The Fourth Annual NYC Web Fest Has Announced Its Jury

This year’s jury will consist of eight entertainers and producers from film, television, stage, and the digital space

The fourth annual NYC Web Fest (NYCWF) has announced the eight professionals who will make up the jury for this year’s festival. Last year saw submissions from all over the world including Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. Check out our articles about the 2016 Nominees and The Winners.

This year’s competition will see an exciting new category be added; the Pilot category is available for first episodes of new web series’.

Last year was a complete success, with Backstage Magazine naming them as ‘One of Six Great New Media Festivals’, whilst new streaming service Seeka TV signed 12 shows directly from the festival. The latter’s Vice-President of Programming, George Reese, said: “The NYC Web Fest was a great venue for someone like me to interact with the best filmmakers in the web series world.”

The Cast & Crew of Trap Plane

Here Is The 2017 NYC Web Fest Jury Panel:

  • Sherrod Small – Comedian
  • Ashley C. Ford – Refinery29
  • Sasha Stone – Awards Daily
  • Drew Phillips – Revry
  • Neil Mossberg – Branding Specialist
  • Natasha S. Alford – Journalist
  • Austen Jaye – Actor/Producer
  • Liz Spaulding – Marketing & Communications Executive

The latter two jurors are also a part of the programming department for NYCWF. Austen Jaye will act as Program Director, while Liz Spaulding will act as Programming Consultant. Also on board, this year is Sarah Grieco, who will act as Director of Sales, and Oscar Presiga, who will return as Director of IT.

Of this year’s festival, founder Lauren Atkins said on her blog: “2017 is about providing artists of ALL shapes, colors, and genders with a vehicle to be seen, heard, and acknowledged. As I’ve learned, you can’t do it all on your own and there is power in numbers.” Read more about her thoughts on this year’s NYCWF here.

Here’s More Information On The Jurors:

Sherrod Small

He started his career in 1998 at New York’s Comic Strip Live; he then went on to perform at the Comedy Cellar, six months later. This helped him to develop his career, where he became a regular on VH1’s Best Week Ever. He has appeared on Red Eye w/ Greg GutfieldTough CrowdPremium Blend, and The Chris Rock Show. He has also appeared alongside John Mayer in the parody cover of Tay Zonday’s “Chocolate Rain” and on the G4’s International Sexy Ladies. Between 2012 and 2014, he was a guest on the Opie and Anthony radio show where he had a more regular role on its successor: Opie with Jim Norton. He has also hosted RaceWars Podcast alongside Kurt Metzger, for the past five years. Last year, he won the Special Guest Star award at NYC Web Fest for his work on Long Island Divas; which is a spoof of the Real Housewives Franchise.

Ashley C. Ford

Currently a senior features writer for Refinery29, she has previously written or guest-edited for The GuardianELLEBuzzFeedSlateTeen VogueI-DLenny Letter, and various other web and print publications. She is currently writing a memoir. She has done public speaking in the past at SXSW, Earlham College, and Hippocamp Nonfiction Writing Conference, amongst other events and universities. Also, she taught writing at The New School and Catapult Co. She has experience with web series and documentaries as she previously worked as a development executive for Matter Studios.

Sasha Stone

Sasha Stone is known for her website AwardsDaily.com, which began in 1999 with the name Oscarwatch.com but the name change came when the Academy sued. She has a lot of education and experience behind her, she also freelances for Women’s Media Center.

Drew Phillips

International acclaimed transgender-genre filmmaker and graphic designer, Drew Phillips, is mostly known for her films Beautiful and Digital Syntax. She works within the graphics department at REVRY, currently, which is the only global LGBTQ+ streaming platform.

Neil Mossberg

He has had a lengthy career in the fashion world. He started as an assistant buyer with The Doneger Group. Later, he became a men’s buyer for the Urban Outfitters Group. Neil Mossberg then became Creative Director of national retailer Country Seat, where he generated sales nationwide in excess of $500 million. He has worked with NBC and Bravo Network, partnered with Mead Johnson Bristol-Myers and served as Fashion Editor for Urban Latino magazine. Today, he is a partner of brands and companies such as World MarketingFRANK151Steve Harvey CollectionColossal Brands and more. He also sits on the advisory board for exClone.

Natasha S. Alford

She is the Deputy Editor of theGrio.com and hosts the original web series True Story with Natasha Alford. She has contributed to Salon.com, Sirius XM’s Sway In The MorningWDKX and WBEZ radio. Natasha Alford is a winner of the CBS Meredith-Cronkite Fellowship and a member of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ). She recently was awarded the 2017 Rising Leader Award at the 20th Annual Harvard Women’s Leadership Awards.

Austen Jaye

Austen Jaye is a professional actor. His theatre credits include the Solo Show Belafonte UnauthorizedA Shared Humanity, the West Coast premier of The Good Negro and Black Women State Of The Union. His television credits include CBS’s The Bold and the Beautiful, ABC’s Back in the Game, TBS’s Angie Tribeca, BET’s Roomie Lover Friends, and BET’s Hello Cupid.

Liz Spaulding

Currently, she is working on a marketing contract for Citibank’s Global Consumer Bank division on Customer Experience and Digital Engagement. She became the first-ever New York Director for the SAG-AFTRA Foundation. She also worked in the private sector of the entertainment industry as Marketing Coordinator for Tribeca Film, the newly launched distribution arm of the Tribeca Film Festival. As well as that, she has managed the promotional assets, marketing strategy, and release windows for over 15 feature films per year, marking independent titles to a wide audience in a new distribution model.

Submissions for the 2017 NYC Web Fest is open now

Submissions for this year’s festival is open until 14 August 2017. Apparently, submissions are up by 65%, this year, already.

For those of you who want some more information. We urge you to visit the NYC Web Fest website.

This year’s festival is dedicated to Lauren Atkins’ friend Maya. On her blog, she had this to say:

“A few years ago, I went to the premiere screening of a TV series (that was canceled before it aired) and I brought along my friend Maya. There was an actress on the show who spoke on a panel about living the creative life. Like so many New Yorkers, she worked at a bar to make ends meet and went on auditions to pursue her passion as an actress. “It’s a great life,” she told the tearful crowd.

After the premiere, Maya thanked me for bringing her. She was inspired as she’d always wanted to be an actress. On May 11th, Maya lost her battle with breast cancer.

I am dedicating this year’s festival to her memory.”

After last year and with this exciting jury line-up and knowing that submissions are up; this year is surely going to be one of the best for NYC Web Fest. The festival will take place on 9 November – 11 November 2017 in Manhatten; the location has yet to be determined.

What do you make of the jurors this year? Let us know your thoughts on the NYC Web Fest over on Twitter @CelebMix.

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Written by Jonathan Currinn

24-year-old writer, blogger, author and journalist. Graduated from Staffordshire University in 2015. I write under the name Critic Jonni, on my blog. I also write for Channillo, The Coffee House, Outlet Magazine, SPECTRUMM, and Fuzzable. Follow me on Twitter @CriticJonni