On Wednesday, May 17 graduating Producing students gathered in the grand Panorama Ballroom at the Andaz Hotel on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood for the New York Film Academy’s annual Pitch Fest. Veterans of the Hollywood film industry spread across the hall to hear what could be their next project. The extravagant evening was organized by Rich Thorne, Producing Department Faculty Chair and Heather Ritcheson, Producing Coordinator.
Each student was allowed three minutes to present their films to each professional volunteer. They could pitch one project with a teaser presentation or pitch two projects. Afterward, students had twenty minutes with their professional advisor for critique, advice, marketing advice, and possible partnership. Volunteers were asked to hold nothing back from the students. Only honest opinions and expertise were acceptable.
At the end of the night, there was serious interest in three projects from visiting producers. “For those who didn’t get interested in their projects they got the benefit of real-world advice and a lot of them said the difference between pitch fest with the faculty two semesters ago and this one with the professionals was immeasurable,” Richeson said.
When asked her thoughts on the evening, Volunteer April Wright, Programmer for Sundance and AFI Fest, Foundation Manager at Women in Film said, “I was impressed with the professionalism of the students and the caliber of their ideas.”
Marlon Schulman, Founder, and CEO of Horror Equity Fund, Producer and Attorney felt similar stating, “Thanks for the terrific education and prep the graduates clearly had experienced. It allowed us to hear pitches that were interesting, well-prepared and yet open to suggestion, perspective, and possible improvement. Great!”
The New York Film Academy would like to thank Michael Barlow, Kimberley Browning, Brian Herskowitz, John Morrissey, Diana Romero, Arnold Rudnick, Marlon Schulman, Rich Thorne, Russ Ward, and April Wright. We’d also like to congradulate all of our graduating producers including Amari Agee, Batool Hassan Alarfah, Mujahed Aljumaiaah, Larissa da Rosa Beck, Xiangrong Du, Thomas Freeman, Yizhen Hou, Ah Reum Jung, Jianhyue Lin, Junhao Ma, Zoe Pelloux, Nikita Sapronov, Yoselin Pamela Solorzano, Huidi Sun, Zhikun Yu, Jihan Zhang, Ziyi Zhao.