Catalyst Content




The Catalyst Story Institute, a professional development program for TV writers, actors, directors, and producers to advance their work, has selected a finalist from Anchorage, Alaska, to present at the annual Catalyst Content Festival in Duluth on September 29th to October 3rd.

The festival, held in partnership with the National Academy of TV Arts & Sciences & ATAS, is the premier showcase for the independent television industry.  In the same vein as independent film festivals, Catalyst discovers new storytelling artists and brings them together with the world’s best independent content creators and leading TV industry professionals at the festival. The Catalyst Content Festival has become the country’s longest running independent television industry event, and Catalyst receives more than 800 project submissions from 15 countries each year and selects fewer than 10 percent to be showcased.

Storyteller Ian Planchon, from Anchorage, was selected for the project Freshwater, a documentary that dives into the cold waters of Lake Superior along Minnesota’s North Shore.

“We are in the new golden age of television – with streaming having completely changed the game.  There is a huge appetite for quality content and for new voices and storytellers,” said Philip Gilpin, Jr., Catalyst Executive Director.  “Creating pathways for new voices and storytellers to have their stories heard is our mission.   

ABOUT THE FESTIVAL: The Catalyst Content Festival will be held September 29th – October 3rd, 2021 in Duluth, Minnesota. Among its strategic partners is the National Academy of TV Arts and Sciences.  Over the course of five days, in addition to screenings, events include table reads, pitch presentations, panel discussions and workshops.  The program brings independent story artists together with industry pros and representatives of major industry companies, and the sessions enable the content creators to refine their show presentation.  Submissions include TV series, podcasts, and social/web-based content. They can be in any stage of development from pitch to post-production.  No films are allowed.  The jury and other industry participants include experienced TV showrunners, producers and development executives, writers and directors, network executives, talent agents, digital and podcast executives.

Sixty-seven finalists will be screened this year, 21 of them international submissions that reach Catalyst through its work with the US State Department’s Innovation Station, a program designed to reach creators in several countries.  Recent participants of Catalyst have gone on to achieve success in all facets of the TV industry, including selling their show to a network, securing top agency representation, getting hired as writers and directors on hot shows including HBOMax’s Gossip Girl, the Blacklist, New Amsterdam, Grey’s Anatomy and Kenan as writers, directors, and assistant showrunners. 

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