Are you a documentary filmmaker with a work-in-progress at any stage of development?
Are you looking for a supportive environment to give your pitch a test run?
Do you want to help support your fellow filmmakers by providing them feedback?
The Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival, in partnership with Docs in Progress and The D-Word present the sixth-annual Peer Pitch West, a project dedicated to extending the craft of documentary filmmaking by giving filmmakers access to creative feedback in a supporting and collaborative environment. Once again, the day will be facilitated by Docs In Progress Executive Director Erica Ginsberg. With a wealth of experience facilitating filmmaker sessions like this back in Washington D.C., both the pitching filmmakers and the observing audience are in good hands!
Peer Pitch West takes place from 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM on Friday, March 24 in the Little Red Hen Dining Room at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts.
This program will give up to eight documentary filmmakers the opportunity to present new projects to fellow filmmakers for feedback and for all attending to gain valuable insights and new connections which can guide their own filmmaking. Constructive feedback from peers in a nurturing environment will help to identify strengths and areas for improvement in projects. Participants will also develop skills and comfort in verbally describing their projects among peers before trying their pitches out on industry.
Films which have been presented at past Peer Pitch workshops when they were in their early stages have gone on to be funded by major supporters such as Sundance Documentary Fund and ITVS, been accepted into industry pitching opportunities such as IFP’s Independent Film Week, DocsBarcelona, and the HotDocs Forum; and have gone on to play in theaters, festivals, television, and community screenings. Participants have also made connections with other filmmakers which have led to later collaborations. Some of the films which have come through Peer Pitch have included Let the Fire Burn, Slingshot, Kandahar Journals, Sweetheart Deal, Out in the Silence, Deej, Indivisible, The New Woman, The Lost Dream, The Last Song Before the War, and Uranium Drive-In. The following finished films playing at this year’s festival are also alums of the program: Big Sonia, Twice Upon a Time, and The Groove is Not Trivial
Who Can Pitch?
Participation is open to any filmmaker who has a documentary project he or she would like to discuss. Projects may be at any stage of development. Participants will have 10 minutes total to pitch, INCLUDING time to show a trailer or scene if you have one. In the past, experienced filmmakers, first-time filmmakers, and even film students have pitched their docs in progress at Peer Pitch.
The cost to pitch your project is $85 ($80 for SDFF members – membership info available here. Members can request a discount code from Festival Director Randy Hall at randyh AT sebarts DOT org)
Observing As An Active Role
Unlike other pitching programs, observers at Peer Pitch are very involved with the discussion, providing valuable feedback to the pitching filmmakers. More than once, conversations between observers and pitchers evolved into collaborations resulting in projects as well!
The cost to participate as an observer is $55 ($50 for SDFF members – membership info available here. Members can request a discount code from Festival Director Randy Hall at randyh AT sebarts DOT org)
Space is extremely limited! The day is very tightly structured, and we can only accept the first eight pitch projects.