Documentary Pitch Competition

Oct 20, 2012
2:00 PM ET
New York

How do you sell a documentary? Watch and learn as five preselected up-and-coming nonfiction filmmakers pitch their ideas before a live audience and a group of eminent documentarians. The panel of experts will evaluate the proposals for uniqueness and viability and will offer the emerging filmmaker helpful feedback. The winner will be awarded a $5,000 grant to be used toward the completion of the pitched film. Past winners of this contest, now in its ninth year, include the acclaimed films Circo, Charge, and Whatever It Takes.

Sponsored by A&E IndieFilms

This event is part of


Congratulations 2012 PaleyDocFest Pitch Competition Winner!

Directed by Laura Paglin & Kahlil Pedizisai

Eleven looks into the lives of women who became victims of a serial rapist and killer, seeking to  answer the question, “How could so many die unnoticed?”


Top Spin
Directed by Mina T. Son & Sara Newens

Top Spin presents a look into the triumphs, sacrifices, and pressures of young table tennis champions and their families.

The Expedition
Directed by Kenny Brown

The Expedition follows Jason Lewis as he spends thirteen years circumnavigating the world utilizing only human power.
Telling My Story
Directed by Signe Taylor

In Telling My Story, worlds collide when a group of Dartmouth students and inmates from a women’s prison work together to put on a play and, in the process, open up to one another.

Some Kind of Spark
Directed by Ben Niles

Some Kind of Spark follows inner-city kids through the Music Advancement Program at The Juilliard School and shows the impact music education has on their lives.



2011: The View From Bellas Luces directed by Christa Boarini
2010: Charge directed by Mike Plunkett
2009: The Iran Job directed by Till Schauder
2008: Circo directed by Aaron Schock
2007: The House that Herman Built directed by Angad Bhalla
2006: Whatever it Takes directed by Christopher Wong
2005: Asparagus! (A Stalk-umentary) directed by Anne de Mare and Kirsten Kelly


Diana Holtzberg, Acquisitions & Project Development Director, USA, Films Transit International
Lauren Lazin, Filmmaker and Executive Producer, MTV
Molly Thompson, Vice President, A&E IndieFilms
Susan Werbe, Executive Producer, Programming, History
Simon Kilmurry, Executive Director, POV

More Paley Events Calendar

Wednesday, March 13, 2024 – Sunday, May 19, 2024

BEHIND THE MASK! Spotlighting the Show and the Costumes That Captivated America

PFLA24 Blast 8Events THUMB
Stars in Person at the DOLBY THEATRE
Tickets on Sale Now!
April 12—21, 2024
6801 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, California, 90028

PaleyFest 2024

Paley24 Upcoming Apr2 CARD 8
Saturday, April 27, 2024
12:00 to 6:00 pm
The Paley Museum, 25 W 52 Street, NYC

Paley Celebrates Barbie