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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.

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