Six indie films compete in “The Pitch” for $20k prize

Six indie filmmaking teams will make “The Pitch” Sunday, Oct. 25 in front of a live audience, as to why their project deserves the prize of more than $20,000 of in-kind services.  

“The Pitch,” partnering with IFP/Chicago, is part of the 51st Chicago International Film Festival’s first “Industry Days at the JW Marriot Chicago Loop hotel, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

“The ability to pitch a project in Chicago to this level of decision-maker is rare. Our goal is to connect these filmmakers to resources that will help move their films into production and reach a larger audience,” says IFP Programming Chair Jonah Zieger.

“And it also gives the local filmmaking community an excellent opportunity to learn from our expert judges.”

On the judging panel are industry experts moderator Claudia Landsberger, executive partner of BaseWorx for Film and former head of EYE International, the Netherlands; Aijah Keith, IFC Films Acquisitions and Productions Coordinator; producers Amy Hobby (“Love, Marilyn), Steve Pink (“Hot Tub Machine”) and producer/actor/writer Brett Hudson (“Basketball Man”).

“Each project was chosen because it has a distinct viewpoint and a compelling story,” notes Nicole Bernardi-Reis IFP Chicago board president.

In-kind services are being provided by Magnanimous Media, Avid, Hewlett-Packard and Stage 18, plus mentoring and support from IFP Chicago members.

“The Pitch” projects are:  

AS WITH KNIVES AND SKIN: Sophomore year of high school turns less typical when a series of unexpected traumas accelerates the coming-of-age process. This Southern gothic drama presents girlhood as a revolution. Pitched by director, Jennifer Reeder and producer Steven Hudosh.

ORIOLE PARK: Chicago, 1978. The shadow of a serial killer looms over the tightly knit community of Oriole Park as a string of disappearances lead neighbors to suspect one of their own.  Director, Kevin Slack. Pitched by writers/producers Amelia Dellos and Eric Anderson.  

TILL: The compelling story of the brutal lynching of 14-year old Emmett Till and the courageous actions of his mother that galvanized the historic civil rights movement in America. Executive producer, Jennifer Shelby; producers, Brett Hays and Luke Boyce.  Pitched by Shelby and Hays.

GHOSTAPHOBIA: Suffering from severe anxiety, a man decides to never leave his home again even though the ghosts haunting his house want him out. Writer/producer, Brandon Schiffli; producer, Ben Atkinson; director, Collin Schiffli.  Pitched by Brandon Schiffli and Collin Schiffli

SIGNATURE MOVE: A 30-something lesbian flounders in life, love and wrestling, trying to reconcile who she is with the values of her religious, TV-obsessed mother. Pitched by director Fawzia  Mirza and producers Brian Hieggelke and Eugene Park.

CARNEY KILL: With its surreal carnival setting and deliriously crooked cast of spielers, luck-boys, and dancing girls with indecent hips and sub-zero hearts, Carny Kill is classic film noir at its most devious and pungent. Based on the classic pulp noir novel by Robert Edmond Alter. Pitched by director John McNaughton and producer Steven A. Jones.  

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