SCAD TVFest, one of the nation’s most esteemed television festivals kicked off Feb. 17-19 with an all-virtual presentation! For the last ten years, SCAD TVfest has brought together television executives, stars, creatives, academics and students to spotlight the best in design, creativity, and innovation in television and media. This year’s festival is entirely virtual and allows viewers to explore the best work and latest trends in broadcast, streaming, cable, web, social media and advertising.
Over the years there have been some branding changes, but the exceptional quality of the festival remains the same. The renowned festival allows virtual attendees to connect with top industry insiders working on camera and behind the scenes. Previous SCAD TVfests have hosted top shows like All American, Grey’s Anatomy, American Crime, The Walking Dead, Orange Is the New Black, Family Guy, This Is Us, Batwoman, Archer, Lovecraft Country, Bosch, Greenleaf, The Goldbergs, American Dad!, The Book of Negroes, New Amsterdam, American Dad! and For All Mankind.
This year’s TVFest features screenings, panel discussions and an awards presentation. Panels include The State of TV: A Master Class on an Industry in Transition, Stranger Than Fiction: True Crime Showrunners, Slidesplitting Showrunners: Television Comedies, Writing Workshops: Why Research Matters and Sketch to Screen: Costume Design for Television.
Diversity and inclusiveness have always been a part of the TVFest since its inception. This year’s TVFest features shows like Woke, Grand Crew, Naomi, The Cleaning Lady, All American: Homecoming, Naomi, Bel-Air, The Wonder Years and This is Us.
Award honorees for this year include Kaci Walfall, who will receive the Rising Star Award. Walfall is an actress best known for her title role on the Ava Duvernay executive produced series Naomi, based on the DC comic series and currently airing its debut season on The CW. A Brooklyn native and senior at a New York performing arts high school, Walfall made her Broadway debut at 9-years-old, starring as Young Nala in The Lion King. As an 11-year-old, she originated the role of Lavender in the first national tour of Matilda. Walfall made her TV breakthrough on Lifetime‘s Army Wives in 2013 and has appeared in the CBS series Person of Interest and The Equalizer, Starz series Power, and the Amazon anthology series Modern Love.
Actor and Producer Randall Park will receive the Spotlight Award, recently finished starring as a series regular on the hit ABC series Fresh Off the Boat. Park had a notable recurring role on HBO’s Veep and can currently be seen as Jimmy Woo in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s WandaVision and Ant-Man and the Wasp. His other TV credits include Young Rock, Doogie Kamealoha, M.D., BoJack Horseman, The Office, New Girl, Curb Your Enthusiasm, House, The Mindy Project, Cold Case, CSI, Reno 911!, Wild ‘n Out, and The Sarah Silverman Program.
Park also co-wrote and co-starred alongside Ali Wong in the Netflix’s Always Be My Maybe, in addition to appearances in Seth Rogen’s Long Shot, the DC Extended Universe’s Aquaman, The Disaster Artist, Office Christmas Party, Snatched, The Night Before, Trainwreck, The Five-Year Engagement, Dinner for Schmucks, Larry Crowne, The Good Doctor, Fragments, They Came Together, Sex Tape, Neighbors, and The Interview. He most recently hosted and executive produced the Peacock series True Story with Ed & Randall alongside Ed Helms.
The cast of The Wonder Years (ABC) will receive the Best Ensemble Award. Executive produced by Saladin Patterson and inspired by the iconic award-winning series of the same name, The Wonder Years is a new original coming-of-age comedy that tells the story of the Williams family during the late 1960s, from the point of view of imaginative 12-year-old Dean. Narrated by Golden Globe award-winner Don Cheadle, Dean’s hopeful and humorous recollections of his past spotlight the ups and downs of growing up in a Black middle-class family in Montgomery, Alabama, against the backdrop of a nation engaged in a civil rights movement and the friendship, laughter and lessons that emerge along the way. The best ensemble award winners are Dulé Hill, Elisha E.J. Williams, Laura Kariuki and Saycon Sengbloh.
Past festival honorees include Kim Cattrall, Justin Hartley, Eric McCormack, Ellie Kemper, Alan Cumming, David Boreanaz, Zach Braff, Connie Britton, Matt Czuchry, Jenna Elfman, Melissa Leo, Christina Ricci, Lili Taylor, Bryan Cranston, Laurence Fishburne, Cynthia Erivo and Kenan Thompson.
Find out more about TVFest here.
This article was written by Nsenga K. Burton, Ph.D., founder & editor-in-chief of The Burton Wire.