Cinema/Chicago News

51st Chicago International Film Festival Partners With IFP Chicago For “The Pitch” Industry Days

Published: October 25, 2015  |  Filed under: Festival News

Judges include Producers Amy Hobby, Steve Pink, and Brett Hudson plus Aijah Keith of IFC Films

IFP Chicago partners with the 51st Chicago International Film Festival for “The Pitch” at Industry Days from 10 am to 2 pm on Sunday, October 25 at the JW Marriot Chicago located at 151 W. Adams. A curated selection of six filmmaking teams with new narrative projects will take part in a competitive pitch session to be judged by a panel of industry experts including Claudia Landsberger (moderator), Amy Hobby (producer), Aijah Keith (IFC Films), Steve Pink (producer) and Brett Hudson (producer).

The winning pitch will receive an award of in-kind services worth over $20,000 from such companies as Magnanimous Media, AVID, Hewlett-Packard and Stage 18, as well as mentoring and support from IFP Chicago. Winners will be announced on Sunday, October 25.

“The Pitch” takes place before a live audience. Attendees can watch and learn about what makes a good pitch and what industry decision makers are looking for from independent filmmakers. Accredited Media and Industry Days badge holders only.


As With Knives and Skin – Sophomore year of high school turns less typical when a series of unexpected traumas accelerates the coming-of-age process. This Southern gothic drama presents girlhood as a revolution.
Director: Jennifer Reeder
Producer: Steven Hudosh
Pitched by: Jennifer Reeder

Oriole Park – Chicago, 1978. The shadow of a serial killer looms over the tightly knit community of Oriole Park as a string of disappearances lead neighbors to suspect one of their own
Director: Kevin Slack
Writers & Producers: Amelia Dellos & Eric Anderson
Pitched by: Amelia Dellos & Eric Anderson

TILL – The compelling story of the brutal lynching of 14-year old Emmett Till and the courageous actions of his mother that galvanized the historic civil rights movement in America.
Producers: Brett Hays & Luke Boyce
Executive Producer: Jennifer Shelby
Pitched by: Brett Hays, Jennifer Shelby

Ghostaphobia – Suffering from severe anxiety, a man decides to never leave his home again even though the ghosts haunting his house want him out.
Director: Collin Schiffli
Producer: Ben Atkinson
Writer/Producer: Brandon Schiffli
Pitched by: Brandon Schiffli, Collin Schiffli

Signature Move – A 30-something lesbian flounders in life, love and wrestling, trying to reconcile who she is with the values of her religious, TV-obsessed mother.
Director: Fawzia Mirza
Producers: Brian Hieggelke&Eugene Park
Pitched by: Fawzia Mirza, Brian Hieggelke, Eugene Park

Carney Kill – With its surreal carnival setting and deliriously crooked cast of spielers, luck-boys, and dancing girls with indecent hips and sub-zero hearts, Carny Kill is classic film noir at its most devious and pungent. Based on the classic pulp noir novel by Robert Edmond Alter.
Director: John McNaughton
Producer: Steven Jones
Pitched by: John McNaughton, Steven A. Jones


Chicago International Film Festival Programmer Anthony Kaufman said, “The Festival has always had a very strong international focus and roster of global guests. With Industry Days, we look forward to bringing foreign filmmakers together with Chicago’s local filmmaking community and industry professionals from the coasts and seeing what synergies develop.”

“The Pitch at Industry Days is designed to show the breadth of talented filmmakers working in Chicago, and to give these filmmakers an opportunity to hear how their projects will fare in the independent film marketplace,” said IFP Chicago Board President Nicole Bernardi-Reis. “Each project was chosen because they are filmmakers with a distinct viewpoint and a compelling story.”

“The Pitch also gives the local filmmaking community an excellent opportunity to learn from our expert judges,” said IFP Programming Chair Jonah Zieger. “The ability to pitch a project in Chicago to this level of decision-maker is rare. Our goal is to connect these filmmakers to resources that will help move their films into production and reach a larger audience.”

Industry Days runs October 22-25 and is presented by leading financial services provider TIAA-CREF with additional support from Program Partners Tribune Media Company, Columbia College Chicago, and OtterBox. “The Pitch” at Industry Days is the final program of Industry Days. Industry Days serves as the central hub for filmmakers and industry professionals at the 51st Chicago International Film Festival, examining current and future trends in the film and entertainment business. Featured panelists include writer/director Steve Pink (Gross Pointe Blank, Hot Tub Time Machine, New Girl); actor-producer-director Jeff Garlin (Curb Your Enthusiasm, I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With); Kickstarter co-founder Charles Adler; Chicago directors Stephen Cone & Kris Swanberg; Richard Lorber, distributor of films by such acclaimed directors as Steven Soderbergh, Jean-Luc Godard, Francois Truffaut, and John Woo; and Amy Hobby, producer of such films as Secretary, What Happened, Miss Simone? and co-founder of female-driven production company Tangerine Entertainment.

Speakers from the following companies are also confirmed to participate: IFC Films, Magnolia Pictures, The Orchard, Sundance Institute, MPI Media Group, Zeitgeist Films, Music Box Films, Kino/Lorber, The Film Collaborative, Film Buff, The Film Sales Company, Preferred Content, ITVS, Kartemquin Films, and the Chicago Media Project.

For more information, including a complete list of confirmed speakers and Industry Days registration, visit

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