Join this transatlantic event in Denver and London to explore the craft of episodic and single drama writing. From Denver: Meet three creative pioneers on the vanguard of US independent episodic storytelling who will discuss their journeys in an industry. Live from London, join BAFTA-nominee and Breakthrough Brit Vinay Patel (Murdered by My Father), who made his debut for the online-only BBC3. This event will explore how emerging talent made it to the small screen with their big ideas; our panel in Denver will discuss why they felt their stories were better told as a series versus the more travelled path of independent film and the future of this non-traditional approach, before joining BAFTA in London to explore the craft of single drama and shaping your first hour of television. For the second year in a row, SeriesFest is teaming with the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) bridging two continents celebrating storytelling.
PJ Haarsma is the Producer of the hit show, Con Man. PJ Haarsma, is a leader in the digital age of business & entertainment. He is most noted as an internationally-awarded Film & Television Producer, Video Game Creator, and Science Fiction Author.
After the remarkable success his book and game series, The Softwire, Haarsma continued on to make history in 2015 with the series Con Man. Redefining age-old business strategies, Haarsma beat the odds in the entertainment sector – literally overnight.
Haarsma constructed the most impressive crowd-funding campaign in history – by raising $1M within the first 24-hours and continuing on to be the highest funded web series across all platforms (3.2 million.) The resulting project, Con Man – staring Firefly’s Nathan Fillion (Castle) & Alan Tudyk (Star Wars), has been globally embraced. Finishing its 2nd Season in 2016, it has been optioned for multiple seasons by Lionsgate and their premium digital channel Comic-Con HQ.
Expanding his franchise further, Haarsma released Con Man: THE GAME. Building out on the platform of the show, and filling a niche in the gaming space, his product simulates building one’s own comic convention with a unique battle round element.
His comic book, Spectrum, is also an award winning series and Haarsma is currently working on issues 3 and 4 to be published later this year. PJ Haarsma continues to produce commercials for ad agencies as well as create content directly for brands. He is hoping to continue his success in television and is currently developing several new shows he plans to start in 2017.
Kit Williamson is an actor, filmmaker and internet person, best known for playing Ed Gifford on the final two seasons of AMC’s series Mad Men. He created the Daytime Emmy-nominated web series EastSiders, which premiered on YouTube in 2012 and was picked up by Logo for digital distribution, broadcast on the cable channel and released on DVD and VOD platforms through Wolfe Video. The show raised over $153,000 on Kickstarter to shoot a second season and is now available on Netlix, Amazon, Hulu, Vimeo On Demand and Fullscreen. Kit has written scripted pilots for CBS and Super Deluxe, and currently has an unscripted development deal at Authentic Entertainment.
Kit is the founder and owner of Go Team Entertainment, a production company and consulting firm specializing in digital strategy which has produced digital content for Harper Collins, MGM Resorts, Key West Tourism, Out Magazine/Here Media, AHF, and numerous Broadway shows, helped clients raise over half a million dollars on Kickstarter and launched viral series with millions of views. He is also the founder and executive director of Brooklyn Web Fest, a new media film festival and content creator conference, and The New Hollywood LGBT, a 501c3 non-profit dedicated to supporting LGBT voices in entertainment.
Originally from Jackson, Mississippi, Kit left home to study acting and creative writing at Interlochen Arts Academy when he was sixteen. Kit began his career on Broadway in the Tony-nominated revival of Talk Radio while a Junior at Fordham University and went on to receive his MFA in playwriting from UCLA. Kit's plays have been produced Off-broadway at Theatre Row, at the National MFA Playwriting Festival in Aspen, CO, and at UCLA, Fordham University and The University of Iowa. He is the recipient of the Playwrights First Award from the National Arts Club, the Fred Thorps Fellowship and the George Allen and Gracie Burns Fellowship at UCLA, among other awards. He is a regular contributor to Indiewire, The Advocate, Huffington Post Queer Voices, Out Magazine and Out Traveler.
Sonja O'Hara is an award-winning Canadian actress and filmmaker. She was selected as one of the "Ten Filmmakers To Watch" by Independent Magazine, chosen by a jury from MovieMaker Magazine, the Sundance Institute and Austin Film Festival. Sonja created and starred in the critically acclaimed series "Doomsday" for which she and co-director Jaspal Binning won the “Best Director” award at The New York Television Festival last year. Sonja also wrote, produced and starred in the feature film "Ovum" for which she won the Indie Soul Special Recognition Award at the Boston International Film Festival for her performance in the film, as well as going on to earn “Best Picture” at The Big Apple Film Festival. The film was released this spring by The Orchard. For more info on Sonja's upcoming roles and projects, please visit:www.sonjaohara.com.