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A graduate of St. Xavier High School and Ball State University is pioneering new ground in the world of independent television content.
In the dramatically changing world of television, SeriesFest has become a prime proving ground for new and innovative entertainment.
“This is a tremendously big honor and opportunity for us to be chosen to show our work at this festival,” Stevenson told Courier Journal. “It’s nicknamed the ‘Sundance of TV.'”
Much like movie producers who strive to have their work shown at major film festivals and then picked up for distribution in theaters across the country, television producers like Stevenson and his college roommate Andrew Bennett, who own Versa Media, know SeriesFest will be attended by top dogs in the television industry — specifically the streaming platforms such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon.
“Five years ago Andrew and I foresaw what was happening with television content. It was like a tectonic shift,” he said. “Streaming platforms were starting to generate a great deal of original content and it’s done nothing but continue to gain momentum.”
Beating out hundreds of entries, “Cerebral” is one of only 13 drama pilots to be selected as a finalist in SeriesFest’s Independent Pilot Competition, which recognizes the world’s best television series in production while showcasing a diverse range of original programming.
“Cerebral” is a supernatural anthology series that explores fringe topics in an alternate universe by channeling the dark recesses of the human psyche. Using the power of allegory, every tale of “Cerebral” has a modern-day, socio-political and controversial question looming in the background.
SeriesFest will screen “Cerebral’s” pilot episode —“Skookum” — which is a Native American translation for “Big Foot.” The pilot follows a man named Neil who returns to the wilderness after many years to save those dearest to him from a woodland creature of legend.
This year, SeriesFest will be headlined by Grammy award-winning country band Lady Antebellum at the Red Rocks Amphitheater. It will also debut a special screening of Paramount Network’s new original series “Yellowstone,” starring Academy Award winner Kevin Costner.