“Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.”
The virtual ATX TV Festival — which is celebrating its 10th anniversary — kicked off Friday night appropriately with a “Friday Night Lights” panel, a tribute to the first year of the event.
Cast from the famed football show, which was set in Texas and filmed in Austin, where ATX takes place, have reunited at the festival almost every year since its inception.
“We’ve had lots of adventures with this cast and the creative team behind it. They have become the true essence of the ATX family over the past decade,” festival co-founder Emily Gipson told viewers during the virtual panel.
Co-founder Caitlin McFarland added, “This cast, these people, they set the tone behind the scenes, in front of the scenes, the whole thing.”
Louanne Stephens (Mrs. Saracen), Brad Leland (Buddy Garrity), Scott Porter (Jason Street), Stacey Oristano (Mindy Collette) and Derek Phillips (Billy Riggins) all participated in the live kick-off event over Zoom.
The cast relived memories from past festivals and dished about the show’s lasting popularity.
The festival is set to run for 10 days and will feature a “Degrassi” 20th-anniversary reunion, as well as a 20th-anniversary panel for CBS’ “The Amazing Race.”
Other highlights include panels for Netflix’s “Selena: The Series,” MTV’s “Faking It,” “Younger” “the Bold Type” “L.A. Confidential” and more. Michael J. Fox is set to receive the festival’s “Award in Television eXcellence,” while “Pose” star Angelica Ross will be given the “Breakthrough Award.”
ATX TV Festival is expected to resume in-person in 2022.