loader image

The 2023 NOFS South Pitch applications are calling for your stories until August 11th

Aug 4, 2023 | Filmmaking, Indie Film, Louisiana Filmmakers

NOFS South Pitch 2023

A trembling producer stands atop a stage against a red-curtained backdrop. A panel in the darkened crowd is filled with Puritanical judges in Handmaid’s Tale outfits. The ESPN cameras catch everything. It’s the annual Independent Filmmaker’s Producer’s Bee. 

“Could uh…could you use it in a sentence?” 

“Nope!” A judge shouts. 

The crowd boos. The unruly audience stands and flings grapes. The filmmaker flees the stage in horror. 

This…is not how the New Orleans Film Society’s South Pitch Narrative and South Pitch Documentary pitches happen. Quite the opposite – the South Pitch opportunities are an encouraging opening for Southern filmmakers to pitch their projects and garner cash and feedback to support them.

NOFS South Pitch

Both the South Pitch Narrative and South Pitch Documentary applications opened in July but the window closes at midnight on August 11th, so if you were planning on applying, don’t forget it. If you had no idea it existed, here’s your criteria straight from the New Orleans Film Society:

Each pitch team will have 5 minutes to present their project, which will be followed by a short, moderated discussion with a tailored jury of industry professionals. The winning pitch will receive a $10,000 cash prize. The remaining 5 finalist projects will receive $1,000 toward their individual projects.

The program is accepting both short and feature-length projects, as well as fiction series. Eligible documentary projects can be in any stage from development to post-production. Please do not submit with completed or close-to-completed projects. Pitch teams will also be expected to participate in a short pitch training session and practice pitch, to be scheduled before the competition.

For first-time applicants, the actual application doesn’t require you to write a novel, but you will need to succinctly articulate your vision and the logistics of your project. The application will ask for a 100-word bio, a 200-word (or less) project synopsis, and a 200-word (or less) artistic approach description, along with all the relevant personal info and proof of Southern residency.  

Filmmakers chosen for their projects will be notified by September 1st, and follow with a virtual orientation on September 6th. One-on-one prep sessions will take place between September 12th and 21st. Filmmakers are expected to be able to present their pitches in person at the 34th Annual New Orleans Film Festival on November 3rd and 4th. The awards are announced at the Sunday morning filmmaker’s brunch at the end of the Festival. 

The 2022 South Pitch Narrative winner was writer, photographer, and filmmaker Maya Pen for her narrative feature Flammable Water. The project was summarized as:

When the building of a new factory threatens to displace the residents of Lengua Sagrada, the tight-knit community of Racoons and their cultural legacy hangs in the balance. This surreal, allegorical tale follows one family as they learn the heartbreaking wisdom of surrender.

NOFS South Pitch

The 2022 South Pitch Documentary winner was Iranian-Alabamian filmmaker Andy Sarjahani, who won for his documentary feature project titled Iranian Hillbilly. Sarjahani’s South Pitch win was preceded during the Documentary Shorts film block by the screening of an intimately poetic film about a bowhunter’s contemplation of his hunt, called To the Bone. Iranian Hillbilly represents an autobiographical reflection on Sarjahani’s cultural identity and is described with the summary:

Raised outside the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas, the son of a Muslim Iranian immigrant father and Southern Baptist mother reflects on his childhood—finding contradiction, conflict, and a grounding sense of community in the traditions that shaped him. Through an interplay of difficult conversations, family archival, and verité of the rural South, Iranian Hillbilly examines the pressures of assimilation, cultural and masculine identity, religious affiliation, and asks “who are we allowed to be?”.

The journey of many artists is filled with an idea followed by a question. “I know what I want to do – how can I get there?” The annual South Pitch Narrative and South Pitch Documentary awards help to diminish the weight of having to scrape and fundraise for your art. Instead of “How will I get this made?”, the question becomes: 

“How can I best tell this story?” 


Get into the South Pitch Documentary and South Pitch Narrative application here.


Share this article





No spam, we promise!
Just the latest on Louisiana filmmakers and indie film.

Fable House is a video production company based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana that specializes in production for film, video, commercials, and TV. Our team are experts in physical production, post-production, and VFX. We produce content for major brands, TV networks like Syfy and Lifetime, and provide production services to Louisiana’s never-say-die indie filmmakers.

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.