Ray Bradbury in 3D! Famed Action Screenwriter Shane Black also Set to Speak

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The Lifetime Achievement Foundation will present its highest award to Ray Bradbury, great American novelist, short story writer, essayist, playwright, screenwriter and poet. Bradbury will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Great American Pitchfest for his outstanding body of work that spans over six decades.

Bradbury has published more than 500 works, including his best-known and most beloved The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man, Fahrenheit 451 and Something Wicked This Way Comes. He has also been nominated for an Academy Award for his animated film Icarus Montgolfier Wright and has won an Emmy Award for his teleplay of The Halloween Tree. He also adapted 65 of his stories for television’s Ray Bradbury Theatre. At nearly 85 years, this classic icon has collected numerous honors including the O. Henry Memorial Award, the Benjamin Franklin Award, the Grand Masters Award from the Science Fiction Writers of America, the PEN Centre USA West Lifetime Achievement Award along with the National Book Foundation Medal in 2000.

Bradbury will receive his award on Friday, April 29 from 7 - 9p.m. at the Sheraton Universal in Los Angeles. The event will feature A Conversation with Ray Bradbury moderated by Digby Diehl, founding editor of the Los Angeles Times Book Section and bestselling author of Million Dollar Mermaid with Esther Williams and Angel on My Shoulder with Natalie Cole. His most recent book is Soapsuds with Finola Hughes, which will be published on June 15 from Ballantine/Random House.

The Lifetime Achievement Foundation’s Executive Director Gary Young will present the award which is given to individuals who have dedicated their lives to helping others, excellence in the arts, and mentoring. “We are delighted to honor Ray Bradbury for his artistic excellence, his service as a mentor for countless writers and philosophers, and the gift of his vision,” says Young. “We couldn’t have a more deserving candidate for this award.”

The Great American Pitchfest, a three day event filled with pitching opportunities for emerging screenwriters, producers, and directors, will also feature “For the Love of Movies - A Conversation with Shane Black” on Saturday, April 30th at the Sheraton Universal. Black is a screenwriting phenomenon, whose career began at 22 years old with the smash-hit Lethal Weapon. He became one of the highest paid screenwriters in motion picture history with his work on The Last Boy Scout. He re-set the bar with a whopping $4 million for The Long Kiss Goodnight.

The Great American Pitchfest, held at the Sheraton Universal from April 29 – May 1, offers a one stop shop for aspiring writers and producers to sell their ideas for movies and TV shows of every genre to approximately 80 development executives, agents, and managers representing some of Hollywood’s most credible and respected production companies including Ron Shusett Productions (Alien, Total Recall, Minority Report), Winkler Films (Rocky, Goodfellas, The Shipping News), Dreyfuss/James Productions (Quiz Show, Mr. Holland’s Opus), National Lampoon (Film and Television Divisions) and Marty Katz Productions (The Four Feathers, Reindeer Games, Lost in America). More companies are confirming their attendance every day. See http://www.pitchfest.com for the daily updated list and detailed background on companies.

Industry representatives come to the event to hear five-minute pitches in a format similar to “speed dating.” The efficiency of the five-minute pitch is extremely popular with “pitchers” and “pitchees” alike. The pitcher has access to a large number of industry players – all in one room – and the decision maker can hear a great number of ideas -- all in one day.

For every three participants who attend, another Industry Executive is invited, making this event the highest ratio of decision makers to participants of any industry event, with a focus on bring the people with the ideas, to the people who can make those ideas a reality. “It is an extremely efficient way for everyone to meet the people they need to know, in a very short period of time,” says Event Producer Signe Olynyk.

A number of workshops and consulting sessions bring even more value to the weekend mix so that those who have less experience can gain some savoir faire before pitching. Speakers include screenwriting guru Karl Iglesias writer of The 101 Habits of Highly Successful Screenwriters and Writing For Emotional Impact, Barbara Schiffman from the Flash Forward Institute, Suzanne Lyons, a Producer from Snowfall Films, and others.

Pitchfest partners include the International Family Film Festival, Flash Forward Institute, Independent Writers of Southern California, Publishers Association of Los Angeles, Lifetime Achievement Foundation, and Toastmasters 4 Writers.

Tickets are $350. Price includes the Pitchfest, training sessions, parties and networking events, as well as a luncheon with Industry Executives.

For tickets and more information, call 1-877-255-2528 or visit http://www.pitchfest.com

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Fran Humphreys
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