The Channel 4 Britdoc Foundation and the Sundance Institute have unveiled the line-up for this year’s annual San Francisco ‘Good Pitch’ event, which will pair up seven directors with invited foundations, NGOs, social entrepreneurs and broadcasters in a bid to expand the reach of their documentary projects.
The selected directors for The Good Pitch San Francisco 2011 are David France (How To Survive A Plague), Leah Mahan (Turkey Creek), Roger Ross Williams (God Loves Uganda), Bernardo Ruiz (Gardens of Paradise), Kirby Dick (The Invisible War) and Mary Posatko & Emily Topper (American Village).
The six selected projects cover a range of issues including criminal justice and gang violence, LGBT discrimination and victimization, corruption and drug trafficking, industrial pollution, violence in the armed forces, and the regulation of the pharmaceutical industry.
Taking place at the Marines Memorial Theatre in San Francisco, the filmmakers will attend an intensive two-day campaign development workshop on September 24-25, followed by a day-long live event with the invited organizations on September 27.
“The emergence of Good Pitch as a must-attend international forum for understanding the potential of contemporary documentary has been one of the signature events of the last two years in the documentary field,” says Cara Mertes, director of the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program.
“Our original goal in partnering with Channel 4 Britdoc Foundation was to reinvigorate resources for the field and provide a space where actors in many sectors could come together to better understand documentary’s potential, and we are gratified to see this taking root.”
Britdoc’s synopses for the projects follow below:
How To Survive A Plague / Dir. David France
“Using never-before-seen archival footage, How to Survive a Plague is the intense story of how AIDS stopped being a death sentence, and the improbable group of young HIV-positive activists who, though lacking scientific training, infiltrated the pharmaceutical industry to help develop effective, breakthrough medications. They saved millions of lives – including many, though not all, of their own.”
(For more info on this project see realscreen’s Hot Docs Forum report from May)
Gardens of Paradise / Dir. Bernardo Ruiz
“A veteran reporter and his colleagues at an embattled news weekly challenge the drug cartels and corrupt local officials during a wave of unprecedented violence against journalists in Mexico.”
American Village / Dir. Mary Posatko, Emily Topper
“1972: a father of thirteen is murdered in Baltimore, Maryland. Three boys are arrested, represented by a famous civil rights attorney, and acquitted. Traumatized and confused, the victim’s family flees, and never looks back. Now, amidst a family crisis, his granddaughter returns – to uncover the era’s brutal history, meet the men involved, and begin to heal her family.”
The Invisible War / Dir. Kirby Dick
“The Invisible War is an investigative and powerfully emotional documentary about the epidemic of rape within the U.S. military, the institutions that perpetuate and cover up its existence, and its profound personal and social consequences.”
God Loves Uganda / Dir. Roger Ross Williams
“In a journey that spans two continents, African-American director Roger Williams, son of a Baptist minister, explores the nature of belief – in America, where congregants search for spiritual meaning, and in Uganda, where American missionaries and Ugandan evangelicals struggle for the hearts and souls of a people facing dire poverty and tumultuous social change.”
Turkey Creek / Dir. Leah Mahan
“Turkey Creek tells the story of a group of determined Mississippians who struggle to save their endangered Gulf Coast community in the face of rampant development, industrial pollution and disaster. Bridge the Gulf is a citizen journalism and new media initiative designed to help the Gulf Coast’s most marginalized communities convey their stories and their vision for the future.”