PaleyDocPitch Call for Entries

The Paley Center's DocPitch Competition offers a $5,000 grant from A&E Studios for an unfinished or work-in-progress documentary from an emerging filmmaker (someone with two or less credits for directing feature documentary films, whether or not those films have been released).

The Paley Center for Media is using this contest, now in its sixteenth year, to choose up to five finalists who will pitch their unfinished films to a panel of experts and producers in front of a virtual audience. This event, the Paley DocPitch Competition, will take place virtually on Tuesday, December 8, 2020.

Regular deadline: September 18, 2020 ($30)

Late deadline: October 9, 2020 ($35)
Extended deadline: November 2, 2020 ($45)


To Enter Pitch Competition:

To enter this competition, you must submit no more than five minutes of footage from an UNFINISHED or WORK-IN-PROGRESS feature-length documentary that you hope to pitch to our panel. You must also send in a filled-out entry form (below).

We will judge entries based on the originality of your vision and the viability of the concept. At the pitch workshop, finalists will be judged by originality, viability, and the persuasiveness of their pitch to our panel of expert judges.

Download the following PDF forms to submit your work for this workshop.

  Overview Official Rules |  Entry Form & Submission Agreement

Please email a complete and fully-executed copy of the Entry Form & Submission Agreement to

All submissions must be received by November 2, 2020. Entrants are strongly encouraged to submit prior to the deadline.

The Paley Center Documentary Pitch Competition proudly accepts entries on FilmFreeway, the world's #1 way to enter film festivals and creative contests.


Supported by

A&E Indie Films





2019: Ahead of the Curve directed by Jen Rainin
2018: Finding Yingying directed by Jiayan "Jenny" Shi
2017: The Pollinators directed by Peter Nelson
2016: Hart Island: How the Other Half Dies directed by Erik Spink
2015: Memories of a Penitent Heart directed by Cecilia Aldarondo
2014: The Pregnancy Exclusion directed by Rebecca Haimowitz
2013: The Age of Love directed by Steven Loring
2012: Unseen directed by Laura Paglin
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