Announcing ConnecthHER & Gates Foundation PitchFest / Call for Pitch Submissions

Gates Foundation Mission: Our mission is to create a world where every person has the opportunity to live a healthy, productive life.

ConnectHER Mission: ConnectHER invests in women and girls by elevating their status through projects, stories, and film.

What: ConnectHER & Gates Foundation PitchFest

In Celebration of: International Women's Day 2023

Who: ConnectHER Film Festival Filmmakers (former and current)

How: Fill out this form and share your pitch with

Deadline for Pitch Submissions: March 29, 2023  Deadline Extended! April 15, 2023

Questions?: Contact

Past participants of ConnectHER Film Festival (30 years old or younger) submit a 90 second video that pitches a film concept/idea that creates awareness or shines a light on solutions to a problem faced by women and girls around the world. Eligible categories: Girl’s Education, Global Health, Economic Independence, Women and the Environment, Women/Girls in Tech, Refugee Crisis. Three to five finalists will be chosen by judges to pitch their concept to a select group of judges. The winner will receive a $5,000 award to commission a film for ConnectHER on their topic. 



Q: What are the major requirements for my 90-second “pitch video”?

A: Your pitch should be a 60-90 second video of yourself explaining your idea for a film you wish to make. Present your idea briefly—in just one sentence if possible! Then convince us how you intend to capture the story (your approach, genre, visual style, your main character or the people you plan to interview). You probably won’t have time to tell your whole story. It is helpful, though, to try to capture your character’s journey, any obstacle or conflict, and the emotional impact your film will have. Feel free to get creative and include other visuals or interviews in your pitch, but just a video of you making the pitch is perfectly fine. Stories about hope, solutions and resilience are always inspiring!

Q: How is this different from ConnectHER's Film Festival? Can I submit to both?

A: Yes, this is a completely separate contest with different rules. You can also submit a film to the film festival, although if your film wins this PitchFest, that particular film cannot be submitted to the film festival in any shape or form.

Q: If my pitch wins the PitchFest, how long should my final completed film be?

A: Between 20 to 30 minutes.

Q: If I’m filming myself speaking, can I speak in my native language or must the film pitch be in English?

A: You can speak in your preferred language, but if your pitch is in a language other than English, please include English subtitles.

Q: Can I edit the 90-second pitch video to make it more professional?

A: Yes, you can edit your pitch video. What we are mainly looking for, though, is a convincing pitch about how you plan to tell your story with impact.

Q: If I win, when will I receive the funds?

A: The first disbursement will be transferred within 60 days of announcing the winner.

Q: Will ConnectHER provide any kind of support other than monetary to the winner?

A: Yes, ConnectHER will provide a mentorship with an experienced film industry professional to support this film project.

Q: Do I need to have filmmaking experience to submit a pitch?

A: Yes, you should have intermediate knowledge of filmmaking. You will be required to show your previous work and/or portfolio.

Q: What should my film be about?

A: Your film should be about an issue that impacts women and girls and should fit into one of ConnectHER’s categories:

  • Educating Girls Globally
  • Global Health for Women
  • Women and the Environment (how climate change and other environmental issues disproportionately affect girls)
  • Women and Work (economic independence, entrepreneurship and livelihood, gender pay gap, girls in tech, etc.)
  • Refugee Crisis (and how it disproportionately impacts women and girls)

Q: Who can apply?

A: Past and current participants of ConnectHER Film Festival. You must have submitted at least one film to our festival to be eligible for the PitchFest contest.

Q: How should I share my 90-second pitch video?

A: Please share your mp4 or .mov file via email on either Dropbox or Google drive on March 29, 2023 at 11:59pm EST with:

Q: How and when will judges select the finalists and the winner?

A: We will inform you by email or phone if you are a finalist. The ConnectHER team will connect with you personally prior to any session where finalists are asked to pitch in person to judges. After the final pitch session, the judges will select a winner and we will announce their selection.