Nationwide TV ME! Pitch Contest Winners Announced

April 2013

Nationwide TV ME! Pitch Contest Winners Announced
New Yorker claims grand prize for Made-for-Television Movie treatment 

Sarasota, Fla. – (April 26, 2013)  A fictionalized but fact-based movie-of-the-week drama treatment claimed the grand prize in the nationwide 2013  Sarasota County Film & Entertainment Office (SCFEO) “TV ME!” pitch contest this week. Contest winners were announced and awards presented Wednesday, April 24th at a press conference held at the Gold Coast Eagle Distributing conference center. The press conference was open to the public and was followed by a private reception for the honorees, invited guests and sponsors, hosted by hosted by Stella Artois, the presenting sponsor of the event.

The Grand Prize Winner announced at the press conference was Lisa Potocar from upstate New York, who was present to accept her award.  “The fact that this winning writer was from New York validated the film commission’s decision to extend the submission period for entries in this year’s contest,” said Jeanne Corcoran, director of the SCFEO, a division of the Economic Development Corporation of Sarasota County (EDC).  “We did so due to the east coast being devastated by Hurricane Sandy and other catastrophic storms during the normal submission period. Each year, a fairly steady number of entries come from the New York/New Jersey corridor, as well as other states along the eastern seaboard,” says Corcoran.  “When that number was dramatically less than average, we realized many competitors in that region were unable to meet the deadline in place due to the storm conditions, power outages and other related circumstances brought on by the severe weather fronts.” 

Lisa Potocar’s debut historical novel, Sweet Glory, was the foundation behind her pitch of the same title to the TV ME! contest.  The made-for-television movie concept is seen as having strong appeal to several networks, and appointments for private, one-on-one pitch meetings to networks and producers for Ms. Potocar to present the concept are being arranged.  She will travel with the Sarasota County film commissioner to either New York City or Los Angeles for those meetings, which trip is part of the Grand Prize Winner’s award. She will also receive a cash stipend of $500.00, a trophy and other prizes and sponsor gifts.  Sponsors include the EDC, Visit Sarasota County, and the division of economic development for Sarasota County government.

Additional benefits to the GPW include being professionally prepared in advance by Stephanie Palmer, an expert “pitch” coach who has been featured on The Today Show, Early Show, National Public Radio and in the Los Angeles Times.  Palmer is the author of “Good in a Room” which helps creative people learn to pitch and sell their projects, and she was formerly the Director of Creative Affairs for MGM, where she heard over 3,000 pitches. Also, entertainment attorney Douglas Cherry of the law firm Shumaker Loop & Kendrick will provide a complementary consultation to the GPW regarding her intellectual property.  Other supporting sponsors include catering of gourmet foods by Flying Sliders and Suncoast Food Trucks, PRP Wine Consultant Carol Prokap, and Lakewood Ranch

In addition to the Grand Prize Winner chosen as best entry across all genres, a first, second and third place winner from each of the three categories of competition, Scripted (A) – Unscripted (B) – and One-Off/Long Format (C), and two Honorable Mention entries were also announced.  A complete list of winners is attached as supplemental information.  Those winning entries included submissions from Texas, South Carolina, Washington, Arizona, North Carolina, New York and multiple cities in Florida. 


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