Pitch Your Next Film Project at NOFF!

Have an idea for your next great film? Tell us about it in Pitch Perfect Open Call at this year’s New Orleans Film Festival!

Since 2011, Pitch Perfect has provided a unique opportunity for filmmakers to practice the art of pitching. In this annual competition, filmmakers from across the American South have three minutes to pitch their next film production. Participants present their concepts or works-in-progress to panels of three judges—film professionals and industry insiders—who offer constructive feedback for all participants. Previous pitch judges have included Philipp Engelhorn (Cinereach), Dan Schoenbrun (Kickstarter), and Debra Zimmerman (Executive Director, Women Make Movies). Winners of each track receive a prize to aid in the creation of their pitched project.

This year’s Pitch Perfect will be held October 13. There are four tracks: Student Narrative, Student Documentary, Open-Call Narrative, and IF/Then – Open Call Documentary

For further information on each track, please see the tabs to the left.


For any further questions about Pitch Perfect, please contact pitch@neworleansfilmsociety.org.

The New Orleans Film Festival is thrilled to announce a new partnership with Tribeca Film Institute to stimulate the art of short-form documentary storytelling.

Tribeca Film Institute, in partnership with the New Orleans Film Festival, is currently seeking short documentary projects directed by filmmakers living or working in the American South for the IF/Then Short Documentary Program. IF/Then is a new program developed by Tribeca Film Institute with support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Its goal is to discover and empower more inclusive voices in short film storytelling and give wider access to thoughtful stories from people of all backgrounds.

Up to six projects will be selected for a pitch competition, to be held in New Orleans during NOFF on Friday, October 13, 2017, as part of the festival’s “Pitch Perfect” program. The winner, selected by a professional jury, will be eligible for up to $20,000 in production support from IF/Then, as well as ongoing mentorship year-round, in person or virtually, and will participate in a year-long distribution initiative managed by Tribeca Film Institute that offers creative control, revenue potential and career development.


You are a filmmaker living or working in the American South, and are telling stories of the American South. These states and one federal district include: Alabama, Arkansas, District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.

Eligible projects must meet the following criteria:

  • Be an original short documentary with a final duration (TRT) under 40 minutes
  • Be completed within 3-6 months of receiving the IF/Then grant
  • Be factually accurate, follow best practices in documentary ethics and be designed for a U.S. audience
  • Be driven by (a) compelling character(s), with access to the character(s) secured
  • Be presented in English or subtitled in English
  • Have no prior distribution attached and be able to participate in the IF/Then distribution initiative

Projects that IF/Then DOES NOT support:

  • Student projects
  • Feature-length documentaries, series or cut-downs of completed films
  • Films that are made to support an advocacy campaign
  • Films with distribution attached

Projects will be prioritized based on the following criteria:

  • Artistic quality
  • Originality and social relevance
  • Robust storytelling that brings new facts, perspectives and under-represented stories to light
  • Financial feasibility
  • Potential to travel

Applications are only accepted via our online submission form at this link

Final Application deadline: Friday, August 4, 2017

We urge you to have the following ready before you begin the online application process:

  • Working title and project basics (TRT, languages, etc.)
  • Logline (75 word max)
  • Project description (250 word max)
  • Synopsis/treatment (500 word max)
  • Project status (250 word max)
  • Funding status (250 word max)
  • Distribution and rights status (250 word max)
  • Name and contact info for up to 2 pitch members, including 175 word bio each.
  • Link to video sample (3 minutes max) presenting the project/characters
  • Link to photo that best represents the project


Up to six projects will be selected to enter the IF/Then pitch competition during NOFF on October 13, 2017. Finalists will be notified in late August, early September.

If chosen as a finalist, it is mandatory that you participate in the event. You will have to finance the flight and hotel expenses yourself; however, you will receive an Industry accreditation for NOFF free of charge.

On October 13, 2017, each pitch team will have a maximum of 7 minutes to present their project. All visual material will be part of your 7-minute presentation, and the material can be no more than 3 minutes long.

Each pitch is followed by a short, moderated discussion with a tailored jury.


Online registration opens: June 1, 2017

Project application deadline: August 4, 2017

Notification of project selection: early September

IF/Then pitch competition in New Orleans: October 13, 2017


Please check the F.A.Q. here.

If you have any remaining questions regarding IF/Then at NOFF, contact IFThenshorts@tribecafilminstitute.org

We will be posting more details regarding other Pitch Perfect programs soon. Stay tuned for more info.

Open-Call Narrative is looking for applications from Southern filmmakers to pitch their next project.

Applications require a working title, project description, treatment, and applicant bio. If selected, you will have the chance to pitch your project, but remember: you only have three minutes. Once you’ve finished your pitch judges will give every participant personalized feedback, and the winner will be one step closer to making their project a reality.

Applications to participate in this year’s Narrative Open-Call are now open! You can find them here.

The deadline has been extended to September 8, 2017 at 11:59 p.m.


  • We are accepting applications from filmmakers at any point in their career. This includes film students, burgeoning artists, and seasoned veterans.
  • It is preferred that submitted projects be in the development or pre-production stage.
  • Filmmakers must be living or working in the American South. These states and one federal district include: Alabama, Arkansas, District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.
  • Applications must be submitted by the filmmaker who will pitch the project for the contest.


Contest Details:

  • Applicants chosen to participate in this year’s competition will be notified by mid-September.
  • The Pitch Perfect competition takes place on October 13. Accepted applicants must be available and on-site in New Orleans for this date.
  • Accepted applicants are not provided assistance with travel or accommodations during their stay, but every accepted applicant will receive an all-access pass to the 2017 New Orleans Film Festival.
  • All finalists will be paired with a pitch mentor for a brief pitch session to assist in crafting your pitch in advance of the festival.
  • Participants are free to include a slideshow, image, or short clip to aid in their pitch.
  • The winner of Open-Call Narrative will receive an equipment package to aid in the completion of their pitched project.


The winner will receive a prize package including:

  • 2TB hard drive sponsored by CRU, Inc.
  • $2,500 Music Licensing Credit sponsored by Musicbed
  • Year-Long Vimeo Pro Account
  • Year-Long International Screenwriters Association Membership
  • Showbiz Budgeting software
  • Final Draft 10 software
  • StudioBinder Pro software


This year’s participating institutions are Florida State University, Loyola University, Wake Forest University, University of Alabama, University of Texas – Austin, University of New Orleans, Southeastern Louisiana University, and Auburn University.

The process for all student rounds is done by nomination on the university level by participating institutions; we do not accept applications for this track. If you attend one of the participating institutions, please contact your university for further information. Students not nominated for this track, or who attend Southern institutions that are not participating, are encouraged to apply for Open-Call Narrative or IF/Then’s Open-Call!