Wow, this year’s Soflowebfest was incredible. 44 web series and short films from across the world were showcased during the course of five fantastic, entertaining, and informative days. Many thanks to the patrons that attended five amazing days devoted to celebrating the “new wave of digital entertainment and non-traditional voices of cinema”. To our sponsors and partnerships, thank you for your continuous support.
This year we set the bar high; interactive demonstrations, concurrent programming, industry celebrity keynote speaker, and panel discussions for maximum engagement for everyone. Our festival program kicked off in high gear with the Local Spotlight Film Screening, a red-carpet event showcasing various web series and short films by South Florida’s local filmmakers such as this year’s People’s Choice winner “Johnny The Driver” directed by Harris Sebastian. Each day, there were film screenings in the Little Haiti Cultural Complex followed by industry professionals and filmmakers meet and greet. Thursday marked our Meet the Founders segment as Ashlee Thomas and Bart Mervil, founders of Soflowebfest and Miami Urban Contemporary Experience (MUCE) took the stage to welcome everyone and share their journey within the industry.
Over the course of the festival there were insightful demonstrations of the immersive content process led by New Discovery Media; presentations and panel discussions by Gia Margillo of Planned Parenthood and LaShawnna Stanley of Ethnicity Models. Our keynote speaker featured OWN Network talk show host Stacy Ike who left attendees feeling inspired and motivated with an encouraging and insightful conversation about following your dreams.
Saturday was the official Soflowebfest Award Ceremony, hosted by ComicView comedian Chello Davis. The audience was entertained by Chello comedic skills as he announced this year’s winners. First time Soflowebfest finalist from Israel, director Or Kan tor took home both Best Short Film and Best Animation for “Little Thing”. Our Grand Jury winner, director Steve Baker from Australia also took home Best Drama for the web series This Is Desmondo Ray. Director Amanda B. Goodman of the web series, You Only Die Once received Best Horror. Other People’s Children web series, directed by Brad Riddell and Anna Maria Hozian won Best Comedy. New York 2150 web series, directed by Harry Assouline won this year’s Best Fantasy/Sci-Fi. Directors Tofik Hussen and Yidnekachew Gashaw from Ethiopia took the stage to receive Best Non-Fiction for the short film The Walk of Abuka. Last year’s winner A.I.S.H.A My Virtual Girlfriend, directed by Sahir Raza took home another win in the Best Suspense/Thriller category.
2017 Soflowebfest was a blast. If you didn’t get a chance to attend this year, I hope to see you in 2018 for another fantastic festival.
Written by Sudi Elliott, Soflowebfest Ambassador