Ever dreamed of presenting your great idea for a film and having someone say “Yes, let’s make that movie!”? Our 12 lucky finalists were on hand to present their ideas to our esteemed panelists — industry veterans Joe Carnahan, Peter Belsito and David Ward. This is always one of the most entertaining panel sessions, with the audience getting into the act and helping to vote for the top pitches of the day! And — because it’s Napa Valley — our winning “pitcher” takes home a large format collectible bottle of some of the local juice! Audience members learn valuable lessons about how producers and studio execs evaluate pitches for new movie ideas.
Hosts: Peter Belsito, founding member of IFP and FilmFinders, guest blogger on Sydney’s Buzz on IndieWire, and a keen observer of the international movie business; and David S Ward, Oscar-winning screenwriter of The Sting and creator, writer and director of the Major League franchise. Joe Carnahan has contributed to the film world primarily as a director. After getting his start in the mid-’90s working in the promotional department of a California television station, Carnahan produced several short films and generated a certain amount of excitement within the independent film community for his series of feature-length action flicks: Blood, Guts, Bullets & Octane, Narc, and Smokin’ Aces. He was one of the many people in talks to direct one of Tom Cruise’s Mission Impossible sequels, but landed his biggest box office hit to that point with 2010’s big-screen adaptation of The A-Team. He reteamed with that film’s star Liam Neeson two years later for the survival adventure drama The Grey.