Robert Townsend’s “The Ultimate Pitch Master Class” Tour Kicked Off in New York City

NEW YORK, NY (December 2, 2009) – More than 200 aspiring writers, directors and producers from as far away as Seattle, took part in acclaimed producer/director Robert Townsend’s “The Ultimate Pitch Master Class” lecture series in New York recently. The three-hour session designed to teach aspiring filmmakers how to pitch their ideas to networks and studios, also awarded two lucky participants with a once in a lifetime opportunity to work with Townsend and develop a project to pitch to a Hollywood studio.

“I was truly inspired as I heard pitches from a new wave of writers, directors and filmmakers. Our three hour session turned into six hours, with the last three being held impromptu at a park in the middle of Manhattan. I could feel the spirits of these artists being changed forever,” said Townsend. Over the years, Robert Townsend has created a unique and diverse body of work covering various genres, with comedies like, “Hollywood Shuffle”, musicals like “The Five Heartbeats”, fantasy comedies like “The Meteor Man”, sit-coms like “The Parenthood” and epic dramas like “10,000 Black Men Named George”. Currently, Mr. Townsend is busy at work with seven projects in various stages of development and completion.

Sponsored by Film Life, Inc., producers of the American Black Film Festival, the Ultimate Pitch Master Class tour is a vehicle to bring the educational aspects of the festival to a broader audience. “The festival’s mission is to facilitate distribution opportunities for quality films and introduce the top echelon of emerging artists to the industry at large. Robert is one of the most innovative artists working in Hollywood and his willingness to share his technique from concept to development, through the various stages of rewrites and pitching to studios is a testament to his commitment to the next generation of filmmakers,” said Jeff Friday, CEO of Film Life, Inc.

“I have been making films since 2006 and my first short film, “The Let Out Guys” premiered at the ABFF film festival in 2006. I attended the Ultimate Pitch class to present “The Let Out Guys” as a feature film and to get some feedback on the project,” said Selton Shaw, a DC resident and winner of the pitch contest. “Being able to directly pitch my idea directly to Mr. Townsend, and being selected to present it to a studio was a one in a lifetime opportunity. I’m anxious to get started and move forward with the project,” Shaw added.

Townsend also selected Ronald Hemphill of Washington, DC to work with and develop his story and pitch to a network or studio. “The Ultimate Pitch seminar in New York was empowering! Hemphill said. “It was the first time I’ve been in an environment that everyone wants to help you. After I made my pitch and it was selected, I was so overcome with joy I broke down right on the stage,” he added.

Robert Townsend’s Ultimate Pitch Master Class continues its nationwide tour in 2010, with Charlotte, North Carolina as the second stop on February 20. Townsend will again listen to pitches from class attendees and help critique, refine and further develop those presented in the session.

Film Life, Inc., is a New York-based marketing, media and distribution company that was founded in 2002 by Jeff Friday, its CEO. The company’s mission is to spearhead the global distribution of Black independent cinema and be the leading producer/distributor of Black films, television, events and digital content.

For information on Robert Townsend’s Ultimate Pitch Master Class, please visit abff.com, or e-mail [email protected].

Mike Carter
646-375-2144 ext. 1