Web Fest draws producers from around the globe

Photo courtesy of Vancouver Web Fest

Photo courtesy of Vancouver Web Fest

The Vancouver Web Fest, now on its third year, showcases creative web content from all over the world. On March 18, the three-day event will screen Canadian and international work from 16 different countries with a variety of workshops, talks and keynote speakers.

The festival begins with a number of workshops taking place on Friday, which includes Web Series Audience Design and Development, Legal Issues in the Digital Age and Workflow in the Cloud with Adobe.

New forum for creativity

There are more and more digital platforms available online like YouTube and websites that make streaming video a lot easier. There is more of an audience for web-based films – I would say it’s developing really fast,” says Shiva Kashi, program director of Vancouver’s Web Fest.

When asked how international submissions affect the overall content for the festival, Kashi explains:

“Some of the content we had last year was really original and interesting, and of course some of the submissions are there to try and really please the audience. As long as they have proper subtitles, I would be happy to get more and more international submissions,” she says.

International screenings will feature works by directors from Lebanon, Switzerland, Basque Country, Norway, Germany and France among others.

Other Friday highlights will be the VWF launch party and a screening of Supernatural Fandom: The Movie, by documentarians Clif and Mitch Kosterman, who filmed in the United States, Germany and here in B.C.

Supernatural, the CW TV series that is now in its 11th season, will be portrayed in a different light as the movie catalogues three years of interviews with the cast, crew and fans. The series’ popularity has amassed a large enough fan pool to organize an international convention circuit that has raised over $100,000 for UNICEF’s aid efforts.

Web Fest will offer workshops, screenings and panels | Photo courtesy of Vancouver Web Fest

Web Fest will offer workshops, screenings and panels | Photo courtesy of Vancouver Web Fest

Rapidy expanding medium

Kashi, an award-winning director and producer, mentions the emerging market of films being developed specifically for the web.

“I would say it’s growing pretty fast. First of all, the quality is increasing a lot. Judging can be a very painful part of the job because so many good quality projects come along. It’s really hard to say which one is better – story-wise, picture-wise, cinematography-wise – they’re all really good and digital technology is making this a lot easier,” she says.

There will be five screening blocks where audience members can watch the films. These will be interspersed with keynote speakers such as Bernie Su, a director, writer and multi-platform storyteller from California who co-created The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, an interactive adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

Kasha says that the workshop and speaker series will be interesting to people of all backgrounds. Even those more experienced in making web films will gain new knowledge from attending workshops on topics that they already have some previous knowledge of.

“It’s open to everybody,” says Kashi.

For more information about the Vancouver Web Fest, visit www.vancouverwebfest.com.