NY TV Festival to Feature Lena Dunham, Mitch Hurwitz

The 12th annual New York Television Festival takes place Oct. 24-29 in New York and brings together a lineup of TV industry luminaries that includes Lena Dunham, Evan Shapiro and Mitchell Hurwitz, along with many looking for a break into the business. Fully 63 independent pilots will be screened.   

Held primarily at the at the Helen Mills Theater and Event Space and SVA Theatre in Manhattan, NYTVF starts off with NYTVF Connect Artist + Industry program with back-to-back keynotes from Evan Shapiro, NBCUniversal executive VP of digital enterprises, and How I Met Your Mother creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas, interviewed by NYTVF Founder/Executive Director Terence Gray. On opening night, Shapiro’s Seeso comedy channel presents “The Politics of Funny,” featuring comedians including Janeane Garofalo.

“The independent television movement continues to thrive as we prepare for our 12th annual Festival, at which we are proud to present a line-up that includes some of TV’s boldest, most original episodic storytellers,” said Gray. “At its core, the NYTVF is rooted in the celebration of great creators – whether they are established or just beginning their careers – and creating an environment that fosters talent development and relationship-building.”

On Tuesday, Oct. 25, it’s “Prep Your Pitch with Mitch,” with Arrested Development creator Mitchell Hurwitz offering guidance in a Q&A setting. Guests will also screen the season four premiere of Sundance TV’s Rectify, with a talk with creator Ray McKinnon.

Tuesday also features a truTV comedy night with Jon Glaser and Rachel Dratch, while TNT hosts a “First Look at Original Drama,” with a Good Behavior screening.

Wednesday, Oct. 26 is NYTVF Connect Marketplace, with meetings between indie creators and industry decision-makers.

Oct. 27 features a keynote from Girls creator Lena Dunham and showrunner Jenni Konner, along with HBO programming VP Kathleen McCaffrey. Then it’s “The Struggle is Real: Gender, Race, Entrepreneurship and the Women of MTV,” and a peek at Pop’s scripted comedy Nightcap.

Oct. 27 also offers a virtual reality storytelling conference called StoryNEXT. 

On Friday, it’s an improv event from New York’s The PIT, Annoyance, and Magnet Theaters, while Saturday is NYTVF Development Day along with a keynote from the creators of HBO’s Animals, Mike Luciano and Phil Matarese.  

Said founder Gray, “We are humbled and thrilled to share our full programming slate with the indie producers, aspiring artists, industry decision-makers, and TV fans that spend a week with us each October.”

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.