Welcome to the Family: ANA Alliance for Family Entertainment Teams With James Lassiter and Will Smith of Overbrook Entertainment to Discover America’s Newest TV Scriptwriters
February 21, 2013, New York, NY—The Association of National Advertiser’s Alliance for Family Entertainment (AFE), the consortium of almost 40 national advertisers who have brought to air some of the most popular family shows on television for more than a decade, and Overbrook Entertainment, the award-winning entertainment production company co-founded by two-time Academy Award nominee Will Smith and acclaimed film producer James Lassiter, are joining forces to find new TV programming through the 2013 America’s Newest Scriptwriter Contest.
Overbrook and the AFE will work together on the nation’s only script competition for aspiring unrepresented writers in a revolutionary new model for collaboration between brands and content creators. The venture is designed to increase the number of quality family programming options in what Smith calls “the next generation for the creation of family entertainment.”
“We know that family shows are good for business,” adds Gail Tifford, Unilever senior director of media, North America, and AFE co-chair. “As a mother of two, I’m hoping that this partnership will inspire new scriptwriters to help us reframe and contemporize family-friendly programming and ultimately have more places for marketers to invest our ad dollars.”
The 2013 competition includes both a one-hour drama and a 30-minute comedy category. The contest is open to all unrepresented writers with scripts centered on their interpretation of “family.”
The winning scripts will be chosen by Overbrook Entertainment. Each winner will receive $5,000, a script development meeting with Overbrook and an 18-month option agreement on their script. The contest will be supported by a multi-media advertising, public relations and social media campaign to drive awareness and encourage script submissions to the contest website.
Lassiter adds that the Overbrook-AFE team-up is “an exciting new model. Brands helping the creative community directly will not only benefit the brands but also the producers, and will allow us to produce more family entertainment.”
”When talking with consumers, the unmet need we hear most resoundingly is there isn’t enough family-friendly television readily available,” says Ben Simon, AFE co-chair and senior director of retail development for Walmart U.S. “As a group of almost 40 leading marketers, the AFE believes leveraging our united strength can help increase the support for more family programming options and serve our consumers by meeting this unmet need.”
The inaugural Search for America’s Newest Scriptwriter Contest in 2011 drew 10,000 writers to the website and generated 235 qualified original, half-hour comedy scripts depicting modern family life. New York writer Megan Angelo’s pilot about a self-described “high school screw-up” who decides to run for public office, O’Connell for Congress, took home the top prize of $5,000. Her script was optioned for developed by Warner Bros. Television in 2012 and currently is in development.
Details of this year’s contest, including how and where to submit scripts, can be found at the contest website, http://www.scriptwritercontest.com/.
Overbrook and the AFE were brought together by Reach Entertainment, an agency with offices in Los Angeles and San Francisco dedicated to bringing brands directly to the entertainment community. The agency developed the creative strategy in collaboration with the AFE and Overbrook and created all contest materials. Reach Chairman Tom Sebastian underscores the unique nature of the union, saying that “brands and artists collaborating directly on this level will create unprecedented opportunity for family entertainment.”
The contest is being administered by Creative Zing Promotion Group, a full-service integrated marketing agency with expertise in complex contests, sweepstakes and social media promotions.
About Overbrook Entertainment
Overbrook Entertainment, founded by partners James Lassiter, Will Smith and run along with partner Jada Pinkett Smith, is committed to offering the highest quality entertainment focused in film and television and has produced a diverse slate of both critically acclaimed and blockbuster feature films, which have generated more than $2.5 billion dollars in worldwide box office receipts and even more in home video sales.
Some of Overbrook’s most successful films include ALI, HITCH, PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS, I AM LEGEND, HANCOCK, SECRET LIVES OF BEES, and most recently THE KARATE KID. Overbrook's next feature project is AFTER EARTH, which is set for a June 7th, 2013 release. They are also producing Queen Latifah’s syndicated daytime talk show with Sony Pictures Television that will premiere this fall.
About the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) and the ANA Alliance for Family Entertainment
Founded in 1910, the ANA (Association of National Advertisers) leads the marketing community by providing its members with insights, collaboration, and advocacy. The ANA includes more than 500 companies with 10,000 brands that collectively spend over $250 billion in marketing communications and advertising. The ANA strives to communicate marketing best practices, lead industry initiatives, influence industry practices, manage industry affairs, and advance, promote, and protect all advertisers and marketers.
The Alliance for Family Entertainment is a group of nearly 40 national advertisers supported by the ANA that represents 37 percent of all U.S. television advertising dollars. Its mission is to find, nurture, develop, and support high-quality content the entire family can enjoy on multiple distribution platforms.
About Reach Entertainment
Reach Entertainment is an independent entertainment and content strategy agency for brands. The agency builds results-driven strategies and partnership opportunities for clients across television, film, digital/mobile, music, publishing and gaming. Reach Entertainment engages directly with content creators at the inception of the creative process to identify opportunities at an early stage so clients are able to partner in a meaningful way; from creative development, to marketing, distribution and communications. Reach is a partner agency of San Francisco based Swirl Inc.
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ANA Alliance for Family Entertainment