Aurora Fearnley

Aurora Fearnley

Northern film director and editor Aurora Fearnley has become the first woman to win international film competition The Pitch.

The Stockport-born storyteller was previously three times runner-up, but this time impressed the five top industry judges in the boardroom at Pinewood Studios with her space sci-fi short film idea, called Pulsar.

She now has the unique opportunity to develop her idea with production support from The Pitch and a budget worth £25,000.

She said: “I’ve been here so many times but I’ve never actually won before so this is a new feeling!  I’m grateful I don’t have to come back for a fifth year.  Every year I know I’ve been better at pitching and I’ve picked up tools and techniques each time to improve.  I know it’s an ambitious idea and I know I’ve set myself a challenge but I’m really excited about the journey of the film.”

Judge, actor David Gyasi, rated her idea by said it was both the story and the character that really ‘grabbed’ him ‘along with the way she has translated the original text to a modern and futuristic setting’. 

“I could really envisage the film and the audience who it will appeal to.”

The Pulsar story is based on the book of Jonah is about a reluctant prophet who faces his fears whilse discovering courage and specifically focuses on his inner struggles. See the film pitch here.

The competition also awarded two runners-up prizes for the first year to Glasgow based Nic Crum for ‘The House with Teeth’ and Alex Marx from Kilburn for ‘Fingers’.  They each take away production support worth £2.5K to further develop their film ideas .

Last year’s winner, Trafford based Simon Cookson went to Hollywood with his debut, The Light, which was shot on location in the North West, with Manchester and Lancashire standing in for 1950s America for the period drama. The crew filmed on disused Lancashire rail tracks and ended up at Matt and Phreds in the city centre.