Deadline extended! July 21, 2019

In 2019, BlackStar Film Festival will host the inaugural BlackStar Pitch. Filmmakers will pitch their projects in front of a live audience and a panel of judges to receive feedback and have an opportunity to win a cash prize of $1,000.

This first BlackStar Pitch will be focused on feature documentary projects and is open to any filmmaker who identifies as a person of color.



BlackStar Pitch will showcase a group of 8 filmmakers, who will be selected based on their applications due July 21. The filmmakers will pitch their works-in-progress to a distinguished panel of funders, executives, distributors and producers. The panelists will choose the best pitch, to be announced during the awards ceremony on Sunday August 4. Each pitch will last 7 minutes (including video reel) followed by 10 minutes of constructive feedback.

Attendance at the pitch session will be limited to festival passholders and special invited guests, including funders, producers, sales agents, and network executives.

Accepted filmmakers must provide their own travel to the Pitch session on August 1, 2019 in Philadelphia.


Jamila Farwell, Netflix

Chris Hastings, WORLD Channel

Loira Limbal, Firelight Media

Lauren Pabst, MacArthur Foundation

Sara Rodriguez, HBO

Jeff Seelbach, Topic

Merrill Sterritt, Cinereach

Nicole Tsien, AmDoc/POV

Chi-hui Yang, JustFilms/Ford Foundation

Fine Print



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.


Selected applicants will have 7 minutes to present their project (including clips or trailer) and will receive 10 minutes of feedback from the panel.


The winning pitch will receive $1,000 (USD) to be distributed to an individual or single entity.


The application will open on July 1. The deadline to apply is July 21.


Applicants will be notified of the selection committee’s decision by July 24.


Chosen projects will have to accept the offered pitch slot and provide verification of text for publication by July 29.


Have questions or concerns? Email sophia@blackstarfest.org.