2021 Conference

August 13th & 14th 2021 | Kanab, Utah
“Those who tell the stories, rule the people.”

Native American Proverb

Sponsors 2021

Main Sponsors

St. John's Press
Sego-Restaurant
Best Friends
Canyons-Collection
Kanab Tour Company
Kanab Magically Unspoiled
Honey's Marketplace
Dreamland Safari Tours
Roadmap Writers
Final Draft
Utah Film Commission
Hampton Kanab
WinGate Wilderness Therapy
Hot Drama Mama Sauces
Little Studio Films
Scriptapalooza
Aman
Stage 32
Ken Garff

Event Speakers

Edward Drake
Christopher Lockhart
Kelly Schwarze
Alexia Melocchi
Alan D’Escragnolle
Kelly Schwarze
Erik von Wodtke
James Fox
James Fox
James Fox
Kelly Schwarze
Kelly Schwarze
Kelly Schwarze
Kelly Schwarze
Rebecca Volberg
Rebecca Volberg
Mark LaVine
Mark LaVine
Mark LaVine
Mark LaVine
Edward Drake

Edward Drake

Edward Drake is an award-winning writer & director based in Los Angeles.
Drake is the winner of the Austin Film Festival’s 2020 Screenwriting Award (Dramatic).

A member of the WGA West, Drake’s feature-film credits include American Siege, Broil, Breach, Cosmic Sin, Apex, and more.

Committed to creating empowering stories that celebrate diversity, equality and promote sciences in the arts, he’s worked with brands including Nike, British Airways, Samsung, Rexona, Grant’s Whiskey, and record labels including Atlantic Records, Universal Records, Mad Decent, OWSLA, Island Records, Warner Bros., and more.

His work has been featured by The Los Angeles Times, Rolling Stone, Variety, Deadline, The Hollywood Reporter, Pitchfork, Billboard, Vice, Idolator, Fader, Vanity Fair, Little Black Book, MTV, NME, CMTV, Director’s Notes, Promonews, and like a ton of other totally rad places.
Drake is also the co-founder of Good Complex.

Christopher Lockhart

Christopher Lockhart

Christopher Lockhart is Hollywood’s foremost story professional.  He is an executive,  filmmaker, and educator with over 30 years of industry experience.
As Story Editor at WME, the world’s largest diversified talent agency, Chris curates film and TV projects for A-list actors such as Denzel Washington. His writing workshop The Inside Pitch was filmed for Los Angeles television and earned him an Emmy Award nomination.

Alexia Melocchi

Alexia Melocchi

Alexia Melocchi has over 25 producing credits of films from emerging filmmakers from all over the world and has been an instrumental facilitator to the financing process of movies by pre-buying on behalf of her International Distribution clients, which grossed 900 Million US in the box office in the last decade. She attends all Major Film and Television Markets and is fluent in five languages. She is also the host of the 5-Star rated podcast THE HEART OF SHOW BUSINESS and the author of the book by the same name, out for release at Christmas 2021

Alan D’Escragnolle

Alan D’Escragnolle

Alan d’Escragnolle is the CEO and Co-Founder of Filmhub, a film distribution tech platform where filmmakers maintain their rights and monetize their films by distributing them to streaming services worldwide. A Brazilian-American Wharton School graduate, Alan honed his entrepreneurial skills leading teams at Square/Cash App, Google, Intuit and served on the executive teams of two successfully acquired startups. When he’s not powering Filmhub’s global expansion, Alan escapes to the nature and can be found in Lake Tahoe skiing and mountain biking with his dog, Rio.

Kelly Schwarze

Kelly Schwarze

Filmmaker Kelly Schwarze is an Emmy Award © recipient, author, and entrepreneur who has successfully produced and directed eight feature films, three TV documentaries, and scores of commercials. Throughout his career, he has also served as a cameraman and DP for A&E Networks, History Channel, ABC, and Scripps Networks. Additionally, Kelly is co-owner of the Las Vegas-based film studio Indie Film Factory, which was founded by his wife Charisma Manulat in 2011. Since then, the studio has facilitated over eight independent feature films, and a variety of popular TV shows from NBC, ABC, Disney, Amazon Studios, and EOne. His areas of expertise are in micro-budget filmmaking. He specializes in films ranging from $30,000 to $100,000. He works primarily with ITN Distribution for the release of his titles, but also maintains self-distribution rights through his own licensing company.
In addition to filmmaking, Kelly is the author of three books on the topic of filmmaking including What Film Schools Don’t Tell You, A Filmmaking Mindset, and Filmmaking for Kids. Kelly also lectures periodically at the College of Southern Nevada. While on campus, he hosts an 8-week film producer’s boot camp. His class allows the Media Technology Program to offer a well-rounded curriculum that develops both creativity and business. As one of the leading indie producers in the community, Kelly offers consulting services and mentors young filmmakers.
Erik von Wodtke

Erik von Wodtke

Born and raised in Los Angeles County, Erik has worked as a writer, development producer, and artist, on all types of motion pictures; from feature films, short films, experimental films, and music videos, to cartoons, television shows, and creative design projects. His services consistently provide support with developing and packaging for producers, writers, directors, publishers, and executives. Erik also has many years of experience being employed in various departments of the production film crew. Spring of 1996, Erik graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in New York with – Concentration in narrative theory, writing, film, and theater.

James Fox

James Fox

Native American and Californian, James Fox is a natural storyteller. After graduating from the Academy of Art in San Francisco, with a BFA in Directing, he became the Founder of Dawnrunner Inc. and has championed the company through numerous award-winning projects over fifteen years. As a writer, Fox devotes his energies to the careful crafting of compelling characters and diverse worlds.

Erik von Wodtke

Kyle Kauwika Harris

Kyle Kauwika Harris is of Hawaiian heritage and an enrolled Choctaw Nation citizen of Oklahoma. Mr. Harris previously served in the United States Navy and resides in Oklahoma City and Los Angeles. Mr. Harris is best known for his Emmy-award-winning feature documentary, I Stand: The Guardians of the Water, and crime thriller narrative, Out of Exile. Kyle is currently in preproduction on an upcoming horror thriller titled Strays, shooting October 22nd thru Nov 19th.

Erik von Wodtke

Eliot Laurence

Eliot Laurence created and serves as showrunner for Freeform’s highly anticipated new drama “Motherland: Fort Salem,” which is set in an alternate, present-day America where witches ended their persecution 300 years ago by cutting a deal with the burgeoning U.S. government to fight for their country.

Laurence is best known for creating the hit dramedy “Claws,” which will return for its highly anticipated fourth season on TNT. The show, which has been called “suspenseful, unorthodox, and relentlessly fun” by The AV Club, follows the lives of a group of manicurists who enter the world of organized crime. Laurence also wrote the feature film “Welcome to Me,” starring Kristin Wiig.

James Fox

Brian Pacheco

As Manager at Creative Talent Development & Inclusion (CTDI) at Disney General Entertainment Content (DGE), Brian Pacheco partners with producers and executives to identify creative talent at all levels for opportunities across DGE. Brian also co-manages events that actively bring talent into the Disney networking pipeline. Prior to joining CTDI in 2018, he held communications and strategy roles at media advocacy organizations including GLAAD and the National Hispanic Media Coalition. Born to Salvadoran immigrant parents, the Los Angeles native graduated with a B.A. in History from the University of California, Berkeley.

Eli-Edelson

Eli Edelson

Eli Edelson’s passion for writing began in the form of flash fiction while studying English at the University of Chicago. The school awarded him the Napier Wilt Prize for finest creative thesis and his collection of stories was subsequently published in Euphony Literary Journal. After graduating, Edelson returned to his hometown of New York to work in film finance and development at FilmNation Entertainment. In 2015, he moved to Los Angeles.
After a stint working in TV development at Miramax, Edelson transitioned to work as a writers’ assistant in drama shows on Netflix, HBO Max and Freeform. Edelson was promoted to staff writer on “Motherland: Fort Salem,” subsequently co-wrote an episode, and returned as a story editor for the second season.
On the side, Edelson loves to write in all mediums possible! Current projects include a graphic novel, video essays for the digital channel GammaRay, and freelance podcast episodes for Parcast and Brick Moon Fiction. Edelson’s goal is to always tackle new ways to present unique stories that resonate through indelible characters.

Rebecca Volberg

Rebecca Volberg

Rebecca Volberg is director, Standards & Practices for Freeform, Disney General Entertainment’s young adult network. In this role, she has covered S&P on many of Freeform’s most popular series, including “Motherland,” “grown-ish,” “The Bold Type,” “The Fosters” and “Pretty Little Liars.” She has also worked in a supervisory S&P role on acclaimed Freeform series such as “Cruel Summer,” “Good Trouble” and “Everything’s Gonna Be Okay.”

Mark LaVine

Mark LaVine

Mark LaVine is a writer and leader of the Story Development team at Walt Disney Imagineering. As the head of Story Development, Mark provides creative and functional leadership for the team of writers, and he partners with portfolio and project leaders to build story strategies for projects around the world. Experienced in creating deeply immersive worlds and experiences, he led the story work for Pandora –The World of Avatar for Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Mark has also worked on numerous projects including other updates for Disney’s Animal Kingdom, lands based on the Disney and Pixar films Toy Story and Ratatouille for Walt Disney Studios Park at Disneyland Paris, Storybook Circus for the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World, as well as a number of adventure games on the Disney Cruise ships and various Blue-Sky projects. Prior to his time at Imagineering, Mark worked in television in both production and as a writer for shows including “NewsRadio,” “Sweet Valley High,” NBC’s “Chicago Sons,” and HBO’s “The Larry Sanders Show.” He is currently creatively involved in several projects for Disney+, including having worked on the series “Behind the Attraction” since its early development.

Mark LaVine

Troy Dow

Mr. Dow advises The Walt Disney Company on intellectual property and technology policy and represents the company on these and other matters before the U.S. Congress, the Executive Branch and related agencies. In addition to his work in the legislative and regulatory areas, Mr. Dow works to ensure an effective and consistent legal policy and strategy in the area of intellectual property, including in commercial transactions and in major copyright litigation matters that involve Disney or its trade associations. 
He previously served as Vice President and Counsel for Technology and New Media at the Motion Picture Association of America, as Counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee, and as professional staff to Senator Orrin G. Hatch.  He teaches copyright at Duke University Law School and holds degrees from Brigham Young University and the Georgetown University Law Center.

Mark LaVine

Dawn Johnson

Dawn Jackson, an enrolled member of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan, is a senior entertainment professional, served as an elected Los Angeles City/County American Indian Commissioner since 1994 and is a member of the Producers Guild of America. In 2015, she served as co-curator of Through Indian Eyes: 100 years of Native Cinema, a two-year retrospective in association with the UCLA School of Film & Television. Jackson joined The Walt Disney Company (TWDC) in 1993 working in product design, brand marketing, media production and creative development.
In 2005, she accepted the role of Executive Director of the American Indian National Center for TV & Film, a historic partnership between the ABC, CBS and FOX TV networks to provide access and opportunities to American Indians. For over 25 years Jackson has continued to work with business units throughout TWDC as a strategic advisor utilizing her knowledge of tribal cultures to provide culturally authentic narrative, talent casting, language translations and inclusion filters. In 2017, she joined Story Development at Walt Disney Imagineering and transitioned to Corporate Brand Management on the Stories Matter team in 2020.
Mark LaVine

Jeremy Kaufman

Jeremy is a veteran IP attorney in the entertainment field.  Before working at Netflix, he worked at Disney and 20th Century Fox.  Some of the shows he has worked on include High School Musical, The Muppets, Avatar, Modern Family, The Simpsons, X-Men, Ice Age, Empire, Family Guy, Glee, Sons of Anarchy, Stranger Things, The Witcher, When They See Us, and Bridgerton.  Now he leads Netflix’s Content IP legal team, which helps create Netflix’s global content. That content includes original films, series, documentaries, unscripted shows, stand-up comedy that are produced around all the world to satisfy Netflix’s global membership.
The IP team is based in Los Angeles, but has teammates deployed in 11 other offices, who navigate local variations in the law and the business of making great entertainment.  While the team is deeply involved in IP policy, litigation, and marketing issues, at its core it manages the legal risks arising from the storytelling itself, such as copyright or defamation risks.  Jeremy has been recognized as an IP Star by Managing IP, as a top 300 in-house IP professional by World Trademark Review, and the Netflix team has repeatedly been nominated as one of the best in-house teams in its industry, region, and the world. 
Mark LaVine

Suzanne Gundersen

Suzanne Gundersen is Founder of ScreenwriteNOW and Inner Story Consultant who mentors & teaches screenwriters and industry creatives how to clear the path that let’s their story flow.

Since 2015, she has skillfully helped screenwriters overcome fears, worries & blocks on demand, get focused and sharpen creativity, build tremendous confidence, and deepen their emotional worldview into wisdom & truth, to hook audiences into wanting more.  She uses natural tools & techniques that relieve tension & stress, so her clients become more authentic and embodied in their work.

She expertly shares a technique she calls Neuro-Energy Tapping, a self-use acupressure technique that calms the mind and relaxes the body; combined with her 3RP Method, creates powerful shifts towards experiencing the 5C’s; centered calm, clarity, creativity and confidence! 

Her programs “Just Write Now” and “Get Pitch Ready” have helped thousands of screenwriters get focused into their creative rhythm & flow, effortlessly finish scripts and pitch with confidence. My Worldview”  is a program that helps writers transform their personal hero’s journey, so they can write deeply connected storylines as an expression of their  authentic value, emotional truth and wisdom. 

Her work supports individuals and groups, she speaks & leads online workshops and programs.  Visit www.screenwritenow.com to download her free e-book and schedule a complimentary consultation to discuss your needs & goals.

Mark LaVine

Alex ferrari

Alex Ferrari is an author, blogger, speaker, consultant, the host of the #1 filmmaking podcast on iTunes Indie Film Hustle Podcast, and an award-winning writer/director with 25 years of experience in the film industry. As a director, his films have screened in over 500 international film festivals.

Alex exploded onto the indie film scene with his award-winning short film BROKEN. To date, the film has screened at over 200 international festivals and has been reviewed by over 250 news outlets world-wide including famed film critic Roger Ebert.

Frustrated that his fellow filmmakers were being “chewed up” by the film business, Alex decided to start Indie Film Hustle®, a website dedicated to educating filmmakers and artists on how to survive and thrive in the film business. He also launched a podcast focused on filmmaking called The Indie Film Hustle® Podcast. Within three months of its start date. the show became the #1 filmmaking podcast on Apple Podcasts. He’s also the host of the popular screenwriting podcast Bulletproof Screenwriting®, and the filmmaking business podcast Filmtrepreneur®.

After launching Indie Film Hustle, Alex created the world’s first streaming service dedicated to filmmakers, screenwriters, content creators and artists called Indie Film Hustle TV (IFHTV). Alex has worldwide his life to helping people realize their dreams using IFH and IFHTV as platforms to do so. 

Mark LaVine

Ruth Vitale

Ruth Vitale has been at the forefront of independent film production and distribution for more than three decades, including as Founder and Co-President of Paramount Classics and as President of Fine Line Features. During her tenure at these companies, she launched the careers of many successful filmmakers such as Paul Greengrass, Sofia Coppola, Scott Hicks, John Hillcoat, and Craig Brewer. She has also worked with established talent such as Sam Raimi, Roger Michell, Jonathan Demme, Paul W.S. Anderson, Patrice Leconte, and Barbet Schroeder. Her films have won three Oscars® and received 16 nominations as well as 18 Golden Globe® nominations and two wins.

She is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and Special Projects Mentor for The Peter Stark Producing Program, USC School of Cinematic Arts, University of Southern California.

Mark LaVine

ben Staub

Vice President, Federal Affairs Motion Picture Association

Ben works as a federal lobbyist for the Motion Picture Association (MPA), the trade association for the major film and television studios. He focuses primarily on intellectual property, trade, and appropriations policy issues before the U.S. Congress and Administration.

Prior to coming to the MPA eight years ago, Ben worked for six years on the staff of the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee on intellectual property and antitrust policy legislation, and before that in advertising. He earned his bachelors degree from Yale University.

Ben grew up in Weld and Summit counties in Colorado, and he loves to trail run, ski, and mountaineer. Forever a Westerner at heart, Ben returns to the Colorado plateau every spring and has spent many nights canyoneering throughout the Escalante region.

 

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