NYWIFT members will be able to pitch their television project to a group of industry insiders who will critique and provide constructive feedback. Projects can be various genres including episodic television shows, made-for TV movies, documentary films, game shows, reality shows or children's shows. This program is open to 36 NYWIFT members in total. All registrants will be given an assigned time slot in which to pitch their project and will be required to sign the NYWIFT Pitch Fest Release Form (downloadable document is attached here on the right under photo) prior to entering the event. Please review the document before signing up for this program. All attendees must pre-register using the link below. No refunds will be given unless the event is canceled.
Mark E. Downie is a literary manager, film producer and TV producer/creator with expertise in fundraising and marketing consulting. He manages a stable of screenwriter, teleplay writer, and songwriter clients through his D&A MediaEntertainment, Inc., where he has multiple TV and film projects in active development with studio and independent production partners. Downie is in post production on filmmaker, Alexander Shaoul's Coen Bros-esque dark comedy, End of the Line, while also structuring a unique film financing vehicle via he & his producing partner’s company, Anterus Entertainment, as part of a hedge fund with Wall Street-based currency trader, AES Fund Management. Downie has raised over $17 million from private and institutional sources for five features, two of which he produced. His critically acclaimed and award winning fiction and documentary feature credits include: Hundred Percent; Franchesca Page; Escape from China (International Emmy nominated Best Documentary) and Soundtrack for a Revolution (PGA and WGA nominated Best Documentary). Downie’s television credits include: Chinese TV news magazine Around the World; development of the unscripted series Hip Hop Takeover with MTV News & Docs; and development of the scripted series Jigsaw with Danny Glover’s Louverture Films. Downie sits as a judge for the International Emmy Awards of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and for the Student Academy Awards of the Association of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, and has served as an advisor for Tribeca Film Institute's All Access Program. He
earned his B.A. in Modern Culture & Media with a focus in African American Studies and Video Production from Brown University.
Abby Finer is co-founder of Finer Thomas Productions, a full-service talent management and TV/digital media production company based in NYC and Toronto, that specializes in comedic projects. Finer runs the company with her Toronto-based partner Pamela Thomas who discovered Kids in the Hall, Will Ferrell, Maya Rudolph, Chris Farley and Emily Spivey. Thomas also served as an EP on several series and had a three year deal at HBO. Finer discovered, developed and served as an Executive Producer on the long running, hit comedy/reality cable series Kenny vs. Spenny. Additionally, she co-wrote "Starting Your Television Career: The Warner Bros. Television Writers Workshop Guide." Finer Thomas Productions currently has an exclusive deal with NYC's The PIT (The People's Improv Theater), which has over three hundred performers and writers on house sketch and improv teams, as well as a first-look deal with Frantic Films ('Til Debt Do Us Part) in Canada. Over the years, Abby has mentored many up-and-coming writers and performers and has overseen several TV writing workshops. She is based in New York City.
Francesca Francois-Grimaldi is managing partner and agent at Plaza 7 Talent Agency, a full-service entertainment agency. Clients include producers, directors, actors and voice talent. She is the founding member of the Crystal Ship, a support structure created for East Coast producers/directors and writers, partnering them with established counterparts, helping them cultivate skills needed for show runner duties at cable and network levels. She began her career in the mail room at ICM in New York, before moving to its Motion Pictures Talent Department, where she worked for five years. She has worked with the Reuters Editorial News team, and was previously an agent at the Fifi Oscard Agency in New York.
Anne Hubbell is the Co-Founder of Tangerine Entertainment. Hubbell has 20 years of deep experience in multiple roles within the film industry. Since 2003, she has been with the Eastman Kodak Company, first serving as Independent Feature Film Sales Manager and currently as Regional Feature Film Manager. In 2004 she completed the feature documentary Lipstick & Dynamite: The First Ladies Of Wrestling. She is developing several other properties including two Sundance Lab projects, and has written a screenplay for an animated feature film. In 2011, with partner Amy Hobby, she produced Gayby, a narrative feature that played and won prizes at numerous festivals, and was released theatrically and on-demand in 2012. Prior to her work at Kodak, she was a longtime film production consultant and producer. Hubbell supervised production on two seasons of iFilm@IFC and Independent Focus with Elvis Mitchell and produced live coverage of the Sundance and Cannes film festivals for the Independent Film Channel. Since 2004 Hubbell has been a member of the Producer’s Guild of America and served on the Board of Directors of the New York Production Alliance. In 2011 she was elected to the Board of New York Women in Film & Television.
Award winning Producer Dana Offenbach is a partner in the newly-formed independent film production company CinemaStreet, LLC. Offenbach co-produced the indie hit Hav Plenty which was sold at the Toronto Film Festival to Miramax, and premiered at Sundance in 1998. In 1999, she produced her second independent feature titled Box Marley for writer/director Christopher Scott Cherot. Offenbach wrote, produced, and directed Love & Orgasms which won World premiere Honors at the 2003 Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival, and screened in several festivals both domestically and internationally. In 2004 Dana teamed once again with Cherot on Big Scene. In 2005 she line produced Trudie Styler’s first short film Wait for Moxy Pictures. She was President of Production at Nehst Studios and had previously held Director of Broadcast Business Affairs and Director of Broadcast Production positions at major advertising agencies. She produced Running America and the TV pilot Dribble, Kick, Throw for Nehst, and production managed the second season of Five Ingredient Fix for the Food Network. In 2006 Offenbach spent three months in India producing The Memsahib, an 1850's period feature. She independently produced and distributed in a groundbreaking partnership with AMC Theaters, Qasim Basir’s MOOZ-lum. They secured independent theatrical distribution in Canada, the UK, Dubai, and Kuwait, as well as DVD, television and digital distribution. In 2010 she opened her own indie production company CinemaStreet Pictures, LLC with a slate of films. The company’s first film, Julius Onah’s The Girl Is In Trouble has just been recently finished.
Kristin Pisarcik is Senior Director of Development, NorthSouth Productions, whose company credits include competition-elimination, documentaries, adventure travel, home improvement, and docu-comedy formats. Pisarcik most recently served as Editorial Producer for Anderson Live, Anderson Cooper’s daytime talk show, and has garnered over a decade of experience in network news, producing and developing projects for various ABC programs, including Primetime and 20/20. Pisarcik worked with a team to develop one off ABC specials like People’s Sexiest Man Alive and ABC i-Caught, and also worked on development and casting of What Would You Do? She has a proven track record of finding stories and worlds with which audiences immediately connect. Her award-winning production work has earned her a CINE Golden Eagle, Gracie Award, and two Emmy nominations. Before joining NorthSouth, Pisarcik started her own production company, Minted Media, to follow her passion for development and creating original unscripted TV series’ and specials.
Greg Rhem is Director of Documentary Programming for Home Box Office. For the past eighteen years, he's been involved in discovering new and distinctive documentary programming for HBO Documentary Films. Some of his finds have been: the Oscar®- winning Freeheld, Born Into Brothels, Thoth, and Breathing Lesson: The Life and Work of Mark O’Brien; and Oscar®-nominated Mondays at Racine, The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner and Spellbound.
Dafina Roberts works at Nickelodeon in Original Programming and Events, where she coordinates on the Emmy-nominated Degrassi series and assists on tentpole events, such as the Kids Choice Awards, TeenNick’s HALO Awards and Worldwide Day of Play. Dafina provides script coverage for the Nickelodeon Writing Program and represented the company at the 2011 Writers Store & F+W Media Pitch Slam. She is currently on the 2013 Next Generation judging committee for the New York Television Festival’s Independent Pilot Competition. Prior to joining Nickelodeon, Dafina co-produced the independent film Punching At The Sun. Dafina also co-wrote and produced public service announcement videos exploring teen issues sponsored through Time Warner.
Ed Simpson is Head of Business Development at Leftfield Pictures. Simpson's role is comprised of overseeing corporate development and branded entertainment deals alongside monetizing existing rights, establishing new revenues streams and developing third-party relationships. A veteran producer from the United Kingdom, his unique background encompasses TV development and production as well as finance, marketing and brand partnerships. Before joining Leftfield, Ed’s credits include; ABC’s Wife Swap, Nanny 911, Faking It, Top Of the Pops, Holiday Showdown and most recently, VH1′s Why am I Still Single?! Simpson also served as Executive Producer of Development at the BBC in New York.
Additional participants to be announced.
Produced by Meghan Scibona and LeVera Sutton
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NYWIFT programs, screenings and events
are supported, in part, by grants from New York City Department of
Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York
State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and
the New York State Legislature.
Last updated: Sep. 17, 2014