Good Pitch² Australia - Making Good Films Go Further

 Good Pitch² Australia - Making Good Films Go Further

Shark Island Institute and Documentary Australia Foundation are bringing GOOD PITCH, the world’s leading forum for social impact documentary, to Australia for the first time, creating new partnerships and new opportunities for Australian documentaries at the Sydney Opera House, 8 October 2014

Shark Island’s award winning documentary director Ian Darling tells the ADG why….

New distribution models and funding pathways.  New ways to build audiences.  New opportunities for collaborating with broadcasters and funding bodies. New strategic platforms for films to make a real impact in the world.  This is what Good Pitch² AUSTRALIA offers to Australian documentary filmmakers.   

I was invited to my first GOOD PITCH in New York in 2013.  It was, without a doubt, the most exciting philanthropic event I’d ever attended.   And, as a documentary filmmaker with a particular interest in documentaries as a tool to bring about social change, GOOD PITCH was a perfect fit. Immediately we decided to bring the event to Australia. 

In an increasingly challenging funding and broadcasting environment for documentaries in Australia, it is really pleasing to see the level of support and collaboration we have been receiving from Screen Australia, the ABC and SBS for our Good Pitch process and event. I believe that it is exactly this kind of collaboration, with both private and public funding, that will be the key to sustaining the documentary industry in Australia.

GOOD PITCH has the support of the national and stage screen agencies and broadcasters, who recognise the growing importance of private and public partnerships in screen funding, particularly for documentary, and we are working collaboratively with them. The new Screen Australia guidelines reflect this approach.

The powerful idea behind GOOD PITCH is to connect creatively ambitious social impact films with new allies and partners, such as foundations, not-for-profits, philanthropists, brands and broadcasters – to get them out into the world and making a difference.  It’s about finding new ways to connect with audiences and new opportunities funding – all with the overriding purpose of ensuring that important films have a lasting impact.

The GOOD PITCH concept was launched by the BRITDOC Foundation and the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program in 2009, with recent major support from the Ford Foundation. Events have been held in various cities around the world including London, Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Buenos Aries, Mumbai and Taipai. More than 2000 organisations from 34 countries have participated in a GOOD PITCH event (or their international corollary event GOOD PITCH².) 

Some of the world’s most celebrated and influential recent documentaries have come through GOOD PITCH, such as Academy Award nominees THE INVISIBLE WAR, HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE, DIRTY WARS, THE SQUARE and HELL AND BACK AGAIN, as well as other short listed films including BULLY, AI WEI-WEI, GARBAGE DREAMS, THE CRASH REEL, DETROPIC, THE HOUSE I LIVE IN and GOD LOVES UGANDA and other high impact films such as THE INTERRUPTORS, NO FIRE ZONE, THE END OF THE LINE and GENIUS OF MARION. 

And now GOOD PITCH is being brought to Australia by Shark Island Institute and Documentary Australia Foundation.

From more than 130 submissions, we’ve chosen seven outstanding Australian documentaries – each with a powerful agenda for social impact and change – to participate in GOOD PITCH² AUSTRALIA at the Opera House on October 8.   

These seven films represent a national conversation – refugees, Indigenous affairs, international human rights, gay parenting and same sex marriage, domestic violence, refugees in regional Australia, the environment and health.

On October 8, the seven filmmaking teams will pitch their feature documentary and its associated outreach campaign to the invited representatives at the central table, and to the another 300 invited guests, in the Studio at the Sydney Opera House. These guests and representatives are drawn from NGOs, Foundations, philanthropists, broadcasters, funding agencies, brand manager etc – a group brought together by GOOD PITCH organisers because of their potential to partner with filmmakers in building social outreach campaigns around each of the films.

A moderated session follows each pitch with the aim of creating a lasting and unique coalition to maximise a film’s impact and influence in the years ahead. The pitch is not a “dragons den” style competition. GOOD PITCH is structured so that all projects can successfully pitch for support.

The event on October 8 is, however, not the beginning or end of the process.  For months, the GOOD PITCH² AUSTRALIA team has worked intensively with the selected filmmakers, not-for-profits, philanthropists, broadcasters and experts to further develop the funding and outreach strategy for each project BEFORE it gets into the pitching arena. As part of their preparation, filmmakers have had access to development, including 2 residential pitching and impact workshops with local and international partners, designed to prepare them for the pitching day but also to encourage them to think differently and expansively about the possibilities for their film.

Out team has been working extraordinary hours over the last 6 months, in collaboration with the seven filmmaker teams, introducing as many of the philanthropic foundations as we can, together with the targeted members of the not-for-profit sector. 

We are delighted with the initial support and encouragement we’re received from the philanthropic Community, with a wait list already for the event. Foundations are viewing this with great interest, because of the strategic and collaborative nature of the event and process, and because of the emphasis on scale and collective impact. And the not-for-profit sector is excited because of the potential that these films have for highlighting major social issues aligned with their own organisations, as well as the educational potential in each instance too. 

As the Executive Director of the Shark Island Institute and as a documentary director, I’m tremendously proud to bring GOOD PITCH to Australia. I really hope it will have a lasting impact on the sector.

To learn more about Good Pitch² visit their website.

Ian Darling has been nominated as Director twice for Best Documentary Feature at the ADG Awards with PAUL KELLY – STORIES OF ME, and THE OASIS, and has been awarded the AFI Award for Best Direction in a Documentary.