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SeriesFest Sets 2020 Indie Pilots Lineup Featuring Ilana Glazer, Rhea Seehorn, and More

IndieWire is exclusively announcing the jurors and selections for the virtual edition of SeriesFest's Independent Pilot Competition.

SeriesFest

Casey Washington, Louis Mustilo, and Rhea Seehorn in “Cooper’s Bar.”

SeriesFest

SeriesFest is going virtual, and the upcoming weeklong festival celebrating episodic storytelling will feature a multitude of star-studded pilots for its Independent Pilot Competition. IndieWire is exclusively announcing the competition’s jurors and selections, which include pilots starring Rhea Seehorn, Ilana Glazer, and a variety of other celebrated talents.

The festival’s sixth Independent Pilot Competition runs from Thursday, June 18 through Wednesday, June 24. The six-day event will be held virtually and include competition screenings, panel discussions, one-of-a-kind workshops, and television premieres.

“It’s incredible to see how the Pilot Competition has grown over the years,” SeriesFest founder and CEO Randi Kleiner said in a statement. “It is the heart and soul of the festival. ​We are thrilled and inspired with the quality of work and imaginative voices in this year’s captivating selections.”

SeriesFest passes range from $35 to $500 to attend screenings, panels, network premieres, and special events. Passes are on sale at ​www.seriesfest.com​. Early bird pass prices are available until June 3. SeriesFest will use Eventive as its primary screening platform for the pilot competitions and live-stream events.

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This year’s virtual festival is titled “Fest / Differently,” and will still include SeriesFest staples like competition screenings, panel discussions, one-of-a-kind workshops, and never-before-seen sneak peeks and television premieres. Intended to address the increase in virtual content, “Fest / Differently” highlights the importance of honoring creators together in this new age.

The Independent Pilot Competition is split into seven categories: Independent Pilot: Drama; Independent Pilot: Comedy; Independent Pilot: Unscripted; Digital Short Series; Late Night; Pitch-A-Thon; and Collegiate Creator Spotlight.

Here’s the full list of jury members:

  • The drama category’s jurors include: Riva Marker, Susan Lewis, Miriam Mintz, Beau Swayze, Michael Callas, Isabel San Vargas, Katie Cates, and IndieWire’s Ben Travers.
  • The comedy category’s jurors include: Katie Lowes, Adam Shapiro, Evan Shapiro, Garret Martin, Allison Wasserman, Jackie Sosa, Dade Hayes, and Tamir Muhammad.
  • The late night category’s jurors are: Anna Roberts, Sam Zimmerman, Laura Prudom, and Danielle Kreinik.
  • The digital short series category’s jurors include: Brian Newman, Daryn Carp, Rob Yang, Kuye Youngblood, Krystal Hauserman, and Liz Shannon Miller.
  • Ryan Harrington, Andy Singer, Lynn Sadofsky, Travis Tammero, and Katie Neff will serve as jurors for the unscripted category.

“We are honored and pleased to announce these highly respected and talented jury members for season six” Kaily Smith Westbrook, Founder and CCO, said in a statement. “This impressive group offers a wide range of experience and perspectives, and we look forward to hearing how they will determine the best of the best in each category.”

Actors featured in this year’s SeriesFest include Adrian Grenier, Chiké Okonkwo, Chris Parnell, Dylan Baker, Ilana Glazer, Joel McHale, Kel Mitchell, Michael Michelle, Adam Ray, Mindy Sterling, Paul Scheer, Thomas Lennon, Rhea Seehorn, Rick Overton, and more.

For a full list of pilots, see below:

  • The drama category’s pilots include: “Chosen,” “Distemper,” “Eat the Rich,” “Girl Boxer,” “Immortal,” “Inferno,” “Nightfire,” “Story of You,” “Super,” and “Supplements.
  • The comedy category’s pilots include: “Bulge Bracket,” “Couples Therapy,” “Embarrassing Parents Anonymous,” “Everyone Together,” “Generation Por que?,” “Good Genes,” “Shepherds,” “Slice,” “We’re Not Together,” and “Wizards.”
  • The unscripted category’s pilots include: “Food Relay,” “For the Love of Craft,” “Mavericks,” “On Location with Joe Barlow,” “One Vote at a Time,” and “Racist Trees.”
  • The digital shorts series category’s pilots include: “Alley Way,” “Bad Influence,” “Beached,” “Berkowitz,” “Best Seller,” “Blocks,” “Cooper’s Bar,” “Dreaming Whilst Black,” “Early to Rise,” “Freeze,” “Heart to Heart,” “M,” “Not a Fairytale,” “Swipe,” “The Square Root,” “Unleashed,” and “Wheelhouse.”
  • The late night category’s pilots include: “#BlueBoar,” “Aliens,” “Colin: The Vegan Zombie,” “Revénge à Paris,” “Spaghetti High,” and “The Perfect Show.”
  • The Pitch-A-Thon category’s pilots include: “Fighting Time,” “How Ya Like Me Now,” “Managing Life,” “More Power to You,” “Roomies,” “Tips,” and “Upstream with Jimmy Dallas.”
  • The Collegiate Creator Spotlight category’s pilots include: “I Put the Bi in Bitter,” “Sweaty Palms,” “The Daily,” and “The Safety Plan.”

Take a look at the full lineup, including creators, casts, and descriptions, below. SeriesFest runs from June 18 – 24. 

Independent Pilot Competition (Comedy)

Bulge Bracket COLORADO PREMIERE

Creator: Christopher Au
Cast: Jessika Van, Feodor Chin, Lanny Joon, Teddy Larsen, Chris King Wong, Chris Elsenbroek, and Jonathan P. Sims USA, 25m 

In the high-intensity world of mergers, acquisitions, and IPOs, a young female investment banker (Jessika Van, CBS’s Rush Hour ) confronts the patriarchy in the frat house of Wall Street. This ensemble dramedy finds humor in high-stress situations at the office, as it explores the costs of climbing the corporate ladder. 

Couples Therapy WORLD PREMIERE

Creator: Michaela Zannou
Cast: Michaela Zannou, Ryan Metcalf, Manni L. Perez, and Ashley Weismantel
USA, 16m 

Natalia, a successful couples therapist, treats neurotic New York couples while her own marriage is falling apart and she can’t seem to be able to follow her own advice. 

Embarrassing Parents Anonymous COLORADO PREMIERE

Creators: Josh Anderson and James Kwong
Cast: Ben Wood, Cliona Colgan, Caroline Brazier, Sora Wakaki, Taylor Ferguson, Jane Watt, and Sasha Rose
Australia, 18m 

When the embarrassing antics of a newly single dad get out of control, his eleven year old daughter joins a clandestine support group for kids like her: Embarrassing Parents Anonymous. 

Everyone Together COLORADO PREMIERE

Creators: Jessica Kaye, Steven Klein, and Kelsey Ledgin
Cast: Jessica Kaye, Steven Klein, Emily James, Reza Sixo Safai, and Iman Nazemzadeh
USA, 24m 

Everyone Together , a comedy series, follows two dysfunctional families from different cultural backgrounds as they clash and bond over a new major family milestone each season. 

Generation Por que? WORLD PREMIERE

Creator: Jacqueline Pereda
Cast: Andréa Burns, Jacqueline Pereda, Sandor Juan, Amel Khalil, Melvin Lima, Guyviad Joseph, Manny Ureña, and Jared Johnston
USA, 30m 

A coming of age comedy that follows Jackie Perez, a first-generation woman pursuing her acting dreams in New York City while enduring her very Cuban parents…who voted for Trump and live in New Jersey. She can chase her dreams, but she can’t outrun her family. 

Good Genes COLORADO PREMIERE

Creators: Michael Fry and Ashley Tribble
Cast: Ashley Tribble, Michael Fry, Elyakeem Avraham, Jaron Bellar, Jeri Marshall, Robyn Coffin, Victor Holstein, Jeff Parker, Matthew Elam, and Eunji Kim
USA, 21m 

On Earth, Tayla, a black, queer, fashion intern, is no stranger to being an outsider. But when her deadbeat father shows up after 20 years, strange things start happening and she quickly learns the nature of her true identity is not of this world. 

Shepherds WORLD PREMIERE

Creators: Erica Bardin and Susan Graham
Cast: Erica Bardin, Brittany Ishibashi, Susan Graham, Chris Mulkey, Joan Severance, and Ben Wickham
USA, 26m 

Shepherds is a dramedy following Madison Shepherds, an ambitious researcher grappling with an identity crisis after losing her job. Her transition from legal opioid researcher to illegal psychedelic drug dealer is set against the backdrop of political conflict between big pharma, the psychedelic research community and her own family. 

Slice WORLD PREMIERE

Creator: Adam Ray
Cast: Adam Ray, Thomas Lennon, Joel McHale, Ron Funches, David Koechner, Carlie Craig, Gino Columbo, Carolyn Cox, Amanda Bennett, and Mark Serritella
USA, 26m 

Comedian Adam Ray dons Oscar worthy make-up & prosthetic & explores the lives of three lonely hearts trying to make it in LA. One part Portlandia /two parts Curb, this half hour comedy will explore the off- beaten path of Hollywood hopefuls in the strange world of the desperate and deprived. 

We’re Not Together WORLD PREMIERE

Creators: Sarah Peterson and Alan Starzinski
Cast: Sarah Peterson, Alan Starzinski, Eli Kaplan, Chris Grace, Sai Lang, Miles Bonsignore, and Dennis Weiss
USA, 27m 

In college Alan and Sarah were frenemies with benefits. Now they’re frenemies raising an adorable 7-year-old accident. There’s just one thing missing…the benefits. It’s a little tricky to catch a fish in the sea of love when your bait is one giant red flag. 

Wizards WORLD PREMIERE

Creator: Zane McWilliams
Cast: Joel Johnstone , Max Baumgarten , David Amito, Penelope Gazin, Sean-Michael Bowles, and Katie Jean Hollowell
USA, 22m 

A crew of D&D players lives are thrown into disorder when new members disrupt the ranks. Watch as they navigate off-beat, increasingly outrageous and relatable day to day adventures. If life is a game, these guys suck. 

Independent Pilot Competition (Drama)

Chosen COLORADO PREMIERE

Creator: Michael Goitanich
Cast: Alison Jaye, Bern Cohen, Melissa Weisz, Julie Fain Lawrence, Joshua Rivera, Alex Offenkrantz, and Jonathan O’Reilly
Canada, 17m 

After the disappearance of her father and the return of her estranged uncle, a curious young Hasidic woman living in Borough Park, Brooklyn, discovers a dark family secret. 

Distemper COLORADO PREMIERE

Creators: Max Pitagno and Elias Plagianos
Cast: Abigail Hawk, Chiké Okonkwo, and Tara Westwood
USA, 18m 

Set in 1918 – Distemper tells the true story of pathologist and LGBT icon Louise Pearce as she works to find a cure for African Trypanosomiasis as it infects millions across the Belgian Congo. 

Eat The Rich WORLD PREMIERE

Creators: Aidan Largey and PJ Hart
Cast: Shaun Blaney
UK, 19m 

Eamon, a vulnerable and desperate bicycle courier, turns to a radical trade union for financial and emotional support, but soon finds himself being groomed as a member of a Robin Hood style gang that steals from the rich and gives to themselves. 

Girl Boxer COLORADO PREMIERE

Creator: Lauren McCann
Cast: Lauren McCann, Jack Mulcahy, and David Sitler
USA, 20m 

A hard-up-single-mother and former boxer, is lured by the Irish mob into an underground boxing match where questions of right and wrong are challenged when the love of family is concerned. 

Immortal COLORADO PREMIERE

Creator: Rob Margolies
Cast: Dylan Baker, Lindsay Mushett
USA, 25m 

A high school track star comes clean about sexual misconduct with her coach, but the teacher she confesses to may have ulterior motives of his own. 

Inferno WORLD PREMIERE

Creators: Wendy Roderweiss and Michael O’Brien
Cast: Josh Bywater, Adam Wesley Brown, David Pasquesi, John Lister, Marika Engelhardt, Leslie Murphy, Ty Olwin, Rose Sengenberger, Janelle Snow, Ronald L. Conner, Dana Black, Sean Parris, and Aja Wiltshire
USA, 38m 

When a foolish mistake leaves altruistic Tommy Laudadio desperate for employment, he must descend into the Inferno: a distinctly unethical firm of divorce lawyers. In this black comedy, Tommy’s fundamental resolve to do right collides with the tragicomic absurdity of corrupt attorneys, unbalanced clients, and a catastrophically broken family-law system. 

Nightfire WORLD PREMIERE

Creator: Brando Benetton
Cast: Dylan Baker, Lorenzo Pisoni, Becky Ann Baker, and Bradley Stryker
USA, 43m 

After being wrongfully accused of treason, a resourceful CIA agent goes rogue, navigating Europe to expose the corrupted system that hired him and prevent a threat that could unravel the security of all nations. 

Story of You WORLD PREMIERE

Creator: Raleigh Cain
Cast: Raleigh Cain, Pete Gardner, Holly Gagnier, Allie Jennings, Joseph Stromberg, Peter Murphy, Sara Silva, Laurie Cummings, Dani Payne, Michelle Roselle, and Blaine Kirk
USA, 25m 

When Jayne, a pregnant kindergarten teacher in the middle of her own affair, discovers the man who raised her isn’t her father, the story of her life begins to quickly unravel. 

Super COLORADO PREMIERE

Creators: Jeremy Merrifield and Dave Testa
Cast:
Jonah Beres, Paul Scheer, Jaylin Ogle, and Car s on Severson
USA, 19m 

For fourteen-year-old Sam, surviving the brutal battlefield of junior high means staying below radar. But that becomes impossible after he becomes the target of a viral video. He’s pressured to “hit back,” but Sam isn’t so sure—even if he does have superpowers. 

Supplements COLORADO PREMIERE

Creator: Sarah Phillips
Cast: Laetitia Leon, Murtaza Ali, La’Netia D. Taylor, Terrie Dreyfus, Terence Pennywell
USA, 14m 

The year is 2289 and all that’s left on Planet Earth is the domed city of Old Centauri, roaming sun flares that scorch the land, and the nomadic tribes that mitigate the two. Kiirke, a nomad, must travel to the city to make money to save her family. 

Independent Pilot Competition (Unscripted)

Food Relay WORLD PREMIERE

Creator: Jonathan Legg
Cast: Paige Murtaugh
Cuba, 29m 

Host Paige Murtaugh is connecting the world through cuisine. At every location, she learns culturally important dishes from chefs and families. Paige carries this culinary knowledge to her next destination where she cooks the food for the local community. 

For The Love of Craft COLORADO PREMIERE

Creator: Kaleb Kohart
Cast: Jim Koch, Ken Grossman, Kevin Blodger, Larry Bell, and Kim Jordan
USA, 25m 

For the Love of Craft is a masterclass in how to pursue your passion and chase your dream. Each episode is a journey into the stories of entrepreneurs who share inside tricks they’ve learned through years of struggle, the moments of pure luck, and the heart wrenching failure. Beer just happens to be the catalyst. 

Mavericks WORLD PREMIERE
Creators: Michael Michele and Chris L. Jenkins
Cast: Christy Wise, Jessica Wise, and Tom Wise
USA, 48m 

Mavericks is a six-part docu-series that tells the stories of iconoclastic, modern women whose surprising lives and unexpected choices break the conventions of how women are supposed to live in 21st century America, despite pressures to conform. 

On Location with Joe Barlow WORLD PREMIERE

Creator: Joe Barlow
Cast: Joe Barlow, Ed Neal
USA, 27m 

The location: one of the most impactful characters in any great film. Think about it- The Shining would be nothing without one creepy hotel. Can you imagine Ferris Bueller parading down a street anywhere but in Chicago? On Location follows host Joe Barlow’s travels across the world – from the creaky house in Texas Chainsaw Massacre , to a sleepy cornfield in Field of Dreams

One Vote at a Time WORLD PREMIERE

Creators: Sarah Ullman and Mara Tasker
Cast: Jennifer Carroll Foy, Josh Crandell, Sarah Ullman, Mara Tasker, Jessica Pantoja, Olesia Saveleva, Kara Johnson, and Kelsey Norton
USA, 24m 

On a mission to end gun violence, a team of filmmakers called One Vote at a Time travels the nation to make campaign ads for underfunded and overlooked candidates. Through this lens, we gain access to the reshaping of American leadership standing up to say: Enough. 

Racist Trees COLORADO PREMIERE

Creators: Sara Newens & Mina T. Son
Cast: N/A
USA, 12m 

Racial tensions are reignited as a historically Black neighborhood in Palm Springs continues the decades-long fight for the removal of a wall of trees that many believe were originally planted as a totem of segregation. 

Digital Short Series Competition presented by Fullscreen

Alley Way WORLD PREMIERE

Creator: Marcus Folmar
Cast: Marcus Folmar, John Marshall Jones, Naomi Grossman, Ty Hodges, Reggie Currelley, and Bryan Rainstein
USA, 19m 

Wall Street broker turned TV scribe, Bernie Dixon, draws inspiration from the sometimes awkward and often unexpected people and situations that he encounters, while perched in the alley behind his apartment building, observing life and working to create his next great TV idea. 

Bad Influence WORLD PREMIERE

Creator: Roniel Tessler
Cast: Collette Astle, Ignacyo Matynia, John Battagliese, Jordan Doww, Lia Chang, Valerie Priso, and Carlie Priso
USA, 12m 

Bad Influence is a hilarious web series that follows four social media stars as they figure out WTF they’re going to do IRL. Bad Influence exposes the ridiculous, influencer-obsessed culture we’ve created, while making us realize that sometimes the person we’re laughing at is ourselves. It’s a show about rebuilding our fabulously flawed lives, and learning to love who we are with #nofilter. 

Beached COLORADO PREMIERE

Creators: Nic Collins and Sean Godsey
Cast: Sean Godsey, Paige Klone, Jenny Austin, Deprece Reddick, Aliza Pearl, Cooper Johnson, and Jade Hayward
USA, 8m 

Beached follows The Wail, a creature from the deep, who has come to the surface to take away humanity’s pain. With genuine and sweet comedy intercut with terrifying creature horror, this series believes that every living creature is special and deserving of love, whether they live on the ocean floor or in an alleyway. 

Berkowitz COLORADO PREMIERE

Creator: Casey Skinner
Cast: Casey Skinner, Myq Kaplan, Vanessa Johnston , and Joshua Adam Meyers
USA, 14m 

Berkowitz is an adult animated sitcom about four self-centered shrinks who help everyone with their flaws, while being completely blind to their own. Centered around Dr. Norman Berkowitz, a talented, yet neurotic therapist, who takes the petty annoyances of everyday life and blows them completely out of proportion. 

Best Seller COLORADO PREMIERE

Creator: Nora Kirkpatrick
Cast: Beth Grant, Erinn Hayes, Noureen DeWulf, Barry Rothbart, Jen Tullock, and Nico Santos
USA, 14m 

Welcome to BSTV, a third-tier 24-hour home shopping network that aims to rival home shopping giants like QVC or HSN. For thirty-five years, Marla “Sugar” Silver has been the unrivaled queen of the network. But when she is accidentally killed on the air during a hair drying demonstration gone wrong, she leaves in her wake a full-on bidding war for her prime-time slot. Who will come out on top? Will it be Charleese, the very un-pious late-night televangelist? Laurel, the hand-model with the heart of steel? Or Cindy, Marla’s daughter who has spent her entire life cowering in her mother’s shadow? Tune in to find out… 

Blocks COLORADO PREMIERE
Creator: Bridget Moloney
Cast: Claire Coffee, Mark Webber, Ruha Taslimi, Phoebe Sinclair, George Sinclair, Kristin Slaysman, Trae Harris, Jessica Coulter, Camille Chen, Tara Copeland, Amy French, and Dreama Walker
USA, 11m 

In Blocks , a heightened reality domestic anxiety series, we meet Ashleigh, a woman who is consumed by motherhood to the point of sickness–she’s spontaneously vomiting toy blocks. 

Cooper’s Bar COLORADO PREMIERE

Creators: David Conolly, Hannah Davis Law, Nick Morton
Cast: Rhea Seehorn, Louis Mustillo, David Conolly, Casey Washington, and Kila Kuta
USA, 8m 

Set in the backyard bar Cooper Marino has painstakingly built as a refuge from his failing career, Cooper’s Bar follows Cooper and a handful of his regulars on an unlikely path to success as unexpected visitors make the bar an overnight hot spot making Cooper a credible Hollywood commodity. 

Dreaming Whilst Black COLORADO PREMIERE

Creator: Adjani Salmon
Cast: Adjani Salmon, Dani Moseley, and Vanessa Vanderpuye
UK, 9m 

Dreaming Whilst Black is a 9-part comedy web series that follows a young, passionate, but naive filmmaker, Kwabena, who struggles to navigate between his dreams and reality. 

Early To Rise WORLD PREMIERE

Creators: GEIL Comedy (Alec Cohen, Mike Cabellon, Adrien Pellerin, Katie Sicking)
Cast: Mike Cabellon, Katie Sicking, Adrien Pellerin, Brian McElhaney, Iman Richardson, Taylor Ortega, Jerah Milligan, and RJ O’Brien
USA, 5m 

On the way to a distant planet, three less-than-qualified astronauts are awoken 90 years too early and trapped inside their hibernation pods. Alone in the endless void, they can’t kill themselves, they can’t kill each other, so they’ll just have to kill time. 

Freeze COLORADO PREMIERE

Creator: Maya Albanese
Cast: Adrian Grenier, Nora Zehetner, Chris Parnell, Mindy Sterling, Rick Overton, Kel Mitchell, John Ennis, Jazzmun Crayton, and C.C. Sheffield
USA, 14m 

When Joy’s fairytale romance crashes and burns on the eve of her 35th birthday, the TICK-TOCK of her biological clock induces wild hallucinations and pushes her into romantic misadventures. She warily pursues egg freezing at an offbeat fertility clinic surrounded by an angry mob of wait-listed women. Freeze is a psychological comedy-drama series that explores the conflicts modern, thirty-something women have with their own biology in an era of unparalleled female choice. 

Heart To Heart COLORADO PREMIERE

Creator: IR Bell-Webb
Cast: Fearn Deacon, Siena Kelly, David Tennant, Jo Martin and Felicity Montagu
UK, 10m 

A young girl is scared to make the first move. But her heart has something to say about it. Literally. 

M COLORADO PREMIERE

Creator: Javier Devitt
Cast: Alena Chinault, Jon McCormick, Marcelo Melingo, Heinz K. Krattiger, and Juan Alari
Argentina, 10m 

A young American couple travels to Patagonia to search for his father, but as they enter the woods with the help of a local con man, they soon discover that something supernatural is lurking… 

Not A Fairytale COLORADO PREMIERE

Creator: Greg Safel
Cast: Greg Safel, Michael Naizu, Jeffrey Sun, Bailey Williams, and Mark Gantt
USA, 9m 

In this dark comedy, Greg, a very single, fifty-something gay man, finally discovers the possibility of love. However, when his late blooming music career also takes off, he finds that he is challenged in balancing these two aspects of his life and is instead forced to choose. 

SWIPE COLORADO PREMIERE

Creator: Martijn Winkler
Cast: Roy Kaneza, Mitch Wolterink, Marloes IJpelaar, Pim van Hövell, Valéry van Gorp, and Anouk van Egmond
Netherlands, 13m 

SWIPE is a seven-part drama series about the influence and unforeseen consequences of smartphones on the lives of several twenty-somethings, told from the perspective of their phones. 

The Square Root COLORADO PREMIERE

Creators: Misti Boland and Jeremy Osbern
Cast: Alexandra Goodman, Ian Stark, and Joseph Lee Anderson
USA, 14m 

The Square Root is a short form episodic series that explores memory and the small moments that make us who we are. Each chapter focuses on a different character, and each episode takes place during that split second before a character makes the decision that will change their lives forever. 

Unleashed COLORADO PREMIERE

Creator: Jonathan Levy
Cast: Claire Tyers, Nicholas Feitel, Swann Gruenn, Carrie Jane Kim, Wesli Spencer, and Ryan Salvato
USA, 10m 

An offbeat comedy series about an awkward, struggling actor who walks dogs for a living while searching for his big break. When his knack for dogs acquires him a celebrity’s dog as a client the chasm between him and making it seem closer yet so much farther away. 

Wheelhouse WORLD PREMIERE

Creators: Andy Miara and Terrance Brown
Cast: Lureena Cornwell, Tim Metzler, AJ McGhee, Brian Jack, Andy Junk, Alice Wu, Glenn Obrero, Dana Quercioli, and Ryan Heywood
USA, 21m 

Set in Chicago’s hyper-competitive world of coed recreational company softball, Wheelhouse follows a cross-section of employees who play for Bay Lenders, a team captained by the most popular guy in the office who also happens to be its worst employee. 

Late Night Competition

#BlueBoar WORLD PREMIERE

Creator: Alice Victoria Winslow
Cast: Alice Victoria Winslow
USA, 5m 

It’s the year of the infamous Salem Witch Trials. Except, the internet exists, and Puritan Style Guru Sarah Winsley’s online channel has made her a New World celebrity. When a panic of evil bedevils the community, Sarah can’t be sure what’s ailing her—is she bewitched or is she a witch? 

Aliens WORLD PREMIERE

Creator: Jonathan Mayer
Cast: Ilana Glazer, Catherine Cohen, Larry Owens, Ayo Edebiri, Matt Rogers, and Pat Regan
USA, 16m 

Aliens follows different extraterrestrials seeking answers to big questions: What am I doing here? Why does anything exist? And how do you get into that little circle of people saying hi to the host of the party? If you get stuck on the periphery of that circle, forget it. 

Colin: The Vegan Zombie WORLD PREMIERE

Creator: Greg Ash
Cast: Greg Ash, Cammie Scott, Joel Dauten, Brett Maline, Rhys Mitchell, and Stephen Simon
USA, 10m 

Colin Potts is 31, single, and a vegan. He also happens to be a zombie. This revealing documentary gives a unique insight into the hopes, dreams and daily struggles of a zombie who doesn’t eat meat. 

Revénge à Paris US PREMIERE

Creators: William Lambert, Danny Horn, Nico Franks, Alan Wilyman, Joe Gamble, Jonathan Milshaw, Nathan Comer, and Ben Walker
Cast: Gabrielle Dempsey, Megan Leigh Mason, William Lambert, Alan Wilyman, Danny Horn, Jonathan Milshaw, Lotte O’Keeffe, Joe Gamble, Nico Franks, and James Finan
UK, 10m 

A British slapstick comedy masquerading as a French crime drama, Revénge à Paris follows a young woman as she swaps the mundanity of working in a café for a new life in the crime-ridden Parisian underworld. 

Spaghetti High WORLD PREMIERE

Creator: Ben Bryant
Cast: Ben Bryant, Geoff Tice, Elena Ingraham, James Pate, Zac Maas and
Nathan Lund
USA, 5m 

An absurd send-up of TV teen dramas, the students of Spaghetti High must deal with the hormonal difficulties of growing up, even though they are just as preoccupied with eating spaghetti as they are their own interpersonal drama. 

The Perfect Show WORLD PREMIERE

Creator: Brian Bennett
Cast: Brian Bennett, Benjamin Mendelson
USA, 10m 

A perfect sketch comedy show created by Chicagoans containing a scientifically perfect blend of funny, strange, and beautiful. You the viewer will spend the entire show emitting one continuous perfect laugh. 

Pitch-a-Thon Competition

Fighting Time

Creators: Margaret Byrne and Rachel Pikelny 

Retired detective, Reynaldo Guevara, stands in firm silence, accused of framing 59 people with murder. Pointing the finger, along with Guevara’s many victims, is a fellow former cop who betrays the blue code of silence, not only implicating Guevara but uncovering systemic corruption in the highest ranks of Chicago law and order. 

How Ya Like Me Now

Creator: Craig T. Williams 

Based on real life hip hop pioneer Kool Moe Dee who struggles to keep his music relevant with the emergence of a new rival on the scene, LL Cool J. 

Managing Life

Creator: Kelly Vroom, Erin Brown Thomas 

When wild child, Mary Masters, finds her life in shambles, she moves home to Cleveland to manage her sweet Midwestern parents’ apartment building only to discover they’ve let some complicated figures from her past move in. Now, Mary is finally trying to manage her life while literally living with her past mistakes. 

More Power To You

Creator: Olivia Janicek 

A documentary crew follows pompous, washed up Jeremy Johnson, once known as Ultraman, and his legally enforced mentorship of a teenager struggling with his new powers. Sparks will fly — literally. 

Roomies

Creators: Lauren Shaye Livingston and Maya Cryor

Three strangers become roommates through unlikely circumstances while living in Los Angeles. 

Tips

Creator: Serena Dykman

Behind a blur of acrylic tips and nailpolish, ten immigrant workers at Diva Nails juggle eclectic clients, language barriers and their dreams of making it in New York City. But when they begin to uncover the dire effects of their toxic work environment, it leads them on a dangerous path to revenge and murder. They are trying to survive the American Dream, one manicure at a time. 

Upstream with Jimmy Dallas

Creators: Shawn Parsons and Andy Stuckey

Years past his bass fishing prime, Jimmy Dallas struggles to keep his fishing show on the air, his family above water, and his legacy intact. 

Collegiate Creator Spotlight

I Put the Bi in Bitter

Creator: Marin Lepore
Cast: Rhema Srihartiti, Rhianna DeVries, Evangelina Kisa, Tracy Medberry, Bodhi Rader, Brian McGee, Leah Keiser, Joshua Hunt, Bren Thor
16m

I Put the Bi in Bitter is a cute and lighthearted comedy that follows this bisexual teenager and her lesbian BFF as they navigate high school, deal with friendship/crushes, and all the other shenanigans and awkward moments that come from being young. 

Sweaty Palms WORLD PREMIERE

Creator: Jean-Paul Montoulieu
Cast: Jean-Paul Montoulieu, Alec Lang, Billy Vinson, Kelley Zincone
16m

What do an ex-CIA Agent, a mobster, and sitcom producer have in common? Nothing. Other than being the subjects of Sweaty Palms VHS Collection. Sweaty Palms is a collective of comedians founded by Jean-Paul Montoulieu based in Denver, Co. and are known for pushing the envelope, these comedians have shown time and time again to prove themselves not only as comedy writers but also filmmakers. 

The Daily WORLD PREMIERE

Creators: Marty Lang and the MFA Film Program at the University of Central Arkansas
Cast: Emily Cobb, Kirsten Rasmussen, Mikala Hicks, Marty Lang
13m

When Tara Hearst, a precocious college journalist, learns about a conspiracy at her university, her first instinct is to blast the news out as widely and loudly as possible. But, as she maneuvers through the politics of journalism, she quickly learns there are two sides to every story – and that the truth can easily be bought and sold. 

The Safety Plan WORLD PREMIERE

Creator: Jesse Randall
Cast:
Spencer Paez, Wendy Hammers
31m

In the midst of an existential crisis, a socially inept New Yorker abandons his life for “perfect” Los Angeles in search of a chosen family in the LGBTQIA community, but quickly discovers starting over again isn’t the fantasy he thought it would be. 

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