The Roma Web Fest – Italy’s Celebration of Web Series
Kurt Van Ristell
Aug 22, 2013 (Modified: Aug 26, 2013)328 Views

roma webfest

The term “Web Fest” is already showing its age. The word “web” is used simply to distinguish content that’s online – nothing more and nothing less. As the lines that separate new media from old begin to rub and fade thanks to services like Netflix, it’s a distinction that is fast losing any meaning. As more and more people are engaging with online services, less and less are searching terms with the prefix “web” – the term “web series” being the exception because web in that term implies the break from the traditional television restrictions.

The phrase Web Fest has been in serious decline since 2005 and was bordering on disappearing, perhaps soon to make a come back.

Searches for “web fest”

web fest searches 2005 2013

Searches for “web shop”

web shop searches 2005 2013

Searches for “doctor” are up, and searches for “web doctor” are in decline.

Searches for “web doctor”

web doctor searches 2005 2013

The phrase web series is the exception that proves the rule, obviously.

Searches for “web series”

web series searches 5005 20013

The phrase itself might be as corny as “cowabunga”, but the idea is spreading like wildfire. With “Web Fests” popping up all across the globe and often in partnership with one another, there are already more awards, honours, mentions and prizes given out in the web series community than I can even keep track of.

This year, Italy will be getting in on the action, with its first official Web Fest – The Roma Web Fest.

Partnered with the usual suspects (Marseille, Melbourne, Vancouver and the L.A Web Fests) the Roma Web Fest brings a decidedly Italian flair to the league, with a heavy emphasis on Fashion Films, and a user voting system to help judge the contestants popularity. Besides these points, the rest of the details are fairly bog-standard. The event takes place between the 27th and 29th of September at The Golden Theatre in Rome. The event itself will feature meet and greets, workshops, seminars and screenings alongside press functions and the awards ceremonies themselves. Two main awards will be given out, one for the best domestic (Italian) web series, and one for the best Foreign. There will also be awards given for various winners in smaller categories, such as best comedy, drama, sci-fi etc.

Winners are judged by a panel of judges, with automatic admission (quote via Google Translate) “to the final of the Rome festival twinned with the Web Fest” (presumably the Rome Film Festival) upping the stakes considerably.

You can peruse and vote for entrants at the organizations homepage. Whilst many of the series in the contest will be unfamiliar (being Italian), a vast majority provide English subtitles and are rather good! Given the international nature of the event, there are also American and English contestants who you’ll be familiar with. I cast a 5 star vote for one of my longtime favourites, The Bloody Mary Show – and you can do the same right here.


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