Young Storytellers to Pitch Their TV Ideas to 'Empire' Creator Lee Daniels Through The Roster's 'Pitch, Please!' Contest

Young Storytellers to Pitch Their TV Ideas to 'Empire' Creator Lee Daniels Through The Roster's 'Pitch, Please!' Contest

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Diverse young filmmakers can pitch their TV ideas to @leedanielsent through #PitchPlease contest: @21CF_Impact

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Thursday, August 4, 2016 - 8:00pm

For 16 years, Ghetto Film School has given New York's emerging filmmakers the chance to learn directly from Hollywood visionaries, and its latest contest is taking that model and applying it to television.

"Pitch, Please!" is a new contest from The Roster, Ghetto Film School's professional network for diverse young professionals in New York's media and entertainment sectors, and is accepting one-minute video pitches for scripted television series until Tuesday, September 6. Five semifinalists will then pitch their ideas in person to an esteemed panel of television experts, including Empire creator and award-winning filmmaker Lee Daniels, during IFP Film Week from September 17-22. 21CF is a longtime supporter of Ghetto Film School, serving as founding sponsor of GFS Los Angeles and continuing to arrange exclusive behind-the-scenes access and executive masterclasses for the students.

Submissions to "Pitch, Please!" are now being accepted, and applicants must be 18 years of age or older and live, work, or go to school in New York. After submissions wrap on September 6, 25 semi-finalists will be selected on September 12 and given All Access Passes to attend the IFP Screen Forward Conference during IFP Film Week. Of that group, five finalists will pitch to Daniels and the panel of filmmakers and television executives, and one grand prize winner will receive one-on-one meetings with the panelists. The contest is open exclusively to members of The Roster, and those who wish to join can do so on Ghetto Film School's website.

"Pitch, Please!" is the latest in a long string of initiatives from GFS to connect diverse young storytellers with some of the leading figures in the entertainment industry, a mission in which 21CF has played a significant role. In May, the company brought together a cast of Hollywood actors including Max Greenfield (New Girl), Grace Gealey (Empire), and Dascha Polanco (Joy) to perform two short-film scripts written by GFS LA students. Daniels, fellow GFS Board Member David O. Russell, and Brett Ratner were on hand to offer notes.

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