Wes Bentley to receive the Virtuoso Award and Craig Robinson to receive the Spotlight Award
ATLANTA, GA. — Jan. 27, 2023 — The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) today announced that the 2023 SCAD TVfest will return in person to Atlanta Feb. 9-11, 2023. Now in its 11th year, the university's annual signature event celebrates all things television and streaming.
"This year, Buffy, Darryl, and Jamie Dutton star in the greatest show about television: SCAD TVfest!" said SCAD president and founder Paula Wallace. "That's right, America's teenage scream-queen of the '90s (THE Sarah Michelle Gellar!), everyone's favorite warehouse manager (THE Craig Robinson!), and star of TV's steamiest series (THE Wes Bentley of Yellowstone!) will appear live and in person to share their TV secrets with SCAD students. We've planned truly the most epic TVfest in SCAD history for our Bees: pitches, panels, and premieres galore, where SCAD students' TV dreams become professional realities."
"It's a thrill to be back on the ground in Atlanta for this year's SCAD TVfest. There is nothing better than seeing our students interacting with some of the top people in television including talent, showrunners, executives, and more," said SCAD TVfest Executive Director Christina Routhier. "From our honorees to the premieres of brand new TV shows, we are so excited for this year's programming lineup. A highlight for us is the ability to showcase the shows shot here in Georgia as Atlanta has truly become the hub for television and film production in the United States."
Wes Bentley will receive the Virtuoso Award and Craig Robinson will receive the Spotlight Award. SCAD previously announced that Sarah Michelle Gellar will receive the Icon Award and Sterlin Harjo will receive the Variety Showrunner Award. Honorees are scheduled to attend screenings and participate in conversations highlighting their performances and illustrious careers.
SCAD TVfest will showcase exciting programs from 20th Television, ABC, ABC Signature, AMC, CBS, The CW, Disney+, Disney Branded Television, Freeform, FOX, FX, HBO Max, Hulu, Nat Geo, Paramount+, Paramount Network, Peacock, Prime Video, Sony Pictures TV, Universal Studio Group, Warner Horizon Unscripted TV, Warner Bros. Animation, Warner Bros. Television and more. Notable guests and shows attending this year's festival include (subject to change):
- Accused (FOX / Sony Pictures Television) with actors Rachel Bilson, Jack Davenport, Reid Miller, and showrunner Howard Gordon
- All American: Homecoming (The CW, WBTV) with actors Peyton Alex Smith, Kelly Jenrette, Cory Hardrict, Sylvester Powell, and Mitchell Edwards, and co-showrunners Nkechi Okoro Carroll and Marqui Jackson
- American Born Chinese (Disney+, 20th Television/Disney Branded Television) with actors Ben Wang, Daniel Wu, Sydney Taylor and executive producer/showrunner Kelvin Yu
- Animaniacs (Hulu, Warner Bros. Animation) with actors Rob Paulsen and Maurice LaMarche and executive producer and co-showrunner Gabe Swarr
- The Bachelor/Click Bait with Bachelor Nation podcast (Warner Bros. Unscripted TV, ABC) with current bachelor Zach Shallcross, podcast host Joe Amabile, and guest co-host Serena Pitt
- Fear the Walking Dead (AMC, AMC+) with cast and executive producers who will tease the upcoming eighth and final season
- Gotham Knights (The CW, Warner Bros. Television) with actors Tyler DiChiara, Olivia Rose Keegan, Anna Lore, Oscar Morgan, Navia Robinson, and Fallon Smythe, and executive producers and co-showrunners Chad Fiveash and James Stoteraux
- Grand Crew (NBC, Universal Television) with actors Echo Kellum, Nicole Byer, Aaron Jennings, Carl Tart, and Grasie Mercedes, and creator and executive producer Phil Augusta Jackson.
- grown-ish (Freeform, ABC Signature) with actors Marcus Scribner, Trevor Jackson, Diggy Simmons, and Daniella Perkins
- Harlem (Prime Video, Universal Television) with actors Meagan Good, Jerrie Johnson, Shoniqua Shandai, and Tyler Lepley, and creator Tracy Oliver
- Harley Quinn: A Very Problematic Valentine's Day Special (HBO Max, Warner Bros. Animation) with actor James Adomian, executive producers Justin Halpern, Patrick Schumacker, Dean Lorey, and Jennifer Coyle, and Peter Girardi (Executive Vice President, Alternative Programming, Warner Bros. Animation) as moderator
- Killing It (Peacock, Universal Television) with actor and executive producer Craig Robinson, actors Claudia O'Doherty and Rell Battle, and showrunner and executive producer Luke Del Tredici
- The Legend of Vox Machina (Prime Video) with supervising director Sung Jin Ahn and executive producer/writer Brandon Auman
- The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power (Prime Video) with production designer Ramsey Avery, costume designer Kate Hawley, and concept artist John Howe
- National Treasure: Edge of History (Disney+, ABC Signature/Disney Branded Television) with actors Jake Austin Walker, Jordan Rodrigues, Zuri Reed, and Lyndon Smith
- Not Dead Yet (20th Television, ABC) with actors Lauren Ash and Josh Banday, showrunners and executive producers Casey Johnson and David Windsor, and executive producers Dean Holland and Corey Marsh
- Reservation Dogs (FX Productions, FX and Hulu) with showrunner Sterlin Harjo and actor Paulina Alexis
- Trafficked with Mariana van Zeller (Nat Geo) with Mariana van Zeller, award-winning investigative journalist and executive producer
- True Lies (CBS, 20th Television) with actors Steve Howey, Ginger Gonzaga, Erica Hernandez, and Mike O'Gorman, and showrunner Matt Nix
- The Watchful Eye (Freeform, ABC Signature) with actors Mariel Molino, Warren Christie, Amy Acker, Jon Ecker, and Aliyah Royale, and showrunner Emily Fox
- Will Trent (ABC, 20th Television) with actor and producer Ramón Rodriguez, actors Sonja Sohn, Erika Christensen, Iantha Richardson, and Jake McLaughlin, showrunners and executive producers Liz Heldens and Dan Thomsen, and executive producer and author of the Will Trent book series Karin Slaughter
- Wolf Pack (Paramount+) with actor and executive producer Sarah Michelle Gellar, actor Rodrigo Santoro, and executive producer Jeff Davis
- Wu-Tang: An American Saga (Hulu, 20th Television) with executive producers RZA and Alex Tse, and series stars Siddiq Saunderson, Shameik Moore, T.J. Atoms, and Johnell Young, and moderator Ed Lover
- Yellowstone (Paramount Network) with actor Wes Bentley
The SCAD TVfest panel series also welcomes industry experts and talented SCAD alumni from a myriad of professions to engage in meaningful conversations about their work. Entertainment Weekly (EW) returns for the sixth year as a media partner to create exclusive interview content at their photo and video studio. They will also curate two panels:
- EW Presents Brave Warriors: They may be fighters on screen, but that doesn't mean they're not lovers (of the craft). In this EW panel of actors who discuss the thrill of playing iconic characters, the difference between their personas and real life, and the highs (and lows!) of their careers in Hollywood.
- EW Presents Bold School: In EW's Bold School series, power players in the entertainment industry share anecdotes about life lessons, how they found their voice, and how to pay it forward. Join a lively discussion among fierce, fearless female and/or non-binary forces in entertainment, opening up about the power and privilege of taking on roles that redefine the rules and refuse to yield.
This year's additional panels include:
- SCAD Alumni Voices, where notable graduates lead an insightful conversation about how their SCAD education helps them navigate the TV industry. Confirmed panelists include Andrew Kasch (B.F.A., film and television, 2002), Emily Dillard (B.F.A., film and television, 2020), Maddie Nelson (B.F.A., dramatic writing, 2018), and Nicola Rinciari (B.F.A, film and television, 2020).
- Anime is a Prestige Television Medium with Crunchyroll highlights the rising popularity of anime and celebrates its storytelling power. Crunchyroll, a part of Sony Pictures Entertainment, is the ultimate anime destination, serving fans in more than 200 countries and territories. Confirmed panelists include Caitlin Holter (VP of Localization, Crunchyroll), Aron Levitz (President of Wattpad, WEBTOON Studios), Justin Charity (Senior Staff Writer at The Ringer and co-host of the Sound Only podcast), Caitlin Glass (Senior ADR director, Crunchyroll; voice actor), and moderator Lauren Moore (host and Producer, Crunchyroll).
- Casting 101 welcomes seasoned casting directors to discuss how actors can navigate Georgia's booming entertainment market. Confirmed panelists include Becca Burgess, Jessica Fox-Thigpen, and Rhavynn Drummer.
- Content and Tech in the Web3 Era explores Web 3.0, which promises to give power back to the creators by decentralizing the internet and enhancing the user experience. What does that mean — and what will the future look like for content creators and users as we move forward? Confirmed panelists include Brian Brown (senior vice president and executive creative director, Razorfish), Lee Ann Leming (head of content strategy and product, The Weather Company), Rhonda Lowry (senior vice president, IfThen). The panel is moderated by Scot Safon, consultant and former CNN chief marketing officer.
- Finding Representation offers insight on how to find the best manager and agent so you can build a team dedicated to your success. Confirmed panelists include Alex White (agent and owner, Alexander White Agency), Elana Dvorak Ripley (manager), Gerra Avery (talent agent, Avery Agency), Kate Lackey (talent agent, KMR Agency), and Thom Milam (talent agent, People Store).
- Entertainment Marketing: Breaking In and Thriving Within focuses on the teamwork and creative ingenuity in television marketing, from scripting to producing, production, and more.
- Inside the Writers Room is an open conversation that explores the process of selling and staffing a show from the perspective of literary agents and writers. Confirmed panelists include Austen Faggen (writer, The Neighborhood, Undateable), Asha Michelle Wilson (writer, Archer, American Horror Story), Kaila York, Jeff Greenberg, and Terrell Lawrence (writer, The Neighborhood).
- Next Generation Strategies with Groove Jones welcomes Dan Ferguson, an emerging tech leader in augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), extended reality (XR), and the metaverse, to dissect case studies on some of the latest projects Groove Jones is tackling for some of the biggest brands in the world.
- New Avenues in Virtual Production hosts leading Unreal Engine studio Silver Spoon to showcase recent projects developing real-time content and experiences seen on Netflix, Nickelodeon, and Riot Games.
Confirmed panelists include Bianca Lopez (B.F.A., interactive design and game development, 2018, Unreal Engine artist, Silver Spoon) and Laura Herzing (executive producer, Silver Spoon).
- Meet the Executives, one of the most popular panels at the festival, features executives from content development and programming who discuss what they look for in a script or series, when they will take a chance on a new writer, and how to find a balance between studio needs and the stories they want to see. Confirmed panelists include Jamila Hunter (EVP, programming & development, Freeform), Kathryn Tyus-Adair (senior vice president of original programming, Starz), Kelly Garrett (VP of development, Hallmark Media), Kenny Tsai (SVP and co-head of current programming, Universal Content Productions), Rebecca Franko (SVP and co-head of current programming, Universal Content Productions), and Steven Jackson (head of development and production, 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks).
- Meet the Executives: Georgia is a Peach State-focused edition of the popular panel highlighting television executives. Confirmed panelists include Pola Changnon (general manager, Turner Classic Movies), Shayla Cowan (chief of staff and producer, William Packer Productions), Elon Johnson (senior creative executive of production and development, Tyler Perry Studios), and LaRonda Sutton, (owner and principal, Entertainment.gov; co-president, Georgia Production Partnership).
- Perfect Pitch Workshop features experts from SCADamp and other industry pros who will share how to craft a perfect pitch that showcases you and your breakout ideas. Confirmed panelists include Deb Spera (producer and writer, Call Your Daughter Home, Army Wives, Criminal Minds), Greg Skura (associate director, SCADamp), Jay Blumenfield (producer and director, Stupid Pet Tricks, Shark Week, Tournament of Laughs), and Leigh Seaman (senior executive director, SCADFILM).
- Showrunners Summit gathers the dynamic forces at the helm of our favorite shows for a discussion on taking a show from conception to finale, across planning and everything in between. Confirmed panelists include Joan Rater (A Small Light), Meredith Lavender (The Flight Attendant, Nashville), Raelle Tucker (The Power), and Stacy Rukeyser (Sex/Life).
Wes Bentley (Virtuoso Award) currently stars as Jamie Dutton in the Paramount Network series Yellowstone, from writer/director Taylor Sheridan. In 1999, Bentley gained immediate critical acclaim and recognition for his role in the Oscar-winning film, American Beauty. Wes received multiple nominations for the role, and won a SAG Award alongside the cast for the film, as well as the National Board of Review's Breakthrough Performance Award. Over the past twenty years, Bentley's work in film has ranged from commercial and critically acclaimed fare, like The Hunger Games, Christopher Nolan's Interstellar, Disney's live action remake of Pete's Dragon, Mission Impossible: Fallout, as well as working with Terrence Malick in Knight Of Cups. In 2014, Bentley made his television debut starring in multiple seasons of Ryan Murphy's American Horror Story. Wes was nominated for a Critics Choice Award in 2016 for his work on the limited series.
Craig Robinson (Spotlight Award) first made his mark as a stand-up comedian on the comedy circuit at the 1998 Montreal Just For Laughs Festival. Now headlining venues and festivals across the country, he does both solo acts, as well as full-band sets with his band, The Nasty Delicious. Before deciding to pursue his comedy career full-time, Robinson was a K-8 teacher in the Chicago Public School System. It was while Robinson was studying education in Chicago that he also discovered his love of acting and comedy when he joined the famed Second City Theatre. He is best known for his portrayal of Darryl Philbin in The Office, and has starred in films, including Knocked Up, This is the End, Hot Tub Time Machine, Hot Tub Time Machine 2, Morris from America, Tragedy Girls, Dolemite is my Name!, Timmy Failure, Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon, Songbird, and The Bad Guys. He also starred in his very own sitcom, Mr. Robinson, as well as Ghosted and hosted FOX's The Masked Dancer. Craig re-teamed with Brooklyn Nine-Nine exec producers Dan Goor and Luke Del Tredici for Peacock's hit scripted comedy show Killing It, currently filming season two.
Sarah Michelle Gellar (Icon Award) is a producer and a Golden Globe-nominated and Emmy Award-winning actor. Beginning her career as a child actor, Gellar has remained a leader on television, theater, and the big screen. Her list of credits, which include Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I Know What You Did Last Summer, Cruel Intentions, Do Revenge, and the Scooby-Doo franchise, have helped her to build and maintain her status in the industry. Wolf Pack, which Gellar stars in and executive produces, was filmed in Atlanta and premieres Thursday, Jan. 26 on Paramount+.
Sterlin Harjo (Variety Showrunner Award) is the co-creator, executive producer and showrunner of FX's award-winning Reservation Dogs, a comedy series following four Indigenous teenage friends living on a reservation in Oklahoma. The series has been renewed for season three. Currently, Harjo's series Poster Girls, which he co-wrote with bestselling novelist Jonathan Lee, is in development with FX Productions. Paramount+ recently acquired his series Yellowbird, which he is co-creating with Erica Tremblay and which is based on Sierra Crane Murdoch's novel of the same name. LeBron James' company, SpringHill, is producing Rezball (Netflix), a series Harjo co-wrote with Sydney Freeland. Harjo has several other projects in development. Over his career, Harjo has created and directed five feature films: three narrative dramas and two documentaries. Each of his films are set in Oklahoma and address contemporary Indigenous experiences.
Passes are on sale now at scadtvfest.com. Individual ticket sales will begin Wednesday, Feb. 1.
About SCAD TVfest
Celebrating its 11th anniversary in 2023, SCAD TVfest spotlights the best in design, creativity, and innovation in television and digital media. Viewers explore the best work and latest trends in broadcast, streaming, cable, web, social media, and advertising, and connect with the top industry insiders working on camera and behind the scenes.
The 2023 festival schedule includes gala premiere screenings, spotlights, panel discussions, Q&A events, and other original content. The full festival line-up will be announced on Friday, Jan. 27, with passes for sale at 10 a.m. ET that day. Individual tickets will go on sale Wednesday, Feb. 1.
Visit scadtvfest.comfor a full event schedule and follow the festival on Facebook at facebook.com/SCADTVfest and on Instagram @scaddotedu. Connect with SCAD and TVfest by using the hashtag #SCADTVfest.
SCAD: The University for Creative Careers
SCAD is a private, nonprofit, accredited university, offering more than 100 graduate and undergraduate degree programs across locations in Atlanta and Savannah, Ga.; Lacoste, France; and online via SCADnow.
SCAD enrolls more than 16,000 undergraduate and graduate students from more than 120 countries. The future-minded SCAD curriculum engages professional-level technology and myriad advanced learning resources, affording students opportunities for internships, professional certifications, and real-world assignments with corporate partners through SCADpro, the university's renowned research lab and prototype generator. SCAD is No. 1 in the U.S., according to Art & Object's 2023 Best Art Schools ranking, with additional top rankings for degree programs in interior design, architecture, film, fashion, digital media, and more. Career success is woven into every fiber of the university, resulting in a superior alumni employment rate. For the past five years, 99% of SCAD graduates were employed, pursuing further education, or both within 10 months of graduation. SCAD provides students and alumni with ongoing career support through personal coaching, alumni programs, a professional presentation studio, and more.
For more information, visit scad.edu.
Executive Director of Communications, SCAD
Senior Director of Public Relations, Atlanta, SCAD