Winners Announced For 2017 RBC Emerging Filmmaker Pitch Competition

July 31, 2017

On Screen Manitoba, RBC and the Gimli Film Festival are pleased to announce that Nicola Baldwin and Miles Crossman’s project If It Ain’t Got was selected as the winner of the 6th annual RBC Emerging Filmmakers Pitch Competition at the 2017 Gimli Film Festival.

Participants were given three minutes to pitch their short film ideas to a panel of industry professionals and a live audience of nearly 300 at the Gimli Theatre. Immediately before the competition, contestants and audience members were treated to a screening of the short film The Debut from Solmund MacPherson and Allegra Chiarella, winner of the 2016 competition. Following each pitch, the judges panel had five minutes to offer feedback and to ask questions. Once every pitch was completed, the panel deliberated and selected a winner.

Nicola Baldwin and Miles Crossman were awarded $10,000 in production funds through the RBC Emerging Artists Project, a mentorship with industry professionals from the National Screen Institute, a one-year membership to On Screen Manitoba, a $2,500 gift certificate courtesy of William F. White and a premiere screening of their film at next year’s Gimli Film Festival.

Their short film will chronicle the experience of a 21-year old Nigerian man’s discovery of swing dancing and its inclusive power of bringing people of all backgrounds together through dance.

“For me, it was a really humbling experience to be a part of this, I got to witness many talented filmmakers get on stage and pitch very impressive projects,” said Nicola Baldwin. “I’m triple-honoured to receive this grant along with Miles Crossman and I couldn’t be more excited to be a visual representative of the community that continues to grow in Manitoba.”

“This is such a great opportunity for both of us. I can’t believe that Nicola and I actually met at a colour-grading class two months ago,” said Miles Crossman. ” We spent two weeks rehearsing the dance for this pitch, really trying to hold a story that encapsulates our ideas of how this dance should function and how necessary it is in this fractured world. It’s really a call back to the glory years of swing and all its inclusion and we’d just love to see that.”

“Each year, we’re excited to hear the thoughtful, creative and interesting pitches at the RBC Emerging Filmmakers Competition,” said Aaron Martyniw, RBC Vice President Commercial Financial Services. “RBC shares the passion and celebrates the ambition of storytellers and emerging filmmakers everywhere.  We’re thrilled to congratulate Nicola Baldwin an Miles Crossman and look forward to helping them bring their vision to life.”

“The RBC pitch competition at the Gimli Film Festival is a great showcase for emerging talent in Manitoba, many past pitch participants work in the industry today,” said Nicole Matiation, Executive Director of On Screen Manitoba. “On Screen Manitoba looks forward to working with each and every participant as they advance their careers in the media production industry.”

Congratulations to all the finalists who presented their story ideas and thank you to all 22 emerging Manitoban filmmakers who submitted:

Alan Wong – Dreams
Alex Ateah & Cleo Leslie – Heel
Jackson Peters- Your Mileage May Vary
Justin Lamoureux – The Alligator: The Beast of Manigotogan River
Miles Crossman & Nicola Baldwin – If It Ain’t Got

On Screen Manitoba and the Gimli Film Festival wish to thank RBC, the National Screen Institute and William F. White for the generous prizes they provided for the winner. Manitoba’s screen-based media community values their support and looks forward to continued partnership.

We also wish to thank our jurors: award-winning independent television producer, writer and director Andrew Blicq; award-winning writer, director, producer, actor Rebecca Gibson and Kaya Wheeler of the National Screen Institute. Special thanks to our master of ceremonies Laurie Hoogstraten, writer-broadcaster with CBC.

On Screen Manitoba thanks its sustaining partners