Summit Spotlights Storytellers

16 Oct 2013 - By TW Staff

(Above: Time Warner Chairman and CEO Jeff Bewkes; actress, producer and entrepreneur Eva Longoria; and HBO's President of Programming, Michael Lombardo at the Time Warner Storytellers Summit.)

Time Warner's passion for storytelling diversity took center stage last week at the company's second annual Time Warner Storytellers Summit, which brought together senior executives from the company's businesses to discuss the importance of cultivating new artistic voices and engaging new audiences.

Eva Longoria, in discussion with Jeff Bewkes.

Chairman and CEO Jeff Bewkes opened the summit Wednesday evening, leading a wide-ranging discussion with actress, producer and activist Eva Longoria about the challenges and opportunities in creating content appealing to diverse audiences.  Longoria cited her own experience as executive producer of Lifetime's Devious Maids in detailing the success that's possible when creating content for underserved audiences.

Thursday's session began with an excerpt from playwright and poet Lemon Andersen's County of Kings, which debuted at New York's Public Theater in 2009.  Afterward, Andersen and the Public's artistic director, Oskar Eustis, discussed the piece's evolution, and Andersen's work reaching out to non-traditional theater audiences, including the development of his new work, ToasT.

Throughout the day, presenters and attendees examined a range of topics, from "Millennials & Media" – spotlighting the viewing and content creation habits of young viewers – to closer examination of the Latino experience with media, including Creative Artists Agency's Christy Haubegger's insightful "The New Latino Experience: Kicking Open Hollywood's Doors" to Franklin Leonard's (The Black List) discussion with the Tony-winning composer and lyricist of In the Heights, Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Other highlights included Adult Swim's work with Internet auteur Yung Jake in promoting the The Eric Andre Show and a discussion with writer/director Ryan Coogler about the genesis of his Sundance hit, Fruitvale Station, which was developed during his Time Warner Foundation/Sundance Institute Fellowship.  The afternoon concluded with sessions highlighting successful internal initiatives at Time Warner's companies, and discussions with playwrights Eisa Davis and Rajiv Joseph and filmmakers Terence Nance and Katherine Fairfax Wright.

Take a look at the summit photos below and watch the clip of Oskar Eustis and Sundance Institute's Michelle Satter discussing why developing diverse voices is so important.

Lemon Andersen and Oskar Eustis.

Walter Newman, Director of Comedy Development at Adult Swim, Yung Jake, and The Black List founder Franklin Leonard.

Getting interactive with Yung Jake.

Playwright Eisa Davis in discussion with Todd London, Artistic Director, New Dramatists

Writer/director Ryan Coogler and Sundance Institute's Michelle Satter discuss the development of Fruitvale Station.

Filmmaker Katherine Fairfax Wright (holding microphone) answers questions from attendees.