Photo: 2021 SCAD aTVfest panel, "-Ish" Happens: A Conversation with the Stars of the "-ish" Universe

The SCAD aTVFest 2021 has kicked off this year showcasing some of the best and brightest in television. The festival, which usually takes over Midtown Atlanta, is virtual this year due to COVID-19.

Now in its ninth year, SCAD aTVfest is an international event celebrating the latest in design, creativity, and innovation in television and media. Working professionals from all spheres of content production gather for screenings, premieres, panel discussions, and workshops. Attendees explore the latest trends in broadcast, streaming, cable, web, social media, and advertising, and see the best content airing on network, cable, and OTT platforms today.

SCAD aTVfest has hosted top shows like Grey’s AnatomyThe Walking DeadOrange Is the New BlackFamily GuyAmerican GodsBlack LightningZoey’s Extraordinary PlaylistSEAL TeamArcherThe ChiBoschManifestThe ResidentNew AmsterdamAmerican Dad! and Gotham. Each year, the festival honors trailblazers who have made significant contributions to the televisual landscape. Past festival honorees have included  Zach Braff, Melissa Leo and Terrence Howard.

Historically, SCAD aTVfest is an inclusive international festival and this year does not disappoint. Composed of screenings, panels and special events, 2021 SCAD aTVfest programming includes, “Ish Happens: A Conversation with the Stars of the -Ish Universe,” screenings of This is Us (NBC), Queen Sugar (OWN), Batwoman (CW), Woke (Hulu), Lovecraft Country (HBO), Good Trouble (TV Series; Hulu) and Delilah (OWN), Conversations with Laurence Fishburne (Black-ish) and Cynthia Erivo (Genius: Aretha). Fishburne will be presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award and Erivo will be presented with the Spotlight Award.

“Ish Happens: A Conversation with the Stars of the -Ish Universe,” panel will feature Courtney Lilly, executive producer, Black-ish and Mixed-ish; Laurence Fishburne, executive producer and actor, Black-ish; Anthony Anderson, actor and executive producer; Tika Sumpter, actor, Mixed-ish; Mark Paul Gosselaar, actor, Mixed-ish and actors Francia Raisa and Trevor Jackson (Grown-ish). The Woke panel will feature lead actor Lamorne Morris,
co-creator and executive producer Marshall Todd and co-creator Keith Knight. Actress Jurnee Smollet will answer questions following a screening of fan favorite Lovecraft Country (HBO). OWN‘s mid-season addition Delilah will be screened followed by a panel discussion with creator Craig Wright, writer Devan Renea and lead actors Maahra Hill and Jill Marie Jones.

Photo: aTVfest2021/CW

Hampton University Alum and Batwoman lead Javicia Leslie will be presented with the Rising Star Award. Leslie will also be a part of the Batwoman panel and “Women Who Kick Ass” panel featuring Jasmine Cephas Jones (#FreeRayshawn), Kimri Lewis (Kenan) and Rebecca Breeds (The Originals). Additional panels include Wonder Women: Below the Line, Wonder Women: Directors and Wonder Women: Showrunners. Wonder Women panel participants include directors Ciara Glaude (Queen Sugar), Nina Lopez-Corrado (A Million Little Things) and costume designer Jennifer Bryan (Genius: Aretha).

An academic institution, Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) has prepared talented students for professional careers in the entertainment industry for more than 40 years. SCAD has won 30 student Emmy Awards over the past three years. SCAD alum Kayli Carter has starred in the Emmy Award-winning Netflix miniseries Godless and the Emmy Award-nominated FX miniseries Mrs. America. She was also nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for her role in the acclaimed Netflix drama Private Life. The SCAD-produced situation comedy The Buzz won an Emmy from the Television Academy Foundation’s 38th College Television Awards. SCAD operates Savannah Film Studios, a 22,000-square-foot facility with three soundstages and state-of-the-art technology. Located in the heart of Midtown Atlanta, SCADshow is the university’s premier theater space in the city, where SCAD aTVfest is usually held.

Learn more about 2021 SCAD aTVfest here. For information on tickets, visit

This post was written by Nsenga K. Burton, Ph.D., founder & editor-in-chief of The Burton Wire. A professor of film and media at Emory University, follow Nsenga on Twitter @Ntellectual. 

Follow The Burton Wire on Twitter or Instagram @TheBurtonWire. 

Previous articleWATCH: Black Fives Founder Signs PUMA Contract and Honors Grandmother
Next articleOkonjo-Iweala First Woman & African to Head WTO is the premiere online destination for people who think for themselves. This blog offers news from the African Diaspora, culture that is produced by often overlooked populations and opinion that is informed and based on fact. Tired of the onslaught of websites and talking heads that regurgitate what people want to hear, is a publication that elevates news and perspectives that people need to hear. is for individual thinkers who understand that they are part of a larger collective. What is this collective? Free thinking people that care about the world, who will not be categorized or boxed in by society or culture and are interested in issues and topics that defy stereotypes and conventional wisdom.