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Join Our 9 Story Development Team at Pitchfest this Week!

By September 14, 2021 No Comments


Pitchfest, Kidscreen’s 5-day speed pitching blitz, is in full swing this week, having kicked off yesterday and taking place until September 17th!  This brand-new event is all about helping people connect one-on-one with the channel and platform execs who can greenlight projects.

Want to meet us there? We’ve got a handful of 9 Story’s Development team in the mix throughout Pitchfest’s many sessions, which enable participants to connect with top broadcasters, platforms, buyers, and investors for 14-minute meetings – just enough time to deliver the perfect pitch.

But what is the elusive “perfect pitch”… we have rounded up the best tips and advice from our Pitchfest participants to help make your pitch stand out! Check them out below:

Sarah Wallendjack, VP Production & Development (NYC)

Tuesday, Sept 14 @ 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm

  1. Make time to say hello: Before diving headfirst into your pitch, make time for small talk. You never know what nuggets you will get from a development or network exec when you let them start the conversation. Make sure you listen! Fostering that relationship is almost as important as the pitch itself.

  2. Come prepared: You should know just as much about your pitch as you do the broadcaster or client itself. Being able to reference properties the client makes or airs is not only respectful, but also gives you insight why your project would be the best fit for this studio or a network

  3. Practice: Pitching is nerve-wracking – even to the most experienced pitchers. Practice. Get feedback from friends or peers.  The more comfortable you are with your presentation, the more comfortable you will be in the room.


Karen Fowler,  VP, Development (Toronto)

Wednesday, Sept 15 @ 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm

  1. We make shows to connect with the audience. In a pitch, your audience is the buyer. So make a connection with the buyer, pitch your project with passion, and listen to the feedback.

  2. If this project doesn’t get picked up (and many project don’t), you’re building for your future.

Kim Powers, Series Producer Live-Action 

Thursday, Sept 16 @ 8 am – 9 am

  1. Personal Connection – Don’t forget to share your personal connection to the material. Is this an idea that’s inspired by your experience? Why is this idea important to you? Understanding that intimate connection to your concept helps potential buyers understand more about you and share in the passion for your project.

  2. Electric One-Liner – I know, I know, a total cliché! However, when an Executive or Producer falls in love with your idea, often times they are first line of “yes” that need to happen before an ideal is sold. Being able to concisely and creatively articulate your idea allows these people to easily and quickly champion the project through additional approvals/Lines of Business.


Martha Sepulveda, Senior Director of Development (Toronto)

Thursday, Sept 16 @ 2 pm – 3 pm

  1. What people remember about you, and the feeling you leave them with, can be the difference between a successful pitch or a run-of-the-mill one. Development executives, like the intended audience of your one-day-soon-to-be show, want to connect to your story – they want to feel it.

  2. To get there, practice the Art of Self Evaluation. While building your pitch ask yourself: What do I want people to remember about me? What do I want people to say about the story I pitched? Make a list, and this list will become your greatest tool. Every pitch practice you do (rehearse with as many friends and family as possible!) becomes your version of a focus group, see what people take away. Does it match up with the effect you wanted to have? And then practice again!

  3. And most of all, remember – HAVE FUN.


Sarah Lonsdale, Development Executive (Dublin)

Friday, Sept 17 @ 8 am – 9 am

Don’t forget the basics; who’s the target audience, what’s the format, etc. Seems like a super obvious one, but sometimes when you know a show inside and out there’s a temptation to jump right in to the nitty gritty and forget to call out the essentials. Set the scene with those first, then dig in and have fun!


We hope to see you there – good luck!