Around the world in 24 WebFests

…what if we would like to participate to each and every Webfest? A practical guide, which will lead you from one side of the globe to the other.

webfests around the world_visionaryweb

Lately we told you about the Festivals which concern themselves entirely on Webseries, and we focused ourselves exclusively on the local ones. But what if we would like to participate to each and every Webfest which has been created around the globe?

We invite you to this unusual trip, which will take us from one to the other face of the world. We’ve discovered twenty-four of such festivals, and more than a half of them will have their debut in 2014. Well, it seems as the webseries fever has infected the whole planet. The dynamics which rule each Webfest are similar and so is also the main mission, which is to elevate the interactive and independent products, to become hatcheries for new ideas, to show the talent and the power of innovation. The Webfests offer screenings, panels and roundtables with distinguished professionals of the sector. And of course, as icing on the cake, there is every time an awards gala.

The majorities of the events embrace productions of all over the world, prior of course of the fulfillment of the following requests: the product has to be at least three webisodes long, it has to be dubbed or subtitled in the hosting language and there is usually a participation-fee to “even out”.

These events are meant to be a meeting point for the webseries creator, to generate a fruitful collaboration between them and to foster the evolution of the digital arts in all their forms. There are new contaminations on the horizon, new interactions, and new methods to make community and to install connections. ‘Cause the winner is always the talent, under the war flag of technology.

So let’s take off.

First stage LA. The Radisson Lax Hotel on W. Century Blvd in Los Angeles will be, from the 26th to the 30th March, the set for The Los Angeles Web Series Festival (LAWebFest). Created by Michael Ajakwe Jr. in 2010, the LAWebFest will blow this year its 5th candle. It is the father of all the WebFests and, thanks to the visionary and the farsighted idea of its inventor, it has opened the road to a new way of making connections, succeeding in pledging partnership agreements with the most important WebFests around the world.

We’ll not leave L.A. at first. Let us go to Hollywood, where from the 4th to the 6th April the 3th edition of the HollyWeb – Web Series Fest will take place.

And now we’ll fly to Europe, to Carballo (Spain). From the 24th to the 27th April in a little town of the Spanish Galicia the Carballo Interplay will have its debut. It is the first Festival in Spain entirely dedicated to the webseries, born with the desire to stimulate the creativity and to support the editors offering visibility not only to the Galician culture, but also to sustain the development of the audiovisual sector as a whole.

For what’s waiting next we have to go back to the American continent. First to Canada and then to the U.S. First Halt, Vancouver for the Vancouver WebFest, followed by Toronto where the TO WebFest will take place. Those two festivals will fight over the Webfest premiership in Canada, in fact both will debuting in May 2014 and are scheduled just a week apart one from the other. The first will be celebrated from the 2nd to the 4th May and the TO Webfest, an initiative promoted by the IWCC (Independent Webseries Creator of Canada) a no-profit organization established by professionals of the sector, from the 9th to the 11th May at the Harbourfront Centre.

It’ll be a real relay, ‘cause in conjunction with the TO WebFest, the 2nd edition of the D.C. Webfest in Washington D.C. will be staged; this year with some novelties as the integration of new themes like blogging, gaming, robotics and the development digital media applications…so, not just webseries.

The next ticket is for Mexico, but before we get there we’ll have some stopover such as Madrid, Austin (TX), Singapore, and Rio de Janeiro. All these Festivals are waiting for their first kick-off.

FEW WebFest, in Madrid from the 6th to the 7th June followed by the Austin WebFest in Austin (Texas) from the 26th to the 28th, to promote a valid alternative to the commercial film industry and to celebrate and support the cinema in all its forms; subscriptions are possible ‘till the 31st March 2014 in the following categories: drama, comedy, Horror/Suspense/Thriller, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Non-Fiction/Documentary. Let’s fix our suitcases, we go to Mexico for the Baja Webfest (28th -29th June). Deadline for the subscription is the 30th April.

The Singapore Webfest, well, we don’t know really the date on which it’ll take place, nor the exact location or terms and condition to participate. What we know is that it’ll be the follow-up of the HK WebFest which objective was to create a fruitful communication between the East and the West hemisphere of the world. So, still same organization, just a new stage. After that let’s feel the Samba with the Brazil Webfest.

July will take us to Melbourne and then in Essex (U.K.). It’s the 2nd edition for the Melbourne WebFest, which focus will be not just on the webseries, but also on the whole set of the trans-media products, and there will be a 20% discount on the subscription-fee for whom has been selected for the LAWEBFEST.

How we said let’s move on now from the Aussie to the U.K., precisely to Ilford (Essex) for the 2nd edition of the U.K. Urban WebFest, at the Cineworld Cinema. This will be a one-day-event at 18th July; to participate, the subscription has to be done through the website eventbride.

In August the WebFests will let us enjoy our summer vacations with family and friends! But be sure to book your tickets for Europe, ‘cause on from 27th to the 28th in London at the Apollo Cinema in Piccadilly Circus, there is the Raindance London WebFest at its 2nd edition. You can subscribe your Webseries for this event from the 4th May until the 13th of July, but the series has to have been produced from the 1st January 2013 on to be accepted for the selection.

We still don’t know the exact date and the location yet, but let’s go back to the “Eternal city”, Rome will be the theater of the 2nd edition of Roma WebFest which last year distinguished itself for the well-organized roundtables and interesting pitching to favor  the dialog between producer and webseries creator.

The last stages and Webfest of the year are all in autumn. We’ll start in Florida where the first Miami WebFest will take place from the 4th to the 5th October, with eminent speakers, workshops, debates. Subscriptions are possible from the 1st March ‘till the 1st of July and the official selection will be communicated for the 1st September. What follows, still in the U.S., is the ATL WebFest in Atlanta hosted at the Georgia Tech. This event is also at its 2nd edition. Here too, as for the following events, there are still no data about the date and location of the events.

What we know is that the closing act of the year will take place in Europe. So by Mid-October it’ll be the turn of the Liegi Web Fest, also at its 2nd edition the Belgian event promises us not only to value the productions of the Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles but also to embrace the projects which have been awarded in the partner festivals.

There will be also the awaited come back of the Marseille WebFest, the first European festival born in 2011 by the will of its president Jean-Michel Albert. The term of submission for your creative work at this event is the 30th April. For these event there has been scheduled a contest between 25 international productions, which will be selected by a Jury of professionals gathered from all over the world. Also in the planed in the program are meet-ups and panels with creator and eminent producer.

Our tour will then end in Italy. At the end of October there’ll be the 2nd edition of the Campi Flegrei Web Series Fest in Naples and in November in Perugia there’ll be the IMMaginario WebFest which in 2013 had gather the largest selection of Italian Webseries, around 100.

What we can assert for sure is that there will be also a New York Webfest (we’ve seen a website online and gathered little information) and also a Moscow WebFest and here we can say “All quiet on the Eastern Front”.

It was a trip which brought us all over the world with the WebFest and Webseries as leading thread. We’ve begun to un-wrap our map, to mark the stages and to gather all the information. We’ve prepared our suitcases and backpacks, our notebooks, our tablets…with the cameras around our neck and all we’re armed with all the devilish pieces of technology and ready to go. ‘Cause we’d like the trip to not end here, to not let it turn in just an imaginary virtual tour.

For now our first stop is Los Angeles, we will be there…and it’ll be awesome…let’s cross our fingers.

 

by Renata di Vito   

translated by Timoteo Rossetti