Friday, July 28th, 2017The third edition of the Sicily Web Fest took place from July 21st to 23rd and it’s time to tell you everything about the most international among the Italian web festivals and the one that brought web series to the people.
It was my third time at Sicily Web Fest, I was there since the beginning and still after three editions, I came back home thrilled, happy, rich of new knowledges, friends and creativity.
“Oh, well, it’s easy to offer a great experience in a place like Ustica”, I heard. No, it’s not. Actually, it’s really dangerous. First of all, on such a small island like that one, you can’t forget anything and everything must be perfectly organized and well planned. Secondly, you stack a huge group of people on a “stone” in the middle of the sea with just 3 or 4 boats in a day to reach Palermo… So, you must organize an amazing web fest if you care about your life… And apparently they did.
Ustica is wonderful, its’s unquestionably true and it is one of those places that you have to see at least once in your life, but what made the Sicily Web Fest so amazing, apart from the marvellous location, is the atmosphere that the staff is always able to create. They are absolutely incredible, they put all them selves in this web fest and you can feel it; in those guys you can see that they are doing what they love and, above all, they love what they’re doing, giving all theme selves to it.
Once again they showed the capability of creating an offline world, where what we usually do online with web series meets the offline reality, reaching people who would have maybe never found out our community. Yes, this time I can it say for sure…They made it. They definitely made it. The Sicily Web Fest, with its 3rd edition, reached one of the main purpose of our community: bringing web series to the people. The web fest has always had the aim to promote and support web series, helping them to find “the right way” and the right contacts, but it also has always tried hardly to explain people how amazing our community is, how great and not low quality web series are.
Monday morning, when everything was already over, I arrived at the bar for breakfast and a group of middle age women asked me: “Who won?”. At first I was confused, I had to admitted and they surely got it ’cause they explained: “we were at the web series presentation on Saturday night and we voted for WEb Serie, but we are curious to know which series won the festival“. These women, who can have my mum’s age, started asking me questions about web series, about the winners and so on. One of them told me that she would watched all the series, ’cause she had only her tablet with a 3G connection and no TV, there in Ustica. Another one told me that, when she went back home on Saturday night, she watched all the episodes of Getalive and she loved it. But the older one, said the most important thing: “I didn’t know anything about this”, she said, “you made me discover a new world“.
She moved me, I swear. And I am really glad that it happened at the Sicily Web Fest. Those few words mean that we are on the right way, folks. This Sicily Web Fest reached the people, bringing them the web series and the passion of our community. So, that’s why I said “they made it”. They created a not self-centered festival, but a open and really well organized space for web series, where creators had the possibility to connect to each other and to promote their projects, bringing also people to discover a new type of content, “a new world”. The Sicily Web Fest, as some others amazing web fests all around the world, gave us an experience in which it’s never all about the web fest itself, but it’s all about the creators and their web series.
Those three days had also some really interesting panels with some authors, with experts and with some partner festivals: the WebFest Berlin, the Wendie Webfest Hamburg, the Seoul Web Fest, the Cinema Jove – Festival Internacional de Cine de Valencia and the Bilbao Series Land.
During these meetings, we had a lot of food for thought; where are we with web series? Where is the web series phenomenon going? What’s next for web series?
Well, once again, what’s next is up to us. We are on the right way, we are doing an amazing job, but it’s not enough yet. We have to work even harder to create a market for web series, to reach everyone, to convince the traditional television and cinema that web series, or digital series as you wish, aren’t low quality products, aren’t something created just for fun. Web series deserve attention, production, money, audience. Web series aren’t just a new way of telling stories. Web series are one of the results of the technologies development. And they are going to change again and they will amaze always more. They are like “a malleable canvas, not square nor rectangular, that eludes classifications“ (quote by Michele Boreggi – Shotgun Boogie) and “making web series means making cinema at your smartphone” (quote by Simone Albano – One Shot). So, we have to realize that we are doing something amazing, something new and constantly evolving and, thanks to events like the Sicily Web Fest, we have the opportunity to tell what we are doing to the world. And grow up together.
Now, after this speech written wholeheartedly, it’s time for some useful numbers; this edition had 83 web series selected from all over the world, 20 award winning projects (below and also here the complete list), 8 series selected from 8 partner festivals (more info below) and two projects obtained distribution contracts; one with Rockzeline and the other one with Bigop Tv. Moreover, for the first time, the winner of the Best Series award (the French web series Bertrand), won a 500$, provided by the partner Netfall.
This is really something, isn’t it? It’s not only about winning an award; the creators have also the opportunity of being selected by web fests from all over the world, ’cause the Sicily Web Fest is part of a strong international network of festivals, and there’s also the opportunity of receiving a distribution contract and a cash prize. The SWF grew up a lot and really well. I have the sensation that this love story is going to never end and I’m quite sure that we are going to live happily ever after… So, thank you so much for this third amazing edition. See you next year, Sicily Web Fest. Or… SICILY WEST, as kept saying a woman at the port (true story).