Presented virtually by the California Film Institute (CFI) as part of the DocLands Documentary Film Festival in May, DOCPITCH invites filmmakers to submit their unfinished FEATURE length (70 + minutes) documentary projects currently in early to late stages of completion.
A jury will select five (5) filmmaking teams with feature-length documentary projects (“Project”) to present a verbal pitch, three- to five-minute trailer and participate in Q&As, all presented online worldwide where the audience, comprised of invited funders, organization representatives, distributors, broadcasters, and the general public will be invited to view and consider the projects.
DocLands is a non-competitive, inclusive festival dedicated to building connections and partnerships and works to invigorate the business and art of nonfiction filmmaking. Through public screenings, engaged conversations, and grassroots networking events, DocLands aims to build an active, involved, and fully supportive community around documentary film. It showcases documentary film with a diversity of content, within three main programming sections: Art of Impact, The Great Outdoors, and WonderLands.
Each year, we typically present an Audience Choice award to one pitching team. However, following 2020 in which we received a record $125,000 in additional awards funds to assist Covid-challenged filmmakers, in 2021 we’ve again received additional awards funds for a one-year commitment to a total of $70,000. Viewers will vote for the $30,000 Audience Choice award — and following that announcement, an Industry jury will present the remaining pitching teams with an additional $40,000 in awards.
A Jury of industry professionals will adjucate the DocPitch cash awards from among the five (5) potential winners (individually, a “Finalist,” and collectively the “Finalists”). Of the five Finalists, one will receive an Audience Award of Thirty Thousand Dollars (US$30,000), one will receive a Twenty-Five Thousand Dollar (US$25,000) award, and the remaining three Finalists will each receive a Five Thousand Dollar (US$5,000) award, for use toward the continued development and production of their film. Award winners cannot assign or transfer a prize to another person. Award Recipients receiving cash prizes are solely responsible for payment of all applicable local, state, and federal taxes. Void where prohibited.
RULES AND TERMS
To be eligible, applicants MUST submit the following project elements/information on the [email protected] FilmFreeway page:
• Title of the project
• Final budget total and funds required to complete the project
• Approximate runtime of finished feature film
• Trailer or teaser
• Production stills that can be used for online promotional purposes
• Brief key crew bios (director/producer), to be added under Credits
• What stage you expect to be at in April 2021 and your approximate completion date.
*If you have unique aspects or access to share or wish to explain in more depth, please include those in a Cover Letter. If you have a website and Facebook page, please also insert those in the appropriate field.
The five (5) shortlisted filmmakers will be notified no later than March 31, 2021 with a deadline of April 19 to submit all final materials, including a trailer and video pitch.
If your project is chosen to participate in the pitch you will be required to:
• Submit final materials that will include your overall budget, key crew bios/photos, a video pitch presentation and a 3-5 minute trailer by Monday, April 19, 2021 at the latest. Video pitch and trailer together, should not exceed 10 minutes in duration.
By submitting your Project for consideration, you grant the California Film Institute permission to virtually screen and display supplied materials from your work-in-progress online if accepted. Applicants are solely responsible for obtaining all necessary rights and permissions for third-party materials included within their submitted Project, including but not limited to music, trademarks, logos, copyrights, and other intellectual property rights. The California Film Institute expressly disavows any responsibility for, and will not be held responsible for, any unauthorized inclusion of any trademarked content or materials within or relating to the submitted Project. Signatory also gives CFI permission to use stills and excerpts from Project for promotional purposes.
**IMPORTANT: If you are unable to make these commitments, you are NOT eligible to enter the DocPitch competition. Filmmakers will be DISQUALIFIED if they fail to comply to these deadlines.
DocPitch voting will launch on Friday, April 30 and conclude Monday, May 10, 2021 at midnight – all awards will be presented virtually on Friday, May 14.