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"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

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Good Pitch Chicago Welcomes Filmmakers for Second Year

Documentary filmmakers seeking to forge coalitions with like-minded foundations, philanthropists, NGOs and other organizations championing social awareness will be attending Good Pitch Chicago today, May 5th, for a full day of films, panels and invaluable networking opportunities. Events kick off at 10am with opening remarks made by Jess Search, chief executive of BRITDOC Foundation, as well as a keynote speech delivered by Chaz Ebert, president of The Ebert Company and publisher of RogerEbert.com. Steve Cohen and Paula Froehle of the Chicago Media Project are hosting the event and will welcome filmmakers to the group's second Windy City event (the first was in 2013). 

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This introduction will be followed by presentations of enticing film projects at various stages of production. The first is Michael Collins's "Almost Sunrise," about two war veterans who take a trip together while striving to heal themselves from the wounds of combat. Margaret Byrne's "Raising Bertie" follows the inhabitants of a tight-knit African-American farming community in North Carolina over the course of five years. Kim Snyder's "Newton, A Documentary," explores the aftermath of the horrific tragedy that took place at an elementary school in 2012. 

The afternoon session begins with an hour of remarks at 1:30pm, followed by the presentation of three more projects. Lyric Cabral and David Felix Sutcliffe's "(T)error" is billed on the Good Pitch site as "the first documentary to place filmmakers on the ground during an active FBI counterterrorism sting operation." Sharon Shattuck's "From This Day Forward" examines the enduring marriage between the filmmaker's mother and transgender father. Last but not least is Jason Zeldes's "Romeo Is Bleeding," which centers on an urban adaptation of Shakespeare's immortal play, "Romeo and Juliet," mounted by writer Donté Clark in Richmond, California, as an attempt to start a dialogue on the city's pervasive violence.

For more information on Good Pitch Chicago and the individual films scheduled to be presented, visit the group's official site.

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