Omni Cultural TV Fest Success Prompts NATPE To Commit to 2nd Annual in 2020

Posted by on Jun 7, 2019 in News & Reviews | No Comments

Omni Cultural TV Fest 2020 Returns Spring 2020
Submissions Period Opens June 30, 2019

More than 2,000 industry professionals and filmmakers attended the all-day event that connects diverse and emerging producers with industry professionals and distributors

Omni Cultural TV Fest Co-Founders Kiki Melendez and Cindy Cowan with actress Zulay Henao, one of the judges

Omni Cultural TV Fest (OCTVF) in partnership with NATPE (National Association of Television Program Executives) announced that the first showcase on May 1, 2019, at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood was a complete success. With hundreds of industry professionals and filmmakers attending the all-day screenings and panel discussions, all are excited for next year.

(L-R) Omni Cultural TV Fest Exec. Producers Meiling Macias-Toro, Julia Carias-Linares and Melinda Cea and friends

Produced by Kiki Melendez of Latin Hollywood Films and Cindy Cowan Entertainment, this unique multicultural platform for independent content producers provided an avenue for promoting new ideas in all genres for television and OTT platforms.

Aldonsa Alcantara, Ministry of Tourism Dominican Republic West Coast, Title sponsor and her daughter

“NATPE is always seeking new ways to elevate emerging producers via connectivity and education. The OCTVF is a wonderful example of how we can invest and support this passionate and diverse community,” said JP Bommel, President and CEO of NATPE.

The all-day event featured screenings of more than 73 selections. Panels included: Content Programing and Development with Network Executives, Directing, Writing, Distribution, and Diversity and Inclusion for Television with A-list executives and talent.

“One of the greatest experiences of my life,” said Ursula Vari, filmmaker. “I won valuable connections and experiences with like-minded filmmakers and had deep conversations with industry executives. It’s an incredible platform for my work. Everyone is there to be of service to under-represented talent.”

Award categories included: Best Animation, Foreign Language, Student Submissions, Short Web Series, Comedy Special, Movie Trailer, TV Sizzle Reel Scripted and Unscripted, TV Pilots, Drama, Comedy. The Corporate Responsibility award went to Latasha Gillespie, Exec Head of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for Amazon Studios for her generosity and support for this initiative. The Lifetime Achievement went to Executive Producer, Peter Engel who inspired the audience with two standing ovations.

“This is the first cultural event our company, Comedy Dynamics, has partnered with and it was fantastic. The panels and content were eye opening and outstanding,” said Griffin Gmelich, Head of Distribution for the Nacelle Company.

Among the stars attending the red carpet and afterparty were Don Stark, Adrian Dev, Peter Engel, Tiny Lister, Sofia Milos, Joni Bovill, Jimmy Jean-Louis, Rhyon Nicole Brown, Zulay Henao, Guy Ecker, Freddy Giorlando and Sheldon Reynolds. Andy Vargas (lead singer for Santana) performed with his band Souleros, along with Lilly Hernandez and her Cuban Jazz Band.

(Ctr) Latasha Gillespie received Corp. Responsibility Award

Omni Cultural TV Fest in Partnership with NATPE Reaches Thousands at Inaugural Showcase for TV and OTT Distribution

For complete list of the winning projects CLICK HERE

Lifetime Achievement Awardee Peter Engle, Kiki Melendez and actress Vivian Lomelii

The winners of the competition in their respective categories, as well as the awards to Engle and Gillespie, were handed out to a packed house at in the Reigler at the Egyptian Theater. Actor Yancey Arias was on hand to help with the presentations. and were handed out in the Main sponsors included The Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism West Coast Region, DGCINE (The Dominican Republic Film Commission), Maverick Entertainment, Nickelodeon, Story Rocket, Soluna Events, and SG Promotions.

The Industry response was overwhelmingly positive about the selections and programs that were screened at the TV Fest. To further assist the filmmakers, NATPE is working on a dedicated portal for Omni Cultural TV Fest Selections 2019, which will be accessible to program executives, buyers, distributors, OTT platforms, and others. Stay tuned for that announcement.

A packed house for the announcement of the competition winers and awards given out that evening

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