Sicily Web Fest 2020: 5+1 things about the 6th edition

by | Aug 8, 2020 | Interview, Web fest

The pandemic that has hit the whole world does not stop the Sicily Web Fest 2020, which for its sixth edition opts for a combination of online and offline events, moving to the beginning of September. The Covid-19 has forced many web festivals to postpone the 2020 edition, while others that took place during the lock-down, skillfully overturned the whole organization, rethinking from today to tomorrow and offering festivals entirely online with excellent results.

The emergency situation now seems more manageable, but there are still difficulties and regulations to be respected.Sicily Web Fest has decided not to give up completely the offline part, which plans to integrate with the Web through live streaming and video contents, without deleting some “must have” that have made this festival iconic on the island of Ustica. Discover the details in this interview with Riccardo Cannella, founder of Sicily Web Fest.

1) Sicily Web Fest 2020, the 6th edition of this beloved festival. And surely the most difficult and “strange one”. How’s going?

It’s true, it is the strangest and most difficult edition in recent years. It’s like starting for the first time, where there are only uncertainties. We have waited until the very end to know if it would be possible to create a new in-person live edition and in part, it will be. With tight deadlines, having to change dates and locations. The sixth edition of the Sicily Web Fest will be again in Ustica from 4 to 6 September.

2) How many web series and pilots have submitted to Sicily Web Fest 2020?

Also this year we had a significant number of series, despite the difficulties of the period. Of course, the drop in submissions compared to other years is undeniable. Less than 30% of series compared to other years, many have postponed their submissions until 2021. Let’s not forget that many festivals have been cancelled, including the Web Series World Cup 2020 and others have done the event online.

Photo Credits: Sicily Web Fest 2019

All this, in an atmosphere of constant uncertainty, has certainly discouraged the creators of the web world. That’s why we believe it’s important to try to carry out our sixth edition by including a local in-person part in the event. In some ways, we hope to send an important signal regarding our community.

3) Because of Covid-19, the event will be partly online and partly offline. Right? Tell us more about this 2020 edition.

The Sicily Web Fest 2020 will be partially digitized through the creation of an audiovisual content that shows and narrates the post COVID-19 event. It will be a web series on a web series festival. This is what we are trying to create. A new formula that will also include live events, aware of the drop in presences.

Photo Credits: Sicily Web Fest 2019

Over half of the series in competition, in fact, comes from countries with still closed borders. In any case, we believe it’s essential to give continuity to the festival, helping to enhance culture, art and the web seriality, especially in a historic period like this one we are living in.

4) Can you tell us how will be the panels and the award ceremony?

Regarding the panels, this is one of those activities that we can do exclusively online. In fact, we must respect social distancing and avoid enclosed spaces. Although our activities have always been carried out mainly outdoors, as far as panels are concerned, we believe it is more interesting to try to involve authors who are currently unable to travel. Concerning the award ceremony of Sicily Web Fest 2020, we will create the usual offline great event and stream it live on our social networks.

Photo Credits: Sicily Web Fest 2019

5) How are creators reacting to these changes?

The Sicily Web Fest 2020 will probably be one of the few festivals of this year to do also an offline event. The authors were now accustomed to the idea of having only online web series festivals or even seeing them cancelled or postponed. Furthermore, we organizers also live with a lump in our throats, because of the uncertainty that the future holds.

Photo Credits: Sicily Web Fest 2019

All this has certainly influenced many of the authors’ choices. Whether to submit a series or not, whether to postpone to next year and so on. This is also because many authors make many sacrifices to produce a series and it’s obvious that it’s very difficult to do a new series from one year to the next.

6) What are you planning to offer them online? And what about the offline part?

The offline part will include a story of the festival and I hope this can be created using our web serial language. But we are also working to include authors from all over the world in our online panels. The offline part will combine the best that the Sicily Web Fest has managed to give to participants in recent years: the award ceremony, tastings, excursions, boat tours to discover the caves and the sea of Ustica, one of the most beautiful in the world. There will be also interviews with those authors who will choose to live the festival in person, trying to make them live an unforgettable experience once again.

sicily web fest 2020Photo Credits: Sicily Web Fest 2019

So, the Sicily Web Fest 2020 waits for you on September 4 to 6 on the beautiful island of Ustica, promising you a unique and memorable event, like the past ones. To stay updated, follow the festival on Facebook and Instagram!


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