Caitlin McFarland and Emily Gipson have spent years in the entertainment industry as producers, filmmakers, and audience members. After taking on all these roles at film festivals such as Sundance, Tribeca, and Doha Tribeca, they decided to give that same kind of exposure to a different media—television. With help from an advisory board assembled from professional producers, studio executives, directors, writers, and actors, they celebrate the small screen's history and future at the annual ATX Television Festival. Over the course of three days, festival coordinators screen celebrated current seasons, never-aired pilots, prematurely canceled series, and cult favorites—many followed by Q&A sessions or choral renditions of the show's ending credits with creators and cast.
In addition to screenings, industry professionals gather for multiple daily panels on topics ranging from women in television to alternative production outlets. These same celebrity guests, spanning producers, directors, actors, and writers, also mingle with visitors during scheduled meet-and-greets. Visitors can break from the television-centric main events for live music sets and secret happy hours to coax the shier beers out of their taps.