By this point, 2020 is a numerical value that everyone can live without seeing ever again. We get it—and feel that way a lot of the time, too. But with hardships come lessons—and that’s why it’s vital that we don’t let 2020 become a year to forget, but a year to remember.
AudFest 2020, aired virtually on December 8–10, focused on exactly this by having the much-needed provocative conversations surrounding 2020 that help to unpack what we can all do collectively to inspire change in the upcoming years.
From brand changemakers and diverse storytellers to innovative creatives and passionate leaders, this year’s virtual event provided an environment where everyone can learn from each other to inspire meaningful change and make big things happen together.
Our 2020 Impact Award recipient, Deniese Davis, set the standard for what this looks like. As the COO of ColorCreative and producer at Hoorae Media, Davis’ work was tireless in advancing diverse screenwriters and directors.
Davis began her career producing music videos, short films, and digital content including Issa Rae’s award-winning web series, The Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black Girl. She is currently a Co-Executive Producer on the HBO Emmy-nominated comedy series Insecure and a Producer on HBO’s Emmy-nominated A Black Lady Sketch Show.
She also serves as COO of ColorCreative, a management company for diverse and emerging writers that she co-founded with Issa in 2014. Originally from Las Vegas, NV, Davis is an alumna of CUNY-Brooklyn College (BA, Film Production) and the American Film Institute Conservatory (MFA, Producing). Congratulations to Deniese Davis on her 2020 AudFest Impact Award!
If you didn’t get a change to join this year’s virtual event, don’t sweat—we’ve got everything you need to know about AudFest 2020 below:
Connect. Create. Change.
This keynote, with a panelist of brand changemakers, focuses on how AudPop connects brands and filmmakers to tell authentic stories, and how, together, we create meaningful change.
“It’s about the impact of what we do on the world. Storytelling can change the world if you do it the right way” –Aidan McLaughlin, Indeed
- Marcy Allen, Missoula Community Foundation
- Matt Anderson, Institute for Family
- Caitlin Copple Masingill, Full Swing PR
- Aidan McLaughlin, Indeed
- Paige Williams, AudPop
Connect: The #RightSideOfHistory
For brands in 2020, being on the right side of history is more important than ever. Between COVID-19, racism, gender equality, and more, so many are facing turbulent times. We hear how the power of storytelling can help brands stay relevant, build trust and connections with their consumers and employees, and use their own brand stories to make a difference.
“You can’t take a stand unless you have a set of actions that back that up.” –Meg Donovan, Uber
- Lynn Casey, ShineScout
- Jessica Chin, WhatsApp
- Meg Donovan, Uber
- Sandra Lopez, Intel Sports
- Scott Stanzel, Capital One
- Maribeth Towers, MLS Soccer
Create: From Miss Ann to #Karen
This filmmaker-focused panel explores the impact 2020 has had on our art and lives, specifically at the intersection of race and gender, and how film and video content can highlight and explore the connections, commonalities, and tensions between white and Black women throughout American history.
“I became a filmmaker to make sure women of color are seeing ourselves on screen and behind the camera.” –Nichelle S. Carr, AudPop
- Nichelle S. Carr, AudPop
- Deniese Davis, Color Creative and Hoorae Media
- Amy Hobby, Tangerine Entertainment
- B. Monét, AudPop filmmaker
- Melanie Addington, Oxford Film Festival
Change: Hindsight is #2020
We take a look at how the events of 2020 have changed the way audiences consume content and how networks and streaming services are innovating.
“I think it’s the best time ever for content creators.” –Quincy Newell, TwentyOne14 Media
- Claus Enevoldsen, Flipboard
- Helen Huang, Acquisitions Executive
- Quincy Newell, TwentyOne14 Media
- Erick Opeka, Cinedigm Networks
- Jennifer Vaux, Roku
Fireside Chat: #Diversity is a $uperpower
A fireside chat that unpacks an avalanche of data to reveal that diverse investing and founding teams drive better financial outcomes.
“You absolutely must network with people who are different than you. If you don’t have a bunch of people in your speed dial who are a different gender and race than you, you are missing out on your chance to get smarter.” –Lisa Stone, West River Group
- Liz Marchi, Two Bear Capital
- Lisa Stone, West River Group