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Reality Checks: How Good Pitch Raises Millions of Dollars for Documentaries

CMP Blog - thought-provoking articles

Reality Checks: How Good Pitch Raises Millions of Dollars for Documentaries

Paula Froehle

The documentary pitches are so powerful and often heartbreaking that one donor half-joked that Kleenex should sponsor Good Pitch.


At a recent Good Pitch, the seven-year-old nonfiction fundraising project, in Chicago, filmmaker Sharon Shattuck was sitting around a table of institutional supporters, having just delivered a tearful pitch for her personal documentary about her transgender father, "From This Day Forward."

And then it happened—what Good Pitch organizers have dubbed the "waterfall of love," in which the approximately 300 funders, filmmakers and philanthropists gathered in the venue were so emotionally affected by the pitch that the money started flowing in. All of a sudden, a domino effect of strangers began stepping up to a microphone and started to offer pledges of $250. "There is a power in saying it," said one giver.

 "There was just floodgates of generosity throughout the day and I realized you don't have to give thousands of dollars," he said. "You can give what you can."

"The emotion becomes contagious," Shattuck told Indiewire a few days after the event. "Going in, I wasn't sure whether the film could touch people outside of the LGBT community, but the room was so diverse and so many people responded to the movie that it reenergized how I feel about it and inspired me."