Today it was announced June’s ATX TV Festival will alter its programming in light and support of the Writer’s Guild of America’s strike, via an official press release. The Texas-based festival will kick off its 12th season on June 1-4 in downtown Austin. Festival co-presidents and founders Caitlin McFarland and Emily Gipson issued the following statement:
“ATX TV Festival has always been a place of celebration and community. It is where important conversations are had about the history and future of television in a safe and inclusive environment. We will maintain these tenants as we believe education and conversation between both Industry and Consumers are needed now more than ever. ” via the official press release.
McFarland and Gipson have held conversations with the WGA on ways to provide quality content for festival-goers that does not violate the parameters of the strike for collaborating partners and panelists. Any program additions and cancellations have been made to ensure programming shifts to focus on non-writing elements. Replacing some of those previously-scheduled events is more broad programming based on the craft of writing and its future in the industry.
According to the press release, a panel entitled “WGA on Strike!” has been added to the four-day event. This panel will include writers and creatives providing a first-hand perspective on the issues writers are facing in the current TV landscape. The panelists will include WGA West members Zoanne Clack (Station 19, Grey’s Anatomy), Damon Lindelof (Lost, Watchmen), and Julie Plec (The Vampire Diaries, Kyle XY) along with WGA East Negotiating Committee member, Greg Iwinski (Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Game Theory with Bomani Jones). The conversation will be moderated by writer and producer Beau Willimon (Andor, House of Cards), WGA East.
Other additions to the festival include panels “Why Do You Write?,” “Queer Stories We Want to See,” “Beyond the Page,” and “…The End.” The festival will continue highlighting programming that focuses on storytelling around larger societal issues with frequent collaborator Hollywood, Health, and Society. Topics include Climate Change, Aging & Caregiving, AI, and Criminal Justice. It will also proceed with its annual Pitch Competition.
According to the press release, canceled programming includes the following:
- “Andor: A Conversation with Tony Gilroy“
- “Tiny Beautiful Things with Liz Tigelaar and Cheryl Strayed”
- “Dawson’s Creek 25th Anniversary Screening & Conversation”
- “Late Night with Seth Meyers“
“There wouldn’t be television without writers,” Gipson and McFarland stated via the press release. “They have always been the rock stars of our festival, and though this year will look a little different, it will continue to be a place to showcase their talents and importance. The stories and characters we care so deeply about would not exist without them, and neither would this festival.”
For more information about the ATX TV Festival, visit the official website at atxfestival.com.