“Our vision for the Marseille Webfest is the same as LAWEBFEST--we want to show the best web series in the world and make web series a part of our culture like TV and film.” Stephane Rizzo, co-founder,Marseille Webfest-- Europe's first web series festival
Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) April 12, 2011
The Los Angeles Web Series Festival finished its sophomore year with 19 panels and the screening of 121 shows—almost triple that of LAWEBFEST I. When the three-day event was over, 91 awards were handed out to 95 web series across 10 genres; five web series producers and one city were honored for making a difference in the web series industry, and 11 web series makers will showcase their work at Europe’s first webfest being held this October in Marseille, France.
The greatest annual assembly of web series under one roof began on Friday, March 25th with five informative panels on topics like “Women of the Web” and “The Web Series as a Global Phenomena”. Forty-three web series were also screened. That evening veteran web series creator Hayden Black of the United Kingdom was feted with the festival’s Groundbreaker Award for adapting his web series, “Good Night, Burbank”, into the first half-hour comedy made for the web. After a 20 minute Q & A with LAWEBFEST Executive Director Michael Ajakwe, Black’s new creation was screened before a full and very receptive audience. Black’s groundbreaking experiment appears to have paid off. In April at the MIPTV conference in France, Zodiac Rights bought TV distribution rights to “Good Night, Burbank”.
Saturday March 26th saw six more panels and 39 more screenings, capping the day with an evening tribute to Social Media Award Honoree Kevin Ross, star of TV’s “America’s Court with Judge Ross”. During Ross’ tribute, he spoke of how it was while meeting with celebrity syndicator Byron Allen about the merits of internet radio that he landed his tv show. Ross’ online marketing firm 3BASS Media helps spotlight and educate the public on relevant new media issues via its Urban New Media weekly online blog column written by Ross.
Sunday March 27th was by far the most ambitious of the three days. Forty-one web series were screened and eight panels were held on topics ranging from “Interactive Narrative Storytelling” and “Adapting Your Web Series Into Other Mediums” to “Making Web Series for Studios vs. Independently” and “Diversity on the Web”. On all three days, two panels called “How We Made Our Web Series” featured the web series makers themselves-- some of whom came from as far away as Australia, New Zealand, Italy, France and India—sharing the agony and ecstasy of producing a web series. “We had web series makers present from 16 different states and 8 different countries making this not only a national event but an international one as well” said Ajakwe, who is also the festival’s founder. Sunday evening, veteran award-winning filmmaker Scott Rice received the Maverick Award. From his home base of Austin, Texas, Rice has been able to make web series for Sony and MTV despite not living in a major media center. The 18 minute screening of Rice’s legendary short film, “Perils in Nude Modeling” as well as his clever and funny web series “Never Do This” and “Script Cops” were among the day’s biggest highlights.
After the Rice tribute, LAWEBFEST moved a mile north to Locals Sports Bar & Grill for its awards ceremony. Before it began, the festival honored French TV, film and web producers Jean-Michel Albert and Stephane Rizzo with its first Envisioneer Award for conceiving Europe’s first web series festival—the upcoming Marseille Webfest taking place October 14-16 in Marseille, France. The city of Marseille itself was also honored for putting its name and resources behind the three-day event. Both Albert and Rizzo spoke of how excited they were about their upcoming festival and said their partnership with LAWEBFEST helped make it possible. “Our vision for the Marseille Webfest is the same as LAWEBFEST-- we want to showcase the best web series in the world and make it a part of our culture like TV and film” said Rizzo, who is also a cultural minister for the Mayor’s Office of Marseille. Albert agreed with his business partner. “Stephane and I believe the web series has a market here in Europe and we are seriously exploring that market and its viability,” Albert added. “Our festival in Marseille will help shine a light on this amazing new medium. As Mike likes to say, ‘the web is the way.’”
The award ceremony finally got underway around10pm to a packed house of 400 people. Unlike most festivals, LAWEBFEST rewards outstanding achievement across a variety of genres without limiting the number of winners per category. “It’s more work on our side but we feel it’s worth it because it allows more artists who are doing outstanding work in this dynamic and exciting field to be rewarded,” said Ajakwe, who is also an Emmy-winning TV producer (E!’s “Talk Soup with Greg Kinear”).
Ninety-five of the 121 web series screened at LAWEBFEST II received some form of distinction. The youngest award recipient was 17 year old high school student Andrew Dempsey of Concord, Massachusetts who received the Outstanding Student Series Award for his suspense web series “Nonlocality”. “When we accepted Andrew, we had no idea how young he was,” Ajakwe said. “This kid can’t vote or drink, but he was able to make a web series good enough to be accepted into a supercompetitive international festival. That’s pretty incredible and says a lot about Andrew’s talent,” Ajakwe added.
The expansive award show would’ve been the climax for most festivals, but this marathon evening had a topper: Envisioneer honorees Jean-Michel Albert and Stephane Rizzo sent the packed restaurant into a frenzy by selecting nine LAWEBFEST shows for automatic entry into the Marseille Webfest. “This is the biggest thing to ever happen for independent web series makers!” Ajakwe, an indie web series maker himself, proclaimed. “Right now this community is the stepchild of the entertainment community. They don’t get any credit for the amazing work some of them are doing and the majority of them have never seen a dollar here in America for their efforts. Now festival organizers from another country want to fly them half way around the world, put them up in a hotel for three days, feed them and showcase their work to an international audience. It’s unbelievable!” Ajakwe exclaimed. Albert and Rizzo revealed their LAWEBFEST choices in April at the world’s leading content market, MIPTV in France, and will do so again in May at the most prestigious film festival in the world—the Cannes Film Festival.
Since the announcement two weeks ago, Rizzo and Albert have selected two more award-winning LAWEBFEST shows to screen at Marseille Webfest, bringing the total to 11. (See Marseille Webfest Selections below. For the Complete List of LAWEBFEST Award Winners, go to http://www.lawebfest.com or http://www.facebook.com/lawebfest)
MARSEILLE WEBFEST SELECTIONS (October 14-16, Marseille, France):
1. “Travel Companions” (Naples, Italy)
2. “Big Country Blues” (New York, New York)
3. “L’Altra” (“The Other”) (Voghera, Italy)
4. “Party Girl Plus One” (Los Angeles, California)
5. “The Big Dick Mike Show” (Los Angeles, California)
6. “Gnome Syndrome” (Paris, France)
7. “The Jim” (Toronto, Canada)
8. “Asylum” (Los Angeles, California)
9. “McCracken Live!” (Los Angeles, California)
10. “Bollywood To Hollywood” (Mumbai, India)
11. “My Bitchy Witchy Paris Vacation” (Paris, France)
Most Honored Web Series at LAWEBFEST 2011
*Top LAWEBFEST ’11 Award Winners - Comedy (includes comedies, sketch comedies, dramedies, mockumentaries, interactive narrative comedies, interactive narrative dramedies, animated & puppetry comedies):
“For A Green Card” (comedy/USA) – 9**
“The Best Friend” (comedy/USA) – 8
“Ruby Skye P.I.: The Spam Scam” (interactive narrative comedy/Canada) - 8
“101 Dates” (comedy/New Zealand) – 7
“The Brown Betties Guide: How To Look For Love In All The Wrong Places” (comedy/USA) – 7
“Thank You… Next!” (mockumentary/USA) – 6
“P.O.P.: Puppets of Porn” (puppetry/USA) – 6
“Vlog Star” (comedy/USA) – 6
“Slanted” (adapted from one-woman play/comedy/USA) – 6
“The Jim” (workplace comedy/Canada) – 6 [includes Marseille Webfest Selection]
*Top LAWEBFEST ’11 Award Winners - Drama (includes dramas, dramedies, horror/sci-fi/fantasy, interactive narrative drama, interactive narrative dramedies)
“Big Country Blues” (country & western drama/USA) – 9***[includes Marseille Webfest Selection]
“8.13” (horror/USA) - 6
“Hard Drive 13” (action spy drama/Canada) – 6
“Out With Dad” (family drama/Canada) – 6
“Asylum” (psychological drama/USA) – 5 [includes Marseille Webfest Selection]
“Ghouls” (horror dramedy/USA) – 5
“Suck and Moan” (horror dramedy/USA) – 5
“The PuNanny Diaries” (dating dramedy/USA) – 5
“Tilt-A-World” (workplace dramedy/USA) – 5
“Warrior One” (science fiction/USA) - 4
*Top LAWEBFEST ’11 Award Winners - Reality (includes Travel, Talk, Lifestyle)
“Craig’s List TV” (based on the popular website/USA) – 3
“White Collar Brawler” (boxing series/USA) – 3
**New record for LAWEBFEST comedies and new overall mark for show wins (9).
***New record for LAWEBFEST dramas (8) and ties overall mark for wins (9).
Created in 2010 by Emmy-winning tv producer and NAACP Award-winning producer/playwright Michael Ajakwe, Jr., the Los Angeles Web Series Festival is the industry (and world's) first all-web series festival honoring serialized shows created specifically for the Internet. The goal of the festival is to bring creators, producers, directors, actors and technicians together under one roof, in community, to network, exchange information and celebrate their work. Workshops and panels covering various aspects of working in this dynamic medium are also offered during the three-day event. LAWEBFEST will be held in Los Angeles March 23-25 2012. For more information, visit http://www.LAWEBFEST.com or http://www.Facebook.com/LAWEBFEST.
LAWEBFEST Media Contact