×

Virgin to Pick SeriesFest Pilots for In-Flight Airline Channel (EXCLUSIVE)

Virgin Produced, the film and TV production arm of Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, has pacted with SeriesFest to select up to eight pilots competing at the second annual international TV and content festival next week for exclusive distribution on Virgin’s airlines and hotels.

Under the deal, Virgin will select up to eight pilots from SeriesFest’s Independent Pilot Competition across both comedy and drama genres. The winning pilots will be distributed via the Virgin Produced Channel on-board Virgin America and Virgin Australia flights, as well as at Virgin Hotels Chicago, for an exclusive two-month window.

The SeriesFest pilot competition features 34 official selections from across the globe, to be screened June 23-25 at the Sie FilmCenter in Denver. The lineup includes “Supreme Tweeter,” created by and starring “Game of Thrones” actor Harry Lloyd (whose character was killed in the series), featuring author George R.R. Martin (pictured above) and “GOT” actress Maisie Williams; soap-opera spoof “Dropping the Soap,” starring Jane Lynch; and comedy “Hart of America,” starring Amber Nash (“Archer”) as an experimental anthropologist in the Georgia backwoods.

Full pilot descriptions and trailers are available here. In addition to the Virgin Produced Choice Award, all of the pilots will compete for juried awards in categories including best pilot, director, actor and actress, as well as an audience award.

Creators of the pilots selected by Virgin Produced will not receive any financial compensation. It’s still to be determined if Virgin Produced will take any of the chosen pilots to series.

“This new partnership with SeriesFest gives Virgin Produced access to creative and cutting-edge content that we believe will fit into the spirit of the Virgin brand and deliver entertainment to Virgin customers as they fly to their destinations and enjoy our programmed entertainment,” said Virgin Produced CEO Jason Felts. “Virgin Produced is always looking to associate with fresh voices and content creators who not only entertain but push the envelope with their art.”

SeriesFest co-founder and CEO Randi Kleiner added, “Virgin Produced is an incredible distribution partner with a trademark standard for quality and a vast reach that will allow audiences that are unable to attend SeriesFest in Denver the chance to discover an impressive selection of pilots while traveling worldwide.”

SeriesFest runs June 22-26, with Denver’s Sie FilmCenter the primary screening venue. Festivities kicking off next Wednesday with an opening night special performance by Sia at Red Rocks Amphitheatre. The festival also will feature the North American premiere of BBC America’s “The Hunt,” as well as previews of PBS’ musical documentary “American Epic,” TBS comedy “Search Party” and an upcoming Netflix original documentary series.

In addition, the festival is partnering with interactive-video company Interlude to launch the “48-Hour Interactive Series Jam,” a two-day hackathon in which participants will create interactive content.

Films from L.A.-based Virgin Produced, launched in 2010, include “Jobs,” the Steve Jobs biopic starring Ashton Kutcher, “Limitless,” “Machine Gun Preacher,” “Immortals,” “Movie 43,” “21 & Over,” and “That Awkward Moment.” The unit also has a slate of TV projects and produces commercials and branded entertainment.

SeriesFest is produced in partnership with the Denver Film Society, with funding from Comcast and Delta Air Lines.

More Digital

  • Fortnite Battle Royale

    How 'Fortnite' Fans Can Earn Loot by Watching YouTube Videos

    Epic Games and YouTube have teamed up with a special offer for “Fortnite” players — giving players of the popular battle-royale game rewards when they watch “Fortnite”-premiered content on the video platform. The catch: You have to watch at least 20 minutes of “Fortnite” special content or live esports broadcasts to receive the loot. Under [...]

  • Roku headquarters

    Roku Plans to Expand to Brazil, Other Countries (EXCLUSIVE)

    Roku plans to expand to multiple new territories in the coming months, Variety has learned. One of the first new markets for the company will likely be Brazil. An international expansion could help Roku grow its customer base, which in turn should lead to growing advertising revenues. Roku executives have been hinting at plans to [...]

  • Google Stadia Pro to Include 1

    Google’s Stadia Game Streaming Service to Include Free Monthly Game

    Google has been busy sharing additional details about its upcoming game streaming service Stadia, clearing up some confusion in the process. Stadia’s pro subscription tier, which will cost $10 per month, won’t be a Netflix-type subscription service. However, subscribers will get free games at the rate of about a title per month. That’s according to [...]

  • Crypt-TV-Facebook

    Facebook Signs Deal With Crypt TV for Slate of Five Horror Series

    Crypt TV, the digital studio founded by Eli Roth and Jack Davis and backed by Jason Blum, expanded its deal with Facebook, inking a content partnership to create a slate of five horror and monster-themed series exclusively for Facebook Watch. For Facebook Watch, it’s one of the first deals for a full slate of content [...]

  • Elaine Paul - Amazon Studios

    Elaine Paul Exits as Hulu CFO to Join Amazon Studios

    Elaine Paul has departed Hulu after nearly six years as chief financial officer to join Amazon Studios as CFO/VP of finance. She started at the ecommerce company’s studio division on July 15, reporting to Dan Jedda, VP of digital, advertising and corporate development finance for Amazon, a company rep said. Paul’s move to Amazon, first [...]

  • BritBox to Roll Out in the

    'Downton Abbey' and 'The Office' Heading to BritBox as Streamer Unveils U.K. Launch

    British broadcasters the BBC and ITV have formally agreed to launch their joint streaming service, BritBox, in the U.K. in the fourth quarter of 2019. It will be priced at £5.99 ($7.50) per month, making it the same price as the cheapest Netflix subscription in the U.K. ITV will control BritBox, holding a 90% stake. [...]

  • Vobile - ZEFR acquisition - Yangbin

    Zefr Sells Its Copyright-Flagging and YouTube Channel-Management Businesses to Vobile for $90 Million

    Vobile Group, a video protection and measurement company, announced a deal to acquire Zefr’s RightsID copyright-management and ChannelID YouTube channel-management businesses for about $90 million. According to the companies, Zefr’s RightsID and ChannelID together generated over $40 million in revenue in 2018 and were profitable. The deal stands to more than triple the revenue for [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content