Instagram series Shield 5 and Discocalypse led the Web Fest Awards at the Raindance 2016 Film Festival.
The Web Fest, which showcases the brightest and best independent web series in the UK, began several years ago, not only screening series but holding panels for creators and dishing out prizes for the top selections. This year, the Web Fest was incorporated into the festival’s Raindance Lab – Future of Film, alongside the event’s inaugural VR Arcade.
The Raindance Independent Series Awards ceremony, where the Web Fest winners were announced, took place on Sunday afternoon, with a panel of Festival jury members selecting the winners.
Shield 5, a series based on Instagram took home two wawards: Critics Choice Award and Best Writing for Adam Dewar. Directed by Anthony Wilcox, the series follows a man determined to prove his innocence when he is arrested for his involvement in a diamond heist and the subsequent death of his colleague.
“This is gripping, admirably efficient and never outstays its welcome – in more ways that one, Shield 5 is the easiest binge-watch around,” our review of the show read.
Best International Series and the Raindance Discovery Award were given to Dirk Rosenlöcher’s Discocalypse. Written, directed and produced by Rosenlöcher, the series follows a young, hung-over man whose memories of the previous night reveal that his adventures were infested with zombie-like monsters.
Sol Rikweda’s Blood, Sweat & Choke, which follows three young fighters as they hustle to reach the Ultimate Fighting Championship, received the award for Best British Series.
“Sikweda’s intimate access and effective use of music make sure even non-MMA fans understand every blow,” we wrote in our review.
The award for Best Director went to Christin Baker for Maybelle, which looks at a 35-year-old Southern Virginian lesbian who has to come to terms with the fact that she is still in love with her childhood best friend.
Tiphaine Haas was honoured with the Best Lead Actor trophy for her role in Shannon Renaudeau and Florent Sabatier’s Young Graduate. Haas plays a 24-year-old Generation Y graduate looking for her dream job and purpose to her life.
“Haas is brilliantly charismatic in the lead. Babbling, fretting and running in and out of her wardrobe, she’s likeable just from her facial expressions, which frequently make you laugh out loud,” our review of the show read.
Best Ensemble Cast was awarded to Kacie Anning, Sarah Amanious and Madeleine Jones for Fragments of Friday. The series, which is also directed and written by Anning, is a comedy about a group of 20-somethings who herald the arrival of the weekend, only to spend the rest of it wondering what happened.
Best Achievement in Production went to Tony E. Valenzuela’s The Fourth Door, a story of one woman’s journey as she navigates the strange and dangerous world of Limbo.
“Combined with some slick, seamless interludes of graphic novel-style exposition, this is an engaging showcase of imagination and ambition,” we said in our verdict.
The Special Festival Award, which was selected by the Web Series programme team, went to Ben Rock’s 20 Seconds to Live. A mix of horror and comedy, various characters in the series meet their untimely demise in twisted, fun, and oftentimes, gory situations.
On honouring 20 Seconds to Live with the Special Festival Award, head programmer for Web Fest, Lydia Schoenberger commented: “It epitomizes all the qualities of a good web series; the writing is economical, it manages to surprise in every episode, and the cast is both sharp and witty.”
“This warped, wrong and very, very funny,” we concurred in our take on the show.
You can read our reviews of this year’s Web Fest Award nominees here.