After a successful and extremely enthusiastic response from filmmakers and audience members alike last year, DOCPITCH is returning to DocLands Documentary Film Festival.

DOCPITCH works to connect filmmakers and their ideas to distributors, organizations, philanthropists, fellow filmmakers–and future audiences. A jury consisting of David Eckles, Filmmaker Fund; Maida Brankman, Genuine Article Pictures; and Joni Cooper, DocLands’ Director of Programming selected five film projects currently in development through an open call that brought in 102 projects. All members of the audience will be given a ballot prior to the filmmakers’ presentations to vote for their favorite pitch. The top-voted project will be announced on-site and presented with a $10,000 cash award. Our hope is that all projects pitched will find allies and partners within the audience to help move the projects forward.

For additional information regarding each project, please download the project PDFs below — these will not be provided on-site.

Saturday, May 5  
11:00 am  |  Smith Rafael Film Center
Please arrive by 10:45 am | 11:00 am start

This event is FREE, but a ticket is required.



Pitching: Directors Jim LeBrecht, Nicole Newnham

They came as campers and left as rebels. Just down the road from Woodstock, in the late 1960s and early 1970s, a parallel revolution blossomed in a ramshackle summer camp for disabled teenagers.


Pitching: Director Sara Lafleur-Vetter, Producer Romin Lee Johnson

THE SACRED & THE SNAKE follows three indigenous women and a two-spirit activist through their transformative experience at Standing Rock and beyond. But as each returns home to try to break the cycle of intergenerational trauma and abuse, they realize their battle has just begun.


Pitching: Executive Producer Minette Nelson

Lured by a black-and-white photograph from a forgotten legend, two friends pursue the ultimate alpine climb, and discover the real meaning of exploration.


Pitching: Director Stacey Tenenbaum

Discover the vast and strangely beautiful places where things go to die. SCRAP brings you on a tour of the world’s most unexplored places to show you the beauty and pathos in the ugliness we leave behind.


Pitching: Director Bryan Gibel, Producer A.K. Sandhu

Betty Reid Soskin is America’s oldest park ranger, famous for tirelessly shedding light on the forgotten history of racial segregation in California. But there’s a hidden side to Betty she rarely talks about. Back in the 1960s, Betty was a si​nger/songwriter with a voice like Billie Holiday and the relevance of Nina Simone, but she turned her back on a potential career in music, and her songs haven’t been heard for 40 years.

2017 DocPitch winner Theo Rigby, SANCTUARY
Photos © Tommy Lau Photography


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.

DocLands showcases documentary film in a variety of genres and with a diversity of content within three main programming sections (Art of Impact, The Great Outdoors and WonderLands) while highlighting films that transcend the traditional definition of the documentary.