Catalyst Korea-it all started with a coffee shop napkin.

We reached the entry deadline for the first Catalyst Content Festival Korea a few days ago, and this day has me thinking back on how far we've come to get to to this milestone.

The big, crazy idea of Catalyst Korea and Catalyst International started small. At a meeting in a coffee shop in LA, Catalyst Executive Director, Philip Gilpin and I shared our own excitement over the growing power of diverse, international voices in serialized content. There were countless festivals devoted to film but where was the international festival for serialized content?

We knew that the US based Catalyst Content Festival had to go global. And so we got to work. Three hours, two lattes, and a stack of paper cocktail napkins later, we had sketched out the details of an audacious festival. One that would recognize creative storytellers from diverse countries. A festival that would foster connections while honoring the unique voices and cultures of the storytellers. We'd create a pathway for undiscovered talent, and underrepresented voices. And we would connect them to mentors and relationships in the content business.

And now, after three years of planning, connecting, persevering and dreaming, Catalyst International Content Festival is finally a reality. Events are happening in countries including Hungary, Algeria, Nigeria, Brazil. I'm co-directing the South Korean event with Elaine Kim who brings her decades plus expertise directing the Korean Studies Program at USC. Five finalists will have their work screened at an event in Seoul and then at the US Event in Duluth, Minnesota in October 2021.

I'm thankful for the sponsors who shared our vision, the talented Korean creatives who have entered, and I'm thankful too for the power of a big crazy dream scribbled on coffee napkins.


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