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Home > Screenings > Autumn Winter 2020 Digital Pitch > The Sunshine Institute

Pitchee: Stephen Campbell (writer/director)

The Sunshine Institute
Evan Hipkins’ long suffering live-in girlfriend Kimberly, presents him with an ultimatum: get a job or get out.

Desperate to save his relationship, Evan accepts a job at the clandestine Sunshine Institute, where he is teamed up with two Institute veterans: Solo, a military trained assassin and Callaghan, a hard-drinking, foul-mouthed theologian. However, things do not go well for Evan who, first day on the job, is attacked and killed by an ancient primordial demon.

Evan suddenly finds himself standing before God, who informs him that he is collateral damage in the war between Heaven and Hell that has been raging since Creation. Unfortunately, his mortal soul has now been damned. After several tequila shots, God begins to like Evan Hipkins and decides to give him a second shot at life. Evan now has until dawn to track down and destroy the creature that attacked him.

Evan reunites with Solo and Callaghan and together they hunt the demon. With the first hint of the sunlight appearing on the horizon, Evan manages to defeat the creature and save his soul. However, Kimberly is lost to the forces of darkness.

Devastated, Evan signs on permanently with The Sunshine Institute and sets out to avenge his girlfriend’s death. Meanwhile, Callaghan reports the unusual encounter with such a rare and ancient demon to his boss at The Institute.

“The armies of Darkness are gathering,” announces Callaghan as he drains the last drop from his hip flask. “The end of days are upon us.”

Project Information:
Genre: Supernatural/Comedy
Format: 8x60’ returnable
Writer: Stephen Campbell
Director: Stephen Campbell
Producer: Natasha Romaniuk
Partners: N/A
Development stage: First draft pilot episode, second episode and pitch bible
Planned shooting start:N/A
Shooting location: New Zealand
Languages: English
Total budget: US$8m to US$16m
Budget per episode: US$1m to US$2m per episode
Financing already in place: Initial development funding in place

Looking for from the International Business:
We are currently looking for international coproduction partners to help further develop the series for a global market with the aim of securing international coproduction funding.

Securing coproduction partners will contribute to the production eligibility for the New Zealand Screen Production Grant. The grant for New Zealand productions is part of the government’s screen incentives scheme. Eligible productions can access a cash rebate equivalent to 40% of qualifying New Zealand production expenditure.

Company profile:
Amaru Road was set up as a brand under which to create original and engaging stories for a wide range of audiences and screens. Over the past 15 years, the company has created many international award-winning drama programmes for children and young-adult audiences.

The Amazing Extraordinary Friends, an action-adventure comedy featuring a team of teenage superheroes, was sold into several regions globally and won a special prize at the Seoul International Drama Festival 2011.

Amaru Road’s latest drama, sci-fi thriller The Cul de Sac, won Best Children’s Programme 2019 at the Asian Academy Creative Awards and is currently playing on the BBC iPlayer.

E: [email protected]