Just For Laughs Pitch Program Bridges Gap Between Creators & Producers


Montreal, July 26-28, 2012 – This year’s Just For Laughs web, TV and film pitch programs were the most comprehensive yet!

The Pitch Program is an opportunity for creators and producers to sit down in the same room and make some deals.

This year’s Pitch Program attracted four times the number of candidates from last year, in no small part due to the fantastic prizes being offered to those who come out on top.

The Comedy Bootcamp Feature Pitch program  gave five teams the chance to pitch their five-minute feature pitches to a panel composed of Joe Medjuck (Old School, No Strings Attached), Shauna Cross (Whip It, What to Expect When You’re Expecting) and Terry Zwigoff (Ghost World, Bad Santa, Art School Confidential). The winner’s project gets the opportunity to have their project refined before submitting it to the Telefilm Canada Features Comedy Lab, a Canadian Film Centre film program, in collaboration with Just For Laughs.

From Set to Screen, the TV comedy pitch initiative, asked the creators of five selected projects to pitch their idea for a TV series to a panel composed of the TV industry’s top brass: Dan Pasternack of IFC, David Bernad (producer, Enlightened), Marcus Wiley from FOX, Monika Zielinska of Comedy Central, Sarah Fowlie of the Comedy Network/Bell Media and Terence Gray from the New York Television Festival (NYTVF). The winning initiative is invited to participate in the NYTVF as an official artist.

The winner of From Set to Screen is Andy Bush for the project “Custodial, ” a half-hour blue-collar comedy revolving around the cleaning staff at the corporate headquarters of a multi-national tech company. Andrew Bush is a Halifax based writer/actor/director. He’s written for THIS HOUR HAS 22 MINUTES, STREET CENTS, ROBSON ARMS and CANADIAN IDOL. As an actor he’s performed on MADE IN CANADA,, REGENISIS, and the THE DRUNK AND ON DRUGS HAPPY FUNTIME HOUR. His latest project is the feature film, Roller Town, which he directed and co-wrote and will be released in the fall of 2012.

Finally, the Web series pitch program, Pitch‘Til Your Sides Split, asked five teams to go toe-to-toe for the prestigious prize of earning a Cracked.com development deal AND the chance to become an official YouTube partner and have their content highlighted across the YouTube site. The submitted projects will be judged by Michael Swaim of Cracked.com, Spencer Griffin from CollegeHumor and JC Cangilla of Yahoo!

The winner of  Pitch Til Your Sides Split  is Mark Little, for his project The Amazing Tales of Mr. Evans. an absurdly comic web series wherein each episode, substitute teacher Mr. Evans discards the lesson for the day and weaves amazing tales, transporting the students to any number of bizarre locations and in and out of a host of wacky and hysterical situations. Mark Little is one of the founders of sketch comedy group Picnicface(2011 Canadian Comedy Award winners for Best Sketch Troupe). He is also one of the stars of the CBC sitcom Mr. D and a regular performer at the Just For Laughs festival, this year marking his 4th consecutive appearance. In 2009, he won Canada’s two most prestigious stand-up comedy competitions, the Just For Laughs Homegrown Competition and the Yuk Yuk’s Great Canadian Laugh Off. He co-wrote and starred in the 2012 feature film Roller Town, which will appear in Canadian theatres later this year

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