Radical Collaboration: Good Pitch Local at EarthxFilm Will Seed Stories of Change in Texas

Good Pitch Local Texas will convene filmmakers, change-makers, organizations, and funders to catalyze projects and build capacity for social good.

Call for entries: Storytellers and media makers of all types (XR, film, podcasts, photography, and more) can apply online. But hurry, deadline is Feb. 29.

Social change, climate justice, and the environment will be on the agenda at Good Pitch Local Texas.

The multi-platform event—along with its focus on thought-provoking storytelling, ideas, and impact—will be a part of the 50th celebration of Earth Day during EarthxFilm on April 23, 2020. 

Good Pitch Local is a grassroots initiative of the global Good Pitch program. And now, thanks to a new partnership of Doc Society and EarthXFilm, it’s coming to Dallas for EarthX2020. 

The idea behind Good Pitch Local Texas is highlight and seed media projects that can strengthen our communities and create social change. 

It’s an event aimed at inspiring “radical collaboration,” EarthXFilm said in a statement. “Storytellers and change-makers can connect with funders, media platforms, and partner organizations that can help ensure these stories get made and make a difference.” 

As part of its mission to turn awareness into action through art and interactive media, EarthXFilm announced the partnership with Doc Society, a non-profit organization committed to enabling great documentary films and its Good Pitch program that supports film and media aimed at social impact.

Good Pitch Local adapts the Good Pitch model of curated networking with new partners and places in regional markets. Regional events are held in five U.S. cities: Dallas, Miami, Durham, Detroit, and Philadelphia. 

EarthxFilm saw the need to ensure that important stories about the environment and other social issues get told.

Good Pitch Local Texas will feature a curated selection of pitches and presentations from local film and media makers who can highlight challenges facing Texas, the environment, and social issues. It’s also where these change-makers and storytellers can connect with partners and media platforms who can help bring their projects to life.

“In times like these where we see social tensions rise along with the ocean, we need to support our local community’s capacity to do good,” Michael Cain, President of EarthxFilm, said in a statement.

“Good Pitch Local is a great opportunity to help make that happen.”

Call for entries: Impact storytelling

A call for entries opened earlier this month. Creatives, storytellers, and organizations from across the state of Texas may apply online for short-form nonfiction media projects. The deadline to apply is Feb. 29.

Submissions can include current projects and “well-developed ideas” that address the climate crisis, social justice, and the environment. Projects of all kinds are welcome, including film, XR, podcast, photography and more. 

And, it could be a chance to join the ranks of some 300 documentary films supported by Doc Society. Those films include Academy Award winner CitizenFour and nominees such as “Act of Killing,” “Chasing Coral,” “The Edge of Democracy,” “How To Survive A Plague,” “The Square,” and “Virunga.”

“We’re looking for a fabulous group of media makers working in non-fiction, short-form media from documentary shorts to virtual reality/augmented reality and everything in between—and community organizers who are looking to take a program to the next level by working with nonfiction storytellers,” Good Pitch Local Outreach Manager Melina McKinnon Cain said in an email to Dallas Innovates

Grassroots Change

Good Pitch Local is a pitching forum that introduces the best documentary filmmakers to leading change-makers to collaborate on urgent social and environmental issues in the hopes of forging new coalitions and campaigns that are good for society, McKinnon Cain said. 

“There’s incredible feel-good magic that comes from radical collaboration with fellow community members, and Good Pitch Local is one of these collaborative experiences,” McKinnon Cain said.

“As we face the climate crisis while celebrating the 50th anniversary of Earth Day with the team at EarthxFilm, we need stories and ideas that help us imagine an alternative future, inspire action, and nurture the communities that give us strength and hope,” Good Pitch Local program Director Patricia Finneran said in a statement.  “We see astounding possibility for the program to seed stories of change in Texas.” 

McKinnon Cain emphasized that Good Pitch Local is looking for individuals and companies that are dealing with issues of climate justice and the environment, as well as organizations that might want to partner with a documentary filmmaker.

EarthxFilm X Doc Society

Good Pitch Local Texas is a new initiative for 2020 presented by EarthxFilm.

EarthxFilm wanted to catalyze local coalitions between filmmakers, organizers and funders to create multimedia projects concerning local stories that will generate both local and national impact, it said.

“Organizers share new models and expertise for community film engagement and short form media for social impact,” the organization said. “It’s about building local capacity, and over time will strengthen networks between change-makers in cities across the U.S. and around the world.”

The Good Pitch platform is a global Doc Society program that’s presented in partnership with Ford Foundation with lead support in the US from Wyncote Foundation, and support from CrossCurrents Foundation, Hartley Media Impact Initiative at Auburn Seminary, and other global funders and partners.  

Since 2008, Good Pitch hosted some 40 events in 15 countries. The organization has brought together documentary filmmakers with leading change-makers around urgent social and environmental issues, to forge new coalitions and campaigns that are “good for film and good for society,” according to the group.

EarthxFilm aims for Awareness and Action

EarthxFilm will take place in Dallas April 17-26. The event focuses on films exploring science, conservation, climate change, and the environment. 

EarthxFilm, the non-profit organization, was launched in 2017 during the annual EarthX event. The EarthX organization itself was founded in 2011 as Earth Day Dallas by environmentalist and businessman Trammell S. Crow and convenes “the world’s largest environmental expo, conference and film festival.”

READ NEXT ‘EarthX Can Be to Dallas, What SXSW is to Austin’

Last year, EarthxFilm announced Paul Levatino, who has more than 20 years of experience with activations, concerts, festivals, events, commercials, and videos, as its executive producer.Also last year, EarthxFilm launched a sub-division called EarthxInteractive, which took visitors on adventurous explorations in nature through virtual and augmented reality. EarthxInteractive was created to push the boundaries of storytelling, with the content ranging from narrative to documentary to hybrid projects, all leveraging immersive technology to raise awareness for global environmental issues. This year, it’s returning as EarthXR.

Apply to Good Pitch Local:

To apply as a media maker, click here.

To apply as an organizer, click here.  

For more information about the event, head here.

Kathryn Chavez contributed to this report.

This story was updated on Feb. 24, 2020. Deadline for entries was extended to Feb. 29.

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