Raindance Film Festival is hosting the UK’s first Web TV Fest this weekend.
The world of TV and film is changing – and this year, film festivals are changing too. The London Film Festival is launching the BFI Player, an video on-demand service for those outside of the capital, the UK Jewish Film Festival has a similar VOD platform, while Raindance are hosting an entire weekend of events and screenings devoted to Web TV.
The Web TV Fest will take place on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th September, during the film festival itself, and will feature a packed schedule of panel discussions, with subjects covering audience development, lessons from YouTubers, product placement and branding.
There will also be the world premiere of Producing Juliet, the latest from Tina Cesa Ward, whose previous series Anyone But Me captured over 35 million views.
At the centre of it all, a discussion about the future of web TV; as audiences shift their viewing behaviour away from traditional models to on-demand services, what’s the next step for filmmakers and online shows?
“TV stations and Hollywood are looking at web series for new ideas, creators and writers,” notes the festival’s programme. “Already several web series have been picked up for broadcast or re-formatting for TV. The return of Alan Partridge on Sky TV and in the cinema started on the web. There’s even a British web series that’s been remade as a feature film (Svengali starring Martin Freeman), [while] Ricky Gervais brought back David Brent on the web.”
Elliot Grove, Raindance Founder, adds: “Filmmakers need to adapt to how everyone is consuming media today. Web TV isn’t just for the small screen; it’s the portable screen so we need to know how to adapt to provide bitesize content that makes a big impression. As Raindance is dedicated to supporting film making talent, we wanted Web Fest to offer guidance as to how to generate and manage your content as well as showcase emerging talent.”
Raindance will also give an award to the Best Web Series on Sunday 29th September, which will be judged by hand-picked figures from the media world including, Lisa Campbell (Editor, Broadcast Magazine), Ross Whittow-Williams (Executive Producer, BigBalls Films), Mick Greenwood (Managing Editor, MSN Video UK & International Video Project) and Chris Sussman (Executive Editor, BBC Comedy).
The Raindance Film Festival starts today and runs until Sunday 6th October. For more information visit http://raindancefestival.org/webfest