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Celtic Media Festival announces return of International Pitching Forum

15 Feb 2024 4 minute read
John McLaverty pitching Nessie – Image: Brian Sweeney

The Celtic Media Festival has announced the return of its International Pitching Forum, offering filmmakers, producers and media creatives the chance to secure a £6,000 development prize to bring their ideas to life.

Submissions are now open for the highly anticipated event, which offers a prize which has led to many successful TV and film productions across the Celtic nations

It gives independent production companies the opportunity to meet and pitch to influential broadcasters and decision makers from around the world.

The forum has been a staple of the annual three-day media-industry conference since 2016.

Open from yesterday (February 14) until the 27th of March, the initial Proposal Pitching Round welcomes ideas focusing on Factual Programming.

Successful entrants will then take part in a live pitching event with an international panel of commissioners at the 45th Celtic Media Festival, which will take place from the 4th-6th of June 2024 at the Marriott Hotel, Cardiff City Centre.

Productions

Launched to encourage a culture of international commissioning amongst producers in the Celtic nations and regions, the forum has previously led to a range of successful TV and film productions, including Llanw/TIDE, which was first pitched by Welsh company Cwmni Da and Stornoway based Gaelic language producer MacTV at the 2017 International Pitching Forum.

The pitch led to a collaboration between S4C, TG4, BBC Northern Ireland, MG Alba and LIC, the largest independent television production company in China and the series was broadcast to critical acclaim, achieved high ratings and was sold to 50 countries worldwide.

In 2019, Glasgow-based Indelible Telly won the prize for its project Finding Nessie, which became Loch Ness: They Created a Monster, premiered at Cannes Film Festival and was subsequently broadcast on the BBC in November 2023.

Speaking on their win, Director John McLaverty comments: “In 2019, I stood up at the Celtic Media Pitching forum and pitched the story of the men and women who went in search of Nessie. It was nerve-wracking, my taster was ropey – but the judges bought in.

“Investing every penny, we made a slicker sizzle, we attracted investment from BBC and Screen Scotland, and 4 years later I was proudly unveiling our feature doc –  Loch Ness: They Created a Monster  at Cannes Docs, an event at the Cannes Film Festival.”

Since winning the development prize in 2021 with their pitch Life with a Predator, Scout Studio have completed their documentary The Eagle With The Sunlit Eye, drawing inspiration from the Gaelic poetic term for the white-tailed eagle Iolaire sùil na grèine – ‘the bird with the sunlit eye.’

Hitting the festival circuit in 2023, they have already won prizes at the Banff Mountain Film & Book Festival and the Kendal Mountain Festival.

Ted Simpson of Scout Studio said: “Taking part in the International Pitching Forum was a brilliantly useful process. Pitching to the panel of experienced voices allowed us to hone and shape our project with audiences in mind.

“The money we received allowed us to explore and develop new storylines in Norway and Ireland, giving the project an international reach.

“The resulting documentary we created, The Eagle With The Sunlit Eye, simply wouldn’t have happened without the support we received from the International Pitching Forum and the team at Celtic Media Festival.”

Catriona Logan, Celtic Media Festival Director, said: “The International Pitching Forum is always one of the most popular events at the Festival, so we’re really pleased to once again offer this incredible opportunity for talent across the celtic nations.

“It’s not often independent production companies and individuals can attract the attention of some of the industry’s most influential decision makers, and we’re excited to see what projects and ideas are entered into this year’s competition.”

Masterclasses

Now celebrating its 45th year, the Celtic Media Festival travels across the Celtic nations and regions, bringing together industry leaders for seminars, networking events and masterclasses, as well as presentations of coveted prizes in an international competition across all the main content genres in TV, film and radio .

The fund for this year’s International Pitching Forum comes from the generous support of the festival’s core funders, including Northern Ireland Screen-ILBF, BBC Wales, BBC Scotland, BBC Northern Ireland, MG ALBA, S4C, RTÉ and TG4.


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Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago

Hengwrt would make a good stage, the players are well known to us, Robert Vaughan and Iolo Morganwg, the literary treasures it contained (safe* in the NLW ) There were other players in the 20th century of international importance, this perhaps, less well known…

My pitch anyway, Burton and Thomas usually grab this spot…

Two heads talking Hanes Cymru through its writings and personalities…

Shades of ‘Two Tongues’…

Last edited 1 month ago by Mab Meirion

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