Here’s the Who’s Who of The Pitch, including staff and consultants.
Director of The Pitch Film Fund, Luke has produced more than 15 short films with RIF (Reel Issues Films). Since 2008 The Pitch has focused on developing emerging talent, adding additional benefits for participants including residential film study courses. The Pitch has hubs in the UK and South Africa. Luke’s background is in acting and he was the voice of Hugglegrabber in Early Man, directed by Nick Park. He has degrees in both law and theology.
Associate producer for The Pitch Film Fund, Pete joined the team in November 2019. Before working for The Pitch he worked in content creation for a charity as well as working as a freelance runner on short films and TV series such as Netflix’s The Crown. He also has experience in Arts development and Theatre touring.
Project manager for The Pitch, Beth is the person who stops the wheels falling off. Responsible for managing all our events, including The Pitch finals, she has been with the Fund since its inception, ensuring our ambition is matched by resources and planning.
Mark Blaney and Jackie Sheppard
UK feature film production company Footprint Films is owned and run by producing partners Mark Blaney and Jackie Sheppard.
Since its inception in 1994, Footprint has worked exclusively with emerging filmmakers, giving feature directorial debuts to, among others, Slumdog Millionaire screenwriter Simon Beaufoy (The Darkest Light), Bille Eltringham (This is Not a Love Song), Debs Paterson (Africa United) and Francis Annan (Escape from Pretoria). Footprint was also proud to work with Kurdish writer/director Kae Bahar for his international, multi-award winning short I Am Sami, shot on location in Kurdistan, Iraq.
Underlining Footprint’s commitment to nurturing new talent, Mark and Jackie are long-standing consultants for The Pitch film fund, for which they have produced numerous short films, including the BAFTA Cymru nominated Only Child. It was through the 2012 edition of The Pitch that Mark and Jackie forged a partnership with Pitch entrant Francis Annan, which led to the feature Escape from Pretoria, starring Daniel Radcliffe.
They have various features and TV series in development and will produce the forthcoming Pitch winner alongside Luke Walton and Reel Issues Films.
An award-winning filmmaker, Pierce’s shorts have been selected for festivals worldwide including Fantasia, FrightFest and the London Short Film Festival.
While editor of Total Film and then editor at large for Empire, the world’s biggest movie magazine, he served as a judge for The Pitch for nine years, before joining as a consultant.
He was so taken with Pitch runner-up Promise – written by Hannah Lee – that he raised additional finance in order to produce (alongside Luke Walton) and direct it. Mark Romanek described the result as 'superbly done', following praise from David Fincher for his debut short Bricks, a 'classy take on a morbid classic'.
Pierce has various feature films in development as director and/or writer, still writes for Empire and conducts online masterclasses with A-list filmmakers for the National Film and Television School.