There are three stages of judging for The Pitch, before the finals weekend.
The pitches showcased on this site ‘In Consideration’ are chosen by the Pitch team, handpicked film professionals and theologians.
The top 20 selected for the Shortlist are voted on by a panel of peers, made up of filmmakers including previous winners of The Pitch.
The top ten are chosen by a panel of industry judges, who will then hear their pitches in person at the Finals’ Weekend at the National Film and Television School. Story and personal development coaches will help finalists with their entries.
This year’s judges will be announced soon.
The Pitch want to see rich adaptations, with compelling stories, told by unique candidates. To help you understand what we want here are three elements the Judges will consider:
Here are the questions the judges will be asking of the story element of your pitch:
Is the story clear?
Will it make a convincing and satisfying short narrative? Will this work as a short (as opposed to a feature)?
What is the genre?
Who is the audience?
Is there a central character with a satisfying journey?
NB. This doesn’t mean the film can’t be art house or poetic – it just needs to be clear on its intent. Ambiguity, if that is the aim, is fine, confusion is not.
This is specifically to assess the extent to which the entry engages with the biblical text and its context. Any profound engagement with a source text should help fire the imagination.
Helpful research might include questions such as: Who wrote it? Why? When? Where? To whom? The filmmaker may also be exploring historic understandings of the passage. So: how well do they handle the source material? Is it a reasonable transposition of the story, or an appropriate allegory or/and a sincere engagement with the meaning or theme of the source material? Does it capture the spirit of the source story/verse/theme? If an adaptation completely reverses the meaning of the original story, it is not an effective adaptation (ie, you can’t make Romeo & Juliet and – spoiler alert – have Romeo & Juliet live). We’re looking for you to genuinely engage with the text.
Have you expressed your personality and voice in the text and video pitch? Have you expressed your filmmaking experience? You may be a less experienced candidate, but have a unique voice. However your voice and experience will both be taken into consideration. We work to champion fresh, distinct voices and not exclude people who haven’t previously made films.
Dr Jon Wardle, director of The National Film and Television School, said it was 'a great experience and a great privilege' to be part of the 2019–20 jury.
The quality of projects we were asked to review was incredibly high, so it was great fun chatting to the filmmakers about their intentions and why the work mattered to them. Roll on 2021.
Dr Jon Wardle
Fellow judge Justine Hart echoed how positive and enjoyable The Pitch proved for judges and entrants.
It’s surely the most supportive, generous scheme out there for filmmakers. The participants who reached the final judging weekend were staggeringly impressive and all ten had so clearly taken advantage of the training days, feedback and support already offered to them by the programme that, whether they won or not, their careers and confidence would have had an almighty boost. I love the Pitch for its passion for genuine storytellers, its determination to back bold and interesting voices and the sheer breadth of ideas and stories it inspires from the filmmaking community. Everyone should apply!
A UK-based director who was named BAFTA breakthrough Brit in 2014. Her award-winning feature comedy Gone Too Far! premiered at London Film Festival and played at TIFF. Destiny directed Danny And The Human Zoo, written by the acclaimed comedian Lenny Henry, for Red Productions/BBC One. She has directed primetime UK television such as Silent Witness, international drama including Riviera and most recently the second half of the BAFTA-winning second season of The End Of The F***ing World for Netflix.
Justine started her film career at The Script Factory where she spent 12 years delivering training for filmmakers in the craft and discipline of script development. She now works freelance as a script developer for emerging talent alongside writing her own original TV and film ideas. Justine was commissioned by Footprint Films to write comedy drama Sumo Girls (co-written with the late Lucy Scher) which is currently seeking production finance.
Founder of Soul Cognition, a film and TV consultancy company committed to educating filmmakers on film finance, sales and distribution, with clients including Film London, Northern Ireland Screen and The Pitch. Jasmin also co-owns (with Annika Ranin) production outfit UnMannered Limited, which is currently in production on feature documentaries Boarders and Max Vs Everest. Having previously served as the Investment Manager at London-based The Fyzz Facility Jasmin has been involved in the financing of more than 100 feature films and has experience working from conception to distribution. She is also a consultant for Breaking Through The Lens.
Founder and CEO of IMDb, the #1 movie website in the world. Col has had a lifelong interest in both technology and movies. IMDb grew out of a personal database of movie information which Col created as a teenager, combined with similar data collected on the Internet in the late 1980s/early 1990s. Col works from an office in Bristol with IMDb staff members in countries around the world. He is a board member of Into Film and Film Independent and received a 2014 Creative Coalition Independent Spotlight award for his work to support independent filmmaking. Col was a jury member at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, 2016 Tribeca Film Festival and 2018 SXSW Film Festival.
Director of the National Film and Television School, Britain’s leading film school, Jon is also co-director of the National Centre for Immersive Storytelling (Storyfutures Academy) and annually leads the BFI Film Academy Talent Campus Residential. He is a BAFTA member, a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and the National Association of Television Production Executives (NATPE), and is on the Royal Television Society Education Committee.
Previous judges include Oscar-winning Aardman icon Nick Park and one of Britain’s leading actors, David Oyelowo, alongside Francis Annan, David Gyasi, Paula Gooder, Stuart Hazeldine, Martin Kiszko, Rob McLellan, Linda Merric, Jolyon Mitchell, Toby Jones, Ray Panthaki, Debs Paterson, Nev Pierce, Alison Sterling, David Suchet and Toyah Willcox.
The Pitch coaches, who help with story development and/or personal presentation, are:
Dr David Baboulene is a published author of eight books (including The Primary Colours of Story and The Story Book), a scriptwriter, story consultant and an academic student of story theory whose research is changing the way contemporary media industries create and evaluate stories.
Anna Cox is Creative Director at Minerva Media, a production company specialising in documentaries about religion, history and the arts. She worked at the BBC for more than 20 years as a documentary director and producer and her award-winning films have ranged from a fly-on-the-wall documentary for BBC2 about an experiment into prayer; to a BBC1 film uncovering the brutal treatment of Yazidi women in Iraq enslaved by ISIS; to numerous drama documentaries for both UK and US channels. Her work has taken her from the deserts of Egypt to the suburbs of New Zealand, via the 'Hollywood' sets in remote parts of Morocco. She is currently developing ideas for various US and UK channels.