By Chesney Hearst, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Judy Smith, executive co-producer and inspiration for the American television series “Scandal”, will present the pilot episode of the critically acclaimed political-thriller at Festival do Rio (Rio Film Festival) industry segment, the RioMarket, on Sunday, October 10th.

Rio Film Festival, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News
Judy Smith, executive co-producer and inspiration for the American television series “Scandal”, will present the pilot episode in Rio on Sunday, October 10th, photo courtesy RioMarket.

Free and open to the public, the night will begin at 6PM in the headquarters of the festival located in Armazém 6 (on Rua Rodrigues Alve in Centro) with a lecture presented by Smith about her work with crisis management and the creation and production of “Scandal”.

The talk will proceed the screening of the show’s first episode with Smith afterwards conducting an open session of questions and answers with the audience.

With over twenty-five years of experience in crisis management, Smith first began her work in the public service sector in 1983 and later from 1987 to 1989 she served as the Associate Counsel and Deputy Director of Public Information in the Office of Independent Counsel Lawrence E. Walsh. There she helped manage media relations during the Iran-Contra Affair.

In 1991 she became the Special Assistant and Deputy Press Secretary for United States President George H. W. Bush. During her service there, Smith helped the Bush administration handle controversies that included, the nomination of Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court and the Gulf War (1991).

After leaving the White House, Smith created the crisis management and media relations consulting firm Smith & Company. The firm has consulted for clients including Monica Lewinsky, Former Idaho Senator Larry Craig, and American football quarterback Michael Vick. Clients of the firm also include various agencies and organizations involved in federal cases.

Scandle, RioMarket, Rio Film Festival, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News
Judy Smith is the founder and President of crisis communications firm Smith & Company, press image.

Smith also regularly contributes to the Huffington Post and the Daily Beast and also authored a book about crisis management entitled, “Good Self, Bad Self.”

“The book looks at portraits and issues that get us into trouble,” The Burton Wire reported Smith saying during a talk given at Spelman College on September 26, 2012. “The coverup is far worse than the crime. Whatever the problem or mistake, own it. Tell the truth about whatever the situation is.”

It was a 2009 meeting between Smith and Shonda Rhimes, the creator of the popular American Broadcasting Company (ABC) channel series “Grey’s Anatomy” and its spin-off series,”Private Practice”, that lead to the development of “Scandal”.

The plot of the series is based on the life and work of Smith. The main character Olivia Pope, played by actress Kerry Washington, runs the fictional crisis management firm Pope & Associates while also advising her elite friends, including White House staff.

“The way [Shonda] writes and creates the shows reflect the world we live in,” said Smith “’Scandal’ looks like the world.”

The show debuted in America during the spring of 2012 on ABC and is scheduled to begin its third season in the spring of 2014. In Brazil, it airs on the Sony Entertainment Television channel, Mondays at 10PM.

The RioMarket presentation is free and open to the public. However, spaces are limited. For more information see RioMarket’s event listing here.

As a section of Festival do Rio (Rio’s International Film Festival), RioMarket will continue to offer lectures, seminars and workshops to the public and industry professionals through Wednesday, October 9th. For more information see their website here.

What: RioMarket Keynote Speaker Judy Smith presents “Scandal”
When: Sunday, October 6th, 6PM
Where: Armazém da Utopia (Armazém 6), Av. Rodrigues Alves, Centro, RJ
Entrance: FREE ENTRY with limited spaces

* The Rio Times Daily Updates feature is offered to help keep you-to-date with important news as it happens.

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