This summer, Denver will have the opportunity to tune into the television industry when a new festival, SeriesFest, makes its season-one debut here. But the organizers have a bigger goal: to turn Denver into an off-site destination for TV movers and shakers, in the same way that the Sundance Film Festival works for movies.
That's an ambitious target, but friends Randi Kleiner and Kaily Smith, the brains behind SeriesFest, feel like they can provide a breeding ground for fresh new voices by harvesting brand-new, promising pilots and celebrating the dizzying, nearly century-long history of television. The four-day event, which will run June 18 through 21, will bring industry greats, new talent and pioneers of new platforms together with audiences; there will also be panels and keynotes with luminaries from various parts of the field, including writers, executive producers and stars.
“At a time when entertainment is evolving across multiple platforms, there are even more opportunities to present a diverse range of programming and talent,” Kleiner says. “As trailblazers in independent content development, we aim to create a global marketplace for episodic storytelling.”
SeriesFest will launch with a massive immersive screening of a popular, established series at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Film on the Rocks-style. But the majority of screenings and activities will take place at the Sie FilmCenter, home of the Denver Film Society, which jumped at the chance to partner with this groundbreaking event.
“We’re excited to join forces with Randi and Kaily on this inaugural event; these women floored me with their confidence and drive to change the face of what is possible with the future of television,” says DFS festival director Britta Erickson. “Denver was the home of the 'cable cowboys' and so many revolutionary marks in that area. It’s perfect to bring it here as a destination point between the East and West coasts and plant a new flag on our soil.”
Governor John Hickenlooper has a view on the news as well, issuing this statement: “We are thrilled to have SeriesFest launch in Colorado and look forward to celebrating the evolution of television, cable and content this summer. This is another big step in our effort to support our exploding arts and creative industries, and will help widen the landscape of making television and film in Colorado.”
Got a pilot idea that you can produce for the event? Check out the guidelines for entries, which can be submitted starting March 1, at seriesfest.com.