2020 - Shortlisted


Judges' comments

Buoyancy is a feature film script telling the gripping story of Chakra, a young Cambodian boy. Living in poverty and desperate to flee, Chakra takes the first opportunity that presents itself, only to be forced into a world of slavery aboard a fishing trawler. Battling unscrupulous bosses, desperate fellow workers and a brutal environment, Chakra is pushed to his absolute limits. Drawing on elements of realism and the action genre, Rodd Rathjen creates a gripping drama.

Visceral and compelling, Rodd Rathjen’s screenplay unveils its story with deliberation. In each scene, he takes us further along an epic journey filled with heart and grit. The script unabashedly yet elegantly tackles challenging, globally relevant themes, deftly balancing a personal journey and larger issues. Rathjen draws on the imagery of life on board a fishing trawler to great effect. His script for Buoyancy powerfully dramatises the costs of human slavery.