Web series creators are finally getting the recognition they deserve. Once seen as an underground medium or as a practice run for television the web series scene has taken off over the last few years coinciding with the growth of online video audiences. Now the thriving scene boasts its own circuit of festivals and awards, the most recent of which is the Melbourne Web Fest which just wrapped up in Australia.
The festival, which describes itself as the first event of its type in Australia and throughout the Southern Hemisphere welcomed 32 web series from 12 different countries to compete for awards in various categories as well as an overall grand prize. An additional 20 new web series were screened as part of the festival but were ineligible for prizes. The event, held over the course of three days in Melbourne, is the largest of its kind to focus exclusively on web series.
The Vimeo series “Low Life” took home the grand prize drawing unlikely laughs with the story of a protagonist struggling with clinical depression. “Low Life” also took the prize for Best Comedy while Spanish offering “Libres” took Best Drama.
The Melbourne Web Fest featured work by creators from around the world including several popular YouTube based series. The viral hit “Convos With My 2-Year-Old” competed in the Best Comedy category, narrowly losing out to “Low Life” while popular science channel “ASAP Science” took a swing at the non-fiction category only to lose to documentary series “Stories of Bike”
Overall the Melbourne Web Festival with its international contestants and high quality content demonstrates how far the web series scene has come. The festival presented a diverse catalog of complete works designed for a new media audience. A full list of the winners can be found here.
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