Third Annual “The Pitch at Industry Days”


The Final Application Deadline was AUGUST 28, 2017 at 11:59PM


IFP Chicago and the Chicago International Film Festival seek new narrative features in late stage development to take part in “The Pitch,” a live competitive pitch forum that closes out the Chicago International Film Festival’s Industry Days. Now in its third year, this highly competitive opportunity gives Midwest-based creative teams the opportunity to pitch to a panel of industry judges with expertise in development, financing, and distribution. The filmmaking teams will have seven minutes to pitch their movies to the panel, who will then offer direct feedback on their films.  

The winning team/project will receive an awards package of in-kind services from Chicago-area production facilities and organizations, including consultation, production, post-production services, and mentorship from industry decision-makers that can accelerate a project’s launch. 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 2017 TFI Network. Signature Move (The Pitch 2015 Honorable Mention) had its world premiere at SXSW, its international premiere at BFI Flare London LGBT Film Festival as well as around 50 festivals thus far. It recently closed a distribution deal with Amazon Video Direct’s Film Festival Stars program.


Projects and teams must meet the following criteria:

  • The individual or company submitting material must either own or possess all rights contained within the material. If the pitch team is not the owner of the material, they must provide the necessary licenses.

  • Must be a narrative feature in late-stage development or pre-production.

  • Must have an attached Director and Producer.

  • Proven track record with professional credits by at least one member of the creative team.

    • You must provide a link to prior work sample in the online application form. (Please note, your prior work does not need to be related to the proposed project, but some similarity in genre, tone, or format is preferred).

  • Must be able to attend two mandatory pitch development workshops/practice sessions.


The following additional pre-production elements will strengthen an application:

  • Attached talent / letters of interest.

  • Some financing in place.

  • Commitments from other key creatives.

  • Partnerships or support from other companies or organizations.


In order to apply, you must:

  1. Complete the online application form and applicable payment. (Application is free for IFP Chicago members.)

  2. Provide the following support materials.

    • A copy of the completed script

    • Pitch Deck (see guidelines below)

    • ** New for this year: Two-Minute Elevator Pitch Video (see guidelines below)


The Pitch Deck

An 8-12 page PDF that gives an overview of the project's story, theme, genre and production approach. It should include the following items:

  • Logline and basic story synopsis

  • Biographies and major credits for key members of the creative team

  • Highlight any partners and attached talent

  • Target budget and any financing already in place

  • Target audience

  • Distribution strategy

  • Photographic or illustrated visuals


Elevator Pitch Video

A 2-3 minute video direct to camera pitch that explains the project, the team behind it and why it should be included in the Pitch Session.

  • Must include all members of the pitch team. (1-2 members are recommended. No more than 3 pitch team members will be accepted.)

  • Should not be overly produced or edited. The purpose is to show us how well you can tell your story.

  • Videos should be uploaded to Vimeo or another streaming site. Please provide password if applicable.



If your project is selected, you must participate in two mandatory Pitch Preparation Sessions provided by IFP Chicago.

IFP Chicago does not agree to include the submitted work in the event and may in fact choose a work that is similar to the submitted work.

Submission does not create a contractual relationship, implied or otherwise with The Chicago International Film Festival, IFP Chicago or any of these organizations sponsors or affiliates. By submitting you are waiving any breach of contract, implied or otherwise and any theft of idea or concept action against The Chicago International Film Festival, IFP Chicago or any of these organizations sponsors or affiliates including copyright actions.