Good Pitch: Grants for Film

OVERVIEW: Good Pitch is a project of the UK nonprofit, BRITDOC, in partnership with the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program and the Ford Foundation that brings together filmmakers with NGOs, foundations, philanthropists, brands, and other media around pressing social and environmental issues in order to "forge coalitions and campaigns that are mutually beneficial for all partners involved."

IP TAKE: Good Pitch is only for filmmakers who do well at pitching under pressure in front of a large audience. The rewards and exposure can be phenomenal, but the pressure is definitely on.

PROFILE: Good Pitch is an invitation-only event, held at different locations around the globe, where documentary filmmakers sit around a table, in front of a live audience, and are given seven minutes to pitch their film and associated outreach campaign to a group of potential funders and other supporters (brands, foundations, social entrepreneurs, broadcasters, etc.). The rewards can be in the thousands of dollars to more than a million in support, with the possibility of additional in-kind donations and partnerships resulting from the exposure.

Each Good Pitch happening involves an intensive campaign development workshop, which is then followed by live pitch sessions where six to eight filmmaking teams pitch their film and associated outreach campaign to the assembled audience with the aim of "creating a unique coalition around each film to maximize its impact and influence."

Good Pitch seeks participating projects that both corporate and nonprofit partners can collaborate on. They look for films that "tell great stories that, directly or indirectly, raise important contemporary global and national subjects and enhance our understanding of the world." Projects at any stage of production are considered, though those in the "rough-cut" stage are preferred.

Each project must tackle a national or global issue and the finished film must be at least 60 minutes long. A trailer of key sequence of the film of up to 10 minutes can be uploaded to the website after a written application has been submitted. Each applicant must also upload a 2-minute video of themselves, telling Good Pitch why they want to make their film and what they want it to achieve. If selected, the Good Pitch team will work with each filmmaking team for three months before the event to help identify the best founders, partners, and advocates for the project and help get them to the event to see the pitch (though nothing can be guaranteed 100% of course).

The event happens several times a year in the US and Europe, both as standalone events and in conjunction with other conferences and film festivals. As well, through Good Pitch², regional organizations are able to host their own events. Since its first event in 2008, some 134 documentary projects have been presented at Good Pitch, with nearly 3,000 organizations in attendance over the years. 

Some of the documentaries funded by Good Pitch include An African Spring which deals with the pro-democracy movement in Senegal and Citizen Koch about the influence of money in US politics.

Event deadlines depend on when and where each one occurs, so be sure to check the events page each cycle for updates and deadlines. You can also read more here.

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