Washington readies for Realscreen Summit ’17

Realscreen Summit is all set to swing open the doors of the Marriott Marquis in Washington, D.C. on Monday, Jan. 23, ushering in four days of topical panel discussions, top-end ...
January 19, 2017

Realscreen Summit is all set to swing open the doors of the Marriott Marquis in Washington, D.C. on Monday, Jan. 23, ushering in four days of topical panel discussions, top-end keynote speakers, networking and mentoring events, and a can’t-miss market.

Keynoting the event are Cindy Holland, VP of original content at Netflix; Channel 4′s chief creative officer Jay Hunt; and Robert Sharenow, EVP and GM of A&E and Lifetime.

Holland will kick of Tuesday’s keynote slate on Jan. 24 at 9:45 a.m. with a discussion on Netflix’s approach to working with content creators, her views on the media landscape and the global SVOD’s impact upon it, and her thoughts on the company’s commitment to documentary and its entry into the unscripted arena.

Hunt’s presentation, entitled “The F Word,” is scheduled to take place at 9:45 a.m. Jan. 25. There, she will discuss how taking risks and facing failure head-on can often result in great successes.

Sharenow rounds out the day on Wednesday (Jan. 25) with a keynote conversation at 5 p.m. where he will share his thoughts on the state of unscripted television in 2016, and the challenges and opportunities facing producers, networks and content creators in the midst of an evolving media landscape.

On Monday afternoon, “The State of the Unscripted Nation” goes under the microscope as an expert panel featuring John Ford, Tom Forman, Gena McCarthy and more deconstruct developments and controversies within the unscripted industry over the past few years, with an aim towards articulating and understanding the challenges as they exist now, and for the immediate future, as well as potential ways to find “win/win” scenarios for all.

Tuesday through Thursday, panels tackle critical subjects, from the rise of sports non-fiction and who wants what in the documentary world (thanks to Making a Murderer and Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief) to what factual content buyers are taking chances on VR and the processes behind how shows feature diverse casts and talent made it to air.

For those interested in understanding more about branded-content partnership, don’t miss “Inside The Toy Box” on Jan. 24, where you’ll get the inside story on how Hudsun Media and Electus teamed with Mattel for ABC’s upcoming toy-making competition series, The Toy Box; and learn about “The Next Move of Niche Networks” in a Jan. 25 panel exploring the shifting cable landscape, the changes underway and how you can prepare for them.

The final day of Summit, Jan. 26, will feature a conversation with the likes of Discovery Communication’s Kevin Bennett and  Beyond Distribution’s Caitlin Meek-O’Connor as they talk trends in true crime content in “The Dark Stuff” and, finally, “What I Did, What I Learned,” with executives from Barcroft Productions and Lion Television.

The Realscreen Summit Showdown, an annual international pitch competition, also returns to the event. Held Jan. 24 from 5-6 p.m., the showdown provides producers the opportunity to pitch their non-fiction or unscripted program or series to a panel of esteemed network development executives live. This year’s finalists include Adventure Kings - Peter Reiss  (The Woodshed); Neo Douglisio DiMuccio and Rob D. Miller (Voyage Creative Group); The Royal Family - Kelly Sallaway (Rushbrook Media); and The Woodstock Bus - John Wesley Chisholm (Arcadia Content).

To see the full agenda or to register for Realscreen Summit, click here.

Photo: Realscreen Summit 2016: Geoff Suddleson, Nancy Daniels, Kathleen Finch,  SallyAnn Salsano, Brent Motgomery

About The Author
Andrew Jeffrey joined Realscreen in 2021 as its news editor. Here, he helps to oversee assignment, reporting and editing for Realscreen's daily newsletter. Prior to his work covering documentary and non-fiction film and TV, he worked as a reporter and associate producer for CBC Edmonton, and as a reporter for The Star Calgary, where he covered daily news on beats such as local and provincial politics, health care and harm reduction, sports and education. His work has appeared in other Canadian news outlets such as TVO, the Edmonton Journal and Avenue Magazine.