Virtual Pitch Sessions
It’s the 18th Annual Austin Film Festival Pitch Competition (now Virtual)! This unique event allows contestants 90 seconds to pitch their best ideas to a panel of judges made up of producers, managers, and screenwriters in a constructive and friendly environment. Give your best pitch in 90 seconds and secure your spot in the finals at the Virtual Pitch Finale Party on Monday night.
All Pitch Sessions require an add-on ticket and advance sign-up. If you purchased this event, please check your email for instructions on how to access this session through Zoom. Things are a little different this year, but here are the answers to some FAQ’s about this year’s Virtual Pitch Sessions!
Thursday, October 22nd:
Pitch Session 1: 1:45PM – 3:00 PM CDT
Pitch Session 2: 3:30 PM – 4:45 PM CDT
Pitch Session 3: 5:15 PM – 6:30 PM CDT
Friday, October 23rd:
Pitch Session 4: 11:45 AM – 1:00 PM CDT
Pitch Session 5: 1:30 PM – 2:45 PM CDT
Pitch Session 6: 3:15 PM – 4:30 PM CDT
Saturday, October 24th:
Pitch Session 7: 11:45 AM – 1:00 PM CDT
Pitch Session 8: 1:30 PM – 2:45 PM CDT
Pitch Session 9: 3:15 PM – 4:30 PM CDT
Pitch Session 10: 5:00 PM – 6:15 PM CDT
Sunday, October 25th:
Pitch Session 11: 11:30 AM – 12:45 PM CDT
Pitch Session 12: 1:15 PM – 2:30 PM CDT
Pitch Session 13: 3:00 PM – 4:15 PM CDT
Monday, October 26th:
How many Pitch Slots are available?
There are 13 Sessions with 15 Pitch Slots in each.
Is there a wait list and how does it work?
PITCH TICKETS ARE SOLD OUT. We have started a wait list. If a Pitch Slot is important to you, get on the Wait List as soon as possible after all the Pitch Tickets have been sold by calling 512-478-4795. The wait list will be saved in order of date and time of call.
To get on the Wait List you must have already purchased a Virtual Badge. Be prepared with all your information. Credit card information will be required to hold your spot, and your card will be charged immediately if a spot opens up.
How do I choose my preferred Pitch Session?
The full Conference Schedule is posted on our website. We suggest you make a tentative schedule of which panels you would like to attend and choose your preferred pitch sessions from the time slots you have left. Many people select a Pitch Session based on the Judges over the time slot (*Note: Judges sometimes make last minute schedule changes. If this occurs, they will be replaced with a different Judge. All of our Judges are outstanding, and you will benefit from pitching to them). Once all Pitch Sessions are filled, you will be contacted with the confirmation of your Pitch Slot time and sent a link for the Zoom call.
If I have a Pitch Ticket and I can’t use it, can I get a refund or give it to someone else?
No. All purchases are final, nonrefundable, and non-transferable. But, we would appreciate knowing so someone else from the wait list can pitch.
Can I use visual aids or props?
No props, no theatrics, no screenplays, no teleplays, no business cards, and no recordings. If you wish to share contact information, please do at a different time, not during the Pitch Session. We thank you for respecting this request.
What do I wear?
No costumes are allowed. Otherwise there is no dress code. The atmosphere is casual.
What if I need to make a last-minute change to my Pitch Slot?
It is highly unlikely we can get you a different Pitch Slot because all will be filled. Contact the Pitch Competition Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org to alert them if you cannot use it so someone from the Wait List can take your place.
Is there interaction with the Pitch judges?
Yes. The judges will offer feedback on your pitch and time permitting you may ask them questions. The time for questions will be brief. There will be no Q&A afterwards.
How are the pitches timed?
You are not timed until after your introduction, name and type of project, then you are timed 90 seconds on your pitch. Your pitch is 90 seconds long – max. Your 90 seconds begin after you introduce yourself and present the judges with the title and genre of your screenplay or teleplay. Your session’s host will raise their hand when 90 seconds is up. If you’re mid-sentence, they will allow you to finish, but if you go longer than a few seconds more, they will mute your microphone. We ask that you please respect this rule.
How do you select the order of Pitch participants in a Pitch Session?
Names will be randomly called out throughout each session. No one will know in advance when they will be specifically called up to pitch. We ask that everyone arrive on time and stay for the full duration of their designated session.
How do the Pitch Sessions work?
We will send you an invitation for the Zoom call with your confirmation email. KEEP THIS EMAIL. Make sure you have Zoom downloaded and that you have set up a Zoom account prior to the Pitch Session. The day of, click on the invitation link (preferably 10 minutes early), and you will find yourself in a virtual waiting room. The Pitch Coordinator will let you into the Zoom call once they verify that you have previously signed the Pitch Release Form via DocuSign and have sent it back to email@example.com. You will not be admitted into the call if the Pitch Coordinator does not have this release form. From there, we will start at the assigned time. (*SEE “WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT FROM ZOOM” FOR SPECIFIC DETAILS ABOUT THE CALL)
Your name will be called. Your pitch is given. You have 90 seconds. At the minute mark, a hand will be raised. At 90 seconds, we call time. If you are in the middle of a sentence, feel free to complete it. The judges give feedback after each pitch and you may ask a few brief questions, time permitting. After all pitches have been given, the judges will be sent to a different virtual room while they deliberate the winner. At the end of the Session, the Winner of the Session is announced, and they are given instructions for the Pitch Finale. If there is time, there will be a general Q & A for the Judges.
What should I expect from Zoom?
First and foremost, you need to create a Zoom account prior to Pitching. Once this is done, you will need to be logged in before clicking on the Invitation Link sent in your confirmation email. You will find yourself in a virtual waiting room. The Pitch Coordinator will let you into the Zoom call once we verify that you have previously signed the Pitch Release Form via DocuSign and sent back to firstname.lastname@example.org. Once admitted into the call, we will mute your microphone and stop your video to cut down on any distractions. You will still be a part of the call. Your cell will just say your name rather than have live video. When it is your turn to Pitch, we will need your cooperation. We will send a request to unmute your microphone and to activate your camera. You must click “allow” for everyone to see and hear you. After the judges give you feedback, we will then mute your microphone and stop your video once again. You will not be able to use the “chat” feature, as we would prefer as few distractions as possible.
What should I pitch?
Participants may pitch an original idea, concept for a screenplay or teleplay, completed screenplay, teleplay, or film of your own imagination. No adaptations are allowed unless the original idea is your own in another form, i.e. book, play, short story, article, etc. or you are a co-writer. If you’re a Second Rounder, Semifinalist or Finalist in our competition, or any other competition, you may want to mention it to the judges.
Can I pitch with a partner? Does my partner need a separate Pitch Ticket or share mine?
Yes, you may pitch with your partner/co-writer. However, each partner must purchase a separate Pitch Ticket even for the same Pitch Slot. Partners do not share a Pitch Ticket. If you have a partner/co-writer both writers don’t have to pitch. Partnerships have done well every year at the Pitch Competition. Since we are sold out, you can no longer purchase a pitch ticket online. Call our office at 512-478-4795 and let the answering person know you are pitching as a team and would like to purchase a Pitch Ticket. Both partners must be in possession of a 2020 Virtual Badge to participate.
Can someone else I know pitch my idea?
No, unless he/she is your co-writer.
Can two different people pitch the same idea?
Only if two different people come up with an original “idea” that they individually believe is their own original idea, but it is actually the same. Or co-writers can choose to pitch the same idea separately.
Do I introduce myself before the pitch or am I called by name?
You may introduce yourself by name and give the title and genre of your project. You do not have to, but it will help the judges to know what type of project you are pitching.
Do I need a Pitch Ticket to watch?
There will be no audience this year given that the sessions are held on Zoom. The Pitch Finale Party will have an audience, and you can purchase a ticket for this event through Eventive on our website.
Who are the judges?
There are two top industry professionals from the film and television industries for each Pitch Sessions. There will be three top industry professionals from the film and television industries for the Pitch Finale Party. They participate in our Pitch Competition because they want to give their time and expertise to help you succeed.
Do I have to sign a Pitch Release Form?
Yes. Once your Pitch Slot is confirmed, you will receive a Pitch Release Form via DocuSign. It is your Pitch Ticket. It must be signed and returned to email@example.com previous to the Pitch Session to participate in the Pitch Competition.
What if I win the Pitch Competition?
There is one Finalist from each of the thirteen Pitch Sessions that advance to the Pitch Finale. The winner of the Pitch Finale receives a Producers Badge for the next year’s Austin Film Festival and Conference.