The Rook Season 1 2020

Emma Greenwell and Olivia Munn in a scene from "The Rook." Photo courtesy of Starz. 

SeriesFest, the annual pop culture festival for television held in Denver, will kick off its fifth season with an opening night screening and Q&A with the actors from the upcoming Starz series, "The Rook."

Stars Olivia Munn, Joely Richardson and Emma Greenwell will be on hand for a special screening on June 21 along with series executive producers and showrunners. A panel will take place after the screening.

Another highlight of SeriesFest's opening night is a special event conversation with Mike Fries, CEO of Liberty Global and Ted Sarandos, COO of Netflix. The pair will discuss the ever evolving world of the television marketplace. 

SeriesFest panels and presentations run through June 26. Other intriguing sessions for the six-day festival include a sneak peak at the upcoming series, "Cash Pad," which focuses on the world of short term rentals. It stars JoJo Fletcher and Jordan Rodgers from "The Bachelorette."

Sure to be fascinating is the Shondaland 2.0 panel, which features members of Shonda Rhimes production team discussing ways they've been able to evolve and grow their story telling empire. 

Check below for a full list, along with descriptions, for SeriesFest 2019's panels, special events and special screenings. For tickets to the event that's been dubbed the "Sundance of TV" head to seriesfest.com

FRIDAY JUNE 21

INNOVATION TALK SERIES WITH MIKE FRIES AND TED SARANDOS - SPECIAL EVENT - Presented in Partnership with Liberty Global

*Year of Innovation Program

In Attendance: Ted Sarandos (COO of Netflix) and Mike Fries (CEO of Liberty Global) 

SeriesFest is excited to present a unique conversation with two top industry executives, Ted Sarandos, COO of Netflix, and Mike Fries, CEO of Liberty Global. Join us for an in-depth conversation as they discuss the evolving national and international television marketplace and how they lead their companies to be on the forefront in changing the way we access and consume content around the world. A not to be missed conversation.

THE ROOK (STARZ; Premieres June 30) - OPENING NIGHT SCREENING AND PANEL

In Attendance: Stars Emma Greenwell (Shameless), Joely Richardson (Nip/Tuck), Olivia Munn (Predator), Lisa Zwerling and Karyn Usher (Executive Producers/Showrunners) and Stephen Garrett (Executive Producer)

Moderator: Laura Prudom (Deputy Entertainment Manager, IGN)

STARZ Original series “The Rook” from Lionsgate and Liberty Global tells the story of Myfanwy Thomas, a woman who wakes up in the rain beside London’s Millennium Bridge with no memory of who she is and no way to explain the circle of latex-gloved dead bodies splayed around her. When Myfanwy discovers she is a high ranking official in the Checquy, Britain’s last truly secret service for people with paranormal abilities, she will have to navigate the dangerous and complex world of the agency to uncover who wiped her memory - and why she is a target. As Myfanwy unearths more of her troubled past and learns the truth about her own abilities, she discovers that no one in her life is quite as they seem. Myfanwy will be faced with a choice – return to the difficult life she has always known, or seize this opportunity for a new beginning.

SATURDAY JUNE 22

HOME $WEET HOME: WHY PROPERTY PROGRAMMING IS TV’S "CASH PAD"-PANEL

Panelists: JoJo Fletcher and Jordan Rodgers (hosts of ‘Cash Pad’); Jim Ackerman (Executive Vice President, Primetime Alternative Programming, CNBC)

First came home renovation TV, which inspired a generation of viewers to reimagine their dream house. Now, CNBC invites homeowners and house-hunters alike to transform their unused spaces into money-making Cash Pads. Hosted by JoJo Fletcher and Jordan Rodgers, break-out stars of “The Bachelorette” and experienced home flippers, Cash Pad (premiering July 25) is the bold new series that introduces viewers to the lucrative world of short term rentals. Join us for a sneak peak of Cash Pad and a special conversation with the hosts.

EASTSIDERS (Netflix)-U.S. PREMIERE

In Attendance: Stars Kit Williamson (also creator/director) and John Halbach (also executive producer)

“EastSiders” is an Emmy-Nominated LGBT series about a gay couple and their friends trying to stay together through drunken outbursts, double standards and dirty deeds. In season 3, the series set out to Make America Gay Again as Cal and Thom hit the road from New York to LA hauling a vintage camper trailer and tried to find their way back to one another. Ian and Hillary moved in together, Derrick and Jeremy started talking about having kids, and Douglas and Quincy got engaged. Season 4 picks up a year later and tackles some big questions: what does commitment really look like in a long term relationship? What does "gay marriage" really mean? And how do two human beings make love last? EastSiders launched on YouTube in 2012 to a lot of love from fans and critics alike, with Entertainment Weekly calling the show “funny and heartbreaking” and Out Magazine praising it as “relatable, fresh and darkly funny." The show has been nominated for 8 Daytime Emmy Awards. The series won Best Web Drama at the LA Weekly Awards, Best Ensemble at the Indie Series Awards and was nominated for a Satellite Award from the International Press Academy. In 2016 the series found a world-wide audience on Netflix, and has now been subtitled in more than 30 languages.

MY OUTDOOR FAMILY (Outdoor Channel) - SPECIAL EVENT SCREENING

In Attendance: Eva Shockey (Star) and Branlin Shockey (Creator, Director, Writer)

My Outdoor Family will follow Eva, Tim, and little Leni-Bow as they learn and grow as a family. Every key situation, decision and event will be framed around living and embracing the outdoor lifestyle as best as a young family with many conflicting obligations can.

CLICK SUBSCRIBE: THE PODCAST SERIES - PANEL

*Year of Innovation Program

Panelists: Clint Schaff (VP, Strategy & Development, LA Times); Rachel Estabrook (CPR's News Director) and Jack O’Brien (Head of Comedy and SVP of Podcast Development, iHeartMedia)

Podcasts have ears buzzing with new series. From murder mysteries to health and wellness, these series have us hooked and clicking play the next episode. This conversation will dive into the ins and outs of making a podcast, and what’s next for this storytelling medium.

IDENTITY & INCLUSION: LGBTQ REPRESENTATION IN TELEVISION - PANEL

Presented in Partnership with SAG-AFTRA

*Year of Innovation Program

In Attendance: Netflix ‘EastSiders’ stars, Kit Williamson (also creator/director); John Halbach (also executive producer); additional names TBA

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in New York City, which sparked a revolution for the LGBTQIA Community. This milestone highlights the importance of acknowledging the nature of sexual orientation, gender identity and how we move forward

culturally with an elevated understanding of diversity and inclusion. As the television landscape continues to evolve, so does the conversation around representation of the LGBTQIA Community. Join us for an in-depth conversation with entertainment industry panelists, including agents, casting directors, writers and actors who are leading the charge and innovating diversity standards.

SO YOU THINK YOU CAN CROWDFUND? - SPECIAL EVENT

In Attendance: James Lafferty and Stephen Colletti (One Tree Hill, Everyone is Doing Great)

SeriesFest: Season 4 alums James Lafferty and Stephen Colletti return to the festival to discuss their journey successfully (albeit sometimes clumsily) crowdfunding a season of their comedy pilot Everyone is Doing Great. They'll share insights on each phase of their crowdfunding process - from defining your project's unique story to tackling the challenges of perk fulfillment - including an open conversation with panel attendees, and finally, an advanced screening of the second episode of their original series, Everyone is Doing Great.

SUNDAY, JUNE 23

SHONDALAND 2.0 - PANEL

*Expansion of SeriesFest’s ‘Featuring Women’ Initiative

*Year of Innovation Program

Panelists: Alison Eakle (Head of Fiction & Non-Fiction, Shondaland), Anna Deavere Smith (Playwright, Actress “The West Wing,” “Nurse Jackie,” Professor, adapting “Warmth of Other Sons” at Shondaland for Netflix), Katie Lowes (Actress “Scandal” and host of ‘Katie’s Crib’ podcast), Akua Murphy (Director of Short Form Content, Shondaland)

Moderator: Ashley Ford (Writer, Host of PROFILE by Buzzfeed News)

Shondaland is a storytelling company founded by award-winning writer and producer Shonda Rhimes. Rhimes along with producing partner Betsy Beers are behind award-winning hits such as “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal,” and “How To Get Away with Murder.” As Shondaland looks ahead to a new creative partnership with Netflix, the company will diversify its content offering, while also expanding its digital footprint with podcasts, a website vertical, and new brand partnerships. Hear from members of Shondaland content and brand teams as they discuss the ways in which they’ve been able to evolve and explore new creative avenues to storytelling as the media company grows in size and reach. Through a previously announced partnership between Shondaland and SeriesFest, the first-ever recipient of Women Directing Mentorship initiative will be announced. This recipient will have the unique opportunity to shadow a director for an episode of a Shondaland production.

INNOVATION TALK WITH ELVIS MITCHELL- SPECIAL EVENT

Presented in Partnership with Liberty Global

*Year of Innovation Program

In Attendance: Elvis Mitchell (renowned film critic and host of NPR’s The Treatment)

SeriesFest is excited to present a unique conversation with two top industry executives. Join us for an in-depth conversation as they discuss the evolving national and international television marketplace and how they lead their companies to be on the forefront in changing the way we access and consume content around the world. A not to be missed conversation.

POWER, INFLUENCE AND HIP-HOP: THE REMARKABLE RISE OF SO SO DEF (WE tv; Premieres July 18)-WORLD PREMIERE

In Attendance: Jermaine Dupri (Hip hop mogul)

Throughout this one-hour documentary special, we uncover the unique stories that make up the history of So So Def, one of the very few black owned labels from its humble beginnings to multi-platinum success and stardom. Jermaine Dupri’s ability to shape Atlanta’s popular music culture becomes apparent in this riveting journey that has turned him into one of the biggest music moguls of our time. Dupri’s mission has always been to create a universal platform through music not only in urban communities but around the world. Today, he’s achieved just that. The documentary features never-before-seen archival footage and original interviews with Dupri’s contemporaries including Mariah Carey, Usher, Snoop Dogg, Will.I.Am, Da Brat, Bow Wow and Nelly.

PITCHING AND MARKETING YOUR SERIES - PANEL

Panelists: Laura Fischer (CEO, Powderkeg), Lee Hollin (SVP, Current Programming, Lionsgate Television Group), David Person (Manager, Original Programming, IFC TV)

The good idea is paramount, but knowing who your audience is and how to pitch your show is the conduit to success. Unfortunately, there isn’t always time for an elaborate presentation, so honing the messaging can be a boon to taking your project to the next level. Meet Laura, Lee and David who have heard and given many a pitch. Today’s discussion will go over key points to cover in pitching and marketing your idea and how to stand out in a crowd.

MONDAY, JUNE 24

INNOVATION TALK WITH JANE TURTON- SPECIAL EVENT

Presented in Partnership with Liberty Global

*Year of Innovation Program

In Attendance: Jane Turton (CEO of All3Media)

SeriesFest is excited to present a unique conversation with two top industry executives. Join us for an in-depth conversation as they discuss the evolving national and international television marketplace and how they lead their companies to be on the forefront in changing the way we access and consume content around the world. A not to be missed conversation.

POWDERKEG: FUSE - SPECIAL EVENT SCREENING

In Attendance: Laura Fischer (CEO) plus directors of the selections

Paul Feig is launching an incubator for women directors through his digital media and production company, Powderkeg. The initiative, called Powderkeg: Fuse, pairs filmmakers with top producers and casting directors to help develop their short films. A pool of 40 ethnically diverse women were asked to submit their ideas around the theme of community and neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles. The six women chosen will screen their original work, each short film is a proof of concept for series that Powderkeg is attached to produced.

GRAMMY AWARD-WINNING SINGER, SONGWRITER, MUSICIAN, AND PRODUCER, STEVIE WONDER LIVE PERFORMANCE- SPECIAL EVENT AT RED ROCKS AMPHITHEATRE!

*Previously announced

TUESDAY, JUNE 25

GENERATION INNOVATOR: SHOWRUNNERS & SERIES CREATORS UNDER 40 - PANEL

*Year of Innovation Program

Panelists: Joey Slamon (truTV’s I'm Sorry), Shoshannah Stern and Josh Feldman (SundanceTV’s “This Close”) and Laura Chinn (Pop TV’s “Florida Girls”)

This generation of episodic creators have found a way to use episodic storytelling to highlight contemporary issues and underrepresented voices. Join us for an in depth discussion with leading showrunners and series creators under 40 on how they got their foot in the door and what drives them to keep kicking down the gates.

AMERICA TO ME: INNOVATION, IMPACT AND “REAL TALK” (Starz) -- SPECIAL EVENT

In Attendance: Steve James (Oscar®-nominated American film producer/director), Jessica Stovall (teacher/cast) and Holly Gordon (Participant Media’s Chief Impact Officer)

America to Me, the groundbreaking 10-part docuseries from Oscar®-nominated filmmaker Steve James, fearlessly tackles issues of race, equity, culture and privilege as it follows one year in the life of students, teachers and administrators at Chicagoland’s Oak Park and River Forest High School. Inspired by this powerful series, hear how Participant Media’s innovative “Real Talk” campaign helped seed a nationwide conversation around race and equity – offering tools, strategies, resources and training to disrupt every day racism in our schools and communities.

Terry is a journalist and social media manager for The Gazette. He's a graduate of the University of Denver, loves the Denver Broncos, and is a member of the Television Critics Association and Broadcast Television Journalists Association.

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