The lineup for the first Split
With high-profile filmmakers and actors working in television now the norm and the current wealth of celebrated series, showcasing episodes along with their casts and creators has become an increasingly important aspect of major film festivals. Despite the likes of Tribeca 2017 creating an entire programme strand for television, the natural focus of festival press coverage tends to remains on film, so it’s great to see more festivals emerge like Spilt Screens which are devoted purely to television.
Curated by critic Matt Zoller Seitz, the weeklong Spilt Screens festival comprises special events, panels and screenings and launches with the world premiere of HBO’s ’70s set drama ‘The Deuce’, with producer and co-star Maggie Gyllenhaal in attendance.
Other guests taking to the Split Screens stage to discuss their work throughout the week will include ‘Mr Robot’ star Rami Malek, Julie Klausner for her Hulu comedy ‘Difficult People’, Michael McKean for ‘Breaking Bad’ prequel ‘Better Call Saul’, ‘Orphan Black’ star Tatiana Maslany along with many of her co-stars and creative team, Hank Azaria and Amanda Peet for ‘Brockmire’ and Asia Kate Dillon for ‘Billions’.
World Premiere – HBO’s The Deuce
From executive producers David Simon and George Pelecanos (‘The Wire’), ‘The Deuce’ focuses on the rise of the porn industry in and around New York’s Times Square in the 1970s. Maggie Gyllenhaal plays an entrepreneurial sex worker, while James Franco will be seen as twin brothers who serve as fronts for the Mafia. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with series producer and co-star Maggie Gyllenhaal, pilot director Michelle MacLaren and George Pelecanos.
‘MR. ROBOT’ – CLOSE-UP with Rami Malek
Twice Golden Globe nominated for his role as secret vigilante hacker Elliot Alderson in ‘Mr Robot’, Rami Malek will be in attendance to discuss his work on the show. Using illustrative clips, Malek will reveal how he shapes his performance through research, movement and voice work.
‘SEARCH PARTY’ – SHOWCASE
With ‘Search Party’, the mystery of a young woman’s disappearance is the device that draws the audience in while the show explores Dory’s (Alia Shawkat) world and makes some uncomfortable observations about modern life. Series creators, co-directors and executive producers Sarah-Violet Bliss and Charles Rogers, and exec producer Lilly Burns will be on stage to discuss this unsparing satire.
Netflix’s ‘THE GET DOWN’ – SHOWCASE
Baz Luhrmann and Stephen Adly Guirgis’s 1970s musical melodrama ‘The Get Down’, about the birth of hip-hop and the fall of dirty-glorious Gotham uses TV news video footage, 16mm, what looks like enhanced YouTube material. Series co-executive producer Stephen Adly Guirgis and supervising producer Nelson George will be in attendance for a discussion.
Hulu’s ‘DIFFICULT PEOPLE’ – SHOWCASE
Ahead of the third season premiere, series creator, writer and star Julie Klausner will take to the Split Screens stage to discuss her comedy about two acerbic, self-defeating best buds on the fringes of stardom, co-starring Billy Eichner.
‘BETTER CALL SAUL’ – CLOSE-UP
Michael McKean will discuss his role as feared trial lawyer Chuck McGill in this ‘Breaking Bad’ prequel, as well as his career in drama and improvisational comedy. Series co-creator Peter Gould will also take part in the panel discussion.
‘ORPHAN BLACK’ – SHOWCASE
Emmy winner Tatiana Maslany plays multiple genetically identical women in ‘Orphan Black’, a scenario that routinely puts Maslany in conversations with various iterations of herself, with each character a distinct human being rather than a sketch-comedy caricature. Cast members in attendance for this special event include Tatiana Maslany, Jordan Gavaris, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Kristian Bruun, Kevin Hanchard, Evelyne Brochu and Ari Millen.
‘BILLIONS’ – CLOSE-UP
Showtime’s hit drama series ‘Billions’ made history by introducing TV’s first major gender non-binary character, Taylor Mason (Asia Kate Dillon), an intern who unexpectedly becomes a favourite of macho hedge funder Bobby Axelrod (Damian Lewis). Dillon auditioned for the role shortly after playing skinhead Brandy on Netflix’s ‘Orange is the New Black’. Sharing the stage with series creators and executive producers Brian Koppelman and David Levien, they will discuss the second season of ‘Billions’ and playing a trailblazing character.
‘BROCKMIRE’ – CLOSE-UP
Jim Brockmire, a minor-league sportscaster struggling with alcoholism and his own monstrous ego, is a character Hank Azaria has been developing for years. Amanda Peet brings a no-nonsense toughness to the role of Jules James, the owner of both the team and a local bar. Series executive producer and star Hank Azaria and his co-star Amanda Peet will be in attendance to discuss their work on ‘Brockmire’.
‘THE GIRLFRIEND EXPERIENCE’ – REWIND
With a focus on the “Separation” episode of the series, co-executive producers/co-writers Lodge Kerrigan and Amy Seimetz will be in attendance for a discussion. This episode doesn’t just avoid the traditional closure TV viewers crave, but throws the totality of the show’s first season into question.
‘UNDERGROUND’ – REWIND
Actor Aisha Hinds and Golden Globe winning executive producer/director Anthony Hemingway will be present to discuss the extended episode “Minty” which featured an hour-long solo performance by Aisha Hinds as Harriet Tubman. Set in 1858 against the backdrop of a nation deeply divided by race, class and gender, Tubman makes a passionate plea to abolitionists to shift their thinking as she challenges them to take swift action against those who are determined to oppress others.
For more detailed information on events and to purchase tickets and festival passes go to: www.splitscreensfestival.com