QueerX is thrilled to champion new voices by hosting its annual Powerhouse Industry Pitchfest Saturday June 1st and Sunday June 2nd. The Powerhouse Industry Pitchfest gives any creator the rare opportunity to pitch a project one-on-one to top producers and production companies. Only 20 pitch slots are available each day. The projects pitched do not need to be LGBTQ specific, so, review the executive’s company and frame a pitch that would be appropriate for them.
Revry CEO, Damian Pelliccione, will kick off the Pitchfest with a brief panel discussion including introductions of these incredible executives and speak to the do’s and don’ts of pitching. Immediately following, the pitches begin! Very similar to speed dating, Pitchers will receive only a couple of minutes to share their elevator pitch one-on-one with a Producer; and, then that Producer has a couple of minutes to respond with feedback. Then onto the next Producer. ***Pitching one project and leaving a One Sheet behind with each Producer is recommended.
Last year, 4 Pitchers batted home runs and successfully moved onto next stages
of development from their pitches at the festival.
Meredith Katz - Soulpancake
Clifford MURRAY - Management360
Jenna Sarkin - Management360
ben jehoshua - Brian Graden Media
Kevin Herrera - The | Machine
Adam Wescott - Select
Aimee Helfand - Famileague
CLAY PRUITT - Seed&Spark
Felix Nguyen - Blue Fever
Tracy Benson - Obsesh
Jared Milrad - A Show for Change, Movikarma
Sebastian Velmont- Panflix
CHRISTOPHER J. rodriguEz- Revry
david person - IFC
kesila childers - Powderkeg Media
anna roberts - Nacelle Company
clifford MURRAY - Management 360
jenna SARKIN - Management 360
ben jehoshua - Brain Graden Media
breNt trotter- Anti-Villain Media
paris mccoy - Anti-Villain Media
jared milrad - A Show for Change, Movikarma
sebastian VELMONT - Panflix
rashon VELMONT - Panflix
alia j. daniels - Revry
HALLE MARINER - Agency of the Performing Arts
Dennis Dortch - Black & Sexy
Adam is a talent manager, producer, and longtime digital and entertainment executive. As the co-founder and partner of Select Management Group, Adam works with top talent including Gigi Gorgeous, MyLifeAsEva, LaurDIY and more. Adam developed, produced and sold “This Is Everything: Gigi Gorgeous” (Sundance 2017) and “Me and My Grandma” which are available on YouTube Premium SVOD.
Currently, he’s in development on projects with E! Entertainment and Viacom under Select’s new production banner, Third Act Entertainment. Adam began his career at Comcast Entertainment Group and has been a founding member of two successfully-acquired startup companies (ViSalus - 2008 and EQAL - 2012). He’s a contributing author to “YouTube Channels for Dummies” and works closely with the LA LGBT Center and GLAAD.
Aimee Helfand is Founder and CEO of FamiLeague, a leading, family-focused digital media company, uniquely intersecting content, technology and play. Its robust, interactive video network serves a community of 40M+ users across multiple platforms and owns over 55 original content franchises, including top shows Reality Of, DIY Dad, Jennings Journey and Kids Compete.
Prior to FamiLeague, Helfand founded BabyLeague, one of the largest and most trusted digital resources for new parents, in response to her own need as a new mom looking for quick and helpful videos to help guide her through all things parenthood. Her keen business acumen for recognizing new opportunities to reach niche and new markets via storytelling led her to create FamiLeague.
She’s partnered with massive global brands such as Virgin Mobile, Amazon, Hallmark, CVS, and Bush’s Beans to help them access the most coveted family and parent demographic through branded content and entertainment. Helfand has a BFA in Film and Television from NYU Tisch School of the Arts and resides in Los Angeles with her daughter, Athena.
ALIA J. DANIELs
From a very young age, Alia J. Daniels has been captivated with the entertainment industry. Determined to make an impact, Alia equipped herself with bachelor's degrees in Music and Communications Studies with a Mass Media emphasis, and a Juris Doctorate from Loyola Law School. As a business and entertainment attorney, Alia has not only represented clients in the digital entertainment and tech space, but is a featured speaker on legal and business issues in the digital entertainment arena. Since 2015, Alia has been consistently named to the prestigious Southern California Rising Stars list by Super Lawyers for five years in a row. Today, Alia has found her niche at the intersection of entrepreneurship, digital media and law as Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer for Revry, a global queer digital media network where she oversees the c marketing department, as well as executive produces several podcasts. She is the Co-Festival Director for QueerX, a one-of-a-kind festival bringing audiences to the intersection of music, film and industry. Her dedication to inclusion within the Queer and Allied community is a cornerstone of Alia's personal mission to create avenues for authentic representation in media.
A North Carolina native, Anna serves as the VP of Acquisitions and Distribution at Comedy Dynamics, a Nacelle Company. Comedy Dynamics is the largest independent comedy production and distribution company, producing the reboot of Mad About You featuring Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt, Netflix’s Kevin Hart’s Guide to Black History, Netflix’s The Toys That Made Us, Jim Gaffigan: Noble Ape, and many more. Comedy Dynamics began releasing original films in theaters and released the acclaimed independent film Slut in a Good Way in Spring of 2019. Before Comedy Dynamics, she spent 3 years at Gravitas Ventures, working in Sales with films like Almost Adults, Appropriate Behavior, and How to Plan an Orgy in a Small Town.
BRIAN GRADEN Media
Ben Jehoshua grew up in Israel in the 1980's obsessed with storytelling. Starting at twelve years old, he produced music videos and experimental shorts. He spent his later teen years teaching kids how to film and edit their own videos. In 1993 Ben moved to Los Angeles and attended Columbia College Hollywood. Post college, Ben Jehoshua launched a career as an in-demand editor. He worked on the reboot of Unsolved Mysteries for Lifetime; A Baby Story for TLC; Amazing Vacation Homes for The Travel Channel; and more. In the 2000’s Ben worked for the Academy Awards and Emmy broadcasts creating montages seen around the globe. From 1999 to 2009, as President of Image Line Productions, Ben and his partners built a successful boutique production company that won dozens of awards and worked with many high-profile clients. In 2008, Ben moved into content development for television and film, landing a job with television hitmaker Brian Graden. He currently serves as Senior Vice President of Development at Brian Graden Media. In his role Ben produces and directs television projects for networks like Bravo, Lifetime, Freeform, A&E, E! and Oxygen; among others. Ben also works in feature film development, which lead to his directorial debut with the 2015 film The Chosen, starring Kian Lawley and produced by Terror Films and Supergravity Pictures.
Hailing from Indianapolis, Indiana, Brent Trotter is a professional commercial, promotional media and film writer/producer. In addition to producing content for commercial brands, and several major Youtube content creators, he was a writer for Comic Book Resources, a premiere comics-related site, and Spinoff Online, a TV and film daily news website. Brent also has film credits to his name such as his role as Producer of the feature film, Bodysnatch and writer/producer for the feature film Lucifer.
ChrisTOPHER J. rodrigueZ
A producer and entertainment attorney with a background in reality television and digital media, Christopher received his bachelor degree in Political Science from UCLA in 2007. The recipient of the 2008 Scholar’s Award to Loyola Law School, Christopher went on to graduate with his Juris Doctorate degree in 2011. Christopher possesses wide-ranging experience in reality television production and has acted as legal counsel on a myriad of award-winning shows including Shark Tank, Deadliest Catch, Jay Leno’s Garage, The People’s Choice Awards, and Storage Wars. Having represented web television content creators and produced festival-featured digital media productions, Christopher bring his wealth of knowledge in the digital space to Revry as a co-founder and the Chief Business Officer.
Clay Pruitt began his film & TV career at the Sundance Institute Feature Film Program and went on to work with Outfest Los Angeles, the Palm Springs International Film Festival, AFM, and the Film Independent / US State Department partnered program, Global Media Makers.
During his time at WME, Pruitt worked in the Motion Picture Literary department focusing on developing and packaging independent films. As a writer/producer, Pruitt has worked with a number of emerging and established filmmakers developing a range of film and episodic projects. Pruitt is the Head of Acquisitions & Programming for Seed&Spark’s streaming platform.
Cliff graduated from Harvard University in 2010 and soon after began work in the 360 mailroom, quickly moving to the desk of founding partner Suzan Bymel. Since being promoted to manager at 24, he has grown his business into a diverse group of both talent and literary clients, straddling both fields while also targeting production. He has signed the next generation of young stars like Barry Keoghan (Dunkirk, Killing of a Sacred Deer, Y: The Last Man) Callie Hernandez (La La Land, Alien: Covenant, Mixtape) and Michael Dorman (Patriot, For All Mankind) while also working with icons like Henry Winkler with his Emmy win for BARRY and Sara Gilbert through her return to primetime with THE CONNORS. On the lit side, he represents major queer and female voices like Ryan O’Connell (Special) Geneva Robertson-Dworet (Captain Marvel, Tomb Raider) , Emerald Fennell (Killing Eve, Promising Young Woman), and Megan Amram (The Good Place, Parks and Rec., An Emmy for Megan). His love for comedy extends to clients like Wellesley Wild (Animaniacs, Family Guy), Rob Lazebnik (The Simpsons), and many others staffing, developing and performing across all platforms and formats.
David is currently a Manager at IFC TV in original programming where he helps curate comedy half hour linear shows for the network in both development and current programming. Before focusing on network shows, he concurrently ran west coast development and current programming for IFC's digital platform, The Comedy Crib, that successfully developed shows for IFC TV. Previously, David worked in Business Affairs at AMC Studios, produced several feature documentary and narrative feature films, as well as produced animated commercials for LEGO Star Wars commercials.
Black & Sexy
Filmmaker turned entrepreneur, Dennis Dortch, is a Sundance Film Festival Alumni and Gotham Award nominee for Breakthrough Director for his feature film debut, A Good Day to be Black & Sexy.
A pioneer in the digital space, Dortch, co-created, written and directed numerous hit digital series, including The Couple (Pick up for Development by HBO) and Roomieloverfriends (Licensed by BET) through his startup company and streaming platform,
Felix Nguyen is a Product & Content Associate at Blue Fever, a content curation company based in emotion and AI. They have a background in radio and gender studies research as well as a degree in Advertising. Currently their main focus at Blue Fever is curating content based on mood and emotion to empower Gen Z.
They are a Gen Z distribution and user experience expert working directly with AI to understand what content to recommend to a user and when that content is best served. When they’re not trying to absorb content like a sponge they split their time between trying to teach dad jokes to AI and looking for the tackiest tropical shirt
agency of the performing arts
Born and raised in Indiana, Halle studied Producing and Film Business at Columbia College Chicago before moving to Los Angeles. From there, she worked for Shoreline Entertainment and Preferred Content, where she gained experience in film sales and packaging. Halle currently works in the Motion Picture Literary department at APA, where she is championing unrepresented writers and directors.
A Show For A Change
creators of Movikarma
Jared Milrad is a seasoned entrepreneurial leader adept at launching innovative projects and achieving tangible results. An accomplished filmmaker, advocate, and entrepreneur with more than 10 million views worldwide, Jared worked for President Barack Obama and served in The White House, founded a nationally recognized non-profit organization supported by Warren Buffett's family foundation, and appeared in Hillary Clinton's historic presidential campaign commercials ("Getting Started," "Equal"). He has been profiled by dozens of media outlets around the world, including The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, BBC News, The Guardian, The Times of London, TIME, MSNBC, CBS, NBC, and ABC News.
Jared received performance training at the prestigious The Second City Chicago and the Howard Fine Acting Studio in Hollywood. He is a proud member of the Screen Actors Guild and AFTRA (SAG-AFTRA) and Summit Series, a curated community of creative entrepreneurs and innovators. Jared holds a law degree from Northeastern University School of Law, a graduate degree from Tufts University, and an undergraduate degree with highest honors from North Carolina State University. Jared lives in Long Beach, CA, where he was a first-time candidate for City Council endorsed by actor Kal Penn. Jared and his husband, Nate, are proud parents of their adopted dog, Oliver.
Jenna Sarkin is an Australian native who started in the Management 360 mailroom, and quickly transitioned to assisting partner Nicole King, working with Jennifer Garner, Giovanni Ribisi, and Kat Dennings. She moved to the literary department and, under partners Eryn Brown and Darin Friedman's tutelage, worked closely on projects with directors, writers (Dan Fogelman, Phil Johnston, Bruce Eric Kaplan), and acclaimed international directors Pablo Larraín (“Neruda,” “Jackie”), Deniz Gamze Erguven, Sebastian Lelio, and Felix van Groeningen.
Now a manager at 360, Jenna reps a wide range of fresh voices and cutting edge artists. Her diverse roster includes River Gallo, Elisa Kalani, Amelia Roper, Michael Schwartz and Tyler Nilson, to
name a few.
Kesila Childers is Vice President of Development for Powderkeg. Before that, she was Director of Content Development for Vimeo. And before that, she was Vice President of Digital Media for Bunim/Murray Productions. There, she developed, produced and delivered original productions emerging platforms. And before all THAT, Childers graduated from Ithaca College and began her career at Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher. She is a member of the PGA, Television Academy, and on the board of directors for the non-profits Hollywood Heart and birdbrain. And before EVERYTHING, she was a baby. A tiny tiny baby with big Hollywood dreams.
Prior to co-founding TheMachine, Kevin was a top agent leading the charge into digital markets at The Gersh Agency. Starting January 1, 2016 Kevin left his position at Gersh to found a management firm focused on digital stars and showrunners with the goal of guiding them through the ever changing landscape of digital entertainment.
In his first year, Kevin produced the Streamy Nominated FML: THE MOVIE, written by, starring and directed by digital star and comedian Jason Nash, and Executive Produced content alongside clients for Elite Daily, NewForm, Super Deluxe, Machinima and Go90.
Meredith Katz is Vice President of Business Development and Partnerships at SoulPancake, the award-winning digital media and entertainment company founded by actor Rainn Wilson, now a division of Participant Media. SoulPancake creates meaningful entertainment that explores the human experience and engages a socially minded, global audience.
Meredith has worked in digital media since before mobile marketing was really a thing, and she remembers fondly building media plans that included WAP logos. She has worked at some of the most fascinating content publishers and platforms in the world including http://SI.com, early days Gawker, VICE and Tumblr.
She truly believes in the power of storytelling and great content to inspire hearts and minds, and help brands propel their messages forward. She’s also a bit baffled by the amount of times she has used the word content in sentences since 2003.
Paris McCoy, Cinematographer and Creative Producer, lives in Los Angeles where she was born and raised. Paris started her creative career as a photographer yet it was her innate passion for moving images that blossomed into a focus on cinematography. Her love of documentary film and television led her to working for media giants such as National Geographic and Discovery Communications, honing her craft as producer and editor early in her career.
Vast experience in business development, protocol, and management. Rashon came up with an innovation that he worked along with Sebastian Velmont to personally develop, structure, execute, and receive a utility patent approval for. He is the Co-Founder and COO of Panflix which is a streaming platform for the “Overlooked Majority” (All People of Color, Women, LGBTQ, and People with Special Needs)
Well versed in content creation and development, along with digital platform strategy. Sebastian secured a utility patent for another innovation which was personally written, structured, and processed by him and Rashon Velmont. He is the Co-Founder and CEO of Panflix which is a streaming platform for the “Overlooked Majority” (All People of Color, Women, LGBTQ, and People with Special Needs)
Global Media executive with 18 yrs. of strategic, creative, influencer, commercial, and ecommerce experience building consumer lifestyle and technology brands including Beats by Dre, Monster, Best Buy, Seek Thermal, GoPro, and more. Founder & CEO of Mobile-first modern media network for Gen Z and millennials, Obsesh TV, at the intersection of outdoor adventure, sports, and culture.