3:00 p.m. Malco Theatre – (Screen TBA)

“Preparing Your Film for Distribution”

Presented by Kat Phillips

In this workshop we’ll discuss preparing your completed film for distribution; from the creation of requisite deliverables, to driving an audience to your product and to what you might expect to net from sales agents.



Kat Phillips – Atlanta, GA

Kathilynn Phillips, born in Mississippi and now residing in Atlanta, Georgia, is a filmmaker whose award-winning works, including her feature film, Chasing the White Dragon, have screened to thousands in the U.S., Europe and Asian Pacific. A former President and Board member of “Women in Film and Television” Atlanta, Kat is also Entertainment Industry Group Leader for the Ritz Group/Capital Community located in Atlanta. Interested in the growth of our young filmmakers, in 2014 at the Tupelo Film Festival, Kat and her husband Eric, made a generous donation of camera equipment to the Itawamba Community College’s Film Club in Fulton, MS which led to the development of film courses. Kat is truly a leader and mentor in the film industry.

In this workshop we’ll discuss preparing your completed film for distribution; from the creation of requisite deliverables, to driving an audience to your product and to what you might expect to net from sales agents.



5:00 p.m.- Malco Theatre – Screen (TBA)


Presented by: Rob Underhill

In this workshop, director / producer Rob Underhill relates to his experiences with his feature film, DAR HE: The Lynching of Emmett Till (Best Film Winner at 15 international Film Festivals) to help participants understand: 1) what you need to consider and plan for after the film is made 2) developing strategy for gaining exposure 3) mounting a PR campaign 4) getting film critic reviews 5) blazing a path on the film festival circuit, and much much more.

Rob’s film, DAR HE, premiered in February 2012. Later that same year, Dar He woDar Hen Best Film at the Tupelo Film Festival. But this was just the beginning. Rob Underhill states, “Dar He was over three-years in the making. And like all films it is really still evolving. Every part is an organic process. And it really can get out of your hands or fall flat without a successful plan to get that film into the world. Let me share with you what I’ve learned and answer some of those burning questions in your minds like, ‘How can I get my film seen and grow an audience?’.”



Rob Underhill – Raleigh, NC

ROB UNDERHILL is a film and TV director, producer, writer and editor. His films have been in competition at over 200 film festivals worldwide, including ST. LOUIS (Academy Award-qualifying), OAXACA (Mexico), SUNSCREEN (Academy-sponsored) and CANNES (France), have received over 80 awards including for Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay, and have scored rave reviews from top film critics like Mark Bell of FILM THREAT and Anne Brodie of CRITICIZE THIS! Featured on the National Public Radio shows, THE STATE OF THINGS with Frank Stasio and THE STORY with Dick Gordon, Rob’s work is regularly subject in newspapers, radio, TV-news and more. Carolina STYLE Magazine recognized Rob as one of 25 “Most Stylish People” influencing positive change in the Carolinas. And he is a RAWards Indie Art Award recipient for Best Regional Filmmaker. He is the featured Speaker at the 2015 graduation commencement exercises for the Department of English at North Carolina State University. His work has aired on the ASPiRE network and other national US and European TV outlets. Visit his website; *like* his Facebook for regular updates at



3:00 p.m. – Malco Theatre (Screen TBA)


Presented by: Gena Ellis

From Casablanca to Driving Miss Daisy to The Lord of the Rings, adaptations have always been a mainstay of Hollywood, prompting the 4th Academy Awards in 1932 to even establish a separate category for writing the adaptation. It’s estimated that a third of all films ever made were adapted from novels. Add in short stories, plays, and other source material, and the estimate of adaptations is over 50 percent. Television has its share of adaptations also, from MASH to Game of Thrones.

Gena will explore differences of mediums and the tools used to create an adaptation from the source. Just what does ‘staying faithful’ to the original mean? Is it necessary? Is it simply a retelling? The workshop will take you on a short journey from the screenwriter’s viewpoint of just how to make those tough decisions and create a work that stands on its own. Instructor Gena Ellis adapted her own short story into a script, which was filmed in Australia and won Tupelo’s Ron Tibbett Best of Show in 2007. She further adapted that story again into a TV pilot under consideration. Gena will use that example and others, as well as walking workshop attendees through a writing exercise to adapt a bit of her latest short story, Hillbilly Chocolate, available on No two writers will come up with the same adaptation. Attendees will hopefully walk away with a better understanding of the joys, and the struggles, of adaptation. Gena has also adapted an Alexandre Dumas’ novel and her eBook about her own adaptation experience will be available on Amazon before her workshop in Tupelo.




Gena Ellis – Chicago, IL

 For Gena, it all begins with the written word. She wrote and co-produced    Tupelo’s 2007 Ron Tibbett Best of Show winner, Angela’s Decision, which also won Australia’s Gold ACE Award for cinematography, Houston’s Gold Remi for adaptation, and other awards, and studied at universities. Gena’s given workshops on adaptation, writing, Indie films, and taught at universities, prompting her to publish an eBook in 2015- with an AD early draft, the short story, TV pilot pages, and the story of becoming an Australian film. While Gena has even been on screen in TV shows Shameless and Chicago Fire, plus films Transformers 3 and the Bollywood hit, DHOOM 3, her favorite sets are those of her daughter, Ursula, who’s in the MFA directing program at Columbia in NYC. Gena was recently in Mermaids, a Northwestern University NUWFA grant film by Nina Rogers. Gena really understands the ‘magic’ that film students create with hard work and a low budget. She’s of course working on a script and a another book. Visit or for more info.











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