2020 - Joint winner

Joint winner

Judges' comments

In 1966, an eight-year-old girl, Wendy Jane Pfeiffer, was abducted, stabbed and abandoned in the bush outside Mylor in the Adelaide Hills. Weak, bleeding and increasingly dehydrated over her forty-two hour ordeal, the little girl would almost certainly have perished, had it not been for the skilful work of Pitjantjatjara tracker Jimmy James, who was awarded an OAM for guiding rescuers to her.

Missing is a poetic and tautly constructed retelling of this extraordinary true story. Using an innovative interactive documentary structure to bring to life Pfeiffer’s and James’ converging paths through the wilderness, Boltin creates a compelling tapestry of memory, historical fact and contrasting points of view. Her deceptively simple script delivers a complex and suspenseful reading experience that feels astonishingly real.

Boltin’s writing skilfully matches subject matter and style. Her interactive documentary script for Missing draws on the true crime story to open up new spaces for innovation in screen storytelling. A moving and powerful script, Missing speaks to our times.

Winner - NSW Premier's Literary Awards 2020