Filmmaker Conference

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2021 Pittsburgh Shorts & Script Competition Filmmaker Conference

Pittsburgh Shorts is quickly becoming a must-attend film festival because we champion great storytelling and offer exceptional content for both filmmakers and audience alike.

Along with the rest of the fun, we've added our first ever Filmmaker Conference this year—November 19-21at the Hotel Indigo East Liberty!

See the session schedule below. ⬇️


Friday, November 19 

11am-12pm – Welcome Brunch and Kickoff  

1-2pmWriting 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

4-5pm – 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; Kristen Bedno, Vision Films; Scott Myers, Go Into the Story    

Saturday, November 20 

10am – 11:30 am – Financing and Distribution Panel  

  • Brunch
  • Panel discussion of the ins and outs of financing and distributing an independent film
  • Panel: Nicole Weiss, A24; Sana Soni, 1091 Pictures; Ben Wiessner, Vanishing Angle  

12-1pm – 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
  • The Pittsburgh Video Consortium will moderate the discussion 

Sunday, November 21 

10-11amNetworking Brunch  

11am-12pm – 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.)