McCann Worldgroup & The Paley Center for Media are very proud to announce that the critically revered film, theater and TV actress Viola Davis will be joining the “Creativity is the Only Way to Survive” seminar they are hosting at the 2015 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity on Monday, June 22, 2015 at 1pm.
A two-time Tony winner who has also been twice nominated for Academy Awards, Ms. Davis’s current role in the new ABC Studios hit show How to Get Away with Murder has already earned her the current top Screen Actors Guild, People’s Choice, and NAACP Image Awards.
Ms. Davis will be joining the TV program’s Executive Producer Betsy Beers and its Executive Producer and Creator Pete Nowalk for an intimate and candid conversation exploring lessons learned from failure, creativity prevailing against all odds, and the strength of character required to trust one’s own creative process in order to succeed artistically in a rapidly evolving — and often judgmental industry. By including three of the TV shows’ principals reflecting different perspectives, the panel will be able to cover multiple aspects of the creative process.
Ms. Davis is currently starring as Annalise Keating on the drama How to Get Away with Murder, from ABC Studios and Shondaland, one of the highest-profile new series of the fall 2014 season in the U.S. In 2015, Davis received the Screen Actors Guild Award for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series.” The series, which drew 14.24 million viewers during its premiere, is a sexy, suspense-driven legal thriller that centers on ambitious law students and their brilliant and mysterious criminal defense professor (Davis) who becomes entangled in a murder plot. Season 2 will premiere later this fall. Ms. Davis’s next film, “Lila & Eve,” will be released in July. She is also an Executive Producer.
Rob Reilly, Global Creative Chairman, McCann Worldgroup, who will be introducing the seminar commented, “Creativity isn’t just an award show word, it’s how we solve really hard problems. For a brand, an institution or a TV show.” He added, “Thanks to our great friends at The Paley Center for Media, we are fortunate to bring three extraordinarily talented artists to the stage in a powerful demonstration of why creativity is the only way to survive. Their personal stories will not only inspire us individually but show us that there is no limit to what we can do for our clients’ brands when our only option is courageous creativity.”
“The Paley Center for Media leads the discussion about the cultural, creative, and social significance of media, and we are thrilled to partner with McCann Worldgroup to present a Cannes Lions seminar with three of the leading champions of creative expression on television,” said Maureen J. Reidy, President and CEO of The Paley Center for Media.
Betsy Beers is also the Executive Producer of the hit ABC Studios shows Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal. Ms. Beers partnered with Shonda Rhimes and her company Shondaland to develop and produce additional feature film and television projects. In 2014, Beers and Rhimes were honored by the Directors Guild of America with the rarely awarded Diversity Award, for their long record of providing jobs and opportunities to women and minorities.
Previously, Pete Nowalk was a Writer on Scandal, Grey’s Anatomy, and Private Practice. In addition to writing for ABC, Nowalk sold a pilot to NBC in 2012. Nowalk also co-wrote The Hollywood Assistants Handbook, published by Workman Books in 2008, based on his own experiences working at various entertainment companies which included Columbia Pictures, Red Wagon Entertainment and the Endeavor Agency.
As her credits attest, Davis is in constant demand for a wide variety of roles. In January 2015, she appeared in Legendary Pictures and director Michael Mann’s Blackhat, a contemporary thriller set in the world of computer hacking which also stars Chris Hemsworth and Holt McCallany. She is currently in production on the highly anticipated Suicide Squad which also stars Will Smith, Margot Robbie and Jared Leto.