The AFI-Discovery Channel Silverdocs Documentary Festival, which takes place from June 21 to 27 in Silver Spring, Maryland, has announced the eight social-issue docs which have been selected to participate in the second annual Good Pitch @ Silverdocs.
A project of Channel 4 BRITDOC Foundation in partnership with the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program, the Good Pitch is a traveling documentary pitching forum that gives filmmakers the opportunity to connect with NGOs, foundations and media that relate to the content of their documentaries.
‘In a world where contemporary issue documentary films need urgent support, Good Pitch is a bold answer to the question, ‘Who can help?” says Cara Mertes, director of the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program.
This year’s Good Pitch @ Silverdocs projects are:
A Whole Lott More by Victor Buhler, a documentary about Ohio’s Lott Industries, a company that employs 1,200 workers with developmental disabilities. The film documents the company and its workers over a year as it struggles against the economy to save itself.
Hell and Back Again is a doc by Danfung Dennis that follows fighters back from war, documenting the physical and mental pain they endure trying to readjust to life at home.
Higher Ground, by Jon Shenk, follows Maldive president Mohamed Nasheed as he works to save 385,000 of his people from drowning as the 1,200 islands within his nation are slipping below the rising sea level.
The House that Herman Built examines the power of art and the injustice of solitary confinement. Angad Bhalla documents the relationship between Herman Wallace of the Angola 2, who has lived in a 6×9′ cell for over three decades, and artist Jackie Sumell.
The Interrupters chronicles a group of former violent criminals in Chicago who are on a mission to prevent shootings. Steve James follows these characters to examine the role of gunplay in America’s cities.
$H*T!, previously profiled by realscreen, looks at the shift in sanitation for the urban poor through the invention of a portable, self-sanitizing toilet called the Peepoo.
The Truth Will Set You Free, directed by Macky Alston, follows a movement of activists and leaders (including the first openly gay bishop) seeking to restore balance in the church/state battles for LGBT equality.
Finally, Dear Mandela looks at the South African government’s methods to ‘eradicate the slums’ before the 2010 World Cup by forcing people out of shack dwelling homes at gunpoint. The documentary, by Dara Kell, follow a non-violent movement in South Africa, and its three young leaders, as they try to stop bulldozers from tearing apart communities.
‘These inspiring film projects were selected for both their cinematic qualities and proposed campaigns,’ says Sky Sitney, Silverdocs’ artistic director. ‘We’re thrilled to host this unique event at the festival with our esteemed partners to connect filmmakers with partners to form powerful alliances around these groundbreaking films.’