PicSeeder extends deadline for entries

The Australian organisers of picSeeder, the inaugural global, online pitching competition designed to enable aspiring filmmakers to fund short films, have extended the deadline for entries to June 30.

The brainchild of filmmaker Bill Bennett and his wife, producer Jennifer Cluff, the competition invites contestants to submit a one-minute pitch video.

Members of the site (, which is free, get to vote on their favourite pitch. Those who submit the 12 most popular pitches will be asked to provide a three-minute video.

The winner will be determined by an international jury comprising US sales agent Robbie Little, French financier/producer Jean-Charles Levy, Stephen Gates, New York-based head of the literary department at talent management company Evolution Entertainment, actress Michelle Ang and Indian producer Udayan Baijal.

The cash prize, funded from the $28 entry fee, is up to $50,000.

Bennett told IF the take-up was slower than he expected and he hopes extending the deadline will give potential contestants more time to film and send in their pitches. He said the judging phase will take about two weeks and he expects to announce the winner at the end of July.

“The concept is really good but we were hamstrung by technical problems and a lack of marketing funds,” he said.

“If we do it again, we would seek sponsors.”

He said the one-minute pitch could be as simple as the aspiring filmmaker talking into his/her smartphone, webcam or laptop, or a trailer, sizzle reel or storyboards. The longer pitches give the contestant the chance to expand on his or her vision for the film and how it would be executed.

Recognising the global nature of the competition, videos can be in any language but those in foreign languages must carry English sub-titles.

The veteran filmmaker, whose credits include Backlash, Spider & Rose, Kiss or Kill and The Nugget, is developing Defiant, a thriller about two young Indian lovers wanting to marry against the wishes of their parents who, as a result, arrange to have them killed.

Bennett is producing with Sydney-based Anupam Sharma, Los Angeles-based Andrea Keir and Michelle Manning, a former president of production at Paramount Pictures.