screenplays by Reg include The Great Mint SwindleBran Nue DaeLast Train To Freo.  

Recent plays include Country Song, Krakouer!, Thomas Murray and the Upside Down RiverThe Haunting of Daniel GartrellUnaustraliaThe Damned and Boundary Street among others. 

photo of katrina irawati graham

Katrina Irawati Graham

Katrina is a screenwriter, director and playwright. She works in many genres including feminist horror, crime and drama.  She recently co-directed drama series Bali 2002 for STAN. 
 
Her Indonesian ghost story, White Song, is part of Australia’s first all-female directed horror anthology, Dark Whispers, (SBS On Demand). The feature film of that story was developed through Screen Queensland. Katrina has recently adapted a feature script of her play, Siti Rubiyah.  She has written two award winning crime web series and has been in writers’ room for ABC and SBS. She is currently in development with Mother Tongue, an antiracist midwifery drama series. 

She is known for her intersectional gender advocacy. She celebrates her Indonesian-Australian heritage and champions diversity and story sovereignty.
 

About Betty Roland

Betty Roland (1903-1996) was an Australian writer of plays, novels, screenplays, children’s books and comics. Roland left school at sixteen to train as a journalist, working for Table Talk and Sun News-Pictorial. She began writing plays in the mid-1920s. Her best-known play The Touch of Silk being first performed in 1928 by the Melbourne Repertory Theatre company. 

Roland lived in Russia for several years while being in a relationship with Guido Baracchi, one of the founders of the Australian Communist Party. She returned to Australia in 1935 writing a number of political plays, but became disillusioned with the Communist Party.

Roland also wrote the screenplay for what is claimed as the first Australian feature length "talkie" movie Spur of the Moment (1932) credited as Betty M. Davies. 

Roland began writing for the radio, including The First Gentleman, Daddy Was Asleep and The White Cockade. During the 1950s she worked as a freelance writer in London, but returned to Australia in 1961 and moved on to write a number of highly regarded children’s novels. Roland is most-admired for her three volumes of autobiography, the first being Caviar for Breakfast (1979).