WGFestival 2017 Gathers Top Film and TV Writers for Weekend Conference

March 1, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 1, 2017

LOS ANGELES – The Writers Guild Foundation, in partnership with Academy Education and Nicholl Fellowships Programs, presents WGFestival 2017, a weekend conference on Saturday, March 25, and Sunday, March 26, at the Academy’s Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study in Hollywood. Specifically focused on the craft and business of writing for the screen, the conference consists of headline panels, interactive workshops, special screenings and a pitch competition.

Headline panels include conversations with Academy Award®-winning screenwriter and renowned playwright Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network, The Newsroom, The West Wing); writer/director James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2); an advanced pilot screening of new STARZ series American Gods followed by a Q&A with writers and showrunners Bryan Fuller (Hannibal TV series) and Michael Green (Logan) and star Ian McShane (Deadwood); a special screening of new FOX series Shots Fired followed by a Q&A with writers and co-creators Gina Prince-Bythewood (Love & Basketball) and Reggie Rock Bythewood (Notorious) and the show’s writers room; and a panel on balancing creative passions and business with Academy Award®-winning screenwriter Mark Boal (The Hurt Locker) and more.  

Classroom-size workshops provide hands-on opportunities for writers to learn and hone their skills in pitching ideas, developing characters, adaptations, and more from industry insiders such as writer/executive producer Simon Kinberg (X-Men series), producer Aditya Sood (Deadpool, The Martian), writer/executive producer Derek Haas (Chicago franchise), screenwriter Craig Mazin (Identity Thief), screenwriter Robin Swicord (Memoirs of a Geisha), writer/executive producer Adele Lim (Lethal Weapon TV series), screenwriter Meg LeFauve (Inside Out), writer/producer Laurence Andries (Being Mary Jane), writer/executive producer Pam Veasey (CSI: Cyber), screenwriter Robin Schiff (Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion), screenwriter Ben Ripley (Source Code), screenwriters Destin Daniel Cretton (The Glass Castle) and Andrew Lanham (The Glass Castle), and more.

WGFestival attendees will also be eligible to enter a live pitch competition judged by Matt Dy from the Austin Film Festival, WME Story Editor Christopher Lockhart, and writer/producer Edward Ricourt (Marvel’s Jessica Jones, Now You See Me).

“WGFestival is our premiere event of the year,” said Writers Guild Foundation Executive Director Katie Buckland. “It not only celebrates great film and TV writing, it gives emerging talents an opportunity to learn the craft directly from the best in the industry.”  

“When I became an Academy Governor, I found myself surrounded by Academy members and Governors who share my interest in creating a more inclusive industry,” said screenwriter Robin Swicord, a member of the AMPAS Board of Governors who will lead a WGFestival workshop on adaptations. “It seemed ideal for us to join forces with the Writers Guild Foundation to give emerging writers of every point of view a chance to strengthen their craft, and also make professional contacts. I’m hoping it’s the start of a great collaboration that will eventually infuse our entertainment industry with valuable new voices.”

Sponsors for WGFestival 2017 include Final Draft, STARZ, ScreenCraft, and the WGAW Registry. View the WGFestival list of panelists and schedule at http://www.wgfoundation.org.

For media inquiries about WGFestival 2017, please contact Enid Portuguez at the Writers Guild Foundation at: 323-782-4694 or eportuguez@wgfoundation.org.

The Writers Guild Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that is dedicated to preserving and promoting the history and craft of writing for the screen. Along with operating the Shavelson-Webb Library and Archives, the Foundation hosts events featuring notable TV and film writers and runs programs connecting writers with underserved communities, from military veterans to youth. For more information, visit wgfoundation.org.  

The Academy’s Department of Educational Initiatives is responsible for developing programs and workshops for educators and students. Since its inception in 2012, the department has created a middle school mentoring program called Spark @ The Academy, a yearly professional development program for teachers, the Careers in Film Summit, and a robust tours and visiting artists program. It also has expanded the Academy’s long-running high school media literacy program to include middle school students.  In addition, the department collaborates on various community outreach programs with organizations such as WriteGirl, Film Independent’s Project Involve, Inner-City Filmmakers, the Latino Film Institute Youth Cinema Project, as well as The Film Foundation, the Writers Guild Foundation and the Austin Film Festival.

The Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting is an international screenwriting competition established to identify and encourage talented new screenwriters. For more information on Academy programs, visit http://www.oscars.org/.