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Professional Development

At the heart of its mission, SeriesFest champions and empowers artists in episodic storytelling to share their stories on a global scale. SeriesFest proudly presents year-round opportunities for creators to connect, collaborate, hone their craft and learn from established industry professionals to move their projects - and careers - forward.

Check out our independent pilot competitions, scriptwriting competitions and student education initiatives for additional opportunities to cultivate your episodic storytelling craft.

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Pitch-a-thon! Roadshow

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SeriesFest’s Pitch-A-Thon is on the road to Toronto! The program provides independent content creators with an opportunity to participate in an exclusive live pitch session with top television, new media, and digital executives in hopes of moving their unproduced projects forward and win a cash prize of $2,500!

In partnership with Royal Bank of Canada, the live event will be held in Toronto during TIFF at a TBD date between September 9-12 and will give writers a platform to take their projects to the next level.

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Spotlight Your Town

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SeriesFest is thrilled to partner with National Geographic and Visible on a brand new initiative, Spotlight Your Town, which aims to empower independent creators to use their art form to spotlight the timely political and social justice issues happening in their hometowns. Spotlight Your Town supports an inclusive group of unscripted storytellers creating authentic, community-driven stories that embody the breadth and diversity of the people and places they represent.

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Women Directing Mentorship

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SeriesFest and Shondaland are proud to have partnered for the past three years on the Women Directing Mentorship -- a competition designed to discover aspiring female directors with a unique voice and provide a launchpad for their career. The Women Directing Mentorship is anchored with the prestigious opportunity to shadow a director for an episode of a Shondaland original series and a $5,000 stipend to use during the duration of their mentorship. 

Storytellers Initiative

Running Time Options: 15-60 mins

At the core of all good stories is good writing. Presented in partnership with the Cherokee Nation Film Office and Green Pastures Studios, our Storytellers Initiative is a scriptwriting competition designed to discover and celebrate exciting new series through exceptional scripts that present a strong point of view and bold characters. Writers are invited to submit their pilot script for a chance to participate in a writers’ workshop, a live read of their script with professional actors, and for their pilot to be developed, financed, & produced by Green Pastures Studios.

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Insider Conversations

Beginning in April 2021, SeriesFest will host virtual exclusive member events called our SeriesFest Insider Conversations. These private events connect the independent TV community with established industry for in-depth discussions around episodic storytelling. While in-person events remain limited, this exciting new program aims to give our community the opportunity to connect, collaborate and network in an intimate virtual setting.

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Executive Elevation Mentorship

The Executive Elevation Mentorship aims to diversify the landscape of television's top decision makers. Fellows will be paired with top television, new media and digital executives of color in hopes of moving their projects - and careers- forward. As part of our mission, SeriesFest will curate a dedicated group of mentors and mentees to spark change in the landscape of the tv/film/media industry at the leadership level.

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Writers' Room Series

SeriesFest has partnered with on a professional development opportunity for emerging writers in the independent episodic television. SeriesFest will invite select writers to participate in a three-day workshop and month-long follow-up led by Unreal Media with the goal of producing pitch-ready scripted episodic content.

In partnership with Unreal Media and Dilettante Productions

More details on the next cycle coming soon.

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Jan Marino Scholarship

SeriesFest is honored to partner with the Stephens College M.F.A. in Television and Screenwriting for the third year on the Jan Marino Scholarship, designed to support women over 45 who are students in the Stephens College M.F.A. in Television and Screenwriting program. Named to honor author Jan Marino, the mother of M.F.A. student Betsy Marino Leighton, the scholarship nurtures the power of strong, independent female storytelling in television and film. 

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Caz Matthews Fund

Caz Matthews is a Colorado-based supporter of SeriesFest and of the independent creators of television content who show their projects at the annual SeriesFest. In particular, Caz has an interest in providing funding to projects in which diversity stereotypes and unfavorable characterization of minority groups are dispelled.

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Inclusion Initiative: From Start to Screen

SeriesFest, in partnership with the Royal Bank of Canada, is launching a sequence of opportunities to make our festival more accessible for all content creators, and to celebrate a commitment to diversity and equity, including a waiver for submissions. Pilots applying for the Independent Pilot, Digital Short Series, Late Night, and Collegiate Spotlight competitions have the opportunity to apply for a submission waiver.

Breaking In: A SeriesFest Podcast

We’re excited to announce we’ve launched a brand new podcast! 

Designed to enlighten emerging voices as they get their foot in the door, and inspire those already there. Each week our founders and hosts, Randi Kleiner and Kaily Smith Westbrook will be joined by guests at the forefront of episodic storytelling to give you the inside scoop. 

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