Terrence Thompson's Drive Slow Named as Official Selection in New York Television Festival's 2017 Independent Pilot Competition

by FSM Communications



[CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, August 16, 2017] - The NYTVF (www.nytvf.com), an organization dedicated to identifying and nurturing top independent creative talent and connecting it with networks, studios, digital media companies, agencies, and brands, today announced the official selections for its flagship Independent Pilot Competition (IPC), including Drive Slow, created by Terrence Thompson and produced by Free Spirit Media, Runaway Train and Endangered Peace Media. The dramedy is one of 52 original television and digital projects that will be presented for industry decision-makers and TV fans at the 13th Annual New York Television Festival.

The NYTVF, which is considered by the industry as the preeminent independent television showcase in the world, was launched in 2005 as the first festival with a focus on independently-created television content. Each year the Festival produces dozens of events for artists, executives, and fans, while facilitating over a million dollars in development and production funding from its industry partners, available to a select group of Official Artists. This year, the independent television showcase will take place in New York City from October 23-28 at The Helen Mills Theater and Event Space, with additional Festival events at SVA Theatre.

“We're thrilled to present these 52 exceptional projects as Official Selections in the 2017 Independent Pilot Competition,” said NYTVF Founder Terence Gray. “The goal of NYTVF has always been to identify the very best stories, and connect the creators of these projects with industry decision-makers across the landscape. Seeing such a spectrum of voices being elevated organically this year, it’s heartening, and hopefully a bellwether of things to come. We can't wait for October.”

In addition to being part of the annual independent television showcase, IPC selections will compete in a variety of categories (including “Best Comedy” and “Best Drama”) by a jury comprised of the NYTVF screening committee and the emerging television executives selected for the NYTVF-HRTS Next Generation Committee, with winners being announced at an October 28 closing night awards reception.

As Official Artists, the creators of these pilots qualify for a chance to receive a development deal from one of the NYTVF’s Development Partners – networks and studios which have guaranteed they will offer at least one deal to independent artists this year. These independent creators also have exclusive access to the NYTVF’s industry partners through the NYTVF Connect marketplace, which includes opportunities to meet, network, and pitch some of the top network, digital, and studio executives in the business.

Descriptions and trailers for each of this year’s Official Selections can be found online at: http://www.nytvf.com/2017_ipc_selections.html

Drive Slow gives face to the many generations of Chicago youth who have been overlooked and set aside. By telling these stories we will both educate outsiders on our misconstrued experiences as Chicagoans, and affirm black youth by holistically depicting them as intelligent, capable, and imperfect.” –Terrence Thompson, Creator/Director/Writer

About Drive Slow:

Drive Slow is a short film that channels the esoteric experience of being a black teenager in Chicago. After a college essay prompt asks a middle-class South-Sider how his environment influences his worldview, he struggles to define his complex surroundings in 500 words. As he spends his day reflecting on the prompt, his friends' disparate opinions, racist media narratives, and the threat of lingering danger only complicate the process.

Drive Slow was produced by Free Spirit Media, a film education non-profit, in association with Runaway Train and Endangered Peace with generous production and post-production support provided by Keslow Camera, DePaul School of Cinematic Arts, Quriosity Productions, The Mill and Park Walk Productions.

Free Spirit Media provides media education to young people of color on the South and West Sides of Chicago through in-school, after school and summer digital media education classes and advanced career Pathways programs. Free Spirit Media’s Pathways programming bridges access for underrepresented young filmmakers to a network of professionals and companies while building essential skills and knowledge to successfully navigate the media field. Pathways invests in the next generation of creators and crew, contributing to a diversified media industry that values and uplifts stories from underrepresented voices.

About the NYTVF

Established in 2005, the NYTVF constructs new and innovative paths of development and talent identification, while simultaneously complementing the traditional television development model. By partnering directly with networks, studios, production companies, digital platforms and brands, the NYTVF provides its Industry Partners with a streamlined development model, leveraging its vast creative community of over 15,000 independent producers and production companies, to create content with specific partners in mind. During the annual New York Television Festival – held each fall in New York City – the NYTVF brings together its top artists and industry decision-makers for a series of events designed to foster networking, collaboration and education. The Festival also marks the culmination of the organization’s yearly development efforts and features screenings of top independent content, educational panels, fan events, red carpet premieres, and more. For more information on the NYTVF and the annual Festival, visit www.nytvf.com, and to learn about opportunities to submit for its year- round competitions, visit http://www.nytvf.com/submit.html.

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Press Contacts:

For Drive Slow:

Todd Hieggelke, Producer, driveslowtv@gmail.com / toddhieggelke@gmail.com, 312-307-0205

Bria Royal, Engagement & Digital Communications Coordinator, Free Spirit Media, bria@freespiritmedia.org, 312-444-0562

For the NYTVF:

Matt Biscuiti, The Lippin Group/NY, 212-986-7080, matt@lippingroup.com

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