The Movie Network pay TV channel yesterday launched anAustralian version of Project Greenlight, which will result in a 12-partdocumentary series chronicling the making of a A$1m (US$762,000) feature by afirst-time filmmaker.

The movie channel's production partner for both theseries and the feature is Screentime, one of Australia's most successfultelevision production companies.

Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and American Pie producerChris Moore partnered with Miramax Television and Films in 2000 to create ProjectGreenlight, which resulted in the feature Stolen Summer. A third USseries is now in production.

Aspiring filmmakers have until December 1 to submitscripts, which will be initially assessed by the contestants themselves. Thetop 100 will then be assessed by industry professionals, and half will be askedto submit a short promotional video pitching themselves as a filmmaker. Thefinal ten contestants will film one scene based on their screenplay before thelucky winner is awarded a $1m production budget and a guaranteed theatricalrelease.

"The reason I know Project Greenlight will work sowell for us is that Australia is a nation of 20 million people and 18 millionof them want to be filmmakers!" says Movie Network chief executive TonyForrest. "Wanting to be a filmmaker has really become part of theAustralian culture and Project Greenlight will add another dimension to thatculture."

David Gould will produce and director the series withPeter Dredge as associate producer. Screentime principal Bob Campbell will actas executive producer.