Good Pitch Chicago 2013

Tue 22 Oct 2013

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They call it the Windy City and, sure enough, there was a whole lot of good in the air at Good Pitch Chicago too. If you were there then you too will have felt the winds of change as 250+ filmmakers, philanthropists, non-profits, community organisers, educators and advocates converged around seven amazing new doc film projects. The day was characterised by both a generosity of spirit and of chequebook: a $15,000 challenge grant from the Waitt Institute for Violence Prevention was reached by the end of the day, Chaz Ebert – cultural leader and widow of celebrated film critic Roger Ebert – setting the tone with a spirited challenge to support at whatever level possible. Other pledges included $25k to the outreach campaign for Homestretch by the Chicago Community Trust; Jeffrey Pechter pledged $10,000 towards the production of The Message which was followed by a PUMA Catalyst Award of €5,000 from BRITDOC; POV delivered important news that Private Violence was recommended for national broadcast, ensuring it would be seen by millions; and ten people came up to the mic for Strong Island with grants totalling €25,000, plus another $800 in personal commitments from people moved by the story. ITVS and The Richard Driehaus Foundation both committed funding ($13,000 and $5,000) to The Dreamcatchers; and Jeffrey Pechter, EP of Becoming Bulletproof committed a further $75,000 on top of the time and financial support he had already made. And then there was the real money shot: Danny Glover embracing Sister Jean – star of feminist doc Sister – exclaiming with a kiss, “You are one of my heroes.” Sister Jean’s response? “You should get out more”. Classic. The men and women featured in the films truly were the heroes of the day, delivering highly personal stories of overcoming adversity whilst keeping the discussions grounded by the reality they all face; the fight for their basic rights: health, safety, a place to call home, freedom to practice faith, freedom from violence, and access to justice.

Films

  • Becoming Bulletproof

    A diverse group of disabled people from across the U.S. take on leading roles in a magical rip roaring costume drama Western, filmed on vintage Hollywood locations. This riveting “film within a film” immerses us in a dynamic, inclusive world of discipline and play, raising questions about why we so rarely see real disabled actors on the big screen?

  • Dreamcatcher

    The Dreamcatchers, Brenda Myers-Powell and Stephanie Daniels-Wilson, have dedicated their lives to helping women get out of prostitution and teaching vulnerable young girls how to avoid sexual exploitation on the streets of Chicago. From high school girls to the seasoned pro on the street, Brenda and Stephanie are changing the lives of these women and challenging the conventional view that prostitutes are criminals.

  • Private Violence

    Private Violence is a feature-length documentary film and audience engagement campaign that explains a simple, but deeply disturbing, fact of American life: the most dangerous place for women in America is their own home.

  • Radical Grace (formerly: Sister)

    When the Vatican censures American nuns for “radical feminism,” three sisters stand up for their spiritual convictions. Will a hard-line hierarchy dominate the 21st century Church or will the sisters’ values of social justice and inclusion prevail?

  • Strong Island

    Strong Island examines the violent death of director Yance Ford's brother over 20 years ago and how the collision of silence, race, fear and the judiciary allowed his killer to go free.

  • The Homestretch

    Three homeless teenagers brave Chicago winters, the pressures of high school, and life alone on the streets to build a brighter future. Against all odds, these kids defy stereotypes as they create new, surprising definitions of home. Can they recover from the traumas of abandonment and homelessness to build the future they dream of?

  • This Changes Everything (formerly The Message)

    This Changes Everything is a multi-platform project that combines an award-winning team of storytellers, a provocative thesis that will change how we take on the climate crisis, a profoundly moving feature documentary, and an ambitious engagement strategy.

Location

Chicago Cultural Center

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