NYTVF Chicago

March 13-14, 2018

The NYTVF returns to Chicago for two nights at The Second City and iO Chicago!



Tuesday, March 13 @ The Second City


7:30 pm

Where We Are Now: The State of Comedy

The rapid expansion of the TV landscape, including new buyers, distributors, and platforms, has yielded unprecedented opportunities for comedy performers, writers, and producers working in the episodic space. But navigating the terrain and building projects for success can be both overwhelming and difficult, especially for indie creators. This State of Comedy discussion will take an inside look at the current state of development and production, offering insights on what’s working, what’s selling, and what’s next.

Tickets Here


8:30 pm

Following the event, NYTVF Staff will be at the 1959 Kitchen & Bar to answer your questions and offer insight into the Festival experience.

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Wednesday, March 14 @ iO Chicago


7:30 pm

You Schmooze or You Lose: Making Your Mark and The Business of TV

In a full collection of platforms and the era of peak TV, it can be difficult to make your voice rise above the crowd. How do you make work that stands out? And, once you've put your project out and you've gotten in the door... what's next?

Join NYTVF Alumni and platform and television pioneers for an exclusive, frank discussion of the current landscape and the ins and outs of creating and financing independent work. Panelists will also discuss how to make first contact, maintain relationships, push through social awkwardness to make deals, and the correct ways to follow up and actualize the deals and projects of your future. Come for the tips and advice, stay for the witty banter and intrigue.

Tickets Here


8:30 pm

NYTVF Founder Terence Gray and Festival Staff will be on-hand in the iO Bar to discuss creating, submitting, and making the most of the industry's preeminent indie TV event, and how the NYTVF can be a unique and comprehensive opportunity to showcase, network, and take your career and creative work to the next level.


10:00 pm

Movie Night: Presented by the iO Comedy Network

Join us in the Mission Theater for a showcase from the iO Comedy Network. iOCN will be screening some of their best video sketches and web series episodes, as well as premiering some brand new work. Many iOCN writers, directors, and performers will be there to chat about the process of producing comedy videos.

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Presenting Partners



iO Theater and the iO Comedy Network

1501 N. Kingsbury Chicago, IL 60642


The Second City Harold Ramis Film School

230 W. North Avenue Chicago, IL 60610


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NYTVF in Chicago: About the Panelists


Katherine O'Brien – Writer | Filmmaker | Consultant

Katherine O'Brien is a writer, filmmaker, and creative consultant, operating in Hollywood and throughout the international marketplace for 15 years. She creates comedic, dramatic, and documentary content for film, television, and the digital space. Additionally, she provides expert story analysis, coverage, and script consultation for some of Hollywood’s most respected companies, as well as internationally and critically acclaimed filmmakers. O'Brien is on the faculty at the Harold Ramis Film School, adjunct faculty at Columbia College Chicago, and an educational consultant for the Doha Film Institute in Qatar. She holds a BFA in Writing for Film and Television from the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts.


AJ Links – Casting Director at Paskal Rudnicke Casting

AJ's NYTVF credits include The Jamz on Netflix. Her other recent credits include Steve McQueen's upcoming feature film Widows, A24's upcoming feature film SLICE, Amazon's Patriot, Comedy Central's Southside, and adultswim's Untitled Joe Pera Series.


Leo Garcia – VP, Development, Onion Studios | Creative Director, Onion Inc.

Leonardo Adrian Garcia is a comedian-cum-filmmaker whose notable credits include writing As We Go Along, a short film that premiered at the 2012 Cannes Short Film Corner; shooting, editing, and producing Stupid Bitch Syndrome, which was a finalist in the 2013 Comedy Central Short Pilot Competition (NYTVF); and directing The Laces, a sketch comedy show that was a finalist for Best of The Fest at the 2014 NYTVF Independent Pilot Competition.

He currently serves as VP of Development for Onions Studios and Creative Director of Onion Inc., working as a director, cinematographer, producer, and contributor for The Onion, ClickHole, and The AV Club. In the past he has shot and edited for The Second City Network, Yahoo! Screen, and Upworthy.


Karan Sunil – Writer | Director | Creator

Karan Sunil is an award-winning writer and director. His web-series, Code-Switched (2017), was listed as one of Chicago Reader's 'Web Series to Watch in 2018' and has won several film festival awards including 'Best Web Series' at the Los Angeles Film Awards. Having run a successful crowdfunding campaign and building an online audience for the series, he looks to share his experience of growing independent work in Chicago. He is a former Senior Producer at the iO Comedy Network and a graduate of DePaul University with a BA in Digital Cinema & Television Writing.


Stephanie Jeter – Award-Winning Filmmaker

Stephanie Jeter is an award-winning filmmaker from Chicago, Illinois. After graduating with the help of a writing scholarship from DePaul University’s film program, Stephanie has spent the past ten years freelancing on various studio films, network television shows and commercials. She has worked with companies such as Showtime, Warner Brothers, Fox Television Studios, and BET. She has also built a body of creative work as a writer and director, including the short film Searching for Isabelle, Vanishing Oakenwald a theatrical play, and has feature-length screenplays in development.

She is Head of Production for OTV (Beta) and Writer/Director at Searching Productions, focusing her work on auteur-driven commercial, film, and television projects created by and for people of color.


Sue Gillan – Actress | Writer | Director

Sue Gillan is a Chicago native who started her career as a resident stage actress and writer at The Second City before going on to direct both their National Touring Company and resident stage. As an actress, Sue can currently be seen as Dr. Sue (no relation) on NBC's Shrink. Sue's work as a director can be seen in her award-winning short film, The After Party, starring David Pasquesi, as well as in commercial work for brands like Big Lots and State Farm.


Angie Gaffney – Entrepreneur & Producer

Angie Gaffney is a Midwest-based producer and entrepreneur who serves as the President of Black Apple Media and Co-Founder of Stage 18 Chicago. Angie’s credits include Signature Move (Official Selection SXSW 2017), Thrill Ride, The Onion’s Tough Season, NYTVF’s The Jamz, the award-winning pilot Public Housing Unit, and the upcoming feature film Monuments. Formerly, Angie was the Executive Producer at The Onion. She teaches at Harold Ramis Film School and DePaul University.


Terence Gray – Founder and Executive Director, NYTVF

Terence Gray launched the New York Television Festival (NYTVF) in 2005 as the industry’s first creative festival for television artists. As Executive Director, Mr. Gray oversees all Festival initiatives, events and partnerships, spearheading the NYTVF’s development efforts with partners. Prior to heading the Festival, Mr. Gray was a successful television writer and producer with credits including ABC’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire (primetime, seasons 1-3) as well serving as the creator and producer on projects with NBC, ESPN, TelePictures, and Warner Brothers.


Ian Thake – Director of Programming, NYTVF

Ian Thake is the Director of Programming at the New York Television Festival. A pioneer of the independent television movement, the NYTVF constructs new and innovative paths of development and talent identification, while simultaneously complementing the traditional television development model. Joining the NYTVF in 2010, Mr. Thake oversees all Festival initiatives and works with artists and creators whose projects are selected for the Festival. Mr. Thake is also a consultant on numerous television projects and is a Supervising Producer on The Jamz, the pilot season of which premiered on Netflix in May of 2016.



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