World’s First and Only Web Series-Only Festival Taking 2011 Submissions

Los Angeles, CA/August 19, 2010— The 2nd Annual Los Angeles Web Series Festival—the first and only open-air web series-only festival in the world-- is now considering entries for 2011. LAWEBFEST, as it’s nicknamed, brings together web series from around the world and screens them in community, before a live audience, on a big screen. Workshops and panels covering various aspects of this dynamic new medium are also held over the three-day event, once again taking place at the Stage 52 Theater in Los Angeles March 25-27, 2011.

“We don’t care if you’re studio-financed, an industry veteran who’s just experimenting, an independent producer, or a Regular Joe or Josephine who doesn’t work or live in Hollywood but made something you’re proud of— we welcome you to submit,” says LAWEBFEST Founder and Executive Director Michael Ajakwe, Jr. A former public relations copywriter and sportswriter, Ajakwe has spent the last 20 years writing and producing for a myriad of showbiz news and variety shows, sitcoms and dramas like Entertainment Tonight, Talk Soup, Martin, Eve, Sister Sister, The Brothers Garcia, Soul Food, Steve Harvey’s Big Time and currently cabler TV One’s Love That Girl. He’s also a web series creator. “The web series is the most exciting form of visual entertainment since television. It is truly a people’s medium and some people are making some really cool shows on the web. LAWEBFEST wants to showcase some of these gems and hear from the resourceful people who are making them and starring in them and programming them and trying to successfully adapt them into other mediums like film, tv and theater,” added the published playwright and award-winning filmmaker.

The inaugural 2010 LAWEBFEST drew 2500 web series fans to Stage 52 over three days. Fifty different web series were screened followed by Q & A sessions with each creative team. Special tributes honored TV and film star Robert Townsend’s Diary Of A Single Mom, NBC.com’s CTRL and Sony’s The Bannen Way. Several web series experts, studio and production company executives, independent producers, actors, and SAG and WGA reps participated in workshops and panel discussions. At the end of the fest, awards were bestowed on 28 shows spanning 22 different categories. But Ajakwe maintains LAWEBFEST is not about the awards.

“LAWEBFEST is about celebrating the magic and power of the web series. Most of the people who make web shows have never seen them projected on a big screen or watched them with a large audience,” the NAACP Award-winning playwright, theater producer and Emmy-winning TV producer stressed. “They’ve never heard feedback from a live audience. A lot of the people who came last year had never even seen a web series. When they left the theater, they began following these shows at home, on their laptops and cell phones,” Ajakwe pointed out.

For more information on how to submit your web series to LAWEBFEST 2011 as well as entry fees and deadlines, please visit the LAWEBFEST Facebook Group page or www.LAWEBFEST.com.



 

PRESS


NEW: Check out the story on LAWEBFEST on the Actors Reporter here!
NEW: Watch the Ustream Interview with founder, Michael Ajakwe here!
Watch the Interview with the Founder & Director here!
Watch the Behind the Scenes video here!


“LAWEBFEST #1 ENDS WITH
AWARD-WINNING BANG"


Kirbyson’s “CTRL," Web Comedy of Year; “Semi-Dead" Decapitates Competition

March 31, 2010 / Los Angeles, CA—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 awardees below)

LAWEBFEST 2010 OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT AWARD WINNERS

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"


LUCKY 47 REPRESENT
LAWEBFEST CLASS OF 2010

Download the programs (PDFs)
WEB SERIES CREATORS BIOS
WORKSHOP & PANEL GUEST BIOS
FESTIVAL STAFF BIOS

Los Angeles, California—The Los Angeles Web Series Festival has picked 47 shows to screen at this first-of-its-kind assembly of web series.  “We received close to 100 submissions," said LAWEBFEST Executive Director and Founder Michael Ajakwe Jr..  “I wish we could’ve accepted them all."  The shows cover a diverse landscape of genres—drama, comedy, dramedy, horror, scifi, documentary, Vlog, lifestyle, travel, talk, even a 60-second soap opera.  There will also be several “world premieres".

 

LAWEBFEST runs March 26-28 at the Stage 52 Theater with Opening Night festivities paying tribute to Robert Townsend’s “Diary of a Single Mom" which the festival is recognizing as “Web Series of the Year."  The urban drama’s eight-episode Season 1 will be screened and the show’s producers and stars like Monica Calhoun, Valery Ortiz, and Janice Lynde will be on hand for a brief Q & A.  On Saturday evening, another series will be feted with the festival’s “Groundbreaker Award", but the identity of the honoree won’t be revealed until the night of the event.  It’s what the festival calls its “Saturday Night Mystery Guest."  Closing Night will pay homage to NBC.com’s “CTRL".  All 10 episodes of Season 1 will screen and series’ creator Robert Kirbyson will be on hand to receive the “Web Comedy of the Year" award and participate in a 30-minute Q & A.   Closing Night also features an awards ceremony covering 15 categories.  However, Ajakwe says anyone expecting a traditional trophy contest may be disappointed.  “We’re open to recognizing multiple stand-outs in a single category as opposed to being married to the convention that says you can only have one winner.  Hell, you had to be really good just to get here.  We want our creators to view each other as comrades rather than competitors.  It’s a web series festival not a cage match."  The festival is also going without traditional category nominations.  “Every show, every actor, writer, director, producer, editor etc. became a nominee the moment their series was chosen for the fest."  Ajakwe, who’s also a web series creator and web channel owner, says that even though his online comedy “Who…" made this year’s cut, it’s the only series not eligible for any awards. “It just wouldn’t look right and credibility is important to us."    

 

Along with screenings and evening tributes, LAWEBFEST will also hold over a dozen workshops and panels covering various aspects of creating content for the web.  “Our goal that weekend is to both entertain and educate our audience.  The web is like a baby on a super growth spurt so there’s always something new to learn," said Ajakwe, who is also an Emmy-winning TV producer.  Confirmed panelists include Curt Marvis who heads Lionsgate’s digital arm, Ryan Stoner of the maverick indie prod Omelet, pioneering web superstars The Fine Brothers, “In the Motherhood" co-creator Jordana Arkin, “Lonelygirl15" writer Glenn Rubenstein, “Josh Jennings for Congress" creator Nathan Gotsch, Freemantle Head of Production and Development Tom Hoffman, veteran online strategist Jaymes Hines, CreatiingTheWeb.com chief web designer Ben McAllister, and Jay Rondot and Sara Fletcher-- the respective producer and star of “Secret Girlfriend" which recently platformed from a web-based series to a Comedy Central tv series.

 

The LAWEBFEST Class of 2010 mostly reside in California with New York a distant second.  Other shows came from Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and Canada.

 

The Los Angeles Web Series Festival Class of 2010 (and series creators):

1. Bible Cliff Notes" (Stephen C. Parker), 2. "The PuNanny Diaries" (Lisa Robinson, Phill Branch), 3. Semi-Dead" (Chris Wiltz), 4. Orlando’s Joint" (Terence Anthony), 5. Safety Geeks" (Tom Konkle, Dave Beeler), 6. Redemption: Darkness Descending" (Frank Krueger), 7. Who…" (Michael Ajakwe Jr.), 8. Etta Mae Mumphries… and The Rest Is History" (Karen Bankhead), 9. Often Awesome" (Andy Coon, Blake Faucette), 10. Party Girl Plus One" (Jennifer Dawson), 11. A Demon’s Destiny: The Lone Warrior" (Devin Rice), 12. “Dating Games" (Adriane Mclean, Nicoya Davidson), 13. The World of Cory & Sid" (Caryn Hayes), 14. Boomer Baby" (Kelly Wright), 15. You’re Joking, Right?" (Lamont Ferrell, Marc Alexander), 16. Bill" (Kevin Arkadie), 17. RX" (Torrance Hill, Paul L. Mays), 18. The New 20s" (Tracy Taylor), 19. Every Corner" (Yasmin Shiraz), 20. “Double Cross" (Denise Jaxon), 21. “The Angela Show" (Angela DeJoseph), 22. “Gamerz 187" (Fernandel Almonor), 23. Luck and the Virgin" (Jaime Byrd, Adam Cohen), 24. Johnny B. Homeless" (Al Thompson), 25.“Just The Three of Us" (Frank Zanca), 26. Reggie’s Family and Friends" (Reggie Gaskins), 27. Worldwide Nate" (Nathan Fluellen), 28. Abiola’s Kiss and Tell TV" (Abiola Abrams, Kristal Mosley), 29. Travelista" (Teri Johnson, Andrea Adams), 30. Kindred" (Ella Turenne, Jessica Hartley, Maureen Aladin), 31. Saving Rent" (Gary Teperman, Ernie Lee), 32. Anyone But Me" (Tina Cesa Ward/EP), 33. “Seth On Survival" (Teri Armitage, Torin Stefanson), 34. “Old Friends" (Tim Curcio, Nick Ross), 35. Venice: The Series" (Kim Turrisi, Crystal Chappell), 36. Anacostia" (Anthony Anderson), 37. Blue Belle" (Perry Lang), 38. The Sexually" (Jeff Lycett, Alicia Arinella), 39. The Bro Code" ( Paul Lindsay, Phillip Douglas), 40. Ernie’s Girls" (Edward James Gage), 41. Vlog Star" (Kenny Byerly, Mike Ludwig), 42. Writer’s Block" (Isaac Diaz, Sherrie Q. Robertson), 43. The Making of ‘A Lover’s Scent’" (Dylan Southard), 44. The In-Betweens of Holly Malone" (Alicia Arinella, Phil Kain), 45. I Once Was Lost" (Elaine Alaniz), 46. “The Real Girl’s Guide To Everything Else" (Carmen Elena Mitchell), 47. Lenox Avenue" (Al Thompson)

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