North Fork TV Festival Founder Noah Doyle excitedly announced, “The sixth annual edition of the North Fork TV Festival continues the tradition of celebrating independent storytelling, with the Pilot Competition that will take place in Greenport August 4th through August 6th.” In an interview with Hamptons.com, Doyle explained the importance and significance of this event, sponsored by both The Sloan Foundation and The Gersh Agency.
Doyle said, “A common theme with the festival over the last year has been figuring out ways to innovate and reinvent ourselves to frankly stay in business, until the world returns to normal, if that is even ever possible. When our team got together after we did last year’s festival by doing a drive-in, which was in general a success, we focused on what was the core of the festival, what is the festival really about? The festival is first and foremost about storytelling and really giving a place for us to identify and enter the next generation of writers. While we would love to be back in the theater and showing people’s indie work, what we realized was it was time for us to do something that was fully dedicated to writers.”
So how is the North Fork TV Festival going to do that? Doyle responded, “That’s where the idea of the ‘pitch forum’ was birthed. Essentially, we are out right now looking for some of the best scripts, some with certain components to them, then we are going to identify these writers, we are going to mentor them, and then bring them out to the North Fork in August for a couple day event where we are going to host and continually work on their products one-on-one.”
When asked how is this going to happen, Doyle explained, “We have just opened up the submission process. Right now, we have two submissions going on. The first is for the independently produced TV pilots. That is the competition we run annually to select some of the big, best independently produced TV pilots that are already produced and ready for purchase. That competition is running and actively going. The second competition, which is new, is this script submission. What’s different about the script submission from what we have done in the past is we would select the best script and go straight to production, but instead of looking for one script, we are looking for close to a half-dozen scripts. We are going to select the writer, select the script, and then we put together a program this summer where we are going to really enhance and make their script better, so that when they go out to market the project, it has been refined and taken to the next level. That’s the second competition.”
When asked about the future, Doyle said, “Right now, the only thing we are focusing on is running these two competitions. We are going to bring to Greenport, all expenses paid, a handful of these selected writers to American Beech in Greenport and we are going to run this ‘pitch forum’ with them. They are going to have classes and workshops targeted to their scripts and then a public event Friday, when they are going to actually pitch their script to a group of industry people, very similar to the way a traditional pilot would be sold. That’s what we are doing now, an outdoor summer event called the ‘Pitch Forum.'”
Doyle emphasized, “The ‘pitch forum’ for the scripts, there is just a general category where anybody can submit a script, then there is the Science and Technology category, which is with our partner the Sloan Foundation, who will take two of the five or six scripts that will have the Science and Technology elements to them, and then there is an addition sponsor partner of ours, The Gersch Agency, which is one of the oldest Hollywood agencies, who is also going to be looking to identify and pick one of the winning scripts. We are doing this in the summer, so everyone can be outside at these workshops and the luncheons and the events are going to be outdoors. I believe people are really looking for that ability to create a community and our hope is by doing this outdoors, we are sort of the opposite of doing the Zoom calls everyone has been doing so much in the last 12 months.”
The inaugural Pitch Forum and the sixth annual Independent TV Pilot Competition is now officially accepting submissions via filmfreeway.com. Submissions for both will remain open through Thursday, May 27.