New York Television Festival Picks Record 63 Projects for Pilot Competition

The NYTVF picked a record 63 original television and digital pilots and series — including 42 world premieres — to be screened as part of the Independent Pilot Competition at the 12th Annual New York Television Festival, Oct. 24–29, 2016, at The Helen Mills Theater and Event Space.

Submissions for the pilot competition were up 42 percent from the previous high. The selections cover a diverse cross-section of talent, with 59 percent having a woman in a core creative role (creator, writer, director and/or executive producer) and 43 percent including one or more persons of color above the line (core creative team and/or lead actor). Nine of the pilots feature LGBTQ themes, four contain Asian American narratives, and seven are animated.

“We were blown away by the talent and creativity of this year’s submissions — across the board it was a record-setting year and we had an extremely difficult task in identifying the competition slate,” said Terence Gray, founder and executive director of the NYTVF, in a statement. “As the TV landscape has evolved and become more competitive over the last decade, we’ve endeavored to complement that growth by cultivating new voices; engaging the industry; and creating a pipeline of opportunities on all sides of the episodic spectrum to maximize the potential of the indie TV community.”

Notable projects to emerge from previous Independent Pilot Competitions include “Animals,” the 2013 Best Comedy winner, which recently aired its first of two guaranteed seasons on HBO; “The Jamz,” available on Netflix and iTunes, the first project under the NYTVF Productions banner, based on a 2014 Official Selection of the same name; and “Annie Undocumented,” a 2014 Best Short-Form series, acquired by Fullscreen.

This year’s Independent Pilot Competition selections will judged by a jury comprised of the NYTVF screening committee and the emerging television executives selected for the NYTVF-HRTS Next Generation Committee. The winners will be announced at the closing night awards reception on Oct. 29.

The talent involved in the projects includes Horatio Sanz (“Saturday Night Live”), Mayim Bialik (“The Big Bang Theory”), Paul F. Tompkins (“BoJack Horseman”) and husband and wife Jill Eikenberry and Michael Tucker (“L.A. Law”).

A full list of the NYTVF Independent Pilot Competition selections can be found here.