With the panel The Showrunner in Italy. An indispensable figure for our country, the Showrunner Lab. – the first Italian laboratory to enter the world of TV series production – officially began on Saturday 2 April 2022. The lab is organized by Fondazione Sistema Toscana, Tuscany Film Commission, Manifatture Digitali Cinema, in collaboration with Good Girls Planet & ITTV Forum & Festival of Los Angeles and PIN – University Center of Prato, with the contribution of the “Call for special projects for cinema and audiovisual” of the DGCA of the MIC (Italian Ministry of Culture).
The Panel, held in the presence of the students of the course and various newspapers, was opened by the institutional greetings of:
- Iacopo Di Passio, President of Fondazione Sistema Toscana
- Matteo Biffoni, Mayor of the Municipality of Prato
- Simone Mangani, Councilor for Culture and Citizenship of the Municipality of Prato
introduced by Stefania Ippoliti, Director of Tuscany Film Commission.
The institutional greetings has been followed by the conversation on the importance of the figure of the Showrunner (screenwriter, but also producer, budget administrator, screenwriter coordinator and much more …) a very important role in foreign audiovisual systems, such as the English and US one, but still not very present in Italy, therefore in great demand. The following took part in the debate:
- Cristina Scognamillo, Founder of Good Girls Planet and ITTV Festival (Head of Teaching of the Showrunner Lab.)
- Antonella Barbieri, Director of APA – Audiovisual Producers Association
- Valentina Martelli, Founder and CEO of Good Girls Planet and ITTV (International Workshop Manager of the Showrunner Lab.)
- Jacopo Chessa, Director of Veneto Film Commission
- Francesco Palumbo, Director of Fondazione Sistema Toscana
- Cristina Borsatti, writer and screenwriter, and Francesca Scanu, screenwriter and producer, teachers of the Showrunner Lab.
Special guest, the American actress Condola Rashad, among the protagonists of the acclaimed TV series Billions and Come Sunday, by Jonathan Demme and Joshua Marston; interpreter of Juliet in David Leveaux’s Romeo and Juliet and also in the cast of the TV series Smash, about the life of Marilyn Monroe, directed by Michael Mayer.
The Showrunner Lab. provides multilevel teaching: the basic preparation is enriched through laboratories and workshops of national and international professionals, such as: Marco Chimenz, producer and CEO of Cattleya; Giannandrea Pecorelli, producer and screenwriter, CEO of Aurora Film and Aurora TV; Vittorino Testa, screenwriter, writer and expert trainer; Giovanni Pedde, a lawyer specializing in entertainment law first in New York and then in Rome, has been part of the international division of Marenzi & Associates since 2020, a strategic and commercial consulting group based in Los Angeles; Vaun Wilmott, creator and producer of the fantasy TV series Dominion and, among others, Star Trek: Discovery, Prison Break, Sons of Anarchy and Jack Ryan; Chad Kennedy, Executive Vice President of Production and Development at Magic Quill Productions, the new writing collective made up of writers and executive producers including Joe Henderson (Lucifer), Georgia Lee (Partner Track) and Matt Owens (One Piece); Gary Marenzi CEO of Marenzi & Associates, which provides creative collaboration, strategic management advice and implementation for the media and entertainment industry (for decades, Marenzi, has been an industry leader and innovator in launching content franchises including Stargate, NCIS, Vikings, Killing Eve; Jeremy Spiegel, Showrunner, author and executive producer of the American newsmagazine Extra, an Emmy winner; Sean Furst, President of Skybound Entertainment (The Walking Dead); Nicola De Angelis, CEO of Fabula Pictures, whose development he coordinates, personally following each project both from an editorial and technical-artistic point of view (for Baby, the second Italian Netflix Original series, he also played the role of Showrunner).
Showrunner Lab. avails itself of the partnership of Veneto Film Commission, Panorama Films and the Segafredo Zanetti UN LIBRO UN FILM Award, the first national award dedicated to fiction for cinema and TV series. The Scientific Committee of the Prize has made available to the students of the Prato Laboratory some titles of books presented during the various editions and that aspiring Showrunners will adapt for the production of TV series. They were chosen by the teaching staff of the Showrunner Lab. Azzorre, by Cecilia M. Giampaoli, winner of the 2021 edition, and Carnaio, by Giulio Cavalli, published by Fandango Libri.
The Scientific Committee of the Showrunner Lab. is composed by: Maria Pia Ammirati, Director of RAI Fiction; Antonella Barbieri, Director of APA – Audiovisual Producers Association; Donato Carrisi, writer, screenwriter and director; Sean Furst, President of Skybound; Stefania Ippoliti, Director of Toscana Film Commissio; Gary Marenzi, Marenzi & Associati; Matteo Perale, producer; Jeremy Spiegel, Extra Showrunner and Executive Producer; Valentina Martelli, Founder and CEO of Good Girls Planet and ITTV; Cristina Scognamillo, Founder of Good Girls Planet and ITTV, Head of Didactic Showrunner Lab.