Maneuvering Film Festivals

Event Date: Saturday, June 15, 2013 || Speakers: Rona Edwards & Monika Skerbelis || Check-in: 12:30 pm ||

…With the authors of The Complete Filmmaker’s Guide to Film Festivals: Your All Access Pass to Launching Your Film on the Festival Circuit and I Liked It, Didn’t Love It: Screenplay Development from the Inside Out

Edwards and Skerbelis will teach you how to use festivals as a strategy to advance your career as a screenwriter and filmmaker. This seminar will provide tips on the ins and outs of film festivals.  Once you make it in, you’ll need the tools to successfully market yourself at festivals. We’ll teach you what you need to help you use festivals as a strategy to advance your career and have your film festival experience pay off.


 **The deadline has passed and REGISTRATION is now CLOSED for this event. Please view our calendar for upcoming events.


Check-in begins at 12:30 pm.
Event starts at 1:00 pm. 

No Refunds. No Credits.


Rona_EdwardsRona Edwards, after graduating from California Institute of the Arts, became Vice President of Creative Affairs for multiple Emmy-winner John Larroquette (Night Court), Academy-Award Winner Michael Phillips Productions (The Sting, Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, Taxi Driver) and Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated Producer Fern Field (Monk, Heartsounds) before she was dragged kicking and screaming into the world of independent producing. As a Producer, she Co-Produced and/or Executive Produced One Special Victory (NBC) starring John Larroquette, The Companion (USA/SCI FI CHANNEL) directed by Gary Fleder, I Know What You Did (ABC) starring Rosanna Arquette, Out Of Sync (VH1) starring Gail O’Grady, and Der Morder Meiner Mutter (Sat.1/Studio Hamburg) for German television. She set up Matchmakers, a feature at Warner Bros. based upon an article she found and the movie, Blind Trust, which aired on Lifetime television.

Recently, she produced a series of movies for Lifetime based upon a book series she optioned, subtitled “Crimes of Fashion” by Ellen Byerrum. The first two books, “Killer Hair” and “Hostile Makeover,” were aired on the Lifetime Movie Network.  She produced the award-winning  “Unforgettable” written and directed by Eric Williams (“Mad City,” “Out Of Sync”), which tells the story of his brother who has what is called hyperthymesia – the autobiographical ability to recall every day of his life. She executive produced the documentary, “Selling Sex in Heaven,” which won the Beyond Borders award for documentary film, the juror’s award at the Big Bear Lake Film Festival, and aired on the CBC.  Edwards has had columns in many local newspapers including the Beachwood Voice, Los Feliz Ledger and the New York paper, Neworld Review.  She spends part of the year in Singapore where she is an Associate Professor at Chapman University’s Singapore campus, teaching Creative Producing and screenwriting.

Monika_SkerbelisMonika Skerbelis is in her fourteenth year as the programming director for the Big Bear Lake International Film Festival and the programming director for the American Pavilion’s Emerging Filmmaker Showcase at the Cannes Film Festival.  Ms. Skerbelis is a former Vice President of Creative and Executive Story Editor for Universal Pictures story department where she spent ten years overseeing the story department and developing a number of screenplays including “Black Dog” starring Patrick Swayze. In addition to her duties at Universal, she scoured film festivals and screenwriting competitions in search of new filmmakers. Prior to Universal, she was Story Editor for 20th Century Fox.

She began her career as an assistant in the Story Department for Paramount Pictures.  She co-produced the feature-length mockumentary, “Quest for the Yeti,” directed by Victoria Arch.  Ms. Skerbelis directed the short film, “Reel Footage: The Secret Lives of Shoes” that screened at the 2008 Short Film Corner at the Cannes Film Festival.  She was associate producer on two movies “Killer Hair” and “Hostile Makeover” based on the “Crimes of Fashion” novels by Ellen Byerrum for the Lifetime Movie Network.  She has guest lectured at film schools, film commissions, film festivals and film organizations across the country. She is a member of the Producers Guild of America.

Together, Edward and Skerbelis teach “Introduction to Feature Film Development” at UCLA Extension (both on campus and online) for the past ten years, as well as “Story Development Process” at Riverside Community College’s Open Campus online, and “Basic Fundamentals of Screenwriting” at Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts.  They wrote the critically acclaimed book, “I Liked It, Didn’t Love It (Screenplay Development From The Inside Out),” now in its 2nd edition.  Their most recent book, “The Complete Filmmaker’s Guide to Film Festivals (Your All Access Pass to Launching Your Film on the Festival Circuit)” is now out on bookshelves from Michael Wiese Publishing (MWP). Edwards and Skerbelis are also the co-founders of ESE Film Workshops Online, global online classes that teach the ins and outs of the film industry. Maneuvering Film Festivals, Creating A Production Company, Finding & Developing New Ideas and Screenplay Development from the Inside Out are four of the courses they teach.


Join us on the Third Saturday every month at:


CBS Studio Center
4024 Radford Avenue
Studio City, CA 91604

Free Parking — Enter the CBS lot at the main gate & inform security you are there for the Scriptwriters Network event.

You’ll be asked for your government issued photo ID, and then given directions to the meeting location. You may park in any available space on the lot (unless they direct you to a parking structure during special events).

As this is a professional event, we ask that you please arrive prior to the event start time.

Meeting Timeframe: 1:00 pm to approximately 3:00 pm

Please remember to bring a picture ID and your SWN Membership Card!

Any questions, email us at

Twitter Instagram Tumblr Pinterest Meetup Facebook Email