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Halfway There secures SeriesFest award

SeriesFest co-founders Kaily Smith-Westbrook (left) and Randi Kleiner

SERIESFEST: A show about a recovering addict running a sober-living facility has been named among the winners at this year’s international pilot competition at Denver-based SeriesFest.

Halfway There has been created by Nick Morton and Rick Rosenthal, with a cast including Matthew Lillard, Blythe Danner, Esai Morales and Sarah Shahi. The show follows a former addict as he is forced to take in his wealthy mother in order to stop the sober-living facility he oversees from going bust.

Elsewhere, the winner of the comedy award was Greenport, which comes from Tony Spiridakis and Shannon Goldman and stars Rob Hancock and Dimitri Spiridakis.

The Long Island-set show, featuring autistic actor Spiridakis, explores family, work-life balance and a struggling filmmaker’s determination to show the world that an autistic kid can do anything.

Meanwhile, the unscripted award was won by Nadia Hallgren’s She’s the Ticket, which follows five different women from around the country who, after seeing Donald Trump elected to the presidency, decide to run for office themselves.

The audience award, which covers all three categories, also went to Halfway There, which beat off competition from the other 55 pilots in consideration.

Almost a dozen independent projects that made their debut at SeriesFest have ended up on mainstream distribution platforms, including Truth Slash Fiction, which was picked up by Lionsgate, and Con Man, which went to SyFy.

Other winners this year include Kincaid Walker, who took the best emerging female creator award, while her show, Hug It Out, won the digital short award.

The six-day event is into its fourth year. Co-founded by filmmakers Randi Kleiner and Kaily Smith-Westbrook, it aims to showcase the best emerging voices in TV and features panels, screenings and workshops.

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