FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 30, 2018
CONTACT: Neem Basha, firstname.lastname@example.org, 917-843-9398
NEW JERSEY PARTNERS WITH GLOBAL WEB SERIES FESTIVALS TO HOST THE FIRST-EVER “NEW JERSEY WEB FEST”
More than 50 international and national web-based series will be screened at the two-day festival in Montclair, New Jersey.
MONTCLAIR––Today, the New Jersey Web Festival announces that New Jersey will host its first-ever international web series festival on September 15-16, 2018, joining the ranks of Los Angeles; New York City; Seoul, Korea; Marseille, France; Melbourne, Australia; and other global markets that host new media showcases annually.
The two-day festival will include a series of workshops hosted by prominent entertainment industry professionals -- including an Emmy-Award winning writer, a network executive producer, and a veteran actor -- and will present more than 50 screenings of shows selected by the festival’s judges. Screenings will take place at the Clairidge Cinemas in Montclair on both days, with the workshops hosted at the Montclair Film Festival just across the street from the theater. Screening and workshop tickets are available to the public at bit.ly/njwebfest-tix.
A closing award ceremony and reception will be held at The Manor in West Orange, New Jersey, on the evening of September 16. The selected series will be competing for 31 total awards, including an international prize dubbed “The Seoul Award,” in which one show will be the first official selection for the 2019 Seoul Webfest in Seoul, South Korea.
Award-winning web series creator Neem Basha, an alumnus of several web festivals as creator of web series Neem’s Themes, founded the New Jersey Web Festival, which has already received endorsements from and formed partnerships with international web festival founders/directors, including the Seoul Webfest, the Miami Webfest, and the Asia Web Awards.
“After my show Neem’s Themes was selected to take part in – and won awards at – several web festivals around the world, I made relationships with the festival directors and learned a lot about what it takes to run a festival,” said Neem Basha, NJ WebFest founder and director. “I realized that, with over 60 web festivals throughout the US and the world, New Jersey was conspicuously missing from the web festival map, and it was time to put it on there. But I didn’t expect this big of a response in our first year. Dozens of international shows submitted, other web festivals have partnered with us, and the buzz online in the web series community is palpable. Clearly, folks were ready for a web series festival in New Jersey. And now it’s here.”
The NJ WebFest received submissions from dozens of national and international shows during its submission period from December 2017 through July 2018, mostly through grassroots outreach on its Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook pages. Notable entries from the 58 official selections are But I’m Chris Jericho, starring former WWE Champion and Fozzy (band) frontman, Chris Jericho; and Labeled, starring and produced by Bethany Watson, formerly of The Elvis Duran Show.
Emmy-Award Winner Michael Ajakwe, the pioneer of web series festivals and founder of the LA (Los Angeles) WebFest, offered immediate support to the festival when submissions opened on December 2017. Ajakwe has since passed away from cancer in May 2018, but serves as an ongoing inspiration, as the New Jersey Web Festival includes a “Michael J. Ajakwe Jr. ‘Don’t Wait, Create!’ Award."
“Congratulations to LA WebFest award-winning alum Neem Basha for launching New Jersey's first web series festival – the NJ WebFest,” Michael Ajakwe wrote on the LA WebFest Facebook page. “We support your outstanding efforts and plan to be in the house next year when you take your maiden voyage. New Jersey has produced several amazing web series over the last few years so we're happy to see that state joining the international web series community.”
In August 2018, Founder Neem Basha served as a representative of the New Jersey Web Festival in Korea when he attended the Seoul Webfest, joining dignitaries as part of the ribbon-cutting ceremony, being presented a gift from the South Korean city of Sangju, and presenting one of the shows from Seoul with a direct selection to the New Jersey WebFest.
“The NJ WebFest is off to an incredible start. We at the Seoul Webfest and Asia Web Awards strongly support our Jersey partners,” said Young Man Kang, founder and executive director of the Seoul Webfest. “As the director of the only web series festival in Asia, and a long-time filmmaker, I can see that the NJ WebFest is quickly making its mark among festivals, and will only continue to grow bigger and better.”
The New Jersey Web Festival two-day program will be as follows:
Saturday, September 15, 2018
Writing and Adaptation Workshops, held at 505 Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair, NJ (Montclair Film Festival), 10:45am – 2pm
* of classic shows such as SCTV, Night Court, MAD-TV, and The Simpsons
* , who worked with ITV and Adult Swim, among others. Pasternack worked with executive producer Lorne Michaels shepherding the breakout Portlandia from web-series to Emmy, Peabody and Writer’s Guild Award winning television sensation.
Screenings at Clairidge Theater, 486 Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair, 2:15 – 9:00
Opening Day After-Party, 9:30pm
Sunday, September 16, 2018
Acting and Distribution Workshops, held at 505 Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair, NJ (Montclair Film Festival), 10am – 1pm
* Actors' Panel, moderated by actors Anthony Gallo (Men in Black 3, Boardwalk Empire, Chuck) and Michael Lieder (Neem's Themes)
* "A Guide To What's Next" workshop, brought to you by Stareable, the largest community of web series creators. Stareable director Bri Castellini will explore what your options are after finishing your web series season, from passive and active marketing opportunities, to distribution options, and beyond.
Screenings at Clairidge Theater, 486 Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair, 1:15 – 5:00
Red Carpet Awards Gala, at The Manor, 111 Prospect Avenue, West Orange, NJ, 7pm – 11pm, featuring dining, unlimited wine and beer, DJ, performance from former American Idol contestant Jackie Nese, and the presentation of 31 award categories.
Tickets to the festival are on sale at bit.ly/njwebfest-tix. The festival team provided all the creators with a complimentary VIP pass to attend all the events. Supporters and fans can purchase tickets until September 14, 2018.