Pitch THIS!

Sponsored by:

Do you have a great idea for an animated series?

Presented in partnership with Mercury Filmworks, the OIAF’s annual Pitch THIS! pitching contest is an opportunity for Canadian creators to get noticed and kickstart their animated series concept!

This year up to TEN Pitch THIS! semi-finalists will be selected and paired with established industry mentors. Over the course of the summer, semi-finalists will meet with mentors to refine their 10-minute long pitches before presenting them live at The Animation Conference (TAC) in September. 

The Pitch THIS! 2024 semi-finals will be held in front of the TAC audience at the National Arts Centre on September 25.  Two projects will then be selected by the semi-finalist judges to go head-to-head against one another on the TAC mainstage the following day! These pitches will be presented before a live audience of TAC attendees, studio executives, and potential project financiers.

The winner will be awarded a grand prize including:

  • $5,000 cash prize from Mercury Filmworks
  • Toon Boom Harmony annual license and Harmony Fundamentals on demand videos from theanimationstudy valued at $400
  • $1,000 in legal services courtesy of Edwards Law
  • Two TAC AnimaPasses to OIAF 2025

The Pitch This!  runner up will receive:

  • A free 1-hour legal consultation courtesy of Edwards Law

Submitting a Project

Interested applicants should use the Pitch THIS! application form to answer screening questions and submit their pitch materials. The application form will be open and available on this webpage from 2:00 pm EDT Tuesday, May 7 to 11:59pm EDT Thursday, June 20, 2024. Both successful and unsuccessful applicants will be contacted with results in mid-late July.

Inclusive projects and creators from underserved communities are strongly encouraged to apply, in particular women, BIPOC, people living with disabilities, and 2SLGBTQIA+ members of the animation community.

 

Application Criteria and Format

  • The application deadline is 11:59pm EDT Thursday, June 20, 2024.
  • Pitch THIS! is open to Canadian animation projects only; lead creator(s) must include at least one Canadian resident or citizen.
  • Previous Pitch THIS! semi-finalists and finalists should wait ONE (1) year before applying again.
  • A maximum of TWO (2) submissions will be accepted per creator.
  • Pitched series can target any demographic (e.g. preschool, adult, etc.).
  • Submissions should be in English, all presentations and sessions will be in English.
  • Accepted pitch packet format: PDF document.

Pitch documents must include:

  • Project Info: Title, genre, demographic, AND format
  • Project synopsis, including log line
  • Character descriptions/biographies
  • At least one episode synopsis (scripts will NOT be reviewed)
  • Biographies and contact information of key creators
  • Concept art is recommended, but not required

 

Application FAQs: 

  • Do I have to be an animator to apply? 
    • No! As long as you’re a Canadian creator pitching an animated project, we want to hear from you!
  • Will my work still belong to me if I apply? 
    • Yes! This opportunity is designed to feature creators and help them get their work off the ground. Your application materials are only shared with submissions team members and/or judges who have signed a non-disclosure agreement.
  • What do you mean by “format”? Isn’t this program only open to animated series? 
    • When we ask for a project’s intended format, we’re looking for information on episode and season length. For example, you could be pitching a limited series for adults with eight 1-hour episodes, or an 11-minute children’s series with 22 episodes per season. Also let us know if you have more than one season planned. 
  • I am having issues submitting my application. What should I do?
    • For assistance, contact us by email. Please note that submissions will not be accepted directly by email.
  • When will I hear back about the status of my application?
    • Both successful and unsuccessful applicants will hear back from us in early July with the results, once we have reviewed all project submissions.

Submissions for 2024 are now closed.

2023 Pitch THIS! Participants & Jury

2023 PARTICIPANTS

Projects:

Beccs Champagne, Ghost Stories (2023 Winner)

Paula Peroff, The Breakfast Guild (2023 Runner Up)

Allison Lownie and Onyka Gairey, Best Witches

Daniela Smith-Fischer, Claudia Heights

Elton Su, Crimson Mandate

Emma Fiorante, Earth to Schneider

Hugo van Essen, Ferdinand The Self-Aware NPC

Justin Smith-Fischer, Marley and the Underdogs

Sadaf Amini, Maple Treehouse School

Shannon Fewster, Monster Problems

 

Mentors:

Casey Gonzalez, VP of Development, FredFilms

Emerald Wright-Collie, Director of Development, Sony Pictures Television Kids

Kris Pearn, Director, Sony Pictures Animation

Niki López, Creator/EP/Showrunner/Writer/Designer, Nickelodeon Animation Studios

Rikke Asbjoern, Writer/Director/Executive Producer

 

Semi-final Jury:

Grégory Magné-Grand, Original Content Director, Tonic DNA 

Hoda Elatewi, Executive Producer, President / CEO, GAPC Entertainment

Sam Chou, Director/Creative Director, Look Mom! Productions 

Semi-final Host:

Spencer Moreland, Animator/Filmmaker

 

Finale Jury:

Kirsten Hurd, Commissioning Editor, Kids TV, TVO Kids

Lauren Martinez, Vice President, Original Series and Movie Development, Cartoon Network

Lisa Cinelli, Executive in Charge of Production, CBC

Niki Williams, Sr Manager, Production and Development for Pre-K, Nickelodeon

Tommy Gillespie, Senior Director, Content Production, PBS Kids

Finale Host:

Heath Kenny, Chief Content Officer, Mercury Filmworks

 

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