Pitching to Producers!

MODERATOR: Jane Applegate

PANELISTS: Rabia Sultana, Simon TaufiQue, Jen Grisanti, Roy Wol


SUBJECT: Create a compelling pitch to attract partners and launch your project! Join a live pitching session from across a wide cross-section of writers as they workshop their pitches to a live panel of producers for feedback. 6 filmmakers will have 3 minutes each to pitch their projects and in return, they will receive 5-minute feedback from the panelists. The feedback will include real-world strategies and practical tips to create a compelling pitch.



Jane Applegate (moderator) is a producer, career coach, and production consultant devoted to helping filmmakers save time, money and reduce stress. She works with emerging and accomplished filmmakers and artists through the Showbizing.com workshops she conducts with Julie Crosby. Applegate teaches the business of film class at the Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema at Brooklyn College. She’s the author of “Hair on Fire: An Insider’s Guide to Producing for the Big and Small Screen,” available on Amazon. She’s produced several award-winning, low-budget films, including “To Keep the Light” and “The Hanji Box.”



Rabia Sultana is a British-Pakistani film producer working in NYC and LA. Select credits include: “Angelfish” (TIFF Next Wave, rapper Princess Nokia’s feature film debut); “Extra Innings” (Winner Best Feature Manhattan Film Film Festival); “Interference” (NBC/Universal Film Festival, BAMCinematek New Voices in Black Cinema Festival); “Friendly Neighborhood Coven” (DUMBO Film Festival, Golden State Film Festival), “Ladies Lounge” (Winner Los Angeles Cinefest, Oaxaca Film Festival). She also worked on the 2019 Cannes Film Festival Un Certain Regard winner, “The Climb” and produced the comedy films “Are You Happy Now” (Josh Ruben, Catherine Curtin, Danny Johnson), and The Truth About Santa Claus” (Michael Winslow, Kevin Brown, Kevin P. Farley, Judy Gold).



Simon TaufiQue is a producer, composer, educator, and sometimes festival programmer. Simon entered the film world working with notable filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan. He later worked on projects by Julia Roberts, Daniel Radcliffe, Julian Casablancas, and Mary Harron. Recent films that have screened at top festivals and released globally include: The Weight of Gold (HBO), The Interpreters, an award-winning PBS Independent Lens documentary, The New Yorker Presents (Sundance ‘17), She’s Lost Control (Winner – Berlinale ‘14, SXSW ‘14, Independent Spirit Awards ‘15), Imperium (Lionsgate/Universal), and Jesus Henry Christ (eOne). Simon recently created a Producing certificate program for NYU as well as teaching Film & TV Producing at the university. He has been profiled in Medium, NBC News, ASCAP,  mentioned in Rolling Stone, Deadline, Variety, Hollywood Reporter, Spin, and IndieWire. Simon is a member of the Producers Guild, board member of HRTS (NY), has served on the jury at Bermuda International Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival’s Programming Committee, and a two-time Sundance Lab finalist (Creative Producing Lab and Feature Film Composing lab).



International speaker Jen Grisanti is an acclaimed Story/Career Consultant at Jen Grisanti Consultancy Inc., Writing Instructor for Writers on the Verge at NBC, a former 12-year studio executive, including VP of Current Programming at CBS/Paramount. Jen is the author of three books, Story Line: Finding Gold in Your Life Story, TV Writing Tool Kit: How To Write a Script That Sells, and Change Your Story, Change Your Life: A Path To Your Success. Grisanti started her career in 1992 as an assistant to Aaron Spelling. He served as her mentor for 12 years, and she quickly climbed the ranks and eventually ran Current Programs at Spelling Television Inc., covering all of Spelling’s shows including Beverly Hills, 90210, Melrose Place and Charmed. In 2004, Grisanti received a promotion to Vice President of Current Programs at CBS/Paramount, where she covered numerous shows, including Medium, Numbers, NCIS, 4400, and Girlfriends.



ROY WOL (p.g.a) is a filmmaker with a visual disability, Amblyopia, and an LGBTQ advocate. Having grown up in 5 countries before ending up in the US, as a cross-cultural Turkish-Latinx-Sephardic producer, he is driven by the idea of bridging communities. His latest film “The Garden Left Behind” won the 2019 SXSW Audience Award and is one of the “Top LGBTQ films of all time” (by Rotten Tomatoes). Roy is the founder of the border, genre, and platform-agnostic IP development and production company Autonomous Pictures, whose latest projects include: 2020 IFP Episodic Lab sci-fi series “Autom Reign” by Sundance Alumni Sofian Khan, Yes, And…Laughter Lab finalist Roddenberry Impact Award-winning “Muslim Girls DTF” among many others. He’s a 2020 SXSW & NALIP Mentor; 2019 GLAAD Media Fellow; 2019 ReelWorks Mentor; 2018 Hollywood Radio and Television Mentor; 2017 IFP Narrative Lab Fellow; 2017 Trans Filmmakers Project Mentor; 2016 Harlem Cinema School Mentor. His projects include: Academy Nominees, Golden Lion Winners, NYFF Academy Artists, Princess Grace, Sundance, SXSW, TIFF, Golden Globe, Spirit Award, and Ryan Murphy’s Half Initiative fellows.