This edition of the Good Pitch takes place at Silverdocs, near Washington DC. It brings together inspiring social-purpose film projects and a group of expert participants from charities, foundations, brands and media to form powerful alliances around groundbreaking films.


We are delighted to announce that we have selected the lineup for the Good Pitch @ Silverdocs. The 8 filmmakers are Victor Buhler (A Whole Lott More), Macky Alston (The Truth Will Set You Free), Jon Shenk (Higher Ground), Angad Bhalla (The House That Herman Built), Dara Kell & Christopher Nizza (Dear Mandela), Steve James & Alex Kotlowitz (The Interrupters), Danfung Dennis (To Hell and Back Again), and Annika Gustafson & Phil Jandaly ($H*T).

Selected from 150 excellent submissions, the eight projects cover an exciting range of subjects including war & conflict, disability employment, LGBT equality, incarceration and solitary confinement, violence prevention and mediation, climate change and green energy. These issues are explored through stories that play out the world over – in the USA, Afghanistan, the Maldives, South Africa and Kenya.

More on the projects:
A Whole Lott More
Dir. Victor Buhler
Lott Industries in Ohio, USA employs 1200 workers with developmental disabilities. For decades, the company has built car parts. However, with the decline of the auto industry, Lott Industries finds itself in trouble. The company has twelve months to reinvent itself. A Whole Lott More details the most crucial year in Lott Industries’ history and follows three inspiring workers with disabilities as they join the struggle to hold onto the best job they have ever had.

The Truth Will Set You Free
Dir. Macky Alston
The story of a man whose two defining passions are in great conflict: his love for God and his love for his partner Mark. This film follows Bishop Gene Robinson, the first openly gay partnered bishop in the high church traditions of Christendom, and a host of others who are making history and whose lives hang in the balance of the current church/state battles for LGBT equality.

Higher Ground
Dir. Jon Shenk
His nation of 1,200 low-lying islands is sinking as sea levels rise. Higher Ground is a film about Mohammed Nasheed, President of The Maldives, and his extraordinary role in the global climate war. During his first year in office, we follow as Nasheed breathlessly carries the fight to chambers of power in London, the United Nations, India, and finally to Copenhagen for ten intense days in December, 2009. This drama pits a die-hard activist for human rights – Nasheed himself was imprisoned and tortured as he fought for democracy in the Maldives – against the nasty geopolitical realities of the growing climate debate.

The House That Herman Built
Dir. Angad Bhalla
“What kind of house does a man who has been imprisoned in a six-foot-by-nine-foot cell for over 30 years dream of?” This film captures the remarkable creative journey and friendship of Herman Wallace, one of the Angola 3, and artist Jackie Sumell while examining the injustice of prolonged solitary confinement.

Dear Mandela
Dirs Dara Kell & Christopher Nizza
Dear Mandela chronicles the journey of three young leaders whose communities face mass eviction as South Africa prepares to host the 2010 Soccer World Cup. Enacting a policy eerily reminiscent of apartheid-era repression, the government is attempting to ‘eradicate the slums’ by using armed demolition crews to forcefully remove families from their homes at gunpoint. Dear Mandela tells the story of democratic South Africa’s largest organization of poor people, a non-violent movement to stop the bulldozers that are literally tearing apart lives and communities. From the chaos on the streets to the highest court in the land, this new generation is putting Nelson Mandela’s promise of a ‘better life for all’ to the test.

The Interrupters
Prod/Dir Steve James
Prod/Writer, Alex Kotlowitz
The Interrupters tells the remarkable story of a group of men and women in Chicago whose singular mission is to prevent shootings. They’re part of an innovative program run by an infectious disease doctor who views violence through the prism of public health. These men and women, most of them former gang leaders and drug dealers who have been participants in the brutality of the streets, are our guides into the discomfiting and unsettling gunplay in America’s cities.

To Hell & Back Again
Dir. Danfung Dennis
The intensely personal story of Sergeant Harris and Marine battalion Echo Company from the start of the 2009 tour of Afghanistan to their return, the decompression and rehabilitation in the US. A study of exceptional bravery and loss, of friends and family struggling to support the returning warriors.

Dir. Annika Gustafson
$H*T! is an auteur, character-driven film following radical solutions that turn human waste into green energy, and the pioneers who drive them. Filmed in Kenya’s Kibera slum, the film opens up possibilities for a whole new green and clean world and a better future for the world’s 2.6 billion people who lack access to sanitation. From the bottom of the poverty ladder to the heights of power, $H*T! shows a transformation in thinking, where human waste is not a problem – it’s a resource.

The Good Pitch is a project of The Channel 4 BRITDOC Foundation in partnership with the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program. It is made possible by Fledgling Fund, Chicken & Egg Pictures, Tides Foundation, the Hartley Film Foundation and anonymous donors. Campaign development and training for filmmakers provided by Working Films.

AFI-Discovery Channel Silverdocs Documentary Festival is a six-day internationally recognised event that honors excellence in filmmaking, supports the diverse voices and free expression of independent storytellers and celebrates the power of documentary to improve our understanding of the world. Now in its eighth year, the 2010 festival runs June 22–27 at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in the Washington, DC area. The 2009 Festival featured 122 films from more than 60 countries and attracted over 27,000 attendees, including the influential audiences of the nation’s capital and media professionals from around the world. The concurrent five-day AFI-Discovery Channel Silverdocs International Documentary Conference presents thought-provoking presentations and engages a diverse group of over 1,000 filmmakers and industry leaders concerned with the future of non-fiction storytelling, production and distribution. For more information, go to

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