Forget the Orange Is the New Black bingewatch you'd planned for this week, because your eyes need to stay focused on one of the most ambitious but exciting festivals to come to the Mile High City. SeriesFest: Season One is a brand-new festival coming out of Denver – the birthplace of cable TV – to shine a much-needed light on television, that most important of mediums. The fest will create a Sundance-esque playground where fans, viewers and industry luminaries can see new content by established talent and view – and vote on – a polished cache of unproduced television pilots.
"SeriesFest is more than just a festival, it’s a community,” says Randi Kleiner, CEO of the newborn fest, her brainchild. “We are partnering with many great organizations to help build that community — growing SeriesFest and Denver into a home for independent storytellers. We have no doubt that people will fall in love with Colorado (as I have) and are excited to watch it evolve into a premier destination for people to create new work and discover exciting fresh voices."
The majority of the events will be at the Sie FilmCenter, but Thursday’s opening night at Red Rocks will kick things off in an epic way with a very special acoustic piano set by Grammy, Oscar and Golden Globe-winner John Legend, a comedy set by the one and only Whitney Cummings, and the world premiere of a pilot that will transform the amphitheater’s big screen into a giant television.
“We are thrilled to have John Legend and Whitney Cummings performing at our opening night,” says Kleiner. “Not only are these two extraordinary artists leaders in their craft, but they are also long-time champions of TV — John Legend as a producer and Whitney Cummings as an actress and content creator – and there is no better way to kick off our four-day celebration of episodic storytelling than with this special duo."
After opening night, the Sie will transform into a hotbed of activity, with pilot and new series premieres, as well as panels with television experts and talent. The inaugural Independent TV Pilot Competition will run Friday, June 19 and Saturday, June 20, with 26 titles featuring talent such as Malcolm McDowell, John Glover, Alan Thicke, Missy Pyle, Keith Powell, Michael Raymond James, Rachel Dratch and Mary Lynn Rajskub. After the fest, the winning pilot will be available on Comcast on Demand. Other highlights:
Friday, June 19 at the Sie FilmCenter
Pre-premiere Screenings of ABC’s Quantico and Blood & Oil
Skype Q&A with EP Josh Safran to follow Quantico
Series Premiere of AMC’s Humans
Conversation to follow with members of the cast and creative team (names to be announced at a later date)
Season premiere of HBO's Sex On//
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Saturday, June 20 at the Sie FilmCenter
North American Premiere of BBC Four’s Detectorists
Sneak Preview of FX’s Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll
World premiere of Condé Nast Entertainment’s Our Story
SeriesFest runs from Thursday, June 18 through Sunday, June 21; admission is $45 to $75 for opening night, $12 to $15 for weekend events and $110 to $125 for an all-access VIP pass. Get tickets and a full schedule, including the complete list of all of the new pilots in competition and the industry panels, at seriesfest.com.