Mela Artisan's flagship store in Vermont will be part of the upcoming ITV Festival in Manchester next month. We could not be more thrilled to be a part of a festival that brings together independent artists, up-and-coming talent, and the creative forces behind much of the content we watch these days.
This year’s ITV festival will convene over 100 high level industry executives and talent; they hail from HBO, Viacom, Comedy Central, Bravo, and other networks. ITV is a television festival that actually debuted in Los Angeles in 2006. But three years ago, it was moved from the Hollywood hills to Vermont, and this year to the small town of Manchester -- a big shift from the chaotic, bustling LA life to a city of just 4,000 residents.
Turns out that creatives flourish in more peaceful settings, such as the picturesque town of Manchester. “Here in Vermont, people get to relax and meet each other, make friendships and not feel like they are at work throughout the event. Vermont relaxes people, which leads to better conversations and work connections,” says Philip Gilpin, Jr., Executive Director of the festival.
Gilpin met Danielle, our store manager, and felt that collaboration would be an ideal match for both, the festival and Mela Artisans.
“I live in Manchester and got to know Danielle at Mela. She's a positive part of the community that is looking for new ways to attract business, and so it was a natural fit. The vibe and energy of the store and the Mela brand fits perfectly with our community of artistic creative professionals.”
Hence, during the five-day affair, our store will serve as a lounge where VIP festival guests can peruse our collection, relax, and take a moment to chat. On Friday, October 11, we’ll also host a drinks hour for VIPs preceding dinner.
For those unfamiliar with the ITV festival, it’s a unique festival as it focuses solely on television, not film. It’s the only festival in the country, in fact, to showcase independently produced episodic programming from around the world. Even before networks and agencies have a chance to see them, they’re debuted at the ITVfest. By doing so, new talent and shows are discovered at the event each year, which TV industry execs then buy and put on air. For instance, this year the producers of “The Daily Show,” “Bones,” and Netflix’s Marvel series will be present, looking for the next big hit.
There's also a special treat in the works for the winners in the best drama and best comedy categories. Each winner will get a development meeting with Amy Gravitt, Executive Vice President of Programming, and Kelly Edwards, Vice President of Talent Development, at HBO.
“Finding and developing new talent is a priority for HBO,” Edwards told Variety in a recent interview. “’Insecure,’ ‘High Maintenance,’ and ‘Girls’ are great examples of how diverse voices can come from anywhere. ITV Fest has proven its value in curating content showcasing unique voices and the festival team has a terrific eye.”
She added, “Setting the festival to the backdrop of the beautiful Vermont mountains is another stroke of genius, while at the same time bringing together like-minded individuals who love quality entertainment.”
We couldn’t agree more.
If you’re in New England or itching for a break from the city and fancy a creative reboot, join us. You can buy passes for the entire festival or just one day online here.
- Rebecca Travis