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HomeCommunityPitchFest Returns to Burbank to Inspire and Hire Budding Screenwriters

PitchFest Returns to Burbank to Inspire and Hire Budding Screenwriters


LR-Signe Olynyk-email

Signe Olynyk
Signe Olynyk

Celebrating a decade in business, the 10th anniversary of The Great American PitchFest and Screenwriting Conference will run from May 31-June 2 at the Marriott Burbank Hotel. The purpose of the event is for emerging writers, regardless of their experience or skill level, to come together and share their story ideas, scripts and professional networks.

“I started this event because I wanted to make a difference to the lives of other writers, their careers, and the screenwriting dreams that we all share,” said Signe Olynyk, screenwriter and one of PitchFest founders.

Initially, The Great American PitchFest developed when Olynyk attended a screenwriting conference 10 years ago with a similar agenda.  There were writers standing in lines for hours, missing crucial meetings, pitches and classes.

“Among the hopefuls in that line, we all complained, but only one said to herself, ‘I can do this better.’ Signe went ahead and did exactly that,” said Bob Schultz, co-founder of The Great American PitchFest.

“PitchFest is a rare event in that we have executives who come out to the free classes, and we try to bring a selection of panelists, speakers and other industry professionals who can help writers at all stages of their careers,” Olynyk explained.

With the full lineup of free classes, master classes and individual writer sessions, the event targets every kind of writer.

“If somebody just has the germ of an idea, or a desire to write, we have free classes available for them to learn the craft or become inspired,” explained Schultz. “If someone is ready to write, we have classes on structure, theme and character. And if you’re ready to pitch, we have the PitchFest itself.”

The three-day seminar has grown since its inception a decade ago. To date, there have been three Great Canadian PitchFests and one Great British PitchFest.

Some of the guest speakers this year include Shane Black, writer and director of Iron Man 3, Gary Goldstein, producer of Pretty Woman, Penelope Spheeris, writer and director of the celebrated film adaptation of The Little Rascals, Tom Holland, screenwriter and director of the original horror sleeper Fright Night, and Phil Messina, final draft screenwriter of the sci-fi thriller Brainstorm.

This year, there will be free panels, master classes, all-day pitching sessions and an anniversary party.

For more information, visit:

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