Filmmaker Conference

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A Can't-Miss Conference

Pittsburgh Shorts and Script Competition is a must-attend film festival because we champion great storytelling and offer exceptional content for both filmmakers and audience alike. Our second annual Filmmaker Conference offered three days of content designed to inspire, inform, and energize!

Check out the 2023 conference schedule below! 

🚗  Parking is FREE for all conference attendees at Theater Square Garage (120 7th St). Bring your ticket to the conference to obtain an exit voucher for the parking attendant.

2023 Conference Schedule

Friday, November 17

11am | Brunch

11:30am | Television Today: A Conversation with Steve Stark and Megan McLachlan 

Steve Stark (Executive Producer, The Handmaid’s Tale,Wednesdaywill share his experience from more than 40 years in the television industry developing and producing multiple award-winning series in a conversation about creating for TV today with Megan McLachlan who covers all things television for Awards Daily. 

12:45pm | You’ve Made Your Film… Now What? with Katie Bignell and Ian Bignell of Film Festival Formula

The pair behind Festival Formula, the global resource platform offering festival guidance for filmmakers, discuss how to use film festivals to promote your work and advance your career, how to develop a festival strategy, improve festival acceptance rates, find an audience for your films, and more. 

2pm | Pitching and Funding a Feature Film with Gregory Scott Williams, Jr.

Award-winning filmmaker Gregory Scott Williams, Jr. will screen a brief excerpt of his upcoming feature film and discuss his process, pitch, artist’s statement, artist residency, and other aspects of the film and multimedia project that he has funded through grants and other sources. 


Saturday, November 18

9am | Breakfast

9:30am | Story is King: Even When Writing Music with Emanuel Kiriakou

The process for writing a short is similar in some ways to writing a song. Isn't a song a form of a short story?  Acclaimed multi-platinum songwriter Emanuel Kiriakou (My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Minions) will discuss his approach for writing and creating pop music hits.  Aside from radio and streaming, many of his songs have been featured in movies, shows and commercials, which points to one truth: Whether writing music, or writing a feature short, Story is King. 

10:45am | Short-Form Storytelling in an Ever-Changing Landscape with Aliki Theofilopoulos

Writer and producer Aliki Theofilopoulos (Phineas and FerbMickey Mouse) will share her experience developing and producing short form content for both streaming and traditional platforms during her 25 years of experience of working in the animation industry at major studios such as Disney, DreamWorksTV, and Nickelodeon.  She will also touch upon her experience taking short form content and expanding it into longer form formats. 


Sunday, November 19

10am | Brunch

10:30am | Closing Keynote: How Will AI Impact Filmmaking? with Justine Bateman

Generative AI has been increasingly employed, especially in the film and television business. With her UCLA computer science degree and her decades of experience in the film business, filmmaker and author Justine Bateman (Violet, Facehas rung the bell in the press during the WGA negotiations and has also served as the AI advisor to the SAG negotiations. In this closing keynote, she’ll talk about AI’s impact on artists in the film business, as well as other businesses, and what's on the other side of it all. 

Speakers and sessions subject to change.