Independent Television Festival brings new opportunities to UMD and Duluth
It was announced on December 10th that the Independent Television Festival (ITVFest) will be moving from Manchester, Vermont to Duluth, Minnesota for its 2019 edition. Duluth will be the most recent of the festival’s homes, the first of which was Los Angeles, California in 2006.
Described on the festival’s site as “a worldwide community of television creators, executives, agents and fans responsible for discovering the best new television programs created on independent (aka, non-network) budgets”, the festival provides creators with a chance to showcase their talents to both fans of and networks like Netflix and HBO. According to ITVFest’s website, recent attendees of the festival include Kelly Edwards of HBO and Justine Giannino of IFC. One of the festival’s best features is being open to the public, allowing everyday fans of television to enjoy submissions alongside industry insiders.
With a plan to hold the festival from October 9th to the 13th, ITVFest will provide individuals from a wide range of roles in TV to follow the success of shows like “The Incredible Life of Darrell”, “Fu@k I Love U”, and “Sanitarium”, all of which were able to pursue the path to circulation after appearing at the festival. The festival gives out awards to its best participants, including Best Director, Best Short Film, and Best Writing. The detailed schedule for the event is set to be released in August.
The festival will also provide a rare opportunity for students in the area to experience the creative process and communicate with other people involved in filmmaking and television. Professor Joellyn Rock, whose focuses include Photography and Digital Arts, said,“I am very excited and curious about the Independent Television Festival coming to Duluth next fall… Streaming media formats have created a new appetite for episodic storytelling, it's a dynamic time for creative media. Audiences are hungry for complex story worlds, with excellent writing, rich visuals, strong acting, and high production values. I am both an enthusiastic fan and an experimental maker.”
Professor Rock also stated that she planned to integrate the festival into her Fall Semester courses, “I teach two beginning filmmaking classes in the fall, so I will encourage my students to engage with the ITV festival activities. Students may be able to volunteer, attend screenings, and find multiple ways to connect their college learning to this thriving industry. There's a growing community of film and video creatives in our region. Hopefully the festival will help demystify the industry, allowing local creatives to mingle with experienced producers.”
With under ten months remaining until the festival arrives in the Twin Ports, content creators from across the country will be working hard to have their projects ready for October. The people of Duluth will find themselves able to view and judge the next wave of television and may witness the beginning of the next big series.