Films on American jazz musicians Miles Davis and Billy Tipton, and a number of virtual reality offerings are among the projects being pitched at Sheffield Doc/Fest’s MeetMarket and Crossover Market events at the June festival.
Among the 64 projects being pitched at the festival’s flagship pitching event the MeetMarket are South Korean reporter-turned-filmmaker Hark Joon Lee’s The Rescuer, about a South Korean pastor’s hopes of finding American homes for five North Korean orphans; Lindsey Dryden’s Billy Tipton Documentary, on the transgender American jazz musician and bandleader who died in 1989; John Akomfrah’s Miles Davis: The Genius of Cool, on the American jazz legend; and Maheen Zia’s Lyari Notes, about a group of girls from Karachi who attend music classes in a school started by a Pakistani rock star.
Other selected projects include Carey Born’s Cyborg: A Documentary, on the cyborg Neil Harbisson, who hears sound; Rehad Desai’s After Marikana – The End of the ANC? which questions whether South Africa needs radical change; and Phil Collins’ Mr. Sing Sing, about a collaboration between Sing Sing prison inmates and a contemporary dance company.
Elsewhere, at Crossover Market – which runs in tandem with the MeetMarket and focuses on digital and interactive projects, as well as efforts that use distribution methods such as crowd-funding or VoD – 26 interactive projects are to be pitched in one-to-one meetings to a group of specialist decision makers. This year’s selections include virtual reality projects for the first time.
Among the selections are Oscar Raby’s VR project Islands, Tushar Prakash’s The Karma Killings, Rachel Glenn’s The National Facility for the Regulation of Regret, and Ben Hayoun’s The Life, The Sea and The Space Viking.
In other news, The Guardian Documentaries Pitch is the UK media outlet’s first-ever public pitch opportunity, offering a commission of £5,000 (US$7,600), while the International Broadcasting Trust Pitch: Reframing Climate Change – worth £4,000 – invites filmmakers to conceive ways to re-conceptualize climate change for mainstream audiences.
Elsewhere, BBC Radio 1 and 1XTra’s documentary brand is offering a £2,000 commission for a short film targeting the “next generation of young documentary filmmakers,” while the ITN Source Short Film Competition asks filmmakers to make a short film using footage from the ITN Source archive collection. Meanwhile, the ARRI Short Film Challenge gives five teams access to the company’s Amira camera to shoot a short film on Sheffield.
Finally, this year sees the return of the BFI Film Fund pitch and the Channel 4 First Cut Pitch, which offers one first-time filmmaker a 60-minute film commission from the UK pubcaster.
Sheffield Doc/Fest is to reveal its official line-up on May 7. The festival runs from June 5 to 10.