People/Biz

Summit ’19: “El Dorado Arkansas”, “Passion For the Truth” win Summit Showdown

NEW ORLEANS – Michael Holstein’s El Dorado Arkansas and Byron Williams’ Passion For the Truth have emerged as victors in this year’s Summit Showdown, held at the Realscreen Summit in New Orleans. El ...
January 28, 2019

NEW ORLEANS – Michael Holstein’s El Dorado Arkansas and Byron Williams’ Passion For the Truth have emerged as victors in this year’s Summit Showdown, held at the Realscreen Summit in New Orleans.

El Dorado Arkansas offers a portrait of a small, southern town that saw prosperity during the American oil boom and is now being gentrified, with a local church being eyed for a potential boutique hotel. That won’t happen if a group of locals has anything to say about it. Holstein, who won at last year’s Summit Showdown, follows a group, including a radio host, a hog hunter and a forester, as they work to protect their way of life by hunting rumoured treasure in an area Holstein calls “a red state with a blue state appeal.”

Meanwhile, Williams, who has a background as a bodyguard to the stars, looks to investigate wrongdoing within American churches, tackling everything from theft, to tax evasion, to child abuse, in Passion for the Truth. With his team of professionals, he’ll follow those members of the church suspected of misdeeds to get to the bottom of things and give the culprits a chance to atone, on camera. It’s “TMZ meet The 700 Club,” says Williams.

At the Summit Showdown, hosted by The Amazing Race‘s Phil Keoghan, producers and content creators pitched new, not yet commissioned unscripted and non-fiction projects to executives from supporting network partners A&E and WE tv, which each provided one US$20,000 development deal to the winning project for their network.

The judges for A&E were Sean Gottlieb, VP of development and programming; Marcie Hume, senior executive producer; and Amy Savitsky, SVP of development and programming.

And for WE tv, the judges were Angela Molloy, VP of development; David Stefanou, SVP of original development and programming; and Nicole Vogel, director of development.

The finalists for this year’s event were (projects and production companies):

For A&E:
El Dorado Arkansas – The Content Farm
Executive Con – PartyPit Productions
Flipping RAW – BluEdge Pictures

For WE tv:
High Risk Mom – Dog House Pictures
Passion For the Truth – Manage Me Prod, LLC.
Crazy For the Crown – Crazy For The Crown Productions

The 2019 Summit Showdown was presented in partnership with West One Music Group, who are providing the Grand Prize winners of the competition with an exclusive custom theme song and blanket library package for their show. In addition to creating the title track for the pilot, West One will provide music direction and full access to their award-winning library of more than 50,000 tracks.

The Realscreen Summit takes place at the Sheraton New Orleans from Jan. 28 to 31.

About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news editor at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joined the RS team in 2015 with experience in journalism following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and with communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.

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