Events Calendar

RSS icon

Hollywood, Health & Society hosts and participates in a variety of events throughout the year. Besides our annual Sentinel for Health Awards dinner and award ceremony and the Everett M. Rogers awards, these include panel discussions at the Writers Guild of America West, research conferences, and workshops across the globe. Please check back to this area frequently for information on upcoming events as well as highlights from past events including photos, videos, and transcripts.

Featured Events

Wednesday, January 8, 2014 - 9:00am - 4:30pm

nasa jpl logo

With the sun shining and deer quietly nestled on patches of lawn at the wooded, tranquil NASA-JPL complex in the foothills near Pasadena, it’s easy to forget that some of the world’s most advanced research is being conducted—right here in our own back yard—on how to counteract the dark threat brought on by global warming. But that’s exactly the reason that Hollywood, Health & Society took more than 35 film and TV writers and producers on an exclusive, behind-the-scenes Storybus Tour to the sprawling campus: to learn about climate change and mitigation efforts—a few of them positively sci-fi-esque—from the scientists and engineers working on the front lines to address the crisis.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

call me crazy thumbnailThe Lifetime movie Call Me Crazy: A Five Film (co-starring Jennifer Hudson, pictured) took first-place honors in the Primetime Drama (Major Storyline) category for its portrayals of people dealing with mental illness. The film was among the winners of the 14th annual Sentinel for Health Awards that were announced in a ceremony Sept. 19 in Hollywood. Sentinel Awards recognize exemplary achievements in TV storylines that inform, educate and motivate viewers to make choices for healthier and safer lives. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

immigration poster thumbnailHollywood, Health & Society Director Sandra de Castro Buffington will speak about the depiction of immigrants in the media at the Creative Change conference March 5 at Self Help Graphics & Art in East Los Angeles. Buffington's presentation, titled "Entertaining Health and Well Being: Inspiring Hollywood to Create Socially Relevant Stories," will include clips from TV shows whose storylines dealt with immigration. The Creative Change conference will include a strategy session to "identify key opportunities for alliances" centering on efforts to change immigration policy at federal and state levels. Self Help Graphics & Art is a non-profit visual arts center serving the predominantly Latino community of Los Angeles. 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013 - 9:00am - 5:00pm

market oranges

Residents in East and South Los Angeles are shaking up the food landscape in their neighborhoods, using innovative solutions to change their eating habits and tackle the challenge of getting more fresh, affordable and healthy food into communities. “Food swamps” are caused by an ever-increasing concentration of fast-food restaurants that overwhelm the more limited options for healthier alternatives, and the impact has been stark: an epidemic of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and other related chronic illnesses. On a recent Storybus Tour organized by Hollywood, Health & Society called “Hunger Games,” writers and producers were given a first-hand look at the activists, community groups, public health professionals and students who are fighting back. 

Thursday, December 20, 2012 - Sunday, December 23, 2012

uplift 2012 logoHollywood, Health & Society Director Sandra de Castro Buffington was a featured presenter at the Uplift 2012 festival held Dec. 20-23 in Byron Bay, Australia. Buffington held a workshop on “The New Mythology of Television, Film and New Media,” on Friday, Dec. 21, in which she offered techniques of Hollywood’s master storytellers in crafting the most compelling stories. Uplift (Universal Peace & Love in a Festival of Transformation) was described as a “participatory event bringing together some of the world’s most inspirational artists and innovative thinkers to explore, inquire, share and discover.”

Saturday, November 17, 2012

green festival thumbnailHollywood, Health & Society Director Sandra de Castro Buffington delivered a presentation on "Hollywood as a Cultural Catalyst" at the second annual Green Festival in Los Angeles. Described as "the nation's largest and most diverse sustainability event," the festival returned to the downtown Convention Center on Nov. 17-18, and featured an organic food court, live music, workshops and an environmental film installation presented by the Sierra Club.

Monday, November 12, 2012

green energy thumbnailHollywood, Health & Society Director Sandra de Castro Buffington delivered a presentation at the 2012 Behavior, Energy & Climate Change Conference on Nov. 12 in Sacramento. Through workshops and topic sessions on policy and program strategies, the conference explored how to accelerate the transition to an energy efficient and low-carbon economy. Guest speakers included senior-level policymakers, scientists, media representatives and energy experts, who offered the latest behavioral research and communication strategies. The event is being organized by the California Institute for Energy and Environment, the Precourt Energy Efficiency Center, and the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

nasa_jpl thumbnail

On a recent morning beneath beautiful blue skies, a bus full of Hollywood writers and producers pulled up to a space-age-looking entry gate, where a sign next to the familiar NASA logo greeted them with the words: “Welcome to Our Universe.” For the latest Storybus Tour organized by Hollywood, Health & Society, this was a mission to learn about climate change from some of the world’s top scientists and engineers at the NASA-JPL complex just northeast of Los Angeles.Through these signature series of research trips, HH&S offers writers and producers real stories about real people and places—unusual, compelling and dramatic—from climate scientists, other experts and community members on the ground.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

cause placement 2012 logo_thumbnailHollywood, Health & Society Director Sandra de Castro Buffington gave a presentation at the Cause Placement 2012 conference titled “Entertaining Health: Inspiring Hollywood to Create Stories That Change Lives” in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 11. The conference, which connects entertainment and causes, offered "new insights and strategy, and practical ways both can create big wins for their content and missions.” In her presentation, Buffington discussed how HH&S harnesses the power of the entertainment industry by helping writers with a range of services—including its signature Storybus Tours, briefings and consultations with experts, and panel discussions.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

vortex domeHollywood, Health & Society Director Sandra de Castro Buffington explored the importance of storytelling and the role of the writer in helping to shape the future during a presentation at the "State of the Arts 2012: Amplify!" conference on Sept. 22 in Los Angeles. The event, described as an "immersive symposium," was an "experiential showcase featuring cutting-edge entertainment, technology exhibits" along with music, dance and film. It was held in the Vortex Dome (pictured) at the LA Center Studios located downtown. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

2012 sentinel_event_thumbnailWinners of the 2012 Sentinel for Health Awards for exemplary achievements of television storylines that inform, educate and motivate viewers to make choices for healthier and safer lives were announced at a ceremony Sept. 19 at the Writers Guild of America, West in Los Angeles. The NBC drama Law & Order: SVU received first place in the Primetime Drama (major storyline) category for accurately portraying the emotional effects and legalities around childhood sexual abuse. An episode of Fox’s Touch earned first place in Global Health for a storyline about domestic abuse, and NBC’s hit, Up All Night, won first place in the Comedy category for a storyline about the realities of childbirth. 

Upcoming Events

Thursday, October 9, 2014

More than 60 entries that span network and cable entertainment have been submitted for the 2014 Sentinel Awards, which recognize exemplary achievements in television storylines that inform, educate and motivate viewers to make choices for healthier and safer lives. The awards are sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and presented by Hollywood, Health & Society, a program of the USC Annenberg Norman Lear Center. This year, they will honor excellence in the following categories: Drama, Comedy, Serial Drama, Climate Change, Reality/Talk/Documentary, Children’s Programming and Spanish-language.

Friday, September 19, 2014 - 1:00pm - 3:00pm

HH&S will hold a panel at the Writers Guild of America, East in New York on Sept. 19 titled “What’s So Funny About Climate Change?” that features TV legend Norman Lear. Co-sponsored by the WGAE, the panel will also feature top comedy writers Rory Albanese, showrunner for The Minority Report With Larry Wilmore and former showrunner, The Daily Show With Jon Stewart; Chris Albers, writer for Borgia and writer/producer, Late NightThe Tonight Show With Conan O’Brien, and Late Show With David Letterman; Sidney Harris, science cartoonist for The New Yorker,The Wall Street Journal and other publications; Lyn Lear, environmental activist and producer; Anthony Leiserowitz, Ph.D., of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication; and Lizz Winstead, co-creator and former head writer of The Daily Show and author of Lizz Free or Die: Essays.

Past Events

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

patrick sean smith thumnbailHollywood, Health & Society held an invitation-only panel titled Affordable Me: The Face of Obamacare on the Ground & On the Air on Tuesday, July 22 at the Writers Guild of America, West, featuring TV writers/producers, health experts and community storytellers. Panelists included Dr. Zoanne Clack, executive producer, Grey’s Anatomy; Dr. Zachary Lutsky, writer, The Night Shift; Meg Marinis, story editor, Grey’s Anatomy; Hayley Schore, writer/director of development, Black Box; and Patrick Sean Smith (pictured), show runner and executive producer, Chasing Life.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014 - 7:00pm - 9:30pm

brig. gen. chris king (thumbnail)HH&S presented an invitation-only screening of "Extreme Realities," a new installment of the acclaimed series Journey to Planet Earth, at the Linwood Dunn Theater on April 30. The documentary, narrated by Matt Damon, explores how severe weather brought on by climate change can cause food shortages and other threats to global and national security. It was followed by a panel with the filmmakers Marilyn and Hal Weiner, who were joined by NASA-JPL climate scientist Mike Gunson and Brig. Gen. Chris King (R), the chief academic officer for the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and a member of the Global Military Advisory Council on Climate Change. Marty Kaplan, the director of USC Annenberg Norman Lear Center, served as moderator.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014 - 6:00pm - 9:00pm

wendell potter thumbnailLost in all the white-hot noise over the recent rocky roll-out for Obamacare enrollment was an overlooked but important fact: the Affordable Care Act had fundamentally changed how health insurance companies could operate. The fact that Obamacare has caused a sea change in the country’s health care system that essentially affects everyone was underscored in the recent panel conversation, "The Affordable Care Act: Comedy, Drama & Reality—Portraying Obamacare in TV and Film," presented by Hollywood, Health & Society in collaboration with the Writers Guild of America, East at the WGAE headquarters in New York. Panel members were Julie Green Bataille, director of the Office of Communications, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS); Wendel Potter (pictured), former head of communcations for CIGNA and author of Deadly Spin: An Insurance Company Insider Speaks Out on How Corporate PR Is Killing Health Care and Deceiving Americans; and Trudy Lieberman, a veteran journalist who has written extensively about health and health-care coverage. Marty Kaplan, director of The USC Annenberg Norman Lear Center, and Michael Winship, president of the WGAE, served as co-moderators. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

gaaba thumbnailA panel and Q&A at the Directors Guild Theater followed an invitation-only screening of the award-winning film "Inuk," which was presented by Hollywood, Health & Society as part of its storytelling initiative to increase the number of climate change storylines in TV, film and new media. The special evening drew industry writers and producers along with the film’s makers and cast, including director Mike Magidson, producer Anne Andreasen and the movie’s two young leads—Gaaba Petersen (pictured), who plays Inuk, and Sara Lyberth. 

Thursday, July 11, 2013 - Saturday, July 27, 2013

young girl thumbnailHollywood, Health & Society Director Sandra de Castro Buffington and HH&S program administrator Chris Dzialo recently traveled to India for the public launch of its global center called The Third Eye, bringing in local writers for a series of panels, classes and storytelling workshops, and taking them on a research trip to explore the kinds of health-related challenges facing young girls and women in a remote village.