13th Annual

PaleyDocFest Documentary Pitch Contest

November 09, 2016 to November 09, 2016


Ten Minute Clips of Unfinished, Feature-Length Documentary Works-In-Progress


Deadlines & Entry Fees

All fees will be charged in U.S. Dollar
...but you can display them in these other currencies:

Online Services Offered
Entry Form
Fee Payment
Press Kit
Submission Copy
Earlybird Deadline
July 29, 2016
Regular Discounted
Standard Fee 25.00 *
Regular Deadline
August 12, 2016
Regular Discounted
Standard Fee 30.00 *
Late Deadline
August 26, 2016
Regular Discounted
Standard Fee 35.00 30.00
Special Extended Deadline
September 16, 2016
Regular Discounted
Standard Fee 45.00 35.00
WAB Extended Deadline
September 26, 2016
Regular Discounted
Standard Fee 55.00 40.00

Discounted fees apply to projects with pre-purchased Discount Packs, on entry fees greater than 30.00.

Category Details

Approximately October 16, 2016

Shorts: From 5 minutes to 10 minutes
Features: From 5 minutes to 10 minutes

No requirement for completed by date

Projects may originate from anywhere in the world

Projects must be a premiere in World

Project must not have distribution

Submission & Exhibition Format Requirements

REGION 0    
REGION 1    

Subtitled Dubbed Dialog List

REGION 0    
REGION 1    

Subtitled Dubbed Dialog List

Press Kit Requirements

A press kit is required with the entry form, including:
> Biography/Filmography - Director
> Statement by the Director

Prizes & Awards

This category is a competition.

Grant for Completion of Pitched Film
In this workshop/competition, up to five emerging nonfiction filmmakers will pitch their ideas to a panel of distinguished documentary producers. The producers will give them feedback on their concept as well as their presentation skills. The winner will receive a $5,000 grant to be used toward the completion of the pitched film.
Cash Award Value: 5,000 U.S. Dollar

Category Rules

Regular Submission Deadline August 12, 2016
Withoutabox Extended Deadline September 26, 2016


In this pitch workshop and competition (the “Pitch Workshop”), a panel of television executives and producers will hear and evaluate pitches from up to five emerging documentary filmmakers who are hoping to sell an unfinished documentary work-in-progress. The judges will choose one filmmaker to win a $5,000 grant for the completion of their film.

In its thirteenth annual competition, the Paley Center will select up to five emerging documentary filmmakers as finalists to deliver pitches to a panel before a public audience (an emerging filmmaker is someone with two or less credits for directing feature documentary films, whether or not those films have been released.)

The Paley Center will choose these finalists based on a DVD of ten minutes or less that contest participants will submit to the Paley Center along with other required material.

Filmmakers must be able to travel to The Paley Center for Media in New York at their own expense for the pitch workshop, which will take place on November 9, 2016.

The final pitch before the panel will include both a verbal presentation (a pitch of no more than five minutes) and a visual presentation (a clip of no more than five minutes). Each finalist’s entire presentation must be limited to no more than ten minutes, excluding the finalist’s answers to questions by the panel.

The panel will critique both the presentation and the concept of each finalist’s pitch. The panel will also take questions from the audience about the creative process of developing a documentary.

Selection: Based on the criteria of persuasiveness of the pitch, originality of the vision and viability of the project, the panel will select one finalist as the winner of a $5,000 grant to be used toward the finalist’s completion of the documentary pitched at the workshop. The decision of the panel will be final and binding.

In the event that the documentary concept is the product of a filmmaking team of two or more filmmakers, one member of the team will need to be designated as both the applicant and the “pitcher” for the team.


Deadlines and fees are as follows:

Earlybird deadline: July 22, 2016 ($25 regular submission fee / $20 for Withoutabox members submitting through Withoutabox)
Regular deadline: Aug. 5, 2016 ($30 / $25 for Withoutabox members)
Late deadline: Aug. 19, 2016 ($35 / $30 for Withoutabox members)
Special extended deadline: Sept. 9, 2016 ($45 / $35 for Withoutabox members)
Withoutabox extended deadline: Sept. 16, 2016 ($55 / $40 for Withoutabox members)

Entrants should submit the following materials along with appropriate entry fees:
• A DVD containing no more than ten (10) minutes of footage from the project;
• A completed and signed copy of the attached entry form and submission agreement (the “Entry Form & Submission Agreement”);
• A synopsis of the entrant’s documentary/nonfiction concept;
• A brief history of the project, including the project’s current status, an indication of whether any funding is in place, and a bio of the filmmaker (or filmmaking team, as applicable); and
• Contact information, including email address, mailing address, and telephone number.

By submitting an entry to the Pitch Workshop, each entrant acknowledges that he/she has provided true, accurate, and complete information and is bound by the terms and conditions of the Entry Form & Submission Agreement, including the Pitch Workshop’s Official Rules attached thereto. Incomplete submissions will not be eligible for the Pitch Workshop.

If selected as a finalist and invited to advance to the next round of the Pitch Workshop, entrants will also be asked to submit, at their own expense, additional materials including a “screener” DVD of five minutes or less. Materials submitted to or in connection with the Pitch Workshop, including but not limited to any additional materials requested by The Paley Center for Media, will not be returned. Multiple entries from the same entrant are permissible.

However, each entry requires a separate entry fee, Entry Form and signed Submission Agreement. Only one entry per entrant may advance to the final round. The same project may not be entered into the Pitch Workshop multiple times in a single year.