As the paths to television continue to evolve and escape traditional means, the importance of festivals like this weekend’s SeriesFest, presented in partnership with the Denver Film Society, only grows. Alongside special screenings of broadcast and cable programming from ABC, HBO, AMC, Starz and USA, 26 original independent pilots competed for recognition and attention in Denver, Colorado this weekend.
The winner of Best Pilot, “Witnesses,” won the opportunity to be seen on Comcast on Demand to all Colorado subscribers. Check out the other winners of SeriesFest Season One below, as determined by a jury including Oscar-winner Dan Jinks, producers Carter Covington and Ophira Dagan and television veteran Sharon Allen. And prepare to see more opportunities for original independent television like this in the future.
Best Pilot: “Witnesses”
Jury Statement: “This was such a tough decision. There were so many sensational pilots to choose from. ‘Witnesses’ had such an intriguing premise and it made us eager to see the next episode. We found ourselves thoroughly engaged by the actors, writing and director. Congratulations to everyone involved with ‘Witnesses’.”
Best Actor: Robert Olsen, “Dispatch”
Jury Statement: “Robert Olsen captured our attention from the first frame of ‘Dispatch’. His genuine likeability and subtle comedic timing made us want to watch more.”
Best Actress: Lisa King Hawkes, “Zero Point”
Jury Statement: “Lisa King Hawkes brings a simmering sadness and strength to the role of Dr. Alex Embry in ‘Zero Point’. Much of the pilot is spent focused on her face and she carries the story like a season pro.”
Best Director: Alex Calleros, Michael Tucker, “Anamnesis”
Jury Statement: “The screen is a canvas for directors. Alex and Michael took us on a journey in the pilot ‘Anamnesis’. From sweeping vistas to small details, their visual storytelling masterfully created a compelling world.”
Best Writer: Guy Shalem, “Family Style”
Jury Statement: “A smart and original comedy that explores what happens when a family decides to open up a pop-up restaurant in their home to make ends meet – the clever and witty pilot promises many seasons of fresh characters and funny situations.”