The Pitch at Industry Days
The Pitch at Industry Days, presented by the 58th Chicago International Film Festival, concluded on Sunday, October 16. For information on this year’s Pitch projects and the winner of The Pitch 2022, see below.
What Is The Pitch?
With the goal of spotlighting and supporting high quality work from Chicago and the Midwest, The Pitch at Industry Days invites filmmakers through the CIX: Lab program with narrative features in late stage development to apply for this opportunity to present their projects in front of a virtual audience and a panel of online industry judges.
The winning project will receive an awards package of in-kind services from Chicago-area production facilities and organizations—to include consultation, production, and post-production services.
Past award-winning projects have been invited to the Tribeca Film Institute All Access Fellowship, IFP New York’s 2016 Project Forum Film Slate No Borders program and Tribeca Film Institute’s TFI Network. Signature Move (The Pitch 2015 Honorable Mention) had its world premiere at SXSW and closed a distribution deal with Amazon Video Direct’s Film Festival Stars program. Other recent Pitch projects include Knives and Skin (2019 Berlinale premiere) and Once Upon a River (2019 Bentonville Film Festival premiere).
For questions about The Pitch, please email industry@
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2022 Pitch Projects
2022 PITCH WINNER
All Things Considered
Writer/Director: James Choi
After an overdose sends Paul to the hospital, his spirited Korean-American Mother, So-Ri, is determined to reconnect with her son and help him with his depression through an exotic South Korean ritual that promises to deliver people from their despair.
Writer/Director: Hannah Welever
Producer: Ricky Staffieri
Queer best friends Gwen and Gordon moonlight as a straight couple to survive a family reunion.
Writer/Director: Curtis Matzke
Producer: Nate Gilbert
A young college student finds herself terrorized by a group of undead musicians whose spirits are attached to an old instrument.
Writer/Director: Andre Muir
Co-Writer: Jake Hutton
Producer: Zachary Moore
When a black man, Jamal, is arrested out of nowhere, he is forced to survive and navigate a surreal draconian prison system where neither the cause of his arrest nor the nature of the subsequent judicial proceedings are ever made clear to him, eventually propelling him down a rabbit hole of escalating paranoia, disillusionment and violence. Hilarity ensues.
The Real One
Writer/Director: McKenzie Chinn
Producer: Lisa Masseur
A bright teenager in a working class neighborhood on Chicago’s south side discovers the power and beauty of true friendship when her illicit relationship with a teacher is discovered amid the final weeks of her senior year in high school.
The Pitch Host & Judges
NICOLE BERNARDI-REIS (Host)‘s producing and directing work spans narrative shorts and feature films, documentary features, and television series, taking numerous projects from development to delivery for broadcasters including PBS, A&E, and The Science Channel. Her independent documentary producing work includes Algren (2021) (“Riveting” —The Hollywood Reporter) and Radical Grace (2015), (“Exhilarating…among the year’s best films” by RogerEbert.com). She is producer and co-director of With This Light, a documentary about Honduran Humanitarian Sister Maria Rosa Leggol, which makes its world premiere at the Austin Film Festival. Additionally, Nicole serves as a creative coach and consulting producer for filmmakers as they launch their own films. She has produced and programmed film festivals, screenwriting competitions, and conferences nationally. She is a member of the Documentary Producers Alliance Labor & Sustainability Committee and is on the creative cabinet of IFA Chicago. Nicole co-founded The Pitch and is happy to be back and help showcase Chicago’s incredible independent talent.
GRETA TALIA FUENTES is Vice President of Film Production and Development at MACRO Film Studios, a division of MACRO, the multi-platform media company representing the voice and perspectives of Black people, indigenous people and people of color launched in 2015 by Founder & CEO Charles D. King. The first-generation Nicaraguan-American from Los Angeles was most recently co-producer of Justin Chon’s Blue Bayou. The feature film premiered at Cannes 2021’s ‘Un Certain Regard’ to a standing ovation and was released theatrically in the U.S. by Focus Features. She was also an executive producer on Esteban Arango’s Blast Beat that was released via Sony and Vertical Entertainment after its 2020 Sundance Film Festival premiere. She was also an associate producer on Alan Yang’s feature debut, Netflix’s Tigertail. Fuentes is also set as executive producer of upcoming MACRO Film Studios films—Netflix’s I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter novel adaptation which America Ferrera will direct as her feature debut and sci-fi thriller Void penned by Chris Borelli; Warner Bros.’ feature adaptation of Neil Paik’s sci-fi short story Rainbowfish and the untitled Ryan Coogler, Shaka King, Charles D. King and Lil Rel Howery produced feature film about an American political insurrection. Additionally, she will oversee HBO’s hip hop vampire drama series Thirst; and the action-adventure period epic Cordoba along with MACRO Television Studios. A champion of LatinX voices, Fuentes is also a Co-Founder and Board Member of The Latin Tracking Board which was launched in 2017 and has amassed over 200 members. The UCLA grad joined MACRO from William Morris Endeavor in 2015.
GIGI PRITZKER Through her long history as a producer, Gigi Pritzker has been a champion of the voices of both established and up-and-coming storytellers. As the Founder and CEO of Madison Wells, Pritzker’s studio focuses on developing, producing, and funding projects in film, television, and theater by, and about, badass women, as well as people who love pushing boundaries. Her reputation allows Madison Wells to collaborate and incubate content with partners who are aligned in a belief that good storytelling sparks important conversations. In 2001, Pritzker formed the independent production and finance company Oddlot Entertainment, which she merged into Madison Wells in 2015. Widely considered one of the most powerful women in Hollywood, she has turned Madison Wells into one of the most respected indy producers in Hollywood. Through her leadership and vision, Madison Wells releases have become very familiar on the Awards circuit having been regularly nominated for Academy Awards, Emmy’s and Tony’s. Pritzker currently holds a position on the Sundance Institute Board of Trustees and is deeply involved in a diverse portfolio of philanthropic endeavors. She is a proud native Chicagoan.
BRENDA ROBINSON is an entertainment attorney and producer with extensive experience in the film, television and music industries. Brenda was most recently a financier on the Academy Award-winning documentary Icarus as well as Won’t You Be My Neighbor and Step. She is an executive producer on numerous projects including the BAFTA-nominated Passing, directed by Rebecca Hall; the Emmy-nominated United Skates, alongside executive producer John Legend; The Great American Lie by director Jennifer Siebel Newsom; Jump Shot: The Kenny Sailors Story, alongside executive producer Steph Curry; Marian Anderson: The Whole World In Her Hands directed by Rita Coburn for PBS’ American Masters series; and the upcoming The Empire of Ebony directed by Lisa Cortes and produced by Academy Award-winner Roger Ross Williams.