Variety is pleased to announce its summit: PURPOSE – Family Entertainment & Faith-Based Summit, in association with Rogers & Cowan, on June 21 at the Four Seasons Beverly Hills. This marks the return of our popular event dedicated to the growth of family entertainment and faith-based programming. PURPOSE will feature leaders at studios, networks, digital media hubs, 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.
8:00 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. Registration
8:45 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Opening Remarks
9:00 to 9:30 a.m. Keynote Conversation
Stephen Quinn, EVP and Chief Marketing Officer, Walmart
Interviewed by Ben Simon, Senior Director of Walmart and Co-Chair of ANA’s Alliance for Family Entertainment
9:30 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. The State of Family Entertainment
Families are especially sensitive to the content they watch together. They hope to shield their children from age-inappropriate materials for many reasons. Key experts will explore the growing sensitivities of parents in content selection, the trends of studios and producers to create family-friendly content and the marketing challenges and opportunities.
Kristine Belson, Producer for DreamWorks Animation (The Croods, How to Train Your Dragon)
Meyer Gottlieb, President and Chief Operating Officer, Samuel Goldwyn Films
Dale Ardizzone, COO INSP TV
Eric Rollman, President of Rollman Entertainment
10:15 a.m. to 11:00 a.m Hollywood Studio Session
Hollywood studio chiefs will explore the latest commercial opportunities for family entertainment. With the current studio trend of building special-effects heavy franchises – where does the family genre fit into the development pipeline? What is that state of audience demand for family content – through theatrical and home entertainment platforms? Which projects are connecting most strongly with audiences?
DeVon Franklin, SVP Production Sony Pictures Entertainment
Steven Wegner, EVP Development Alcon Pictures
Simon Swart, EVP and General Manager at Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment North America
Zola Mashariki, SVP Production at Fox Searchlight
11:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. Networking Break
11:15 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. Keynote Conversation with Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, Executive Producers
11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Successful Models for Taking Faith-Based Content to New Heights
There is strong demand for faith-based content – but what is critical to continue to grow this marketplace? Producers are working to expand into new faith-based subjects, such as thrillers and comedies. As the genre evolves, what are key elements to achieve success– talent, storyline, authenticity? What is the right amount of ‘faith’ to put into a ‘faith-based’ project? Is it necessarily important to work towards mainstream cross-over potential? Or is there ample opportunity in targeting faith-based content to faith-based audiences? Top entertainment chiefs will analyze the best way to grow the marketplace for faith-based film, TV and digital media.
Rich Peluso, VP Affirm Films, Sony Pictures Entertainment
Corbin Bernsen, Actor and President Home Theater Films
Ben Howard, Co-Founder Provident Films
Simon Swart, EVP and General Manager for 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, North America
Jim Huggins, President and CEO, New Shepherd Films
Maura Dunbar, EVP and Chief Content Officer, Odyssey Networks
12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Lunch
1:30 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. Family and Faith-Based: TV and Movies Everywhere
Rentrak will review the trends for mainstream and faith-focused content within the family, entertainment and faith-focused networks and theatrical releases they measure. They will look at live ratings, DVR playback, box office results, demographics and audience reach.
1:45 a.m. to 2:15 a.m. Walden Family Theater – Elevating Films for Families
A look at the companies involved in bringing family-friendly movies back to primetime, spanning corporate, programming, production & network partnerships. How are the partners creating dynamic stories that families will want to watch together? What has been the response of audiences and partners with the first release, Return to Nim’s Island? What comes next?
Randy Pope, VP Original Programming Hallmark Channel
Brian Wells, Co-Founder Flashlight Entertainment and an Executive Producer of Walden Family Theater
Dr. Randy Testa, VP, Education & Professional Development at Walden Media
2:15 p.m. to 2:50 p.m. Parents, Kids and Second Screen – How Families Watch Now
Advancing technology is transforming the ways families watch content – as parents and kids enjoy on-demand and streaming options on increasing numbers of devices. Top digital distribution chiefs, service providers, and technology partners will analyze how they are striving to better connect with families’ new viewing patterns. How are we using technology to enhance the family viewing experience? How is the current and next generation of storytellers, filmmakers, and content producers adjusting to the advancing technology?
Joellen Ferrer – Director of Communications, Ustream
John Kilcullen, President, The Bible Series, Strategic Partnerships/Ancillary Products
Tim Gray, President and Owner Gray Media
Christina Lee Storm, Executive Director, Act One
Alan Riley, VP Online Video Platform Sales for KIT digital, and the VP for 316 Networks
Father David Guffey, Head of Production, Family Theater Productions
2:50 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
How to Succeed in Faith-Based Films Without Losing Your Wallet
According to Movieguide’s economic report to the industry
Presented by Ted Baehr, CEO of Movieguide
3:00 p.m. to 3:40 p.m. The Emergence of the Mainstream/Faith-Based TV Success – What Comes Next?
There have been a number of break-out shows featuring characters and storylines where faith takes a central role, such as weTV’s Mary Mary and Game Show Network’s American Bible Challenge. History Channel’s, The Bible series hit and exceeded this mark – might this open the doors to like-minded programming? What are strategies around creating broadly appealing faith-based and faith-friendly hits? How are new digital distribution platforms, such as YouTube, Netflix and Hulu expanding opportunities to create and distribute faith-based content? Top entertainment and digital chiefs explore how they are developing and marketing content today for the faith-based audience.
Michael Van Dyck, Agent at Paradigm
Amy Introcaso-Davis, EVP Programming and Development at Game Show Network
Charlie Jordan Brookins, SVP, Original Programming at BET Networks
Adrienne O’Riain, Director of Drama Development, TNT
Tom Forman, CEO of Relativity Television
Barbara Fisher, SVP, Original Programming, UP
3:40 p.m. to 3:50 p.m. Networking Break
3:50 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Building Inspired Content – Finance, Production and Marketing
In today’s marketplace, what is the state of financing, producing and launching projects that feature spiritual, inspirational and faith-based messages? Who are the major players that are backing these projects – what criteria are they looking for before supporting them? How might such content be tied to cause and charitable activities to attract audience interest? Leaders behind inspiring and faith-based content will talk about the mechanics of their business.
Brian Bird, Co-Founder of Believe Pictures
Jason Jones, Founder of Movie to Movement
Rio Cyrus, SVP Marketing at 20th Century Fox
Chevonne O’Shaughnessy, Co-Founder and President at Mission Pictures International
Terry Botwick, Co-Founder 1019 Entertainment
David Brookwell, Producer (Soul Surfer) and Co-Chairman Brookwell-McNamara Entertainment
4:30 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. Storytellers SuperSession
What is driving the creativity for successful storytellers – spanning broad entertainment and faith-friendly and faith-based topics? At the same time, how might storytellers’ personal convictions impact how they are working in this business? Leading creative talent will share how they are achieving in this business today.
Alli Shearmur, Producer (Disney’s 2014 release Cinderella)
Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio, Screenwriters for Despicable Me
Patricia Heaton, Actor (The Middle) and Producer (Amazing Grace)
David Hunt, Actor (Liz and Dick) and Producer (Amazing Grace)
Chad Hayes and Carey Hayes, Screenwriters (The Conjuring, The Reaping)
Scott Mednick, Producer (Michael Bay’s 2014 release Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) and Co-Founder Legendary Pictures