Edinburgh Pitch Insights: This is National Wake

Our Edinburgh Pitch is a small affair, but one of community, warmth and passion. Our call for submissions for the 2023 edition is open and as we are gearing up to what will be the first in person edition in three years, we wanted to look back on some of the powerful projects and talented teams who came to visit us in Edinburgh in the recent years and celebrate the recently finished films!

Edinburgh Pitch Insights is a series of informal and candid online discussions, focusing primarily on documentary pitching and the often challenging journey of securing funding for features. Join us to hear filmmakers and producers' experiences and advices. This is also the opportunity to discuss together what the future of pitching could look like, to contribute to a more sustainable, supportive and fairer industry.

**Please note that these sessions will not be recorded // The film link will be available closer to the event date**

Our guest for this upcoming event is Mirissa Neff, the director and producer of This is National Wake, presented at the 2019 edition of the Edinburgh Pitch before winning awards and screening in film festivals across the world.

Mirissa is a documentary filmmaker with an extensive background in arts journalism, photography and design. Her work centers around themes of race, music and how images can help people imagine new collective futures. She has worked as a producer and correspondent for PBS's Sound Tracks, PBS's Quick Hits and public television's Music Voyager. She has reported on music and culture for a number of leading programs on NPR and other public radio outlets. This is National Wake is her first film.

This is National Wake | 2022 | 66 min | UK, Ireland, South Africa and USA

This is National Wake recounts the revelatory story of young musicians who dared, in 1970s South Africa, to launch a multiracial band against the backdrop of apartheid. Formed by two black brothers from Soweto and a white guitarist from Johannesburg, National Wake broke all of apartheid's laws. The band filmed their rebellious performances on brilliant Super 8 before the government shut them down, and director Mirissa Neff uses this archival footage, along with audio interviews, to create a grainy plunge into the past. The result is an energetic feature debut that tells the immersive story of a short-lived yet remarkable countercultural attempt to fight entrenched oppression with music.

“Think the Clash were rebels? Meet National Wake.” – The Guardian

“One of the most anticipated music documentaries of the year.” – Deadline


For your calendars - the next Edinburgh Pitch Insights:
- Tuesday 28th March // 1-2pm UK time - Director Borja Alcalde for La Sagrada Familia

Applications for the Edinburgh Pitch are currently open and you have until Wednesday 29th March 2023 to submit your project/s. Find all the info on how to apply here.

The Edinburgh Pitch is a public forum and Observer passes will be available from May - watch this space!

The Edinburgh Pitch is supported by Screen Scotland


14 March 2023, 01.00PM - 02.00PM



Will you come?