The latest project by Annie Sundberg and Ricki Stern will be among eight selected to take part in The Good Pitch in North America in New York during IFP’s Independent Film Week.
The co-directors of the award winning documentaries The Devil Came On Horseback and The Trials Of Darryl Hunt return with Youthbuild, about a high-stakes community rebuilding project in Newark.
Other projects selected from a 200-string submissions pool cover such diverse topics as ethnic violence in Africa, AIDS, climate change in Bangladesh, and micro credit.
The Good Pitch in North America is a touring initiative that allows the creators of projects to meet with industry professionals. It has previously stopped off at the Toronto Documentary Forum and Silverdocs this year and makes its final appearance at IFP’s Independent Film Week in New York on September 4.
Each of the projects intersects with one or more of the UN’s eight Millennium Development Goals such as poverty reduction, maternal health, gender equality and AIDS, dovetailing with IFP’s collaborative programme with the UN’s Department Of Public Information entitled Envision - Addressing Global Issues Through Documentaries.
The seven projects besides Youthbuild are: 25 To Life, directed by Michael L Brown; Easy Like Water, directed by Glenn Baker; Garbage Dreams, directed by Mai Iskander; Rose & Nangabire, directed by Beth Davenport and Elizabeth Mandel; To Catch A Dollar: Muhammad Yunus Banks On America, directed by Gayle Ferraro; What Tomorrow Brings, directed by Beth Murphy; and Zhinan, directed by Mary Ann Smothers Bruni.
The Good Pitch In America is a partnership between Channel 4 BRITDOC Foundation and the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program. Funding comes from The Fledgling Fund, Working Films, Chicken & Egg Pictures, Tides Foundation and anonymous donors.
“We launched the Good Pitch at the BRITDOC Festival in Oxford in July 2008,” Katie Bradford, director of the Good Pitch, said. “The success of that event made us realise that this twist on the classic documentary pitch format had huge scope not only in the UK, but also in North America… The live setting of the Good Pitch is a powerful way to get concrete partnerships off the ground for each of the eight films taking part and we are excited to evolve the format further at IFP’s Independent Film Week in September.”
“Through Independent Film Week, IFP has facilitated connections between social issue film-makers and the film industry for the past 31 years,” IFP executive director Michelle Byrd said. “We’re pleased to welcome the Good Pitch and its embrace of a wider audience of concerned parties in support of these types of films, as well as the pressing issues upon which they seek to bring awareness.”
Organisations and individuals already confirmed for the September 24 event include TED, McKinsey & Co, Wallace Global Fund, Microcredit Summit, Abigail Disney, Whole Planet Foundation (Whole Foods), The Calvert Foundation, The Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund, POV, Impact Partners, The Katahdin Foundation, BAVC Producers Institute for New Media Technologies, Sundance Channel, LINKTV, Wide Angle and Human Rights Watch.