“From Set to Screen” Initiative Targeting Comedy Performers
Five Finalists to Pitch Live during Just for Laughs Comedy Conference; One Winner will be Invited as Official Artist to the 8th Annual New York Television Festival
[NEW YORK, NY, March 12, 2012] – Just for Laughs and the NYTVF today announced a unique partnered initiative seeking original sitcom pitches from comedy performers. The competition is specifically seeking series that are based on or inspired by stories, sketches or characters that have been developed and honed by live performance. Five finalists will be invited to pitch their sitcom concepts live during an event at the Just for Laughs Comedy Conference (www.hahaha.com/conference) in Montreal, July 26 - 28, 2012, during the 30th Anniversary of the Just For Laughs Montreal Comedy Festival. One winner and their sitcom will be selected for exclusive showcase opportunities and participation at the 8th Annual New York Television Festival, scheduled for October 22 – 27, 2012, in Lower Manhattan.
“We’re thrilled to be joining forces with the NYTVF,” said JFL Comedy Conference Director Paul Ronca. “The NYTVF is the leader and innovator in building bridges between talent and television executives. This partnership will be great for both of us, but will also be extremely valuable in creating new relationships between the wealth of emerging talent that comes to Just For Laughs and network executives.”
“Just for Laughs Montreal is the comedy festival for up-and-coming comedic talent and we're honored to join forces with them to provide great new voices with tangible television development opportunities,” said NYTVF Founder Terence Gray. “From The Cosby Show and Seinfeld to Everybody Loves Raymond, Ellen and Louie – a huge swath of television history has been paved by comedians, and we believe that this partnership could be an ideal platform to discover the next big thing.”
The pitch competition is open to worldwide applicants age 18 and over. Sitcom concepts not currently under development at a network, studio or major production company and meeting all other criteria in the Official Rules are eligible for the competition. For consideration, creators will be asked to submit a series treatment and outline along with supporting video and will retain all rights to their concepts throughout the process. Official contest rules and dates can be accessed through the contest Web site located at www.hahaha.com/conference.
A screening committee of Just for Laughs and NYTVF officials will narrow the pool of entrants down to five finalists. These finalists will be invited to pitch their concepts live before a panel of comedy experts during the Just for Laughs Comedy Conference in Montreal, July 26 – 28, 2012. One winner will be selected and will enjoy exclusive showcase opportunities and participation as an Official Artist at the 2012 New York Television Festival in October. As an Official Artist, the winner's series pitch will be shared with the NYTVF's Industry Partners prior to the Festival and he or she will enjoy exclusive opportunities to participate in the artist-only track at the Festival, including NYTVF Pitch as well Executive Access and Artist Development Chats.
The Just For Laughs Comedy Conference is also happy to announce the return of the Fonds de solidarité FTQ as a presenting sponsor of all its Pitch Programs and Networking Lunches.
This is the second comedy initiative launched in the past week by the NYTVF, which announced the fifth installment of the FOX Comedy Script Contest on Tuesday. Previously, the NYTVF announced 2012 development partnerships with IFC and MTV, who will each be awarding a development deal to comedy pilots through the NYTVF’s annual Independent Pilot Competition. Also in the comedy genre, Comedy Central is offering a guaranteed deal through the Comedy Central Short Pilot Competition, whose finalists were also announced this week.
These join the NYTVF’s other previously-announced development initiatives with Syfy and VH1 (also through the Independent Pilot Competition), the second annual A&E Unscripted Development Pipeline, as well as NYTVF Pitch Partners BIO Channel, Hasbro Studios, Logo, SevenOne International, Sundance Channel, and the UK's Channel 4. Additionally, NYTVF London, the organization's first international event, was hosted last November in partnership with BBC America, BAFTA and PACT. During the event, Fox Television Studios (in conjunction with Apostle) and Warner Bros. International Television Production announced the first-ever NYTVF development opportunities exclusively for U.K. Producers.
About Just For Laughs
Founded in 1983 with the presentation of its first comedy festival in Montreal, the Just For Laughs Group is a world leader in comedy (want proof? Come to the Conference). It has four major business units: Festivals (in Montreal, Toronto, Chicago and Sydney, AUS); television production (most notably Gags seen in 135 countries and on 95 airlines); live shows (Canadian tour dates for Jerry Seinfeld, Louis C.K., Kevin Hart, the Capital One Just For Laughs Comedy Tour, North American dates for Family Guy Live!); production of hand-crafted awards; and talent management. Its inaugural Festival is now the world's largest and most prestigious comedy event welcoming close to 2 million people each summer. The Group has offices in Montreal, Paris, Los Angeles, Toronto and London.
About the NYTVF
Established in 2005, the NYTVF is a pioneer of the independent television movement, constructing new and innovative paths of development and talent identification, while simultaneously complementing the traditional television development model. Its annual New York Television Festival – held each fall in New York City – is recognized as the industry’s first independent television festival, which provides a platform to elevate the work of artists creating for the small screen. Through the Festival and other year-round activities – including NYTVF London, which launched in 2011 – the NYTVF’s mission is to connect its community of over 10,000 independent creative artists with leading networks, studios and brands by cultivating relationships that lead to new opportunities. For more information on the NYTVF, the annual Festival and these initiatives, visit www.nytvf.com.