SeriesFest, Westword’s choice for Best Film Festival in the Best of Denver 2017, returns on Tuesday, June 27, for its third stimulating season, complete with a star-studded tribute to the ’90s, a horde of industry hard-hitters and a fresh batch of creative content to watch.
The festival emerged on the scene in 2015, with the goal of celebrating the boom in quality original programming on television, as well as the way that the Internet was changing the way we view serial stories.
Adopting the film-festival format, SeriesFest brings the television industry to Denver, showcasing TV pilots and new teleplays, in the hopes that they will generate buzz and be turned into series. The festival gives viewers a sneak peak at TV and web series coming to a device near you, as well as the chance to listen to luminaries from the industry discuss new directions and trends.
This year's fest will focus on episodic, digital short media and spotlight “late night” entertainment where these strange, absurd and more WTF selections can flourish. "SeriesFest was created in order to celebrate and provide a dedicated platform for storytelling and serialized content," says Randi Kleiner, founder and CEO of the festival.
The late-night showcase will be presented by Comedy Central’s Adult Swim; seven wild pilots will be screened, all aspiring to be the next Tim & Eric, Robot Chicken or Children’s Hospital – all shining examples of the best in absurd alternative programming.
SeriesFest begins Tuesday, June 27, with an opening-night screening at Red Rocks Amphitheatre of “Isn’t It Ironic?,” an episode of the brand-new CNN docuseries The Nineties, which will explore every aspect of that fabled decade. This particular episode highlights the evolving music scene during that era; punctuating the experience will be live performances on the Red Rocks stage by three of the most popular acts to emerge from those years: En Vogue, Common and the elusive Ms. Lauryn Hill.
The following day, Wednesday, June 28, SeriesFest moves to its home base at the Sie FilmCenter for five days of competitive pilot-viewing, with 26 shows across comedy, drama and unscripted genres facing off for awards. Industry panels will include guests like Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock and will explore everything from diversity and women in entertainment to virtual reality.
SeriesFest will also offer a look at new series from all over the globe, with the premiere of NBC’s The Brave serving as the closing-night entertainment on Saturday, July 1, at Denver’s Cable Center. Cast members, including Anne Heche, Mike Vogel, Sofia Pernas, Tate Ellington, Natacha Karam, Demetrius Grosse, Noah Mills and Hadi Tabbal, will join the festivities.
“We are thrilled to partner with NBC on the debut of their cutting-edge new series The Brave,” says Kleiner. “Creator Dean Georgaris’s exciting new show spotlights diversity in a pulse-charging, intelligent framework that audiences will discover this fall is among the best of episodic storytelling.”
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Following the screening, Vanity Fair West Coast Editor Krista Smith will moderate a conversation with the cast as well as Georgaris.
Says Kleiner: "We are excited to have these extraordinary stories from across the globe be accessible and discoverable to the industry and audiences. With the expansion of the festival to include short form and late-night works, we continue to celebrate the many ways that independent content can be experienced and give it a voice where it might not have one otherwise."
SeriesFest Season 3 kicks off Tuesday, June 27, at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, and continues Wednesday, June 28 to July 2, at the Sie FilmCenter, 2510 East Colfax Avenue. Tickets, badges, schedules and more info can be found at SeriesFest online.