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BlackStar Pitch

A live pitch competition for short non-fiction projects, with a grand prize of $75,000 cash.


In 2024, BlackStar Film Festival will host the fifth BlackStar Pitch.

Filmmakers will pitch their short nonfiction projects in front of a panel of judges to receive feedback and have an opportunity to win a grand prize of $75,000 cash.

In addition to the cash prize, the grand prize winner will also receive:

  • 2 passes to the 2024 Camden International Film Festival
  • Formal feedback and notes at rough and fine cut stages from BlackStar programs staff
  • Mentorship from award-winning documentary production company Multitude Films, including: consultancy on pre-production, connections to industry crew, feedback at the rough cut stage, support in developing a distribution and exhibition plan for the completed short.

There will also be a runner-up prize of $25,000 cash plus:

  • 2 passes to the 2024 Camden International Film Festival
  • 2 mentorship sessions with Multitude Films.
  • Feedback at the rough cut stage from BlackStar.

The BlackStar Pitch is designed to connect industry professionals with new voices in the independent film community. The event, taking place on Wednesday, July 31, will showcase the work of up to 6 filmmakers. Filmmakers will be selected based on their applications, due on May 10. The filmmakers will receive coaching and an opportunity to pitch their works-in-progress to a distinguished panel of judges including: funders, executives, distributors, and producers. The 6 finalists will also have a chance to meet one-on-one with a minimum of two judges, in virtual sessions prior to the Pitch contest to get direct feedback and advice on their projects.

The judges will choose the best pitch, to be announced privately during the Filmmaker Brunch on Saturday, August 3 and announced publicly on Monday, August 5, 2024.

Each pitch will last 7 minutes and will be followed by 8 minutes of constructive feedback.

BlackStar Pitch is hosted in partnership with Blackbird.


April 8
Submissions Open

May 10
Application Deadline

June 17
Notification Date

June 28
Chosen projects accept and provide verification of text for publication.

July 31
Pitch Takes Place

August 5
Winners Announced



Each pitch will last 7 minutes followed by 8 minutes of constructive feedback.



The first-place pitch will receive a $75,000 prize for production funds as well as mentorship from Multitude Films, feedback from BlackStar Projects programs staff, and 2 passes to the 2024 Camden Film Festival.

A second-place winner will receive a $25,000 prize for production funds as well as feedback from BlackStar Projects programs staff and 2 passes to the 2024 Camden Film Festival.


Pitches should be submitted by a project’s director or producer. Each pitch team must consist of a minimum of one and maximum of three members.

Directors must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents to be eligible for The Pitch. Directors who are not based in the United States are not eligible to participate in The Pitch for this cycle.

Productions with principal photography taking place outside of the United States are eligible to apply.


Have questions or concerns? Email [email protected]


Erika Dilday

Executive Director of American Documentary Inc; Executive Producer of POV

Jess Devaney

Founder & President, Multitude Films

Jess Kwan

Vice President of The Concordia Fellowship at Concordia Studios

Jon-Sesrie Goff

Program Officer, JustFilms, Ford Foundation

Jihan Robinson

Vice President, Documentary Film & Series, Onyx Collective at Disney Entertainment

Mervyn Marcano

Field/House Productions


Anuradha Rana

A-Doc Steering Committee and Project Lead for the A-DOC Storytelling Initiative; Co-Chair of the Documentary Program at DePaul University’s School of Cinematic Arts

Monika Navarro

Firelight Media


Arjun Shankar

Georgetown University

Eddie Hemphill

Field/House Productions

A headshot of Heidi Saman. She is brown woman. She is wearing a button-down shirt, a striped blazer, and glasses. She has long brown hair.

Heidi Saman


Sweta Vohra

Multitude Films

Ted Passon

All Ages Productions

Tina Morton

Howard University

Previous Winners

Postcolonial Piñata (2022)

Dir. Daniel Larios

Ampe: Leap Into The Sky, Black Girl (2021)

Dirs. Claudia Owusu and Ife Oluwamuyide

BY WATER (2020)

Dir: Iyabo Kwayana

Higher 15 (2019)

Dir: Ameha Molla



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