Thirty-six participants. Nine networks. Three hours.
On December 4, NYWIFT brought together talented writers, producers, and directors with network and development executives for its first TV pitch fest.
These hopefuls presented their dream projects: scripted series, children shows, game shows, documentary films, and yes, the ever-evolving reality TV. They gained rare access to industry insiders to pitch their original ideas and receive direct, constructive feedback.
The panel included a select group of network and production companies looking to discover new projects:
Mark E. Downie, literary manager, film producer, and TV producer/creator at D&A Media Entertainment.
Abby Finer, co-founder ofFiner Thomas Productions, a full-service talent management and TV/digital media production company.
Francesca Francois-Grimaldi, managing partner and agent at Plaza 7 Talent Agency, a full-service entertainment agency.
Anne Hubbell, co-founder of Tangerine Entertainment.
Dana Offenbach, award-winning producer, and partner in the newly-formed independent film production company CinemaStreet, LLC.
Kristin Pisarcik, Senior Director of Development at NorthSouth Productions.
Greg Rhem,Director of Documentary Programming for HBO.
Dafina Roberts, Original Programming and Events atNickelodeon.
Ed Simpson, Head of Business Development at Leftfield Pictures.
The participants were energized by the TV pitch fest. Antonio Isadora, who pitched a project, rated the experience “excellent” and had set up several follow-up meetings.
Kudos to LeVera Sutton and Meghan Scibona for producing the event.
— ROZ MURPHY
Check out the NYWIFT calendar for more panels, workshops, and other events.
Welcome to NYWIFT, Toby Perl Freilich! Toby is an Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaker and writer, focusing on cultural reporting. Her work explores all sorts of perspectives, from senators to artists, spanning across the world. She co-produced and co-directed Moynihan, a film about the late New York senator, policy expert, and public intellectual. She also directed, produced, and wrote Inventing Our Life: The Kibbutz Experiment, about one of the world's longest running and most successful experiments in radical, secular communal living. Right now, she is producing and directing I Make Maintenance Art: The Work of Mierle Laderman Ukeles about the pioneering ecofeminist and the first Artist in Residence at the New York City Department of Sanitation. Read about Toby’s inspiring past and future projects here!READ MORE
Finding your tribe is one of life’s greatest pleasures—and losing it is one of the greatest sorrows. In NYWIFT Member Amy Nicholson’s beautifully observed film Happy Campers, working-class Americans gather every summer at a seaside trailer park in Chincoteague, Virginia, to enjoy the simple pleasures of a scrappy, no-frills vacationland, and each other’s company. When a developer buys the land and reimagines the property, the inhabitants of this shabby Shangri-La wistfully eke out the joys of one last summer together as a melancholic twilight hangs in the air. Happy Campers just made its world premiere at DOC NYC, where it received a Special Mention for the Grand Jury Prize. Amy spoke to us about her unique process making this film, biggest challenges and triumphs, and the commodification of some of life’s simplest pleasures.READ MORE
Welcome to NYWIFT, Melisa Ramos! Melisa is a filmmaker and professor from Puerto Rico, bringing 14 years of post-production and motion graphics experience to New York. Her first production, Puerto Rican Voices, a docu-series about the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Following Puerto Rican Voices, Melisa continued to share Puerto Rican and Latin American stories. In 2020, she directed and produced From Performers to Spectators, a doc-series showcasing New York City performers during lockdown. She is currently in production on Hoop Warrior, her first feature film. Read all about Melisa’s journey as an editor and artist here!READ MORE
Welcome to NYWIFT, Aisha Amin! Aisha is an NYC-based writer and director. As a director, her work expands across narrative, documentary, and experimental forms to tell authentic stories built from real experiences. Her past film projects have explored and highlighted overlooked communities particularly in New York City, including formerly incarcerated mothers and communities struggling with the presence of gentrification in their neighborhoods. Amongst her directing, Aisha is an emerging screenwriting and was selected to participate in Cine Qua Non’s 2022 Screenwriting Lab. She is a 2022 recipient of NYFA’s Tomorrowland Grant and a 2021 recipient of the NYFA Women's Fund grant. She was a recipient of the 2019-2020 Sally Burns Shenkman Woman Filmmaker Fellowship at the Jacob Burns Film Center where she directed two short documentaries. She is also a recipient of The Shed's Open Call Fellowship where she expanded her film practice to installation art. Aisha spoke to us about her favorite styles of storytelling, the intersection of narrative and documentary, and her latest projects.READ MORE