There is an old adage in Hollywood that says that you are only as good as your last movie. But, what if you haven’t made one yet? This is a conundrum all undiscovered writers face, and there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Now, there is an opportunity that may help solve that problem, and more than that, may make a hopeful young film maker’s dream a reality.
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Calling all film makers! Local cinema distributor Gravel Road Distribution Group has announced a feature film pitching competition, open to those 18 years and older. Designed to supporting creative talent in South Africa, in celebration of the company’s ten years in the industry, the Gravel Road Feature Pitching Competition is now open, inviting entrants across the country, who stand in line to win a prize package which includes development support, a distribution guarantee and a R100 000 in cash.
The competition includes three elimination stages, including entries, shortlisting and a final round, culminating in an in-person pitch to a panel of industry professionals in South Africa’s filmmaking capital, Cape Town. Along the way, entrants will receive constructive feedback, support and input from industry professionals, to ensure that the initiative adds value to each finalist’s creative process.
Entries are now open. The dates for each round are as follows:
Round 1: Entry
- Submit a formal pitch deck - Deadline 1 April 2022. This deck must include plotline, character bible, treatment and short synopsis.
- 6 shortlisted projects will be announced on 14 April 2022
Round 2: Shortlist
- Shortlisted projects to submit a completed screenplay by 13 May 2022. These will be independently evaluated by international readers.
- 3 finalists will be invited to participate in the in-person pitch. These finalists will be announced on 3 June 2022.
- Script notes will be shared with the 3 finalists, who are required to submit revised drafts by 24 June 2022 for the judging panel to read ahead of the finale.
Round 3: Finale
- In-person pitches to panel take place on 7 July 2022 in Cape Town.
- Each project team will participate in a closed 1-hour pitch session, where they will present their project to the panel, which will include a question and answer session with the judges.
- The winning project will be announced on 11 July 2022.
“Film pitch competitions are a remarkable entry point for people in an industry that is often difficult to get noticed in”
said Benjamin Cowley, CEO Gravel Road Distribution Group.
“We hope that this competition becomes a valuable steppingstone, that it will enable promising talent to get exposure and help new film concepts come to the fore in South Africa’s vibrant film industry,”
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Entry is open to South Africans of 18+, provided one has not had a film made of his / her script or concept before. The intellectual property of the film concept will remain that of the entrant. With cash, constructive criticism, mentorship, networking opportunities and other valuable prizes being offered, there are many reasons to enter, including of course, the chance for that dream to become a reality.
Gravel Road Distribution Group specializes in the distribution of independent films in Southern Africa, and the distribution of local films internationally. The company’s slate of film releases this year includes The Last Bus, The Artist’s Wife, Sodium Day, Tubular Bells and the Princess documentary about HRH, the late Princess Diana.
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