Banff World Television Festival announces 2008 Master Class Lineup to include: Doug Ellin, Creator/Executive Producer, Entourage; Hart Hanson, Creator/Showrunner, Bones; Michael Poyres, Creator/Exec Producer Hannah Montana; Stephanie Savage, Executive Producer/Co-showrunner, Gossip Girl; Craig Wright, Creator/Showrunner, Dirty Sexy Money

    TORONTO, March 31 /CNW/ - Adding to its growing list of celebrated,
high-profile speakers, the Banff World Television Festival confirms Doug
Ellin, Creator/Showrunner, "Entourage"; Hart Hanson, Creator/Showrunner,
"Bones"; Michael Poyres, Creator/Exec Producer Hannah Montana; Stephanie
Savage, Executive Producer/Co-Showrunner, "Gossip Girl"; and Craig Wright,
Creator/Showrunner, "Dirty Sexy Money", for its 2008 Master Class sessions at
the 29th edition of the Banff World Television Festival, which takes place at
the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel in Alberta, Canada, June 8-11, 2008. For more
information visit:
    "These professionals have created some of the most successful and cutting
edge series in television," commented BANFF Executive Director, Jennifer
Harkness. "They possess an incredible amount of experience and knowledge that
will make this Master Class series one of the best we've ever presented at
    Master Class sessions showcase the industry's top television creators in
intimate interviews that focus on the development and production of TV's most
popular series and provide the opportunity for a dialogue between the "Master"
and the audience.

    Doug Ellin is the creator of the HBO television series "Entourage". Ellin
also serves as executive producer and head writer for the series. Before
producing and writing for "Entourage", he served as staff writer for "Life
with Bonnie", which starred Bonnie Hunt. Ellin has also written screenplays
for three films, Kissing a Fool, Phat Beach and The Waiter, which he also
directed. Ellin's follow-up film, Kissing a Fool, starred David Schwimmer,
along with Bonnie Hunt, and a cast of up-and coming stars including Mili
Avital, Jason Lee and newcomer Judy Greer. Universal bought and distributed
the film in 1998. While continuing to write and develop feature film and
television projects, Ellin joined forces with Mark Wahlberg and Steve Levinson
to create "Entourage", which is loosely based upon their shared Hollywood

    Hart Hanson is the creator and executive producer of the FOX television
series Bones. He started in television as a writer with a half-hour script
written for a screenwriting class, which was bought by CBC. His Canadian
credits include "The Black Stallion", "Ready or Not", "The Outer Limits",
"Road to Avonlea", "North of 60", "Cold Squad", and the Global television
series "Traders" for which he won several Geminis. In 1998 he moved to
California where he was co-executive producer on the series "Cupid", then rose
to executive produce "Judging Amy" for three seasons before helping to launch
"Joan of Arcadia". Hanson is currently writing another pilot for Fox called
"Promises and Lies" based on the Myron Bolitar series of books by author
Harlan Coben.

    Michael Poyres is creator and executive producer on Disney Channel's Emmy
nominated series "Hannah Montana". He is also co-creator and executive
producer of another Disney Channel Emmy nominated series "That's So Raven".
Poyres served as co-executive producer on "Veronica's Closet" as well as
co-executive producer on "Cybill". He first started out in the entertainment
business as a stand up comedian, then became a writer for the television
series "The Facts of Life", "Who's the Boss?" and "Saved by the Bell", among

    Stephanie Savage is an executive producer and writer of the new drama
series Gossip Girl. Savage began her career as VP of Development at Flower
Films, Drew Barrymore's production company. While at Flower, she helped
develop the feature films "Never Been Kissed", "Charlie's Angels" and "Donnie
Darko". Savage then formed Wonderland Sound and Vision with producing partner,
director McG. Wonderland's first film, "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle",
grossed over $265 million worldwide. Wonderland also produced the series
"Fastlane" and "The O.C.", as well as "The Mountain", which Savage wrote and
executive produced, along with Shaun Cassidy and McG.

    Craig Wright's first television writing debut was on the 2001 HBO series,
"Six Feet Under" when he joined the writing staff during the 2003 season.
During that season, he wrote "Twilight", for which he was nominated for an
Emmy. In 2004, he was appointed Executive Story Editor with co-worker
colleague Nancy Oliver. In 2005, he signed a 2 year deal with Touchstone
Television and served as a supervising producer during the 2005-2006 season of
ABCs "Lost". Wright then became a Co-Executive Producer and writer on ABC's
"Brothers & Sisters". Wright is currently working as the creator, head writer,
and executive producer of ABC's "Dirty Sexy Money", which stars "Six Feet
Under" alumnus, Peter Krause, Donald Sutherland and William Baldwin.

    The Banff World Television Festival is a not-for-profit event produced by
Achilles Media Ltd., an international events management company serving the
television and digital media industries. Achilles Media Ltd. events include:
History Makers: International Summit of History & Current Affairs Producers,
nextMEDIA events, Canadian Innovation Exchange (CIX) and NATPE Mobile++. For
more information, visit The Banff World
Television Festival takes place June 8-11 amid the spectacular Canadian
Rockies at the Fairmont Banff Springs in Alberta, Canada. To register, please
visit Early Bird deadline is April 3, 2008.

For further information:

For further information: Nuria Bronfman,,
(416) 434-7431

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