The non-profit organization, SeriesFest, supports artists by providing opportunities for industry professionals and creators to collaborate, connect, and share stories. Every June, they come together in celebration and a highly curated festival and marketplace based in Denver, which is committed to showcasing episodic content. The annual festival includes workshops, panels, parties, live reads, independent pilot screenings, and network television premieres. Randi Kleiner and Kaily Smith Westbrook, the Founders of SeriesFest, added:
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 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.
The virtual festival experience SeriesFest: Season 6 has released the line-up of programming that will be available for the six-day event, June 18 to June 24. The event will ‘Fest/Differently’ this year with six days of streaming special events, including one of a kind workshops, competition screenings, panel discussions, and never seen before television premieres. The festival will make a return to Denver in June 2021 with SeriesFest: Season 7 and will contain an even more exciting and creative program!
Passes for panels, special events, all screenings, and network premieres for SeriesFest: Season 6 are now on sale, and you can grab them here. Members of Stage32 and the Television Academy will be offered a discounted rate for tickets. SeriesFest is also donating 50% of the ticket sales of the ‘COVID-19 and the Altered Entertainment Landscape’ panel to the World Central Kitchen.
Have a look at the schedule below to see what’s happening during the virtual festival.
THURSDAY, JUNE 18
P-VALLEY (STARZ; Premieres July 12)
(Opening night screening and panel)
To kick off the virtual festival, SeriesFest will be screening the premiere episode of the new Starz show P-Valley, which is set in the Mississippi Delta. After the episode screening, that will be presented in partnership with Starz/Lionsgate. There will be a panel with the cast and creator of the drama.
In attendance: Stars Brandee Evans (The Bobby Brown Story), Nicco Annan (This Is Us), Shannon Thornton (Power), Elarica Johnson (A Discovery of Witches), plus Creator and Showrunner, Katori Hall.
INNOVATION TALK WITH JEFFREY KATZENBERG & MIKE FRIES
This special event will be an exciting conversation with two top industry executives who will be delving into what it takes to keep their companies at the forefront for consumers to access content in an ever-evolving global television marketplace.
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).
FRIDAY, JUNE 19
COVID-19 AND THE ALTERED ENTERTAINMENT LANDSCAPE
This panel will be with innovative studio and network leaders who will be the front-runners of a new frontier of entertainment, discussing how television has moved forward during the COVID-19 global pandemic.
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).
UNBREAKING AMERICA – REPRESENTUS
This special event will be a screening of three episodes of the digital series of short films, Unbreaking America, and will be followed by a Q&A session with the RepresentUs team.
In attendance: Joshua Graham Lynn (Co-Founder, RepresentUs), with more panelists to be announced.
This annual panel will have independent content creators have a live pitch session to top television, new media, and digital executives, all in the hope of furthering their projects and careers.
SATURDAY, JUNE 20
KILLING EVE: BEHIND THE LENS
This panel discussion, with members of Killing Eve’s creative team, is about the artistry and impressive world-building that has created the award-winning drama.
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).
NOS4A2 (AMC June 21) Season Two Premiere
This will be a screening of the season two premiere episode of NOS4A2, AMC’s supernatural horror series. After the episode, there will be an exclusive conversation with creators and cast of the series.
In attendance: Zachary Quinto (Emmy-nominated actor and producer) and Jami O’Brien (Executive Producer, Showrunner).
“INNOVATION TALK” WITH TERI WEINBERG
This will be an in-depth conversation about the groundbreaking televisions series Weinberg has produced as well as her continued commitment to showcasing culturally diverse voices in future projects.
In attendance: President of ‘Yellow Brick Road,’ Teri Weinberg.
AMPLIFY INCLUSION THROUGH INDEPENDENT SERIES
This panel of creators will be discussing the current state of the world and how to use the medium available to them to highlight and invoke change.
Panelists: Chris Jenkins (EP, Mavericks), Michael Michele (EP & Director, Mavericks), and more panelists will be announced.
SUNDAY, JUNE 21
STATE OF THE WORLD: INTERNATIONAL TELEVISION
The panel of experts will be diving into the current state of the entertainment industry across the globe as well as looking at how each country is managing to create and share new content in this new period of uncertainty.
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.
DEADMEAT & FARMING THE WILD
This special event will be with the stars of Farming the Wild (Mike Robinson) and Dead Meat (Scott Leysath).
In attendance: Mike Robinson (Farming The Wild), Scott Leysath (DeadMeat).
Moderator: Elise Wiggins (Chef and Owner, Cattivella).
CITY SO REAL
This special event will be given a look into contemporary Chicago during the 2019 mayoral elections.
In attendance: Steve James (Academy Award-nominated filmmaker).
Moderator: Malcolm Venable (Senior Editor, TV Guide).
STORYTELLERS INITIATIVE LIVE READ: COLLEGIATE WRITING COMPETITION
This will be a live read presentation of Peach Pit by Sidney Nordstrom.
They are presented in partnership with Once Upon a Time Productions & the Anna & John J. Sie Foundation.
MONDAY, JUNE 22
THE REALITY OF REALITY
This panel will be a discussion about the creative process of unscripted television, start to finish with producers and networks who are used to this creative process.
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).
“INNOVATION TALK” WITH KATHLEEN FINCH & MEREDITH VERDONE
This will be a unique conversation with Kathleen Finch, Chief Lifestyle Brands Officer at Discovery Inc., and Meredith Verdone, Chief Marketing Officer of Bank of America, two amazing female executives.
In attendance: Kathleen Finch (Chief Lifestyle Brands Officer of Discovery, Inc.) and Meredith Verdone (Chief Marketing Officer, Bank Of America).
CREATING TV IN THE AGE OF COVID – MYTHIC QUEST: QUARANTINE
This will be a screening of Mythic Quest: Quarantine, and afterward, there will be a panel with the cast and creators of the project.
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) and more panelists to be announced.
TUESDAY, JUNE 23
THE 202p PLATFORM: CONTENT AND POLITICS
This panel will be a conversation on political campaigns and how they use digital content as a platform.
Panelists: Alex Wallace (Head of Media & Content, Verizon Media), Peter Hamby (Head of News, Snapchat), with more panelists to be announced.
Moderator: Eric Kuhn (Senior Vice President of Social Media, CBS).
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 24
It’s a Binge Day. Time to catch up on signature events and watch independent pilots.
You can tune in to watch SeriesFest: Season 6 June 18 to June 24, and you can get your tickets here. You can watch the teaser video below.