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Film Columbus Awards $50,000 at the Second-Annual Pitch Cbus Competition

in Press Releases November 29, 2023 2 min read

Awards presented in partnership with Gateway Film Center, Greater Columbus Arts Council and Cinema Columbus Film Festival

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Film Columbus, in its ongoing commitment to support and promote the local film industry, held its second annual Pitch CBus competition on Nov. 3, 2023. Filmmaker Sydnee Roberts-Crews emerged as the winner, securing the top prize of $15,000 for her comedic short film project, “Frank, the Racist Ghost.”

Pitch Cbus 23, an event open to local filmmakers aged 18 and older residing in Franklin or contiguous counties, featured prize categories encompassing feature-length and short film documentary, animation, narrative and experimental projects. In addition to the top prize, the competition also provided prizes of $10,000 and $5,000 to the two top shorts and two top feature-length projects. In addition, five $1,000 prizes went to the remaining finalists.

“We had such incredible diversity and quality in the pitches this year,” said John Daugherty, Film Columbus director and film commissioner for central Ohio. “Columbus is making great strides in expanding diversity within the realm of filmmaking. Out of the 10 finalists, eight hailed from POC or LGBTQ+ identifying backgrounds, a truly extraordinary representation.”

The Pitch Cbus 23 finals took place in front of a live audience and a panel of distinguished industry judges, including Brian Plow from Ohio University; Isabella Blake-Thomas, an accomplished actor and producer from Los Angeles; and Wayne Horton, a seasoned producer also based in Los Angeles. Each participant was allotted five minutes to present their unique project ideas and answer questions from the judges. The winners were revealed during the event.

“My creative partner, Kyle, and I are excited to have been given this opportunity,” says top winner Sydnee Roberts-Crews. “The talent that came out to pitch was incredible and we’re thankful to have been chosen to make ‘Frank, the Racist Ghost’ come to life.”

The Greater Columbus Arts Council (GCAC) and Film Columbus have provided more than $100,000 in support to local filmmakers in 2023.

“I am thrilled to announce that we are taking a massive step forward in 2024, with plans to grant over $200,000 to further support the filmmaking community in central Ohio,” said Daugherty. “We’ve been listening to local filmmakers and their needs. This increased funding will no doubt lead to more opportunities, more jobs and will continue to enhance the overall quality of projects.”

For more information about Film Columbus and its initiatives, please visit

About the Greater Columbus Film Commission: The Greater Columbus Film Commission (Film Columbus) aims to grow the film industry in Columbus and central Ohio by creating jobs and providing significant economic impact for the area. Film Columbus strives to build Columbus as a top city for film education, exhibition, and production. Film Columbus is a division of the Greater Columbus Arts Council and is primarily supported by funds provided by the City of Columbus. For more information, visit

Mission of the Greater Columbus Arts Council: To support and advance the arts and cultural fabric of Columbus.

The Greater Columbus Arts Council receives major financial support from the City of Columbus, Franklin County Commissioners, the Ohio Arts Council and The Ohio State University.

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CONTACT: Jami Goldstein
(614) 221-8492