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National TV festival picks Duluth as its next host

It's a huge coup for the Northland city.

Move over Tinseltown, Duluth is on the rise.

It was announced on Monday that the Northland city will next year host the 14th annual Independent Television Festival.

The news was confirmed on ITVFest's website, with Duluth welcoming the great and the good of the independent television world on Oct 9-13, 2019.

There has been an explosion of interest in episodic TV since the inception of ITVFest, with the rise of streaming platforms like Netflix and Hulu paving the way for independent companies to create streamable – and binge-able – shows.

ITVFest has most recently been based in Manchester, Vermont, having initially started out in Los Angeles.

But the Manchester Journal reported in November that organizers were considering outside bids to host the event to ensure its financial future, and Duluth has got the call.

So what to expect from the festival? As ITVFest's website notes, the festival brings together writers, creators, producers, actors and executives who have developed new TV series, along with representatives from the likes of HBO and Netflix who are on the hunt for new content.

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But it's also open to the public too, who can buy tickets to attend screenings of what could be the next streaming TV sensation, as well as panels involving actors and creators.

The Star Tribune is positive about Duluth's coup, suggesting the city could be getting its owner version of the famous Sundance film festival.

The newspaper notes that ITVFest organizers were looking for a location outside of major metro areas, a la Sundance, and were "won over" by Duluth's arts district and spectacular surroundings.

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