Denver, Colorado, May 30, 2018- Today SeriesFest, the award-winning international television festival and non-profit organization in Denver, Colorado, announced its season 4 line-up of special events and industry panels taking place from June 22-June 27.
To magnify these powerful stories, SeriesFest is dedicating Season 4 to artists that are leveraging content as a catalyst for action as part of their ‘Year of Impact’ focus. Program highlights that fall under the ‘Year of Impact’ platform include Who Runs the Show? Women. featuring Alexa Junge (Grace & Frankie, Friends), Jessica Goldberg (The Path) and Jessika Borsickzy (House of Lies), Inclusion Impact: Disability Representation On-Screen and Behind-the-Scenes with RJ Mitte (Actor, Breaking Bad), Russell Boast (VP of the CSA), Allen Rucker (Writer, Head of the Disability Committee for WGA), and Gail Williamson (KMR, Agent), and Virtual Reality: Igniting Global Impact with Stina Hamlin (East Coast Digital), Michael Muller (Creator, Into The Now), Melissa Pracht (Video and Multi-Media Producer, Doctors Without Borders), as well as partnering with eco-friendly companies that use recycled materials for our merchandise and badges. SeriesFest’s ‘Year of Impact’ programming will explore truth and change in real life and on screen.
“We are so excited for Season 4 and our Year of Impact,” added Randi Kleiner and Kaily Smith Westbrook, co-founders of SeriesFest. “We saw a demand for content with a focus on authenticity and truth. Authenticity in the way diverse groups are represented on screen and behind the camera, and truth about the many issues that we face in this country and around the world. Our mission is to embrace and elevate these diverse and emerging voices, opinions and perspectives.”
Kicking off the six day festival on opening night at the Denver Art Museum’s Lewis I. Sharp Auditorium will be the exclusive advance screening of NBC’s highly-anticipated new drama, New Amsterdam followed by a Q&A with the star Ryan Eggold and executive producers David Schulner and Peter Horton. In addition to the previously announced Red Rocks Amphitheatre debut by Grammy Award winning Lady Antebellum, other special events will include screening of AMC’s Lodge 49 with executive producers Jim Gavin (also writer) and Peter Ocko (also showrunner); world premiere of the Facbook Watch series Sacred Lies with creator/executive producer Raelle Tucker, director/executive producer Scott Winant, and cast members; plus the world premiere of Booger Bottom USA, Outdoor Channel’s newest series from Emmy-award winning Tim Cremin, Dan Ramm and director John Carter; and much more! A trailblazer in independent development cultivating new voices, SeriesFest will close the festival with a live read of an original comedy, Volunteered by Paige Van Tassell, winner of this year’s “Storyteller’s Initiative” in partnership with Elysium Bandini Studios and Parallel Entertainment to discover original comedy writers.
SeriesFest will also showcase in-depth discussions by notable industry executives and talent about topics impacting the television landscape. Conversations will include The Golden Age of Television with Chris Selak (EVP Worldwide Television, Lionsgate), Ben Silverman (CEO, Propagate Content), Kathleen Grace (CEO, New Form), Katie O’Connell (CEO, Platform One Media) and Jeremy Gold (co-president, Blumhouse Television); Funding Your Indie Episodic featuring Evan Shapiro (producer & founder, eshapTV), Heidi Pease (CEO, Proof of Art), Lisa Wolofsky (Associate Vice President, International Finance, Film & Television, Group National Bank of Canada); and a Q&A with producers and stars of Paramount Network’s Yellowstone, which as previously announced, is making its big screen debut as part of the Centerpiece Event at Red Rocks.
The primary screening venue during SeriesFest is the Sie FilmCenter, which is the year-round cinematic home of SeriesFest’s partner organization, Denver Film Society.
SeriesFest: Season 4 will also feature its annual Independent Pilot Competition. This year’s official selections and esteemed jury will be announced in the coming week.
Passes and individual tickets to screenings, panels, and the Centerpiece event at Red Rocks Amphitheatre featuring Grammy Award-winning group Lady Antebellum and a special screening of Yellowstone starring Kevin Costner, are available now at www.seriesfest.com.
** SCHEDULE OF SPECIAL EVENTS AND INDUSTRY PANELS BELOW BY DATE**
NEW AMSTERDAM (NBC; Premieres Fall 2018)- WORLD PREMIERE
In Attendance: Star, Ryan Eggold, and Executive Producers, David Schulner and Peter Horton
Moderator: Krista Smith (Executive West Coast Editor, Vanity Fair)
Inspired by Bellevue, the oldest public hospital in America, this unique medical drama follows the brilliant and charming Dr. Max Goodwin, the institution’s newest medical director who sets out to tear up the bureaucracy and provide exceptional care. How can he help? Well, the doctors and staff have heard this before. Not taking “no” for an answer, Dr. Goodwin must disrupt the status quo and prove he will stop at nothing to breathe new life into this understaffed, underfunded and underappreciated hospital — the only one in the world capable of treating Ebola patients, prisoners from Rikers and the President of the United States under one roof — and return it to the glory that put it on the map. Creators: David Schulner & Peter Horton; Director: Kate Dennis; Executive Producers: David Schulner, Peter Horton, Kate Dennis & Eric Manheimer; Writers: David Schulner; Cast: Ryan Eggold, Freema Agyeman, Janet Montgomery, Jocko Sims, Anupam Kher & Tyler Labine; USA, 43:11m
BOOGER BOTTOM USA (Outdoor Channel)-WORLD PREMIERE
In Attendance: Executive Producer, Tim Cremin, Producer & Writer, Dan Ramm, Star, Michael Waddell
Booger Bottom USA follows Michael Waddell, charismatic host of the wildly popular hunting show Bone Collector, in his unpredictable and crazy life in Booger Bottom, GA. Michael tries to manage his pecan farm, run his TV show and deal with a host of other hilarious situations while trying to maintain a balance with his wife Christy and 5 kids. The show will be produced by 4-time Emmy award winner Tim Cremin. Michael is a man pulled in 10 different directions every day by his family, business, community and friends. He handles it all with his trademark smile while his authenticity and sincerity shine through brightly. Michael and his father “Papa” Waddell have a special bond on and off screen. Booger Bottom, USA is definitely a special place to live! Creators: Tim Cremin & Dan Ramm; Director: John Carter; Executive Producer: Tim Cremin, Producers: Dan Ramm and Tim Cremin; Writers: Dan Ramm; Cast: Michael Waddell; USA, 22m
CRAIG OF THE CREEK (Cartoon Network)-SPECIAL EVENT
Presented in partnership with NAMIC-DENVER
* Year of Impact Program
Craig of the Creek follows the precocious Craig as he leads his best friends J.P. and Kelsey on fun adventures at their neighborhood creek, transforming everyday afternoons into thrilling expeditions through imaginative play. Creators: Matt Burnett & Ben Levin; Writers: Matt Burnett, Ben Levin, Shauna McGarry & Jeff Trammell; Cast: Philip Solomon, Noel Wells, & H. Michael Croner; USA, 44m
D E E P (Memory; Season Two Premieres June 25)-WORLD PREMIERE
In Attendance: Creator Chris Osborn
D E E P is a compilation of experimental shorts, web videos, and art pieces unearthed from the darker side of the internet, lovingly curated by filmmaker Chris Osborn. When Osborn was working the graveyard shift at Vimeo, he encountered some strange and challenging videos that profoundly shifted his understanding of what’s possible with moving images. He began to scour the web for the boldest visions he could get his sights on. Along the way, he found a burgeoning community of artists making groundbreaking work designed with the internet in mind. Creators: Chris Osborn; Producers: Chris Osborn, Sebastian Pardo, & Riel Roch-Decter; USA, 60m
INCLUSION IMPACT: DISABILITY REPRESENTATION ON-SCREEN AND BEHIND-THE-SCENES - PANEL Presented in Partnership with SAG-AFTRA Performers with Disabilities Committee & SAG-AFTRA EEO & Diversity
* Year of Impact Program
Panelists: RJ Mitte (Actor, Breaking Bad), Russell Boast (Casting Director & President of CSA), Allen Rucker (Writer, Head of the Disability Committee for WGA West), and Gail Williamson (Talent Agent, KMR & Associates)
Moderator: Sheila Traister (SAG-AFTRA Colorado Local President)
With all the discussion about diversity and inclusion, it seems one group is often left out of the conversation. Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) represent the largest community in the US, encompassing every race, creed, nationality, sexual orientation, age and gender. And yet, PWDs reflect only 1% of the representation on film and television with very few writers, directors, producers and production crew represented as well. Join this panel of entertainment industry panelists, including agents, casting directors, writers and actors who are leading the charge and influencing Hollywood to be inclusive of disability.
VIRTUAL REALITY: IGNITING GLOBAL IMPACT - PANEL
Presented in Partnership with East Coast Digital
* Year of Impact Program
Panelists: Stina Hamlin (Multi-Media Creator, East Coast Digital), Michael Muller (Creator, Into The Now), Melissa Pracht (Video and Multi-Media Producer, Doctors Without Borders)
Moderator: Stephanie Riggs (Creative Director Experiential Events, Refinery 29)
Originally thought of as a gaming industry, VR has quickly outgrown its commercial roots. With immersive experiences being applied to elevate storytelling and create a social impact, virtual reality now allows audiences to explore global issues in an interactive setting. Join us we discuss how Virtual Reality is igniting change around the world.
LODGE 49 (AMC; Premieres August 2018)-SPECIAL EVENT
In Attendance: Creator/Executive Producer/writer, Jim Gavin and Executive Producer, Peter Ocko
Moderator: Matt Brennan (TV Editor, Paste)
Lodge 49 is a modern fable set in Long Beach and centered on Dud, a deadbeat but charming ex-surfer who joins a fraternal order hoping to reclaim the simple, happy lifestyle he lost when his father died. A series of events leads him to the front door of Lodge 49, a forgotten relic of a past era. Through the Lodge and his newfound connection with the other members, Dud will come to find the missing sense of purpose in his life and confront his deepest fears and greatest hopes. Creators: Jim Gavin; Director: Randall Einhorn; Executive Producers: Peter Ocko, Jim Gavin, Jeff Freilich, Dan Carey, & Paul Giamatti;
Producers: Nina Jack; Writers: Jim Gavin; Cast: Wyatt Russell; USA, 47m
SACRED LIES (Facebook Watch; Premieres Summer 2018)-SPECIAL EVENT
In Attendance: Creator/Executive Producer Raelle Tucker, Director/Executive Producer Scott Winant, and cast members
Moderator: Mina Lefevre, Head of Development at Facebook
The upcoming Facebook Watch scripted series, Sacred Lies, is based on the classic Grimms Brothers tale, The Handless Maiden and the novel, The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes. Adapted and updated by Raelle Tucker (True Blood, The Returned, Jessica Jones), who will also serve as executive producer and showrunner, Sacred Lies is about a handless teen who escapes from a cult and finds herself in juvenile detention, suspected of knowing who killed her cult leader. Emmy Award winner Scott Winant (True Blood, Good Girls Revolt, Californication) is on board to executive produce and direct the first two episodes. Creator: Raelle Tucker; Director: Scott Winant; Executive Producers: Jason Blum, Marci Wiseman, and Jeremy Gold for Blumhouse Television; Tucker, Winant; Producer: Alan McElroy; Supervising Producers: Jenny Klein, Andy Gettens & Lauren Mackenzie; Executive Story Editor: Molly Nussbaum; Cast: Elena Kampouris, Kevin Carroll, Kiana Madeira, Ryan Robbins and Toby Huss. Facebook Watch can be viewed on mobile, desktop and Facebook’s TV apps.
JOSEPH CAMPBELL AND THE POWER OF MYTH WITH BILL MOYERS-SPECIAL EVENT
Presented in Partnership with Kino Lorber & The Denver Film Society
In Attendance: TBD
In this beloved 1988 PBS series, mythologist and storyteller Joseph Campbell joins Bill Moyers to explore what enduring myths can tell us about our lives. In each of six episodes –“The Hero’s Adventure,” “The Message of the Myth,” “The First Storytellers,” “Sacrifice and Bliss,” “Love and the Goddess,” and “Masks of Eternity” — Moyers and Campbell focus on a character or theme found in cultural and religious mythologies. Campbell argues that these timeless archetypes continue to have a powerful influence on the choices we make and the ways we live. Released shortly after Campbell’s death on October 30, 1987, The Power of Myth was one of the most popular TV series in the history of public television, and continues to inspire new audiences. SeriesFest will showcase Ep. 1: The Power of Myth - 'The Hero’s Adventure' followed by a panel discussion. Creators: Bill Moyers, Joseph Campbell; Cast: Bill Moyers, Joseph Campbell; USA, 59m
WHO RUNS THE SHOW? WOMEN. –PANEL
Presented in partnership with Stephen’s College
* Year of Impact Program
Panelists: Alexa Junge (Grace & Frankie, Friends), Jessica Goldberg (The Path), & Jessika Borsickzy (House of Lies)
Moderator: Debra Birnbaum (Executive Editor, Variety)
In contrast with the film industry, women’s voices have enjoyed more representation in television over the years. Yet, there is still more work to be done. Join us for an in depth discussion with leading female showrunners focusing on their role from start to finish, breaking the glass ceiling, and what its like to helm the ship.
THE GOLDEN AGE OF TELEVISION- PANEL
Panelists: Chris Selak (EVP Worldwide Television, Lionsgate), Ben Silverman (CEO, Propagate Content), Kathleen Grace (CEO, Newform), Katie O'Connell (CEO, Platform One Media), & Jeremy Gold (Co-President, Blumhouse Television)
Moderator: Debra Birnbaum (Executive Editor, Variety)
The second "Golden Age of Television" is in full force. Episodic content is in higher demand than ever before and the industry is rising to the challenge. From networks to digital platforms, join us as top executives discuss the always changing, landscape of serialized content.
THE DIVERSITY PENDULUM: WHAT’S HAPPENING IN TV AND MEDIA-PANEL
Presented in Partnership with NAMIC-DENVER
* Year of Impact Program
Panelists: MorningStar Angeline, (Actress: Yellowstone, Longmire), Bentley Kyle Evans (Producer), Craig Ross, Jr. (Producer) & Caryn Ward Ross (Actress)
Moderator: Ali LeRoi (Director and Producer, Survivor’s Remorse, Everybody Hates Chris)
Despite a slightly more diverse list of nominees and winners for the 2018 award season, lack of racial and cultural diversity and complexity in entertainment continues to dictate character casting, storytelling and overall long-term media success. The Denver Chapter of the National Association for Multi-Ethnicity In Communications (NAMIC), is shining the spotlight on diversity inclusion as more than just casting. This panel will focus on the diversity pendulum swing in Hollywood and TV, and discuss how creators can represent history objectively and our society accurately as it relates to diversity.
RED ROCKS AMPHITHEATRE:
YELLOWSTONE (Paramount Network; Premieres June 20)-SPECIAL EVENT SCREENING *
Starring world-renowned actor and Oscar®-winner Kevin Costner, and written and directed by critically-acclaimed, Oscar®-nominated screenwriter Taylor Sheridan, Yellowstone chronicles the Dutton family, led by John Dutton, who controls the largest contiguous cattle ranch in the United States. Amid shifting alliances, unsolved murders, open wounds, and hard-earned respect – the ranch is in constant conflict with those it borders – an expanding town, an Indian reservation, and America’s first national park. Creators: Taylor Sheridan; Director: Taylor Sheridan;Executive Producers: Taylor Sheridan, John Linson, Art Linson, Michael Friedman, Kevin Costner, & David Glasser; Producers: John Vohlers; Writers: Taylor Sheridan; Cast: Kevin Costner, Luke Grimes, Kelly Reilly, Wes Bentley, Cole Hauser, Danny Huston, Gil Birmingham, Kelsey Asbille, & Brecken Merrill; USA, 93:04m
LIVE PERFORMANCE BY GRAMMY AWARD WINNING LADY ANTEBELLUM-SPECIAL EVENT- RED ROCKS DEBUT!*
FUNDING YOUR INDIE EPISODIC- PANEL
Panelists: Heidi Pease (CEO, Proof of Art), Lisa Wolofsky (Associate Vice President International Finance, Film & Television, Group National Bank of Canada), & Evan Shapiro (Producer; Founder, eshapTV)
Moderator: KC Ifeanyi (Entertainment Editor, Fast Company)
In the 90's indie films put a ding in the entertainment industry when for the first time films outside the studio system began to monetize and shake up awards season. Now as more filmmakers turn to television, everyone's asking, how do you independently produce TV, distribute it and make your money back? Join us as we discuss how industry insiders have been doing just that and what’s the future of raising money, striking deals and truly making indie TV the norm.
A BRANDED NEW WORLD- PANEL
Panelists: Charlie Lozner (Director of Integrated Services, Back Bone Media), Mike Arzt (Co-Owner, The Public Works), & Andrew Smith (Co-Founder, SupplyNY).
Moderator: Annie Carroll (GM/Head of Studios, Apartment Therapy Media)
It’s the beginning of a new era in advertising where brands must stop interrupting and start investing in content that people actually want and will find value in, value good enough to share. Annie Carroll (GM/Head of Studios, Apartment Therapy Media) will lead the in depth conversation on the quickly evolving landscape of Branded Content.
BREAKARATE- WORLD PREMIERE
In Attendance: Zak Soltz (Director), Trevor Logan (Star ),Brian Siregar (Star), Larkin Donley (Director of Photography), Ryland Aldrich (Producer), David Harris (Producer), Adam Hendricks (Executive Producer), Zac Locke (Executive Producer), Steve Petchenik (Associate Producer)
Adopted brothers Blake and Lance Thompson have been training in the ancient art of 'Breakarate' since long before they discovered their destiny to save the world. When they stumble across the hidden Chain of Beats in the basement of The Rec, they find themselves in the middle of a war. If the Medallion of Dopeness is joined with the Chain of Beats, it will unleash a power capable of destroying the world. Blake and Lance must work together to defeat a legion of Evil Butthead dance clans led by the villainous Neon Ninja and her Punkung-Fu army to keep the Chain of Beats safe... all the while looking fly as heck while doing it. Creators: Zak Stoltz, Clayton Baird & Patrick Cox; Director: Zak Stoltz; Executive Producers: Zac Locke, Adam Hendricks; Producers: Ryland Aldrich & David Harris; Writers: Clayton Baird & Patrick Cox; Cast: Trevor Logan, Brian Siregar, Miah Blake, Gichi Gamba, Nikki Tuazon, & Lily Rose Silver
‘STORYTELLERS INITIATIVE’ LIVE READ-SPECIAL EVENT
Sponsored by Elysium Bandini Studios & Parallel Entertainment; Presenting Sponsor: SAG & Comedy Works
In Attendance: talent/creators Paige VanTassell, Schele Williams
Discover one of today’s smartest and funniest writers at the annual Storytellers Initiative live event! Out of hundreds of submissions, three finalists were selected to participate in a two-day intensive Writers Workshop in L.A. this past May, and out of these three outstanding scripts, one writer was selected to receive an exclusive development deal with our Storytellers Initiative presenting partners, Parallel Entertainment and Elysium Bandini Studios. Join us at SeriesFest for a open-to-the-public live read of Volunteered, a comedy that follows the outspoken, independent, and slightly criminal Frankie Walker as she begins her mandatory volunteer work at the local community center. This special presentation also features an introduction from the writer, Paige VanTassell, featured director, Schele Williams, and a Q&A with the creatives and producing teams. Writers: Paige Vantassell; Director: Schele Williams;
NAVIGATING THE DIGITAL FREEWAY- PANEL
Panelists: Alex Malmet (Director of Development and Production, New York Post), Peter Girardi (Executive Vice President, Blue Ribbon), Winnie Kemp (SVP of Television, Super Deluxe)
Moderator: Laura Prudom (IGN)
Digital platforms are allowing content creators to forge new paths in independent content, but how do these portals decide to spotlight or even commission this work? What draws their attention and favor? And how can ambitious creators get in on the action? Join some of the taste and decision makers in this field for an illuminating conversation of how digital short form work surfaces to the top and where the business of this still rapidly developing medium is heading.
CENTERPIECE FOLLOW UP: PARAMOUNT NETWORK PRESENTS ‘YELLOWSTONE’ -PANEL
Starring world-renowned actor and Oscar®-winner Kevin Costner, and written and directed by critically-acclaimed, Oscar®-nominated screenwriter Taylor Sheridan, Yellowstone chronicles the Dutton family, led by John Dutton, who controls the largest contiguous cattle ranch in the United States. Amid shifting alliances, unsolved murders, open wounds, and hard-earned respect – the ranch is in constant conflict with those it borders – an expanding town, an Indian reservation, and America’s first national park. Starring world-renowned actor and Oscar®-winner Kevin Costner, and written and directed by critically-acclaimed, Oscar®-nominated screenwriter Taylor Sheridan, Yellowstone chronicles the Dutton family, led by John Dutton, who controls the largest contiguous cattle ranch in the United States. Amid shifting alliances, unsolved murders, open wounds, and hard-earned respect – the ranch is in constant conflict with those it borders – an expanding town, an Indian reservation, and America’s first national park. Creators: Taylor Sheridan; Director: Taylor Sheridan; Executive Producers: Taylor Sheridan, John Linson, Art Linson, Michael Friedman, Kevin Costner, & David Glasser; Producers: John Vohlers; Writers: Taylor Sheridan; Cast: Kevin Costner, Luke Grimes, Kelly Reilly, Wes Bentley, Cole Hauser, Danny Huston, Gil Birmingham, Kelsey Asbille, & Brecken Merrill; USA, 93:04m
IN CONVERSATION WITH MARK FEUERSTEIN-PANEL
In Attendance: Mark Feuerstein
Beloved for his role as Dr. Hank Lawson on USA's Royal Pains, Mark Feuerstein has been charming television audiences for over 15 years. Last fall, Feuerstein gave viewers a look into his life beyond the screen with the CBS’ family comedy, 9JKL, which he wrote and co-created with his wife. Join SeriesFest for an in-depth conversation with the multi-hyphenate actor-writer-producer on the creative process of taking ideas to screen and the challenges of an evolving television industry.
The award-winning international television festival SeriesFest (www.seriesfest.com) has become a must-attend destination event for entertainment industry leaders and fans alike since its launch in 2014. Season four of the Denver, Colorado-based festival returns June 22-27, 2018. A celebration of compelling and creative content, SeriesFest is a global marketplace and community for creators, industry professionals and audiences. At a time when television is expanding and evolving like never before, the festival provides an opportunity to showcase a diverse range of original programming. This year’s festival will celebrate “The Year of Impact” with a musical performance and network premiere at the unique Red Rocks Amphitheatre, and six full days of in-competition screenings (categories include “Independent Pilot,” “Digital Short Series,” and “Late Night”), panels, workshops, as well as never-before-seen sneak peeks and television premieres. The pilot competition schedule will be announced in early June.
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