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Young Egyptians Have a Chance to Make a Difference at Pitch4Change

As the Shnit International Short film festival gears up to kick off next month, activists, environmentalists, filmmakers and misfits can take the stage to plot their righteous world takeover.

Here’s a chance for the misfits, for the oddballs, for those who believe they can change the world despite and against the ever growing narrative that everything has to become business. In this day and age where startups are ubiquitous and entrepreneurs are ‘in’, it seems we all have to become one of them. It seems we all have to think about the market before even setting out to plan what part of the screwed up world we want to change. It seems that is true no longer, as a space for free thinkers has opened up at the Shnit short film festival, kicking off this October.

Far from a pitch for money, Pitch4Change is an opportunity to meet stakeholders, and those organisations - and even more importantly, those people - who care about the things you care about. So if you have an idea to spark change in education, the environment, or social change, you better pitch it, because you will never see so many opportunities in the same room again.

The event – which runs within the flurry of activities the Shnit festival brings - is a one day platform bringing together local film and media makers with local and international foundations, NGOs, campaigners, philanthropists, policymakers, brands, and media to forge coalitions and campaigns that are inherently good. This is your actual chance to come up to the stage and forget there is anything impossible.  

The Shnit International Short film festival, Swiss at birth but global to its core, will unfold simultaneously in multiple cities on five continents, splashing an array of initiatives that bring together over 30,000 filmmakers in bold unique ways over 12 days. Pitch4Change is only one of the myriad events taking place - but one of the most important.

“It’s an open call for anyone at any stage of a project; even if they are at the idea stage,” says the festival’s director, Wael Sayedalhal. “Ideally, they would be incredible ideas that you believe enough to talk about; whether it is film, documentaries, short films, media, transmedia, or cross-media, as long as it is related to social development, education and environment.”

Sitting in front of the stage at the Pitch4Change, a very diverse group of stakeholders including FAO, UNAIDS, Save The Children, Injaz Egypt, SODIC, Egypt Refining Companies, PICO, and UNICEF, will listen to the projects.

Taking off on Sunday October 9th, the pitch will end with five to seven projects chosen, though there are no promises in terms of winners or funds. “Between all the stakeholders in that room, they have a net value of 30 to 50 million dollars in marketing budgets, CSR, and philanthropy budgets. So any project has an opportunity to tap into that. Anyone that you want to talk to, anyone you’ve been trying to get but never could will be there,” Sayedalhal explains.

The pitch is not restricted to documentaries, but rather ideas to engage audiences and trigger change. “The documentary is the easiest way, but people are now creating online communities, digital campaigns for a cause. There are ongoing projects such as companies training writers and screenwriters using a celebrity-developed platform to interact,” says Sayedalhal.

“If they can talk for 7 to 10 minutes, I’d love to see someone talk for real. First they have to impress us to reach the stakeholders,” he says, referring to the 3-minute video that applicants need to send. “This is a day where coalitions are formed, deals are struck and pacts are declared; where filmmakers and change makers can come together and plot their righteous world takeover.”

Applicants need to send a 3-minute video explaining why they want to launch the film or initiative, as well as a file describing the team, before September 20th.

Check all the requirements for applications on their Facebook event or email cairo@playgrounds.shnit.org