The Rocaberti Writers' Retreat

Rocaberti Virtual

Saturday, January 9th 2021, 8:30am to 1:30pm PDT

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Welcome to Rocaberti Virtual, the Rocaberti Writers’ Retreat online!

Rocaberti Virtual is a 5-hour mini-retreat which will give you a taste of a retreat itself by combining some of the ingredients which go towards creating the unique and unforgettable experience that is Rocaberti.

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Includes

Live Presentations from Industry Professionals

Academy Award-winning writer (WITNESS) Pamela Wallace and British Film Director Niall Johnson will both be giving live presentations on to be announced topics.

In addition, each attendee will receive a pre-recorded presentation by Former Disney and Touchstone Exec Kathie Fong Yoneda and by Senior Vice President of Talent Development for WarnerMedia Entertainment Kelly Edwards.

Live Feedback

Eight writers will be specially selected for each online event and then individually matched with one of the Rocaberti Virtual mentors.
These writers will be invited to submit a 2-page synopsis of their project, and will then receive live feedback from their mentor.

Live Pitching Sessions

At each Rocaberti Virtual - just like at the retreats themselves - four writers will be selected to pitch their project to all four mentors, receiving valuable insights into not only the pitching process, but also into how the industry will respond to their project... and who knows what might happen as a result?! (We're delighted to say that 12 Rocaberti writers from the 2019 retreats now have their projects in development with a mentor!)

Live Q&A with Industry Professionals

Your chance to ask and receive feedback from the Rocaberti mentors on their presentations or on any other aspect of the industry! (You'll have the chance to send in as many questions as you like during Rocaberti Virtual itself.)

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Schedule

Saturday, January 9th 2021, 8:30am to 1:30pm West Coast time

11.30am to 4.30pm East Coast time

4.30pm to 9.30pm UK time

Please note all times below are U.S. West Coast time:

Time
Description
Mentors
8:30am - 9:00am

Introduction

9:00am - 9:20am

Presentation by Pamela Wallace.

9:20am - 9:50am

Live feedback from two Rocaberti Virtual mentors on two writers’ synopses.

9:50am - 9:55am

Break

9:55am - 10:15am

Presentation by Niall Johnson.

10:15am - 10:45am

Live feedback from two Rocaberti Virtual mentors on two writers’ synopses.

10:45am - 11:45am

Pitching sessions: Four writers will pitch their projects to all four mentors, receiving valuable insights into both the pitching process and how the industry will respond to their projects.

11:45am - 11:50am

Break

11:50am - 12:50pm

Live feedback from four Rocaberti Virtual mentors on four writers’ synopses.

12:50pm - 1:20pm

Q&A: Your chance to ask and receive feedback from the Rocaberti mentors on their presentations or on any other aspect of the industry!

1:20pm - 1:30pm

Final words from your Rocaberti Virtual mentors.

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Karin Maxey (Canada)

Rocaberti Virtual is one of the best online writing seminars I've been a part of. The impressive roster of mentors, coupled with the amazing community atmosphere Claire has created leaves you feeling inspired and ready to write.

Sally Averill (United Kingdom)

I was so amazed that 5 hours in front of my laptop just flew by - thanks to the fabulous mentor stories/comments/contributions and the wonderful pitching and storytelling from everyone. I felt so inspired! I can’t deny that I felt a little sceptical that an online retreat would work so well but it way surpassed my expectations. Thank you for including me Claire and the really seamless & professional organisation between timezones which made it seem effortless... Best thing so far in my 5 weeks of lockdown. Thank you!

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Level 1

€ 199.50 / session

Early Bird Registration (by midnight, PDT, December 27th, 2020): € 149.50

  • Join in a video conferencing call to watch the mentors' live presentations.
  • Receive a more in-depth understanding of the development process through the feedback to individual writers during their one-on-one mentoring sessions.
  • Attend the pitching sessions and receive valuable insight into how to sell your project to industry professionals.
  • In addition, each attendee will receive a pre-recorded presentation by Former Disney and Touchstone Exec Kathie Fong Yoneda and by Senior Vice President of Talent Development for WarnerMedia Entertainment Kelly Edwards.

  • Post your questions on any aspect of the business during Rocaberti Virtual itself.
  • You'll also be invited to be part of a private, Rocaberti Virtual Facebook community, which will continue after the retreat.
  • In addition, you'll be able to use the full amount of your Rocaberti Virtual registration fee towards the cost of an actual retreat itself!

Level 2

(Personalised Feedback)

€ 399.50 / session

Early Bird Registration (by midnight, PDT, December 27th, 2020): € 349.50

  • All of the benefits of Level 1.
  • Eight writers will be selected to send in a 2-page synopsis of their project to receive live, on-air, feedback from a specially-matched Rocaberti mentor during the virtual retreat. (Maximum of 15 minutes per writer).

To apply for Level 2, please write to [email protected] in order to set up an interview to begin the selection process.

Level 3

(Personalised Feedback + Pitching)

€ 499.50 / session

Early Bird Registration (by midnight, PDT, December 27th, 2020): € 459.50

  • All of the benefits of Levels 1 and 2.
  • Four of the eight writers from Level 2 will be invited to pitch their projects live to receive feedback from all four Rocaberti Virtual mentors. An invaluable insight into the pitching process and a chance to get your work heard by top industry mentors with the power to help get your project made!

To apply for Level 3, please write to [email protected] in order to set up an interview to begin the selection process.

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Your Rocaberti Virtual Mentors

Kelly Edwards

As the Senior VP of Talent Development for WarnerMedia Entertainment, Kelly Edwards oversees all emerging artist programs for HBO, HBOMax, and Turner.

Edwards brought an innovative new approach to developing the company’s writing and directing fellowships which have become an industry best practice. By marrying the two programs, material created by the writers is shot by the directors with a fully inclusive crew for air on WarnerMedia’s digital platforms. The content has garnered festival awards at SXSW, Tribeca, Seriesfest to name a few.

Prior to HBO, Edwards was a key corporate diversity executive at Comcast/NBCUniversal for over five years where she oversaw over 20 divisions, launched employee resource groups, and introduced diverse creative talent to NBC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and Telemundo.

Edwards’ career has spanned both television and film having produced the movie of the week A CHRISTMAS DETOURfor Hallmark, the one hour series SEX, LOVE, AND SECRETSfor UPN, serving as a network executive for UPN and Fox, and as a creative executive in features. As an executive she helped to develop series such as GIRLFRIENDS, THE PARKERS, MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE, CLUELESS,and THE WILD THORNBERRYS.

In 2000, Edwards co-founded the non-profit organization Colour Entertainment, a networking group for diverse creative executives and assistants in TV, Film, and Digital, all designed to connect current and future industry executives with one another.

Edwards graduated from Vassar College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theater and holds an MFA in Writing for Film and Television from Emerson College. She currently serves on the Annenberg Inclusion Board and is a 2019 Sundance Episodic Lab fellow.

Pamela Wallace

Pamela Wallace is a screenwriter/producer. She won an Academy Award, Writers Guild of America Award, and Mystery Writers of America Award for Best Original Screenplay for co-writing the movie Witness. She won a CAMIE (Character and Morality in Entertainment Award) for writing the Hallmark Cable Channel film Love’s Unending Legacy.

Pamela has written several other produced films, including a dozen movies for television. She has published more than twenty-five novels, several of which have been optioned or produced as television movies or mini-series. As a screenwriter, she has adapted some of her own novels to film, as well as adapting books by other authors.

Pamela has taught screenwriting classes on the university level and at seminars throughout the U.S. and around the world, including France, Australia, Germany, Canada and Singapore. She has judged several screenwriting competitions, including the prestigious Nicholls Fellowship competition sponsored by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Kathie Fong Yoneda

With 35+ years experience, Kathie Fong Yoneda has worked for Paramount, Universal, Fox, and Disney, focusing on analysis and development of live action and animated film, television, novels, adaptations, and web series projects. Her career includes exec posts with Disney, Touchstone, Island Pictures and Disney TV Animation.

Kathie has given workshops in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia, and wrote a column on screenwriting which became her book, The Script-Selling Game. Some of her clients include RAI-TV Roma, National Film School of Denmark, Bournemouth University, ScreenTraining Ireland, South Carolina Writers, Singapore Media Academy, Romance Writers of America, ScriptFest, Roma Webfest, Writers Institute, Hawaii International Film Festival, and Melbourne Webfest. She was a guest of The Soviet Peace Committee for a 10-day media symposium in Moscow and was Keynote Speaker for Asian-Pacific Heritage Month at The Smithsonian. Kathie received the Mayor’s medal from the City of Marseille for her work in Cultural Arts and was honored as a Catalyst SuperStar for her work by the BronzeLens Film Festival.

Kathie is a mentor for the Rocaberti Writers Retreat and also team-teaches with author/consultant, Linda Seger, Pamela Wallace (writer-producer, co-writer of Oscar- winning WITNESS), Carole Kirschner (author, CBS TV exec) and Pamela Jaye Smith (author, writer-producer, creator of MYTHWORKS).

Her clientele includes several award-winning writers and her book, The Script Selling Game (2nd edition), is used in screenwriting curricula in universities worldwide. She was Co-Exec-Producer on the series Beyond the Break, Associate Producer on the web series drama The Big O, Executive Producer on the upcoming short film Thirty Minutes and is on the Advisory Board for IMAGO (French Production Company) and LAWEBFEST.

Niall Johnson

Niall Johnson has been a British-based film writer and director for 20+ years. His most recent work is as a writer on the visually-striking animated drama-documentary ANOTHER DAY OF LIFE, based on the memoir by Ryszard Kapuscinski about the Angolan civil war of the mid-1970s. Winner of the Best Animated Film at this year’s European Film Awards, it received its World Premiere at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. Niall’s two most recent films as Writer-Director were released within a year of each other: MUM’S LIST (2016) the critically-acclaimed true story weepie romance based on St John Greene’s best-selling memoir, starring Rafe Spall and Emilia Fox; and the Western-styled adventure story THE STOLEN (2017) set in New Zealand’s 1860s Gold Rush, starring Alice Eve, Jack Davenport, Graham McTavish and Richard O’Brien.

Niall came to Hollywood’s notice in 2003 with his spec supernatural script WHITE NOISE, starring Michael Keaton, which opened in January 2005 at #1 in the UK and #2 in the US, where it broke the record at the time for the biggest January opening for a non-sequel. In 2005 Niall wrote and directed black comedy KEEPING MUM, starring Rowan Atkinson, Maggie Smith, Kristin Scott Thomas, and Patrick Swayze. He adapted the script from an original by Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Richard Russo (Nobody’s Fool, Empire Falls). His other credits include wife-swapping comedy-drama THE BIG SWAP, and traditional haunted house TV-Movie THE GHOST OF GREVILLE LODGE starring Prunella Scales and George Cole.

Born and raised in Sutton Coldfield, near Birmingham, Niall’s passion for movies is a result of a childhood spent producing epic remakes of the likes of PLANET OF THE APESSTAR TREKDOCTOR WHO and BATMAN with his brother, a friend, and a silent Kodak 8mm film camera—the most notable recurring feature of these being his mother’s laundry hanging on the washing line in the back-yard.