More speaker announcements and programming details to come. Note: Speakers and schedule subject to change without notice.
Writer/Showrunner, LOCKE & KEY
Working variously as a creator, writer, producer and director, Carlton Cuse is one of the most successful and well-regarded showrunners in television.
Cuse started his career in television as a writer on the Michael Mann series CRIME STORY, and then as co-creator and executive producer of the critically acclaimed Fox series THE ADVENTURES OF BRISCO COUNTY JR. He went on to create and executive produce the highly rated CBS show NASH BRIDGES, starring Don Johnson and Cheech Marin, which ran for six seasons and 121 episodes.
Cuse along with Damon Lindelof served as writer and showrunner for all six seasons of LOST for ABC. He most recently co-created, wrote, directed, and was the showrunner for the first two seasons of TOM CLANCY’S JACK RYAN, the most viewed show in the history of Amazon’s streaming platform.
Cuse is currently writer and showrunner of LOCKE & KEY for Netflix, filming in Toronto. His other credits include: BATES MOTEL (A&E), THE STRAIN (FX), and COLONY (USA).
In feature films, Cuse wrote SAN ANDREAS starring Dwayne Johnson, Warner Bros. highest grossing film of 2015. He followed up by co-writing the Warner Bros. and Dwayne Johnson film, RAMPAGE.
Cuse has received 10 Emmy Nominations for his work and has won 2 Emmys: for Best Drama Series and for Outstanding Achievement in Interactive Media.
Among his other honors, Cuse has won a Golden Globe, a Peabody Award, a Producers Guild Award, three AFI Awards, The Jules Verne Award, four Saturn Awards, The Saturn Legacy Award, a Writers Guild Award, the Variety Creative Leadership Award and the People’s Choice Award, and was named to Time Magazine’s annual List of the 100 Most Influential People in the World.
EP/Co-Creator/Showrunner, HALT AND CATCH FIRE
Christopher Cantwell is an executive producer, co-creator, and showrunner of the highly acclaimed AMC series HALT AND CATCH FIRE, which is set within the early days of the computing revolution. The six-year endeavor of the series was a labor of love and vision accomplished with his writing partner, Christopher C. Rogers. Additionally, Cantwell directed episodes of the series in Seasons 3 and 4.
His professional writing career began when another script penned with Rogers, THE KNOLL, found its way onto the Black List in 2011, and in another life, Cantwell has also worked as a creative director for the Walt Disney Company.
He holds a BFA in Writing for the Screen & Television from the USC School of Cinematic Arts, and most recently directed his first feature, THE PARTS YOU LOSE (2019), starring Aaron Paul and Mary Elizabeth Winstead.
He is also the co-creator and writer of the ongoing comic book series SHE COULD FLY for Dark Horse, and is penning two other upcoming titles to be released under their label in 2019.
Vice-President, Current Programming, NBC
Phil Breman currently serves as Vice President of Current Programming at NBC Entertainment where he oversees all creative and production elements of a number of NBC’s drama and comedy series such as MANIFEST, THE ENEMY WITHIN, THE BLACKLIST, TIMELESS, WILL & GRACE, TRIAL AND ERROR and A.P. BIO to name a few. In this capacity Mr. Breman has partnered with a wide variety of high profile creative talent such as Shawn Ryan, Eric Kripke, Jeff Rake, Shawn Hayes, Tina Fey and many others. Prior to NBC, Mr. Breman ran live action series development for the Disney Channel where he developed over a dozen globally successful series such as Good Luck Charlie, Jessie, Austin & Ally, KC Undercover and more. Mr. Breman is also a former sit-com writer who has written and produced over one hundred episodes of network television. He was a writer/producer on the Paramount Television/WB sit-com RAISING DAD starring Bob Saget, Kat Dennings and Brie Larson, and the NBC/WB sit-com, FOR YOUR LOVE with Holly Robinson Peete and James Lesure.
Creator/Showrunner, HAND OF GOD
Ben Watkins is a writer/filmmaker/actor from Berkeley, California. He started his career in Hollywood as an actor, playing the “mysterious” Dr. Wesley Carter on THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS. The transition to writing began in earnest with his award winning short film QUEST TO REF, which he wrote, codirected and starred in. The film was an official Sundance Film Festival selection and won the American Black Film Festival. Soon after adapting that project into a feature screenplay for Universal, Ben joined USA Network’s BURN NOTICE. He rose from Staff Writer to Executive Producer, before moving on to create the provocative Amazon Originals series, HAND OF GOD. Most recently he executive produced TRUTH BE TOLD (starring Octavia Spencer), which will premiere on Apple’s new streaming service in 2019, and he is currently developing the continuation of NEW YORK UNDERCOVER for ABC.
Ben also has several projects in development through his production shingle, Blue Monday Productions.
He actively supports community programs and people who are looking to improve issues around civil rights, public education and homelessness.
He and his wife, Kandi, have four sons.
Screenwriter, THE BIG SHORT
Charles Randolph is an American screenwriter and producer who has worked with many iconic film-makers, including Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Milos Forman and Ridley Scott.
He won the 2016 Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay with Adam McKay for THE BIG SHORT, starring Brad Pitt, Steve Carell, Christian Bale and Ryan Gosling. His other credits include LOVE AND OTHER DRUGS (2010), directed by Ed Zwick with Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway, THE INTERPRETER (2005) directed by Sydney Pollack with Sean Penn and Nicole Kidman, and THE LIFE OF DAVID GALE (2003) directed by Alan Parker with Kevin Spacey, Laura Linney and Kate Winslet.
A not-yet-titled comedic drama about three women at Fox News who fought back against sexual harassment will be released on December 20. Directed by Jay Roach, it stars Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, Margo Robbie, John Lithgow and Allison Janney.
For 2019, he’s adapting the Ron Chernow biography of John D Rockefeller, Titan, with David O Russell and writing a comedy about French antique dealers with Alexander Payne.
He lives in upstate New York with his wife, the actress Mili Avital, and their children, Benjamin and Fanny.
President and CEO, Canada Media Fund (CMF)
Valerie Creighton is an industry leader in arts, culture and media, recognized for reenergizing some of the country’s most important organizations in the sector over the last thirty-five years. An expert in organizational change, Valerie has been recognized as a visionary in promoting Canada’s cultural wealth.
Currently serving as President and CEO of the Canada Media Fund, Valerie positions Canadian programming at the forefront in world markets advocating successful, innovative Canadian content and software applications for current and emerging digital platforms. Valerie has taken part in foreign trade missions, and is regularly called upon to present the CMF model internationally. She has been recognized with numerous awards nationally and from her home province of Saskatchewan; most recently she was invested into the 2016 Saskatchewan Order of Merit, was named one of 2016’s 20 most powerful women in global television by The Hollywood Reporter, and was awarded as the Honorary Maverick for the 2017 Female Eye Film Festival.
Valerie holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Saskatchewan, has served on a variety of regional, national, and international juries and boards, and has produced radio dramas for the CBC in Saskatchewan where she owns and operates the Red Horse Ranch.
Vice President, Scripted, Global Content Division, Keshet International
Bio coming soon.
Speaker and Pitching Coach
Kevin Wright is a dynamic speaker with thirty years’ experience in screen-based media. He has commissioned over sixty television series and heard thousands of pitches. His workshop helps people convey their ideas in a concise and persuasive manner by providing tips and secrets from the Decision Maker’s Perspective.
Kevin worked previously as SVP, Programming for Astral Television Networks where he was responsible for the acquisition and commissioning of content for HBO Canada, The Movie Network, TMN Encore, Family Channel, Disney Junior Canada and Disney XD Canada.
Kevin joined Astral in 1995 as VP, Programming for Family Channel. He simultaneously served as VP, Programming for Teletoon where he participated in the licensing and launch of the network. Prior to Astral, Kevin held positions at YTV Canada, Paragon International and Telefilm Canada.
Kevin graduated from McGill University with a B.A. in Psychology and holds a B.A.A. in Motion Picture Production from Ryerson.