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Pitching — presentation of a film project, made for attracting producers, investors, partners. The main purpose is getting an open and objective assessment.

Yuri Yashnikov, moderator, head of the Youth Center of the regional branch of the Union of Cinematographers, talks about pitching:

There can only be one case in life when a screenwriter or director meets a great producer in an elevator. And in order not to miss the chance, you need to be able to tell about your project as quickly as possible so that the notional producer says «let's go out and discuss your idea in detail.» In fact, such a chance and five minutes of close attention of experts is given to each participant in the pitching. The task is to talk about your project so that they scream «super!» and decided to support it. 

The very idea of Baikal pitching was born by the Irkutsk cinema community 5 years ago at the Strategy session on the development of cinema in the region. Then the need for a systematic and independent evaluation of emerging projects was clearly evident. The initiators and producers of the first pitching were Marina Cherepanova and Yuri Yashnikov. It's funny that in 2015 there were no prize money at all. But the very possibility of a professional assessment of the potential of the project was already a sufficiently large impetus for the participants. A year later, it was about two grants of 30 thousand rubles each. Today, the prize pool has grown more than 10 times — it is already more than 650 thousand. Projects are still evaluated in 2 nominations: feature and documentary films.

The organizers of the pitching are grateful to the festival «People and Environment» for the fact that 5 years ago it hosted and supported this form of film project presentation. In the absence of a budget, it was not possible to involve federal experts in evaluating the ideas of films, and filmmakers of this level come to the festival annually. Now experts and festival participants form the backbone of the pitching jury.

Seeing the effectiveness of the project five years ago, the Irkutsk Regional Film Fund and the Ministry of Culture and Archives of the region offered their help in its implementation, as well as financial support to the winners. Last year, the event had another powerful partner — the Presidential Grants Fund, which offers the main money prize to the winner for the film project — 500 thousand rubles.

Over the years, Baikal pitching has helped to realize many ideas. The premiere of the documentary «Without the Baikal» by Alexander Gornovsky, the winner of the 2nd pitching, took place. The projects «Very Female Cinema» by Inna Blokhina, «About the Formers» by Bayar Baradiev, «Sobes» by Nikita Dobrynin were implemented. Now such films as «Elapsed Time Does Not Exist» by Yulia Byvsheva, «How People Live» by Pavel Skorobogatov, «Yanzhay» by Oksana Tsepilova and «Give Landing» by Anastasia Zverkova are in the process of production.

We believe that the fifth Baikal pitching will help to open even more new names and will give another impetus for the development of cinema in the region.

Organizers: The Union of Cinematographers of Russia supported by the Presidential Grants Fund, the Ministry of Culture and Archives of the Irkutsk Region, OGAUK Irkutsk Regional Film Fund, the National Copyright Holders Support Fund, CANON company, Irkutsk Regional Branch of the Union of Cinematographers of Russia and the Union Youth Center.

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