Filmmaker Conference

Asset 1
2021 Pittsburgh Shorts & Script Competition Filmmaker Conference

Pittsburgh Shorts and Script Competition is quickly becoming a must-attend film festival because we champion great storytelling and offer exceptional content for both filmmakers and audience alike. In 2021, that included our first annual Filmmaker Conference, which offered three days of content designed to inspire, inform, and energize the audience.

Check out the schedule below to see what we presented. And click here for more info about the dynamic guest speakers who led the sessions.

You won’t want to miss the 2022 event! Sign up for our email list to be notified when next season’s conference is announced.

Get Email Updates


Day 1

Welcome Brunch and Kickoff Session: Why a Creative Producer is an Indie Filmmaker’s Best Friend 

  • Brunch
  • Film Pittsburgh executive director, Kathryn Spitz Cohan, hosts a conversation with independent film producer, Laura Heberton, about what a creative producer brings to the indie filmmaking process

Writing a Marketable Screenplay

  • In Hollywood, one of the highest accolades a script can receive is, "That was a good read." The ability to create a "good read" is key to a screenplay's viability in the spec script marketplace. In this session, writers will focus on three aspects of the craft essential to writing a marketable screenplay: Concept, Character, and Narrative Voice
  • Presenter: Scott Myers of Go Into the Story

Pitch Contest  

  • Filmmakers will have 1 minute to pitch their film, tv, or web concept and get direct feedback. After the pitches, the panel will choose a winner who will receive a prize package
  • Panel: Rachael Fung, Extra A Productions; David Betesh, Utopia Distribution; Scott Myers, Go Into the Story    

Day 2 

Financing and Distribution Panel  

  • Brunch
  • Panel discussion of the ins and outs of financing and distributing an independent film
  • Panel: Kristen Bedno, Vision Films; Sana Soni, 1091 Pictures; Ben Wiessner, Vanishing Angle  

The Art of the Documentary 

  • Producer Mridu Chandra whose work has screened at festivals such as Sundance, SXSW, and on PBS, HBO, Hulu, and Netflix discusses her process for creating award-winning feature documentaries, such as Becoming Cousteau
  • Stephanie Strasburg is an award-winning photojournalist
  • The Pittsburgh Video Consortium will moderate the discussion 

Day 3 

Networking Brunch  

Closing Keynote – Barry Jenkins 

  • Academy Award-winning director, Barry Jenkins, will appear live virtually for an audience gathered at the Hotel Indigo, followed by a live Q&A. (This presentation will not be streamed online)