At this point in the pandemic, some events are marking their second COVID-19 iteration. While this certainly isn’t the ideal situation, it has allowed organizers to fine-tune their offerings, providing participants with an event that can be thoroughly enjoyed by fans old and new.
Season 7 of SeriesFest is just such an event, and as Randi Kleiner (who co-founded the annual event with Kaily Smith Westbrook) explained, putting on last year’s all virtual festival was a bit like being back in college. The event allows television fans to immerse themselves in events and programming, including premiere screenings, conversations with creatives and industry insiders and samples of exciting pilots.
“We were learning everything last year,” she said with a laugh. “This year we’re aiming for a much smoother experience, including the way we scheduled the event and the amount of shows and panels we’re hosting.”
This year’s SeriesFest — centered around the theme of What’s Next? — remains entirely virtual, and runs from Thursday, June 24 through Sunday, July 11. The festival will primarily be showcased on the Eventive virtual platform, which for viewers to stream their selected films on Roku, AppleTV or their computer or mobile device. To connect viewers and creatives, the event will also host events on Topia (a virtual party environment) and Run The World (a workshop and community event site).
“We’ve really expanded what we’re doing with workshops and networking events, as well as parties, in virtual spaces,” Kleiner, who is CEO of the event, said. “It’s nice to something creative and different, and this helps us to have more people participate, including lots of high-caliber talent and people from the industry.”
Some highlights from this year’s festival include screenings of Amazon’s “The Underground Railroad,” The CW’s “The Republic of Sarah” and Hulu’s “This Way Up,” as well as Innovation Talks featuring Ann Dowd (“The Handmaid’s Tale”) and Jennifer Garner. Comedy fans won’t want to miss a look behind the scenes of “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah,” featuring the utterly hilarious correspondents Desi Lydic and Dulce Sloan.
A key aspect of the mission of SeriesFest is cultivating opportunities for female directors, according to provided information, and as such, it is working with the Shondaland production company on a third cycle of “‘Women Directing Mentorship,’ a competition designed to discover aspiring directors with a unique voice, and provide a launchpad for their career.”
As Kleiner points out, the real heartbeat of SeriesFest is the Independent Pilot Competition, which gets to the core mission of elevating independent stories and voices. This also allows viewers to get involved, because they can vote for their picks for the audience award.
“We’ve had a lot of success in the virtual space and have broadened our audience, especially into the international world,” she said. “The most difficult aspect of the transition from in-person to virtual is the community aspect, but that’s a challenge we’re up for. We have stories from all over world, new voices and new talent, and it’s great to see all of it on screen.”
For details and viewing options, visit www.seriesfest.com.
Northglenn hosts first PRIDE Night event
Northglenn is celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community with its first ever PRIDE Night event, held at E.B. Rains Jr. Memorial Park, 11800 Community Center Drive, from 5 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, June 26.
Hosted by the DISE (Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Equity) Board, the evening will include a Northglenn Youth Theatre PRIDE program, a drag show hosted by former Northglenn Resident Evelyn Evermoore and a Silent Disco hosted by neva.summer. This will be a fun and inclusive event that people won’t want to miss.
For more details, visit www.northglenn.org/pride.
Botanic Gardens get Shakespearean at Midsummer
As a long-time Anglophile, you have to appreciate the beauty of a well-crafted English garden. So, it’s fitting that the Denver Botanic Gardens, 1007 York St. in Denver, is welcoming the official start of summer with Midsummer Nights Tours, held from 6 and 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 24 through Friday, July 2.
According to provided information, the “tour celebrates the long days of summer by focusing on the edible, medicinal and mischievous properties of the plants that played important roles in Shakespeare’s works.” You can’t go wrong.
Clarke’s Concert of the Week — Avifauna at Walker Fine Art
Denver’s Avifauna blends electronic and folk music together to create a swirling blend of atmospheric music and voices, provided by Meagen Svendsen and Mark Penner-Howell. According to the group’s own description, “Svendsen’s lyrics draw on her life as an inveterate world traveler and nature enthusiast.”
For one night, Avifauna will be performing at a pop-up event at Walker Fine Art, 300 W. 11th Ave., No. A, in Denver, from 8-10:30 p.m. on Friday, June 25. The free event will include more than a performance — there will also be a multi-media art installation by band members. More information at www.eventbrite.com.
Clarke Reader’s column on culture appears on a weekly basis. He can be reached at Clarke.Reader@hotmail.com.
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