Keely Covello

Project: Cartels and Cowboys

Keely Covello is a filmmaker, journalist, and entrepreneur. She is the co-founder of Go West Enterprises and editor of America Unwon, a reporting project focused on rural voices and issues. In 2023 she completed her debut feature-length documentary You Just Can’t See Them From the Road with her sister and creative partner Michaela Brazil Gillies.

Cartels and Cowboys

In the infamous Emerald Triangle of Northern California, where ranchers share the mountains with cartels, a young cowboy searches for justice after a shocking murder and finds himself facing a life changing decision.

Greg de Deugd

Project: The Secret Game

Greg de Deugd is  an independent creative media director. Previously, he was the creative director at the John Locke Foundation, a free-market think tank based in Raleigh, North Carolina. He also served as the supervising producer at Locke Studios, the John Locke Foundation’s in-house creative and production group. He recently wrote and produced the award-winning short film In the Pines and produced and hosted the Policy Pizza interview series at Locke.

The Secret Game

Two college basketball teams in Jim Crow North Carolina, each at their peak, risk it all to play an illegal interracial game. The secret game changed the trajectory of basketball and helped set the stage for the coming Civil Rights era and a new kind of America.

Jason Pearson

Project: Spares

Jason Pearson is an entrepreneur and creative storyteller. Pearson began his creative career in the music industry in New York City, developing albums with David Bowie, Nine Inch Nails, Gil Scott-Heron, and many musicians you’ve never heard of. It was then that Jason then founded the first digital magazine, Blender, and Dennis Advertising Agency which was acquired by Maxim Magazine and Quadrangle Venture Partners. In 2000, Jason formed OnlineGiving/StarWire in Silicon Valley a technology start-up for nonprofits funded by Sequoia Capital and Kleiner-Perkins. In 2004, in Southern California, Jason founded Pearpod, working with Hollywood studios to develop key-art, marketing, and digital production services. Pearpod has been involved in 71 films including The Passion, Narnia, Rocky, The Shack, Unplanned, Nefarious, and The Shroud: Face-to-Face. In 2023, Pearson started FiveHive Studios to utilize artificial intelligence in the production of films and media. Pearson is an oil painter with collectors around the globe including the Al-Thani Contemporary Art Museum in Qatar. New York Magazine named Jason one of its “60 Digital Visionaries.” Jason and his wife, Melinda, and their 5 kids including triplets live in a small California surfer town and hope to someday have a pet sea pig.


As a couple contemplates embryo adoption, ‘Spares’ takes viewers on a riveting journey through ethical, scientific, and legal landscapes as they consult experts, posing profound questions around gender, race, ownership, technology and genetics.

Matt Pirrall

Project: Escaping Babylon

Matt Pirrall is a producer and director with ten years of experience creating award winning documentary and educational series, short films, and commercial videos. After working internationally as a humanitarian filmmaker and photographer, he returned to the United States and began developing content strategy and producing projects for a variety of educational organizations, commercial clients, and nonprofits. His work with Ascension, in particular, has been recognized with numerous industry awards including multiple Emmy nominations and Telly Awards. He lives in Traverse City, Michigan with his wife and daughter.

Escaping Babylon

How does a satire comedy website find itself on the front lines of the debate over free speech online? Seth Dillon, CEO of the Babylon Bee, shares his perspective on the journey of his company as they navigate the internal biases of large technology companies and the legal battles across the nation that are putting the future of comedy, and free speech on the internet as a whole, at risk.