TV & Film Pitch Fest – Spring 2016

Need to get the word out about your series or film? NYWIFT members are invited to pitch their projects to industry insiders who will critique them and provide constructive feedback. Projects can be in the following genres: scripted features, scripted episodic series and reality episodic series.

NYWIFT’s PitchFest is an opportunity to meet industry executives and pitch your script, treatment, or show concept. Each meeting is 8 minutes in length with the opportunity for producers and executives to have an exclusive one-on-one pitch/relationship building experience. Think of it as speed dating for content creators.

Ever hear of speed dating? NYWIFT’s PitchFest is a similar concept, except the ‘dates’ are with industry executives. Like speed dating, at the NYWIFT Pitch Fest you will meet every executive in the room. A compelling presentation and effective communication will be key factors for a successful experience.

Attendees will enter a room with executives sitting at separate tables. You sit down and have a 8 minute pitch session. At the end of that time, a bell rings and you shift over to your next exec at another table. It is then repeated until the end of the session, after which a new group enters the room and the process is repeated. 

All attendees will be assigned a time slot in which to pitch their project and will be required to sign the NYWIFT Pitch Fest Release Form (downloadable document is attached) prior to entering the event . Please review the document before signing up for this program. Attendees must pre-register. 


Getting access industry executives to have your material read can be very challenging. Look at this as an open door that you can “step through” and pitch your material. Members with a script or a television show to pitch should not miss out on this program. Remember, a large percentage of this business is about relationships. The Pitch Fest is an opportunity to introduce yourself and begin the important process of building your professional network that will help get your project to another level.

No refunds will be given unless the event is cancelled. 


Robyn Greene Arrington is currently the Vice President of Programming & Production at TV One. She has been the Executive in Charge of productions including: The Royal Family Holiday and The Royal Family ChristmasChange Agents: History in the MakingUnsung HollywoodHollywood DivasBorn Again Virgin; the NAACP Image Awards nominated Save My Son, and Love AddictionTV One Night Only: Live from the Essence Music Festival; Celebrity Crime Files2008 Presidential Election commentated by Roland Martin and 2009 Presidential Inauguration coverageI Married A Baller; Murder in Black & WhiteBreast Cancer RevealedThe Color Purple: The Color of SuccessLessons from Little Rock: A National Report Card and Real Estate Realities: When the Boom Goes Bust. Greene Arrington also co-produced an HBO presentation video for the NAACP that netted a CTAM (Cable TV Advertising & Marketing) Mark Award in 1996, and was a winner at The New York Festivals, the following year. 

Tracey Baker-Simmons is a pioneer of urban celeb-reality television. In 2003, Baker-Simmons launched B2 Entertainment Studios LLC with partner Wanda Shelley. In 2005, they created Being Bobby Brown for Bravo, which starred superstar couple and music legends Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston. In July 2010, they teamed up with Keith Sweat to produce Platinum House featuring Dru Hill, which debuted on BET/Centric. The show resulted in an Emmy nomination for Baker-Simmons and her partner. Baker-Simmons began her career at Warner Brothers Music and Westside Stories, where she produced hundreds of music videos and commercials. She also produced the indie feature The Book of Love

Marco Bresaz is the Vice-President of Non-Fiction and Alternative Programming for AMC and SundanceTV. Bresaz helps oversee both networks’ original non-fiction development and current programming. He has developed and overseen production of series that include AMC’s first docu-drama The Making of The Mob; the forthcoming The American West, which will chronicle the intimate, little-known stories of Western legends such as Jesse James and Billy the Kid; the upcoming Ride with Norman Reedus, which will explore motorcycle culture and features The Walking Dead star; and Comic Book Men, the popular series starring Kevin Smith that dives deep into fanboy culture. 

Anneka Jones is the Executive VP of Development and Current Production at Left/Right Productions. Jones is that rare mix of both development executive and showrunner. Since Left/Right’s inception, she has had a hand in virtually every pilot or series that Left/Right has produced, and she continues to play an active role in all ongoing series production. Left/Right’s latest projects include Generation X for National Geographic Channel, The Circus for Showtime, Odd Mom Out for Bravo and RIDE with Norman Reedus for AMC. Jones began her career at MTV, where she worked as a producer for the network’s News & Docs division for nearly eight years. She was particularly involved in the network’s more serious documentary fare, and worked on documentaries about drug addiction, racism and other tough subjects. 

Daniel Laikind is the founder and CEO of Vertical Hold Consulting. Before that, he served as CEO of Original Media, one of the leading unscripted US Production companies. His shows include some of the most highly regarded projects of their genre, including Amish In the CityFamily BondsInk Master and Swamp People. Laikind has sold projects to over 50 networks that have garnered over a dozen Emmy nominations including the documentaries Devil’s PlaygroundReporter and What Remains. Laikind is the cofounder of Stick Figure Productions that was sold to, a digital studio founded by Mexican financier Carlos Slim.


Michael Schmidt is the Chief Creative Officer for Red Arrow Entertainment Group that has a production output that includes scripted, non-scripted and factual television programs; feature films; and digital content for an array of global networks and platforms. Schmidt oversees Red Arrow’s global format development, acquisitions, creative partnerships, and international production rollouts worldwide. He has worked in the television industry for more than 20 years, in the fields of broadcasting, producing, commissioning and development. Schmidt has served as TV Director at entertainment producer BRAINPOOL, Creative Producer for RTL Television’s entertainment department, Executive Producer and Consultant for Granada Germany and Director Editorial at young entertainment station VIVA. He joined the ProSiebenSat.1 Group in 2005, undertaking various roles, including SVP of Entertainment for German Free-TV operations. During his time at ProSieben, Schmidt’s productions received a German TV award, several German comedy awards and the prestigious Grimme Award.


Produced by LeVera Sutton, Lamonia Brown, Jim Arnoff and Meghan Scibona


May 24 @ 6:30pm
6:30 pm — 9:00 pm (2h 30′)

125 West 55th Street
(Between 6th and 7th Avenue)
(Note: Valid I.D. is needed for lobby check-in)

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NYWIFT programs, screenings and events are supported, in part, by grants from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature.