*(Los Angeles, CA) — Some of the top names in the entertainment industry have joined the all star line-up for THE MERGE SUMMIT 2010.
Following the great success of last year’s inaugural conference, Relevé Entertainment announced last month that THE MERGE SUMMIT 2010 will return to the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles, CA, Thursday, August 26 through Saturday, August 28, 2010. THE MERGE SUMMIT’s founder, Dr. Holly Carter, serves as chairperson and Robi Reed as co-chairperson of the event.
Dr. Holly Carter
The three-day conference integrates faith and entertainment and provides a platform and educational forum for men and women of faith to interface and partner with executives and talent in the entertainment industry from New York to Hollywood (see full schedule here).
The multifaceted program will cover the spectrum of music, television, film, content, development, production, and management. General and focused breakout sessions are designed to educate and empower attendees in their respective fields. The Summit will also feature keynote addresses, presentations, and interactive panel discussions. Throughout the event, actors, directors, producers, writers, and industry executives will share insights and give feedback, as well as lend inspiration for the individual journey.
“This is a way in which to pay it forward by giving opportunities to those who are aspiring in the areas of arts and entertainment,” commented Dr. Holly Carter, President and CEO of Relevé Entertainment and founder/chairperson of THE MERGE SUMMIT. “The ultimate hope is that along with their aspirations to enter into the business, the attendees will possess a heart and desire to impact Hollywood for the Kingdom of God.”
Confirmed celebrity presenters include Suzanne de Passe, Pauletta Washington, Niecy Nash, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Tia Mowry, Harry Lennix, Bishop Paul S. Morton, Bishop Noel Jones, Kirk Franklin, Hezekiah Walker, Chrisette Michele, J. Moss, Brian Courtney Wilson, Myron Williams, and Warryn Campbell. Entertainment executives include: Pearlena Igbokwe (Senior Vice President, Production, Showtime Networks); Devon Franklin (Vice President, Production, Columbia Pictures); Charlie Jordan-Brookins (Vice President, Programming Operations, BET); Felicia D. Henderson (“Soul Food the Series”, “Fringe”); Entertainment attorneys Darrell Thompson and Cedric Watkins; Reggie Rock-Bythewood (writer/director); James Dubose (President, Dubose Entertainment); Michael Elliott, (screenwriter); Ralph Winter (“X-Men,” “Fantastic Four,” “Star Trek”); John Dellaverson (“Diary of a Mad Black Woman” and “In The Mix”); Zola Mashariki (Senior Vice President, Production, Fox Searchlight Pictures);
Ayo Davis, (Vice President, Casting, ABC Networks); Jenna Block, Creative Executive, Escape Artists); Sharla Sumpter, (Partner, Varsity Pictures); Tracy “Twinkie” Byrd, (President, In the Twink of an Eye Casting); Dee Brathwaite, (Talent Agent, International Creative Management);and Everly Lee, (Talent Agent, APA) as well as executives from top industry companies including Columbia Records, EMI Publishing, Creative Artists Agency, William Morris Endeavor Entertainment, BET, ABC Networks, Lionsgate Entertainment, and more.
MERGE SUMMIT participants will have the opportunity to interact with and learn directly from these professionals. Felicia D. Henderson, writer/director, Waterwalk Productions, and writer/director Reggie Rock-Bythewood will lead Writer’s Workshop for television and film and will guide writers in developing compelling scripts. The “Acting Up” session, led by Wendy Raquel Robinson, Tia Mowry, and Harry Lennix, will provide actors with performance approaches for working in theater, television and film. “Creating Music That Sells,” will provide an opportunity for music producers, songwriters and music supervisors to learn how to create music success in an ever changing media environment from music business stars and executives Warryn Campbell, Chrisette Michele, and Leotis Clyburn. In the “Talent Connection” session, attendees will have the opportunity to interact with agents, managers, and casting directors, including Ayo Davis, Tracy “Twinkie” Byrd, Dee Brathwaite, and Everly Lee, about what it takes to get the auditions and to be a success in Hollywood.
Columbia Picture’s Devon Franklin will be the featured speaker in “The Faith Lane” session, which is designed to inform and empower attendees who are interested in merging the lanes of faith and entertainment. In the “Making of a Reality Show” session, participants will not only learn the ins and outs of producing reality programming, but five participants will be selected to pitch their reality show concepts to James Dubose, one of the top reality TV producers in the business. There also are sessions on marketing and public relations; creating financially viable projects; imaging, style and brand creation; and insights and perspectives on the music business, among others.
Special sessions will feature superstars in the entertainment field sharing their personal stories. In one special session, entertainment industry legend Suzanne de Passe will share her amazing journey in building careers of such artists as The Jackson Five, The Supremes, The Temptations, Smokey Robinson and others.
The Summit also will feature a “Leadership Forum.” This special forum, hosted by Monique Nelson Butts, Vice President, Brand Integration and Entertainment, Uniworld Group, Inc., will unite leaders from the entertainment industry, corporate America and the church for an important and provocative session on engaging and finding synergy with each other.
The Summit also offers sessions that can relax the body and uplift the soul. Participants can get “Morning Inspiration” each day with Psalmist and Recording Artist Myron Williams. They can also retreat to “The Wellness Lounge” for treatments such as acupuncture, reflexology, massage therapy, ear candling, and antioxidant screening. Up to two treatments per day will be available to participants by appointment only.
The event will kick-off on Thursday, August 26, 7:00 p.m. with OPENING NIGHT AT THE MERGE, a VIP reception hosted by Pauletta Washington and Bishop Noel Jones. On Friday, there will be a talent showcase, hosted by Hezekiah Walker. THE MERGE SUMMIT will culminate on Saturday evening with FREEDOM, a special concert experience featuring Kirk Franklin, Bishop Paul S. Morton, J. Moss and other special guest artists.
THE MERGE SUMMIT’s official partners are Kaiser Permanente, Johnson Products, Columbia Records, Wellness Interactive, EMI Music Publishing, Verity Records and UPSCALE magazine.
For additional information and registration for the event, please visit www.themergesummit.com.