Panel 5: SUNDAY OCTOBER 23, 12pm-2pm
WGA Presents: Best Places for Female Content Creators/Showrunners to Sell and Run their series.
Venue: Luxe Hotel 360 N. Rodeo Drive Beverly Hills, CA 90210 (penthouse suite)
This panel explores the role of the show creator with expert women Showrunners who sold their shows to buyers. With an expert panel who have done what you want to do. Learn ways you can approach those buyers to solicit your show for their network, cable or .com company. The WGA Women’s Committee is our sponsor on this panel and has been involved with the festival since 2006. Q&A to follow.
Pannelists: Cynthia Riddle, Kat Coiro, Sarah Gertrude Shapiro, Liz W. Garcia and Tessa Blake
Cynthia Riddle ( Moderator)
CYNTHIA RIDDLE has an MFA in Screenwriting/Film Production from UCLA. She has written film/television projects for CBS, Hallmark Hall of Fame, Lifetime, Showtime, MGM, Starz, Netflix, Disney, Nickelodeon, PBS, and MarVista.
Cynthia penned the award-winning, highly-rated CBS/Hallmark Hall of Fame film Crossroads based on the true story of a man who forgave the teen driver who killed his wife and daughter while drag racing. She also wrote the popular film, Puppy Love, for Hallmark Channel, and celebrity biopic, The Brittany Murphy Story, which aired on Lifetime.
Cynthia’s feature script, Curtains, about eccentric stage actress Sarah Bernhardt, won a WGA script competition and residency in Paris (and is a current WGA Feature Writer Access Project honoree). Julia Verdin (Al Pacino’s The Merchant of Venice) and French production/distribution company The Carrere Group are producing in Paris in Summer, 2016 (with WME packaging).
Cynthia’s pilot script, Blood Brothers, was a Finalist in the 2015 Sundance Episodic Story Lab, and 2nd Round in Austin Film Festival’s TV pilot competition. Cynthia produced a number of award-winning short films that have won/been finalists in top competitions Project Greenlight and the Coca Cola Refreshing Filmmakers Award. Cynthia’s stage musical, A Kid’s Life, ran Off-Broadway, with national tours.
Cynthia was a former development executive for MGM, and launched her writing career with a writing/producing deal with the studio. She is the Co-Vice Chair of the WGA’s Committee of Women Writers, and is on the Board of the LA Femme Film Festival.
Kat is currently developing an autobiographical comedy for ABC as well as adapting Victor LaValle’s 2012 novel “The Devil In Silver” into a dramatic series produced by Assembly/Endomol. Kat is also workshopping a short, entitled “Wig Shop”, in conjunction with Tribeca. Additionally, Kat has directed three theatrically released feature films, two shorts, numerous national commercials and has written two unproduced comedy pilots for NBC and ABC. Kat’s favorite feature, which she also wrote, is her 2012 romantic drama “And While We Were Here”, which she shot in Italy for 150k while 8 months pregnant and which premiered in competition at Tribeca and earned a best actress nomination for Kate Bosworth. Her short film “Departure Date”, a 30-minute short for Virgin Airlines, holds the world record as the first film to be shot and editing entirely on moving commercial jets. “Departure Date” won a Webby in 2013 and marked Kat’s entree into commercial directing.
In 2015, Kat was selected as an NBCU Directing Fellow for episodic directing. Kat earned her BFA in Theater and Russian History from Carnegie Mellon University, studied directing at the Moscow Art Theater in Russia, attended the Master’s Program at The American Film Institute (AFI) and recently launched the “Acting For The Camera” program at her Highschool Alma Mater, Interlochen Arts Academy. She currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband (actor Rhys Coiro), their three children and a rescued chihuahua.
An AFI Directing Workshop for Women alumna, Tessa Blake is an award-winning filmmaker whose work has premiered at Cannes and SXSW, won awards at Nantucket Film Festival and the Human Rights Watch Film Festival, been honored by the Academy, been released theatrically, and has played on Showtime, Oxygen, PBS & DirecTV. As a television director, she helmed a new media pilot for Issa Rae Productions, which aired to acclaim on Color Creative TV, and will direct NCIS: New Orleans this fall. She and her husband Ian Williams work as a writing team for film and television and have enjoyed script deals with ABC, NBC, FOX and Warner Brothers.
Liz W. Garcia
One of the most prolific female voices working today in film and television, Liz is currently writing the final installment in the SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS film series for Alloy Entertainment. She made her directorial debut with THE LIFEGUARD, staring Kristen Bell. THE LIFEGUARD, which Liz also wrote and produced, premiered in competition at Sundance in 2013. She adapted the international bestseller FRENCH WOMEN DON’T GET FAT for Alcon and Hilary Swank’s 2S Productions and AU PAIRS for Warner Bros. with Drew Barrymore’s Flower Films producing. In addition, she’s written features for Fox Searchlight, Disney and several independent producers. Her feature script ONE PERCENT MORE HUMID was on the Black List. In television, Liz and Joshua Harto co-created the TNT police drama MEMPHIS BEAT with George Clooney’s Smokehouse producing and Jason Lee and Alfre Woodard starring. Liz & Joshua have written pilots for Showtime, NBC, CBS, ABC and the CW. Liz was a Writer and Producer on COLD CASE for CBS where she won the GLAAD Award for Best Dramatic Episode and was named one of Variety’s Top 10 TV writers to watch in 2010. Liz is the co-founder of WomenScribes, an online mentorship program for emerging female screenwriters. She is a graduate of Wesleyan University’s prestigious Film Studies program, a member of Phi Beta Kappa and mother of two.