LAWEBFEST 1 Ends With Award-Winning Bang

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Kirbyson’s “CTRL” Honored as Web Comedy of Year; ‘Semi-Dead’ Decapitates Competition at Awards Ceremony

The first Los Angeles Web Series Festival concluded with a late-night awards banquet at Locals Sports Bar that saw 28 different shows win 52 awards in 22 categories. Chris Wiltz’ horror-comedy “Semi-Dead”-- about two roommates living amongst the carnivorous undead-- won eight LAWEBFEST Awards. “Party Girl Plus One”, “Venice”, “Blue Belle”, “Anacostia”, “Travelista” and “Abiola’s Kiss & Tell TV” each won three awards while “The New 20s”, “Bill”, “Safety Geeks”, “Often Awesome”, “Orlando’s Joint” and “The Sexually” took home two apiece.

Earlier in the evening, Canadian filmmaker Robert Kirbyson’s “CTRL” was honored as the festival’s Comedy of the Year. Highlight was a screening of Kirbyson’s original six-minute short that was platformed into the first stand-alone web series produced by a major TV network (NBC). The entire 10-episode Season 1 was later shown to a packed and pleased audience at Stage 52 Theater. Saturday night fest bestowed Mark Gantt and Jesse Warren with its Groundbreaker Award for their astonishing Sony-backed web series “The Bannen Way.” Opening Night, Robert Townsend’s powerful “Diary of a Single Mom” received the Web Series of the Year Award. Stars Monica Calhoun, Janice Lynde, Valery Ortiz and producer Messiah Jacobs were on hand to receive the honor.

Festival Founder and Executive Director Michael Ajakwe Jr. said the historic weekend exceeded his expectations. “Over 2400 people showed up. People walked through our doors curious and left encouraged and inspired, which is what LAWEBFEST is really all about. I can’t wait to do it again next year. It was a lot of work and a lot of fun.”

LAWEBFEST awards process strays from tradition. Every web series accepted into the fest is automatically nominated in key areas that apply and the festival does not limit the number of awards it can hand out in a single category. The word “Best…” is not used. Instead, winners are recognized for their Outstanding Achievement. There are no Audience Awards, which Ajakwe believes can be easily tainted, and all awards are decided prior to the start of the festival. “It’s like how they do in sports like the NBA, NFL and MLB. The play-offs and championship have no bearing on the regular season. All the campaigning and schmoozing in the world won’t help you so everyone can just relax and enjoy the festival.” Ajakwe added that he feels the LAWEBFEST system makes the awards process less divisive among shows and the actual event more exciting and unpredictable. “Every series truly has a chance to shine. But, at the end of the day, it’s still an awards ceremony. Some people will win something and some won’t. All I can say is that while awards are always nice to win, at the end of the day it’s about doing good work— win, lose or draw.”

(See the complete list of winners below)

COMEDY SERIES: “Seth on Survival” / Teri Armitage, Torin Stefanson, Creators; “Orlando’s Joint” / Terence Anthony, Creator; “Semi-Dead” / Chris Wiltz, Creator; “Just the 3 of Us” / Frank Zanca, Kristen Herbert, Brandon McConnell, Creators; “You’re Joking, Right?” / Lamont Ferrell, Marc Alexander, Creators; “The Making of ‘A Lover’s Scent’” / Dylan Southard, Creator; “The Sexually” / Jeff Lycett, Alicia Arinella, Creators; “Party Girl Plus One” / Jennifer Dawson, Creator. DRAMA SERIES: “Blue Belle” / Perry Lang, Creator; “Venice” / Crystal Chappell, Kim Turrisi, Creators; “Bill” / Kevin Arkadie, Creator. LEAD ACTRESS, COMEDY OR DRAMA SERIES: Robin Dalea, “The Real Girls Guide to Everything Else”; Jennifer Dawson, “Party Girl Plus One”; Crystal Chappell, “Venice”. LEAD ACTOR, COMEDY OR DRAMA SERIES: Nick Ross, “Old Friends”; Frank Crim, “Bible Cliff Notes”; Andrew McMennamy, “Semi-Dead”; Keith Arthur Bolden, “Semi-Dead”; Jeff Lycett, “The Sexually”; Jonathan Freeman-Anderson, “Writer’s Block”. SUPPORTING ACTRESS, COMEDY OR DRAMA SERIES: Tia Dae, “Anacostia”, Erin Wiley, “The New 20s”. SUPPORTING ACTOR, COMEDY OR DRAMA SERIES: David Haley, “The New 20s”; Walter Maxfield Jones, “Anacostia”; Jacob Lane, “Saving Rent”. GUEST PERFORMER, COMEDY OR DRAMA SERIES: Bardia Mattin, “I Once Was Lost”. WRITING, COMEDY SERIES: Terence Anthony, “Orlando’s Joint”; Jennifer Dawson, “Party Girl Plus One”; Chris Wiltz, “Semi-Dead”. WRITING, DRAMA SERIES: Kevin Arkadie, “Bill”. DIRECTING, DRAMA OR COMEDY SERIES: Perry Lang, “Blue Belle”; Sean O’Brien, Tom Flynn, “Semi-Dead”. EDITING, COMEDY OR DRAMA SERIES: Bryan Tuck, “Semi-Dead”; Jaime Byrd, “Luck and the Virgin: A 60 Second Soap". CINEMATOGRAPHY, COMEDY OR DRAMA SERIES: “Blue Belle”; “Safety Geeks”. SPECIAL EFFECTS, COMEDY OR DRAMA SERIES: “Safety Geeks”. THEME MUSIC, COMEDY OR DRAMA SERIES: “Venice”; “Anacostia” Beat Makers of New Jersey, Composers; “Semi-Dead” Detroit Cydi, Composers. MUSIC SCORE, COMEDY OR DRAMA SERIES: Andrea Chang, “Semi-Dead”. VLOG, COMEDY OR DRAMA SERIES: “Ernie’s Girls”, Edward James Gage, Boris Schaarschmidt, Phyllis Toben Bancroft, Creators. DOCUMENTARY OR NEW SERIES: “Every Corner”, Yasmin Shiraz, Creator; “Often Awesome”, Andy Coon, Blake Faucette, Creators. THEME MUSIC, DOCUMENTARY OR NEWS SERIES: “Often Awesome”. TRAVEL, TALK OR LIFESTYLE SERIES: “Travelista” / Teri Johnson, Andrea Adams, Creators; “Abiola’s Kiss & Tell TV” / Abiola Abrams, Kristal Mosely, Creators. HOSTING, TRAVEL TALK OR LIFESTYLE SERIES: Nathan Fluellen, “Worldwide Nate”; Abiola Abrams, “Abiola’s Kiss and Tell TV”. EDITING, TRAVEL TALK OR LIFESTYLE SERIES: “Travelista”. THEME MUSIC, TRAVEL TALK OR LIFESTYLE SERIES: “Abiola’s Kiss and Tell TV”; “Travelista”.

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