BLACK CATCHING by Senthil Kumar | Script Revolution


During a genocide in 1828 Tasmania, a pregnant aboriginal Tasmanian woman is hunted by a vicious English man who incriminates her for his sons’ deaths.



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Set in 1820, the aboriginal tribes attempted retaliation, and as part of the effort to prevent the escalation of a war, in April of 1821. The most extensive conflict in Tasmanian history, the Tribe War was extremely violent. British Colonists drove the aboriginal tribes from their lands, murdering many. The aboriginal tribes also attacked and killed English settlers and their families, raiding houses and farms for food and resources, and trying to drive out the British.

Meanwhile, Governor Arthur orders that all tribes must leave the part of the woods settled by British colonists. To enforce the order, government-sponsored “patrol teams” composed of prisoners led by the hunters were established. The “Hunting teams” chases and kills the tribes as the hunters had the authority to immediately kill any aboriginal tribe they found in the settled areas. Afterwards, a price was set for native heads: five British pounds for an adult, two pounds for a child caught alive. This pursuit was known as “BLACK CATCHING.” It became a business venture for both private and official patrols teams. A commission was established to recommend an official policy on the native issue. The commission considered options such as catching the natives and selling them into slavery, poisoning them, and catching them in traps or hunting them with dogs. Ultimately, the commission decided to continue the price system and to use mounted policemen in the hunt.

During this conflict, ISLA, a 30's, nine months pregnant aboriginal woman, kills the English hunter's two sons who killed her husband. And then, she is taken on a perilous journey to a world ruled by fear and oppression where a harrowing end awaits her. Through a twist of fate and spurred by the power of her love for her unborn child. Through the constant and grisly violence from its engaging adventure of one pregnant woman's determination to save her unborn baby, she will elude the English master and his men turns the table on those English hunters who want her dead, rather than set free. This story reveals how this woman survived the harsh conditions of slavery, including smallpox, lashings, and an attempted hanging. Her account describes the daily life of the tribes in the woods, their diet and living conditions.

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FROM SCRIPT READER PRO: CONSIDER. Thank you so much for sending in your script Senthil. It’s an incredibly powerful story of love and survival. Reading your script was an education about a time, a place, and a truly horrific ethnic cleansing. I had never known about this dark history. With Isla being such a strong character and this being a moving script about an incident that is largely unknown in America, I can easily see this film making the rounds at festivals like Sundance or Cannes, before getting distribution.

Submitted: July 23, 2021
Last Updated: July 23, 2021

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The Writer: Senthil Kumar

I'm Senthil Kumar Dharmaraj, I'm a software engineer who worked for ORACLE in Silicon Valley. And I'm a drama feature writer from India. I like combining action, mystery, bio-pic, crime genres, but one will always be drama. I have been writing features for about 5 years. My scripts BLACK CATCHING and BELLATOR (histories set in Tasmania and Rome) made top 100 in The PAGE AWARDS Writing Contest. So I resigned my job and started writing and submitting my works to production companies. Now am working on my next two scripts (RED SKINS and A CALL FROM STRANGER). My favorite job is screenwriting. I stay away from both ends of the camera as I am no actor and certainly no Camera Op. And I finished... Go to bio

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