Like a number of other major Colorado events, SeriesFest was forced to get creative in 2020.
The annual festival, which has been dubbed the "Sundance for TV" is entering its seventh season this year. Last year it went with a virtual summer celebration with a tagline of "Fest/Differently."
The popular festival is staying virtual again this year but is continuing its tireless dedication to support the art of episodic storytelling. This year's event takes place June 24-July 11 and will consist of tons of events including screenings, panels, workshops, as well as never-before-seen sneak peeks and television premieres.
SeriesFest: Season 7 kicks off with an opening night screening of the world premiere of Peacock Original docu-series, “Epstein’s Shadow: Ghislaine Maxwell,” which reveals Maxwell's complicated story of power, sex, and money.
Special guest appearing in panels during the fest include Jennifer Garner, Mark Duplass, Christian Slater and Jared Harris.
Passes to SeriesFest: Season 7 including all screenings, panels, network premieres, and special events are now on sale at www.seriesfest.com.
Check out the SeriesFest 2021 schedule below.
Friday, June 25
INNOVATION TALK WITH JENNIFER GARNER-SPECIAL EVENT
In Attendance: Jennifer Garner (Award-winning actor) and Krista Smith (Netflix, SeriesFest Board of Directors)
From the legendary Sydney Bristow in Alias, busting some serious moves in 13 Going on 30, and giving us a look into her life via social media, no one can deny the joy, authenticity, and creativity Jennifer Garner brings us every time she steps in front of the camera. Join Krista Smith, host of Netflix podcast Present Company, and Garner for an intimate discussion on her career in entertainment, and the launch of her plant-based kid nutrition company, Once Upon a Farm, and her philanthropic work in partnership with Save the Children and their initiative #SaveWithStories.
THE REPUBLIC OF SARAH (CW; Premieres June 14)-SPECIAL EVENT
In Attendance: Cast Stella Baker, Luke Mitchell, Hope Lauren, Nia Holloway, Ian Duff, Forrest Goodluck, Landry Bender, Izabella Alvarez and Megan Follows
Moderator: Damian Holbrook, TV Guide Magazine/TV Insider
Faced with the destruction of her town at the hands of a greedy mining company, rebellious high school teacher Sarah Cooper utilizes an obscure cartographical loophole to declare independence.
LEGENDS IN THE GAME: PARAMOUNT+ AND MTV STUDIOS’ THE REAL WORLD HOMECOMING: NEW YORK -PANEL
In Attendance: Jonathan Murray (creator), Kevin Powell (original cast member), Julie Gentry (original cast member)
Moderator: George Gustines, Senior Editor, The New York Times
Almost 30 years ago “The Real World” debuted on MTV and overnight it redefined the genre of reality television. And now Paramount+ has reunited seven of the original roommates for an iconic new season, “The Real World Homecoming: New York.” Join SeriesFest and “The Real World: New York” cast members Kevin Powell, Julie Gentry and creator Jonathan Murray for an in depth look at the six episode series which took audiences down memory lane with explosive moments, nineties nostalgia and televised cultural milestones.
WHAT’S NEXT: EUROPE’S HOTTEST YA SERIES-PANEL
In Attendance: Roberto Sessa (Founder & CEO, Picomedia), Alberto Espinosa (creator / showrunner), Florian Kamhuber (producer, co-creator, co-writer), Emma Drogunova (award winning actress), Melike Leblebicioglu (executive producer)
Moderator: Richard Middleton, TBI Editor
Get your passport ready! SeriesFest is taking you behind-the-lens look at the most exciting young adult series in Europe. Join us for an exclusive conversation with series creators from Spain, German, Norway, and Italy as they give us an inside look on what making content for the next generation is like in the EU. Screenings of all series available during the festival via the International Spotlight.
PITCH-A-THON - PANEL
Independent content creators will have the opportunity to participate in an exclusive live pitch session with top television, new media and digital execs in hopes of moving their projects - and careers - forward.
ANYTHING FOR YOU - SPECIAL SCREENING
In Attendance: Matt Ferrucci, Sunkrish Bala
Moderator: Claire Taylor, SeriesFest
Once Pandora’s box is opened, can it be closed? Anything For You is a digital series that explores the complexities of male friendship and the boundaries that test it.
SATURDAY, JUNE 26
FX’s DAVE: THE ANATOMY OF A HIT COMEDY - PANEL
In Attendance: Dave Burd (creator, rapper, comedian, actor), Jeff Schaffer (co-creator), Saladin Patterson (executive producer, writer), GaTa (actor), Taylor Misiak (actor), Andrew Santino (actor), Travis Bennett (actor) and Christine Ko (actor)
Moderator: Derek Lawrence, Associate Editor, Entertainment Weekly
It all begins with one idea, which turns into a concept…a bible…a script…a pilot…and, hopefully, a hit series. Yet, there are so many people, decisions and steps in between that are rarely discussed. Sit down with the creative team and cast of FX’s DAVE to discuss how the show developed from its pilot episode to become FX’s most-watched comedy series ever. Season two of DAVE airs on Wednesdays at 10p ET/PT on FX, available the next day on FX on Hulu.
INNOVATION TALK WITH ROBERT KYNCL AND MIKE FRIES
In Attendance: Robert Kyncl (YouTube, Chief Business Officer) and Mike Fries (Chief Executive Officer, Liberty Global)
SeriesFest is excited to present a unique conversation with two top industry executives, Robert Kyncl the Chief Business Officer at YouTube and Mike Fries, CEO of Liberty Global. Join us for an in-depth conversation as they discuss the evolving global television marketplace and YouTube's power and influence on the global content community.
THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD (Amazon Prime Video)-PANEL
In Attendance: Paul Kelly (Art Director), Onnalee Blank (sound supervisor), Joi McMillon (editor) and Dottie Starling (VFX supervisor)
Moderator: Jazz Tangcay, Senior Artisans Editor, Variety
Join the creative team behind Amazon Prime Video’s new hit new limited series, “The Underground Railroad,” as they come together for a behind the lens conversation. The team will reflect on the show's inventive artistry and discuss how they create the breathtaking world of the impactful limited series.
SHOWBIZ CONNECTION WORKSHOP - WORKSHOP
Moderators: Mara McCann, Jordan Gelber, and Ramfis Myrthil
Showbiz Connection will present a unique workshop for SeriesFest: Season 7 badge holders that highlights the benefits of LinkedIn for Entertainment Professionals. The purpose of this workshop is to empower, engage, and entertain content creators with the reality that they can control their own pathway to success through the power of the LinkedIn platform.
TANKHOUSE - SPECIAL SCREENING
In Attendance: Richard Kind (actor), Joe Adler (actor), Devere Rogers (actor), Austin Crute (actor), Tara Holt (actor), Stephen Friedrich (actor), Noam Tomaschoff (director, co-writer), Chelsea Frei (co-writer), Matthew Cooper (producer), Jesse Burgum (producer)
Moderator: Randi Kleiner, CEO, SeriesFest
After being blacklisted from the New York Theater scene, two Upper East Side thespians, Tucker and Sandrene, must move back to Sandrene's hometown of Fargo, North Dakota, and start a theatrical revolution.
SUNDAY, JUNE 27
INNOVATION TALK WITH TALITHA WATKINS-SPECIAL EVENT
In Attendance: Talitha Watkins (President & Head, ColorCreative) and Michael Moses(Chief Marketing Officer, Universal Pictures)
SeriesFest is proud to present an exciting virtual talk with the President and Head of ColorCreative, Talitha Watkins moderated by Universal Pictures' Chief Marketing Officer, Michael Moses. This in-depth conversation will focus on Talitha's high-impact career in the television and film industry and ColorCreative's mission to support diverse creators. This is a not-to-be-missed event on the importance of broadening the scope of storytelling to help propelan inclusive and authentic representation of the world on the screens.
CHANGING THE NARRATIVE ON TV: MODERN PORTRAYALS OF NATIVE AMERICANS-PANEL
In Attendance: Michael Greyeyes (actor, choreographer, director), Jana Schmieding (actor, writer, comedian, creator), Angelique Midthunder (casting), Q’Orianka Kilcher (actor, DOG, “Yellowstone), Lucas BrownEyes (TV writer, comedian)
Moderator: Sarah Whitten, Entertainment Reporter, CNBC Digital
Native Americans on television have often been represented as historical people in different iterations of dramatic period pieces. Television is finally changing that trend with new shows to tell the stories of Native Americans as they are today. Modern Native American characters are a welcome relief for Native creators, executive producers, actors as well as casting directors who join this special discussion focused on Peacock’s “Rutherford Falls,” the FX show "Reservation Dogs" and other series breaking the mold for Native American representation.
LEVEL FORWARD: PARTNERING TO MAKE AN IMPACT - PANEL
In Attendance: Panelists to be Announced
This panel will feature some of the leading independent voices creating story-driven/impact-minded work. In common, our panelists consider how creative excellence can level the playing field for underrepresented makers including women, BIPOC, LGBTQIA, and alternatively-abled voices. These writers, directors, actors, and producers are pushing out the traditional boundaries of narrative change, and together, in support of one another’s work, building new playing fields that re-shape the creative ecosystem with greater opportunity, access, and equity.
MAN EATS WILD (Outdoor Channel; Premieres September 20-SCREENING AND Q&A
In Attendance: Host Mario Kalpou and Nick Hoffman (“Nick’s Wild Ride” host)
Follow hardcore adventurer and award-winning restauranteur Mario Kalpou on an amazing journey across the globe. Harvesting Wild food in the most extreme environments.
ADELINE (World Premiere) - SCREENING AND Q&A
In Attendance: Myrrha Satow, Brandon Riley, Freddie Connor
Moderator: Lauren Grimshaw Sloan, SeriesFest
Adeline is a family drama film based on true events in the life of Adeline, a therapy healing horse who had great success working with kids and adults with disabilities. She also saved the lives of 12 people when a tornado hit a small town in Ohio.
GO GREEN -SCREENING & Q&A
In Attendance: Leif Lindhjem, Nicole Winters (Co-Founders, Lucia Entertainment)
Moderator: Claire Taylor, SeriesFest
Go Green is a home makeover series that brings affordable and accessible clean energy solutions to every doorstep in America.
COLLEGIATE STORYTELLERS: TABLE READ OF OIL & WATER-SPECIAL EVENT
In celebration of our Collegiate Storytellers Initiative, SeriesFest is honored to present a Live Table Read performance of the winning Collegiate Storytellers Script, Oil and Water, written by Jenna Rice, directed by Sing Lee Lathan. The story follows a group of activists and indigenous leaders who band together to block a destructive oil pipeline from being built.
MONDAY, JUNE 28
DIRECTING FOR TELEVISION-PANEL
In Attendance: Debbie Allen (Award-winning producer, director, writer, actor and choreographer Grey’s Anatomy, Fame, Insecure), DeMane Davis (Television and Producing Director How to Get Away with Murder, Lift, Queen Sugar, Clarice), Allison Liddi-Brown (Director and Producer Grey’s Anatomy, Forget Normal, Friday Night Lights) and Tom Verica (Director and Producer, Grey's Anatomy, Bridgerton, The Umbrella Academy)
A special conversation with directors who have worked on some of the most critically acclaimed and influential television series. They’ll discuss how they got their start, working on Shondaland series and beyond, the unique demands of directing television, their creative process and the need for constant innovation, and key insights for upcoming directors.
INNOVATION TALK WITH MARK DUPLASS-SPECIAL EVENT
Moderator: Pete Hammond, Chief Film Critic, Deadline
From his memorable roles on screen to captivating audiences with his work behind the camera, Mark Duplass has consistently pushed the boundaries of filmmaking. Join Pete Hammond, Deadline’s Chief Film Critic, for an inspiring conversation with Duplass covering his latest work with projects like Lady and the Dale, Sasquatch, Her Effortless Brilliance: A Celebration of Lynn Shelton thru Words and Music and other highlights from his impactful career that continues to encourage and inspire communities of independent content creators around the world.
THE ART OF ADAPTATION-PANEL
In Attendance: Jason Altman (SVP, Film & TV, Ubisoft Film and Television), Danielle Kreinik (Director of Television Development, Ubisoft Film and Television), Kelly Garner (Founder & CEO, Treefort Media), Heather Karpas (Director of Development at EDEN Productions), Henrik Bastin (CEO, Fabel Entertainment)
Moderator: Liz Shannon Miller, Senior TV Editor, Collider
What goes into adapting critically acclaimed books, video games, and podcasts into hit TV shows? And how are some companies successfully elevating this process by covering multiple storytelling mediums? Join SeriesFest for an in-depth conversation with entertainment executives and leading producers behind today's adaptations.
THE HOLLYWOOD RADIO TELEVISION SOCIETY ASSOCIATES NY WORKSHOP - PANEL
In Attendance: Haley Hamilton (Executive Director, Literary Scouting, FOX Entertainment), Krystal Stark, Julie Waters, Tiffany Brown
Moderators: Ramfis Myrthil (filmmaker) and Justine Giannino
The Hollywood Radio Television Society Associates NY has partnered with SeriesFest on an exclusive live networking event focused on connecting independent content creators with industry executives, reps, producers. This panel presentation will be focused on best practices for growing your career from the festival circuit, how to ace general meetings, finding the best representatives for you, and beyond.
TUESDAY, JUNE 29
DR. DEATH (Peacock; June 29)-SPECIAL EVENT & PANEL
In Attendance: Joshua Jackson, Christian Slater & AnnaSophia Robb (cast), Maggie Kiley (Director) and Patrick Macmanus (Executive Producer)
Moderator: Michael Schneider, Deputy TV Editor, Variety
Based on Wondery’s hit podcast, DR. DEATH is inspired by the terrifying true story of Dr. Christopher Duntsch (Joshua Jackson), a rising star in the Dallas medical community. Young, charismatic and ostensibly brilliant, Dr. Duntsch was building a flourishing neurosurgery practice when everything suddenly changed. Patients entered his operating room for complex but routine spinal surgeries and left permanently maimed or dead. As victims piled up, two fellow physicians, neurosurgeon Robert Henderson (Alec Baldwin) and vascular surgeon Randall Kirby (Christian Slater), as well as Dallas prosecutor Michelle Shughart (AnnaSophia Robb), set out to stop him. DR. DEATH explores the twisted mind of Dr. Duntsch and the failures of the system designed to protect the most defenseless among us.
INNOVATION TALK WITH HERNAN LOPEZ-SPECIAL EVENT
In Attendance: Hernan Lopez (Founder & Advisor, Wondery) and James Lindsay (Co-Head of LT Growth, LionTree & SeriesFest Board of Directors)
Moderated by James Lindsay, Co-Head of LT Growth, LionTree, this one on one conversation shines the spotlight on the incredible career of the Founder of Wondery, Hernan Lopez. From over a decade in network television to founding the highly successful podcast company and its sale to Amazon, Hernan has taken episodic storytelling to new heights. A not to miss conversation!
From Script to Screen: Women in UK Television-PANEL
In Attendance: Panelists To Be Announced
An exclusive conversation with leading female producers working in television in the United Kingdom. This behind-the-camera panel discussion will take an in-depth look at what makes the UK a great place to bring episodic stories to life.
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 30
THE BEAST MUST DIE (AMC+: Premieres July 5, AMC: Premieres July 12) - CLOSING NIGHT SCREENING & PANEL
In Attendance: Jared Harris (Chernobyl, Mad Men), Cush Jumbo OBE (The Good Wife, The Good Fight), writer Gaby Chiappe (Their Finest) and director Dome Karukoski (Tolkien)
Moderator: Sophie Gilbert, TV writer, The Atlantic
SeriesFest is proud to debut the premiere episode of the AMC+ Original six-part revenge thriller series, “The Beast Must Die,” followed by an exclusive conversation with cast and creators. Starring BAFTA Award-winning actor Jared Harris (Chernobyl, Mad Men), Cush Jumbo OBE (The Good Wife, The Good Fight), Billy Howle (The Serpent, MotherFatherSon), Nathaniel Parker (The Inspector Lynley Mysteries, The Outcast) and Geraldine James (Downton Abbey, Back to Life), and based on the novel by Nicholas Blake (pseudonym of Poet Laureate Cecil Day-Lewis CBE), ”The Beast Must Die” tells the story of a grieving mother who infiltrates the life of the man she believes killed her son.
CONSTELLATION INCUBATOR: CONTENT CREATION PROBLEM SOLVING - WORKSHOP
Moderated by: Naomi McDougall Jones (award-winning producer, writer, actor)
The founders of Constellation Incubator host this unique 2-hour workshop to lead participants in a mini-Design Thinking process, during which they will "design" a solution to a problem they are facing in content creation.
TOTAL CONTROL-SCREENING AND PANEL
In Attendance: Rachel Griffiths, Deborah Mailman, Darren Dale
Moderator: Rachel Glaister, EVP Press & Brands, All3Media International
When Alex Irving (Deborah Mailman), a charismatic and contradictory Indigenous woman, is thrust into the national limelight after a horrific domestic violence event, Australia’s embattled Prime Minister Rachel Anderson (Rachel Griffiths), sees a publicity goldmine for her party. In a bold power play, she handpicks Alex for the Senate. But Alex wants to be more than just a political stunt: she wants to make a difference. So, when the Prime Minister's cynical calculations betray her, Alex sets out for revenge that will send the political establishment into meltdown. Total Control is a story of ambition, betrayal and treachery. It is about one woman, marginalized through the color of her skin, the desperate history of her people, her gender and her class, navigating her way to real power.
*Screening entire first season
ALIVE AND KICKING- SCREENING
Beta Film, 25m, Spain
Four teenagers escape from a psychiatric institution. With a detective on their heels, they take on life with their very own wit, humor and charm – challenging our conception of sanity.
ECHOS - SCREENING
Beta Film, 45m, Germany
When a group of bored high-society kids meet the invisible lower class in the Munich catacombs, everything crashes.
WILD REPUBLIC - SCREENING
Beta Film, 50m, Germany
In the Alps, a group of juvenile offenders hides from the state. In their fight against the forces of nature, they form their own society, according to their own rules: the Wild Republic.
THE SEA BEYOND- SCREENING
Beta Film, 25m, Italy
In a juvenile detention center at the Gulf of Naples, the inmates are dealing with power structures and adult expectations. Yet being locked up does not stop them from dreaming of a better tomorrow.
TOO CLOSE- SCREENING
All3Media International, 60m, United Kingdom
Too Close stars Golden Globe nominee Emily Watson as Dr Emma Robinson, a dedicated forensic psychiatrist. In a psychological game of cat and mouse, what drove her to the edge?
THREE FAMILIES - SCREENING
All3Media International, 60m, United Kingdom
A powerful new drama from the makers of Three Girls. Three Families tells the compelling real stories behind the abortion laws in Northern Ireland.
ROD KNOCK - SCREENING
Beta Film, 25m, Norway
A story of young love and lives derailed. A tight-knit group of young gearheads hits the roadblocks that can come with young adulthood: heartache, uncertainty and loss. Yet, it is possible to overcome anything with people you trust.
SPECIAL SCREENINGS AVAILABLE THROUGHOUT THE FESTIVAL
DROPSHOT DIVAS - SPECIAL SCREENING
In Attendance: Betsy Marino Leighton, Misty Brawner, Gren Wells
Moderator: Claire Taylor, SeriesFest
SeriesFest proudly presents a table read of Drop Shot Divas, an episodic comedy reflective of the work produced by the Writers’ Room initiative from SeriesFest, Unreal Media and Dilettante Productions. Join us for a sneak peek into Unreal Media’s upcoming comedy, Drop Shot Divas, that follows a team of overzealous women as they compete and socialize in a Denver- based tennis league with all the outrageous intensity and shameless behavior of pro-level players.
PROGRESS NOTES- SPECIAL SCREENING
Join SeriesFest for a table read of Progress Notes, Created by Betsy Marino Leighton and directed by SeriesFest alumna, Traven Rice. Set in the 90s audiences follow Melanie Knox on her first job as a social worker at a Mental Health Clinic in the Bronx, and it is questionable who is really in greater need of support, Melanie or the people that she is ostensibly there to “help”.
BE VIZZIBLE: A PRIDE SERIES-SPECIAL SCREENING
This special series presented by The Center on Colfax and Vizzy celebrates five Coloradans who have made noteworthy social impacts on the LGBTQ+ community through artistic, philanthropic and political contributions. Directed by SeriesFest alumna Marin Lepore ("I Put the Bi in Bitter"), each episode highlights the perspectives and personal stories of these leaders in our hometown. For more information on The Center on Colfax please visit https://lgbtqcolorado.org/thanks-for-your-support/. Happy Pride, everyone!