by Sandy Mandelberger, North American Editor
The SILVERDOCS Documentary Film Festival, one of the most prestigious film events devoted to the non-fiction form, has joined forces with UK's Channel Four BRITDOC Foundation (www.britdoc.org/goodpitch) and the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program (www.sundanceinstitute.org/docsource) to present the North American tour of THE GOOD PITCH, a co-production market initiative that will be part of the Festival's industry events this week.
The initiative received over 300 applications, with the final group of 8 filmmaking teams having been selected to pitch their films to an invited audience, comprising leading national and international NGOs, foundations, broadcasters, campaigners and media in order to maximise the impact of their social-issue documentary projects. The pitching session will take place in Washington D.C. on Tuesday, 16 June.
Media professionals confirmed to attend include: Cinereach, IMPACT Partners, Fledgling Fund, Moveon.org, Katahdin Foundation, Avaaz.org, Amnesty International, ITVS, Tribeca Film Institute, Wide Angle, Indiepix, BAVC Producers Institute for New Media Technologies, POV, Incite Productions, 1% for the Planet, The Impact Arts + Film Fund, Grantmakers in Film and Electronic Media and the Phoebe Haas Charitable Trust.
The selected filmmakers and their projects include:
Budrus has a Hammer
Dir. Julia Bacha
A Palestinian community organizer unites Fatah, Hamas and Israelis in a Gandhian struggle to save his village, unleashing a non-violent movement - with women on the front lines - that is still gaining ground today.
Cape Wind: The Fight for the Future of Power in America
Dir. Robbie Gemmel
Cape Wind illuminates the divisive controversy surrounding the Cape Wind Project – a proposal to build 130 wind turbines off the coast of Cape Cod – translating the furor which exploded on the Cape Cod community into a story of transcendent national importance for the future of sustainability in America.
Dir. Hugo Berkeley
Ethiopia’s Exchange tells the story of a woman on a mission - and a world of trouble standing in her way. Eleni Gabre-Madhin, a charismatic Ethiopian economist, wants to end hunger in her famine-plagued country. She designed the nation's first commodities exchange, which she hopes will revolutionize an age-old market system.
Green Shall Overcome
Dir. Megan Gelstein
Green Shall Overcome takes an in-depth look at the green-collar job movement through the lens of Van Jones, an African-American civil-rights lawyer. Jones envisions the new green economy as a pathway out of poverty for low-income Americans while simultaneously solving challenges of environmental destruction. After years of advocating for change, Jones is recruited by the Obama Administration and appointed Special Advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation by the White House Council on Environment Quality.
High Tech, Low Life
Dir. Stephen T. Maing
High Tech, Low Life is about one of China's first citizen reporters and the achievements of a fearless new digital youth generation. The film follows the evolution of a young vegetable seller from blogger to internet celebrity as he reports on sensitive news stories in China.
Hungry In America
Dirs. Kristi Jacobson and Lori Silverbush
Hungry in America will investigate why nearly 38 million Americans - including 14 million children - go hungry here, in one of the richest nations on earth.
Out in the Silence
Dir. Joe Wilson & Dean Hamer
Out in the Silence uses the story of a small American town confronting the firestorm of controversy ignited by a same-sex wedding announcement to illustrate the challenge of being an outsider in a conservative environment and catalyze new ways of making resources and support available for those working for change.
Dir. Debra Anderson
Split Estate follows an unfolding conflict in the Rocky Mountains. With cries from Washington for more domestic gas and oil production, the citizens of Colorado and New Mexico find themselves in the path of an unstoppable rush to drill that is destroying their health, their homes, and their communities.