SeriesFest is committed to leveling the playing field and elevating the content we promote to reflect the diversity in our communities. We have instituted a mandate for submission review that evaluates a production’s process for hiring and casting with the intention of expanding the candidate pools, encouraging employment of qualified cast and crew who have been traditionally underrepresented, and demonstrating accountability to advance progress towards inclusivity.
SeriesFest and the Anna and John J. Sie Foundation is proud to announce that beginning with the 2024 SeriesFest: Season 10 Submissions Cycle, projects that feature or involve persons with disabilities will be considered for special grant funds underwritten by the Anna and John J. Sie Foundation.
Qualified applicants will also have their submissions fees waived by SeriesFest as part of our Inclusion Initiative. Sign up for our newsletters here to be alerted as more information becomes available soon!
SeriesFest, in partnership with the Royal Bank of Canada, is launching a sequence of opportunities to make our festival more accessible for all content creators and to celebrate a commitment to diversity and equity, including a waiver for submissions. Pilots applying for the Independent Pilot, Digital Short Series, Late Night, and Collegiate Spotlight competitions have the opportunity to apply for a submission waiver.
Driven by a mission to champion filmmakers whose projects promote tolerance, acceptance, and inclusivity in the television landscape, The Caz Matthews Fund provides financial contributions to qualifying SeriesFest independent content creators. Each year, SeriesFest curates a short list of projects which have been accepted as official selections for the festival that meet the Caz Matthews Fund requirements. The SeriesFest team then collaborates with Caz to interview and identify creators to receive a one-time financial donation from the Caz Matthews Fund, subject to granting a special credit to SeriesFest, for that particular work.
SeriesFest is excited to partner with Abigail Disney’s Level Forward to present an opportunity for creators applying to the Independent Pilot, Digital Short, and Late Night competitions!
Creators will have the opportunity to opt-in to be considered for the Level Forward Impact Award, which will be given to the episodic pilot and team who demonstrate, on top of their commitment to creative excellence, a thoughtful, thorough, and deliberate approach to using storytelling as a means of leveling the playing field for underrepresented people including women, BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and disabled voices. In keeping with Level Forward’s mission to advance the access, opportunity, and influence of storytelling, we are looking for compelling and entertaining pilots that have incorporated this ethos into the fabric of their process and project.
SeriesFest and Shondaland are proud to have partnered for the past four years on the Women Directing Mentorship — a competition designed to discover aspiring female directors with a unique voice and provide a launchpad for their careers. The Women Directing Mentorship is anchored with the prestigious opportunity to shadow a director for an episode of a Shondaland original series and a $5,000 stipend to use during the duration of their mentorship.
The Executive Elevation Mentorship aims to diversify the landscape of television’s top decision-makers. Fellows will be paired with top television, new media, and digital executives of color in hopes of moving their projects — and careers — forward. As part of our mission, SeriesFest will curate a dedicated group of mentors and mentees to foster inclusivity in the tv/film/media industry at the leadership level.
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