The Pitch

Banner: The Pitch at Industry Days

The Pitch at Industry Days

presented by the 59th Chicago International Film Festival

Sunday, October 15, 2023 • 1:30 – 4:00pm
Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E Washington St | Map it >
The Pitch is free to attend and open to the public.

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

The Pitch at Industry Days photo
2019 Pitch Participants
2019 Pitch Participants

Pitch Partners

logo: All Senses Go 276x75Logo: Camera Ambassador 172x150Logo: Panavision 185x85Logo: Light Iron 275x75Logo: Periscope Post & Audio 154x50
PR Casting • Ramo Law

2023 Pitch Projects


Writer/Director: Beah Travis
Producer: Jack Filer

In this coming-of-old-age story, a Midwestern housewife wrestling with her identity while caring for her terminally ill husband makes a life-altering decision.

I Don’t Dream in Spanish Anymore

Writer/Director: Missy Hernandez
Producer: Miguel Silveira

A scientist must return to her roots to escape the horrors of an ancestral curse that threatens to kill her and her unborn child.


Writer/Director: Donald Conley
Producers: Kendrea Chanae Chapman, Laron Davis

June, a naive but ambitious teenage bucket drummer with big dreams, spends his summer days busking for money until he is publicly assaulted and must contend with his emasculated persona the same week his protective older brother returns home from the Army.

The Punk Show in Chicago

Writer/Director: Erika Valenciana
Producer: Anuradha Rana
Executive Producer: Christina Shaver

The Punk Show in Chicago is a comedy about Alicia, a timid Chicana punk teen and her brash Filipina BFF Belen, who travel to Chicago to go see their favorite band play, meet up with a dreamboat, and get an abortion.

Tropical Rain, Death-Scented Kiss 素馨花

Writer/Director: Charlotte Hong Bee Her
Producers: Giuliana Foulkes, Tan Si En

In an apocalyptic vision of Singapore falling into a wilderness populated by spirits, dime store romance blossoms as an alienated lesbian teenager struggles to confess her feelings for her mysteriously resurrected best friend.

The Pitch Judges

headshot: Jenny Halper

JENNY HALPER is EVP, Head of Creative at Maven Screen Media, where her credits include The Kindergarten Teacher, Driveways, American Honey, Skin, A Mouthful Of Air, and the pandemic anthology With/In. She currently oversees a slate of projects across film and TV, with a focus on complex female characters and women in front of and behind the camera. As a screenwriter, her scripts have placed three times on the Black List, on the Athena List, received grants from Film Independent and the Tribeca Film Institute, and New York Stage and Film (in association with Powerhouse Theater). She has developed series with Freebird Films and Significant Productions, along with Rooney McP (Justified), and features with Social Construct and Highly Flammable. As a fiction writer, she is an Our Stories Emerging Writer Award winner and Pushcart Prize nominee and her story collection has been a finalist for the St. Lawrence Book Prize and the Hudson Prize. She works as a mentor for Stowe Story Labs, the Athena Labs, and NYSAF, among other places. A graduate of Northwestern University and Emerson College, and a founding member of the Alliance of Women Film Journalists, she is represented by Untitled Entertainment and CAA.

headshot: Ana Leocha

ANA LEOCHA is a producer and development executive who has worked at Tango Entertainment since 2018. She was a co-producer on Charlotte Wells’ Aftersun, Andrew Seman’s Resurrection, Sarah Adina Smith’s The Drop, and Randall Park’s Shortcomings, and most recently an associate producer on Aza Jacob’s His Three Daughters. Ana works across film and television. She is passionate about emerging filmmakers and new voices.

headshot: Kiva Reardon

KIVA REARDON is Vice President, Film at PASTEL, the filmmaking collective founded by Barry Jenkins, Adele Romanski and Mark Ceryak. Previously, she held the positions of: Associate Director of Film Programs at the Academy Museum and Lead Programmer of Contemporary World Cinema at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). She has also worked with Hot Docs, the Miami International Film Festival and the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR). In 2013 she founded cléo journal, a publication dedicated to film and feminism, which ran until 2019. Her writing on film has appeared in multiple magazines, newspapers and online. She has spoken at institutions around the world and served on numerous international festival juries.

2023 Industry Days Sponsors & Supporters

logo: Adobe Premiere Pro 217x75Logo: All Senses GoLogo: Camera Ambassador 172x150Logo: Caption Consulting 164x150logo: CineCity Studios 156x125Logo: Cinelease 270x100Logo: Dark Matter Coffee 125x125Logo: Illinois Production Alliance 125x129logo: Nielson 215x40Logo: Panavision 185x85Logo: Light Iron 275x75Logo: Periscope Post & Audio 154x50Logo: Revolution Brewing 355x100Logo: SAG Indie 163x100logo: Sanpellegrino 213x100Logo: The Seeker 210x75

Additional Support

Logo: NEA 293x100Logo: Illinois Arts Council - 133x100logo: Illinois Film OfficeLogo: DCASE Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events 311x100Logo: DCASE/Chicago Film Office (202) - 450x75

This program is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency, and a CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events.