‘Three Hours’ wins ChiFilmFest’s $20K Pitch

'Three Hours,' by Aemilia Scott and Holli McGinley

‘Three Hours,’ by Aemilia Scott and Holli McGinley

Aemilia Scott,
Holli McGinley
film follows a
single mother
living on the
edge of Chicago’s
Humboldt Park

The 55th Chicago International Film Festival has announced the winner of The Pitch at the 5th edition of Industry Days: Three Hours, directed by Aemilia Scott and produced by Holli McGinley.

The film follows a single mother living on the edge of Chicago’s Humboldt Park, who has three hours to find someone, anyone, to care for her child, or risk losing the job that keeps both of them from losing their home.

This is the second time that Aemilia Scott and Holli McGinley have won The Pitch. In 2016, they won The Pitch for their project Birthday Suit.

Three Hours will receive an awards package of in-kind goods and services worth tens of thousands of dollars.

Contributors include a camera package from Keslow Camera, a free day of shooting on Stage 18 at Cinespace Studios, free consultations with the Chicago Media Angels and Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP, and participation at the Tribeca Film Institute TFI Network program.

“This year’s pitch projects were all terrific, and all deserve to get made,” said Chicago International Film Festival and Industry Days Senior Programmer Anthony Kaufman. “There was some extremely tough competition, but we’re so happy that Aemilia and Holli are getting another boost from the Festival.”

Held on Oct. 20, 2019 at the Chicago Cultural Center and hosted by Nicole Bernardi-Reis and Jonah Zeiger, The Pitch at Industry Days has established itself as a leading industry showcase, spotlighting bold, original work from the Chicago region.

Past projects from The Pitch at Industry Days have gone onto completion, including Jennifer Reeder’s Signature Move, and two films showing at this year’s Chicago International Film Festival: Knives and Skin, also directed by Jennifer Reeder, and Haroula Rose’s Once Upon a River.

This year’s filmmakers represented a diversity of voices that continue to reinforce the breadth and vitality of Chicago-area filmmakers and projects. From a John Belushi family comedy to a Mexican-American fable, from a feminist mystery thriller to dramas about a 20-something woman finding her way and a desperate single mother losing hers, the selected projects displayed character-driven storytelling at its finest.

This year’s Pitch jury included BryceNorbitz, Director of Scripted Programs at the Tribeca Film Institute; Joshua Foster, Executive in film finance and production department at Cinetic Media; and Stephen Cone, the award-winning director of Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party and Princess Cyd.

About Industry Days
The Chicago International Film Festival’s hub for filmmakers and industry professionals to connect, share ideas and inspire each other, the Industry Days (Oct. 17-20) program includes panels and workshops as well as roundtable meetings, networking events, and a competitive pitch session, which all take place during the Festival (Oct. 16-27, 2019). Events are held at the Festival’s main venue, the AMC River East 21, located in the Streeterville neighborhood in downtown Chicago with a few events happening at the Chicago Cultural Center.

This year’s Keynote Conversation, “From Theatrical Campaigns to Streaming Wars,” features Bob Berney, former Head of Marketing and Distribution at Amazon Studios. Additional featured events include Master Classes with screenwriter Steven Conrad (Patriot), Oscar-winning Production Designer Hannah Beachler (Black Panther) and Adam Stockhausen (The Grand Budapest Hotel), and a Case Study of Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner Clemency with director Chinonye Chukwu and producer Bronwyn Cornelius.

Since its inception in 2015, Industry Days has hosted an impressive lineup of film executives and entertainment professionals, including Michael Barker (Sony Pictures Classics) and Charles D. King (Macro), Hollywood producers Gigi Pritzker and James D. Stern, and award-winning and celebrated filmmakers, including Stephen Cone, Julie Dash, Steve McQueen, and Sam Pollard.

Industry Days are made possible by the help of our sponsors and partners: AbelCine, Aberlour, Camera Ambassador, Chicago Film Office, Chloe Wine Collection, Cinespace Chicago Film Studios, DePaul University, Goose Island, Hamilton Watch, Illinois Film Office, Panavision, PRG, SAGindie, Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP

Festival Sponsors and Partners
The 55th Chicago International Film Festival’s sponsors include Major Festival Sponsors: Bloomberg Philanthropies, Chloe Wine Collection, Citi, Columbia College Chicago, Xfinity; Festival Sponsors: Aberlour, British International School of Chicago, South Loop, Cinespace Chicago Film Studios, DePaul University, Goose Island, Hamilton Watch, Panavision, SAGindie, Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP, William Blair; Official Agency: Ogilvy; Host Hotel: Ambassador Chicago; Participating: Hotels EMC2, The Whitehall Hotel; Airline Partner: LOT Polish Airlines; Festival Supporters: National Endowment for the Arts, Illinois Arts Council Agency, Illinois Film Office, Chicago Film Office, Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE),The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Sarofsky, AbelCine, PRG, Camera Ambassador; Media Partners: NCM, WTTW, WBBM, CHIRP; Partners: Beyond Events Catering, Chez, Chicago Architecture Biennial, Chicago Gourmet, Choose Chicago, Chop Shop, Goat Group Catering, Robert’s Pizza and Dough Company, Marchesa, Midwest Immersive, Museum of Contemporary Art, Steak 48.

About Cinema/Chicago
Cinema/Chicago, the presenting organization of the Chicago International Film Festival, is a year-round nonprofit arts and education organization dedicated to fostering better communication between people of diverse cultures through the art of film and the moving image. Cinema/Chicago’s programs include the Chicago International Film Festival, Summer Screenings Program, CineYouth Festival, and year-round Education Program. Celebrating its 55th edition October 16-27, 2019, the Chicago International Film Festival is North America’s longest-running competitive film festival. For more information, click here.

Send your festival updates to Reel Chicago Editor Dan Patton, dan@reelchicago.com.