Denver, CO, June 10, 2020 – SeriesFest unveiled today the expansive programming line-up for SeriesFest: Season 6, the reimagined virtual festival experience dedicated to supporting the art of episodic storytelling. Taking place June 18-24, the annual festival will ‘Fest / Differently’ with six days of must-stream events including competition screenings, engaging panel discussions, one-of-a-kind workshops, as well as never-before-seen sneak peeks and television premieres.
SeriesFest: Season 6 will kick off on June 18 with an opening night screening of the new STARZ drama, P-Valley, followed by a live streaming Q&A panel with the series’ stars Brandee Evans, Nicco Annan, Shannon Thornton, Elarica Johnson, Creator and Showrunner, Katori Hall. Joining the special event line-up this year includes Apple original series Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet with co-creator, executive producer, star, Rob McElhenney, co-creator and executive producer, Megan Ganz, along with stars, Charlotte Nicdao, F. Murray Abraham, and Jessie Ennis; BBC America’s critically-acclaimed and award-winning series, Killing Eve, with series executive producer Sally Woodward Gentle, season 3 lead writer and executive producer, Suzanne Heathcote, director and co-executive producer, Miranda Bowen, and director Shannon Murphy; AMC’s supernatural horror series, NOS4A2, with star Zachary Quinto and executive producer/showrunner, Jami O’Brien; RepresentUS’s Unbreaking America with Co-Founder, Joshua Graham Lynn; Participant’s City So Real from Oscar-nominated filmmaker, Steve James; Outdoor Channel’s Farming the Wild and Sportsman Channel’s DeadMeat.
To reinforce the impact of visionary creatives and executives shaping the world of episodic storytelling, SeriesFest is thrilled to announce the return of the Innovation Talk series, presented in partnership with Liberty Global. Joining the festival to take part in these up close and personal conversations are: Quibi Founder and Chairman of the Board Jeffrey Katzenberg with Liberty Global’s CEO and Vice Chairman Mike Fries; Kathleen Finch, Chief Lifestyle Brands Officer of Discovery, Inc. with Meredith Verdone, Chief Marketing Officer of Bank of America; and President of ‘Yellow Brick Road’ and Award-winning producer Teri Weinberg.
SeriesFest’s “Fest/Differently” is shining a light on the influx of virtual content and the importance of honoring creators together in this new age. The Covid-19 and The Altered Entertainment Landscape panel featuring Jeremy Gold (Co-President, Blumhouse Television), Howard Owens (Founder & Co-CEO, Propagate Content), Jennifer Daly (President, Critical Content), Marc Juris (President & GM, WE tv) and Rob McElhenney (Creator, Writer/Director, Actor), will pull the curtain back on the pandemic’s impact on the creative world and what meaningful steps innovative leaders are taking to keep moving the industry forward. Addressing another timely issue, the 2020 Platform: Content and Politics panel, moderated by Eric Kuhn (CBS Senior Vice President of Social Media) will provide a special dialogue around how political campaigns utilize digital content as a platform to spark change in government. Panelists include: Alex Wallace (Head of Media & Content, Verizon Media) and Peter Hamby (Head of News, Snapchat) with more to be announced.
Additional discussions featuring prominent talent and executives this year include: State of the World: International Television featuring Albin Lewi (Artistic Director, CanneSeries), Sally Habbershaw (EVP Americas, All3Media International), Jeffrey Engelen (Head of North America Office, BetaFilm), and Gustavo Gontijo (Content Development Manager, Globo TV International; The Reality of Reality, an in-depth discussion about the creative process of unscripted television from start to finish with Jim Berger (Founder, High Noon Entertainment), Howard Lee (President and GM, TLC), Brent Montgomery (CEO, Wheelhouse Group), Josh Bider (Agent, WME), and Katie Neff (SVP Development, High Noon Entertainment).
“Art has always been a powerful means of expression during times of turmoil and tragedy. It empowers us to have difficult conversations, and it enables us all to come together to experience shared human truths. In this unprecedented time, we feel it is critical to celebrate artistic expression and champion the creators who make their voices heard. More than ever before, we see the need to bring the creative community together and ‘Fest Differently.’ We’re thrilled and honored to have such amazing artists participating in this year’s virtual festival. Together, they will provide incredible insight, and in some cases, much-needed escapism,” adds Randi Kleiner and Kaily Smith Westbrook, Founders, SeriesFest.
Passes to SeriesFest: Season 6 including all screenings, panels, network premieres, and special events are now on sale at www.seriesfest.com. Television Academy & Stage32 members will be offered a discounted rate. 50% of ticket sales to the “COVID-19 and the Altered Entertainment Landscape” panel will be donated to World Central Kitchen.
Press accreditation applications to SeriesFest: Season 6 are now open! Both returning and new press can apply for the SeriesFest: Season 6 Press Pass at link HERE.
SeriesFest is presented with the continued generous support from our partners: Xfinity, Once Upon A Time Productions, Denver Film, Liberty Global, Brownstein Farber Hyatt Schreck, Fries Foundation, Unreal Media, Dilettante Productions, Coca-Cola, Citi Private Bank, Bank of America, Stephens College MFA in Screenwriting, Oklahoma Film +Music Office, JP Morgan Chase, Anna & John J. Sie Foundation, Hyde Park Jewelers & Stage32.
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** SCHEDULE OF SPECIAL EVENTS AND INDUSTRY PANELS BELOW BY DATE**
(***Updates will be announced asap***)
THURSDAY, JUNE 18
‘P-VALLEY’ (STARZ; Premieres July 12) – OPENING NIGHT SCREENING AND PANEL
Presented in Partnership with Starz/Lionsgate
In Attendance: Stars Brandee Evans (The Bobby Brown Story), Nicco Annan (This Is Us), Shannon Thornton (Power), Elarica Johnson (A Discovery of Witches); Creator and Showrunner, Katori Hall
Deep down in the Mississippi Delta lies an oasis of grit and glitter in a rough patch of human existence where beauty can be hard to find. This southern-fried, hour-long drama tells the kaleidoscopic story of a little-strip-club-that-could and the big characters who come through its doors—the hopeful, the lost, the broken, the ballers, the beautiful, and the damned. Trap music meets film noir in this lyrical and atmospheric series that dares to ask what happens when small-town folk dream beyond the boundaries of the Piggly Wiggly and the pawnshop.
INNOVATION TALK WITH JEFFREY KATZENBERG & MIKE FRIES- SPECIAL EVENT
Presented in Partnership with Liberty Global
In Attendance: Jeffrey Katzenberg (Founder & Chairman of the Board at Quibi, Co-founder of Dreamworks and former Chair of Walt Disney Studios) and Mike Fries (Chief Executive Officer, Liberty Global)
SeriesFest is excited to present a unique conversation with two top industry executives, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Founder & Chairman of the Board at Quibi, Co-founder of Dreamworks and former Chair of Walt Disney Studios, and Mike Fries, CEO of Liberty Global. Join us for an in-depth discussion as they discuss the evolving global television marketplace and how they lead their companies to be on the forefront in changing the way we access and consume content around the world. A not to be missed conversation.
FRIDAY, JUNE 19
COVID-19 AND THE ALTERED ENTERTAINMENT LANDSCAPE – PANEL
Presented in partnership with Oklahoma Film + Music Office
Panelists: Jeremy Gold (Co-President , Blumhouse Television), Howard Owens (Co-Founder & Co-CEO, Propagate Content), Marc Juris (President & General Manager, WE tv), Jenny Daly (President, Critical Content), Rob McElhenney (Creator, Writer/Director, Actor)
The outbreak of COVID-19 has altered life as we know it and people around the world have embarked upon a quarantine with no clear end. With safety top of mind, production schedules, major studio releases, and tentpole premiere events lurched to a halt. Amidst all of the uncertainty, the television industry united to keep churning out entertainment for loyal audiences looking for a distraction and entertainment at home. Join us for special conversation with the innovative network and studio leaders on the front lines of the new frontier of entertainment to discuss how TV is moving forward.
UNBREAKING AMERICA – REPRESENTUS — SPECIAL EVENT
Presented in Partnership with RepresentUs
In Attendance: Joshua Graham Lynn (Co-Founder, RepresentUs); more panelists to be announced
Founded in 2012, RepresentUs is the nation’s leading right-left anti-corruption group, bringing together conservatives, progressives, and everyone in between to pass anti-corruption laws in cities and states around the country. Join us for a special screening of 3 episodes of the innovative digital series of short films, Unbreaking America, followed by an exclusive Q&A with the RepresentUs team.
PITCH-A-THON! – PANEL
Presented in Partnership with Oklahoma Film + Music Office & Working Artists Group
Our annual Pitch-A-Thon featuring independent content creators will have the opportunity to participate in an exclusive live pitch session at our virtual celebration of episodic storytelling with top television, new media and digital execs in hopes of moving their projects – and careers – forward.
The Creator/Creative Team will have 5 minutes to pitch in front of an audience. An industry panel of experts will then have 7 minutes to give their feedback to each project.
SATURDAY, JUNE 20
KILLING EVE: BEHIND THE LENS- SPECIAL EVENT
Presented in Partnership with BBC America
In Attendance: Sally Woodward Gentle (Series Executive Producer), Suzanne Heathcote (Lead writer for Season 3 and Executive Producer), Miranda Bowen (Director and Co-Executive Producer), and Shannon Murphy (Director)
Members of the creative team behind the award-winning drama, Killing Eve, come together to discuss the inventive artistry and world-building that goes into the BBC AMERICA hit. Join series executive producer Sally Woodward Gentle, season three’s lead writer and executive producer Suzanne Heathcote, director and co-executive producer Miranda Bowen, and director Shannon Murphy for a conversation following its successful third season on BBC AMERICA and AMC which The New Yorker said, “For its next trick, Killing Eve, now in its third season, cracks apart the genre it invented” and Marie Claire said, “the new season includes some of the best twists of the entire series.”
NOS4A2 (AMC; June 21)-Season Two Premiere-Special Event
In Attendance: Zachary Quinto (Emmy-nominated actor and producer) and Jami O’Brien (Executive Producer, Showrunner)
SeriesFest is proud to screen the season two opener of AMC’s critically-acclaimed supernatural horror series, NOS4A2, followed by an exclusive conversation with cast and creators. NOS4A2’s second season picks up eight years after the events of season one. Vic McQueen (Ashleigh Cummings) remains more determined than ever to destroy Charlie Manx (Zachary Quinto). Charlie, having faced his own mortality, emerges desperate for revenge against Vic. This time, he sets his sights on the person who means most to Vic – her eight-year-old son Wayne. The race for Wayne’s soul sends Vic and Charlie on a high-speed collision course, forcing both to confront the mistakes of their pasts in order to secure a hold on Wayne’s future. The series’ second season stars Emmy®-nominated actor and producer Zachary Quinto and rising star Ashleigh Cummings, along with Jahkara Smith, Olafur Darri Olafsson, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, Virginia Kull, Jonathan Langdon, Ashley Romans, Jason David and Mattea Conforti. Based on Joe Hill’s best-selling novel of the same name, NOS4A2 is executive produced by showrunner Jami O’Brien (Fear the Walking Dead, Hell on Wheels) and Hill. The series is produced by AMC Studios in association with Tornante Television.
“INNOVATION TALK” WITH TERI WEINBERG – SPECIAL EVENT
Presented in Partnership with Liberty Global, Stephens College MFA in Screenwriting and UnReal Media
In Attendance: President of ‘Yellow Brick Road’, Teri Weinberg
Join us for an in-depth conversation with veteran television Executive Producer Teri Weinberg, President of Yellow Brick Road. We’ll walk through Weinberg’s incredible career from producing groundbreaking television like NBC’s The Office, ABC’s Ugly Betty and Netflix’s Gentefied, to her continued commitment to nurture culturally diverse voices.
AMPLIFY INCLUSION THROUGH INDEPENDENT SERIES – PANEL
Panelists: Chris Jenkins (EP, Mavericks), Michael Michele (EP & Director, Mavericks), more panelists to be announced
At Seriesfest, we recognize that we need to play an even greater role in supporting and amplifying the voices of Black storytellers. We need a space to collectively learn and process the injustice that is evident in our society while exploring our common humanity. Join our panel of creators from Season 6 for an honest conversation about the state of the world and utilizing independent series to highlight racial, political, and gender equity issues facing America today. This will be a special conversation with cutting edge filmmakers who are all using episodic storytelling as their weapon of choice for invoking change.
SUNDAY, JUNE 21
STATE OF THE WORLD: INTERNATIONAL TELEVISION – PANEL
Presented in partnership with Liberty Global
Panelists: Albin Lewi (Artistic Director, CanneSeries), Sally Habbershaw (EVP Americas, All3Media International), Jeffrey Engelen (Head of North America Office, BetaFilm), and Gustavo Gontijo (Content Development Manager, Globo TV International)
Moderator: Nico Franks, Senior Reporter and Editor, C21 Media
The international industry of episodic creation, financing, development, production and distribution is complex and multifaceted, especially in the time of a global pandemic. Join our panel of experts as they dive into the current state of the industry across the globe and examine how each country is finding their footing to create and exhibit content in this period of uncertainty as countries slowly re-open for business.
‘DEADMEAT’ & ‘FARMING THE WILD’ – SPECIAL EVENT
Presented in Partnership with Outdoor Channel and Sportsman Channel
In Attendance: Mike Robinson (Farming The Wild) , Scott Leysath (DeadMeat)
Moderator: Elise Wiggins (Chef and Owner, Cattivella)
Dead Meat is about finding interesting people who have a passion for making some of the ugliest critters taste delicious. They’re passionate about getting the most from the creatures and the parts of the animals less eaten. The show is edgy, outrageous, funny and maybe a little scary to those that don’t keep a freezer full of pythons, sea cucumbers or rodents. Think Swamp People meets Anthony Bourdain. I just hang out with others that make the assumption that if it’s worth killing it’s worth eating.
English restaurateur and hunter Mike Robinson is one of Britain’s most prominent game chefs, and he co-owns the only pub in Britain with a prestigious Michelin-star. Farming the Wild follows Chef Robinson harvesting natural ingredients that make up some of his most famous dishes. As an expert marksman and deer stalker, Chef Robinson shares many unique skills and techniques he uses to sustainably hunt the game. He also shares the professional methods and tips to help viewers elevate their wild game cooking, both at home and over their campfires.
CITY SO REAL – SPECIAL EVENT
Presented in Partnership with Participant and Kartemquin Films
In Attendance: Steve James (Academy Award nominated filmmaker)
Moderator: Malcolm Venable (Senior Editor, TV Guide)
Academy Award®-nominated filmmaker Steve James’ fascinating and complex portrait of contemporary Chicago delivers a deep, multifaceted look into the soul of a quintessentially American city, set against the backdrop of its history-making 2019 mayoral election.
STORYTELLERS INITIATIVE LIVE READ: COLLEGIATE WRITING COMPETITION – SPECIAL EVENT
Presented in partnership with Once Upon a Time Productions & the Anna & John J. Sie Foundation
SeriesFest will celebrate its sixth festival of the Storyteller’s Initiative Live Read with a focus on Collegiate Writing. Join us for a live read presentation of Peach Pit by Sidney Nordstrom; a comedy series about Mel, a 24-year old burnout whose morals are as lacking as her income, is presented with an opportunity to fix her financial woes, but only if she can commit one, tiny little murder…
MONDAY, JUNE 22
THE REALITY OF REALITY – PANEL
Presented in Partnership with High Noon Entertainment & Coca Cola
Panelists: Howard Lee (President & General Manager, TLC, Discovery, Inc.), Brent Montgomery (CEO, Wheelhouse Group), Josh Bider (Non Scripted Agent, WME, WME), Katie Neff (SVP, Development, High Noon Entertainment)
Moderator: Jim Berger (CEO High Noon Entertainment & Strategic Advisor to ITV America, High Noon Entertainment)
MTV’S The Real World premiered nearly 30 years ago, and since then, unscripted television has expanded dramatically, crossing genres from docudramas to cooking, home renovation to survival, relationships to dancing, and more. For producers, it’s literally an Amazing Race as they scour the country in search of ordinary people who possess that rare personality to become the next big reality star. How do they discover breakout talent and create hit formats? Join us for an in-depth discussion with the producers and networks who tackle this creative process from start to finish.
“INNOVATION TALK” WITH KATHLEEN FINCH & MEREDITH VERDONE – SPECIAL EVENT
Presented in Partnership with Liberty Global
In Attendance: Kathleen Finch (Chief Lifestyle Brands Officer of Discovery, Inc.) and Meredith Verdone (Chief Marketing Officer, Bank Of America)
SeriesFest is excited to present a unique conversation with Kathleen Finch, Chief Lifestyle Brands Officer at Discovery Inc. who oversees a leading collection of 10 female-focused brands highlighted by HGTV, Food Network and TLC, and Meredith Verdone, Chief Marketing Officer of Bank of America. Join us for an in-depth conversation from two powerhouse female executives as they discuss their roles as leaders in major corporations during this pivotal time of change. They will highlight how current world events are impacting their respective businesses and what this means for the entertainment and financial industries as we look forward. A very important conversation for our time.
CREATING TV IN THE AGE OF COVID – “MYTHIC QUEST: QUARANTINE” – SPECIAL EVENT
Panelists: Rob McElhenney (Co-Creator, Director, Executive Producer, Star), Megan Ganz (Co-Creator, Executive Producer), Charlotte Nicdao (Star), Jessie Ennis (Star), F. Murray Abraham (Star), more panelists to be announced
Written, filmed, and edited in quarantine and shot entirely on iPhone, this 30-minute special episode of “Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet” – now streaming on Apple TV+ – captures the reality of human connection during the age of COVID and sets the tone for the future of creating television amid the global pandemic. In “Mythic Quest: Quarantine,” we find the team behind the biggest multiplayer video game of all-time tasked with working from home — Poppy (Charlotte Nicdao) struggles with solitude while Brad (Danny Pudi) and David (Hornsby) start a charitable competition. David attempts to corral them all during their time of quarantine with mixed but ultimately hilarious results. Forbes hailed the episode for its “masterful storytelling and the first piece of media to really find the pulse of our cultural mindset right now; ” and Fast Company says it’s“ the first narrative show that truly has something to say about this era and manages to get it across in its own unique voice.”
Following the screening of “Mythic Quest: Quarantine,” join the cast and creative forces behind the series for a special conversation uncovering the unique creative process and ensemble collaboration in this ‘Quarantine’ focused episode.
TUESDAY, JUNE 23
THE 2020 PLATFORM: CONTENT AND POLITICS – PANEL
Panelists: Alex Wallace (Head of Media & Content, Verizon Media), Peter Hamby (Head of News, Snapchat); more panelists to be announced
Moderator: Eric Kuhn (Senior Vice President of Social Media, CBS)
This milestone year in politics has been unexpectedly disrupted with COVID-19 outbreak. Politicians have begun the march onto our television screens, laptops, and mobile devices and despite Stay At Home Orders, Americans will be called to the voting polls. Join us for a special conversation around how political campaigns utilize digital content as a platform to spark change in government.
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 24
Binge Day! Watch Independent Pilots and catch up on signature events!
SeriesFest, a non-profit organization, champions and empowers artists at the forefront of episodic storytelling by providing year-round opportunities for creators and industry professionals to connect, collaborate, and share stories, which inspire and impact global audiences. Each June, SeriesFest culminates in a highly-curated and celebrated Denver-based festival and marketplace. Dedicated to showcasing innovative episodic content, the annual festival includes in-competition independent pilot screenings, panels, workshops, live reads, parties and network television premieres.
SeriesFest: Season 7, will return to Denver in June 2021 with an even more ambitious, creative and exciting program.
Follow @SeriesFest on Twitter.