Good Pitch Chicago accepts doc submissions April 1

Three years after a trio of social issue documentary leaders agreed on the many advantages of holding an international Good Pitch event here, Good pitch Chicago arrives Tuesday, Oct. 22.

Sponsored by Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy, the intense, day long pitch of six-to-eight docmakers to nonprofit funders will take place at Tribeca Flashpoint’s new LaSalle Street space before an interested audience. 

“A key part of Kartemquin’s mission is to act as a leading voice for independent media, with a special focus on being an incubator and resource hub for the Midwest documentary community,” says Justine Nagan, Kartemquin Films’ executive director Nagan, attorney Steven Cohen whose Impact Partner invests in social issue documentaries and Erin Sorenson of Third Wave Consulting were the Good Pitch Chicago initiators and were quickly joined by Kindling Group executive director Danny Alpert, Tribeca Flashpoint’s Paula Froehle, EVP academic affairs and John Murray to form the advisory committee.Elspeth Revere, MacArthur Foundation; Steve Cohen, Cohen Law Group; Steve James, Kartemquin Films; Howard Tullman Tribeca Flashpoint.

“It’s a great opportunity to forge better ties between social issue filmmakers and the local philanthropic community,” notes Nagan.

The process leading up to the pitch starts with a committee comprised of the Chicago advisory board and four persons from the Good Pitch staff, who will select the candidates from the 100 or more expected submissions, Nagan explains.  Entry submissions open April 1.

“The selected filmmakers will be given intensive training by the Good Pitch people, two each coming here from London and Los Angeles, to prepare for the day,” she says.

An outreach coordinator will work with local foundations, philanthropists, corporations and other known arts funders to participate as potential project contributors.Kartemquin’s Justine Nagan

“We fully expect every film in the pitch will walk away with some kind of help, whether it’s a financial or a partnership with another organization,” says Cohen. “Every film gets something by being in the pitch.”

Highlighting the power of the documentary film

Good Pitch began in 2009 as collaboration between London’s BRITDOC Foundation, which supports international filmmakers, and the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program.  Events are held annually in New York, San Francisco and London.

Since 2011, Good Pitch has expanded with Good Pitch², which allows regional organizations to develop their own version of Good Pitch, pairing local funders and filmmakers.

“We see Good Pitch Chicago creating a new network for impact documentary filmmakers by building connections to Chicago funders, media engagement and advocacy groups and bringing them together under one roof for the first time,” says Cohen.

“It will also connect Chicago to the other US and international independent documentary film centers by being connected to the Good Pitch name.”

The MacArthur Foundation also has awarded a $50,000 grant toward start-up costs. Cohen is supplying a $20,000 matching grant for new sponsors who sign on after April 1.