The ATX TV Festival has announced its 2021 Closing Night event, as well as a significant partnership with HBO and HBO Max.
Mike White’s much-anticipated limited series “The White Lotus” will make its world premiere at the Austin-based festival on Saturday, June 19 at 8 p.m. ET. The screening will be part of ATX’s all-virtual Season 10, and White will be joined by select cast members for an exclusive conversation following the premiere.
HBO’s official synopsis of the series reads:
A social satire set at an exclusive Hawaiian resort, the six-episode limited series follows the vacations of various hotel guests over the span of a week as they relax and rejuvenate in paradise. But with each passing day, a darker complexity emerges in these picture-perfect travelers, the hotel’s cheerful employees and the idyllic locale itself.
The series marks White’s first HBO original program since the critically acclaimed comedy “Enlightened” went off the air in 2013. ATX audiences will see the first episode three weeks prior to its July 11 debut on HBO.
In addition to “The White Lotus” premiere, ATX will also feature the official FYC panel for the new season of “In Treatment,” a conversation with the creators of “Hacks,” a peak behind the superhero series “Titans” with showrunner Greg Walker, as well as “New Voices: Launching a First Series,” a discussion featuring first-time showrunners Konrad Kay and Mickey Down from HBO’s drama “Industry,” Crystal Moselle from the soon-returning-series “Betty,” and Christina Lee from HBO Max’s dark comedy “Made for Love.”
“Our partnership with HBO and HBO Max often leaves us speechless,” ATX TV Festival co-founder Caitlin McFarland said in a statement. “HBO’s investment in ATX TV over the years has been unparalleled through premium content and panelists, and shows a true understanding of who we are through their support of our community at all levels. We’re extremely proud that we have been together for 10 years, through an evolving TV landscape and a quickly changing world. This year is no different as we continue our growth in the virtual landscape and look ahead to year-round membership events.”
With June fast approaching, the 2021 ATX Television Festival is preparing for another small screen celebration, and this year’s lineup is starting to take shape. The annual TV jamboree based in Austin brings casual fans and industry titans together to discuss the medium’s past, present, and future via panels, premieres, and special events — all of which are being recreated virtually for Season 10.
Last year’s festival was titled ATX TV… From the Couch!, and it successfully pivoted to an online model after the pandemic made in-person attendance impossible. With just a few months to revamp the festival, the 2020 edition hosted exclusive panels and screenings of some of the year’s best series, including “I May Destroy You,” “P-Valley,” “Perry Mason,” and “The Good Lord Bird,” in addition to writers’ room discussions, table reads, and more enticing conversations (like this mini “Leftovers” reunion between Justin Theroux and Ann Dowd). Fans were able to access events via ATX’s official YouTube channel and were encouraged to donate to a host of charities aiding in pandemic relief.
This year, ATX will offer another immersive “at home” experience featuring a mix of daily VOD programming and appointment viewing, with more interactivity and a stronger focus on community. The 2021 ATX TV Festival lineup — seen below — will be updated as more programming is announced, and you can find all the information you need to enjoy this year’s festival right here at IndieWire (and at the festival’s official site).
When Is the Festival?
The 2021 ATX Television Festival will run from June 11-20, for the first time offering 10 days of programming.
How Do I Attend?
For the second consecutive season, the ATX TV Festival will be held virtually. Festival Badges and Day Passes for Season 10 are available now. For the latest developments and information on how to attend, visit atxfestival.com.
“The White Lotus” (June 19)
—A Closing Night World Premiere Screening and Conversation featuring HBO’s forthcoming limited series from Mike White (“Enlightened”), “The White Lotus” will take place on Saturday, June 19 at 7pm CT. A social satire set at an exclusive Hawaiian resort, the six-episode limited series follows the vacations of various hotel guests over the span of a week as they relax and rejuvenate in paradise. But with each passing day, a darker complexity emerges in these picture-perfect travelers, the hotel’s cheerful employees and the idyllic locale itself. Filmed on the island of Maui, “The White Lotus” will World Premiere at ATX TV Festival, then debut on HBO and be available to stream on HBO Max on Sunday, July 11. Creator/director/executive producer Mike White is confirmed to join the panel following the premiere, and participating cast members will be announced soon.
—The Fox animated comedy from co-creators and “Veep” collaborators Clea DuVall, Gabrielle Allan, and Jennifer Crittenden follows a group of neighborhood pets and stray animals as they work through their issues inside and outside their therapy group. The cast includes Sharon Horgan (who also executive produces), Nat Faxon, and Sam Richardson, all of whom will be on hand for a Q&A following the screening.
“Speech and Debate”
—The independent short-form comedy series written by Kamen Edwards and directed by Cassandra Jean Amell will debut the third episode at ATX, followed by a conversation with stars Stephen Amell (“Arrow”), Aisha Tyler (“Archer”), and John Barrowman (“Doctor Who”) to discuss the episode and what it’s like creating independent TV during a pandemic.
—Previously set for 2020, the 1997 HBO drama will host a retrospective during this year’s ATX Festival, including a conversation with series creator and executive producer Tom Fontana, director and actor Terry Kinney, as well as cast members Lee Tergesen, Dean Winters, Harold Perrineau, and Kirk Acevedo. Additional participants will be announced at a later date.
—The three-season MTV comedy will reunite at ATX TV Festival this year, five years after the series finale, to celebrate the show’s impactful LGBTQIA+ representation, including a groundbreaking storyline featuring television’s first intersex main character. Joining the reunion panel will be creator and showrunner Carter Covington, as well as cast members Rita Volk, Katie Stevens, Michael Willett, Yvette Monreal, and Sophia Ali. Additional panelists will be announced soon.
“Royal Pains” (June 6)
—Taking place ahead of the official festival, “Housecall: A ‘Royal Pains’ Reunion” will debut Sunday, June 6 and be made available on-demand through June 13 to benefit the national hunger relief organization Feeding America. Fans of the former USA “Blue Skies” drama will enjoy a full table read of the series finale, “Uninterrupted,” with creator and executive producer Andrew Lenchewski, writer and director Michael Rauch, as well as cast members Mark Feuerstein, Paulo Costanzo, Reshma Shetty, Brooke D’Orsay, Ben Shenkman, Campbell Scott, Jill Flint, Meredith Hagner, Sarah Mezzanotte, Zachary Hernandez, Anthony Pierini, John Hans Tester, Laura Lanza, Ivan Quintanilla, and special guest moderator Henry Winkler. Tickets can be purchased here.
“Degrassi: The Next Generation” (June 11) — NEW
—Marking 20 years since the series premiere, the panel will feature creatives and cast from across the show’s impressive 14-season run as they revisit iconic storylines and moments from the series, the show’s groundbreaking approach to young adult storytelling, behind-the-scenes stories, and more. Confirmed panelists include: co-creator / executive producer Linda Schuyler, executive producer Stephen Stohn, producer / director / actor Stefan Brogren, and cast members Aislinn Paul, Shane Kippel, Luke Bilyk, Lauren Collins, Munro Chambers, Jake Epstein, Daniel Clark, Andrea Lewis, and Christina Schmidt.
Suzanne Tenner / HBO
“In Treatment” FYC Conversation (NEW)
—For the first time, in partnership with HBO and the Television Academy, the festival will feature an official Emmy® Awards For Your Consideration conversation for the new season of “In Treatment,” which will be available simultaneously for Academy members and Festival attendees on Tuesday, June 15 at 5pm PT/7pm CT. The panel will be moderated by Dr. Siri Sat Nam and feature Co-Showrunners, Executive Producers, and Writers Jennifer Schuur and Joshua Allen, and cast members Uzo Aduba (“Dr. Brooke Taylor”), Anthony Ramos (“Eladio”), Quintessa Swindell (“Laila”), John Benjamin Hickey (“Colin”), and Liza Colón Zayas (“Rita”).
“Hacks” Conversation with the Creators (NEW)
—Join “Hacks” co-creators, co-showrunners and executive producers Lucia Aniello, Jen Statsky and Paul W. Downs, who also acts in the series, as well as stars Hannah Einbinder and Carl Clemons-Hopkins for a conversation unpacking the first season of the Max Original comedy.
“New Voices: Launching a First Series” (NEW)
—First-time showrunners Konrad Kay and Mickey Down from HBO’s drama “Industry,” Crystal Moselle from HBO’s comedy “Betty,” and Christina Lee from HBO Max’s dark comedy “Made for Love” discuss the origin stories behind their series, the creative and practical lessons they learned at the helm, and the impact they hope to make in the entertainment industry.
“Titans” Panel (NEW)
—Attendees will also get a look into the process of constructing a superhero series with a conversation featuring the creative team behind the upcoming third season of the Max Original “Titans.” Joining the panel will be showrunner Greg Walker, director and cinematographer Boris Mojsovski, production designer Ian Brock and costume designer Laura Jean (“LJ”) Shannon.
Ziwe in Conversation
—The titular writer, comedian, actor, singer, activist, and host of Showtime’s upcoming variety show will sit down for a one-of-a-kind look at her rise from social media breakout to star of her own premium cable series. Per the provided synopsis, Ziwe will also break down “her ability to harness the chaotic but essential art of making white people uncomfortable,” which is something everyone should want to see.
Steve McQueen on “Small Axe”
—The writer-director behind Amazon’s film anthology series “Small Axe” will take part in an in-depth examination of his groundbreaking work with fellow writer-director Channing Godfrey Peoples (“Miss Juneteenth”).
Michael J. Fox – Honoree
—The five-time Emmy winner will be given the festival’s Award in Television eXcellence, bestowed on artists whose career reflects the very best that television has to offer. Fox will take part in an intimate, retrospective conversation spanning his iconic performances on “Family Ties” and “Spin City,” guest turns on “The Good Wife” and “Rescue Me,” his recent memoir, “No Time Like the Future,” and more. Previous honorees include Henry Winkler, James L. Brooks, Norman Lear, Marcy Carsey, and Phylicia Rashad.
Angelica Ross – Honoree
—ATX is honored to present its very first “Breakthrough Award” to actor, writer, producer, and human rights advocate Angelica Ross (“Pose”). The inaugural award seeks to recognize a creative voice who has made a unique and substantial imprint on TV, and exemplifies not only the current moment in television, but the possibilities of its future. Ross will be joined by a special guest moderator for a one-on-one conversation about her multi-hyphenate career, her advocacy work, and her work in TV, which includes Emmy-nominated web series “Her Story,” “Danger and Eggs,” “Claws,” “Transparent,” and her breakthrough role on FX’s critically-acclaimed series “Pose” as “Candy Ferocity” from the House of Abundance. In 2019, Ross made history by becoming the first trans actress to secure two series regular roles with “Pose” and “American Horror Story: 1984.” She can next be seen in “American Horror Story: Double Feature,” premiering later this year on FX.
“Channel Changers: A Conversation with TV’s Leaders”
—ATX will host an industry-forward conversation with top network, studio, and streamer executives about the state of the industry, the personal and professional philosophies they bring to their individual brands, and why inclusivity at all levels remains imperative to producing bigger and better storytelling. Participants include Sarah Aubrey (Head of Original Content, HBO Max), Lisa Katz (President, Entertainment Scripted Content, NBCU Television and Streaming), Tina Perry (President, OWN), Karey Burke (President, 20th Television), Christina Davis (President, Original Programming, Starz). The panel will be moderated by Glamour’s West Coast Editor, Jessica Radloff.
- “Younger” Panel (June 10)
- “‘Walker’: Music Showcase” (June 20)
- “The Bold Type” Panel
- “David Makes Man” Panel
- “The Republic of Sarah” Panel
- “Selena: The Series” Panel
- “We Are Lady Parts” Panel
- “Beyond the Scares: Emotional Catharsis & Healing in Horror”
- “Growing Up Is Hard: A New Generation of YA Protagonists”
- “Mad as Hell: TV’s Dangerous Women”
- “The Queer Gaze”
- “Pandemic Proof: Adult Animation”
- “Showrunner State of the Union”
- “Buying & Selling with 20/20 Hindsight”
Specific panelists will be announced at a later date.