PURPOSE: The Family Entertainment and Faith-Based Summit

PURPOSE: The Family Entertainment and Faith-Based

Date: June 12, 2014
Location: Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills

Variety is pleased to announce the return of our popular event PURPOSE: The Family Entertainment & Faith-Based Summit, dedicated to the growth of family entertainment and faith-based programming. PURPOSE will feature leaders at studios, networks, digital media, and brands who are succeeding in the family and faith-based entertainment space. Storytelling innovators will also share what content is best connecting with today’s audiences.

Thank you to those who’ve submitted! Variety will be notifying those who’ve been selected to pitch shortly. Please send any questions to purposepitch@variety.com

Eventbrite - PURPOSE: Family Entertainment + Faith Based Summit

For inquiries and questions about sponsorship, speaker submissions and media coverage, please contact Annalisa Dominguez at annalisa.dominguez@variety.com

AGENDA 2014:

8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Registration

8:50 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Opening Remarks

9:00 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. The Future of Family and Faith-Based Entertainment
In light of recent high-profile major studio and TV network releases that cross these genres – what is next for this business? What are the development, distribution and marketing strategies for these projects to succeed? How are entertainment companies analyzing the best way to launch projects worldwide and gain the right momentum with audiences? What storylines are proving to broadly connect with audiences? Top entertainment chiefs will talk about where they are taking this area of their business next.

Justin Chang, Variety Chief Film Critic

Deirdre Gurney, Executive Producer Duck Dynasty and Principal Gurney Productions
Ben O’Dell, President, Production, Pantelion Films
DeVon Franklin, SVP Production, Sony Pictures Entertainment
Charles King, Agent and Partner, WME (Clients include Tyler Perry, Bishop T.D. Jakes, Joel & Victoria Osteen)
Brian Edwards, Chief Operating Officer, One Three Media (A Hearst and Mark Burnett Company)
Barbara Fisher, SVP Original Programming, UP

9:45 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. Keynote Conversation with Bishop T.D. Jakes

10:15 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. Spotlight Conversation with Disney Publishing Worldwide
Speaker: Andrew Sugerman, EVP, Disney Publishing Worldwide

10:45 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Networking Break

11:00 a.m. to 11:10 a.m. Having Faith in Family Entertainment: A Conversation with INSP

Dale Ardizzone, Chief Operating Officer, INSP
John Roos, SVP Marketing, INSP

11:00 a.m. to 11:10 a.m. A Conversation with Faith-Driven Consumer

Chris Stone, Founder, Faith-Driven Consumer

Interviewed by:
Kirstin Wilder, Managing Editor, Variety

11:20 a.m. to 12 noon Speaking to the Faithful – Finding the Faith-Based Opportunity in Mainstream Entertainment
An exploration into current efforts to maximize marketing efforts for large-scale/mainstream entertainment projects by rallying faith-based  audiences. What is the best approach?
How might religious leaders be able to advise Hollywood on strategies to effectively speak to their congregations and audiences? What storytelling does this audience particularly crave – and is there further opportunity in crafting entertainment that will appeal to them? How can Hollywood speak to faith-based audiences authentically? Top entertainment and religious leaders will talk about how they are connecting faith-based audiences with major film and TV projects.

Kirstin Wilder, Managing Editor, Variety

Rick Ramirez, SVP Targeted Marketing, Warner Bros.
Anne Rudig, Director, The Episcopal Church
Rio Cyrus, SVP Worldwide  Marketing, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
Greg Liberman, Chairman & CEO, Spark Networks
Tom Allen, Partner, Allied Faith and Family
Santiago Pozo, CEO, Arenas

12 noon to 1 p.m. Lunch Sponsored by Gray Media

1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Fireside Chat on Persecuted

PERSECUTED tells the story of a modern-day evangelist named John Luther, played by SAG Award-nominated and Saturn Award winning actor James Remar (XMENFIRST CLASS, “Dexter”, DJANGO: UNCHAINED, WHAT LIES BENEATH, RED). Luther is the last hold out for a national endorsement to make sweeping reform in freedom of speech that would compel religious leaders to provide equal time to those of other faiths as a U.S. Senator, portrayed by Oscar-nominated actor Bruce Davison (XMEN, “Lost”, “Castle”), and his political allies create a sinister plan of denial and scandal to frame John Luther for murder. Suddenly his once normal life is turned upside down as he becomes a fugitive vowing to expose those responsible. It is a mission that brings him face-to-face with the coming storm of persecution that will threaten the moral ethics and freedoms of America.

Gretchen Carlson, Host of Fox News Channel’s The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson

Daniel Lusko, Director/Writer/Producer, Persecuted
Fred Thompson, Star of Persecuted
Brad Stine, Star of Persecuted
Gray Frederickson, Producer (The Godfather Part II, Apocalypse Now, Persecuted)

1:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. Strategies to Greenlighting and Launching Faith-Based Projects
Who are the key players who are really helping faith-based films reach target audiences? What criteria are financiers looking for before giving their support? What is the landscape like for securing the right distribution? How might growing appetite from international markets be helping fuel faith-based finance and production? Top distribution, financiers and production chiefs talk nuts and bolts about how to turn a great idea into a fully-formed and released film project.

Carole Horst, Managing Editor, Features, Variety

Chevonne Shaughnessy, Co-Founder and President, Mission Pictures International
Nikkole Denson-Randolph, VP, Special & Alternative Content, AMC Theatres
Sean McNamara, Producer/Director/Writer (Soul Surfer, Hoovey)
Mark Joseph, Producer, founder, MJM Entertainment
Paul Lauer, Founder, Motive Entertainment

2:00 p.m. to 2:30 Keynote Conversation with Michael Scott, Managing Partner, Pure Flix and Producer, God’s Not Dead

2:30 p.m. to 3:10 p.m.  Pitch the Faith-Based Gatekeepers (Submission Rules are listed below)
Variety editors will select the 10 best TV and film project synopses from those sent in by Purpose attendees. A panel of studio execs, talent agents, and other creative gatekeepers will debate the merits of each on stage. Those behind each synopsis will be able to ask the judging panel questions during the session.

Kirstin Wilder, Managing Editor, Variety

Ben Howard, Co-Founder Provident Films
David A.R. White, Founding Partner, PureFlix and Producer (God’s Not Dead, Sony/Provident’s Mom’s Night Out)
Simon Swart, EVP and General Manager at Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment North America
Cindy Bond, President, Mission Pictures International

3:10 to 3:25 p.m. Networking Break

3:25 p.m. to 4:00 The Faith-Based Personalities – Staying True to Themselves and Fans
A look at the growing number of stars and celebrities who are strong with their faith – what does this mean for their careers? How are they choosing projects with their faith in mind? How are they relating to their fans about their values?

Moderator: Touré Roberts, Author and Pastor One Church

Erica and Tina Campbell, Stars of Mary, Mary
Kolby and Victoria Koloff, Stars of Preachers’ Daughters
Dean Cain, Actor (Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, God’s Not Dead)

4:00 to 4:10 p.m. Movieguide Study
Presented by Dr. Ted Baehr, President of Good News Communications

4:10 to 4:50 Success with Faith and TV – What Wins Over Audiences?
A number of shows with faith messages have broken though – i.e. The Bible and History; Duck Dynasty and A&E; Game Show Network and The American Bible Challenge. Is there a formula to follow to break through to audiences? Many break-out shows are reality – what is the landscape like for scripted shows? Top network executives and producers will talk about how they are succeeding in this space.

Michael Van Dyck, Agent at Paradigm

Traci Blackwell, VP Current Programming, The CW
Amy Introcaso-Davis, EVP Programming The Game Show Network
Shana C. Waterman, ‎SVP, Event Series & Multi-Platform Programming, Fox Broadcasting Company
Alan Eyres, SVP Programming and Development, National Geographic Channel
Stacy Mandelberg, VP Limited Series and Event Programming, CBS
Michelle Vicary, EVP Programming, Hallmark Entertainment
Tom Forman, CEO Televisoin, Relativity

4:50 to 5:00 p.m. A Conversation with Frank Smith, Chief Operating Officer, Walden Media

5:00 p.m. to 5:40 p.m. Innovators of Family Entertainment and Faith-Based Storytelling
Producers and writers will talk about their inspiration and storytelling process in creating content that attracts family audiences, and may feature redemptive themes that the faith-based community embraces. What are examples of breakthrough film and TV within these genres? What may be the future of storytelling for families and faith-based audiences?

Steve Gaydos, VP and Executive Editor, Variety

Chris Parker, Writer, Heaven Is For Real
Scott Swofford, Director of Content, BYUtv
Chris Sanders, Director/Writer (The Croods, How to Train Your Dragon)
Michael Flaherty, Co-Founder and President, Walden Media
Andrew Panay, Producer, Earth to Echo

5:40 Cocktail Reception


  • TV and Film project synopses must be 500 words or less. The synopses should summarize the story arc for a first season TV show or plot for a feature-length film.
  • All submissions must include your unique PURPOSE ticket confirmation number upon registration; and name/email/phone contact information.
  • All submissions must be sent to purposepitch@variety.com by Friday, May 23. Variety will be making its selection from the first 100 synopses received. Submit early!
  • All rules must be met to be qualified for the Pitch session.




PureFlix Persecuted



EpiscopalChurch Odyssey ChristianMingle AlliedIM UpTV Arenas GoingDigital INSP ZayaToon


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