SeriesFest has announced selections for its TV pilot competition as well as jury members for its upcoming fifth edition of its annual TV festival in Denver.
Dubbing this “The Year of Innovation,” organizers have identified 53 pilots across the categories of Independent Pilot, Digital Short Series and Late Night. The competition titles star and/or are created or directed by notables including Kyra Sedgwick, Jillian Bell and musician Aloe Blacc.
Randi Kleiner, Founder and CEO of SeriesFest described the pilot competitions as “the heart of SeriesFest,” which recently announced its main lineup. Slated for this year are a conversation between Netflix’s Ted Sarandos and Liberty Global CEO Mike Fries as well as a concert by Stevie Wonder and the premiere of Starz’s The Rook. “We created the festival as a discovery platform for innovative and imaginative creators to share their unique and diverse stories,” Kleiner said. “We’re truly inspired by this year’s riveting selections.”
The jury members are as follows:
Independent Pilot Competition: Unscripted — Nina Dobrev (actress/producer); Comedy — Sean Walsh (Manager, Strategy, ABC Entertainment), David Rubin (Agent, Gersh); Drama — Robbie Brenner (Producer, Mattel), Jack Turner (SVP of Scripted and Documentary Content, Matador) and Elvis Mitchell (film critic, host of NPR’s The Treatment).
Late Night: James Belfer (Co-Founder and CEO, Cartuna), Laura Schwartz (Director of Development, New Form Entertainment) and Andre Hyland (actor/filmmaker).
Digital Shorts: Mahzad Babayan (Director of Talent, Fullscreen), Jason Sondhi (Co-Founder, Short of the Week), and Jose Acevedo (Director of Development & Original Programming, Comedy Central).
“We’re so honored to have such an esteemed jury this year,” founder/COO Kaily Smith Westbrook said. “This is an incredibly talented and impressive group. We can’t wait to get their perspective on what stands out.”