- Apr. 19, 2021

Join Film Fatales on Friday, April 23rd at 2pm PT for a discussion with Showrunners, Writers and Creators about breaking barriers in Episodic Television with Emily Spivack (Worn Stories), Ilse Fernandez (Cyberwar), Mel Shimkovitz (High Maintenance), and Xan Aranda (My Love).

This roundtable conversation will amplify creative voices who are breaking barriers in episodic television. How do you pitch a show that has never been made before? How do you maintain your distinctive voice and build community around it? Does a unique approach help you break in, or does it need to be packaged for the industry? How do you choose your battles and what have been your biggest challenges? What does it take to be part of the larger paradigm shift that's happening in the episodic world and where do we go from here?

This event is open to the public and will be accessible with live captioning.


If you missed the event, no worries! You can catch up on past events and watch HERE

Ilse Fernandez has produced and directed over 200 hours of non-fiction docu-series and reality shows for networks including ABC, NBC, VICE, MTV, Netflix, Univision, Discovery Channel, A&E, National Geographic, History Channel, and TLC. She worked as a Director and Field Producer on five seasons of the A&E series "Intervention", including the 2009 "Outstanding Reality Program" Emmy Award winning season. In 2010, the "Rachel" episode she directed about a homeless NYC street junkie whose boyfriend is unexpectedly imprisoned was nominated for both an Emmy and Producers Guild Award.

Ilse has worked as an Executive Producer and Director overseeing documentary series that have her signature visual fused compelling characters and gripping stories. She was the Showrunner on Viceland's cutting edge 8-part documentary series called "Cyberwar," that investigated the modern day geopolitical digital landscape with unprecedented access to NSA whistleblowers and hackers like Anonymous. She both directed and executive produced Spotify's first documentary series about locations pivotal in music history called "Music Happens Here" that won 3 Clio awards. Currently, Ilse has embarked on her first feature-length documentary following the journeys and aftermath of 3 immigrants who travelled to the US via the migrant caravan.

Mel Shimkovitz is a comedian, actor, writer and artist who's made a career as a creative shapeshifter. Recent television writing credits include HIGH MAINTENANCE (HBO), KEVIN CAN F* HIMSELF (AMC), and 5 WOMEN (Big Beach). Mel is a 2020 Cinereach Fellow and is currently developing an original pilot for FX. Previously she has appeared on both seasons of TRANSPARENT, hosted parties around L.A. under her DJ name Macho Mel, appeared in web videos alongside Nina Hartley and the voice of Wanda Sykes, and launched a line of ceramic bolo ties. In the 2000s, she founded and ran the record label Voodoo-Eros, which put out music by "freak folk" artists CocoRosie and Devendra Banhart.

Emily Spivack is an artist and writer whose work draws from contemporary culture, clothing, history, and our relationship to everyday objects. She is the author of the New York Times best seller WORN STORIES (2014) and it's follow-up WORN IN NEW YORK (2017), collections of stories about clothing and memory. In her column for T: The New York Times Magazine, The Story of a Thing, Emily interviewed cultural figures about objects in their homes. As artist-in-residence at Bard Graduate Center in 2019, Emily exhibited WHY DID THE JALAPEƑO PUT ON A SWEATER?, a compendium of clothing-related jokes that references the classic joke-a-day desktop calendar. As artist-in-residence at MoMA from 2017-2018, Emily invited visitors to contribute to An archive of everything worn to MoMA from November 1, 2017, to January 28, 2018, a permanent part of MoMA's Archives. Emily's 2017 off-site installation for the Honolulu Museum of Art, Medium White Tee, was a fulfillment of President Barack Obama's stated fantasy to run a T-shirt shack that sold only medium-sized white tees. She's exhibited Sentimental Value, stories about clothes from eBay, made howtodresslike.com, an online archive of nearly 1,000 step-by-step instructions culled from wikiHow, analyzed scented t-shirts, documented wardrobe malfunctions from Craigslist, and highlighted sweat stains on clothes. She and her work have been featured in The New York Times, New York magazine, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, NPR, Vogue, and Art in America.

Originally from Chicago, Xan Aranda is a Los Angeles-based Emmy nominated filmmaker and showrunner of MY LOVE, a forthcoming Netflix series filmed in six countries. Her work spans a range of film, television, branded content and more. Xan co-developed and served as an Executive Producer of HBO's ROOM 104, where episodes she created and shepherded received accolades from The Hollywood Reporter (Ten Favorite Episodes of 2017), The New York Times (Memorable TV Episodes of 2017), and Vox (Best 35 Episodes of 2017). Xan's Emmy nomination was for TRANSPARENT: THIS IS ME on Amazon, for which she served as Producer and Co-Executive Producer. She co-produced BLUE JAY, starring Sarah Paulson, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and sold to Netflix. After its world premiere at New York Film Festival and Lincoln Center, Xan's directorial debut ANDREW BIRD: FEVER YEAR screened in more than 90 festivals, and took home nine awards. Music videos Xan directed for Grammy-nominee Neko Case were positively reviewed by Rolling Stone, Billboard, Spin, Pitchfork, Paste, StereoGum, and numerous others. Xan is a producer of the award-winning Kartemquin Films (MINDING THE GAP, HOOP DREAMS) release MILKING THE RHINO, which filmed in Kenya and Namibia and screened on five continents. "There is no 'foot in the door.' You're the door." Xan is a popular featured speaker on a wide range of topics. She's been the guest of SXSW, Nike, HBO, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, Film Independent and countless film schools. As founder and Executive Director of the Chicago Short Film Brigade, Xan curated and hosted screenings of international short films from 2003-2012. The Sundance Institute recruited her for ShortsLab in 2011.