Skip to main content

2019 Summit Speakers

Karin Gist

Showrunner / Executive Producer / Screenwriter

Mixed-ish, Sister Act 3, Star, Grey’s Anatomy, Revenge, House of Lies, Girlfriends

Karin Gist, has been one of the most singular and powerful voices in the TV and film industry, is serving as showrunner and executive producer of the highly anticipated BLACK-ISH prequel series MIXED-ISH for ABC which will tentatively be released in Fall 2019. She is also unique in that she has crossed over in both showrunning and script writing in both the comedic and dramatic genres. She has created a range of culturally, ethnically and sexually diverse characters that have helped contribute to equal representation within the industry.

She recently wrote the upcoming SISTER ACT 3 for Disney Plus.  Previous credits include: showrunner of Fox’s STAR for 2 seasons, writer/co-executive producer for 2 seasons of GREY’S ANATOMY, writer/co-executive producer for 2 seasons of REVENGE, writer/co-executive producer for 2 seasons of HOUSE OF LIES, and writer and supervising producer of 5 seasons of GIRLFRIENDS. Karin practiced family law before becoming a writer.

Julie Plec

Executive Producer / Showrunner / Director / Writer

Legacies, The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, Containment, Roswell, New Mexico, The Vampire Diaries, Riverdale, Kyle XY, Dawson’s Creek, The Tomorrow People

Julie Plec is the creator, executive producer and showrunner of “Legacies” on the CW, a spin-off of her series “The Vampire Diaries” and “The Originals”. Plec also developed and executive produced “Containment,” which aired as a limited series on the CW and is an executive producer of “Roswell, New Mexico” on the CW, for which she directed the pilot. Along with directing multiple episodes of “The Vampire Diaries,” Plec directed an episode of the CW’s hit series “Riverdale” last year.

Plec got her start as a television writer and co-executive producer for the series “Kyle XY,” which she produced for the show’s three-year run. Other television credits include “Dawson’s Creek,” on which she collaborated with creator/executive producer Kevin Williamson, and “The Tomorrow People,” on which she collaborated with fellow executive producers Greg Berlanti and Phil Klemmer.

Ali LeRoi

Award-winning Writer / Director / Producer

Everybody Hates Chris, Are We There Yet?, Survivor’s Remorse, Head of State, Down to Earth, Pootie Tang, The Obituary of Tunde Johnson

Ali LeRoi is an Award- winning writer/director/producer best known for his work on the critically acclaimed series, CW’s “Everybody Hates Chris”, TBS “Are We There Yet?” and the breakout Hit for STARZ, “Survivor’s Remorse”. Ali’s major motion picture credits include producing and co-writing “Head of State” and “Down to Earth,” as well as producing cult-favorite, “Pootie Tang.”

He has also served on the Board of the Producer’s Guild of America, as well as holding the current chair as President of The Humanitas Prize, a non-profit organization that awards and promotes the craft of television and film writers. Ali has five Emmy nominations as well as one win, he’s a two time winner and five time nominee for NAACP Image Awards, as well as scoring several nominations from the Golden Globe, WGA, and others. Originally from Chicago, Ali LeRoi currently is working on several projects under his CBS Deal and in Post-production on his Indie Feature Film Directorial Debut, “The Obituary of Tunde Johnson.”

Susan Hurwitz Arneson

Screenwriter / Executive Producer

South Park, The Tick, Preacher, Bordertown, Mr. Robinson, Malibu Country

Susan Hurwitz Arneson is a Writer and Producer best known for her work on six seasons of SOUTH PARK. She was with the show through three Emmy wins and one memorable death threat. Most recently she worked as a Writer and Co-Executive Producer for two seasons of THE TICK and the yet to be aired final season of PREACHER. In the past Susan has written for Seth MacFarlane’s BORDERTOWN, MR. ROBINSON starring Craig Robinson and MALIBU COUNTRY with Reba McEntire and Lily Tomlin. Susan has also developed series for Fox Television Animation, MTV, Comedy Central and others.

She received her MFA in Screenwriting from UCLA.

Adam Kolbrenner

Founder, Lit Entertainment Group / Executive Producer

Prisoners, Christmas Chronicles, Free Guy, Ghost Draft, Raised by Wolves

Adam Kolbrenner is the founder of Lit Entertainment Group, a newly launched literary management and production company based in Century City, CA. Previously Kolbrenner co-founded Madhouse Entertainment and is a member of the PGA.

Kolbrenner produced Oscar-nominated film, Prisoners, for Warner Bros/Alcon Entertainment. Kolbrenner also executive produced Netflix’s recent holiday film, Christmas Chronicles. Kolbrenner is next producing Fox’s Free Guy, along with Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter. Kolbrenner is also producing Skydance’s Ghost Draft, an original sci-fi tentpole film written by Lit client Zach Dean. Kolbrenner also will serve as executive producer on the recently ordered TNT/Scott Free sci-fi series, Raised by Wolves.

On the Lit management side, Kolbrenner reps top creators and filmmakers in the industry, including Josh Campbell & Matt Stuecken (10 Cloverfield Lane); Craig Doyle (Grown-ish); Aaron Guzikowski (Prisoners, Raised by Wolves); Matt Lieberman (the upcoming Addams Family and Playing with Fire); Justin Marks (Disney’s Jungle Book, Top Gun 2 and Starz’s Counterpart); Sascha Penn (Creed 2); and Nicole Perlman (Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain Marvel and writer/director of The Slows)

Jason Katims

Award-winning Showrunner / Executive Producer / Writer

Friday Night Lights, Pure Genius, Rise, The Path, Away, The Vow, The Pallbearer

Jason Katims was executive producer and showrunner of the critically acclaimed drama “Friday Night Lights,” for which he received numerous accolades, including the Emmy for Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series, the Peabody Award, and Humanitas Prize. In addition, Katims created and executive produced “Pure Genius” on CBS. He most recently created and served as showrunner on the NBC drama “Rise,” along with executive producing “The Path,” which aired its third and final season on Hulu last year.  He recently signed an overall deal with Apple, and currently has projects at Fox, Amazon, and the series “Away” at Netflix.

His film credits include “The Vow,” starring Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum, and “The Pallbearer,” starring David Schwimmer and Gwyneth Paltrow.

Yasemin Yilmaz


The Protector, The Exorcist, Lalo’s House

Yasemin Yilmaz goes where the story takes her. She was born in Turkey and immigrated to California with her family when she was fourteen years old. A hundred episodes of Pokémon, four Harry Potter novels, and six months later, she spoke English like a native. Being bicultural, Yasemin has found herself drawn to opposing fields. She’s endlessly fascinated by human mythology and mysticism, as well as scientific innovation and the future of technology. She is a student of the ancient art of molybdomancy (lead pouring and became a master fortuneteller all while she was a pre-med student at UCLA and worked for a US government defense contractor selling F-16 aircraft parts.

Yasemin holds an MFA in Writing for Film and Television at the University of Southern California, where she was awarded the Alfred P. Sloan Screenwriting Fellowship. Bringing her understanding of diverse cultures, she’s written scripts set in China, Italy, Haiti and many more places. Yasemin was selected to participate in the Fox Writers Intensive and became a staff writer on the critically acclaimed series, The Exorcist. She’s gone on to write for Netflix’s first original Turkish series, The Protector.

Brian Peterson & Kelly Souders

Creators / Showrunners / Executive Producers

The Hot Zone, Genius: Picasso, Genius: Einstein, Salem, Smallville, Beauty and the Beast, Under the Dome, Political Animals

Kelly Souders and Brian Peterson are the creators, showrunners and executive producers of the limited series “The Hot Zone” for National Geographic, which was the network’s most-watched scripted series of all time. Based on the eponymous international bestseller, the series stars Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winner Julianna Margulies, along with Liam Cunningham, Topher Grace and Noah Emmerich.

Souders and Peterson are currently under an overall deal with Fox 21 Television Studios. Their previous television credits include National Geographic’s “Genius: Picasso,” “Genius: Einstein,” and WGN’s “Salem.” Prior to that, they served as showrunners and executive producers of the CW’s “Smallville” and “Beauty and the Beast,” and consulting producers on CBS’s “Under the Dome” and USA’s “Political Animals.”

The two met years ago at USC’s graduate MFA program in screenwriting. Souders hails from Kansas City, MO, and Peterson from Kalispell, MT. Both currently reside in Los Angeles.

Emma Frost & Matthew Graham

Showrunners / Screenwriters

The Spanish Princess, The White Princess, The White Queen, Shameless (UK), Doctor Who, Ashes to Ashes, Life on Mars, Eternal Law

Emma Frost and Matthew Graham are showrunning together on THE SPANISH PRINCESS, which just debuted to glowing reviews. It is also one of the first shows of its kind to highlight the African Americans in the royal court.

Emma previously wrote THE WHITE QUEEN and THE WHITE PRINCESS, the earlier adaptations of Phillipa Gregory’s books, as well as the original UK version of SHAMELESS.

Matthew has an impressive resume of British television including DOCTOR WHO, ASHES TO ASHES, LIFE ON MARS AND ETERNAL LAW. They are now showrunning together for the first time (and fun fact, they are a couple in real life) and are developing many more TV and film projects as we speak (lots to be announced very soon!).

Marc Guggenheim

Emmy-winning Showrunner / Executive Producer / Screenwriter

Carnival Row, Tales of Arcadia, 3Below, Trollhunters, Arrow, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Law & Order, Jack & Bobby, CSI: Miami, Eli Stone, Brothers & Sisters

Marc Guggenheim serves as showrunner and Executive Producer of Amazon’s upcoming series “Carnival Row.” Guggenheim also serves as Executive Producer alongside acclaimed director Guillermo del Toro of the “Tales of Arcadia” trilogy series for Netflix. The second series in the trilogy, “3Below,” returns for a second season on Netflix July 12, 2019. (Guggenheim won an Emmy for “Best Writing In An Animated Program” for his work on the first series in the trilogy, “Trollhunters.” He also has a new comic book titled “Wolverine Vs. Blade,” for Marvel Comics and remains a Consulting Producer on both The CW’s “Arrow” and “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow”. For those he will executive produce the annual “Arrowverse” crossover event, “Crisis On Infinite Earths.”

Guggenheim wrote for three seasons on “Law & Order” before moving on to the critically acclaimed series “Jack & Bobby,” and later, the ratings juggernaut “CSI: Miami.” He was introduced to Greg Berlanti who developed “Eli Stone” together and produced the first season of “Brothers & Sisters.” Guggenheim has continued to collaborate with Berlanti on the feature film versions of the DC Comics characters Green Lantern and The Flash.

While maintaining a successful career in television, Guggenheim has pursued a parallel career as a screenwriter, with such diverse projects as the film adaptation of “Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters” (2013), a feature film version of “Perry Mason” for Robert Downey Jr., and an adaptation of Robert A. Heinlein’s sci-fi classic “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.”

A life-long comic book fan, Guggenheim has been writing comics professionally for over ten years, working on titles for both Marvel Comics (“Blade,” “X-Men,” “Amazing Spider-Man,” “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”), DC Comics (“The Flash,” “Justice Society of America,” “Batman Confidential”), and original creator-owned works (“Resurrection,” “Halcyon,” “Nowhere Man,” “Jonas Quantum,” “Stringers”).

Tony Gil

Manager / Producer

Gotham Group

Tony Gil is a manager/producer at The Gotham Group, where he manages screenwriters, authors, illustrators, and directors across Film, TV, and Animation. Tony started his career in the CAA TV Dept before moving to New York to work as a development coordinator for Barry Diller’s InterActive Corp. He joined The Gotham Group in 2012.

Liz Craft & Sarah Fain

Screenwriters / Creators

Angel, The Shield, Women’s Murder Club, The Vampire Diaries, Lie To Me, The Fix

Liz Craft & Sarah Fain wrote their first piece together when they were fifteen — an article on Kansas City delis for their high school newspaper. Liz attended Columbia University in New York and went on to work as an editor of young adult books, including Sweet Valley High. Meanwhile, Sarah attended Williams College then joined Teach For America, where she taught high school English and Creative Writing in rural North Carolina.

After a night of drinking beer during a visit home, Liz and Sarah decided to move to California together. They rented a tiny beach house and dove head first into their writing partnership. Since then they have written for numerous television shows including the final two seasons of Angel, the Emmy Award-winning show The Shield, Women’s Murder Club (which they created), The Vampire Diaries, and Lie To Me. Most recently, Liz and Sarah created the ABC show The Fix with former Los Angeles prosecutor Marcia Clark. They’ve co-written two Young Adult novels, Bass Ackwards & Belly Up and Footfree & Fancyloose.

Liz and Sarah cohost the hugely popular weekly podcast Happier In Hollywood, which is about how to survive the war of attrition that is life in Los Angeles. It was featured in Apple’s New & Noteworthy and has over four million downloads.

Ben Cory Jones

Television Writer / Producer / Showrunner

Insecure, Underground, Boomerang, Step Sisters

Ben produced a feature film, STEP SISTERS, along with his producing partner, Lena Waithe, starring Megalyn Echikunwoke and Naturi Naughton, which is currently streaming on Netflix. Ben also created and wrote a drama series, CANDY, about a young, African American female mayor, set in his hometown of Memphis, which is currently in development at Universal Cable Productions. Currently, Ben is the showrunner/executive producer of the upcoming BET comedy series, BOOMERANG, loosely based on the iconic 90’s-era film, starring Eddie Murphy and Halle Berry. Lena Waithe and Halle Berry also serve as executive producers.

Jill Chamberlain

Author / Screenwriter / Script Consultant

The Nutshell Technique

Jill Chamberlain is the author of The Nutshell Technique: Crack the Secret to Successful Screenwriting, one of the highest-rated screenwriting books on Amazon, out of over 3,000 books on the subject. It’s considered the go-to manual many professionals swear by and is on the syllabus for film schools across the world. Producer Callum Greene (Star Wars Episode IX) said “Jill Chamberlain’s Nutshell Technique cracks the code behind why we love the movies that we love. It will guide you to organically write the story you want to tell.” She is a screenwriter and script consultant who has fixed and fine-tuned scripts for major studios, A-list screenwriters, television showrunners, award-winning independent filmmakers and many spec screenwriters. For more info about Jill’s Nutshell Technique master class in Los Angeles and about how to work with her, go to