By Basil Tsiokos | Indiewire May 20, 2010 at 3:16AM
Silverdocs has announced the eight social issue documentaries that will participate in the second annual Good Pitch taking place during the festival, June 21-27 in the Washington, DC area.
Good Pitch is a project of the Channel 4 BRITDOC Foundation in partnership with the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program. The program, which travels to different festivals, including, most recently Tribeca, is a pitching forum for documentaries with a social issue focus, giving filmmakers the chance to seek financing and collaborative support for their projects and outreach campaigns from invited non-profits, foundations, advertising agencies, charities, and media.
One of last year's Good Pitch projects, "Budrus" by Julia Bacha, has already been successful on the festival circuit, including an award at Berlin, and screenings at Tribeca and Hot Docs. The film will be screening in this year's Silverdocs.
In announcing the participating Good Pitch projects for 2010, Silverdocs' Artistic Director Sky Sitney noted, in a prepared statement, “These inspiring film projects were selected for both their cinematic qualities and proposed campaigns."
The Good Pitch @ Silverdocs projects for 2010 follow, with descriptions provided by the festival:
"Dear Mandela" (Director: Dara Kell)—As South Africa prepares to host the 2010 Soccer World Cup, the government is trying to 'eradicate the slums' by evicting shack dwellers from their homes at gunpoint. DEAR MANDELA chronicles the rise of three young leaders and a non-violent movement to stop the bulldozers that are literally tearing apart homes and communities.
"Hell and Back Again" (Director: Danfung Dennis)—Dozens of films over the last decade have showcased the realities of war on the battlefield, but few have showcased the physical and mental pain that service members endure when faced with the challenges of readjusting to the lives they left back home.
"Higher Ground" (Director: Jon Shenk)—The film follows Maldives’ president Mohamed Nasheed in his Herculean effort to save 385,000 people from drowning as his nation of 1,200 low-lying islands are slipping below the rising sea levels due to global warming.
"The House That Herman Built" (Director: Angad Bhalla)—The film captures the remarkable creative journey and unlikely friendship between Herman Wallace, of the Angola 2 who has lived in a 6-foot-by-9-foot cell for over three decades, and artist Jackie Sumell. It looks at the transformative power of art while examining the injustice of prolonged solitary confinement.
"The Interrupters" (Director: Steve James)—The film chronicles a group of men and women in Chicago whose singular mission is to prevent shootings. The Interrupters were themselves once participants in street violence and guide the viewer through the discomfiting gunplay in America’s cities.
"$ h i t" (Director: Annika Gustafson)—A radical shift in sanitation for the urban poor through the promise of the “Peepoo”, a portable, self sanitizing toilet, sets the stage for an opportunity to save countless lives and provide much needed fertilizer. Can the Peepoo be accepted in the marketplace?
"The Truth Will Set You Free" (Director: Macky Alston)—Bishop Gene Robinson, the first openly gay partnered bishop in the high church traditions of Christendom, is a key subject in this film chronicling a movement of activists and leaders seeking to restore balance in the current church/state battles for LGBT equality.
"A Whole Lott More" (Director: Victor Buhler)—Ohio’s Lott Industries employs 1,200 workers with developmental disabilities. For decades the company has built car parts at the highest level and capacity, but its livelihood is threatened by the current economic climate. The film follows a twelve-month period during which the company seeks to save itself and its employees.