Michael Hastings-Black and Raafi Rivero of Desedo Films have won the £6,000 Babelgum Pixel prize with their urban teen project Heart Of The City.

The cross-media project was pitched as a feature film, comics, a web series, alternate reality game and merchandise.

It was selected from a seven-strong shortlist of competing teams by a jury of international commissioning executives, decision-makers and financiers. In total the competition attracted 120 submissions from 14 countries.

Liz Rosenthal said: “At this year’s event we have been able to showcase the best of this new world thanks to the continued funding from our principal funder Skillset; main partners the UK Film Council, the Arts Council England, NESTA, Babelgum; and the support of our other partners.”

Babelgum’s Karol Martesko-Fenster said, “We want to commend Liz Rosenthal and Tishna Molla, along with the entire PTTP team for pulling together such a stellar group of participants. We are encouraged by the 120 submissions to the inaugural Babelgum Pixel Pitch Award that media convergence is alive and thriving.  We extend our congratulations to the deserving team behind Heart Of The City for winning the Award and look forward to seeing their finished project broadly distributed in 2010.”

Pixel Pitch finalists and jury.

Selected teams:

1. The Alexander Wilson Project (film web series, live event, game)

Producer: Krishna Stott Production Company: Bellyfeel / Visit Sheerport (UK)
Manchester-based Bellyfeel won the Jury and Audience Award at the 2008 Webby Awards for Crimeface, an interactive cross-platform film. Crimeface also won a BBC IPTV development deal at MipTV Content 360 in Cannes.

Logline: The Alexander Wilson Project is an interactive thriller for young adults and culture vultures of all ages.  Containing ACTION, INTRIGUE and multiple WOW moments, this high impact cross-media film serial will be played en masse by an entire generation and talked about for years to come. 

2. Angels (film and TV series, ARG, live event)

Producer: Matthieu Chéreau & Sandrine Girbal Production Company: Happy Fannie (FRANCE)
Happy Fannie combines the best elements of traditional narratives with online interactivity. The company is based in Paris.

Logline: Angel tells the story of René, a 583 year-old coach who teaches younger angels how to survive in the real world amongst humans. Narrated as reportage through Monsieur Dénarié, a TV reporter, this comedy unravels as a TV series and online game which will overlap into the real world.

3. Brand New-U (feature film, interactive web series, game)  

Producer: Janine Marmot Production Company: Hot Property Films (UK)
Hot Property Films was set up in 1995 by BAFTA award-winning team, producer Janine Marmot and writer/director Simon Pummell. The company’s cross-platform project Bodysong won the BAFTA Interactive Award and a BIFA and was a Tiger Award nominee at the Rotterdam Film Festival.

Logline: Desperate?  Unhappy?  The company BRAND NEW-U offers a new identity, a life better than your own.  The price for a new life?  A single killing.  Brand New-U re-arranges the barest elements of a thriller into the looping logic of a nightmare:  because we must all kill our old selves to create ourselves anew. 

4. Dark Forest Project (documentary, multi-platform game for web and mobile, live event)

Producer: Rachel Jacobs Production Company: Mudlark Production Company associated with NewTV (UK and Brazil)
Mudlark is a cross-platform production company incorporating a digital arts company, games company and a TV production company.

Logline:The Dark Forest Game is for the mobile, environmentally-conscious generation.  A game of forest management for mobile and web, using live data from two very different iconic forests.  Players find ways to protect the forests before the trees reach tipping point. The game is part of a larger multi-platform documentary project.

 5.WINNER: Heart of the City (feature film, web series, live event, ARG and video game)Producer: Karin Chien  Production Company: Desedo Films (USA)
Desedo films creates content for new media and minority markets, working with brands and agencies to craft strategy and tell stories. The company has produced content for Sony Pictures, Panasonic and HBO’s True Blood and consulted for F500 brands.

Logline: What if Kanye West met Lord of the Rings?

Heart of the City is a cross-media story set in the world of urban teens.

When our heroes Jai and Sash find a magic talisman that unlocks their daydreams, NYC becomes a funhouse of mysteries and monsters, damsels and danger.

 6. Slick (feature film, web series, live event, ARG, mobile ) 

Producer: Behnam Karbassi  Production Company: No Mimes Media (USA)
No Mimes Media brings you full media entertainment experiences. The award-winning team – Benham Karbassi, Steve Peters and Maureen McHugh – have between them worked on ground-breaking alternate reality experiences including Why So Serious? for The Dark Knight, Ilovebees, Year Zero (Nine Inch Nails) and 6minutestomidnight.com for Watchmen.

Logline:Slick is a transmedia experience combining film, live events, and interactive technology to create an alternate reality where the audience follows Ian, their disaffected guide, through portals into an alluring parallel world—but each trip increases the odds that this time they won’t be able to find their way.

7. Third Rail (feature film, web series, game, mobile app, interactive blu-ray)

Producer: Ryan Bilsborrow-Koo & Zachary Lieberman Production Company: Exit Strategy (USA)
Exit Strategy are the award-winning creators of the online series The West Side which garnered international press (The Guardian, Der Spiegel, Spout) and won Best Drama Series at the Webby Awards 2008. Bilsborrow-Koo and Lieberman were named two of Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film.

Logline:Third Rail is a murder mystery set on a New York City subway. The episodic story follows the form of a classic whodunit, but with the grit of modern-day New York City as a backdrop. The interactive series will launch simultaneously on several global platforms.

The Jury

Rosie Allimonos, Multi-Platform Commissioner, BBC

Omid Ashtari, Agent, CAA

Rachel Baker, Media Arts Officer, Arts Council England

Guillaume Blanchot, Director of New Media, CNC

Nicolas Bry, Senior VP, Orange Vallée

Sally Caplan, Head Premiere Fund, UK Film Council

Peter Cowley, MD Digital Media, Endemol UK

Serena Cullen, Director Drama & Comedy, Sony Pictures TV Int’l

Christy Dena, Director, Universe Creation 101

Lizzie Francke, Development Producer, UK Film Council        

David Garrett, President, Summit International

Adam Gee, Commissioning Editor, Channel 4

Ben Grass, MD, Pure Grass Films

Ted Hope, Producer and Co-Founder This is that corporation

Dan Lawson, Head of Development, Screen WM

Ray Maguire, UK Managing Director, Sony Computer Entertainment

Karol Martesko-Fenster, General Manager & Publisher, Film Division, Babelgum

Ben Malbon, Managing Partner & Founder, BBH Labs

Sara Pollack, Entertainment Marketing Manager, YouTube

Michel Reilhac, Director, ARTE France Cinema

Kelly Sweeney, Head of Original Productions, BEBO

Lance Weiler, Partner, Seize the Media

David G. Wilson, Head of Creative & Business Affairs, EON Screenwriters’ Lab

Mark Wood, Co-founder, Krempelwood

Colleen Woodcock, Head of Creative Affairs, Pathe

Principal Funder: SKILLSET.

Main Partners: UK Film Council, Arts Council England, NESTA, Babelgum, Production Base, Creative Industries KTN, Film London, YouTube.

Media Partner: Screen International.