DEADLINE EXTENDED TO MAY 4, 2022, 11:59PM Pacific Time. Please use a time zone converter to convert the time respective to the region you live in.
DO YOU HAVE AN IDEA FOR A CLIMATE-RELATED TV SHOW OR FILM?
Many films and TV shows are finally integrating climate into their storylines, characters, and themes, but we need even more to make an impact. It's all hands – and all visions – on deck. If you’re a screenwriter or novelist who is concerned about the climate crisis, we want to hear your climate story pitches for TV and film. 20 winners will pitch their story – one on one – to Hollywood executives at the 2022 Hollywood Climate Summit.
WHAT IS THE CLIMATE PITCHFEST?
Writing Climate: Pitchfest for TV and Film is a round robin style event where 20 writers will have 8 ten-minute, one-on-one pitch meetings with Hollywood stakeholders including development execs, managers, and agents. It will take place on June 26, 2022 during the last day of the Hollywood Climate Summit. The event will accommodate writers both online and in person.
WHAT IS A CLIMATE STORY?
A climate story humanizes climate change. We want stories that take a climate issue and convey it in an entertaining, thought-provoking way. Writers may explore climate through theme, character, plot points, or world building. If you can take a climate issue and make it relatable to viewers, we’re here for it! While we encourage writers to explore new genres (such as cli-fi, "solarpunk," and various Futurisms), we also want writers to take traditional genres (like rom-coms, teen dramas, thrillers, heists, action-adventures, etc.) and integrate climate themes, issues, and/or solutions into genres of all kinds.
To help you brainstorm and craft your climate story pitch we highly recommend you read Climate Story Prompts & Pitfalls before applying: https://hcs.earth/writingtips.
WHO IS THE CONTEST OPEN TO?
The contest is open to writers around the world. Specifically, we’re open to emerging and established TV and feature film writers and repped novelists with climate-related novels. We define an “emerging writer” as someone who has no credits and/or no agency or management representation. An “established writer" will be someone with credits and/or agency or management representation.
ARE THERE ANY FEES?
The first 25 applications will have their fee waived with code HCS25. After that, there is an application fee of $15.00. We are committed to removing any barriers to access, so if you are experiencing financial hardship and would like your fee waived please contact us at email@example.com.
WHAT ARE THE JUDGING CRITERIA?
The committee of industry readers and expert judging panel will look at a number of criteria for your pitch including how it integrates climate into the story, the quality of the writing sample, how engaging the introduction video is, and the potential social impact of the story you're pitching.
WHAT ARE THE SUBMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS?
Writers may submit up to 2 story pitches. In order to be eligible, all applicants must submit ALL of the following elements:
- Creative Writing Sample (See specific guidelines below)
- Written Pitch (See specific guidelines below)
- Statement of Intent (See specific guidelines below)
- Introduction Video (See specific guidelines below)
- Participant Survey (Required for eligibility but has no bearing on judging)
REQUIREMENTS FOR WRITING SAMPLE
· For established TV/Film writers: The first 20 sequential pages of a completed script formatted to industry standards.
· For novelists: 12 sequential pages of completed manuscript formatted to industry standards.
· For emerging writers: The first 10 sequential pages of a screenplay or 10 total pages of various works (short film script, article, essay, novel, short story, blog post, etc.) This can be multiple pieces, but they must be put together into one document that clearly shows where each piece begins and ends.
REQUIREMENTS FOR YOUR WRITTEN PITCH:
· Must be 2,000 characters or less.
· For a TV pitch - includes summary of pilot and where it goes in series.
· For a film pitch - includes summary of the plot, where it starts and where it ends.
· All pitches include primary character descriptions and themes (which may also be
referenced in your Statement of Intent).
REQUIREMENTS FOR YOUR STATEMENT OF INTENT:
· Must be 2,000 characters or less.
· Describe how your project is a climate story, whether through character, theme, plot, obstacles, etc. Please read Climate Prompts & Pitfalls for guidance at: hcs.earth/writingtips (Do not add www. to the link.)
REQUIREMENTS FOR YOUR INTRODUCTION VIDEO:
· Must be 90 seconds or less.
· Briefly introduce yourself with your name and location.
. State the logline of your film or TV idea (based on original work or adapted from your original novel)
. Consider using a "fun fact" to show us your personality, such as a moment when you felt a personal connection to the climate crisis, how a recent film, tv show, book, or article affected you, a beautiful place you visited and appreciated, or what year you would like to time travel to.
REQUIREMENTS FOR FINALISTS ONLY:
· If you are submitting a feature film idea, you must have completed a draft of the feature film script by the day of Pitchfest.
· If you are submitting a TV idea, you are advised to have a visual deck that further outlines your series. (More information on how to create a deck can be provided.)
HOW DO I APPLY?
We want to set you up for success, so we made you a step-by-step guide on how to apply. Please copy and paste this link to another tab: http://hcs.earth/pitchfestchecklist
ABOUT THE HOLLYWOOD CLIMATE SUMMIT:
The Hollywood Climate Summit is an annual gathering of the entertainment community to address the climate crisis. Produced by the social impact agency YEA! Impact, the programming was developed in collaboration with the agency’s fiscally sponsored coalition, Young Entertainment Activists, and its Founding Board, which consists of a network of young Hollywood leaders and changemakers. This year our focus is on climate communication. The summit takes place over the course of four action-oriented days packed with digital, interactive programming and one-on-one networking, both in person and online.
ABOUT YEA! IMPACT:
We are a social impact agency rooted in the power of grassroots community-organizing and storytelling. Our top issue areas include environmental justice, intergenerational action and intersectional storytelling. A percentage of all of our accounts goes toward our sister nonprofit, Young Entertainment Activists.
WHAT ARE THE CONTEST PRIZES?
The 20 Pitchfest winners will receive:
· Up to 8 One-On-One Pitch Meetings with Execs And Reps
· Access to a One-Year Membership to Scriptation
· Invitation To a Pitchfest-Only Industry Mixer
· Organized Press and Exposure
· Access to Climate Storytelling Educational Materials
· Facilitated Pitch Practice Sessions with Industry Mentors
· Pitchfest Eco-Swag Bag
RULES (Please scroll down for FAQ section)
1) The contest is open to entrants who will be 18 or older at the time of the winners’ announcement.
2) Submissions are accepted via electronic submission on the FilmFreeway website only.
3) Pitches should be for feature films and episodic series only. Please do not pitch a short film.
4) Video can be hosted on YouTube, Vimeo, or any public-access video hosting platform. There is no judging criteria based on video quality other than the clear ability to see/hear the writer(s). Self-filmed pitches via your smartphone are fine. No additional props, guests or support materials may be in the video, only the writer(s).
5) Finalists must be available for the Pitchfest event either in person or online. Finalists who are not available for the event will be disqualified.
6) Pitch entries must be received on or before the deadline dates by 11:59pm Pacific Time, and submission fee payment must be made in full at time of the submission. All entry fees are non-refundable.
7) All submitted material must be original, and all rights must be wholly owned by the writer(s). By entering Writing Climate: Pitchfest for TV and Film you represent that your entry is your original work, and does not infringe on the copyright or other rights of other people or legal entities. Entrant indemnifies YEA! Young Entertainment Activists and its employees and subsidiaries and holds them harmless from any claims regarding infringement or dissemination of materials.
8) Material must be submitted by the writer or the writer’s agent or manager. Material written by writing teams must be submitted by one of the writers, with consent of the other(s).
9) If a writing team is chosen as a winner, both members of the writing team must be available to live-pitch at the Finals event.
10) It is recommended (but not required) that original material be registered with the WGA or The Library of Congress US Copyright Office before submitting to any competition.
11) Writing Climate: Pitchfest for TV and Film and YEA! Young Entertainment Activists claim no ownership nor option on your work. All ownership and rights to the scripts submitted to this contest remain with the original rights holder(s).
FAQ’S: ABOUT THE APPLICATION & SUBMISSIONS PROCESS
What are the deadlines?
Applications open on March 29, 2022. Applications are due by 11:59pm Pacific Time May 4th. Around June 10th the 20 finalists will be announced. The week of June 14th writers will attend pitchfest practice sessions. June 26th is the Pitchfest.
Do you accept international entries?
I’m a working screenwriter, can I still enter?
Do my materials have to be in English?
Application materials must be in English. Finished scripts may be bilingual or multilingual.
Can I pitch a short film or documentary?
No. The Climate Pitchfest is for longer form and narrative works only.
How do I record my application video?
You can record with your phone or computer and upload to YouTube or Vimeo. Please make sure it’s not password protected. For best lighting, make sure you are facing the light source. For best sound, record in a quiet space.
Can writing partners apply separately?
Submissions for projects with multiple writers should be submitted by one writer only, but with the consent of all writers on the team.
Will there be workshops on how to pitch prior to one actually having the opportunity to pitch?
There will be online practice pitch sessions two weeks prior to the event.
Can I pitch with an adaptation?
Yes. The adaptation must be of a work in the public domain. If it isn’t you must possess all rights to the material.
Can I submit a pitch based on my previously optioned script?
Yes, if the previous option has fully and legally expired and there are no current production companies attached.
Do I have to be 18 years of age or older to participate?
Yes. You must be 18 by the date of the winners' announcement.
Who are your readers and judges?
Applications will be reviewed by a panel of qualified readers with expertise in both climate issues and storytelling for film and TV.
Why do feature film writers need a completed screenplay but TV writers do not?
This requirement is based on what we have heard is best from the producers on the film and TV side about what they are usually looking for. Producers of feature films will want to see complete scripts in order to understand the entirety of the story along with the writer’s mastery of the medium. This is due to the way feature scripts are developed and pitched to get financing. TV development often requires less specificity in the pitch because buyers want more involvement in story development.
I've never written a screenplay. Can I still apply?
Yes. You should have a solid writing sample, strong climate pitch, and a basic understanding of how to pitch.
Why are you open to repped novelists with climate-related novels?
Many producers are looking for IP to adapt into film or TV shows.
Why should I apply early?
As submissions come in we make sure all aspects of the application are complete - and completely correctly. If we find that anything is awry we will reach out to writers and to resend corrected or updated materials. Those who apply closer to the deadline may inadvertently decrease their chances of success by not leaving enough time for us to catch any mistakes.
How do I know whether I’m an emerging or established writer?
We are defining an emerging writer as someone who has no credits and/or no agency or management representation and/or has never made more than $5000 from writing work. If you’re a member of the WGA, have a literary representative, or are currently employed as a writer in a writer’s room, you are likely in the established track. More specifically, an established writer will be someone with credits and/or agency or management representation and/or has made more than $5000 from their writing work. The executives writers will be pitching to will be aware of a writer’s designation when hearing the pitch.
Who owns the right to my work after I submit?
The writers retain all rights to their work.
What if I have a disability and need accommodations?
We are more than happy to work with you for any accommodations you may need to be successful during Pitchfest. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with more details and we will make a game plan with you.
FAQ: ABOUT THE EVENT
What companies will be at the event?
You will be pitching to top power players in Hollywood from production companies, studios, networks, management companies, and agencies. We will be announcing these partners soon.
Do I have to be there in person?
No. Writers may pitch virtually from wherever they are.
Where will the live event be held this year?
Finalists will receive the event location in Los Angeles prior to the event.
What is the schedule on the day of Pitchfest?
The pitchfest will take place from 12-3 pm in the Pacific Time zone. During that time the 20 finalists will have eight 10-minute long meetings with their industry matches. In between pitch sessions they may mix and mingle with fellow writers who are also pitching. Later that afternoon there will be an industry mixer for Pitchfest only attendees.
Do writers get to choose who they want to pitch to?
No. The Climate Pitchfest will be making matches between writers and executives based on specific criteria. The goal is to create the best connections possible with the highest likelihood of further development.
Can writing partners pitch separately?
No. Writing teams must pitch together for all meetings.
What materials should I bring to an event like this?
You don’t need to bring anything. You may choose to have copies of your written pitch, treatment, and/or completed scripts with you in case an executive asks for them. We recommend these materials are registered with the WGA before the event.
When and how do I sign up for my meetings?
24-48 hours prior to the event you will be provided your schedule for the day of the event.
Can I follow up with representatives after the Pitchfest?
We recommend you follow up with any rep who provides you with their contact information during your pitch session. All representatives (including the ones you didn’t pitch to) will receive a booklet of the 20 finalists’ headshots, loglines, and contact information. That enables them to reach out to you should they wish to follow up.
How will the event consider Covid-19 mandates?
The Writing Climate: Pitchfest for Film and TV event will adhere to Covid-19 safety mandates. In person attendees will have access to hand sanitizer, clean restroom facilities, and social distancing.
FAQ: ABOUT THE PITCH
Can I pitch more than one project to an exec?
We recommend pitching only one project per meeting. However, it’s always good to have a back-up pitch should the industry rep ask what else you have available. Please try to stick with climate specific pitches for the event.
Is it okay if my TV series deals with climate in just one episode?
No. While a climate issue does not have to be the central focus, it should have a continuous and ongoing presence throughout your series.
Can I pitch a script based on an existing franchise or my climate related spec of an already created TV show?
Can I pitch a project with characters that are based on real people?
Yes, as long as there is plausible deniability of whom you’re basing it on, or you own the life rights to that person.
Can I pitch a reality TV show or game show?
No, not this year.
WHAT IF I HAVE OTHER QUESTIONS?
Have no fear! If your question still isn’t answered after you’ve diligently and thoroughly read through the above, please contact us at email@example.com
TERMS AND CONDITIONS:
You agree the following Additional Terms and Conditions apply in addition to the foregoing: This contest is subject to all federal, state and local laws and regulations. It is void and you may not participate where this contest is prohibited. The sponsor of Writing Climate: Pitchfest for TV and Film (hereinafter “Pitchfest”) is YEA! Young Entertainment Activists (hereinafter "YEA"), Los Angeles, CA. YEA’s employees, officers, and directors are not eligible to enter or win. YEA reserves the right to permit or not your eligibility to participate in Pitchfest and, at any time until the winners are announced by the Judging Panel, may disqualify you from entering or participating in Pitchfest for any reason or no reason at all, without liability. All decisions made by YEA or the Judging Panel are final and binding and you agree to abide with all such decisions. Entries that are lost, late, misdirected, garbled, incompletely received, mutilated, or illegible, for any reason, including by reason of hardware, software, browser or network failure, malfunction, congestion or incompatibility at YEA's website or elsewhere, will not be eligible. YEA is not responsible for any technical problems related to online entries. Proof of sending will not be deemed to be proof of receipt by YEA. YEA reserves the right to modify, suspend or terminate Pitchfest for any causes beyond YEA's control including, without limitation, internet or service outages. In the event of termination of Pitchfest before conclusion of all pitches or should the need arise to reschedule or delay Pitchfest for any reason, YEA will use commercially reasonable efforts to notify all entrants and presenters and no Prizes will be awarded. YEA may substitute any Prize for another prize of greater or equal value. Prizes are not transferable. Prizes must be claimed and used no later than 1 year or the Prize will lapse and no longer be available to the winner. You acknowledge and agree that, by participating in Pitchfest, you do so at your own expense and risk without any promises, representations or warranties of any type, express or implied, except as expressly stated in the Pitchfest Official Rules, including, without limitation, that your submission will be considered, you will be asked to participate as a presenter at Pitchfest, you will be chosen as a winner or awarded a Prize or the results of any and all campaigns you may run relating to Pitchfest or otherwise. You, irrevocably and in perpetuity: (a), authorize, permit and license YEA (its affiliates and designees) to Use any photo(s), video(s), written statement(s), and all other forms of media (collectively, “Media”) that includes your likeness in any and all of its publications, ads, and Web sites, in any form or media, including social media sites such as, but not limited to, Facebook and Twitter, without payment or any other consideration and waive the right to inspect or approve the finished product, including written or electronic copy, wherein your likeness appears. “Use” includes, without limitation, the right to edit, alter, copy, exhibit, publish, distribute or otherwise use in any form or medium any Media for any lawful purpose. All Media is YEA's property; and, (b) waive, release, indemnify, defend and hold harmless YEA, its officers, directors, employees, contractors and agents, from any and all claims, causes of action, liabilities and damages relating to or resulting from my participation in Pitchfest or Use of the Media including without limitation, defamation, detrimental reliance, invasion of privacy or violation of any privacy right. For your waiver to be effective, you agree to provision of Section 1542 of the Civil Code of the State of California do not apply to any claim or cause of action arising or resulting from Pitchfest: “A general release does not extend to claims which the creditor does not know or suspect to exist in his or her favor at the time of executing the release, which if known by him or her must have materially affected his settlement with the debtor.” Following Pitchfest, if you do not opt-out by providing written notification to YEA, YEA may contact you using your email or other information provided to YEA in your submission with other sales, marketing and promotional materials and communications. You may also be contacted by YEA at any time using the contact information you supply to YEA for purposes related to Pitchfest. Upon request, a list of names of all winners, prizes and winning pitches will be provided along with the actual number of presenters and these Official Rules. YEA will keep detailed records of Pitch Fest for at least two years after all the Prizes are awarded. This promotion is governed by the laws of the state of California and the United States, as applicable. Venue lies in Los Angeles County, California. If any provision of these Official Rules or Additional Terms and Conditions is found to be invalid or unenforceable by a court of competent jurisdiction, such provision shall be severed from the remainder of the Official Rules or Terms and Conditions and all others will otherwise remain in full force and effect. Any and all claims, judgments and awards shall be limited to actual out-of-pocket costs incurred, including costs associated with entering Pitchfest but, in no event, attorneys’ fees. You hereby waive all rights to claim punitive, incidental, and consequential damages and any other damages, other than for actual out-of-pocket expenses, and any and all rights to have damages multiplied or otherwise increased. Some jurisdictions do not allow the limitations or exclusion of liability for incidental or consequential damages, so the above may not apply to you.