American West 2019

Tribeca Film Institute (TFI) is thrilled to continue, for the third year, a partnership with Big Sky Documentary Film Festival (BSDFF) to support the art of short-form documentary storytelling. 

TFI and BSDFF are inviting all stories and storytellers from the American West to apply for a new pitch opportunity during the 2019 Big Sky Documentary Film Festival on February 21, 2019.

The Pitch calls for original stand-alone commissions of short documentaries (running 10-20 minutes) that explore a range of socially, politically and culturally relevant topics about the American West.  With an intentional focus on place-based, community-inspired, short-form storytelling, we are looking for compelling character-based stories focused on contemporary subjects that are relevant globally.

TFI and BSDFF will jointly select up to 6 finalists to present their projects at a live pitch event before a panel of industry judges on February 21, 2019 at Big Sky. Each pitch team will have 7 minutes to present their project, which will be followed by a short, moderated discussion with a tailored jury.

One project, selected by the jury, will receive up to USD $25,000 in project funding and will have the opportunity to participate in TFI’s IF/Then Shorts program, which provides year-round mentorship and career development opportunities.

Key Dates:

Online registration opens: November 13, 2018
Project application deadline: December 31, 2018
Notification of project selection: late January 2019
IF/Then pitch competition in Missoula, MT: February 21, 2019 


All stories and storytellers coming from the American West. These 13 states include: Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, California, Alaska, and Hawaii. (Note: It is NOT a requirement that the filmmaker resides in one of these states. We are primarily seeking stories about the American West.)

Projects must be completed within 6 months of receiving funding, be factually accurate, follow best practices in documentary ethics, and be presented in English or subtitled in English.

Please make sure your project fits our general eligibility requirements presented on our Pitches & Eligibility page.