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Pitch Fest to pair local film ideas with expert feedback

Once being a film and television writer meant having to leave home, and venturing to New York or Hollywood, where you competed with thousands of other hopeful writers for a chance at meeting an industry professional and maybe having a script developed. 

The dream of getting that movie made could be a bit closer after Pitch Fest Tucson, Sept. 27 and 28 at the University of Arizona's Marshall Building, The event allows local writers to pitch their ideas to industry professionals, with the winner landing a one-on-one consulting session with a producer.

The two-day event will include one day of work and instruction, where participants are taught the basics of pitching, as well as how to improve their pitch. On the second day, participants will present their ideas to professionals, and the winning pitch will be selected.

Pitch Fest developed out of workshops and seminars held by Lorna Soroko, who is now one of the event's judges, said Vicky Westover, director of the Hanson Film Institute at the University of Arizona.

“I thought that it was a great idea,” Westover said.

That idea lead to the creation of Pitch Fest, first held last year. That inaugural event drew in over 20 participants who pitched to seven judges, “each pitching three times to three different judges.” Westover said.

"We had a waiting list with people begging us to let them pitch," she said.

That success prompted organizers to include an eighth judge, as they expect even more participants this year.

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Last year’s winner, Josh Weisman, went to Los Angeles to meet producer and talent manager Matt Luber. Weisman's pitch for "Cupid" was eventually developed into a short film.

This year's winner will also get a one-on-one session with Luber via Skype. Other prizes include a consultation with a judge of the winner’s choice.

Those interested in a chance at having their ideas make the silver screen should register by Wednesday by emailing PitchFestTucson@gmail.com or calling 626-1405.

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